Monday, March 30, 2009

#6...Check

A couple weeks ago I made homemade pierogies and crossed another item off my to-do list. This was slightly more labor intensive than I had anticipated, taking nearly four hours to make 50+ perfectly plump pierogies. My grandmother probably could have made twice the amount in half the time all by herself. But it was the first time my mom and I had ever attempted this recipe.

Making the dough and filling is simple enough. It's handling the dough and stuffing them that's tricky. I recommend rolling the dough out into a long log. Then slice off a small piece, flatten it with your hands (or a rolling pin). Stuff as much as you can in the center. You want them to be pretty round. So once they're filled, you'll need to stretch the ends out to seal it. (This also prevents the ends from being too doughy or tough.) Then use a fork to finalize the seal (like you would for a pie crust).

Here's the general recipe we used. (But you really just need to eyeball it and go by how the dough feels. If it's clinging to your fingers, it's too sticky, and you need more flour.)

Dough:
In a small bowl, whisk 1-2 eggs and 1/2 cup of water together.
Add the liquid to 3 cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt.
(You can also use a little less liquid and add some sour cream)
Need mixture until everything is incorporated.
Cover the dough with a damp paper towel and let it sit for 10-20 minutes at room temperature before handling.

Filling:
You can fill these with pretty much whatever you want. Traditionally, pierogies are often stuffed with farmer's cheese with or without potatoes. We couldn't find farmer's cheese, so we added cheddar cheese, ricotta, onion juice and butter to our mashed potatoes.

If you prefer sauerkraut, get the kind that's packaged in a bag. Rinse and drain it. Start off by frying some bacon. Remove the bacon and most of the bacon fat from the pan. Then saute an onion and about 1/4 of a cabbage. Next add the sauerkraut and then caraway seeds, salt and bacon fat to taste. Make sure the sauerkraut mixture isn't too wet before adding to the pierogies.

Cooking:
Once filled, boil the pierogies until they float. You can eat them just like this, but I like to saute them with butter and onions. Serve with sour cream.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Friday!

I know it's been a long time since my last post, but I've been busy crossing things of my list. Details, recipes and pictures soon to follow. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this fantastic picture of Moo (and Zoe). I can't stop laughing. Only my family would be this excited for Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D. (To top it off, she randomly had a spare pair of 3D glasses in her lap top case. haha.) Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

# 12...check

Number 12 can be checked off this year's to-do list. I am happy to say that I finally had my first full-body massage -- a 60-minute session of shiatsu acupressure.

A lot of people are skeptical when they hear the word "acupressure" because they assume it's super painful. But it's really not, if done correctly. In fact, the combination of stretching and gentle acupoint stimulation left me feeling completely relaxed...not to mention totally flushed from the drastic increase in circulation. Can't wait for my next one!