Thursday, January 27, 2011


A confession, I am a slave to my hankerings. Although I suppose if any of you have spent 5 minutes with me or reading my stuff, you already know that. Never-mind. On with the confession of a Thursday night.

After I went into "filled noodle" land, my culinary memory set upon me a hankering of ridiculous proportion. From that day to this I haven't been able to think of much other than perogies. If you don't know what they are, picture noodle dough, with sour cream in it, wrapped around mashed potatoes, cheese and a few fried onions. Boil them then, um, ya, fry them in butter with a few onions softened in the pan. I like to sprinkle some finely chopped green onions on them, Connor likes cheese grated on top of that!

I have to remember what I did to come up with these beauties but in the mean time, here's the beauty shots, I'll try to figure out what I did and write it down for you as quickly as I can. I "winged" the dough the other day and shoved it in the fridge. I made the filing the next day, some nuked potatoes and sour cream and butter. It's been sitting there waiting for me and tonight after school, a day with the mommies and my first eyebrow wax (we'll have to talk about that a different day) I had the biggest hankering and the delight in the knowledge the parts were in my fridge. By the time the water boiled, the perogies were rolled out, filled and sitting in wait. When they floated, I gave them 6 minutes then transfered them to the waiting pan of fried onions submerged in an obnoxious amount of slightly browned butter. A quick toss/fry and onto the plate.

Did I mention they're stupid, ridiculous good? Tender but slightly chewy dough, thick, rich, soft tasty filling? Oh my goodness, I need to sit down.

I'll get the recipe to you but in the mean time, here:

I rolled out the dough I made, cut it into rounds, used my mini ice cream scoop to put the same amount in each round then pulled it over and sealed. This dough is super soft, super stretchy and seals beautifully. If only I could remember how I made it.

Ok ok, I'll get on the recipe. In the meantime,



The dough was 2 cups a/p flour, 1/2 milk, a "blob" of sour cream (maybe almost 1/4 cup?), 1 egg and some salt. I combined it, stirred like mad and when it was a dough, I flipped it a couple of times on the board in a gentle knead and wrapped it in plastic wrap and threw it in the fridge. I made it 3 days before I made the perogies so it's definitely a do ahead, and we love a good do ahead.

The filling was some nuked potatoes, ok maybe 4 large ones? some grated cheese and some fried onions. I salted and peppered heavily!! This filling is intense and absolutely delicious. The dough needs it and can certainly handle the aggressive filling.

/make these!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bacon wrapped Jalapeno "Poppers"

Seriously, take 11 jalapenos, $.22. Cut in half and spread some cream cheese in each one, $.50. Wrap 1/3 piece of bacon around each one, $.90.

Bake in 450 oven, single layer, for 20 minutes. Spin pan, bake 5 minutes. Spin pan, sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake 5 minutes.

You make these and you are a hero!

Eat many many many!

Try really really hard to save one for your husband who saw the pictures you posted and is screaming home in a sad attempt to make him home before they are all gone. As I am writing this, he's on the phone cursing the traffic gods who he feels convinced are conspiring to keep him from the bacon wrapped jalapeƱos. Poor thing, I'll have another while I sympathize.

/enjoy *I'd wax poetic or lyrical here but really, I have poppers to snarf down

Monday, January 24, 2011

Filled Noodles (c1920 recipe)

It's common knowledge I will read a cookbook before all other things. I read them like novels, they are novels, they're historical fiction. They are "this is what we ate and this is how we made it delicious" books and I love them.

We were invited for dinner the other day and the "grandma" was there. I love when anyone's grandma arrives, we always end up talking about food in a corner. She waxes poetic and I sit mesmerized, it's a common picture that's played out with all of my friends if their mothers happen by.

That being said, this particular household and this particular grandma had an old cookbook with them. Fredericksburg, Texas, PTA put it out in 1918 and then reissued with additions and "improvements" till the 40's. I love that book. Grandma was talking about certain dishes and one of them was "Filled Noodles". I'd never heard of it, but by the description it's a Germanesque version of ravioli that's boiled in then served in a very thin tomato sauce. We found it in the cookbook, I shot a picture of it with my iPhone (random acts of technology collide, the 20's cookbook and the iPhone, sort of like the fact I download 1600's cookbooks to read on my Nook?!)

I'm making it for dinner tonight, pictures will follow of course.

(courtesy of Mrs. Ernst Ottens and Mrs. Theo Haag)

2 eggs
2 Tbsp water
1/2 t baking powder
flour to make a stiff dough which you roll out and cut into 12-14 4x4 squares

*we know I'm going to add salt and maybe pepper

3/4 lb ground beef
1 small onion
salt and pepper
Fried in 2 Tbsp shortening

*again, we know I'll go heavy on pepper and may add mace which is an old school spice that would seem to fit here

4 cups water
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 can tomatoes
chili powder if you'd like

*I think I'll like the addin chili powder. I only have a small can of tomatoes so may add some of the cherry tomatoes, chopped, that we are still harvesting in JANUARY in Texas.

Boil the noodles in the sauce for 15-20 minutes. Place on platter and serve with sauce.

That's all they wrote. I would have thought you boil the noodles in water and transfer but perhaps boiling in the sauce will thicken it slightly from the starch/flour in the noodle. I can't wait to try it, as I said, I'll post the play by play pics later today. I'm making a couple loaves of bread at the moment, one sandwich loaf for Connor's lunch and one rustic Italian crusty boule to have with the filled noodles tonight!

Well the sauce is done, I did cheat and dropped 1/4 of an onion in the sauce, just for more flavor. I'll boil it up when the noodles are being made. The filling is made and I added more onion because I love it. Just dough and dropping and boiling to do!

Ok, here's the beauty shots. The dough was very easy to deal with. I used just shy of 1 1/2 cups of a/p flour to make the dough soft but easy to roll out without sticking to anything. I had the rest of the cup measure at the side of the counter and used it for dusting as I rolled.

I boiled them for 15 minutes but thought they needed a little bit more so another 3-4 minutes. Husband wasn't home so I left the pot on the stove (turned off) and he ate an hour later and they were still hot and a little softer still.

The final verdict? The sauce was delightful, thin and flavorful but needs the addition of more onion or spice (for my families tastes) The filling was also a little bland but then we're all exposed to so much more spice these days I'm not sure if it's the filling or our taste buds. I'll simply amp up the salt and pepper and maybe add some pork to add fat to the filling, I'm sure the ladies of the day had beef with substantially more fat and flavor that we have today.

Will I make this again? Oh you betchya, it's definitely a keeper!

In honor of Mrs. Ernst Ottens and Mrs. Theo Haag, I thank you.

These are a hearty fare and worth the investment of energy to make. Not that there's alot of energy but some people think making and rolling any sort of dough an effort. Thankfully, I'm not one of those people and will continue to search through old cookbooks, chat to everyone's grandma and keep the recipes going that were staples when people had less, worked harder and had to make what little they had stretch further. It's my little ode to those who came before.

Tonight, perogie!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Herbed Chicken in a Pot (my version)

Ok, so in the fridge is a pack of chicken breasts, with skin and bones, that was on sale at HEB for $1.00/lb. The package cost $3.00 so even I can do that math. 3, one lb breasts, that works!

Also in the fridge I find one carrot, one rib of celery, one onion, sweet... dinner is herbed chicken in a pot. I knew I had herbs and a pot!

It's finally cold again in Austin and that gets my home cooking juices flowing. I have a lot of other things to do today so dinner has to play alone for a while.

It's my version of "french" chicken in a pot. The classic version is a whole chicken, and as much as I love a whole chicken, sometimes you just have pieces. I prefer it with thighs but today I didn't have any. I do it with chicken, veggies, herbs and baby onions slow braised in the oven for hours


3 chicken breasts, with skin and bones
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, cut in half
handful of frozen baby onions IF you have them
3 slices of bacon
some wine
some water
some cream
(it depends on your own water, wine, cream preference, we'll get to that later)

Cut up all your veg and arrange beautifully on a cutting board. Slice 3 slices of bacon and fry them till crisp. Heavily salt and pepper your chicken.

Remove bacon to white bowl and do not eat it. You will see, I failed this point miserably. Ideally, you'll return it to the pot later, obviously, today I don't live in an ideal place. Put your chicken skin side down in pretty hot pot and leave it there to brown, don't touch it, salt and pepper the back and have some coffee while you wait, this part matters. You'll get a much richer sauce if you spend a few minutes here.

*really, I cannot be trusted near crispy fried bacon, perhaps an intervention is in order?

When the chicken is dark on both sides, put in your veggies and fry them up in the remaining bacon and chicken fat until they're just a bit soft. Put in "some" herbs d'provence which is a herb mix I adore. I don't ever measure but this is how much I used. Add parsley if you like, tarragon, anything is fine!

Fry it up together and toss in the mini frozen onions and garlic at the end and "shush" it around a bit.

WINE TIME! Pour in some dry white wine to scrape up the dark bits off the bottom of the casserole. Another moment where it matters. If you have an aversion to wine (gasp) then use water. Boil it down a bit and scrape everything up. The bottom of the pan should be clean!

Add enough water to barely cover the vegetables and put the chicken breasts back on top. Cover the dish with foil and the lid (we want it sealed well) and pop it into a 275 degree oven for 2 hours. See ya!

Oh look at this, yummy! the sauce is so concentrated, it's ridiculous good!!

Remove the chicken and vegetables and boil the liquid hard, add enough cream to make it lovely and then if it needs thickening, add a little flour mixed with butter (even amounts of each) and stir that in. It won't be lumpy so long as the liquid is boiling when you add it.

Lower the heat, put the chicken back in and you're done, crazy easy, crazy delicious and even though it cooks for a long time you don't have to actually DO anything other than some email, texting or having a glass of wine while you're on the phone.

This is the finished product, then I decided to take the meat off the bones because Connor doesn't like bones, yeah, I'm a cool mom like that. Either way is delicious. I'm serving this tonight with oven roasted red and white potatoes, just tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Perfect cold weather fare!!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I've become The Scone Lady

Hiya, here's the latest. I've been convinced to at least try to sell 'em.

Welcome The Scone Lady, that's me! I'm contacting offices and companies to take scones in mid morning, let the staff snack with the trade of a small donation per enormous scone then going back to pick it all up mid afternoon. Should leave me time to have my own life in between.

No massive details yet, I'm still working them out BUT I do exist over at and will link the blogs at some point.

Just keeping everyone in the loop!! :) More info to come!!!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chicken Leftover Pie to welcome in 2011

Christmas week has been crazy, fun, busy, culinarly challenging and wondering what a good way to start the new year would be.

Enter the leftovers from 'the baked chicken in a pot' that I made in one of my new dutch ovens. I got two, one blue, oval from Ikea and one red, round made by Tramontina. I'm delighted by both. Tonight it was the blue oval's turn and yes, I'm going to give them turns!

I'll do a play by play of the baked chicken another time. It was delicious, easy in terms of effort and it fell off the bone while still being moist. Yes, it was yummy.

Ok, tonights food. When you look in the fridge and find one onion, one carrot, one stalk of celery, a small container of leftover boiled carrots and a sad chicken carcass, inspiration abounds! (for me anyway, I like the thrill of the challenge, can I turn THIS into food?) Let's begin:

Chicken Leftover Pie

2 cups cooked chicken or as much as you have
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
salt, pepper, thyme, poultry seasoning
handful of frozen peas if you have them
any leftover cooked vegetables you happen to have
flour for dusting
single crust pie dough
egg mixed with water for brushing crust

I fried a little bacon in the pot, chopped the onion, carrot and celery and tossed it in to fry up. Yes, it's smelling pretty delicious in the house by this point.

When the vegetables are soft, I sprinkled a little flour and fried that up for a bit then added a few glugs of milk. Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and tyme are mandatory at this point, so are a few scrapes of nutmeg. I brought it all to the boil and added milk until it was the thickness I liked.

OH and before anyone has anything to say, I had leftover carrots in the fridge and I really love carrots, hence the carrot heavy pictures ;)

Add the chopped up chicken bits, there wasn't much as you can see and let it all simmer for a bit. If the level gets too low, add some water or more milk. I gave it about 30 mins of simmering because I was doing other things in the kitchen anyway.

When you taste it and think it delicious, strain it!! Strain the mixture into a smaller pot which I will merely reheat and serve with dinner. Dump the strained mixture into a deep pie dish.

I rolled out some pastry, either bought or homemade, to cover the filling. Don't cut or futz, just shush any left around the edges down beside the filling, everyone fights over those its anyway. Egg wash it and sprinkle and little coarse salt on it, trust me, it adds a little something no one can quite figure out and your pastry, pie, dishes will always be better than everyone else's. Homemade OR store bought!

Shove it in a 400 degree oven and lower the temp to 375. Bake it until it's gorgeous, brown and bubbly. The filling is cooked and hot so 30-40 minutes ought to do it!!

I'm going to let it rest a few minutes while I reheat some mashed potatoes I found in the fridge and I might crisp up some bread I made, yes, I think this will be rather delicious. It also cost about, um, nothing!

Yeah, Ok, that was crazy good... straining it makes all the difference, a firm pie but loads of sauce to add. A hit with the boys too!

/enjoy and Happy New Year!