Apple Pirog

In the Russian community I grew up in we called our sweet and savory sheets of yeast dough baked and filled with fruit or cabbage or meat, Pirog пиро́г (make sure to roll the r when you pronounce it).

This recipe will make enough dough for 2 small cookie sheet sized pastries. You can cut the recipe in half if you aren’t feeding a crowd or giving some away.

Dough:
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages yeast (each packet is approx. 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
about 6 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dissolve yeast in warm water with the 1 tablespoon sugar.
Warm the sour cream carefully to lukewarm.
Mix the sour cream, butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and yeast mixture.
Start adding the flour 1 cup at a time till all mixed in and your dough comes away from the bowl and starts to form a ball. You might need a little more than 6 cups of flour.
Knead the dough on a floured surface.
Place the dough in a bowl in a warm place away from draft and let it rise twice punching in between rises. This could take up to 2 hours.
Divide the dough in half. Work with one half at a time if you are filling 2 small cookie sheets.
On a floured board or surface roll the dough out to the size of your small cookie sheet (approx. 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1) The dough should be 1/4-1/2 inch thickness.
Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared cookie sheet (greased) and pat the dough down to fit to the edges and up the edges.
Fill the prepared dough with your choice of filling.
Bake in 350 degree oven for approx 40 minutes or until dough is a golden brown.
Cool before cutting in small portions and serving.

Filling:
4 cups fruit – fresh, previously frozen, or canned
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons corn starch

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then let cool before spreading evenly over the dough.
I added nuts on top of the filling but that is optional.
I used apple slices that I chopped into bite sized pieces.
*This filling recipe was enough for one cookie sheet of the dough. Double it if making 2 cookie sheets.

 

I had some roasted pecans and decided to sprinkle them on top before baking the Pirog пиро́г.

 The finished product. I’m a novice at baking with yeast doughs and kneading dough but slowly but surely I’m practicing my way into a comfort zone to try these recipes my mom made for larger gatherings. I’ll share some of her savory Pirog recipes in the future using a slightly different dough recipe. My mom’s Pirog usually had another layer of dough on top of the filling that was pinched to the bottom layer of dough. Then you would cut decorative slits on the upper dough before baking. She also made more decorative tops like you would on a pie with zig zag designs. 

I’m sorry that I never took photos of our mom’s creations.

My sister Vera sent me this photo of her pirog that she added the top to. Thank you Vera! This sheet pie/pirog was made with Apricot filling. Vera also made the apricot filling.

Chicken Quesadillas

I’m re-visiting my chicken quesadilla recipe/method and adding it here. This is a great quick meal when you have a few key ingredients on hand.

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-7oz. can of chopped green chiles
  • 1-4oz. can of chopped jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 oz. bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Chopped Roma tomatoes (optional)
  • Chopped Avocado (optional)
  • Chopped Cilantro (optional)
  • Salsa of your choice
  • Sour cream

Method:
Saute onion in heated vegetable oil until translucent.
Add the ground chicken, chilies, and seasonings.
Cook until chicken is no longer pink.
Photo 1, Prepare 2 large pans by sprinkling shredded cheese on the bottom over medium heat.

Photo 2, Add tortillas of your choice on top of the melting cheese.
With a spatula turner shift the tortilla a little in the pan making sure the cheese is sticking to the bottom of the tortilla.
Photo 3, When the tortilla moves easily add a small layer of cheese on top of only one of the tortillas and then the cooked chicken mixture and other ingredients you desire to the same tortilla in the pan.
Now add cheese as the final layer.

Photo 4, Flip the 2nd tortilla over in the second pan to warm it a little.
Photo 5, Now place that tortilla on top of the tortilla with the all the ingredients.
Photo 6, Slide the tortilla onto a cutting board or plate and slice into serving sized pieces with a knife or pizza cutter.
Top with some avocado, sour cream and salsa and enjoy.
We had a Southwest salad to go along side, too.

The melted cheese in the pan that adheres to the tortillas gives the tortillas a nice crispy layer of goodness.

Pancake Day ~ Cottage Cheese Pancakes

My sister Vera has been making these pancakes for years. They are always a welcome breakfast treat!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for one minute.
  2. Stop and scrap down the sides of the blender.
  3. Continue blending until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Pour onto hot griddle or pan that is lightly greased.
  5. Flip when browned on one side and continue cooking until cooked through.
  6. Serve any way you like with syrup or powdered sugar.

Add some breakfast meat of your liking and some fresh fruit.

This recipe serves 4 people.

*You can also add one ripe banana to the ingredients in the blender for Banana Cottage Cheese Pancakes.

*If you don’t have a blender just mix with a hand held mixer or by hand.

Busy Week Ahead

Back in 2016 we celebrated Chinese New Year on February 8th which happened to be Super Bowl Sunday, too. This year Chinese New Year is this coming Friday, the 12th of February.

At our Super Bowl Chinese New Year Party at our house in 2016  I made this simple soup that many Chinese Restaurants serve. Several recipes were very similar online so I really don’t know who to credit this recipe to. Our local restaurants call this soup Egg Flower Soup and another name is Egg Drop Soup.

Ingredients:

4 cups prepared chicken broth
2 Tablespoons chicken stock reserved from the 4 cups
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 green onions chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste

Method:

1. Make a slurry of the 2 Tablespoons broth and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, set aside.
2. Pour the remaining broth into a medium sized pot.
3. Add the soy sauce and grated ginger to the broth.
4. Bring the broth to a boil.
5. Add the slurry slowly and stir to incorporate it all until the broth thickens for at least 2 minutes.
6. While the broth is boiling and the slurry thickens the broth add the beaten eggs slowly in a stream while stirring the broth in one direction.
7. Keep stirring and adding the egg as it becomes feathery in the broth.
8. After the beaten eggs are added turn off the heat.
9. Taste and see if you need added salt or white pepper.
10. Add the chopped green onions and serve.
Serves 4 people.

We brought in Chinese takeout for our meal which we enjoyed after this homemade soup. It made hosting this party very easy. We added some panko shrimp from Costco with some Sweet Chili Sauce, too.

Back to the present and our busy week.

Monday our Heat Pump is being worked on. It is a major job and we feel sorry for the technician who will be working in below freezing temperatures here. Monday night our weekly home Bible Study is starting up again after a two month break. We are in 2 Thessalonians. On Tuesday we have a casual dinner and Canasta with some friends. On Friday my sister and her husband arrive for an overnight and they are taking us out for a Valentine’s Day meal. This is busy busy for us.

What’s new in your corner of the world?

Nadia’s Pishky (Russian Rollkuchen)

I’m posting two versions of my mother Nadia’s Pishky that my family grew up with. Mennonites call them Rollkuchen. There are some variations in the ingredients. I’m gathering more of our family heritage recipes on my blog.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • vegetable oil to fry the Pishky in

Method:

  1. Make well in center of flour. Mix sour cream, beaten eggs, salt, sugar, and orange juice.
  2.  First blend the soda in a tablespoon of hot water then add it to the wet ingredients. Mix into flour and knead the dough.
  3.  Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Cut in strips. Then cut strips on the diagonal about 4″ long and cut a slit in the center of the 4″ length.
  4. Fold the top of the piece through the hole and up again. Fry in oil until golden brown on both sides.
  5.  Before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar.

My kids loved to have these hot out of the pan when they would come in from playing in the snow.

These are great right out of the pan and for a few hours but after that, they aren’t as wonderful. Make small batches that you’ll gobble up quickly is my recommendation. The other thing you can do if you have more than you want to eat right away is to make a french toast casserole for breakfast with the leftovers.

This recipe is still easy to make and a nice treat similar to Rollkuchen.
I made a small batch using the following recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar (frosting sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon brandy
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • powered sugar for dusting

Method:

  1. Sift flour, sugar and salt together. Cut in butter.
  2. Beat eggs and brandy together well.
  3. Add egg mixture to flour and mix well. Knead thoroughly.
  4. Divide into two portions keeping one portion covered while working on the first portion.
  5. Roll out thin.
  6. Cut strips approx. 2 inches wide and 3 inches long.
  7. Make a slit in the middle of each strip, pulling one end through the slit.
  8. Continue with the second portion and following the same steps.
  9. Fry in hot vegetable oil turning until both sides are light brown.
  10. Drain on paper towels.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar.

Yield: 20 Pishkey

Our Mom’s Roolyet (Russian Nut Roll)

Roll the “R” when you try to pronounce the name of this nut roll that is a family favorite from my childhood and adult life, too. Our mom’s Roolyet was the best. We’ve just managed to perfect a recipe that brings back the memory of our mom’s roll. I think she would give us at least an A maybe not an A+ yet. Our pop got teary eyed when he bit into his piece because it reminded him of his beloved bride who died four years ago. (Since I published this post back in 2017 our dear Pop was called up to heaven in June of 2018.)

My sister Vera and I perfected this in 2017 while I was visiting in Southern California. I posted this recipe on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog but decided now to add it here for my own easy access.

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks (set aside egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly, reserve 1 tablespoon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup flour

For Rolling Surface:

  • 1/4 cup powdered/icing sugar

For Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 egg whites

Method:

  1. In a small bowl dissolve the 2 teaspoons sugar with the scalded milk, add the yeast and mix well.
  2. In medium bowl mix the 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, melted butter minus the tablespoon you set aside, and vanilla then add in the yeast mixture and mix well.
  3. Sift the 1 3/4 cup flour, salt, and 3 tablespoons sugar together.
  4. Add sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly while mixing, the dough will be sticky.
  5. Prepare kneading surface with a light dusting of flour.
  6. Knead the dough adding as much of the 1/4 cup of flour needed during this process to make the dough less sticky, knead the dough for 10 minutes then form into a ball.
  7. Place the dough into a lightly greased stainless bowl that is 3 times the size of the dough and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot without drafts.
  8. Leave the dough to rise to double its size, 1-2 hours.
  9. While dough is rising prepare the filling by mixing the 2 1/2 cups ground walnuts, egg whites, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, mixing well.
  10. Divide the filling into two equal portions.
  11. Once the dough is doubled in size prepare the work surface where you will be rolling out the dough, dusting it with the powdered/icing sugar.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  13. Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal portions.
  14. Roll each portion of the dough separately into a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  15. Spread the filling evenly over the rectangle of dough leaving 1/2 inch free of filling along the edges.
  16. Starting at the long edge fold over the dough carefully and keep rolling into a tight roll.
  17. Pinch the seam well and pinch the ends to prevent the filling from leaking.
  18. Place the roll seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  19. Repeat the process for the second roll and add it to the baking sheet keeping the rolls at least 3 inches apart.
  20. Use the reserved tablespoon of melted butter to brush the tops and sides of the rolls evenly.
  21. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  22. Let cool and cut into slices to enjoy.

Yield: 2 twelve inch long rolls

Notes: We found that 3 cups of whole walnuts make 2-1/2 cups of ground walnuts.
We used a slightly warm oven to let the dough rise in.
Use a serrated/bread knife to cut the roll.

 

 

‘The Few, The Proud’ Veterans Day Hodgepodge

Happy Veterans Day!

Thank you to all our Veterans who are serving or have served in any of the branches of the military.

1. It’s the 11th day of the 11th month and bloggers often make lists on days like today. Let’s go with a list of eleven things you’re feeling grateful for today.

  1. My God and Savior Jesus Christ.
  2. My Bible or several of them.
  3. My dear Hubby, 3-1/2 weeks shy of our 46th wedding anniversary.
  4. Our three children, Josh, Dan and Katie.
  5. Their three beloved spouses, Laura, Jamie and Andrew.
  6. Our two grandchildren, Addyson and Jaymison.
  7. Parents who loved the Lord and trusted Him during their lifetime.
  8. A Bible believing and Bible preaching church and tried and true Bible teachers who I can access online.
  9. Like minded friends who spur us on in our faith.
  10. A comfortable home with all the creature comforts.
  11. Good food around a happy and grateful table full of people.

2. What’s something you decided to do or act on at the ’11th hour’?

During our move across the state of Washington there were a lot of 11th hour decisions to get rid of stuff instead of packing them up and moving them.

3.  Apparently the Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe contains 11 herbs and spices. What’s a dish you make that calls for exactly eleven ingredients? Feel free to share the list and/or recipe.

Here’s a Classic Macaroni Salad recipe with an added twist.

  • 4 cups uncooked small elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 bell pepper seeded and chopped (I prefer a red, yellow or orange pepper)
  • 1/2 cup jicama chopped (the twist)
  1. Prepare small elbow macaroni as per package instructions, drain and rinse under cold water
  2. In large bowl combine mayo/mustard/vinegar/salt/sugar and pepper.
  3. Stir in onion/celery/bellpepper and jicama.
  4. Add macaroni and combine well.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  6. If you’d like this to be a meal in itself you could add in a couple cans of Kirkland brand canned chicken breast meat or your favorite.

Cut recipe in half for 2 people

4. Something you remember about your 11-year old self?

 

When I was eleven I was a 7th grader in Junior High School. ( I skipped a grade) Sometime during that school year I convinced my mother to let me shave my legs. I come from a hairy stock of ancestors. When I arrived at school with my freshly shaven legs the news spread like wildfire all across the school halls. Yikes, how embarrassing. Back in those days (the 60’s) we were only allowed to wear dresses or skirts to school so the end to my hairy legs was news!

5. The 11th of November is Veterans Day in the US of A. This is a day to honor those who have served their country in war or peace-dead or alive-although according to the government’s website it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

Memorial Day is when we honor military personnel who died in service to their country.

Our brother-in-law Nick was buried on Veterans Day in 2015 at the Riverside National Cemetery.

Share a thought relating to Veterans Day or tell us something about a Veteran you know-love-admire.

Our son-in-law Andrew actively served with the Marines and had two tours of duty in Afghanistan. The photo above is of some of his Battalion in Afghanistan. The photo below was taken at the Marine Birthday Ball a few years back.

The next photo was taken at winter training on the border of California and Nevada.

We are proud parents (in-law) of our Marine. We are thankful for his service and that he came home to us and especially to our daughter. Even though he was honorably discharged from active service, once a Marine always a Marine.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This happened early Tuesday morning.

Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond for asking the questions each week.

A Flavorful Hodgepodge

For Wednesday Hodgepodge Jo comes up with the questions for us to answer. Click over to From This Side of the Pond to see more answers to the questions.

1. Just your weekly mid-week reminder that it’s fall y’all and it’s my favorite. I love nearly all the flavors of fall but let’s weigh in with an either or today…pumpkin or cranberry? hot apple cider or pumpkin spice latte? cinnamon or maple? apple or pear? ginger or sage? carrot or butternut squash? Yes you have to choose. What’s a favorite dish made with one of the flavors listed here?

Cranberry ~ Cinnamon ~ Apple ~ Ginger ~ Butternut Squash

Here’s a good recipe for a delicious soup for Fall or Winter.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup
  •  2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 large butternut squash
  • 4 sweet apples
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cast iron dutch oven or large stockpot over low heat.
  2. Add the onions and curry powder and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the onions are tender.
  3. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot every couple minutes.
  4. Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Cut the squash into chunks.
  5. Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks.
  6. Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, and 2 cups broth to pot.
  7. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the squash and apples are soft, approximately 40-50 minutes.
  8. Use a food processor or hand blender to puree the squash and apples.
  9. Return to pot if you used the food processor and taste, adding salt and pepper if needed.
  10. If the consistency is too thick add a little more broth or water and heat through.
  11. Serve with toasted walnuts and pomegranate seeds, optional.

2. Do you miss traveling? In this season of almost no travel do you think you’ve grown anxious or fearful about traveling again? Or has all this staying home not going anywhere made you restless to get out and see the world? What book have you read or what movie have you watched that has inspired you to travel?

Yes, I do miss traveling or even being able to plan a trip on paper. The only book I’ve listened to on CD this month about traveling was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  Now that’s a special kind of traveling to be sure. 🙂 We’ve done mini travels to Coeur d’Alene Idaho the beginning of October and I’ve traveled to the suburbs of Seattle this month, too. The only movies we are watching these days are Hallmark Movies so I’m inspired to see picturesque little towns around the USA.

3. A time you felt like you were ‘flying by the seat of your pants’? Explain.

I think the place where I fly by the seat of my pants most often is in the kitchen when I have to come up with a meal on the fly and I start throwing caution to the wind with the ingredients I throw in the pot hoping the end result will be edible.

4. Do you struggle with road rage or are you more of a ‘Sunday driver’? Do you like to be ‘in the driver’s seat (literally and/or figuratively speaking) ?

Rage is a strong word. I have been known to strongly criticize other drivers on the road. I do like to be in the driver’s seat both literally and figuratively and the Lord has tempered that tendency in me over my years of being His follower. Many miles yet to go in this tempering!!

5. Something you’ve recently ‘put the brakes on’?

Regularly shopping in Thrift stores.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Our Concrete was poured on Monday and we tried to get some good handprints from Addy and Jaymison. Addy’s were easier since she can follow directions. Their little hands set in ‘concrete’. Since our niece and nephew were here on concrete day they each set a handprint.

Theirs are deep and have a 3D look.

I’m very wrapped up in the day to day with our family visitors. I will try to visit y’all soon.

Pear Custard Pie

I found the recipe for this Pear Custard Pie at https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/pear-custard/

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 firm pears of any variety cored, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch round pan with cooking spray.
  • Arrange the pear slices in the pan.
  • Put the butter, eggs, milk, salt, granulated sugar, flour and vanilla into a blender; process until smooth.
  • Pour the batter over the pears. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the custard is golden and firm to the touch. Dust the top with powdered sugar before serving.

It is a recipe that was very successful and I’ll make it again. Enjoy. Bon Appetit!

Instant Pot

This was the first full meal we attempted in our new Instant Pot. We made rice previously. If you follow the link you’ll see nicer photos of the end product instead of mine soaked in gravy.

This was a good recipe that I’d use again. Next time around I might add a little extra salt. We followed the recipe with no alterations. I was happy to be able to sear the meat and saute the onions etc. in the pot. A true one pot meal. The new potatoes I bought at our Farmer’s Market were so good. We decided on an instant pot instead of a new Crock Pot. Our son and DIL went with the Fryer Instant Pot combination and they are happy with it.

Here’s the link to the recipe we used.

I’m happy that I attempted this recipe to bond with the pot. It’s always a little scary trying a new multi functioning small appliance. At least for me…