How to a $1.99 bag of perogies taste like a gourmet meal!

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I love perogies, but I cannot see myself ever making homemade ones. They take up an entire day, and actually cost quite a bit of money once you do the math. No, I am more of a “buy a bag of perogies for $1.99 and figure out how to make them amazing” kind of person!

I have had so many compliments from this recipe that most people actually think they are homemade…..hahahaha! It almost feels like I am insulting the good people that take the initiative to make them from scratch!

So I am going to share my secret to taking a bag of $1.99 perogies and turning them intoย  a “gourmet” meal your family will request on a regular basis!

How to make cheap Perogies taste gourmet!

  • Bag of cheap, frozen perogies
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Super easy…..super cheap! I bought everything I need (except for spices and butter because I already had that) plus the sour cream and salad for only $8.00. This will feed four and that is $2.00 a person for an amazing, “gourmet” meal!

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Instructions

  • Caramelize onions until translucent, fragrant and brown to your liking in oil. Remove from pan.
  • Add frozen perogies to pan and sprinkle with spices.
  • Add butter and water and let simmer, stirring often.
  • The water, butter and spices with start to create an incredible smooth, silky sauce as it cooks down. Once there is a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the pan, turn the heat off. If you let them go too long, they will dry out.
  • Top with caramelized onions and serve with sour cream and salad!
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Enter a Caramelized onions…smells so good!
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Perogies before cooking down
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Sauce thickening and looking amazing!
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Gourmet Perogies for $2.00 a plate!

If love perogies I encourage you to try this recipe out! Please let me know what you think!

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Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder

Even thought it is technically April, Mother Nature just refuses to let it be Spring. I am watching tiny snowflakes dance around my yard as I write this and this kind of weather makes me want soup!

So naturally, I go through my cupboards and fridge to see what I have to make soup. Do you ever do this? Just make up recipes based on what you have on hand? I do all the time, actually that probably makes up over 80% of my recipes. They don’t always turn out amazing, but it usually gives me a base to work with and improve on every time.

This recipe hit the bulls eye on the first try! It is perfect comfort food for cold days, but has a taste of freshness to hint to warmer days coming and fresh veggies right out of the garden.ย It is also cheap….and that is right up my alley. You don’t need to spend a fortune to eat good and tasty food!

Grilled Chicken and Corn Chowder

After gathering the ingredients and grilling the corn, peppers and chicken, it is all easy peasy from there! Melt the butter in a pot and sautee the onions and garlic until fragrant and translucent. Add the broth and potatoes and simmer until they are tender. Puree 1/4 of the potatoes and liquid (or more if you like thicker soup). Return puree to pot and add corn, peppers and chicken. Let the flavors mesh together by simmering for 20-30 minutes (your house will smell amazing by the way)! Add milk, cumin, chili peppers and salt and pepper. Simmer another 15 minutes to heat and you are done!

Serve with a nice crisp salad and buns and you have the perfect dinner for a cozy night in watching movies!

 

Friday Farmers Market Finds

Happy Fun Friday everyone!! 

My husband and I call it Fun Friday because every Friday morning after coffee, we venture out into our little town and explore the farmers market! 

Today was especially awesome as I met a nice fellow from India selling amazing herbs and spices from…well…India!


I tend to grow my own herbs (I am very proud of my herbs! See them here) but finding such a great deal on quality spices is rare in my small town! I purchased curry powder, garlic powder and sweet paprika for only $2.00 a bag! I came home and made a list of what else I need so I can purchase it next Fun Friday!

The spices weren’t my only good find today! I also got free run eggs, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, a giant zucchini and of course the spices all for under $20.00! And the best part….it all helped feed a local family ๐Ÿ˜


 It always feels good shopping local, and the quality is bar none compared to grocery store chains. 

Happy weekend everyone! My plans include gardening and cooking some great new recipes! Follow my blog for some upcoming foodie posts (oat pizza crust, stuffed mushrooms, cheeseburger zucchini and more this weekend!) 

Homemade Plant Fertilizer


I love watching my plants thrive after getting a good dose of fertilizer! They pop right up, turn greener and you can almost watch them get bigger!

Commercial fertilizers are not a great option for me for several reasons! They are full of chemicals (that leach right into your fruits and vegetables) and are just not nice for the environment. I would also rather use food waste that I otherwise would throw out and put it to good use! 

Homemade Plant Fertilizer 

  • Used coffee grinds
  • Egg shells


Ok, so it isn’t rocket science! I don’t even use measurements. I just keep all of my used grinds and shells in a big ziplock bag in the freezer and when the bag is full, I blend them together in the food processor and viola! Homemade plant fertilizer! 



1 tablespoon per plant per month or so and I cannot believe the difference! I use it on house plants, hanging plants, my roses and in the veggie garden! Full, big healthy plants from things I would have thrown away!! 


The Benefits of Eggs

Since taking wheat out of my diet, I have replaced it with some new menu items that I can’t seem to get enough of. Tomatoes, potatoes and….eggs!

It seems every other day I am reaching in the fridge to make some kind of egg dish for lunch! Whether it be scrambled, poached or just plain old hard boiled, it seems my body is craving eggs with a whole new aggressiveness! 

A lot of websites classify them as superfood and being the google geek that I am, I wanted to know why, and what it is about eggs that keep me coming back so often! 

Other then Eggs being extremely nutritious (Vitamin A, Folate, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc) they come high in protein with 6 grams and are only 77 calories each! Eggs are one of the only foods that contains almost every nutrient that our body needs! That could be the reason for the cravings!

The best part of that 77 calories is that they are extetemly filling, so you don’t need many to have a satisfying lunch! Two eggs and a tomato will run you under 200 calories and you will be stuffed for hours! 

Depending on where you get your eggs, some of them contain omega-3 fatty acids, depending on what the chickens have been fed (always check the box). We get our eggs fresh, organic and local from the farmers market. A little more money but worth the health benefits! Eggs are considered a complete source of protein as they contain all eight essential amino acids…..as if tasting good weren’t enough!

Ok, so now I love them even more! They are like the perfect food!! 

Another amazing point to acknowledge here is that they are inexpensive! That is important to me considering the way I have been going at them! We easily go through 2 dozen a week in this house and there is only 2 of us! Studies do show you can eat 3 or more eggs a day with no adverse side effects! Thank goodness! I was getting worried I was going to start growing feathers ๐Ÿ˜

So I hope you enjoyed your eggs today! There are so many great recipes out there, it is impossible to get bored!  

Savoury Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker

I love to cook, but sometimes it is hard to find the time. Staying on track for me means I always know what the next meal is, and prep for it in advance. If not, I get totally flustered and decide to go out for dinner! Never a wise choice! 

Although many people associate slow cookers with winter soups and stews (which I adore on a cold snowy day), they are also perfect for hot, busy summer days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and you dont have time to light up the BBQ. 

Last week pork shoulder was sale and I immediately thought about pulled pork! Although I won’t eat it on a bun anymore, it is totally amazing on homemade corn tortillas, on salad or alone with some mashed potatoes!! 

There are many great recipes out there, and I usually make my own BBQ sauce for pulled pork, but this time I felt like something a little more savoury. I was really happy with this rub. It made flavourful and melt in your mouth pulled pork that only gets better with more time in the slow cooker! 

Ingredients

  • 3 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp paprika 
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion power
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar + 1/2 water for bottom of the crock pot 


Easiest recipe ever! Put vinegar and water at the bottom of slow cooker. Roll the entire pork shoulder (or any other cut of pork) in the dry rub until it is completely covered. Carefully place in slow cooker and set on low for 10-12 hours. 


After it’s cooked, it will shred beautifully! I cooked mine on high for another 30 minutes after shredded to soak some of the delicious juices into the pork! 



We made pulled pork tacos for dinner, pulled pork baked potatoes for lunch and froze the rest! Talk about getting your money’s worth ๐Ÿ˜

Pretty Like a Flower, Tasty Like Food

In my opinion, if you plant something in your garden, ideally, you should be able to eat it. Gardening takes water, valuable time and money to grow, so you minus well reap the rewards!

Chives in bloom!

There are so many beautiful herbs and vegetables that have flowers and look just like other perennials you can spend hundreds of dollars on (but can’t eat). If you plant the right ones together, they can come into bloom in a timely manner, ensuring your gardens are always bright and colourful!

Beautiful zucchini flower!

In the past couple of years, I have been slowly replacing greenery that offers no nutritional value with delicious AND pretty plants in my gardens! 

Strawberries, chives, raspberries and garlic

I love planting herbs! They are probably the prettiest and tastiest plants. In addition to my chives, mint, dill, parsley, sage and basil, I have added lavender, oregano and thyme this year. It just adds so much beauty and it is amazing to add to a salad. 

Tiny thyme flowers

As part of building a sustainable lifestyle, we want to grow as much food as we can for ourselves! Having roses, daisies and gardenias are nice, but at the end of season, all they were good for was to look at and then chop down. I would much rather eat the plants that I spend so much time watering, pruning and weeding!!

Delicious garlic