Every year, since I was a baby, my family has made these Christmas cookies (will share recipe on the blog next week!) AND Polish gingerbread (Piernik) (this one too!) covered with a chocolate glaze… yummy.
So Simple. So fun. So good.
We use (organic) sugar crystals and crushed walnuts for the toppings of the cookies. My aunt stepped it up a notch, making thinner versions (so they can be stacked and not be too thick) with jam in the middle.
I leave the Polish cookies and piernik duty to my Dad and aunt! I decided to start my own tradition and make thumbprints. The recipe is quite similar, yet different! They have been a hit the past 2 years, so I thought I’d share them with you… (more…)
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 pierogiare, 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.
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.
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!
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!
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 alink 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!
Last week was defiantly FALL-like. For god’s sake, I got myself pumpkin beer and pumpkin spice iced coffees!! Labor Day weekend was back to SUMMER weather – between the 90 degree sunny days, cruising with the windows down, thunderstorms @night and my fav: vanilla soft serve ice-cream cones 🙂 —- nothing pumpkin spice about it… a pretty perfect way to start bringing the summer months to an end. For many of you out there, this final weekend of summer vacation, is filled with family, friends, back-to-school shopping, booze, and way too much food. For me, (I had all the above) AND MORE! … I got a PUPPY… a 9 week old baby Golden doodle pile of fluff named Freddy …. My heart couldn’t be happier – a little blessing and a BIG responsibility…. I will have a PET category that I hope to open up to others for advice, questions, experiences- like some type of a pet owner portal, where we can share any fun pet products, activities, dog parks…. oh and I will defiantly be sharing the baked treats I make…b/c it just wouldn’t be normal if I didn’t bake him something………oh what I do for the boys in my life… right Nico? 😉 Xo, KPM
P.S Follow Freddy on Instagram Freddy_doodle. He’ll be modeling soon, mark my words!
Colder nights mean summer is winding down and the season for warm SOUP is upon us. I’d totally be lying if I said I didn’t eat soup even if its 90 degrees out! I grew up with soup being a part of almost every meal. My Babcia (grandmother) would ALWAYS be making some variety with whatever summer veggies were around, so I am used to eating soup in the summer… but for everyone else… Welcome to Soup Season!
Barszcz Czerwony (Polish Red Beet Borscht)
I had some extra beets and potatoes left over from the Farmers Market, and I feel like I haven’t had eggs in a while…. so as a result… I made Borscht for dins. Here is my recipe derived mostly from memory and taste. I don’t really like to follow recipes; so I kind of make it work until it tastes AMAZE.
2-4 Beets (peeled and cut into cubes OR *shredded -can get messy :O)
3 -4 Carrots (or 2 handfuls of baby carrots)
2-3 pieces of Celery
Salt & Pepper (as needed for taste)
1 Bay Leaf
2-3 Potatoes (cut into cubes)
Handful of kale (optional)
1/2 medium Onion (chopped)
1 Tbsp. butter
1-2 Tsp. Sour Cream
Parsley (for garnish)
Put everything (down to the potatoes) in a large pot and let boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let simmer (covered).
In a separate pot, boil some eggs.
While everything is simmering, saute onion in butter with some salt. Add the potatoes from the soup (you can also boil them separately, but I don't like dirtying another pot if I don't need to) and mash them up with the onions and butter.
I usually wait until the carrots, potatoes and beets are soft....about 25-30 mins,and then shut off the soup. Add Kale or some spinach if you are using it). Take out a Tbsp of soup and whisk in the sour cream until fully uniform. Transfer the combo into the soup until well blended. Sometimes, I don't even add the sour cream- it's more of personal preference... but it makes a pretty pink color!
Cut up the boiled egg , scoop a spoon of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle some parsley into the bowl! Enjoy 🙂
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/