Homemade Pierogies

It’s a bit later then I had said, but here is my recipe for homemade pierogies. I’ve said before that I usually don’t add additional salt to my food even if the recipe calls for it, however this time I highly recommend adding salt to the dough. Because the dough is such a main part of this dish, it is important it has seasoning. Other than that this recipe is straight forward.

  1. Peel, cube, and boil 3 medium potatoes (about 2 cups). Cook until you can stab with a fork, and the potatoes breaks in half. Strain, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Smash the potatoes till smooth. Add 4 oz of shredded cheese, mix and set aside.
  2. Mix together 2 cups of flour, 3/4 cup milk, and 1 tsp salt until a sticky dough forms. Turn out dough onto a flours work surface. Flour your rolling pin and your dough surface. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick, and using a cup or a round cookie cutter, cut 2 inch diameter circles. Repeat flouring, rolling, and cutting your desired number of times.
  3. Using a Tbsp, pack with potato mixture then place in center of cut dough. Wet the edge of the dough, then close the dough around the potato mixture. Place onto floured surface. Repeat with remaining cut dough rounds.
  4. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add pierogies to cook until they float or about 3-4 minutes. Then transfer to a skillet with melted butter and sauteed onion. Cook for a few minutes before serving.

French Fries

These french fries are cooked to the point where there are kind of crisp on the outside, but fully soft on the inside. If you desire crisper fries, consider the double fry method, or cook longer at a higher temperature. As I said in my chicken nugget post yesterday, this was my first time really frying, and so I was impressed these turned out so well!

  1. Heat oil to 350 F. Wash, peel, and julienne potatoes to desired size. Add potatoes to oil and fry for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from oil and strain on a paper towel for 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and add to a 250 F oven to keep warm till serving.

Being Prepared

I’m a bit of a hoarder, and that can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe one day I’ll show you my green room’s storage unit to show you what I mean… Anyway, I tend to overstock on everything. I currently have 2 unopened containers of toothpaste, 13 rolls of untouched toilet paper that will last me and my husband over 3 months, and I have a small horde of canned foods.

Why am I posting this? That’s a good question. I feel kind of embarrassed to say it’s because I went out preparing yesterday. I spend a lot of time listening to the news and some time with my ear towards YouTube, and I just want to be prepared. I grew up as a girl scout where we share the same motto as the boys with “Be Prepared”. I also grew up in a house were we always seemed to be in need of an essential. I just want to be prepared, and I want to make sure my family is prepared.

Yesterday when my husband and I went to the store, we had a shocking realization. We first went to a hardware store. When we went there last Saturday, there were stocked cold face masks right when you enter. Because we remembered that, we decided to go there first. The shelf that was once completely full have 4 boxes left, and 3 of which were opened. Beyond that, these boxes had a sign saying “Limit one per customer” and were $20 for 20 masks. We had a shocking realization at that point that this may not be a simple cold. We checked their safety gear section and they were also out of normal respiration masks. Our second stop was CVS down the road. Surely a pharmacy would have some, right? Right? The selves were empty where there had been the $9.49 and $4.49 face masks. We got some cold medicine and some hand sanitizer and we decided to visit the grocery store. We stocked up on groceries because it had been several months since my last big haul. We got the essentials, and also more canned foods and water. We found some face masks there of all places, and we decided to get a couple.

What prompted my trip was the illness, but I wasn’t expecting the results to be as bleak as they were. I live in a state that doesn’t even have a single case. I live on the east coast, far from the quarantines, so why was there already such a need? Don’t panic. There is no need for that, but would it hurt to get a couple weeks worth of cans? Would it hurt to get some water and a bit of cold medicine? I just don’t know. Nobody seems to know how bad or how weak this illness is going to be. On some levels, even I was at the front of the line preparing, and it’s already getting tougher to find things. Worst case, you have a bit of extra food and you don’t have to go shopping for a bit, right?

Fried Chicken Breast Nuggets

My initial idea was to deep fry an entire chicken breast, but when I was thinking about the logistics, I figure it would be easier for my first time deep frying meat to fry smaller pieces of meat to see how that goes first. I’ve never deep fried at all, so my post yesterday of donuts was the first thing I’ve ever successfully fried. I did these chicken nuggets the same day, and my post tomorrow of french fries, I also made this day. I hope you consider trying this recipe! They turned out really well, just be careful not to microwave more than 45 seconds when reheating, because they will become really dry and tough.

  1. Heat 3 cups of oil in a large dutch oven. Heat to 350 F.
  2. Take one chicken breast, and dice up to desired size. In one bowl place bread crumbs (I used shake ‘n bake), in another bowl place 1/4 cup milk and 1 egg, and in the last bowl add 3/4 cup flour, 1 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 tsp Marjoram, and 2 tsp Paprika. Mix the contents of the flour bowl, then mix the milk bowl until the egg is fully scrambled.
  3. Bread the chicken: Take the chicken in a few pieces at a time. Dip into the milk bowl, coat in the flour bowl, return to the milk bowl, then add to the bread crumbs bowl and cover. Place on a side plate. Coat all of the chicken before frying.
  4. Add 1/2 the chicken one piece at a time and move to prevent them from sticking together. Fry for 5 minutes, then flip the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes, when they have an internal temperature is over 165 F. Remove chicken and place on cookie sheet. Keep warm in a 250 F oven until other half is done, or you are ready to serve. Best served with a side of dipping sauce.

Homemade Donuts

I found this video on YouTube for donuts. I love Krispy Kreme donuts and I haven’t tried making donuts yet, so I decided to try this recipe. She didn’t include a write up of her recipe, so I will add that below, however, this is her recipe. This is not my recipe. Below I have attached her video.

My Experience

I didn’t add salt to my recipe, just because I usually never add salt to my recipes, so if that effects something, I’m sorry in advance. The dough was rather straight forward. I didn’t know at what point to stop kneading. I ran the dough in my mixer for 5-6 minutes, then I kneaded it for 10 minutes and saw no significant difference. If I didn’t have to knead if I used a mixer, that would make sense. The dough had risen for me after 1.5 hours. I then used a cookie cutter and the cap to my canola oil to make the donut’s shape. The thickness of your dough will determine how thick your final doughnuts will be. Thinner dough means smaller doughnuts, thicker dough means monster doughnuts. I also decided to make 2 fried dough squares with my extra dough. The oil temp matters some, but not too much. When I initially started my first 3 doughnuts, the oil was in the 370-380 F range. They fried very quickly, 30 seconds each side, and came out dark, but the flavor was just the same and they were completely cooked. I cooked the rest of the doughnuts in the 300-320 F range. They puff up a bit in the oil, but not too much. I also started by cutting squares in the wax paper, but I found it splashed a bit too much. If you pick them up toward the bottom with a very light touch, you can easily transfer them into the oil without any damage to your doughnuts. The nutmeg adds a slight hint of flavor to these doughnuts, but my biggest praise is the vanilla in the icing. It makes the icing so tasty! I also used 4 Tbsp of milk when I made it, and it left a decent layer of glaze, the perfect amount in my opinion. I enjoyed the extra glaze after I covered them all. The original creator was able to make 15 uniform doughnuts. My doughnuts were far from uniform, but I managed to make 18 doughnuts and 2 large dough squares.

  1. Mix 2 cups and 3 Tbsp of flour, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 3 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt. In another container combine 1/2 cup warm whole milk, 1 egg, 1/3 stick melted butter, and 1 packet of yeast.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix with a mixer on high for 3 minutes, or by hand. Dough will be very sticky.
  3. Oil a clean work surface and your hands. Turn out dough and kneed for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth, soft, elastic, and sticky. Lightly grease a bowl. Transfer the dough into the bowl, cover with saran wrap or a damp towel, and let rise 1.5-2 hours till doubled in size.
  4. Flour your work space. Turn out dough. Punch down dough. Flour the top of the dough, and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut out your doughnuts, transfer to wax paper, and let rise for another 20-30 minutes. (You can re-roll the dough for more donuts)
  5. Heat your oil to 320-330 F. Once hot, cut wax paper into squares to easily transfer donuts to oil without deflating them or deforming them. Fry the donuts with a gently boil until golden on each side. Set on wire rack.
  6. Glaze: Melt 2/3 stick of butter, add 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 3-5 Tbsp milk depending on how thin you want it (more milk will make it thinner). Mix until smooth.
  7. Drop your donuts into the glaze. Flip then remove and place on a wire rack over a plate.

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