New To Me Cooking Challenge, Weeks 13-16

Perogies, week 13
Hubs is of Polish descent. Every Holiday his family eats Perogies. This past Christmas, we didn’t get to go see his family, and I think one of the things he was most upset about was not having any for Christmas dinner.
I always thought that a little Perogie fairy made them every year. No, honestly, I never thought to ask who made them, or where they came from… so I was a little shocked when he told me they’ve been buying them frozen from the grocery store ever since he was a little kid. Apparently no one in his family would dare attempt to make Perogies for fear they wouldn’t compare to Grandma’s. Then… he asked me to make some. I don’t know if that just means he has faith in my cooking abilities, or if he just wanted Perogies bad enough that he was willing to risk my cooking abilities. ;) So, in keeping with tradition, I waited ‘til a holiday (Easter) to make these…Boy, was it more work then I really wanted to do.
The Dough was super sticky, and a HUGE pain in the ass to roll out. I will probably not make pasta again until I have a pasta roller, or the attachment for my stand mixer. It took me for-ev-eeeeer. I wouldn’t use the scraps more than once, or the dough will get too tough. I used a medium sized round biscuit cutter to make my circles, and used a tablespoon sized scoop of filling.
About that filling… I diced, and then steamed my potatoes with the skins on. I’ll probably skin them next time! I used low sodium, thick cut bacon and fried it on the stove top (I used the leftover for Easter breakfast)…
The original recipe came from AllRecipes. I doubled the dough from the original, AND followed a suggestion in the comments and decreased the amount of filling.
Because I wasn’t sure how long these would take to make, I made them the Saturday before Easter. Lucky… because it took me forever! I froze one half right away, and put the second half in the fridge. I thought they’d be ok overnight (I stacked them between layers of parchment paper)… but didn’t think about the ones touching each other in each layer! Ooops! A bunch of them stuck together. I basically peeled them apart and patched the holes, then boiled them. With a little salt and pepper after boiling they came out pretty good!
I’m not sure how they compare to Grandma’s, but Hubs gave them the thumbs up. Now I just have to figure out how to cook the frozen ones…
 
Homemade Shake N Bake, week 14
I used this Shake N Bake on chicken tenders and some zucchini that I cut into “fries”. I adapted it from the Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers by How Sweet It Is (the ones I made week 9). I used half on the chicken, and half on the zucchini.
For the chicken tenders:
In small amounts (1/4-1/2 cup) dip the chicken fingers in a beaten egg, then shake it in the crumbs. Spray each chicken tender with cooking spray (Pam), then bake at 450 degrees F for 12 minutes on a wire rack (which is on a cookie sheet), flip, then spray with more Pam and bake for 12 more minutes! Spraying the chicken tenders with Pam and baking them on the wire rack will help make the tenders crispy.
For the zucchini fries:
Slice 2 zucchini into slivers, then dip the slivers into a beaten egg, and then into the Shake N Bake. Again use small amounts at a time, because the Panko absorbs moisture REALLY quick, and you’ll end up with clumpy (unuseable) Shake N Bake if you use too much! Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for 10 more! I got the idea for these from Our Best Bites. Mine came out a little squishy… I’m not sure if I cooked them too long, or not long enough…
 
Quick Dinner Rolls, week 15
Guess what!? With the help of these delish (and EASY) rolls I may have finished conquering my fear of yeast! I was a little skeptical when Dorothy at Crazy For Crust posted these, and said they’d take less than 45 minutes… But it turns out I had no reason to be! I actually managed to get them done in that time! Woot! You should check out her post for a few helpful hints and better pictures!
I don’t really have much to say about these… that’s how easy it was. I did notice one thing that kind of threw me off for a minute… by the time I got the dough portioned into 12 pieces I noticed some of the pieces were warm. I don’t know if that’s normal. Really… is it? Or maybe it was just my imagination. I don’t know. It probably took me close to 5 minutes to portion them, but that’s because I have an obsession with making everything as close to the same size as humanly possible.
The only thing these rolls are missing is some cinnamon/honey butter… which I plan to whip up. Right now.
 
Stuffed Shells, week 16
I literally have (almost) nothing to say about these. They’re super easy, and relatively quick. Not exactly “healthy” or “low calorie” but def yummy. I adapted the recipe from Cravings Of A Lunatic (which is one of my favorite foodie blogs), but really I just cut it in half and used measurements! My shells didn’t soften up quite enough in the oven, so I’ll probably cook them for a minute or 2 longer next time. Other than that… perfect.
 
That wraps up My New 2 Me Cooking Challenge for April!
Happy Cooking!
-Hey Waitress!!
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