The last part of winter hung on and the cold weather really hasn't let go.
So far, it has been a cold, damp spring with snow still in the
forecast. Last night and this morning, heavy thunderstorms with rain
advisories are rolling through. While it isn't perfect outdoor weather,
it is a great time for me to do a bit of home canning and baking,
especially breads. Mid-February through to the first week of May, we are in overdrive mode working 16 to 18 hour days 7 days a week, more so my husband for the past couple of years. We are in bed before 8 PM and while he drifts off to sleep immediately, I sip on camomile tea and play a hidden objects game or crochet before going to sleep by 8:30 PM. He's up at 3 AM and out the door 20 minutes later. I'm usually up the same time, sometimes a half hour later. I have dinner ready for 5:30 PM and these days I am relying on home cooked comfort foods.
I used four bone in chicken breasts for homemade shake & bake chicken, 2 each for Saturday and Sunday's dinner. The first dinner I served the chicken with steamed broccoli, baked potatoes and homemade creamy coleslaw. The second dinner I served the chicken with steamed asparagus, potato and cheese pierogi and a small garden salad.
Pierogi are Polish dumplings made with unleavened dough stuffed with a potato filling that are either boiled, or boiled then baked or fried. Traditional pierogi are filled with a mixture of potato, meat and sauerkraut. Sour cream or caramelized onion pieces are popular toppings for pierogi. I have not made pierogi from scratch as they are not something we have very often, as in once a year if that. I bought frozen pierogi this time to serve as a guideline in making them from scratch. This is a handy tip for getting an idea of how the final product should be prior to making your own from scratch. I did the same thing when learning to make fresh pasta by comparing it to store bought fresh pasta and when first attempting certain artisan breads. At any rate, a 1 kg bag of frozen store brand pierogi costs $1.79. There were about 30 pierogi in the bag but I used almost half the bag for dinner leaving me half to use in my testing. Homemade pierogi should come in less expensive with a fresher flavour. One recipe on Food Net work uses 3 c of flour and 3 eggs for the dough which would cost me 99¢ plus the filling so an estimated added 50¢ for potato and cheese, which gives a total cost of $1.49 for 72 pierogi. So, based on this homemade pierogi should be under half the price of store bought. I'm off to do a bit of experimenting so will report back on the results later this week.