Quick & Easy Pierogi Skillet

 (made with ground beef)

I don't know about you but I LOVE pierogies. I eat them boiled, fried, or mixed into dishes. There's just something about a dumpling filled with creamy mashed potatoes, onions and cheese that makes me drool every time I think about them. Yup, pierogies are definitely a staple in this house.

(made with veggie crumbles)
One of my all time favorite go-to recipes for pierogies is this skillet recipe. I've made it both with beef (before I gave up meat) and with the MorningStar Farms veggie crumbles that I found in the frozen vegetarian section at my grocery store. Both versions are delicious. The fact that you have your protein, starch, vegetables and dairy all in one sitting is pretty nice. There is no need to make side dishes with this one.

(made with veggie crumbles)

Adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 lb ground turkey, beef, or veggie crumbles
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz ounces) beef broth or veggie broth
  • 1 package (16 oz) frozen cheese and potato pierogies, thawed 
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    1. In a large skillet, cook meat and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain, reserving 3 tablespoons drippings.  If using veggie crumbles, cook onion and veggie crumbles until the crumbles are thawed and the onion is translucent.
    2. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture; stir until blended. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
    3. Stir in the pierogies, vegetables and seasonings. Cook, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese.

    Grilled Rosemary Swordfish

    With the recent move, the Mr. and I have been eating a lot more fish. We didn't really eat too much of it at our last base because, well to be honest, when you live in the middle of the desert on top of a mountain range, your fish isn't always that fresh. However, I'm glad to say that with living right off the coast, the fish selection is huge and we haven't purchased one rancid fish fillet yet.

    The grocery store here on base has a pretty awesome fish selection. I mean, I was impressed when I saw swordfish but then they got shark and octopus! I've made shark once so far and it was good, I'm still working up to the octopus. Now as for swordfish, we never had it that often, maybe a handful of times and that was due to our grocery store not getting any in, or at least not any that looked fresh. So I was really excited to see it at our new location. I decided that because it was so fresh, I didn't want to drown it out in flavors and found this simple recipe. Trust me, you won't miss the fancy marinade or toppings with this one. I just about inhaled my plate after the first bite.

    Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 (5 oz) swordfish steaks

    1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients; add the swordfish. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1 hour. 
    2. Drain and discard marinade. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack. Grill swordfish, covered, over medium-high heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until fish just turns opaque.

    I'm Back in Action!

    I thought I'd throw in a little update for those of you who have followed me through the years. If you hadn't noticed already I was pretty inactive for the last three years. The reason for that is that we had moved to a new location. A location where the grocery stores didn't have a lot of variety, going to the grocery store was a pain, and I also had a job that took up my time. Oh yeah, and I also thought it was a great idea to start up a book blog as well. So my time was pretty much non-existent and I didn't do too many recipes either. It was mostly throw together dinners that I've either already posted or were so thrown together that I couldn't retrace the steps.  However, we have since recently moved from



    Not only has the scenery changed but so has the shopping. Whereas before I was lucky if I could get a non-rancid piece of "previously frozen" fish, now I can go to a fish market and pick it up as fresh as it comes... well, without having a live fish in my kitchen that is. So within the months time that we've moved I've made a bunch of recipes to share with you guys.

    Here's a sneak peak of what's to come...

    Thanks for sticking with me through the lull. I promise thing will start picking up around here. I have a couple recipe books that I'm currently testing out and will have my reviews up soon. I've also been testing out the miracle grill mat that was sent to me for review. Just so you know, it works really well and they are offering one of my readers a chance to win their own mat. So keep an eye out for that. Plus, I will be posting a heck of a lot more recipes. So stay tuned...

    Tex-Mex Quinoa Casserole

    I just recently decided to become a vegetarian and have been looking for recipes that will please the non-meat eaters as well. You see, both the Mr. and myself grew up on a meat and potatoes diet. Every meal had a meat, a starch, and a side of veggies. So while the Mr. was away on training I decided to take the jump into becoming a vegetarian. I'd always wanted to do it. Heck, I remember declaring that I'd no longer eat meat when I was younger, only to pile my plate with rotisserie chicken that same night for dinner. I have tried multiple times to stop eating meat but the truth is, I had no idea how to not eat meat. Am I now subjecting myself to tofu dinners for the rest of my life? Or worse, salads every day? Thankfully, the internet has an abundance of vegetarian recipes that will not only satisfy the non-vegetarians in your life, but will make the switch a little easier.

    This is a really easy recipe to make and it's delicious too. You can make it ahead, store it in the fridge, and then pop it in the oven when you're ready. Which is exactly what I did. Since this recipe makes a huge casserole, I wound up putting about half of it into my silicone muffin tin and freezing it for a later date. Which, even when it's thawed out and reheated, it still tastes just as good as the day it was made. I've actually served this to the Mr. when he got back and he really enjoyed it. Even though I got a strange look from him when I pulled out a frozen ball from the freezer and called it dinner. The only bad thing about this recipe is that we both felt like hot sauce was in order, but then again, we are hot sauce fanatics.

    Recipe adapted from iFoodReal 

    • 1 1/2 cup quinoa, dry 
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
    • 1 (12 oz) can of corn, drained (fresh or frozen corn is fine) 
    • 3 bell peppers, diced 
    • 1/2 medium jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and diced 
    • 1 tbsp cumin 
    • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained 
    • 3/4 cup plus 1/4 cup (for garnish) cilantro, chopped 
    •  1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup (for garnish) green onions, chopped 
    • 1 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup Tex Mex cheese, shredded
    • 3/4 cup coconut milk, light 
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    1. Cook quinoa as per package instructions and undercook by 4 minutes. Add to a large mixing bowl.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and get 8 x 11 baking dish ready. Set aside.
    3. Preheat large skillet on medium heat and add coconut oil. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds mixing often. Add corn, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper and cumin. Mix and saute undisturbed for 3 minutes, mix and saute for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with quinoa.
    4. To a bowl with quinoa and sauteed vegetables, add black beans, 3/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup green onions, 1.5 cup cheese, coconut milk and salt. Mix enough to combine all ingredients.
    5. Transfer the mixture to 8 x 11 baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 0.5 cup cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining cilantro and green onions, and serve warm. No need to let the casserole to cool down.

    Review & Giveaway: Book-Shaped Cake Pan

    I was recently sent a book-shaped cake pan from Gone Reading for an honest review. As you know, I've been offline for a while because I was in the process of moving. I'm happy to say that our new location is out of the desert and actually right on the beach. So with the cooler temperatures I will be doing a lot more baking. So I was pretty excited to christen our new oven with a cake. A book-shaped cake to be precise.

    One thing that I liked right away was that the cake pan comes with instructions on the back. It lets you know how much cake you will need to make and the best ways to decorate it. However, considering it's a Wilton cake pan, of course they want you to decorate it exclusively with Wilton products. Which, I suppose you can do if you want, or you could go against the grain and use your own homemade frosting/fondant to decorate with.

    Once I mixed up three cake mixes (yes, this baby takes three mixes to make a full sized cake) I poured it into the baking pan. However, I held onto about a box worth of cake mix because the directions said to fill the pan half way, which left me with some extra. No worries though, I just poured it into a resealable bag and put in the freezer to thaw out and bake with later. I did read later on that people said they put all 3 cake mixes in with the outcome of the cake rising above the pan. That way they just sliced the cake along the top of the pan, leaving a flat level base when you take the cake out of the pan.

    The cake came out of the pan with ease. I didn't hit any bumps when baking. Now decorating was a whole other issue. This sucker is HUGE! It didn't fully fit on my cooling racks, and it just barely fit on my 9x13 baking sheet shown above. So considering it's just the Mr. and myself, this pan is a bit much. However, I could see myself taking this to book club meetings where I can share this with others. Like I said it makes a HUGE cake.

    My only complaint is that the pan is fragile. My pan arrived bent (shown in first picture). As you can see, it didn't really change the shape of the cake. I suppose I got lucky, had the dent happened anywhere else, who knows if it would have been easily hidden.

    In the end, this is a great pan to have in your kitchen. It's different enough to add a little something extra to what would otherwise be a sheet cake. You can decorate it like a book, write a message on it for birthdays, graduation or even use it to announce the sex of your baby. The possibilities are endless. I of course went the easy route. After all, I'm still living out of boxes at the new house but I'm not going to lie, this book-shaped cake definitely cheered me up. It's pretty cool seeing a recipe come to life on a cake. I will definitely be getting my use out of the pan. Just need to make some friends at the new place so that I don't become obese eating all this cake by myself.

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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