Holiday Cooking

Being home for 4 days before Christmas means lots (hopefully) of cooking and baking. Today Mom made my favorite Chocolate Rolled Oat Nuggets (Macaroons). They have always been a favorite of mine since I was a child. Mom makes them every year. I am hoping we get a lot of cooking and backing in in the next few days, Mom mentioned making perogies. Another of my favorites.

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Chocolate Rolled Oat Nuggets

• 1 cup white sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/2 cup shortening or butter
• 4 tbs cocoa
• 1/2 cup coconut
• few grains salt

Directions

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil and then add other ingredients. When mixed drop by teaspoonful on greased cookie sheet or waxed paper. Let stand until cool.

I love this time of year but it makes me miss home so much. Cory has been sick since last night so I am hoping he is feeling better tomorrow or we may be cutting our visit short. I really love being home though. Even my brother and I are getting along pretty well. He can be really annoying at times but I have to keep reminding myself that even though he is technically 23, mentally he is not. It’s hard to remember sometimes.

Mom bought Candy Cane Bark from Costco the other day as well. She was able to locate a recipe for it online. I love it. I love peppermint and I find that it reminds me of after eight mints which my Nanny always used to have and would sneak to me when my parents were not paying attention. It’s not that I was not allowed that kind of stuff but she always had it around Christmas time and I would eat it till I had a stomach ache!

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Candy Cane Bark

•  6  ounces chopped chocolate-flavor candy coating
•  
3  ounces chopped milk chocolate bar
•  
6   ounces chopped vanilla-flavor candy coating
•  
3   ounces chopped white chocolate baking squares
•  1/4  cup crushed pepperment candy canes

Directions

1. Line a large baking sheet with foil. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt chocolate-flavor candy coating and milk chocolate bar, stirring over low heat until smooth. Pour onto baking sheet and spread into a 10×8-inch rectangle; set aside.

2. In another small, heavy saucepan, melt vanilla-flavor candy coating and white chocolate baking squares, stirring over low heat until smooth.

3. Slowly pour white mixture over chocolate mixture on baking sheet. With a thin spatula, swirl white mixture into chocolate mixture. Shake baking sheet gently for even thickness.

4. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill 30 minutes or until firm. Use foil to lift candy from baking sheet; break candy into pieces. Makes 1-1/4 pounds.

I’m a little sad that I might not get to see my family again till after Christmas, this will only be my second year that I have been away from them over the holidays (first one was a few years ago). I wish they lived closer sometimes but I know they love it here and it is better for my brother in a way.

I am excited for Cory and I to start some of our own traditions and find some of our own favorite recipes and cook our first Christmas dinner ourselves (not this year but probably next). This Christmas we’ll be going to his sisters place for Christmas. Which is just a few blocks from us in the city.

Whats your favorite holiday recipes? Care to share?

Cooking for Christmas!

One of my favorite things about Christmas is spending a day, a weekend and sometimes even a week cooking up stuff for the Holiday season. It has been a tradition in my family (as with a lot of families) for as long as I can remember. This year we have made, 21 1/4 dozen cheese, onion and bacon perogies (that’s 255 perogies), 6 1/2 dozen macaroons (78), and 6 1/2 dozen (78) ginger snaps.

I decided to post pictures and the recipe that my family has used for a long time. It was passed from my Aunt to my Mom years ago when my Mom and Dad got married. My father thinks it’s the recipe that his mother, passed down to my Aunt and that her mother most likely passed down to her so it’s been in the family for generations I think. I took the pictures so I’m not in any of them my Mom is. But since we made like 5 batches of dough I did to a lot of it myself too.

I’ve never really written out a recipe before so I hope it’s not too bad. We mostly do them by memory and I don’t think mom even has a recipe written down. So forgive me for not putting the amounts of the filling. If we make to much filling we just fry it up for breakfast the next morning or make more dough.

Perogie dough:
– 4 cups of all purpose flour
– 1tsp lard or oil (canola oil will do)
– 1 1/2 cups of warm water (almost hot)
– 1tsp salt.

Potato Filling (mashed potatoes):
– 5 Medium sized potatoes
– Milk
– Salt
– Pepper
– Margerine

Optional fillings:
Grated Cheese (cheddar, romano, mozella, etc)
Onions
Bacon

Start out with making the mashed potatoes. Kinda use your own judgement on this. Using the potatoes, milk, salt, pepper, margarine and any other option fillings such as onion, grated cheese, bacon, etc make your potato filling. Basically make it the consistency of regular mashed potatoes (not super creamy but more chunky). We often use the leftovers and fry them up in a hash.

The in a large mixing bowl, add 4 cups flour, 1 tsp lard or oil, 1 tsp salt and 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Using a fork mix until the water is mixed in, it will still have a lot of loose flour and not be fully mixed, that’s okay and then using your hands knead it till it looks like the image below.

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Spread flour on the counter and take it out and keep kneading until it is fairly pliable and ready to roll. Spread more flour if needed and roll with a heavy wooden or marble rolling pin:

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Until it looks something like this:

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Using a glass or round cookie cutter (about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter) cut out the dough like below. How many you can get depends on the thickness/thinness of the dough you rolled out. We got about 20 to 25 perogies out of one batch of dough. Fill a 6 or 8 ounce mug 1/4 with milk.

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Take one of the dough cutouts and fill it with about a tsp of filling in the center leaving space at the outside edges:

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Dip two fingers in the mug of milk and wet around the outside edge of the perogie and fold it in half and using your fingers press the edge together till it looks like this:

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Bring a large pot of water boil with a dash of salt and drop the perogies 10-12 at a time into the pot, when they float they are ready to pull out.

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Place them into something to cool down.

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Once cooled place them in ziplock bags and store them in the freezer until you are ready for them.

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When ready pull out however much you need and you can either fry them in a pan with a bit of margarine, button or oil. I sometimes add seasoning salt. Fry till light golden brown on both sides. They will have a slightly doughy and rubbery texture but they are so good!

Alternatively you can bake them, deep fry them (careful not to leave them too long or all the filling will come out), or boil them further. They taste great reheated in the microwave.

Mom and Dad make the dough and put sauer kraut in as a filling right from the box, don’t need to do anything else with it, instead of potato sometimes. I’m not a sauer kraut fan but other people I know say they are pretty good.

Enjoy!