Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stuffed Onions

Stuffed Onions
Stuffed Onions 

Hello from snowy and frigid Pennsylvania! We've been experiencing a winter like no other this year and it seems we aren't alone. Record breaking low temperatures and precipitation seem to abound across North America. It's not just cold and snow, either, it's viral infections and illnesses, too.

My own family has been sick for weeks now with something we can't seem to shake. Flu with full blown fevers, coughs and aches and then on to tummy troubles. It's been no fun. Now that tummies are better we're still cold and something like these stuffed onions warms a person through so I thought I'd share.

Shortly after I made Stuffed Cabbage and sent out a recipe, I decided to try my hand at stuffed onions. They were easier than I thought and I shared a photo on my Facebook page only to be inundated with requests for a recipe. I dutifully complied and wrote one up as quickly as possible.

Here is that recipe and I hope if you try it you let me know how it went for you!

Stuffed Onions
Stuffed and ready for sauce

Stuffed Onions
Topped with tomatoes and fresh basil

Stuffed Onions
Printable Recipe
Makes 12 
Ready In: 1 1/2 hours

2 pounds ground chicken, pork, turkey or beef

2 large eggs
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 large onions
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon fresh basil - chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Peel outer leaves of onions and cut ends evenly so they sit upright
. Put into a large pot and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from water and cool until able to handle.
4. Cut a slit down the side of the onions and remove the layers without tearing. You will need 4 from each onion.
5. Combine ground meat, eggs, Panko, Parmesan, garlic and salt & pepper until well mixed.
6. Stuff each onion leaf and pull ends together to surround meat completely.
7. Set onions into a large and deep baking dish. (I used a medium sized caldero)
8. Pour tomato over onions and sprinkle with basil. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes so tops will brown.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chili Roundup

It's a mere matter of days until Super Bowl XLVIII and it's time to get ready with the chili and fixings. I've rounded up a few of my own chili recipes that I've shared on the internet over the years and I bet there's at least one you'll find intriguing enough to try.

As for fixings, give any of these a try to top your chili:

JalapeƱos, diced, sliced or pickled
Shredded cheese like Pepper Jack, Mexican Blend or Sharp Cheddar
Sour Cream or Greek yogurt
Fried green onion or fresh green onion
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Diced onion
Chopped cilantro
Lime juice
Crushed corn chips
Crushed cornbread
Hot sauce
Spiced olives

I think my favorite is the White Bean and Sausage Chili topped with sour cream, cheddar and fried green onions, but I love chili in just about any form. This Sunday I'll most likely be serving Chili and Chips. What's your own favorite chili?

Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Chili 

Ground Chicken Chili
Ground Chicken Chili

Green Chili with Chicken
Green Chili with Chicken

White Bean and Sausage Chili
White Bean and Sausage Chili

Chicken Chili
Chicken Chili

Chili Cheese Dog Soup
Chili Cheese Dog Soup

Chili and Chips
Chili and Chips

Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili
Slow Cooker White Turkey Chili

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

Please excuse the quality of my photo - I haven't had time to set up at the new house! You get the idea.

I've been baking cinnamon rolls for years and years ... and years. For some odd reason I never thought to add them to my blog. I just never felt they were overly special and figured everyone already had a recipe. Well, I do like mine and I think the vanilla pudding mix added to it really adds flavor.

Cinnamon Rolls

1/4 cup warm water
1 packet dry yeast
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 package instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz. package)
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter - softened
1 large egg - lightly beaten


1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter - melted

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Icing:

4 ounces cream cheese- softened  
1/4 cup butter - softened  
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Tablespoon milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Combine warm water, yeast and sugar together and let stand for 5 minutes. If mixture is bubbly proceed with the rest of the recipe.
2. Add salt and 1/2 cup of flour to yeast mixture and blend well.
3. Pour in milk, butter, pudding mix, egg and 1 cup flour and start blending in a stand mixer or with a hand blender.
4. Once smooth add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time with a wooden spoon or dough hook attachment until flour is incorporated.
5. Run on medium speed for 5 minutes with a dough hook or knead by hand for 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
6. Cover with plastic or a bread towel and let rise until doubled in bulk - about 1 hour.
7. Roll dough into a rectangle about 15 inches by 24 inches (or follow instructions HERE for "Sunshine Bread").
8. Spread dough with melted butter then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll up from the long side and seal.
9. Cut into 12 equal pieces and place in greased round pans. Press down on each roll slightly to help them bake into the proper shape. Cover with plastic or bread towel and let rise again until double in bulk.
10. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree F oven until golden brown and puffy.
11. Spread with icing if desired.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Frosting:
In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and milk. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until smooth. Spread on warm rolls and serve immediately.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Stuffed Cabbage

Not the best photo - I was taking this on my phone to post to Facebook and never realized the stir it would cause!

Over on Facebook I have a small but loyal and very wonderful following. Not too long ago I posted photos of cabbage rolls I was making and the response was just crazy. Everyone wanted a recipe. I put one together as best I could and shared it. Then, this really great thing happened ... a terrific lady from Welcome Home wrote and asked to share the recipe on her own Facebook page. I agreed, of course, what are recipes if they aren't for sharing? She told me I may get a few new followers. Well, my readership and "Likes" doubled in three days' time!

She's a bit like my mother who seems to know when I'm not doing so well no matter what face I put on.  I'll be having a not-so-good day with blogging or the like and am ready to throw in the towel, and there she is sharing that recipe again without my even having said a word. Then more followers come and I just love that because we get to talk about food and good stuff.

Before I share my recipe I want you to go on over to Welcome Home, the website or the Facebook page, and say "Hi!" for me.

Around these parts these are called one of 3 things: Cabbage Rolls, Halupki, or Stuffed Cabbage. When we would pick these up at a local market (Jerry's Deli used to be so much more than beer!) they were called "halupki" so it's what I've always called them.

This is the long and short of it - if you're confused, let me know and I will try to explain better.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Makes 20


1 large head cabbage
2 pounds meatloaf mix (ground veal, beef and pork)
1/2 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 small green pepper
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt + more to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 can tomato sauce (8 ounces)
4 ounces water
2 cups cooked white rice (I used broken Jasmine rice today - it was all I had on-hand)


1. Freeze cabbage overnight. This will help it to be more tender and the leaves will come off easier.
2. Cook cabbage covered in water until tender. This will not take very long after freezing - about 30 minutes.
3. Cool cabbage.
4. Blend together onion, garlic and green pepper until very smooth. Put into a large bowl and add salt and pepper.
5. Add meatloaf mix to onion mixture and mix well with hands. Add cooked rice to this and mix again until well distributed.
6. Remove cabbage leaves from head and trim the thick stems by slicing part of the stem off horizontally to make it thinner and more even with the thickness of the rest of the cabbage leaf. Leave the very green larger leaves for later.
7. Lay out leaves and portion meat mixture according to how many leaves you have. I made very large halupki today and got 20 from this mixture.
8. Starting at the stem end, place the meat on the cabbage leaf in the shape of a small loaf. Start rolling up and pull in the sides then roll until completely sealed.
9. Place each roll in a baking dish - 9 x 13 is most common - until all leaves and meat is used.
10. Mix tomato sauce and water and pour over rolls.
11. If you have leftover cabbage leaves (the larger outer ones) cover the rolls with these and then with foil.
12. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on how large the rolls are. Serve with any sauce that develops from baking.