Today is National Pierogi day!

Can you guess what’s for dinner tonight? Pierogi, of course. Okay, if you didn’t realize it by my blog name, I really like pierogi – but what are they? I just assume everyone knows! In case you have no idea what the heck pierogi are, today is the day to get acquainted!

Quick history: The pierogi, a descendent of Eastern Europe culinary traditions, arrived in the U.S. in the early 1900s. During the 1940s, these crescent-shaped pockets became a staple of fundraisers held by churches in the northeast and throughout the upper Midwest. By the early 1950s, pierogi appeal began broadening among Americans of all ethnicities….

I found some interesting facts about Pierogi that should also get you up to speed on this yummy food!

Pierogi or pierogis?

The word pierogis is popular in U.S. and Canada because it underlines a ‘plurality’. However, the word ‘pierogi’ is already plural in the Polish language! Its grammatical singular equivalent ‘pieróg’ is never used. It has a completely different meaning. Pierog, translated into English language: pyrih, is actually an Ukrainian pie. So, use Pierogi when taking about one or many! My site is in the plural English form clearly J

The Pierogi Race

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team organizes the so-called ‘pierogi race’ during their games. Four types of pierogi called Sauerkraut Saul, Cheese Chester, Jalapeno Hannah and Oliver Onion take part in the race. Pittsburgh, by the way, consumes 11 times more pierogi than any other city in the U.S.

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Types:

Ruskie pierogi, with a potato & cheese filling, are the most well known. During the holidays, my family also makes sauerkraut (pierogi z kapustą kwaszoną) and mushroom pierogi, as well as dried plum pierogi. Then there’s meat-filled ones – my grandparents usually make these after thanksgiving or Christmas, if we have left-over turkey meat – one of my favorites actually!!  Topped with gravy… yummy! Then there are some that could pass for dessert and embrace the seasonal fruits – such as apples and cinnamon (pierogi z jabłkami i cynamonem) or blueberries (pierogi z jagodami). You want to top the sweet ones with a sour cream and sugar mixture.

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Pierogi and Polish pierożki

An interesting fact about the Polish language is that most of Polish nouns have a diminutive form and an appropriate hypocorism. Most of Polish diminutives mean a thing smaller than the base word. For example, the simple Polish word dom (house and home) has both a diminutive form domek (small house) and a hypocorism domeczek (emotional). Most often, the diminutive and hypocorism have a positive, emotional inclination. My grandparents always used the diminutive forms when I was a little girl!! I hear it mostly used when talking to young children. The diminutive form of pierogi is pierożki. You can use it in order to express your admiration for the taste of this Polish dish.

Guinness record in making pierogi

The Guinness record in making pierogi belongs to ten students from a Catering School in Wroclaw, Poland. In 100 minutes they managed to make as many as 1663 pierogi.. After cooking and packing, the pierogi were sent to Wroclaw children’s homes. Sweet!

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The “Pierogy Pocket” is an area spanning the Northeast and Midwest United States where pierogi consumption is the highest, due to the large concentrations of Eastern European immigrants in these areas. The “Pierogy Pocket” makes up 68 percent of pierogi consumption in the U.S.

 You know, the Chinese have potstickers and the Italian’s have ravioli. The Polish have Pierogi. Hope you try some tonight! My grandfather’s “famous” family recipe: coming soon! Keep a look out!

Homemade Dog Treats & Busy Toys!

Image from Salty Pup.net
Image from Salty Pup.net

  Easy 3 Ingredient Frozen Dog Treat

I found this easy recipe to make Freddy some healthy dog treats! I’ll give him a frozen treat like this when I leave the house for work in the morning or when I need to run out and do some errands for a few hours and need him to be occupied –so I can run out the door! I like knowing that I’m giving him something good for him instead of some type of artificial flavored spread thing from the pet store.

All you need: (makes 6 treats)

1/2 cup peanut butter

24 oz plain yogurt

3.5-4 oz baby food (like sweet potato, blueberry, banana, etc.) *make sure no onion powder inside!

Original recipe from Bunny Roo Beagle

 Another thing I like to do for him.. is fill his Kong toy with some kibble and vegetable broth and freeze it for an afternoon snack. I also found Zanies Jack & ball interactive toy for him that he has to figure out how to get the treats out by moving it around – It’s great to keep his mind busy and stimulated like that.

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There are some puzzles out for dogs that I was curious to try. Has anyone tried these with their dogs? I wonder if he would like the Dog Casino? or any of Nina Ottosson puzzles? They look so cool!

 

for puppies?!
for puppies?!

Here are some other toys to keep your dog busy: We’ve only tried the Kong so far!!17nmj23s1gglijpg

 

 

Makeup, Wedding, Pie, Puppy, Football…The weekend wrap up!

What a great event-filled Fall weekend.

Friday after work, I went to my boyfriend’s-brother’s fiance’s house for a Mary Kay dinner party. I went into this with no expectations (okay, except I wanted to learn contouring) Anyways, It was a great night filled with lasagna, sangria, a bunch of laughs and of course makeup! I’ll post my review on how I think the whole process went and what I ended up buying slash If I will go through with hosting my own – is it worth it? Look out for that post in the next few days!

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Suzi takes the wheel
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Rubble

Saturday morning, I woke up at 7am!! (ahh what happened to sleeping in?) Well, Freddy was stretching his little arms out and hit me in the face with his puppy paws!! I mean – I wouldn’t call it obsessed. but seriously!? Holy cuteness. Nico made Freddy and I scrambled eggs and a coffee-to-go for me! I met one of my friends, Kristen for a mani/pedi appointment -After going through all the colors, I settled on OPI’s Suzi Takes the Wheel- a pretty light olive-gray color for my toes and CND shellac Rubble a darker beige for my hands. Great Fall transition colors.

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Notice the rubber men’s shoe/chew toy!

I swear Freddy is already such a spoiled little puppy… Kris got him an ADORABLE green knit sweater from Tuesday Morning – sidenote I went in that store the other day and they have some NICE stuff!… At this rate,can you imagine  what’s going to happen once we all have kids? For sure, they will have the BEST outfits and toys around. With my amazing girlfriends who are spoiling Freddy every chance they get – I can’t wait to return the favor! Dogs, Kids… lets go!

So, the appointment took an hour longer than I anticipated and the wedding started an hour earlier than I thought so I rushed home to take Freddy for another walk before getting ready. It was chilly and rainy, so I decided to go with a Philosophy Black long sleeve dress with a gorgeous slit up the right leg, paired with my Sam Edelman “Orly”black/white heels and pearls I got as a bridesmaid gift last summer- a classic, simple look with some Jungle Red Lipstick to tie it all together. After organizing Freddy’s essentials for my big sis to have when she came to watch him…we were off—- Finally, alone time with my boyfriend!! – 1 hour and 45 min drive to Peterborough, NH for a wedding. I was so excited to admire the foliage-best times to be in New England, for sure and to spend the little QT with Nico… so excited…that I may or may not have fallen asleep on the ride! I mean.. when do I get to sleep? whoops. but after downing a Red Bull,  I was good to go to be my bubbly self and reconnect with Nico’s coworkers…..overall , a great night filled with some great people! + I got to take 2 center pieces.. obvi.

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Sunday Funday- yes! Got home at 2AM, got up at 6AM (thank you Fredster) Luckily, we all managed to fall back asleep from 7-11.. Amen! After a walk to Dunkin Donuts for a pumpkin spice Iced coffee, I was going to get out of the house so Nico could work on his paper for grad school. I decided to take Freddy for his first fancy walk on Newbury Street in Boston. Hair brushed,  Pats jersey on- per request of Nico (guys football superstition thing?), essentials packed and we took off.

Best part: Freddy totally photo-bombed a dog photo-shoot! I mean I can’t keep him from wanting to say hi to other puppies – and maybe- just maybe, a part of me wanted him to get behind that lens and take after his momma!  I was given the business card of the photographer and he later sent me that photo-bombed pic! ADORE. Freddy will wait for an opportunity to do a photo shoot.. sorry I’m not paying for him to get his photo taken – shouldn’t we get paid instead? I got bills to pay and puppy bow ties to buy!! Anyways. Love the picture!! Thanks Fred Levy Photography. Dont forget to keep us in mind 🙂unnamed (7)

After an adventurous day filled with constant stopping to let folks take a picture of Freddy, to pet him, to explain his breed type and age (I need him to wear a name tag with this info?) and learning that “bow ties are the new fashion for dogs” Shout out to Fish & Bones! gorgeous Bow Ties – I’ll have to be back for one for Freddy, and tons and tons of treats… I was ready to head back home to make chicken pot pie and watch the football game…Sidenote#2: I am in 2 Fantasy Football leagues . To all the ladies out there dating a guy who LOVES sports: Would it kill ya to put a small effort in? a) it will help YOU on Thursday, Sunday and Monday when your man is watching football and you want to go crazy b) It’s a game! and you have the potential to win- really not rocket science – actually there are guys that do his for a living (picking what teams to use for your line up- GOOGLE, bleacher report, yahoo sports, ESPN- they’ll basically tell you who to play!  and c) Imagine if you beat the guys, that’s just amazing/brownie points for you!

My Homemade Chicken Pot Pie:

unnamed (3)unnamed (4)  Normally I would make my own crust, but I cheated this time due to the lack of time in my life lately- make your own crust recipe post coming soon.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
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Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
  3. Filling
  4. 1/3 cup butter
  5. 1/3 cup chopped onion
  6. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  9. 1 3/4 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
  10. 1/2 cup milk
  11. 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  12. 2 cups veggies of choice (potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peas…)
Instructions
  1. • Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.
  2. • Heat up the broth with chicken until chicken is cooked through- will turn white- take out the chicken and add the chopped veggies bringing to a boil until everything is soft enough.
  3. • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Gradually stir in broth( leave veggies in pot) and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.
  4. • Stir in chicken (shred it up using a fork) and mixed vegetables. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
  5. • Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. During last 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
You can make this Vegan so easily!!
  1. A) Buy the vegan crust from Whole Foods or make your own. B) I used almond milk, soy butter and vegetable broth C) Add more type of veggies instead of the chicken.
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

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How do my 1st official food photos look? I need some work- but not bad with an I-Phone? If you want to see some amazing food pictures, check out Halfbakedharvest.com …. great work, girl!

October is….

Happy October 1st!! Being a Resident Adviser in college, -on top of all the related job responsibilities we had – one was creating a monthly bulletin board! For inspiration, I would look up what each month was known for nationally and turned it into a fun educational piece 🙂

So, being the first day of the month – I thought I would share some of my favorite National holidays for October:

Adopt A Dog Month –done and done… please help out a dog before the cold weather hits!

American Cheese Month, not the biggest fan of American cheese – but a pretty big cheese lovah – a whole wheel of warm Brie to my face.. yes and yes.

Apple Month- can’t wait for our annual apple picking trip!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month- Here is a link on how to do a Breast Self Exam at home.

Bullying Prevention Month – try to have a convo with a kid in elementary, middle or high school and see if they open up about anything related to bullying at school (or at home)

Celebrating The Bilingual Child Month – I learned English in kindergarten and only spoke Polish, so I can appreciate this one!

Halloween Safety Month- I’m not sure if having a puppy counts as being able to partake in trick or treating anymore? I wish they did a puppy trick or treat.. do they? I’ll be double checking those treats though! Sorry, it’s sad but true – there are cruel people out there.

National Animal Safety and Protection Month – I’m so on it! 2ndVet apt is tomorrow!

National Bake and Decorate Month- isn’t this every month? but I can see with the weather change, autumn decor, warm pie – makes sense.

National Cookbook Month – I’m almost through my ISA Does It cookbook- I saved some Fall-like recipes that I’ll be trying soon and then on to a new cookbook.. its so great to learn new recipes- hopefully ones that you can carry on when you have a family (your go-to’s!)

National Dental Hygiene Month– one of my favorites! working in a dental office for 7 years, I love anything Dental related -fingers crossed I get into an American dental school this time around!!. Please make sure you FLOSS – my #1 take home message. I went to Honduras for a medical brigade a few years ago and gave out tons of tooth brushes and floss.. flossing by far is the most important to take care of those gums – b/c if they aren’t healthy- how will your teeth stay in place?

Photographer Appreciation Month – I can’t wait to take a photography class with my dad soon… having this blog and reading so many other blogs with wonderful pictures has really opened my eyes to the beauty of a simple photograph.

Polish American Heritage Month- well hello! You bet your pierogis that I like this one!

Look here for complete list!

 

My favorite homemade cookies. healthy too!

Okay, I cant get enough of these cookies!! I just can’t – I actually ate two along with my hazelnut coffee on my ride into work this AM.

Rosemary Chocolate chip cookies Original recipe: Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Isa Does it photo credit
Isa Does it (photo credit) I wish I could take pics like this!! After my photograph class? 🙂 SOON
Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Cook Time
12 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, softened
  2. • 2 tablespoons lightly packed, fresh rosemary, chopped (from my garden <3 )
  3. • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  4. • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  5. • 1/4 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  6. • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (golden preferred)
  7. • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  8. • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  9. • 1/2 teaspoon salt** Be careful- I once did a 1/2 tablespoon and they were just tooo salty. (I still ate them!- but be careful with what spoon you use!)
  10. • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  11. • 1/2 cup chocolate semisweet chips (I like to mix in Trader Joe peanut butter chips and some Cocoa Nibs for a health kick)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two large baking sheets.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to beat together the coconut oil and rosemary, until relatively smooth. Add the sugar and beat for about a minute.
  3. Add the non-dairy milk and flax seeds and beat once again, for 30 seconds or so. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Add about half the flour, as well as the salt and baking soda, and mix well. Add the remainder of the flour, along with the chocolate chips, and mix well until it looks like, well, cookie dough.
  5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets in rounded spoonfuls. Flatten gently with your hands. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
  6. Let cool on sheets for 3 minutes or so, then transfer to cooling racks to cool the rest of the way.
Notes
  1. * I simply use a fork to mix most of the cookie recipes in this book. True, it takes a little more elbow grease and time to beat the oils and sugars adequately, but for me it’s somehow worth it not to have to break out the hand mixer. If you don’t see the logic in this (because there really isn’t any) then feel free to use your hand mixer!
  2. * I also use a cookie disher, which is a small ice cream scooper. For years I relied on nothing but a tablespoon and my eyeballs to make sure my cookies were the same size, so you can do that, too.
  3. * Make sure that your coconut oil is at room temperature. It shouldn’t be clear and melted, just somewhat creamy without any large lumps.
Adapted from Isa Does It cookbook
Adapted from Isa Does It cookbook
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

Fall Fashion Must Haves – K’s Closet

Marc by Marc Jacobs Multicolor Wild Flower Printed Top
Marc by Marc Jacobs Multicolor Wild Flower Printed Top

1) Something Leather!  I’m really going to try and make this trend work for me again this year I’m thinking a leather skirt this time- a colored leather skirt- the color is key this Fall! Last year, I got this fabulous pair of BCBG Leather leggings that looked amaze for a night out with heels, or for a casual lunch date with flats and a basic tee.

Rachel Bilson wearing Rebecca Taylor Python Print Henley Blouse in Plum, Joie Lusila Leather Skirt.
Rebecca Taylor Python Print Henley Blouse in Plum, Joie Lusila Leather Skirt.

2) White on White! I recently started wearing white pants and I love it! By the way, whoever says “no white after Labor Day” needs to understand Fashion and grow up! Real Fashionistas don’t follow that! Don’t believe me? Check out the NYFW & LFW for proof. Im totally going to embrace white -on white. maybe mix different shades of white? Love it.

 palmer/harding: sponsored by Daz? Nick Barron. Photo: @CFE_London
palmer/harding: sponsored by Daz? Nick Barron. Photo: @CFE_London