Eggplant Parmesan…my way!!

20 Comments

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As I have mentioned in a recent post my Dad has a garden and so another vegetable that has been a plenty is Eggplants.
Most of the summer, I would grill them or just roast them in the oven, and a couple of times I made Eggplant Parmesan.  I would post my pictures on facebook and of course my friends say tell me the recipe.

So this last time I tried to remember as making it to take pictures of the process and what I do 🙂

First I used my homemade tomato sauce that I made out of the tomatoes from my Dad’s garden and I love using Fresh Mozzarella 🙂

So enjoy!!

First I peeled, sliced then sprinkled slices with salt in a colander
for 30-40 minutes, then pat each slice dry with paper towel. 
(LOL of course the first picture of that I forgot to take)
Then place them on a baking sheet 

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I took panko bread crumbs and fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

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Mixed in some Sandwich Sprinkle from Penzeys
(coarse salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
you can add Italian seasonings as well

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Put about 2 Tbsp. on mixture on top of each slice

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with your hand press down crumb mixture

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Then I sprayed each piece with PAM – Olive oil spray
of course you could drizzle with olive oil if you wish too.

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Then bake in a 385 degree oven until tops are brown

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Sauce you can use any you like, so pick your favorite
I used my homemade sauce and I added
some of the Sandwich Sprinkle to the sauce

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I have some Fresh Sliced Mozzarella

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In a sprayed baking dish, place a eggplant down
and top with sauce

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Then top with a slice of mozzarella

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Place another piece of eggplant and repeat
with sauce and cheese

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I topped the final piece of cheese with the rest of the sauce

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I had crumb mixture leftover

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and I sprinkled some over top the entire dish
And bake at 385 degrees until brown 

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and cheese is melted and brown

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This was so good, most of the time I don’t measure anything so when
I cook unless I write it down it really just turns out to what I have 
in my pantry and such.  So when I am experimenting and it turns out good, I have to remember what I did so I can share in a blog, and then most the time I don’t take picture either 😛 LOL
The last time I made this (pictures below), I did the same except I didn’t have
any crumb mixture left, so I sprinkle the final layer with a little parmesan chesse

They both turned out delicious 😛 so as you make yours just make to what you like and
it will be just as Delicious!!

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Eggplant Parmesan

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 medium size eggplant, peeled, sliced a 1/2- 3/4 inch thick (6 slices from each)
3 cups of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp. Penzeys Sandwich Sprinkle or Italian seasonings, divided
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh Mozzarella sliced, 2 slices for each stack
(used 1 1/2 logs for 8 stacks, so 2 logs would work for 12 stacks)
PAM Olive Oil spray

Sprinkle each slice of eggplant both sides lightly with salt, place slice in colander in the sink,
let set for 30-40 mins.  Then pat each piece with a paper towel, doing this helps draw out the bitterness that some eggplants tend to have.

In a bowl add panko, Parmesan and 2 Tbsp. seasonings; mix together.  Place slices on a baking sheet and put about 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp. of mixture on top, press mixture down with hand then spray with olive oil spray.
Crumb mixture does fly around a little that is why I press down the mixture, you can drizzle tops with olive oil if you wish.  Bake at 385 degrees until tops are brown about 25 minutes or so. 

Meanwhile get your tomato sauce ready, mix in 1 Tbsp. seasoning, have mozzarella slices ready.
Spray a baking dish that will hold the amount you are making.

Once eggplant tops have browned, place half the slice in the baking dish, top with 1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp. sauce,
then a slice of cheese, repeat again, eggplant, sauce and cheese.
At this point you can top each stack with leftover sauce and sprinkle with any left over crumb mixture, or just sprinkle some a little Parmesan cheese over top.  Bake at 385 degrees until light brown and cheese is bubbly.  

You can really make this your own, you like more sauce use more sauce, or cheese even, if you want to stack 3 high then stack 3 high.  These a great meal served with a simple salad on the side.

Enjoy!!!

 

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You Say Tomato I Say Tomahto!!

25 Comments

Tomatoes, who has tomatoes…I DO!!!!!!!!
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My Dad’s garden is producing a plenty, his plants are 8 feet tall and going wild!!!

I have a few pictures here from the beginning stages, they are about 5 to almost 6 foot at this point,
my Dad here is growing, leaf lettuce, kale, peppers, cucumbers, onions, green beans, eggplants and of course Tomatoes!!!
There maybe be more he grows but I can remember, I do know he has another patch that asparagus is in and the green house that things grow too…

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but I just decided to write this blog about tomatoes last night, so I don’t have recent pictures of it 🙂 these picture were about the 2nd week of June

So I have been eating a lot of tomatoes lately, but they have really only been from my Dad’s, I don’t buy them usually, but I do love when I get them from him and his garden.

As anyone knows they just taste better than you can get in the store and it’s really the only eat time I do eat them.
My Mom and Dad will freeze them, stew them, roast them, sauce them, slice them for BLT (which I think they east daily during the summer) and chop them for salads.  Plus whatever else they do with them 🙂

I on the other hand I tend to eat them a little differently 🙂

First I blanch them and remove the skins, I have issues with the skins, that’s all I will say 🙂

Here are a few pictures of ways that I have enjoyed using my Dad’s fresh tomatoes from his garden.

I hope you will enjoy too!!!

Making sauce, in my Vitamix are tomatoes, roasted garlic, some Italian herbs, red pepper flakes and salt.
The Vitamix will also cook it too you let it run about 5-7 minutes and you have hot soup or sauce 🙂

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Mixing it all up

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Freezing some for winter 🙂

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Cooking some down too

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This is the cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic, onions and spinach
tossed with the pasta, then fold in some fresh mozzarella pearls
then a drizzle of some balsamic glaze…Delish!!!!

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My all time favorite thing in the world is
Polenta with fresh tomatoes and a poached egg!!!
This is heaven for me!!!

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another day again…YUMMY!!!

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This is my FBT…Fake bacon and tomato 😛

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Ran out of the cornmeal to make polenta
So I made couscous instead…Delish too!!!

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This was last night’s dinner
tomatoes, roasted garlic tossed with pasta and some fresh mozzarella cubes
I was talking about making this a work…so ladies this is what I made…simple and quick 🙂

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Oh and here is the kale and I made some kale chips…very good with a
sprinkle of kosher salt and garlic powder 🙂

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Here are couple of links of 2 more of my blogs that I used tomatoes in the past
First up is my Tomato Cobbler – this turned out really really good so if you
want something a little different try this recipe.

 Second is Orzo Salad with Basil, Tomato & Feta – I made this at one
of my outdoor cooking classes last year.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone!!!

What’s next here hopefully sooner than later
my trip to Bourbon Country 🙂
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It Was An All-Star Week!!!!

17 Comments

Well if you are not a sports fan and don’t live in Cincinnati, then you may not even know what I am talking about 🙂 but for a year the city has been planning for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

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Let me say the city was crazy, I did go downtown a couple of days but if you didn’t get down there early to find a parking space, lot or garage it was nuts.  So to say the least I just drove around and then went back across the river 😛

But the Home Run Derby was exciting since Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds won it this year!!!

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with teammate National League All-Star Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Cincinnati Reds after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 554358169 ORIG FILE ID: 480626732

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with the trophy after winning the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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All and all I think Cincinnati and Northern Ky. did an outstanding job hosting this years All-Star Game.

I did take some pictures, I have some here that friends took as well, but as I say it was an “All-Star Week”

There were are couple birthdays in our family and of course I made a few things, so check out my pictures and enjoy!!!

First of the birthdays was my little niece I made cupcakes 🙂

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She likes presents and bubbles 🙂

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Around town they made these mustaches statues here are few of them

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here is the picture of all of them that they made, pretty cool 🙂
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Here are few of my souvenirs

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Buskin Bakery made the cookies got to love that!!

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Here are some pictures of the Red Carpet Parade,
the players start at their hotel and end at the ball park, all on red carpet 🙂
Grand Marshall – Barry Larkin

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Mr. Red and Gapper

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Rosie Red

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Some other mascots

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Todd Frazier and his family

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You can see on Todd’s hand the blisters from the Home Run Derby 🙂

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Few other Players 🙂

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Some of the city skyline and downtown

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yes they had a zipline too

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My All-Star Pizza, half spinach & garlic
other half was spinach, Gorgonzola cheese,
sliced almonds, sliced strawberries and
balsamic glaze…so so GOOD!!!

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The other birthday was my Mommy!! 🙂

I made her cookies peanut butter with no flour 🙂

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Dinner – Braised Short Ribs, butter noodles and carrots 🙂

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Peach Ice Cream (I just scooped some out to take the picture)
she took the Ice Cream, cookies all home 🙂

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And for actual dessert I made Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 😛

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I must say I agree is was an All-Star Week 🙂

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Summer Cooking Class Series!!

16 Comments

Yes I know I have been a little “MIA” lately!!!

But this summer has been busy and I can’t believe its JULY!!!! 
I have my hand in so many different little things that I am just so busy and it’s been hard to find the time to blog.  Plus I have not been cooking anything really good for myself, so hence no blogs.

But I did finish a couple weeks ago a cooking class series that I did in 3 of our stores 🙂

They all turned out great, a lot of grilling and a few out of the box recipes, beer sampling with one too!!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes and the crowds, it was a great time and I had a LOT of help from some of GREAT co-workers.

I hope you enjoy!!!

Grilled Fruit Pizza – naan bread, Camembert cheese, blackberries, strawberries, basil and balsamic glaze

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Grilled Asian Corn with peanuts

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Grilled Watermelon with arugula, feta and balsamic glaze

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Crowd pic

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Veggie Pizza – Garlic naan bread, red pepper hummus, grilled veggies topped with goat cheese

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Grilled pound cake and pineapple

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Grilled German Potato Salad

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Grilled veggies with garlic couscous topped with basil

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crowd pics

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Zucchini & tomato salad with ricotta, Parmesan and pesto

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Hawaiian Rice – cooked in coconut milk, golden raisin, macadamia nuts and green onions

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Mango & pineapple salsa

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Crowd Pics

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Grilled romaine with mango vinaigrette, shredded jicama, pineapple, red pepper and black sesame seeds

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Me – having fun with the microphone….I love being on the Microphone 😛 

Chef Amy

One Lovely Blog Award!!

10 Comments

Recently I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by Ka@My Uni Kitchen

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Ka has a terffic blog, he has amazing Recipes, How to Guides and Cooking Tips, so please go over to his
blog and check out all those good things he has to offer 🙂

There are few rules to accepting the award you must tell everyone 7 things about yourself and nominate 15 blogs
for the award.

So here we go 🙂

1. I worked on a cruise ship for 6 1/2 years

2. My first career was in Theater Costuming before going into Culinary

4. I love Hockey

5. I worked for our home town Hockey Team by sewing names and numbers on their jerseys

6.  During the baseball season, I am on call for the Cincinnati Reds and the away teams
      that come into town and play the Reds, to sew their uniforms (sewing names & numbers),
      for any last minute call ups.

7.  The most I was ever paid for sewing 1 single uniform for an away team was $100.00
and 
that was for 1 hour of work, that included the call, me driving to the ball park
(i live very close) 
getting in there sewing the name and number and then 
      back in my car.  🙂  

Bonus – here’s the picture 🙂

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I hope you enjoyed the few things that most of you did not know about me 🙂

 

Here are the blogs that I think are fantastic and I give the “One Lovely Blog Award” too

Suzanne@apuginthekitchen

Gretchen@Feeding My 3 Sons

Ginger@Ginger&Bread

Loretta@Safari of the Mind

Angie@The Novice Gardner

Julie@Hostess At Heart

Michelle@Giraffes Can Bake

Suzi@Beach Blanket Bacon

Jhuls@The Not So Creative Cook

Coco@Crafty Little Coco

Lili@Lili’s Cakes

Max@Dante’s Kitchen

Linda@La Petite Paniere

Ms. Frau@Frugal Hausfrau

Petra@Food Eat Love

Vidya and Chitra I added you as well
I know Ka added you to his blog
but I wanted to let you know I love
your blogs too, so you can consider mine
with his 🙂

Vidya@Traditionally Modern Food

Chitra@Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen

Thank you everyone for checking out my blog!!!

 

 

 

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip Recipe!!

19 Comments

Okay so I am trying to think of new ways to get my face out there in the world…yikes 😉

So I started to make videos, some will be product tests and some will be recipes.

This is just in the beginning stages, I only have a iPhone and my computer, but I am trying to make them better and better, sometimes I just laugh at myself when I watch them back :p LOL

But you have to start somewhere right, I will get better and its okay if you laugh I will not mind 😛

So here is the first one I did so check out I hope you enjoy it!!

FYI – I have already changed few things from this first video like I said it is a work in progress 🙂

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup roasted garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4- 1/2 tsp. hot paprika
2-4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

In a food processor add garlic and pulse a few times, then add beans and seasonings, pulse again and add oil and pulse until mixture is smooth.

Then serve with chips or veggies, you can also add spread on tortilla for a wrap.

 

Homemade Pierogies!!

23 Comments

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PIEROGIES!!!!!!!

Who loves some Pierogies!!! ME!!!

So why not for Fiesta Friday, check out many fabulous blogs for Fiesta Friday over at Angie’s page.

And her co-host for this Friday are Ginger@Ginger&Bread and Loretta@Safari of the Mind, so I would like to thank all of them for today’s Fiesta Friday #64

A friend of mine and I made some homemade pierogies awhile back I think they turned out great.
I made the dough and the filling, then headed over to my friend Paul’s house and we put them together and cooked them up…Delicious!!!!

If you are not familiar with what they are, click here

I have always seen them in the freezer section Mrs. T’s, which I am not saying are not good, if you need a quick pierogi these will do the trick.

For me on the other hand I have them fresh from a place in Pittsburgh a couple of times, my friend Paul is from there so when I went with him to visit we went to “Pierogies Plus” check out all the different flavors that you can get when you go or you can have them shipped 🙂

Also when I went to Chicago I stopped into a Polish Pierogi Shop…amazing 🙂

I just went with Potato and Cheese for this first batch 🙂

Dough – Ingredients

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I used a food processor, you can do it by hand too

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Flour and salt

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pulsed it a little then added my egg

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with egg mixed in

 

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then add sour cream and butter and pulse

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Pulse a few times

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then turn it out onto your work space

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Knead to just bring together

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form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap
I heard if you make the dough the night
before it becomes a more tended dough

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Filling – Ingredients

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Peel and cube your potatoes & boil until
done

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Drain potatoes and place back in the pan
set back on the stove, just on hot burner
to help some of the extra liquid cook off

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I used a ricer, you can certainly mash the
potatoes with a masher or however you
make your mashed potatoes

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using the ricer forces the potatoes through
the tiny holes which make the potatoes very
creamy

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potatoes, riced 🙂

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mix in butter and half and half

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8oz. shredded cheese

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fold in cheese

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finished mixture

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place in container and chill

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my dough

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I cut in half

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then again, take dough and press out
into a rectangle then use a rolling pin to make
dough about 1/8 inch thick

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I use a round cutter to cut my circles
about a 3 inch round maybe 3 1/2 inch 🙂

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I used my scoop, it worked out perfectly
mixture was about 2 tablespoons

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place potato mixture in the center of the round

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bring edges up together and start to pinch
dough together from center to the outside
then from the center to the other side

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Done, this was perfect, it was easier just to
form a round with your fingers, fill it and pinch

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as you can see not all of them look perfect
but they all tasted Fabulous!!!

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From following recipe this was how much
potato mixture left, it may have been a
cup or cup in half.  Great mashed potatoes
for sure.

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Homemade Pierogies

Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs, large
1 stick butter, softened

You can use food processor or mix by hand
Mix together the flour and salt, add eggs and combine, the dough will be clumpy.
Work in the sour cream and softened butter until dough comes together roughly, then scrap out onto work surface.
Knead and fold the dough without adding any additional flour until the dough becomes less sticky but it will be quite moist.
Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, but I like it overnight.

Filling:

2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, cubed
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. half and half
8 oz. cheese, shredded (about 2 cups) Cheddar, Colby, farmers or any good melting cheese

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, drained potatoes and place back in pot, set pot back on hot burner so any leftover liquid can cook away.
At this point you can put potatoes through a ricer, food mill or you can just mash them with a potato masher.  Once that is done add half and half and softened butter and mix to combine, season with salt to taste and refrigerate to cool for 3 hours or over night.

Remove dough from fridge and plastic wrap, cut in half, then each piece in half, at this point you can roll each piece into a rectangle to an 1/8 inch thick.  You can use a 3-3 1/2 inch round cutter to make your rounds.  Or you can free form your rounds, you will get 24 rounds out of this dough.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of filling onto rounds, gently fold in half and with your fingers pinch the edges from the center to each end, to seal the dough together.

At this point you can freeze these up to 1 month or refrigerate overnight up to 2 days.

Bring a large stock pot filled with water to a boil, in the meantime slice a large onion and begin to saute in a large skillet with butter or olive oil over medium heat, watching so they do not burn and just brown.

Once water starts to boil add 2 Tbsp. salt and stir, add pierogies to the salted water, make sure not to over crowd the pot and give a stir occasionally.  When pierogies float to the top they are done, transfer cooked pierogies to skillet with onions, cook pierogies until browned and crisp on both sides.

Serve hot with additional sour cream or applesauce if you like, but most of all enjoy those delicious bundles of love!!! 🙂

Think about something sweet inside them, they do make them with fruit, you could sweeten some cream cheese as the filling and saute in just butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or drizzle with chocolate…the possibilities are endless really!!

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