Perishky (Meat Buns)

The mennonite in me knew I was going to have to learn to make these eventually.  I love them and I can't keep relying on my 87 year old Grama or my Mom to make them for me.

I asked my mom for the recipe and of course I got the "there is no recipe" and she just explained how to do them.  You aren't getting a recipe either, but you are getting step by step pictures...even better!

Now I need to tell you something before you start these.  They take a long time to do...they are easy...but time consuming.

Don't start them late in the morning, then decide to go visit your in-laws that live 2 hours away and then come back too late at night to work on them...not that I would do something like that...I'm just saying...don't.

First you need to make a roast like you normally would...make sure you make the gravy too.  I did mine the day before I was planning on making these and then just put the roast and gravy (separated) in the fridge.

Then the day you want to make them, make a basic white bread.  I used my bread machine (on the "dough" cycle) and did a smaller loaf recipe.  I ended up needing to make a second larger recipe...and I used all of it up.  I guess it also depends on how much roast you  have.  It really is trial and error.  It's okay if you have to make more bread...it just adds to your time, but gives you an excuse to go have a nap.....or to be productive if you're that kind of person.

Okay so now that you have your bread made and your roast is done and cooled...the fun can begin....and I have pictures of these steps.

If you have a food processor, put your beef in it and grind it right up.  You want it completely minced.  If you don't have a food processor....go buy one...or deal with the fact that you are going to be chopping and chopping until the end of time.

Add enough gravy that it makes a mushy lovely mess.  When I make my roast gravy I add onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup, so I don't need to add much flavor to my "mix" at this point.  Depending on your gravy, you might want to add some minced up onions and garlic salt.   Actually, come to think of it, I think I added some dried minced onion flakes to it.

Now roll out your dough on a clean floured surface.  Roll it out thinner than I have pictured here...this was too thick.  Turns out I hate rolling dough.  This was the worst part for me.
Use a cup or something round to cut circles.  Make sure you dip the rim in flour.

Put some of the roast beef mush in the center of each circle.  Fold them up and pinch the seam together....I actually started adding more to each circle after this.  This is a high dough to meat ratio.....(do I sound fancy and smart when I use words like "ratio"...I hope I used it right).

Place them seam side down on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  At this point I was a little worried, because I didn't think they were looking good.

I covered mine with sprayed wax paper and a tea towel and let them sit until they were double in size.   Okay...I lied and didn't have the patience to wait for them to double...but I did let them rise for 2 hours.  Maybe they would have gotten bigger faster if I kept them in the oven like my mom suggested...but of course, I had to do it my way.  They need to be in a draft free area. 

Preheat your oven to 350 or 375 degrees.  This is when I moved these on top of my oven so they could feel the warmth and rise a bit more.

Bake them for about 20 minutes...or until golden brown.  A basic bun recipe says to do 375 for 20 minutes and since your meat is cooked already, you're just needing to make sure you bread is.

This is when they taste the best....fresh out of the oven.

If you were to start these late on a Sunday morning and then run out of dough and have to make more....

If you decided to go visit your in-laws (who live 2 hours away) before you were done....

If you didn't get home until after 10 pm.....

If you put the dough into the fridge so you can use it for when you had time....

If the next day was Monday so you wouldn't be able to finish them until after work....

If the dough had still kept rising in the fridge this whole time....

They could turn out to look like this...

Again...not that this happened to me...I'm just saying.

I like mine with ketchup.  My mom and sister like them with mayo and mustard...which I do too...but this time I was all about the ketchup.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Seriously, though...time consuming but easy...especially with a bread machine and a food processor.

I love them and it's a perfect alternative to roast leftovers.


Beef Barley Soup

This is seriously so easy...and delicious!  It's even easier if you have a food processor and a slow cooker.  It makes LOTS, but freezes well. 

My old crock pot used to fit the entire recipe, but it has gone to appliance heaven so now I'm using my sister's old one (she wasn't using it so she gave it to me) and it's quite a bit smaller....the whole recipe doesn't fit in it.  You'll have to look at the amount of ingredients and use your smarts to figure out if it will fit or not.

I got this recipe from my mom....I've always loved her Beef Barley Soup.

pour 6 cups of water in your slow cooker

add 6 beef bouillon cubes or omit water and cubes and use beef broth instead...or use this stuff...

add one can of tomato soup

one can diced tomatoes

2 cups shredded carrots

2 cups shredded potatoes

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup barley

Now this is where I have to skip a step.  You are suppose to add another 6 cups of water, but because I don't have room for it, I don't...however, if you do...make sure you add it.  If you don't...you'll have a soggy messy mushy mess.  I explain what I do at the end, but it's not as good as if I were to add it now...and it's more tedious.

add 1 tbsp parsley flakes

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp thyme

Looks like dog food, doesn't it?  I did not like it this way.  I was lazy and just cubed up a chilled left over roast.  I should have shredded it.  I actually normally use ground beef in this recipe, but I had quite a few roasts to use, so I used it. Anyways...add 3 cups cooked roast beef or 2 lbs ground beef, cooked.

Set it on low for the day.  If your crock pot fits all of it in, then you're done!

When I get home from work I pour half the soup into a large pot.  Then I add water to both the pot and the crock pot and I try to let it cook as long as I can to absorb the flavour.  It doesn't have as much flavour as it would if the water cooked in it all day.  Mine always tastes better as leftovers because of this.  If you have room, add that water...it makes a huge consistency and flavour difference.

Here are our leftovers, after we ate our dinner and put some aside for someone.

The printable version tells you how to cook it on your stove top if you don't want to go with the slow cooker version.


October 25 - 29

Here are our meals for this week...

Monday - omelets...one of my "go to" meals for busy days....easy and healthy.

Tuesday - carrot soup....yes, I said I was making it last week but after working late on the night we were suppose to have it, I didn't feel like making dinner so we're having it this week.

Wednesday - lime chicken soft tacos

Thursday - meatball hereos with spring mix

Friday - tortellini, caesar salad and garlic bread...I'm having my niece for night and I asked her what she wanted for dinner.  I told her she could have anything she wanted and this is what she chose.


Grasshopper Pie

I really need to work on my "food" photography.  This is a horrible picture.  I should of thought about that nasty red countertop before I took this picture.  It's from our Thanksgiving weekend, so this is the lovely countertop that was in the cabin.

Please don't let the picture stop you from making this.  I do not like pies, but I love this one!!  It's minty...it's fluffy and actually quite light tasting...a perfect dessert after a heavier meal.

One of my girlfriends hates marshmallows and anything marshmallow flavoured, but she loved this one, so just try it!  You'll thank me later.

I got the recipe from Betty Crocker.  I really don't make too many changes.  I normally add extra creme de menthe and with that extra I don't need the food colouring.  Instead of white creme de cacao, I just used that flavour syrup...you know...those kind that coffee shops have....yeah....that kind.  You can get Creme De Cacao coffee syrup so it works well...and that's really it.

Printable Recipe Here

Let me know if you love it!  It's one of my favorite desserts.


Mushroom Spinach Salad

My favorite thing about this salad is the dressing....it has bbq sauce in it.  I never would have thought of doing something like that....it's a good thing there are a few people smarter than me out there.

You can print the recipe off from here.

We served this at our annual Thanksgiving weekend along with chili and scones.

I never add the water chestnuts to this...I don't really like those.  I also buy those "real" bacon bits (we all know they're not) instead of frying up bacon...it's so much easier that way.

Let me know if you try it!


October 18 - 23

Here are our meals for this week...

Monday - picking dinner up.  I think I'll pick up some California Rolls for me and I have no idea for Ben yet.  I have LOTS to do tonight, so making dinner doesn't work for me.

Tuesday - carrot soup

Wednesday - asian beef and cabbage salad

Thursday - artichoke and tomatoe chicken with angel hair pasta

Friday - crispy orange beef, broccoli and rice.


Scones? Biscuits?

I don't know if these are called scones or biscuits.  I'm not familiar with the differences because I'm a total rookie at baking, so I'm sorry if I'm confusing you.

Whatever they are, they are delicious and perfect to serve alongside a bowl of chili or soup

The original recipe is from Betty Crocker, however, I've sort of changed it over time and customized it and made it my own.

It's a perfect "base" recipe.  I've made ham and cheese, just cheese, lemon poppyseed, lemon raspberry, blueberry, lemon blueberry...and so on and so on.  My sister did an apple cinnamon one.....those were good.  I sprinkle the tops with salt before baking if they are a savory one and if they are sweet I do sugar.  I've also made a lemon glaze and when they come out of the oven and are still warm, I put them on a cooling wire rack and pour the glaze over top.

You can really play around with it....and if I can make these and be successful at it, you can too!  Believe me...really easy.   The hardest most frustrating part it cutting in the butter...but that's only because I have no patience and don't like things that take time.

Printable recipe here.

Let me know if you try it and how they turn out!


Betsy's Chili for Slow Cookers

I had a favorite chili recipe I was using, then a Facebook friend sent me this one.  I threw out my other one and replaced it with this one.

It has a couple of weird ingredients in it, but you just have to trust me and try this.

We made it for 17 people on our annual Thanksgiving weekend.  We made two kinds of chili (a healthy turkey one loaded with vegetables and this one) and served it with freshly baked cheese biscuits and spinach salad.  We had sour cream and grated cheddar for those who wanted to top theirs with it.

They both were a hit and absolutely delicious.

Get the printable recipe here for Betsy's Chili.

I'm going to try the turkey and vegetable one at home soon and when I've done that, I'll post that recipe.


Baja Fish Tacos

I'm not a huge seafood fan...I actually don't like it at all, but I like to try new ways to make it hoping I will like it.  I like fish and chips...I like shrimp and I don't mind crab in some things...like stuffed mushrooms and creamy fatty cheese dips....but that's where it stops.

I've tried a few recipes where I liked the fish and this one was one of them.  It's really easy and super fast...my kind of weeknight meal!  This is a version from beantownbaker.com

combine taco seasoning (make it at home...just omit flour and cornstarch), lime juice and orange juice.

add fish

toss to coat and let sit while heating oil in skillet

add to hot oil

meanwhile, cut up an avocado

and add to sour cream

stir until chunky...add salt and pepper to taste (we're really classy and fancy around here, so I served it right in the sour cream container...it's how I roll...just keeping it real)

by then the fish should be done

add coleslaw, avocado mixture and fish to warmed up tortilla and enjoy!!


Let me know if you try it and how it turned out for you!!

Taco Seasoning

Quit buying it!

You probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard.

I got this from recipezaar.com...supposedly it's a Taco Bell Copy Cat recipe...I don't really ever eat at Taco Bell, so I don't know, but what I do know is it works and we love it.

You'll want to make adjustments according to how spicy you want it.  Also, if you're not adding water to make that thicker type filling, then omit the flour and cornstarch.

1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Combine and store in air-tight container.

To make taco meat, brown 1lb ground beef, drain fat, add seasoning plus 3/4 cup of water.  Bring to boil then reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.



October 12 - 15

Okay, here are my meals for this week...

Tuesday - grilled chicken breasts with spinach salad

Wednesday - pita pizzas (what can I say...I love them...and they are easy!  I have lots to do this week, so I'm trying to keep it simple)

Thursday - beef barley soup

Friday - broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken and some sort of vegetable...and maybe rice too...I don't actually know yet.

My sister has invited her family over once a week to help me use up some of my roasts, so that will be our Saturday tradition for a bit.

I, also, plan on attempting perishky (mennonite meat bun things) this weekend...hopefully on Sunday.  I'll let you know how they turn out and if they do, I will post a recipe (although I'm not using a recipe, I'm using verbal directions from my mom...eeeeeek).

Wish me luck!


Philly Beef and Cheese

If you are like me and have approximately 492 roasts in your freezer, you are always looking for a different way to serve roast.

I get sick of just plain roast or beef dip and Ben doesn't really like bbq beef sandwiches, so I'm always on the hunt for trying it a new way.

I was looking around the internet and saw many variations and different versions of this one and got a little overwhelmed.  I decided to go home and make up my own based on all the recipes I saw.  I wanted something easy and quick and that is exactly what this is.

I put my roast in my slow cooker that morning with some beef broth.  I cooked it on low all day while I was at work.  When I got home, I took it out of the slow cooker and let it cool....then I shredded it.

Then I mixed mayonnaise, minced garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan in a bowl.

And because marble was the only cheese I had, I used that.  If you are wondering why I only had marble...you can read part of that story near the end of this post.  I normally would have used swiss, provolone or havarti for this.

In a skillet I sauteed onions, green peppers and mushrooms (mmm....I love that combo) until soft.

Then on panini buns (you could easily use subs too) I spread the garlic mayo, added the cheese and shredded roast beef.

I broiled them in the oven until the cheese was all melted and gooey.  When they came out of the oven, I piled the green pepper mixture on them and served it with a mixed green salad.

Yeah...it was pretty flavorful and delicious!  The best part though was how fast and easy and simple it all was.  A perfect weekday meal for the busy person.


Pita Pizzas

This is one of my "go to" meals.  It's what I make when I'm feeling lazy or don't know what to do.

It also works well for a "treat" when I have my niece or nephew over because they find it fun to "build your own pizza".

I make mine different each time because I generally use what I have on hand.  I didn't need to buy anything extra to make this dinner.  It's fun to be creative and see what you come up with.

I love thin crust pizzas so I use the thin pitas.  Ben likes the real pitas better and sometimes I buy them for him, but the "pocket" pitas were what I had in the freezer this time.

On my pita I brushed olive oil....sometimes I do pizza sauce, but I felt this pizza called for olive oil.

Then I sprinkled oregano, thyme, basil....

...and a little parmesan cheese.  I didn't leave it like that...I actually did spread it out a bit more. 

Because I had roasted chicken deli meat already, I chopped it up and added it.  Normally I would probably use real meat...I'm not the biggest fan of deli meat.

I love artichoke hearts...I have one of those costco size jars in the fridge.  I chopped some up and added them...

...and some feta as well.

And because I was feeling extra naughty, I added a little extra parmesan on top again.  Look at the pizza, not the mess around it, please. 

I forgot to take a picture of it, but I did add some pineapple on top...I love pineapple on pizza.

Bake it in the oven for about 20ish minutes at 400F.  It's a preference thing...sometimes I forget about them too and then we have extra crispy pizzas...mmmm.

Then cut it into quarters and it's perfect!  Everyone can have their own individual pizza to suit their taste.

That's why it works so perfect for Ben and I.  I like mine different.  I, also, like to put the cheese at the bottom if I'm doing a more traditional pizza with mozzarella.

Ben likes more "normal" pizzas...pepperoni and mushroom, meat lovers...those kind...and he likes his cheese on top.  We can't share pizza...we don't like the same kind...ever.

Here's a picture of Ben's...

We normally don't have "marble" cheese in this house. I don't understand marble cheese, so I don't really like it.  I don't eat cheese I don't understand.  We would normally have some mozzarella kicking around but the grocery store was out of it.  Weird right?  Who runs out of mozza?  I'm not even sure what made me get marble instead.  I normally would just leave it or get havarti or provolone or something completely different...not marble.

Maybe it was a full moon.