A List of Delicacies for A Not So Talented Cook. 


Thanks to La Duchesse D’erat and her list prompt of our best culinary delicacies.

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1. Perogies  

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http://www.polishforums.com

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For Perogies: I’m one-quarter Ukrainian and we always have perogies at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and every now and then. The secret is to boil the perogies, fry up some bacon and onions, let the perogies warm in the crock pot on low with some becel, and toss in the bacon and onions. The perogies are extremely soft and delicious using this method. Make sure you allow the perogies to warm a good half hour to an hour in the crock pot. Or, you  can visit a local restaurant near us in Edmonton, AB, called Uncle Ed’s, which is a genuine Ukrainian restaurant that has all the Ukrainian food you could ever desire at a reasonable price, with a too reasonable amount of food on each plate.

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2. Pizza – I learned to make this from my Mom, it’s fantastic pizza and much better than take-out. The most important part is the dough:

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http://www.1zoom.net

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To make yummy homemade pizza for a treat:

– 2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

– 2 tsp sugar

– 1 tsp salt 

– 1 tbsp fast-acting active yeast

– 1 cup hot water

– 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Mix  1 cup flour with the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
  • Combine hot water and oil. Add to dry ingredients and beat diligently until smooth.
  • Gradually stir in more flour to make a soft dough.
  • Put out onto a floured counter and knead four to five minutes.
  • Form dough into a ball, place into a bowl with a bit of olive oil in the bottom, so the dough doesn’t stick.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let stand on your ‘warming’ burner on your stove, for 45 minutes or until the dough is double the size.
  • Punch dough down. Recipe makes two – 12″ (30 cm) pizzas or one large one.

Next, you get to make your pizza! 

-We usually make one big round pizza and spray the pan with cooking oil lightly, before spreading the dough out onto the pan pushing it up to make a small rim.

– spread 1/4 cup or desired amount of Tomato Sauce on pizza dough, except at the rim. Sprinkle with oregano, this step is so vital for good flavour!

– cover pizza with grated mozzarella cheese about 1 and 1/2 cups or, however, much you like.

– add your toppings: – I like diced pineapple, thinly cut ham sausage, diced mushrooms, and diced red pepper.

– Sprinkle entire pizza with Parmesan cheese (2 tbsp or more).

  • Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for about 20 minutes. You may want to put your broiler on the last few minutes to brown the cheese a little. 
  • Let pizza stand for 20 minutes. Cut into desired size of slices with a pizza cutter. This pizza is excellent and simple!

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3. Spinach Dip 

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http://www.browneyedbaker.com
 

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I chose all low calorie options for food, obviously. Here’s my family’s Spinach Dip recipe. It’s amazing!

– mayonnaise 1/2 cup

– cream cheese softened – 2 –  8 oz blocks (preferably light cream cheese)

– grated cheddar cheese –  1 cup

– frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry – 10 oz. (300 g)

– chopped fried bacon- 6 slices chopped into small pieces

– finely chopped onion – 1/4 cup

– Dill Weed – 2 tsp

– Garlic Powder – 1/4 tsp or one clove minced.

– sour dough round loaf and additional baguette.

To make:

  • Beat mayonnaise and cream cheese together in small bowl until smooth.
  • Stir in next six ingredients. 
  • Cut top off of round bread loaf. Hollow out loaf with knife leaving a shell 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Put spinach dip inside loaf.
  • Wrap loaf in foil and heat in oven at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 2 hours.
  • Cut up inside of road loaf and pieces of baguette as needed to use as dippers. As dippers disappear, break off sides of loaf for more dippers. Enjoy, this is heavenly and a tasty treat!

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4.  French Toast 

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http://www.julianbakery.com
 

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 Easy French Toast – healthy and yummy!

– 2/3 cup 1 percent milk.

– 2 eggs

– 2 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 tsp cinnamon 

– 1/8 tsp nutmeg 

– 4 slices whole grain bread

– cooking spray

– berries or apple slices 

– 2 tbsp each maple syrup (per two slices) 

To make:

  • Combine ingredients in a bowl large enough to dip your bread into but don’t add all your spices at once, distribute with every two slices of bread as the spices have a tendency to end up on the first two slices alone if added all at once.
  • Dip a bread slice into the batter and let it stand 30 seconds on each side.
  • Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook your first two slices of battered bread at a low temperature, flipping your battered bread slices when the first side is browned to your liking. 
  • Continue with your other two slices of bread, spraying the pan with cooking spray again before adding your next two battered bread slices to your frying pan.
  • Divide French Toast onto 2 plates and add fruit or apple slices. Fry up some bacon if you’re ambitious, as an add-on. Add 2 tbsp of syrup to each plate of French Toast. Voila! 

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5. Pineapple Beans 

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http://www.100recipes.com
 

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A health(ish) combination of ingredients for Pineapple Beans, wonderful for a potluck, a party, game day, (etc.)

– Bacon Slices – 6 

– Chopped Onion – 1 and 1/2 cups 

– Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce – 2 – 14 oz. (398 ml) tins

– Chili Sauce – 1 tbsp

– Mustard – 1 tsp

– Crushed Pineapple, drained – 1 tin (14 oz. or 398 ml)

– pepper – 1/8 tsp

To Make:

  • In a large sauce pan, sauté bacon and onions together until cooked. Drain and discard fat.
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or more. You can do this on a stove alone, or on the stove then set on the edge of a BBQ grill, or if you are skilled with the BBQ you can cook the entire mixture on the BBQ. 
  • Serves 8 people.

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Thank you for reading my easy list of cooking delicacies. I hope you found a recipe you can use! And to note, I’m not eating any of this right now I’m on a diet 🙂 

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.


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11. How Was Last Night For You: Talise at the Farmer’s Market


Read Chapter 10 here.

Chapter 11: Talise at The Farmer’s Market

Nina was delighted to have John take her to the farmer’s market. She enjoyed the atmosphere of the popular market which provided farm-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods, as well as handmade speciality goods. A modest-sized warehouse with murals of oceanic scenes, was home for the market during the Winter months in Adare. In the late spring, the market moved outdoors so people could bask in the sunshine as they shopped.

The quick drive downtown, however, was silent. Nina was busy worrying about Rianne and her broken arm as well as her  confrontation with Talise. John was distant and brooding as he drove his Mercedes and parked a few blocks away from the market.

The aroma of fresh produce, sweet and inviting, met Nina as she walked into the crowded warehouse. The smell of fresh bread made both Nina and John inhale and smile at each other. Nina shoved her worries to the back of her mind. She immediately began talking to some of the merchants she knew, tugging John’s hands. Nina went to a few different tables she knew would be promising to find the best price for some vegetables. At different tables Nina bought an array of lush organic vegetables.

She was drawn to a table which sold spice blends called Cumin and See.  The company had spice mixtures, seasonings, and recipes for food. Nina purchased their special Caesar salad spice, a sweet cinnamony spice for apple cider, and a mixture of spices for a warm cheesy dip which would taste superb with crackers or chips. Nina wasn’t only buying for supper, she was thinking some down time would be a good idea soon.

Nina browsed along the tables where handcrafted jewelry was displayed. She gently held a fine 14k gold chain with a lustrous pearl and a tiny charm that read ‘beloved.’ John noticed Nina eyeing the necklace before she reached out and ran her finger over the pearl pendant and charm. John smiled at the cheerful merchant selling homemade jewelry at her booth and asked the lady how much for the necklace Nina was admiring.

” Oh don’t, it’s fine John. It’s $229.00 for this little chain. It’s not worth it.” Nina whispered to John.

“But you love it, right?” John said.”You’re worth it to me.”

Nina blushed at John’s praise and nodded her head. She did love the necklace,  it was classic. John ran his hand through Nina’s soft hair playfully before paying for the necklace with a swipe of his Visa. John carefully opened the fine necklace and clasped it around Nina’s neck. She loved the necklace and John’s gesture of buying her something. Nina adored that gesture a great deal.

“Thank you John,” Nina said sincerely, leaning up to kiss John on the lips.”Pay you back with some dessert sometime.” The kiss deepened and some people were openly gawking.

John smirked at Nina, aware he’d put on a show and held Nina’s hand as she went to a table that offered baked goods and bought an aromatic delicious apple pie for dinner. ” I love apple pie” John murmured to Nina, “Apple pie is more then enough in exchange for the necklace. Not that you had to get me anything.”They shared a warm companionable and heated gaze before Nina was distracted by more goods being sold.

Nina let go of John’s hand and went to browse among the tables of items.  She wasn’t often able to make it to the market in the winter time; work often meant overtime. Nina browsed aware John was worried some awful event might happen if they remained at the market long.

John had been looking at some homemade red wine, drinking a coffee when Nina last saw him. But when she turned around, John had disappeared into the crowd. Nina wasn’t too worried. John had his Samsung on him and she had her Iphone. The market wasn’t huge and it wouldn’t be impossible for Nina to find John in ten minutes or so while she shopped. Nina’s eyes immediately admired a baby pink scarf made of silk and light as air, hanging on rack of scarves beside a table.

A carefully manicured hand with sea green nail polish touched the delicate pink scarf and held it up so Nina could see how delicate and pretty the scarf was. Nina didn’t look up at the vendor because she was memorized by the way light hit the scarf. John could have bought her this scarf she thought, but she truly loved the gold necklace. She would purchase the scarf herself, Nina decided.

” Do you like it?” a girly voice asked Nina. Nina was to busy admiring the scarf, but then the voice said: “This would look wonderful on you Nina. It is exactly the right color of pink for your skin.” Nina knew the woman’s voice. She looked up to see Talise in a floaty silk blue blouse and leggings, behind the table.

“Oh” Nina said, “Talise, I didn’t know you had a booth here. Your scarves are gorgeous.” Talise smiled.

“It’s my friends booth. She’s the artist. I’m only filling in for her today. But she did tell me I could have any scarf of my choice. I would like for you to have my scarf. Take the light pink scarf Nina it suits you.” Nina was surprised, touched, and a suspicious of Talise’s gift. But she didn’t want to appear ungracious, even though she loved the pink scarf. She wrapped the silk perfection around her neck.

” That’s nice of you Talise. I didn’t think we were off to a friendly start at the fundraiser. You were judgemental of John and his past. How’s Malcolm?”

“Oh, he’s fine. He’s watching the Broncos play football,  while I do this. He loves sports. As for John, I’m only concerned about your safety with John, Nina. I don’t think he’s a reputable guy from my own experiences. For some reason, I always felt accidents and bad things occurred around John. Maybe, I’m only imagining these events, but I think you can do better than John.”

“It wasn’t your friend who John and his brothers laughed at when you said your friend loved  John, was it?  It was you?” Nina asked Talise in a flash of realization. Talise’s jewel green eyes shed a tear and then went blank.

“Yes, it was me,” she said. “I loved him and he talked about me behind my back. I wasn’t valuable to him. It was onto the next girl with John.”

Nina let her breath out nervously stroking the soft silk scarf Talise had given her. She felt wrong accepting the scarf now. Nina felt as if by wearing it she somehow agreed with Talise’s opinion of John now, that he was still a womanizer and a selfish man.

Nina felt she couldn’t give the scarf back to Talise, because she didn’t want to have a confrontation with her. She clutched the necklace John had bought her, hidden under the scarf. The necklace gave her hope and courage to defend John once again.

Please Read Chapter 12 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

Christmas Tree Cookies and Beating the Winter Blue’s (SAD’s)


Good Early Morning to you! It’s almost Christmas so if you haven’t baked anything these Christmas tree cookies are amazing. Just remember to bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until light brown. This is listed in the comments cause ‘someone’ forgot to put these vital instructions in the recipe article. Also, dealing with the winter blues? I’ve got some ideas to help alleviate your suffering.

Take care and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree Cookies
http://www.flurtsite.com/2012/12/christmas-tree-cookies/

Beating the Winter Blues
http://www.flurtsite.com/2012/12/beating-the-winter-blues-sad/