Friday, May 5, 2017

Cheesy Potato Perogi Recipe

Here is another way to use up potatoes! ;) (See the post titled, How Many Potatoes Can Mr. In The Mid-west Eat? for more on using up potatoes.)

Deep Fried Whole Wheat Perogies

I made perogies last week. It had been a couple of years since I had made a batch of perogies. I can't believe how time flies! Boy In The Mid-west wasn't even born last time I made perogies!

Assembly process for homemade perogies.

I have always been told that perogies originate from Poland. I am not sure how accurate that is. You can do your own research.

 Basically, what a perogi is, is a potato filled pasta/dumpling like food. They can be boiled and then pan fried in butter or they can be deep fried. They can be served with hot cheese sauce or a sour cream dip or caramelized onions.

Fresh perogies ready to be cooked.

 You could do a simple filling, just potatoes, cheese, sauteed onions, and salt and pepper.You could also use leftover mashed potatoes in the filling.

Filling ingredients before mixing.

This is just what I did. You can use it for a guideline and use the ingredients you have on hand to customize your perogies. :)

Potato And Cheese Perogies 

Yield: ~80

4 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt

Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center; pour in the water and crack in the eggs. Beat the eggs into the water in the well of flour. Gradually stir the flour into the water and egg mixture in the center until all of the flour is incorporated. Knead the dough; cover and rest 30 minutes.

2 large potatoes
8 oz. sharp cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. olive oil
1 TBS. butter
2 TBS. sour cream
1/3 cup sliced green onions (I would have used regular chopped onion, but I was out of them.)

Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Place in a pot and cover with cold water. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Boil potatoes until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, let them dry for about 60 seconds. Combine the potatoes with the rest of the fill ingredients. Use a potato masher or mixer to mash potatoes and combine ingredients.

Divide the dough in half. Set aside one half and on a lightly floured surface roll out the other half of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch circles, or about 3 inch circles. Fill each circle with 1 teaspoon of potato filling. Wet the circumference of the circles by dipping your finger into a dish of water and running it around the edge of the circles. Fold the circles in half enclosing the potato filling. Pinch the pockets closed and press with the times of a fork. At this point you can put the perogies in a freezer bag and freezer them for future consumption.

Boil perogies in a plenty of salted water until they float, about 10 minutes.

Deep Frying:
Deep fry Perogies in a couple inches of oil until they float to the surface

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

A. Yes, I like Mexican food very much!
B. Homemade Refried Beans are my favorite Mexican dish. (Link to my recipe here.)  Honorable mentions include; chicken enchiladas, pork tamales, chili rellenos, and flautas.
C. Refried Pinto Beans are my choice out of black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, or rice, although I like all four.
D. I like medium heat for my hot sauce, salsa, or peppers. Jalapenos are as hot as I enjoy. Habeneros are to hot for my palette.
E. I don't really know what Cinco de Mayo is about. I have never done anything special on May 5. Maybe we will look into it and start a family tradition.

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven't been is this a place you'd like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

A. I have never been to Mexico.
B. I would like to visit Mexico someday.
C. I only know a few words of the Spanish language. I couldn't hold a conversation. I would like to learn how to speak Spanish fluently.

3. What's one thing you may accomplish this month?

Planting a garden. Other things on the to-do list are a garage sale and a birthday party for Boy In The Mid-west. Party or not, he will have a birthday this month. :)

4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered?

A. Everything seems to work pretty smoothly in our town. I can't think of anything I would change.
B. I have never considered serving in a public office.

5. What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get?

The back to Eden gardening method is very popular among the gardening circles I am aware of, but I don't know much about it. I think that if I learned about it, though, I would join the movement.

6. Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year', and 1 being, 'what's a Vader?' -where do you land?

A. I am not a fan of Star Wars. Star Wars is heavily influenced by new age mysticism, which is contrary to a Biblical worldview.
B.If I could choose zero I would, but on a scale of 1-10 I pick 1 to represent how much I am not a fan of Star Wars.

7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

A. The fourth blog post that I wrote was about making fresh spinach noodles.
B. I still like making fresh noodles.
C. This blog is still very much about food and what I have been cooking recently. :)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am now off to read some recipes about deep frying chicken legs. My tried and true fried chicken recipe calls for a 1/4 inch of oil in the pan. The chicken pieces are sealed on all sides and then covered with a lid and cooked over low heat for 40 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. I want to try out the new deep fryer that I bought for my husband, though, so I need a new recipe. :) (I may write a future blog post on how I got the deep fryer. I got a really, really good deal on it. )

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Haven Of Rest

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

 Psalm 37:7

The Haven of Rest

1 My soul in sad exile was out on life’s sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying, “Make Me your choice”;
And I entered the “Haven of Rest”! 

I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
I’ll sail the wide seas no more;
The tempest may sweep over wild, stormy, deep,
In Jesus I’m safe evermore. 

2 I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word,
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;
The “Haven of Rest” is my Lord. [Refrain]

3 The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blest,
Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have
A home in the “Haven of Rest.” [Refrain]

4 How precious the thought that we all may recline,
Like John, the beloved so blest,
On Jesus’ strong arm, where no tempest can harm,
Secure in the “Haven of Rest.” [Refrain]

5 Oh, come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power divine;
Come, anchor your soul in the “Haven of Rest,

For we which have believed do enter into rest,....

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Hebrews 4: 3a+10

Aren't you glad that eternal life is a free gift, that we can cease from own works, and enter into His rest?

I have stopped working to enter heaven, have you?

I have believed on Jesus, I have faith in his death, burial, and resurrection, and I know I have a home in heaven for eternity.

I am so glad that eternal life is a free gift and all I had to do was receive that gift by faith.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Seeds And Seedlings

I started some flower and herb seeds several weeks ago.

I sprinkled the seeds between moist paper towels and put them in a plastic bag.
I put the plastic bag in a warm place and waited for the seeds to sprout.

When they sprouted I bought some seed starting soil mix.

I saw a neat idea on Pinterest for biodegradable seedling containers.
Several years ago I had tried to use paper egg cartons for this purpose, but the cartons molded before it was even close to transplanting into the garden time.

When I saw the idea of using the egg shells in the paper cartons I thought that might work. The egg shells should provide enough of a moisture barrier to keep the cartons from molding.

I am sad to report that my seedlings this year are not doing very well. I have not been caring for them enough and they have suffered. :(

The seeds that I planted directly in the soil are thriving. I plan on planting some more varieties of seed straight in the ground later this spring.

With God doing the watering and climate control the plants seem to do better than when I am in control of the watering, temperature, and lighting. :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fast Method For Mincing Garlic Cloves

Sometimes I use a food grater to mince garlic cloves. If you have a micro-plane it would be perfect for this.

A grater works great for garlic cloves because,...
1. It is faster than a garlic press.
2. It is much easier to clean than a garlic press.
3. If you have already dirtied your food grater by shredding carrots or cheese don't dirty another dish (the garlic press), just use the grater for your garlic cloves!

Let me know if you have any tips for mincing garlic or using your grater.  :)

Monday, April 24, 2017

First Cut Flowers For 2017 : Tulips And Bleeding Hearts

I was so excited to be able to bring some flowers inside, a couple days ago. They don't last long, but they sure add some cheer to my day. :)
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; not yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than raiment?
Matthew 6:25

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dandelions: Free, Highly Nutritious, Abundant Food!

Dandelions are plentiful throughout most of the United States.
Dandelions are some of the first fresh greens available in the spring.
Collecting dandelions is usually very easy.
I love foraging for wild greens, especially, in the spring while I wait for my lettuce and spinach to grow.
My lettuce sprouts.

This spring I have been eating a lot of dandelions.
A bowlful of dandelion greens, while not pretty, very appetizing.
We have them all over our yard.
Dandelions all-over our yard.

I use a spade and dig up the whole plant.
Preparing the whole plant for cooking.
It is really easy. I push the spade into the dirt right at the base of the dandelion with my foot, then tilt it back. You can feel the root go, "Pop!" Then I pull the plant out, brush off the dirt and remove any bad leaves.
Discarding the less than vibrant leaves.

I like to get as much root as possible because they are so nutrient dense. I wash and pare them before cooking. I hope to learn how to prepare them for medicinal teas in the future.
Preparing dandelion roots for cooking.
When I have  harvested dandelions I throw them in a sink full of water. I add a splash of white vinegar and soak them for 20+ minutes.
Washing dandelion greens.
I swish them around to loosen up any dirt. Once washed, I cut off the root ends and chop the greens. I discard any opened up flowers. They are to fuzzy for my liking. But, I keep the closed buds. They are pretty tasty.
Chopped dandelion greens.
I bring a large pot of water to a boil. When it comes to a boil I throw the prepared dandelions in the water. I boil them for about 5 minutes.
Boiling dandelion greens to remove the bitter compounds.
Then I pour out the water and drain the greens. This step gets rid of the bitter chemicals in the leaves. I know that it must also be diminishing the vitamins and minerals somewhat, but I can hardly tolerate the bitterness in non-boiled dandelions.
Draining the boiled dandelion greens.
After this point I like to eat the dandelion greens a number of ways. I fix them like I would spinach or other greens, sauteing them with some onions, garlic, and salt.

They make a good wilted salad with bacon grease, apple cider vinegar, and a little sugar (I have used chicken fat, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, and molasses).
They are great in soup, also.
Dandelion soup.
Especially when combined with spring onions and some type of fish.
I made a large batch of dandelion soup with beef bone broth.
When I eat dandelion greens raw I put them into a salad with lettuce and other greens to help dilute the bitterness.
Salad with dandelion greens, narrowleaf plantain, garlic mustard greens, violet blossoms, shredded carrot, cucumber, and lettuce.
Dandelions are high in vitamin A and vitamin K. 1 cup of chopped, raw dandelion greens contains over 200% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A and over 500% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K.

Dandelion greens are also high in vitamin C, Potassium, and Iron.

Dandelions are, also, said to be very good for kidney and liver health.

If you follow this link you can read a comprehensive analysis of the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals contained in dandelions. The chart also compares dandelions side by side with kale and collard greens.

A word of caution: dandelions are a diuretic and a laxitve, so be careful about eating them in huge quantities. :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How Many Potatoes Can Mr. In The Mid-west Eat??

This challenge for Mr. In The Mid-west came about because I found that the 10 pound bag of potatoes we have in our stairwell was starting to sprout eyes, besides the bag of potatoes that was already open.

 And, since I am on an Autoimmune Protocol Diet and I cannot have any vegetables from the night shade family it would be up to Mr. In The Mid-west to keep the potatoes from going to waste! Could he do it?

Ready, Set, "Go!"

~Day 1~

2 Potatoes For Breakfast

Pictured above: Hashbrowns, Eggs, and Banana Cake.

3 Potatoes For Lunch

Pictured above: French Fries, Fried Filet of Tilapia Sandwich, and Lame Chocolate Pudding.

4 Potatoes For Dinner

Pictured above: Home Fries, Canned Pork And Beans, and Sausage Patties.

~Day 2~

2 Potatoes For Breakfast

Pictured above: Hashbrowns, Eggs, and Banana Cake.

2 Potatoes For Lunch

Pictured above: French Fries, Fried Filet of Tilapia Sandwich, and Canned Pork And Beans.

1 1/3 Potatoes For Dinner

Pictured above: Fried Chicken Legs, Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Gravy, and Roasted Butternut Squash.

~Day 3~

1 Potato For Brunch

Pictured above: Sausage, Egg, Potato, Cheese, and Onion Breakfast Burritos on Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas.

1 1/3 Potatoes For Dinner

Pictured above: Fried Chicken Legs, Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Gravy, and Canned Pork And Beans.

~Day 4~

2 Potatoes For Breakfast

Pictured above: Hashbrowns and Pancakes.

1 1/3 Potatoes For Lunch

Pictured above: Cheesy Potato Cakes and Peas.

0 Potatoes For Dinner

No picture available. We ate out.

~Day 5~


2 Potatoes For Breakfast

Pictured above: Pancakes and Home Fries.

1 Potato For Lunch

Pictured above: Individual Shepherd's Pie.

3 Potatoes For Dinner

Pictured above: Pork Ribs, Steak Fries, and Peas.

~Day 6~

2 Potatoes For Breakfast

Pictured above: Hashbrowns, Pancake, and Sausage Links.

1 Potato For Lunch

Pictured above: Potato And Onion Bake, Pork Rib, and Corn.

1 Potato For Dinner

Pictured above: Tumeric Cabbage And Chicken Stir-fry, Potato And Onion Bake, and Peas.

~Day 7~

1 Potato For Breakfast

Pictured above: Egg, Potato, Sausage, and Cheese Scramble.

4 Potatoes For Lunch

Pictured above: Four Small Loaded Baked Potatoes.

0 Potatoes For Dinner

No picture available. We were traveling at dinner time.

~Day 8~

1 Potato For Breakfast

Pictured above: Egg, Sausage, Potato, and Cheese Scramble.

1 1/2 Potatoes For Lunch

Pictured above: Potatoes Au Gratin, and Lettuce, Bean, and Egg Salad.

1 Potato For Dinner

Pictured above: Hashbrowns Casserole, Wilted Dandelion Greens, Hard Boiled Egg, and Crispy Chicken Skin.

~Day 9~

1 1/2 Potatoes For Lunch

Pictured above: Lettuce, Egg, and Bean Salad, Leftover Hashbrowns Casserole, and Leftover Au Gratin Potatoes.

0 Potatoes Left!!!!!!

Pictured above, Empty Potato Sack

Hip-Hip Hooray!!

Guess what Mr. In The Mid-west bought when we were grocery shopping last week?

Another 10 pound bag of potatoes! No joke!

He is still not sick of eating potatoes, in fact, he said he could handle eating Hashbrowns and French Fries almost every day. :)