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The Mushroom Chronicles, Part One: Mushroom Memories

My original artwork, circa 1981

As a child, I was repulsed by the idea of eating fungal growth.  In fact, if my mom put mushrooms anywhere near the dinner table, I would declare in an ominous tone, “There’s a fungus among us,” and stare at them suspiciously as though their mere presence were a death sentence.  At some point I had been warned not to pick and eat unidentified wild mushrooms/toadstools, which instilled a bit of phobia in me.  I saw mushrooms as evil and poisonous, and I was not about to put my life in danger to taste those unattractive beige stems and pieces that came from a tiny can.

My disdain for mushrooms manifested itself not only in the avoidance of consuming them, but also in eliminating those that grew in the grass up north at our cabin.  There was the low-sitting grey variety that would produce a puff of smoke-like spores when stepped on, and the larger white ones that ones that closely resembled golf balls.  In an attempt to rid the yard of the insidious fungus, my sister and I started a little business called Gherkin and Sibling Mushroom Mutilators.  Our highly original motto was, “Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick.” I was about ten or eleven years old, and she was three years my junior.  I had nicknamed her Gherkin for reasons that I no longer remember.  Or maybe I was the Gherkin?  In any case, one of us was the Gherkin, the other was the Sibling, and we used large sticks to whack the hell out of all the mushrooms we could find.  We would then expect payment from our parents for providing this crucial service.  This was one of the many failed money-making ventures of our youth.

Over the years, I got past my dislike for mushrooms, and began to develop an open mind about them.  Didn’t the Smurfs live in mushrooms?  Perhaps that had something to do with my change in attitude.  Anyway, fast forward to about five years ago, when my husband and I were in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.  I had progressed to not picking mushrooms off of pizza, and even indulged in the occasional mushroom Swiss burger or portabello sandwich.  We were at a tourist destination that happened to grow its own oyster mushrooms, and so we ordered a plate to sample.  To this day, I still can taste the buttery, garlicky smoothness of what is possibly the most pleasantly memorable snack I have ever had.

Lately, we have been noticing Grow Your Own Mushrooms kits popping up at home shows and farmers’ markets.  Intrigued that they are supposed to produce ‘shrooms similar in taste to oyster mushrooms, we decided to purchase one and give it a try.  Stay tuned for our fungal adventures…

Caramel Apple Pork Chops with Butternut Squash Risotto

What a gorgeous week we’ve had here in Michigan!  If you are like every other person I’ve talked to, chances are that you’ve taken advantage of this lovely weather by braving the swarming yellow jackets and visiting a cider mill.  Besides feasting on some of those crispy-on-the-outside-warm-and-fluffy-on-the-inside donuts (insert Homer Simpson drool here), you probably also picked a bunch of apples.

Here is an idea for dinner that practically screams “Autumn!” and will allow you to use up some of those apples.  It’s basically a take on the Peter Brady “pork chopppssshh…and appleshaush” that turns the pork chop into a vehicle to be slathered with a buttery sweet and tangy homemade apple topping.  Your house will smell heavenly while this is cooking!  I served it this evening with a side of butternut squash risotto from (gasp!) a box.  Yes, since I was making one dish from scratch already, I went for the easy and tasty accompaniment of boxed Lundberg Butternut Squash Risotto.  I already had two pans going on the stove for the Caramel Apple Pork Chops, so the microwave directions for the risotto were way convenient, and the hint of ginger in this side dish played nicely with the nutmeg and cinnamon in the apple sauce.  I do have some plain arborio rice in the cupboard, so perhaps I will feel ambitious one day and try a risotto recipe with fresh butternut squash.  If I do, I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

I found this recipe for Caramel Apple Pork Chops online a couple of years ago and now look forward to making it every fall!   Speaking of fall flavors… I think I will now have to pour myself some Witches Brew wine, warm it up, and toss in a cinnamon stick…

CARAMEL APPLE PORK CHOPS: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/caramel-apple-pork-chops/detail.aspx

Here are a few notes:

  • I choose to make the apple sauce first, then let it simmer while cooking the pork chops, rather than the other way around as suggested in the recipe.  I’m sure it would work fine either way.
  • When making the apple sauce, I first saute’ about 1/4 cup of slivered onions in the butter for a couple of minutes before adding the apples and spices.  The onions give the sauce a bit of tang and keep it from being too sweet.
  • Since I am cooking for two people, I only fry up two pork chops, but make the full amount of sauce, so that we can really load up on the deliciousness–so if you are cooking for 4, double the measurements for the sauce if you want lots of it!
  • Use real butter in the sauce.  Yep.  No margarine or olive oil substitutions this time.

Use Those Late Cherry Tomatoes to Make Some Bruschetta

As the chilly fall weather descends upon us, we decided that today was perfect for making “lazy chili”–that is, opening a can of Chili Magic, adding some ground beef and tomatoes, and doctoring it up with peppers and spices to suit our tastes. Not having checked the garden in several days, we were afraid that our tomato season had ended and that we would have to rely on a can of diced tomatoes.  However, covered against the drizzle, Bill managed to pick enough tomatoes and peppers to throw into the mix.

Dieter, our 15-year-old German Shorthair Pointer, is thrilled that we still have some tomatoes hanging in there.  And when you are about a thousand years old in people years, those small joys are to be savored.  Dieter’s arthritis has gotten too bad for him to be able to go for a walk around the neighborhood.  Even if he is feeling particularly spunky, there is a good chance that he will just stop and refuse to move at some point of the walk, forcing us to carry his 55 lb self back home.  Therefore, when he feels like exploring, we’ve taken to allowing him to wander around in the part of the backyard that is usually off-limits to the dogs:  that mysterious area beyond the picket fence where the garden grows.

When he is back there, he can follow the scent of the bunnies and squirrels that are frequent visitors, mark his territory by the fence that separates us from the neighbor’s two dogs, and best of all…get up close and personal with THE MAGIC PLANTS. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, whenever we are in the garden he stands by the picket fence, drooling and waiting for us to pitch him some of his favorite–cherry tomatoes. Due to this, we now seem to have a baby cherry tomato plant growing from a crack in the patio where those tomatoes land and break open.

When Dieter encounters the wonder of the tomato plants himself, I have to watch him closely or he will eat himself sick, greedily pulling tomatoes off of the vine or devouring half-eaten ones that have been discarded on the ground by local critters.  Plus, tomatoes are members of the nightshade family, and dogs should not eat the leaves, stems or green tomatoes. So, I am careful about what goes into his mouth and down his gullet. But, oh, how feisty he gets! Tomatoes are to Dieters like catnip is to cats.  Like crack. So, I let him indulge his obsession for a bit before either gently guiding him away from the plants–or the more likely scenario–giving him an “airplane ride” back to the other side of the picket fence.

If you still have cherry tomatoes ripening in your garden, or even if you have to pick some up at the store, I’d like to suggest using some in this yummy bruschetta (broos-ket-a).  Unlike Dieter, I am not the world’s biggest cherry tomato fan, but I really love them on this.  It is a perfect appetizer or accompaniment to a hearty Italian meal, or served with a bowl of steamy soup for lunch on one of these brisk fall days.  Dieter dog, this one’s for you!

LIGHTLY COOKED CHERRY TOMATO AND RICOTTA BRUSCHETTA: http://www.herbivoracious.com/2011/08/lightly-cooked-cherry-tomato-and-ricotta-bruschetta-recipe.html

Salsa Chicken is a Simple Choice

It is frustrating at times to be a passive-aggressive indecisive person living with an equally passive-aggressive indecisive person.  Figuring out what to have for dinner often goes something like this:

Bill:  I’m starving.

Me:  Yep.  It’s getting to be about dinner time.

Bill:  It is.  Oh my God.  I’m starving.

Me:  Did we thaw any meat?

Bill:  What kind of meat do we have?

Me:  I’m guessing that’s a “no,” so we’re going to have to go out to eat or pick something up.

Bill:  OK.

Me:  What are you hungry for?

Bill:  (Playing Scrabble on smart phone) I don’t know.  What do you feel like?

Me:  I’m not the one who’s starving.

(Bill becomes re-absorbed in Scrabble and I go off to feed the dogs, who have blissfully eaten the exact same thing for dinner every night of their lives).

Bill:  (20 minutes later) So, what are we going to do for dinner?  I’m starving.

For a while, we thought we had this dilemma solved by inventing the ABC Restaurant Run game.  Starting with the letter A, each time we went out to eat, we would choose a restaurant beginning with the next letter of the alphabet.  Once we hit Z, I made up little pieces of paper with names of restaurants on them, and we would randomly draw one when we couldn’t make a decision.  I think I need to find those papers again…

Why is it so difficult for us to figure out where to get a simple meal?  Because we are JINXED, that’s why.  You see, far too often, when we have a hankering for a certain restaurant and actually make a hard and fast decision, we get thwarted.  To prove this point, within the past couple of weeks, here are some scenarios that we have encountered upon driving to our destination:

Chosen eatery:  Colombo Italia.  We decided to check out this restaurant in downtown Mt. Clemens that we had never tried.  It was pitch black inside–creepy even, with no sign of being inhabited anymore…except maybe by Freddy Krueger.  Which is entirely plausible, knowing what the basements of those old buildings are like.

Chosen eatery:  Firehouse Lounge (on Harper).  We got close and noticed that there were no cars in the parking lot, and there were no lights on.  There was a note on the door, but we didn’t even turn into the parking lot to read it.

Chosen eatery:  Quiznos.  Closed at that location. Forever.

Chosen eatery:  Zack’s Hot Dogs. I was craving a Rachel Dog.  Sadly, they no longer have dinner hours at that location.  Only lunch.

Chosen eatery:  Maya’s Deli.  This little place in downtown Mt. Clemens has some spectacular sandwiches!  Only, apparently, they are not open on the weekends.  So we decided just to get some tacos from Taco Bell.  Simple enough, right? I shit you not, our local Taco Bell, which we pass several times a week, has suddenly been reduced to a pile of rubble.  A pile of rubble! Because it knew we were coming.

This is why I am thankful for easy recipes, such as Salsa Chicken, that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes–even using oven ready tenders if we haven’t thawed anything–thus avoiding the drama of choosing a restaurant that will ultimately be unavailable.   For example, last week, after returning home from a party where we had just nibbled on appetizers, Bill uttered his famous words, “I’m starving.”  I yanked a package of breaded chicken tenders from the freezer, poured some salsa on them, topped them with cheese, and threw the whole thing in the oven.  When it came out, we garnished it with jalapenos and sour cream–and it was the perfect stomach filling, liquor absorbing, post-cocktail dinner.

Salsa Chicken has many variations.  For the meat, you can use boneless chicken breasts, tenders, breaded tenders or just about any other poultry parts that you know how to cook in an oven.  The salsa can be from a jar, the deli department, or homemade–hot, medium or mild.   Cheese?  You know me with cheese…the more, the better!

Here is a link to the base recipe for SALSA CHICKEN that we’ve use for several years now:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/salsa-chicken/detail.aspx

More about the salsa: In the summertime Bill and I make two different kinds, using a base recipe, but throwing in whatever kinds of tomatoes and peppers happen to be ripe in the garden.  The first salsa is good with chips and with the chicken, but because of the beans and corn it can also be eaten as a stand-alone side dish.  The second salsa is a nice fresh pico de gallo.  We adjust the heat by how many jalapeno seeds and membranes that we leave in.   I would give credit to the creator, but I’ve had that one in my recipe book for a while, and did not print the source.

Cilantro, Black Bean and Corn Salsa

CILANTRO, BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALSA

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/heathers-cilantro-black-bean-and-corn-salsa/detail.aspx

Fresh and Chunky Salsa

FRESH AND CHUNKY SALSA

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 hot chile peppers, Serrano or Jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 1/2 -2 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

1.   Boil enough water to cover tomatoes.  Dunk them in for a minute, take them out and plunge in cold water. Peel, seed and chop.

2.  Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups of boiling water over them, then let drain thoroughly.  Discard water. Cool.

3.  Combine onion and garlic with chopped tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

4.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours to blend flavors.  Makes about 2 cups of salsa.

Click FRESH AND CHUNKY SALSA for a printable PDF of this recipe.

Broccoli and Cheese: A Favorite Combo

As a prelude to today’s recipes, I thought I’d haul out a little bit of fiction that’s been hiding on a CD of my old writing from 2004:

A Detective’s Tale

“Lemme tell you a little story about a dame named Madame Gruyere.  Brianne Gruyere to be exact.  She’s known as Brie to her friends, although I doubt she’d consider me a friend.  She was the main suspect in a case I was working on a couple of months ago.  I was investigating a burglary at the Sargento Cafe.  Made me real upset, cuz it’s my favorite pizza joint.  Anyway, the owners, they claimed a masked lady with a French accent was the perpetrator, so I hauled in one of their regular customers, this Madame Gruyere, for questioning.

I get her into the interrogation room, and give her the once-over. She’s the kind of broad who probably used to be a knockout: long legs, creamy skin, but she’s not aging all that great. She has stringy over-processed yellow hair, and her orange polyester dress is straight out of the 70’s —really cheesy.  I suppose not everyone’s born with good taste.  But there’s something about her–her eyes, I guess–that kinda makes me melt. 

I got a job to do, though, so I try to get her to talk.  Turns out she’s a smart-aleck with a sharp wit, and a grating laugh that makes my blood curdle. She mocks me for being American, and says she doesn’t understand our culture. Her sarcasm is so thick you can slice it with a knife. Finally, she opens up a bit and tells me she’s been feeling blue lately, ever since her boyfriend, Jack, moved across the country to Monterey.  She’s been flying between Philadelphia and there whenever she can afford it, and has also been hanging out at the cottage of a friend in Pinconning, Michigan.  She then proceeds to lay out a pathetic alibi for the night in question, and right away I can tell her story is full of holes.  I mean, it really stinks.

So after I’ve milked everything I can out of her, I do some digging into her affairs.  She’s got a clean record, although she seems to be pretty cozy with the Romano crime family.  And she used to have a rep as quite a whiz-kid.  That genius IQ means this lady should have some smarts —at least enough to make up a stronger alibi.  I manage to convince a judge to give me a warrant to search her house, but that turns out to be a bust.  Nothing suspicious there, except some statements from a Swiss bank account, which I skim though.  Nothing.  She’s already shredded any evidence of the crime, I’m sure of it.

So now it’s part of my cold case files.  And unless I can think of another way to approach this crime, it’ll remain unsolved. Who would want to steal a hundred pounds of mozzarella anyway?”

————————————————

As you may have noticed, there is a bit of a theme running through the entire story.  Can you find all 31 cheese-related references?  Some of them are admittedly a bit of a reach, but they are in there nonetheless.

Oh, how I adore cheese!  When I was little, my mom would drench most vegetables in Cheese Whiz to get my sister and me to eat them.  Even our Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house–to this day–features a broccoli, rice and Cheese Whiz casserole.  As I have gotten older, I still love to enhance my veggies with cheese, although I no longer rely on pasteurized processed cheese-food products.  Rather, I prefer to make a sauce with the real stuff, preferably a nice sharp cheddar. The recipe that’s linked below is a cinch to whip up, and can be poured over broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower…you name it.

Broccoli with Onion Cheese Sauce

BROCCOLI WITH ONION CHEESE SAUCE:  http://www.food.com/recipe/broccoli-with-onion-cheese-sauce-133517

Also, I’ve included a link to a recipe for a Chicken and Broccoli Braid, which I tried out last week in my attempt to use some of the vast amounts of broccoli that I’ve picked from the garden lately.  I cut the recipe in half, since I was just cooking for two and used walnuts for crunch instead of almonds, because that’s what I happened to have.  I also did not have dill, so I used celery salt, as suggested by one reviewer.  Purple peppers from the garden stood in for the red peppers.   Truthfully, the whole thing looked like a toddler’s art project gone wrong before I put it in the oven, because the crescent roll dough was not braiding prettily as I had hoped.  It stretched and broke a lot, so I ended up just pinching it together haphazardly.  But when I took it out of the oven, it was actually appealing to look at–a nice golden brown with a bit of shine from the egg white.  And best of all, it was wonderfully cheesy!

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI BRAID:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-and-broccoli-braid/detail.aspx

30 Minute Chicken Parmesan with Speedy Homemade Tomato Sauce

Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce

My usual energy level is only slightly greater than your average thee-toed sloth. This is one of the major reasons that, on this eve of the first day of school, I am relieved not to be teaching first grade again.  Having to deal with the thousands of issues that arise in a class of 29 feisty six year olds every day, all day, is the most mentally, physically and emotionally draining job I have ever done.  And I had to teach them on top of it all!  Putting in twelve hours each day in my unrealistic desire to do everything perfectly resulted in my gradual zombification.  I believe that the only thing that I was able to utter in a family or social setting for nine months was, “Uhhhhhh.”  And that happened only when the chronic laryngitis subsided long enough for my damaged vocal cords to produce sound.

To say that the munchkins sapped my energy is an understatement.  Since I had very little to start with,  and conjured incredible amounts for work, I was running on negative when it came to my personal life.  It took me several weeks of summer to begin to recuperate and rise out of my stupor.   Today, as we get ready to start another school year, I had what was–for me–an impressive burst of energy.  My first one in a year.  Here is what I proudly accomplished, in addition to my regular daily routine:

  • Did yoga in my living room
  • Weeded all the vegetable and flower beds
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Made dinner–the whole darn thing–not just a side dish
  • Got a haircut
  • Wrote a blog

The garden beds were in terrible shape.  We have been up north a lot lately, and so our maintenance of them has been less than impressive.  The cucumber vine had withered away to nothing, squash beetles were sucking the last bit of dignity out of the zucchini plants, and the corn is busy turning into the dried-out front porch decorations that they will become next month.   Also, weird shit has started to grow.  Mysterious flowers and plants have sprung up where they have never existed before.  I’m guessing the seeds were dropped via birds, kind of like how we ended up with a tomato plant growing in the dogs’ gravel potty area–unintentionally sown by Dieter, my tomato eating dog.

If you are talented in the identification of plants, could you please help me figure out what these are?

Hibiscus?

The one shown above is growing up under my June-blooming rose-bush.  I think it’s a hibiscus, right?  I honestly thought these only grew in Hawaii.

Mystery flower: Morning glory?

I found this purple one vining its way around my strawberry patch.  Is it a type of morning glory?

Pseudo Corn

I’ve posted a picture of this one before.  It is growing in the gateway to the alley behind the house.  I have been thinking it is corn, but although the stalk and leaves look similar, it is not producing ears, and the tassel on top resembles a squirrel tail.   I am calling it Pseudo Corn until I can figure out what the heck it is.

After I got done gardening and puzzling over mystery plants, I went inside to make dinner.  I mis-timed my yardwork, however, and due to an impending hair appointment, I did not have the 48 minutes of prep time I would need to make what I had originally planned.  So, taking advantage of my continued and unusual energy burst, I decided to improvise:  Chicken Parmesan with Homemade Tomato Sauce and corn on the cob.  And by George, I was going to make it all in 30 minutes (eat your heart out Rachael Ray).  It is this type of overly ambitious thinking that wore me out last year, but tonight it worked for me.

The corn was from a roadside stand, since ours has been done for a while. Here’s my impromptu recipe–portions made 2 servings:

CHICKEN PARMESAN WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • Frozen breaded chicken breast tenders or patties
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 – 6 tomatoes
  • ketchup
  • dried basil and oregano (or Italian seasoning)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese, or blend of Italian cheeses

Directions:

  • Set a pot of water to boil (Cover it to make it boil faster.  I used the same pot and water to cook my corn).
  • Mince garlic.
  • When water boils, drop tomatoes into it for about a minute.  Take them out and put them in a dish of cold water.  Peel off skins, core and run fingers inside of them to expel all the seeds.
  • Bake chicken in oven according to package directions.
  • Roughly chop tomatoes.
  • In a small/medium saucepan, begin to cook garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, a squirt of ketchup, and a pinch of the dry spices to the garlic and cook over medium heat until bubbly.
  • Take pan off of stove and dump sauce into blender.  Puree for about 8 seconds.
  • When chicken has cooked, pour sauce over it, top with shredded cheese and put under the broiler until cheese melts.

This was so simple and tasty!  I may make more of this sauce and can it for the winter. Click CHICKEN PARMESAN WITH HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE for a printable PDF of this recipe.  I posted the directions for my homemade meat sauce earlier, but this is much quicker, with fewer ingredients.

Whew!  Now I only have a few minutes left before bed.  Time to relax and look forward to being a part-time reading support teacher this year.  Oh, and doing educational consulting and sales.  And some volunteering.  And taking classes toward a second master’s degree.   Hope I have enough energy for all that…

Festivals and Zesty Pierogi Galore

Pierogi with Warm and Zesty Slaw

You’ve gotta love it when there are multiple local opportunities to patronize beer tents, sample great food, listen to music, and experience the horror of what some people actually choose to wear out in public.  Yes, the Labor Day weekend festivals have arrived here in Michigan!  The people-watching will undoubtedly be most entertaining early in the weekend, with the steamy temperatures causing sweaty masses of inappropriately clothed folks to take to the streets in search of entertainment.

In our area, we have several events within a reasonable driving distance from our house to choose from, including:

  • Arts, Beats and Eats
  • The Michigan Renaissance Festival
  • The Michigan Peach Festival
  • The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival

Sadly, the Michigan State Fair–a tradition since 1849–no longer exists, having fallen victim to state budget cuts.  So, we will not be able experience the miracle of a piglet being born (or the joy of gazing upon the Butter Cow) and must choose an alternate venue in which to battle aggressive bees and guzzle warm beer/overpriced freshly squeezed lemonade.  This year, Bill and I are going to hang out at  Arts, Beats and Eats.  With over 70 food vendors to choose from, I hope that I am not paralyzed by indecision as to what to eat.  At the other events, the choice is simple:

  • The former State Fair:  Funnel cakes, elephant ears, Pepto Bismol
  • The Michigan Renaissance Festival:  A gigantic turkey/pterodactyl leg
  • The Michigan Peach Festival:  Duh, peach things
  • The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival:  Pierogi

I am partial toward pierogi booths at festivals, if I can find one.  To me, a nice little cardboard boat filled with beer-absorbing potato and cheese filled dumplings is a perfect street snack.  I had some yummy ones at the American Polish Festival in Sterling Heights earlier this summer, accompanied by a unique taste treat, “Polish Nachos.”  However, with so many other choices available at Arts, Beats, and Eats, I will try my best to spend my food tickets on something new and exciting this evening and maybe find an alternate favorite that will not cause too much GI upset.

In honor of my beloved festival pierogi, I shall now struggle into some too-small cutoffs, don a nasty tube top and a cougar cowboy hat, and share with you a magnificent recipe that we make when we harvest a head of cabbage from our garden and the tomatoes are bountiful.  It is called simply, “Pierogies and Cabbage,” but that does not do proper justice to the tangy and slighty sweet deliciousness of the warm slaw that is created here.  I would like to re-dub it “Pierogi with Warm and Zesty Slaw.” Bill made this a couple of weeks ago, and went all out to maximize the taste of both the pierogi and the slaw–he browned the pierogi in real butter, and cooked the cabbage mixture in bacon fat (as called for in the recipe).  By all means, feel free to substitute olive oil if your arteries are clogging just reading that.  We do not cook with full fat too often anymore, but made an exception here–and it was spectacular!  If you are going to be in Hamtramck this weekend, bring home some fresh pierogi and give this dish a try.

NOTES:

  • We increased the amount of white wine vinegar from 2 teaspoons to 3 to give it a bit more zip.
  • Pierogi is actually the plural of the Polish word pierog (I am missing an accent mark over the o, but do not know how to make one in this program). Saying “pierogies” is mis-pluralizing.  Like saying “feets” or “breasteses.”  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=breasteses
  • What is a cougar cowboy hat?  My definition is: a narrow, woven cowboy hat, curled up on the sides, occasionally seen on cute 19 year olds, but most often sported by cougars with hair extensions and George Hamilton tans who are sipping yard long margaritas with collagen induced trout lips.  Natural habitats include fairs, festivals, concerts and Muscamoot Bay.
  • Never fear: I do not actually own a nasty tube top or cougar cowboy hat, retired my butt-cheek length cut-offs in the same decade as my cheerleading uniform, and do plan to check my outfit from all angles in a mirror before heading out this evening.

PIEROGI WITH WARM AND ZESTY SLAW: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pierogies-and-cabbage/detail.aspx