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 into  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. 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!

 

Nontraditional Banana Cheesecake

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First of all, before I start getting angry hate mail from the worlds biggest cheesecake lovers, this is definitely not a traditional cheesecake (it is better, but that is only my opinion!) Instead of graham crackers as the base, it has banana cake. Instead of a thick and heavy cream cheese filling, it is a light and airy whip cream/cream cheese topping.

Ok, now that we have got that out of the way, let me tell you how amazing this cake is! It is one of my go to’s for pot lucks, baby showers and holidays. I just made it last weekend for Easter and it was gone within minutes! What I love about this recipe is how easy it is. Usually desserts this good are hard to make, but this is the exception. Unfortunately, it isn’t very healthy (which would make it the world’s best cake ever) but it has fruit, so that makes me feel less guilty about having two pieces…..or three! To be honest, I am actually eating it as I write this!

Nontraditional Banana Cheesecake Recipe

Makes 9×13 cake pan. If you are looking for an amazing non stick option for your cakes and don’t want to spend a lot of money (what can I say, I am thrifty), check out these amazing non stick pans on Amazon. You get 2 pans for only $14.99. I have never had anything stick on these bad boys!

Banana Cake Base

Cheesecake topping

Pre-heat over to 325 and grease 9×13 cake pan. Mix sugar, oil, eggs and banana in one bowl and flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another. Mix wet and dry ingredients enough to combine, but be careful of over stirring as this will make a heavier cake. Keeping the mixing to a minimum will give you a much fluffier and lighter base. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, checking with a toothpick in the middle. Once done, put in fridge to cool while making the topping.

Top make the delicious and fluffy topping, use a stand mixer to make whip cream by combining the packages, milk and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form. In separate bowl, mix cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until completely incorporated. Mix the cream cheese and whip cream together. Now try now to eat it by the spoonful….I dare you!

When the cake is completely cool, top with cream topping and sprinkle with walnuts.

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do 🙂

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Easy Pineapple Salsa

So yesterday I was feeling like Autumn was just around the corner and today it is hot as hell here in the sunny south of Niagara! You just never know what the weather will hold this summer! This is the strangest season ever!

So I have been craving pineapple lately and bought a nice juicy one on sale (yay for saving money!). After eating to my hearts desire, I had some left over. My brain immediately started searching the recipe index I keep stored in my head and pulled out a recipe for Pineapple salsa!


I haven’t made it in several years and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why! It isn’t even much of a recipe it is that easy and it is so delicious with so many things!

Use pineapple salsa for chicken, fish, pork chops, sausage, with tortilla chips, fish tacos, etc, etc! Again I start wondering why I haven’t made it in so long!


You won’t even need to write the recipe down (unless you have a bad memory, then I would suggest saving this post!)

EASY PINEAPPLE SALSA

  1. Pineapple
  2. Green pepper
  3. Jalapeño
  4. Onion
  5. Tomato
  6. Salt and pepper

I’m not even going to suggest ingredient amounts because I have never used measurements and have never made a bad salsa! You can even throw in some cilantro (which I hate more than anything in this world, so I never use it.)


Please try this recipe and let me know how it turned out and what you used it with. I have even been known to eat with with a spoon, so no judgement if that is the choice you decide to make 😁

Oatmeal Bars (Gluten/Dairy Free)

I know it is not even mid August yet but it is already starting to feel like fall around here. The winds have changed and the need to bake begins!

I have been torn however since I have not done much baking since going gluten free. Baking without flour (I refuse to buy anything labeled “gluten free”) seems tricky!

So I started playing around with oats! Let me tell you, these oatmeal bars are delicious and just as satisfying as anything else laced with wheat! I made them for a pot luck party and they went over so well that I had to make another whole batch for myself!


OATMEAL BARS

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 3/4 cups oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350c and grease a 9×9 pan. Mix all ingredients together (try microwaving the peanut butter first to make it easier) and bake for 20 minutes.


It really couldn’t be easier and I love this recipe since I always have the ingredients on hand. Perfect for a fast dessert, healthy enough for breakfast and delicious enough for a party!

Apple Cranberry Compote 

My dreams have been so vivid lately, it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between dreams and reality. I am not sure if it is the excessive stress I have been under or what, but it is starting to confuse me sometimes!

Last night I had a dream that I made Apple Cranberry Compote for breakfast and when I awoke, the craving was unreal. Before I even got out of bed, I was inventorying the ingredients in my kitchen to make sure I could make them! Low and behold, I was in luck.

This is simple compote recipe that can be used for a pie, over waffles or pancakes or eaten alone while warm with a scoop of whipped cream (which was my choice!)

I know this recipe seems  a little “autumn” in the middle of July, but I cannot help what I crave in my sleep 🙂

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APPLE CRANBERRY COMPOTE RECIPE

  • 5 small apples
  • 1 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg

Peel, core and chop apples and place in pot and immediately cover with lemon juice to stop them from turning brown. Add dried cranberries, sugar and spices.

Cook over medium low heat for about 25 minutes, or until the apples are tender, the cranberries are plump and the juices and sugar have thickened and make a nice syrup at the bottom of the pot.

I chose to eat it just like this with some whipped cream, but I have used it in pies with great success, as well as with crepes, waffles or pancakes.

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Good Morning Muffins (Sugar Free / Gluten Free)

I am not a breakfast lover. Well not until around 11am, then I could eat just about everything! But when I get up, it’s all about the coffee and that’s about it! Mmmm…coffee!

I know eating breakfast is important and the healthy and responsible choice, but I just don’t think about it.  About once a month, I make a pact with myself that I am going to eat breakfast everyday from now on. This pact lasts about 2 days and I forget again!

So I came up with a little healthy little breakfast muffin that goes so well with coffee, I look forward to them just as much or more than my coffee! The Good Morning Muffin!

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Sugar free, gluten free goodness! It is so healthy, I don’t feel so bad about putting sugar and cream in my coffee! I like to make them bite size so I can eat more of them!!

GOOD MORNING MUFFINS

Makes 12 regular or 24 bite sized muffins

  • 1 large yellow plantain
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • Cinnamon to taste

Make sure your plantain is yellow, even with some black spots. When plantains ripped, they get sweeter! Chop up the plantain in the food processor and then add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Scrap the edges of the processor to make sure there is no chunks of plantain in there.

I always use muffin liners (mainly because I hate scrubbing anything and muffin tins are THE WORST!) Bake at 325c. for 18-20 minutes for bite size or 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins. You can test by lightly pressing with your finger for a slight spongy feeling.

I like to sprinkle extra cinnamon on top! They have a slight banana taste and are perfect with your morning coffee!

Now I wake up saying Mmmmm….muffins! I feel good about eating breakfast. Like a healthy, responsible person!

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