Monthly Archives: April 2016

Pierogi (Filled Dumplings)

Pierogi (Filled Dumplings)

Pierogi also known as Varenyky is a Polish dish that has been made and served since the 13 century.  Pierogi is Poland’s national dish.

Claims have been staked by Poles, Romanians, Russians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians and Slovaks.

Pierogi’s can be stuffed with endless fillings.  Suggestions are mashed potatoes, farmer’s cheese, sauerkraut, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, ground beef, sausage or grains and legumes.

This is one of those wonderful homemade meals that help clean out the refrigerator.  SCORE!

Pierogi Dough:  2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 egg beaten, 2/3 cup cold water or use potato water.

Combine the flour and salt.  Add beaten egg and water.  Mix to form a dough ball.  Chill in refrigerator while you make the filling.

I used the traditional mashed potatoes, along with some cooked crumbled sausage, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper.

Mix all the fillings together.  They were cold straight from the refrigerator.  Remember I explained how everyone needs to cook once eat twice.

Roll dough out on a floured surface.  Cut into 4 inch circles.  Place a spoonful of mixture that you’re using in the center of each circle.  Fold over.  Pinch to seal.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Drop pierogi’s into boiling water.  They will sink to the bottom.  Cook about 4 minutes or until they float to the top.

Serve with sour cream and parmesan cheese as I did in the photo, or saluted onions in butter or salsa.

Remember these are so versatile doesn’t matter if your vegan or love meat.  Fill these up with what you love.  ENJOY!


Sesame Noodles and Egg Rolls

Sesame Noodles and Egg Rolls
Sesame Noodles and Egg Rolls

Stop going to your local restaurant or order out some of your favorite chinese foods.  Make your own sesame noodles and egg rolls in your own kitchen.  Leave out all the MSG and salt.

Sesame noodles are quick and so simple to make.  The egg rolls take longer, honestly they aren’t hard to make.  Prep the veggies the day before to get a head start.  Feel free to add or change-up some of the vegetables.  Add bean sprouts or any other veggie you like.

Sesame Noodles

12 ounce package spaghetti noodles (or make noodles homemade, I highly recommend this)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 cloves garlic minced
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 Tablespoons oil

Cook noodles and drain.  While the noodles are draining in a bowl mix soy sauce, sugar, garlic, rice vinegar and sesame oil.   Pour over the hot noodles and toss to coat.  ENJOY!

Egg Rolls

4 Tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
2 scallions thinly sliced
1 carrot chopped
1 red or green pepper chopped
1/2 small head of cabbage chopped
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 pound cooked chicken, pork, beef or shrimp your choice
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 package egg roll wrappers
1 egg beaten
oil for frying

In wok or large skillet heat oil.  Add garlic, scallions, carrot, pepper and cabbage.  Stir and cook until veggies are soft.  Add sesame oil, soy sauce and black pepper.  Add cooked meat of choice.  Let cool.

Use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling.  Place in the center of wrapper.  Roll closest corner to you over the filling.  Brush the top corner with beaten egg.  Fold sides of wrapper in and continue rolling egg roll up.

Heat oil in skillet and fry egg rolls until golden brown.  Turn and repeat for each side.  ENJOY!

How to Grow Phlox

How to Grow Phlox
How to Grow Phlox

Looking for a perfect ground cover choose creeping, woodland or moss phlox.  Low growing to the ground and comes in several colors.

Creeping Phlox is what is pictured and is filling the space perfectly.  So pretty!

Garden and meadow phlox, produce taller plants.  Most commonly used in gardens, borders and for edging.  Be sure to choose the variety that fits your garden space.  Enjoy their gorgeous star – shaped blossoms.

Phlox are hardy, low maintenance flowers that do well in most locations.  They do like full sun.  There are some varieties that are tolerant to partial or filtered shade.

Keep Phlox well watered.  Water from the base of the plant.

When looking for some beautiful flowers this year don’t overlook the Phlox.  ENJOY!


Croutons Homemade

Croutons Homemade
Croutons Homemade

Why spend money on something which takes about 15 minutes to make.  Add different spices, herbs or cheeses and make it your own.  Once again no hidden ingredients.

Use any type of stale bread, doesn’t matter or mix them up.

1 loaf of stale bread
olive oil
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Teaspoons black pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl pull apart bread into bite size pieces (big, little you decide).  Drizzle olive oil over the bread and toss.

In a small bowl add Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, salt and black pepper.  Mix together.  Sprinkle over bread and toss to coat.

If you need to add more olive oil now is the time.

Layer on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.  Toss bread to turn and bake 5 more minutes.  Let cool and store in airtight container.

Play around with different herbs and spices, garlic is a favorite, what about red pepper flakes.

See how easy that was.  ENJOY!


Benefits of Hydrogen Peroxide

Benefits Hydrogen Peroxide
Benefits Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is more than just a disinfectant.  Growing up if we received a cut or scrape, mother always cleaned everything out of our wound and always poured some hydrogen peroxide over the cut or scrape.  Watching it bubble up was always neat.

There is many more reasons for using hydrogen peroxide and I will list several.  NEVER INGEST HYDROGEN PEROXIDE.  Yes you can use it in you mouth.  Never swallow any of the hydrogen peroxide.

Works as a bleaching agent for use it for cleaning.  Counters, cutting boards etc.  The oxidizing properties allow it to react with bacteria, viruses, spores and yeasts, making it a wonderful disinfectant.

Clean and disinfect minor wounds.
Stops minor bleeding.
Helps clear acne and boils.  Dab on, apply only once.
Cures canker sores and bad breath.  Dilute with water, swish around in mouth and spit and rinse, spitting again.
Foot fungus.  Equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide,soak feet.
Colds and ear infection and helps with wax build up.  Couple drops in your ear.
Detox Bath
Toothpaste.  Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixed into a paste.
Whiten finger nails.
Disinfect toothbrush.
Soften calluses and corns.
Cleans whitens grout.
Clean toilet bowl.
Replace bleach by using hydrogen to whiten and take yellowing out of whites.  Soak whites  for 1/2 an hour with equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide before washing.
Keep away from dark clothing.  It will bleach them out.
Disinfect toys, coolers and lunch boxes.
Clean dehumidifiers or humidifiers.




Benefits of Freezer Food and Supplies

Correctly Freezing Meals
Correctly Freezing Meals

Why take the time to make a meal just to turn around and stick it in the freezer.  Well let me tell you why everyone should be taking the time to do this.  Especially you moms who juggle work, kids, school and everything else going in your lives.

  1.  It’s Efficient.  Spend half a day or all day (your choice) making up your freezer dishes and this will free you from deciding what to take out for dinner not only for that night, but for all week.
  2. Flexible.  Doesn’t matter how big or small your family.  Make some small dishes for when it is just you and the hubby or some larger dishes for unexpected guests.
  3. Life Saver.  On those days where nothing and I mean nothing is going right or you have a meeting you forgot about.  The family won’t starve while mom is gone.
  4. Give Service.  Take a meal over to the neighbor who just had surgery.  Your best friend who just came home with a new baby.  Take over one for that evening and one for the freezer.Freezer Supplies:  Choose your container of choice.  I keep several different types of supplies on hand, depending on what is cooking.  Gather up quart and pint food storage container.  These are great and can be re-used over and over.  Zipper freezer bags comes in all shapes and sizes.  Great for cooked meat, soups, sauces, vegetables etc.  Foil pans are excellent for freezing meals and once again come in all shapes and sizes, plus you can re-use them if careful.  Aluminum foil for covering and making foil pouches.  Don’t forget a permanent marker so you know what you’re pulling out to eat, plus you will want to add the date you made the dish.If you own a foodsaver machine, put that sucker to work.  I love and adore mine.

    When freezing food remember air is NOT your friend.  Air causes freezer burn.  When packing for the freezer, force out the excess air and place the wrapping right against the surface of the food.  Eliminate all that airspace.

    Flash Freezing:  This is something everyone needs to know.  When you flash freeze, you place uncovered food straight into the freezer to do a quick freeze of the surface in order to make it easier to pack and store.  For example:  Hamburger patties, raw or cooked meatballs, grilled chicken, cookie dough etc.  Place them straight into the freezer for 30 minutes or until the surface is frozen and slightly firm.  Remove and quickly store them into a permanent container, place back into your freezer.  Cookie sheets etc are great for doing this.

    Here are some of my favorite food items to freeze.  Soups and sauces, browned hamburger, sausage or ground turkey, grilled chicken breasts, unbaked casseroles, lasagna, baked spaghetti (you get the picture), cooked or raw meatballs, non-acid raw veggies such as carrots, corn and green beans.

    Cook once eat at least twice.  If you grilling chicken breast please grill enough for a second meal and stick them in the freezer.  Meatballs is one of my favorite items to make and freeze.  Cooked hamburger has so many uses.  Make extra chili, ham and beans or how about vegetable soup.  Make extra eat your meal for that evening, freeze the second batch for next week or next month.  ENJOY!

Taco, Sloppy Joe, Steak, Chili, Onion Soup, Poultry Many More Mixes

Taco, Sloppy Joe, Steak, Lemon pepper, Chili, Poultry, Onion Soup, Salsa Hidden Valley Ranch Mixes

Taking a few minutes to mix up your own seasoning mixes will bring better flavor to your meals, less preservatives and yes I healthier, fresh way to eat.  Choose your reason and run with it, as long as you are putting less toxic ingredients into your body.

Here are several easy and delicious seasoning mixes to line your pantry.  Grow and dry your own herbs to use or stock up from the store.  Either way it will beat the little packages of crap you can find in the store.

Taco Seasoning:  2 Teaspoons dried onions, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (can use flour), 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

To use:  Add 1/2 cup water, 2 Tablespoons seasoning mix.  Stir together.  Simmer until most of the water is gone.

Sloppy Joe Seasoning:  1 Tablespoon dried onion, 1 teaspoon dried green pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1 Tablespoon paprika

Use 3 Tablespoons seasoning mix, 1/2 cup water.  Stir together.  Simmer until most of the water is gone.

Poultry Seasoning:  4 teaspoon dried thyme, 4 teaspoons dried marjoram, 1 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 12 teaspoon dried sage

Mix to use.

Steak Seasoning:  1 Tablespoon coriander seed or powder, 4 tablespoons sea salt or regular salt, 1 tablespoon back pepper, 2 tablespoon paprika, 1/2 tablespoon dried onion, 1/2 tablespoon red pepper, 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder

Mix to use.

Chili Seasoning:  1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons dried onion, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Mix together.  I use 2 to 3 Tablespoons depending on how much chili I am fixing.

Lemon Pepper Seasoning:  4 tablespoons basil, 3 tablespoons oregano, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon dried onion, 1 tablespoon celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons dried lemon rind

Mix together and use.

Hidden Valley Ranch Mix:  Blender or food processor.  Add 15 saltines crackers, 2 cups parsley, 1/2 cup minced onions, 2 tablespoons dill, 1/4 cup onion salt, 1/4 cup onion powder, 1/4 cup garlic powder.

Blend everything.

To use:  Combine 1 teaspoon mix with 1 cup mayo and 1 cup buttermilk or 1 teaspoon mix, 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup sour cream.

Salsa Mix:  1 1/2 cup dried cilantro, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 cup dried onion, 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper

To use:  2 Tablespoons mix, 1 ten ounce can mexican tomatoes.  Mix and serve.

Onion Soup Mix:  1/2 cup dried onions 2 tablespoons parsley, 5 tablespoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons turmeric, 2 teaspoons sea salt or regular salt, 2 teaspoons garlic powder.

Mix everything together.  1/4 cup replaces the package you would purchase in the store.

Veggie Dip:  1/4 cup onion soup mix, 16 ounce container sour cream or yogurt.  Mix and chill.

Oven Roasted Potatoes:  Cut potato into cubes.  Sprinkle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup onion soup mix over the potatoes.  Mix to combine.  Roast 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Mix 1/4 cup into meatloaf or hamburgers.  ENJOY!  Stove Top Stuffing Master Mix  Yellow Cake Master Mix  Gluten Free Master Mix  Chicken Master Mix Meatball Master Mix




Vinaigrette Shake Up 4 Versions

Vinaigrette Shake Up 4 Combinations

Why buy vinaigrette, make it, shake it.  Store bough dressings are full of synthetic flavorings agents and stabilizers.  Making your own vinaigrette is extremely easy and allows you to customize to meet your tastes.

Here are 4 basic great tasting Vinaigrettes to start you on your way to better, tastier eating.

Balsamic and Chives:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 Tablespoons fresh chives, 1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

Add everything to a mason jar and shake.

White Wine Vinegar and Oregano:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon alt and pepper

Cider Vinegar and Thyme:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried Thyme, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Red Wine Vinegar and Basil:  1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, 2 tablespoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Make and Shake, ENJOY!


Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
Cobb Salad

Tired of pasta, meat, and potatoes, the same old heavy meals every night.  Cobb salad is your answer to lighten up your menu.  Make one great big bowl of Cobb salad and serve everyone from the bowl.  Make individual Cobb salads and serve or place all the ingredients in individual bowls and let people pick and choose how they want to build their Cobb salad.

Whichever way you choose it is all good.

1 head of iceberg lettuce
4 cups spinach
1/2 red onion sliced
4 hardboiled eggs sliced
2 tomatoes chopped
1 cucumber sliced thin
2 cups ham or chicken (or both diced)
1 cup cheddar cheese or blue cheese shredded

On a large platter layer the iceberg lettuce in the middle.  Surround the iceberg lettuce with spinach.  Place the sliced cucumbers around the edge of the spinach.  Spread the red onion on top of the lettuce.

Add tomatoes sprinkles on top of the onion, next add ham or chicken, sprinkle cheese and top with croutons.

Place sliced hard-boiled egg on top of everything.

Serve with your favorite dressing.

Tip:  Add avocado or radishes .  Basically include what YOUR family enjoys.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff

American comfort food to the hilt right here with Beef Stroganoff.  Sure it might have originally came from Russia, we have claimed it as our own right here in the good old USA.  I love to serve this over freshly made noodles, no pressure if you’re using store-bought.  My husband swears it is just as good over rice or biscuits.

1 pound sirloin steak cut into cubes
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion diced
2 carrots finely diced
8 ounces of mushrooms (optional strongly suggested)
3 cups beef stock
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sour cream at room temperature

Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add half the meat to the pan and brown it quickly.  Cook second half of the meat.  Remove the meat and set aside.

Add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and add the onion, carrots and mushrooms.  Cook until everything is a deep golden brown, around 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and add 2 1/2 cups beef stock.  Scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the tasty bits up.  Turn the heat back on to medium heat.  Cook to reduce the liquid by about a third, around 4 minutes.

Use the rest of the beef stock (1/2 cup leftover)  and make a slurry by mixing the beef stock and the cornstarch with a fork in a bowl.  Pour the slurry into the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens.

Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.  Add the beef and stir until everything is nice and hot.  ENJOY!