Touch of Nectar

{January 19, 2012}   Some for now. Some for later.

Sometimes it is nice to channel your roots. My family’s history can be traced back to Poland. I’m the 4th or 5th generation to be born in the US. I don’t even really consider myself Polish. I’m a mutt. 

This is one of those recipes that should have been handed down from my grandmother or great grandmother… Total comfort food.

If you are going to make them to freeze. Freeze them individually on a tray or baking sheet before boiling them. Then package them in zip lock bags. Don’t forget to lable and date the bags.  You can drop them into the boiling water right from the freezer. No need to thaw. I love that.

I always seem to have WAY more filling so I double the amount of dough. Freeze half and eat the other half for dinner. Delicious!

Potato Cheese Pierogies

3 1/2 quarts water
2 cups chopped unpeeled potatoes (I peel mine)
1 cup ricotta cheese (Jack works too)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I use more)
1 teaspoon dill (I used more here too)
1 dash black pepper
1 1/2 cups white flour (do NOT try and use whole wheat.  It won’t work. Ask me how I know.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg  (use more if you like this flavor – I love it)
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs , beaten
sour cream

Bring water to boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and mash in a medium bowl.

Add the cheeses and lemon juice, mustard, dill and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Combine flour, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour until well blended.

Add eggs and knead until smooth. Divide into 16 balls. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil.

Roll out each ball into a circle. Place 1 ½ tablespoons filling on one side, leaving a ¼ “ border.

Fold in half and press edges with a fork to seal. Cook in the boiling water until they rise to the top. Serve with sour cream, butter and paprika.


We recently cleaned out nearly all of our freezer stock. While this is a good idea to do several times a year to keep things fresh, it makes me twitchy. I like having a very well stocked freezer in case of emergency. Surprise dinner guests, unemployment, illness, zombie apocalypse… It is also  nice to be able to pull something frozen out of the freezer, already prepped and have dinner ready in minutes. No thinking required. Some nights are like that.

Last week ground turkey was on sale buy one get one free, so I made a huge batch of meatballs. I froze them individually on a tray before placing them, in dinner-sized portions, in zip lock freezer bags. I bought a large package of chicken breasts. Half of the package made dinner for 3 with leftovers and the other half was cut into smaller portions and put in marinade in the freezer.  I also stocked up on some pantry items that were running dangerously low.

Week Total – $20.67
2 pounds Ground Turkey – $5
1 large package boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $12
2 cans tuna – $1.00
3 cans diced tomatoes – $2.67

I also made twice baked potatoes and froze 8 servings worth.

This week, I’m hoping to get to Costco and buy a package of pork roasts. They usually have them for $12. There is three decent sized roasts to a package. One will go in the crock pot for some sort of shredded pork dish, one will be sliced into scallopini/schnitzel/piccata ready portions (without the breading) and the third will be cut into stew-sized chunks, which could also be used for kebabs.

I will not be cooking this weekend, since I will be out of town, so I’ll concentrate on re-stocking instead of making dinner-ready food. The other thing I will purchase this week is hamburger. Trader Joes has well-packaged hamburger for $2.49 a pound. I will buy 4 and most likely use one for dinner this week.

Week total – $21.96.  At least 10 dinners for 4 can be made with just those two purchases.

Off to look for the recipes!

{October 20, 2009}   Farmer’s Market Abundance

What do you do when you are given an over abundance of free food from a wonderful local farmer’s market? You make biscuits of course!

Step 1: cut the squashes in half and remove the seeds. Rinse the seeds and put them aside to roast later.

Step 2: place squash on a baking sheet and rub edges with extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 375* for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender and scoopable.

Step 3: Scoop out the flesh into a big bowl. Discard the hard outer shells.

Step 4: puree the squash with a stick blender (I don’t have a food processor) until all of the chunks are gone.

Step 5: make biscuit dough. I used this recipe, replacing squash puree for the mashed potatoes. I could have used more flour and added some herbs. Fresh sage would have been especially nice.

Step 6: make biscuits. I just did drop biscuits. Easy!

Step 7: Bake!

The biscuits turned out very moist. I served them with a ham and mulit-bean soup (also from the farmer’s market). Perfect fall dinner!

The remaining 4 cups or so of squash puree got put into zip lock bags and stuck in the freezer. I’m hoping to make cream cheese cupcakes soon.

{December 10, 2008}   Bento #21 – Dinner Leftovers

bento21Dinner last night was Mustard Glazed Pork Tenderloin, mashed potatoes and peas. The pork recipe comes from my Low-Carb cookbook and can be done OAMC. 

Hubby and the kidling both inhaled their dinner. Score for me! There was still enough (planned) leftovers for my lunch today.

Rounding out lunch is strawberry yogurt (TJ’s) and canned pineapple chunks.

Normally when I have leftover mashed potatoes, they tend to get thrown out unless Hubby eats them. I just don’t like reheated mashed potatoes. Blech.

I stumbled across a recipe on Zaar that saves my unloved leftovers! Quick and Easy Potato Rolls. These are basically biscuits made with leftover mashed potatoes. Can’t hurt to try them, right?  So I made some up last night. Not only is the dough super easy to work with and they come together in no time, the recipe produces a light, fluffy, slightly sweet biscuit. YUM! I’ll be making these again for sure!

et cetera