Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Great Idea Thursday's - 12

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Thank you so much for joining me for Great Idea Thursday's! How are you loving summer? I am still figuring out our routine but my boys are so glad it's summer.  Everyday at the pool and lots of time with friends, not much to say other than they are loving it!  Thanks again for coming to party with me, it wouldn't be here if it weren't for you!

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Great Idea Thursday's #12

Come share what you have been doing every week! If you are interested in Co-Hosting this party shoot me an e-mail me  @

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My post for this week is what I made to take this morning to Book Club! I brought Italian Pasta Salad. I have made several different kinds and I liked this one.  It served double duty, using up ingredients I already had in my fridge and I felt good about eating it because it was mostly veggies!

Italian Pasta Salad

For Book Club this morning I wanted to make something to take to share with all my ladies and our kids but I also wanted it to be something healthy.  I opened my fridge and started pulling stuff out.  I came up with this salad.  I loved how easy it was to throw together and that it was chocked full of fresh veggies!

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Italian Pasta Salad


2 oz Red Wine or Balsamic Vinegar
4 oz Olive Oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 1/2 tsp sugar

In a 1/2 pint mason jar add all of the ingredients.  Tighten the lid and shake vigorously.  The dressing will separate, shake again immediately before use.


6 oz pasta cooked and drained (I used mini-rotini)
1/2 English Cucumber quartered and sliced
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
3 mozzarella string cheese sticks, sliced
1/2 cup turkey mini-pepperoni's
1/2 cup dressing
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Parmesan Cheese, optional

Cook and drain the pasta.  Meanwhile prepare the vegetables and place in a large serving bowl.  

Add the cooled pasta, pepperoni, and cheese, mix until combined.  

Add 1/2 cup off the prepared dressing, sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Stir with a large spoon to coat the salad with dressing.  

Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Great Idea Thursday's #10 Features

Ok, I'm so sorry that this is so late getting posted.  Cub Scout Day Camp was so much fun this week but it completely wore me out! I'm not used to walking 5+ miles a day back and forth and entertaining my kids all day long since they've been in school.  Wake up Momma summer is here! Yikes :)

Anyway, thanks for your patience with me these last couple of weeks.  I am still playing catch up but I will get there :) I hope that you are all enjoying your summer so far! Thanks for being so amazing! I am so blessed to have such fabulous readers!

You bring such amazing things to the party everyweek.  These are the posts with the most views and the ones that really caught my eye! Thank you again for taking the time to link up with me! Ya'll are wonderful :)

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Surprise Recipe Swap June 2013

It is that time again! I'm excited to participate in the Surprise Recipe Swap with so many fabulous Bloggers! This month I have selected a recipe from Cindy's Recipes and Writings.  Miss Cindy has quite the resume! She is a professional cook (I'm super jealous of that by the way...) and she was with a Master Gardner program for 11 years! Maybe she can help my thumb be more green.  I'm getting there one plant at a time :)

I selected to make her recipe for Pierogies that she had published on  These little homemade dumplings are fabulous!  I changed the recipe a little but I was grateful to have such a wonderful place to start. My husband loved them.

I am giving you fair warning that this was a little time intensive.  The dough and the filling don't take long to prepare at all but filling and shaping took awhile.  Especially at first when I was still learning the technique.  By the second pan I had figured out what worked well.  Next time I make them will be a lot smoother I'm sure.

Homemade Pierogies

3/4 cup water (I used warm water)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp softened butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups flour

In the bowl of your bread machine add the ingredients for the dough in the order listed.  

Set your bread machine to the dough cycle and press start.  After 5 minutes check to make sure that no flour is stuck to the sides of the bowl, if there is use a rubber spatula to loosen the flour so it can be incorporated into the dough ball.  

When your bread machine beeps for you to check the dough ball, turn off the machine and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

If mixing the dough by hand combine 3 cups of flour, salt, the eggs, and softened butter in a large mixing bowl.  Add the water a little at a time working the mixture into a dough.  Knead until the dough becomes soft and slightly sticky.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

2 good sized russet potatoes, peeled, and cubed (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup diced onion (1/4 of a medium sweet onion)
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

To make the filling, peel and cube the potatoes. 

Cover with cold water, add a little salt and boil for 10 minutes.  

Add the diced onion and press a garlic clove into the boiling potatoes and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.  

Drain off the water.  

 Add the cheese, salt and pepper and mash until smooth.  There will be little chunks where the onions are so it won't be completely smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Cut the dough into 3 equal portions and form into small balls, cover with a damp towel for 10 minutes to rest.

Lightly sprinkle a flat work surface and your rolling pin with flour.  

 Press one of the dough balls into a flat disk and roll forward and back.

Flip the dough over and turn 90˚.  Roll again.

Continue flipping and turning the dough until you have it very thin (1/16").  If you need use more flour to prevent sticking but use sparingly, too much flour will make the dough tough.

Gently lift the dough and spread flour under the entire surface of the dough and roll out any bubbles or folds in the dough.  

Dip a 3" diameter circle cutter (I used a glass) into flour and cut the dough into circles.  Remove the excess dough and cover.

  Leave about six circles out to work with and cover the rest with a towel.  Scoop a scant Tablespoon of filling onto the center of the six dough circles.  

Lightly moisten half of the dough edge by dipping your finger into water and running it along the edge (if your dough is soft you don't need the water to seal the dumpling).  Dry off your finger and fold the dough over the filling. Lightly press around the filling and seal the edges.

With a fork press around the edges about 1/4" wide.  

Place on a baking sheet covered with wax paper or parchment paper that has been lightly floured.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

In a large pot, bring 12-16 cups of water to boil with a tsp of salt.  Cook the Pierogies in batches.  Carefully drop several of the dumplings into the rapidly boiling water.  Gently stir to keep from sticking together and off the bottom.  Reduce the heat if desired and boil until they float, about 5 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon. Test to make sure they are done.  The dough should be cooked but not soggy.

You can serve immediately while warm, but I think they tasted better when I sauteed them.  Melt a Tablespoon of butter in a skillet and saute the pierogies on each side until browned and crispy.  Top with sour cream or gravy.


This recipe makes a lot of Pierogies. I made 70 from this batch.  You could easily cut this in half. 

This recipe would freeze well. After preparing the pierogies and placing them on the baking sheet.  Place in the freezer for 2 hours until frozen.  Remove to an airtight container or ziplock bag.  Then add to boiling water when ready to use.  Cook until done.

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