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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, December 31, 2007


Pierogies are the Eastern European stuffed dumplings similar to Italian ravioli, Jewish kreplach, Ukrainian varenyky, Russian pelmeni and Chinese pot stickers. Usually crescent in shape, pierogies offer a variety of flavors to savor, including potato and onion, various cheeses, sauerkraut, sauted cabbage, ground meat or fruit. Most people are familiar with the crispy, deep-fried version found at local fairs and carnivals, but traditionally these pockets are cooked in boiling water. Pierogies were considered "poor man's food" derived from basic farm staples of flour, eggs, potatoes and onions. Like many comfort foods, pierogies became an integral part of holiday celebrations. Although officially claimed by Poland in the 13th century,meatless pierogies are served by many cultures at Lenten meals and on Christmas Eve.

2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, or plain yogurt, or buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
butter and onions for sauteing

To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8" thick. Cut circles of dough (2" for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2" for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork. If you are having a hard time getting the edges to stick together, you may have too much flour in the dough. Add a little water to help get a good seal. Boil the perogies a few at a time in a large pot of salted water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry. Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add the cooked pierogies and heat or fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream If you don't want to cook all of the pierogies right away, you can refrigerate them (uncooked) for several days or freeze them for up to several months. Freeze in 1 layer on a tray until firm, about 2 hours, then transfer to sealable plastic bags.


1 pint sour cream
5 cups flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons olive oil

For the dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, flour, butter, 2 whole eggs, egg yolk, 2 teaspoons salt and olive oil. Knead the mixture into a soft dough. Divide the dough in half and cover for 10 minutes. On a floured surface, roll each half of the dough into a thin circle, 1/4-inch thick. Cut the dough using a 3-inch circle cutter.


1/2 pound ground beef
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound soft farmers cheese
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 whole egg
To finish:
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup sour cream
Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a saute pan, render the ground beef for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper-lined plate. In a mixing bowl, combine the cheese, ground beef, shallots, garlic, green onion and egg. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough and fold over. Press and seal into half-moon shapes. Use a little water to seal the pierogi's. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pierogi for 8 minutes, or until they float. Remove from the water and drain. In a saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Sear the pierogi for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan. The pierogi will need to be sauteed in batches. Arrange the pierogi's on a platter. Garnish with parsley and serve with sour cream.

3 medium or 2 very large waxy potatoes (baking)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 Tbsp light olive oil (or schmaltz)
1 large onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 small leek, finely minced (optional)
2 Tbsp Parmesan or white cheddar cheese, grated

Cook the potatoes in their jackets, in a covered heavy pot with barely enough water to cover them in slightly salted water (add about 2 tsp salt to the water). Simmer over low heat until potatoes are fork tender, then remove from heat. (If you can judge when they'll be done, remove from heat 10 minutes in advance and just allow to steam in the pot with the heat turned off). Allow the potatoes to cool sufficiently to handle, and rub off the skins with a clean towel. Drain the pot you cooked them in, and return the potatoes to the pot and shake them around a bit to dry them. Put the potatoes through a sieve or a potato ricer if you have one, otherwise, use a masher. Set them aside. In a skillet, combine butter and oil or schmaltz over medium heat to melt. Saute the garlic, onion, and leek, if you have one, for a few minutes until they begin to take on a translucent color. Stir in the cabbage, turn the heat to high for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, reduce heat and allow cabbage to begin to brown, 6-8 minutes. Then add the potatoes, cheese, and season to taste. Remove from heat and go on to work with the dough again as the filling cools.

1 cup creamed cottage cheese
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. raisins
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Cream cheese with melted butter. Add beaten egg, sugar, raisins, and cinnamon. Serve the filled, cooked Pierogi, with melted butter and sour cream.

1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup ground beef, cooked
4 Tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper

Fry onion in butter until tender. Add mushrooms and meat. Stir in sour cream and seasonings. Blend well and cool before filling Pierogi.

1 cup sauerkraut
1 sm. onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. sour cream

Cook sauerkraut with 2 cups water for 15 minutes; drain, cool, and chop finely. In a medium saucepan saute onion in butter. Add mushrooms; stir in chopped sauerkraut, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add sour cream; mix well and cool before using for Pierogi filling.

6 med. size potatoes
1/2 lb. Longhorn cheese
Salt to taste
Onion powder to taste
Dash of black pepper

Peel potatoes and boil in salted water. Drain and mash. Add grated cheese and spices. Mix well and let it cool.

2 sm. or 1 lg. head cabbage
2 Tbsp. cooked dried mushrooms
Salt and pepper

Topping of drawn butter with bread crumbs or fried minced onions
Cook cabbage, soak and cook mushrooms and chop. Combine with cabbage, season, and use to fill pockets. Cook as directed and serve with drawn butter and bread crumbs or onions. Serves 6 to 7.

1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
Salt, pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter. Add mushrooms and season. Saute covered 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat and add egg yolks, stirring well. Cool before filling pierogi. Pour melted butter over pierogi and serve.

2 cups blueberries or pitted cherries
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
Cinnamon or Cardamom
1 tsp lemon juice
bread crumbs

Combine fruit water and sugar in saucepan. bring to boil. Simmer until fruit is tender and water is almost gone. Remove from heat. Mash slightly with potato masher. Add cinnamon and lemon juice. Cook and stir over low heat until thick. Stir in enough bread crumbs to further thicken. Put a dollop in pierogi. Fry in butter until crisp. Sprinkle a little sugar on top and serve with creme fraiche.

New Year's Resolutions

Here are some of my New Year's Resolutions:

1) Do at least one indepth, intense Bible study. I try to do this every year. I hope more than one but at least one!

2) Find something to volunteer for. I really want to teach the Bible but whatever God leads me to do. Last year I was able to volunteer at the Humane Society for awhile and I liked that too. But it's a new year and I want to find a place doing something that I can do for others.

3) Use our gazebo more this Spring and Fall.

4) Find a coping mechanism for crowds. I'm getting worse about not being able to handle crowds, especially where I have to interact. Going to church, family get togethers, etc. I almost always end up with physical attacks such as sugar drops, headaches, Fibromyalgia attacks, etc. And I think it's subconsciously my nerves reacting to being in a crowd. And the more these things happen, the more I dread crowds. But I don't know how to change subconscious physical reactions. I'm going to be praying about this.

5) Read at least 52 books.

7) Publish my family research.

8) Cook pierrogies and pasties.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Modern Electric Kitchen

Notice this modern electric kitchen. My mother had a refrigerator like this one.

Faith and Caleb

Faith And Caleb

Caleb was one of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the Promised Land to spy on the land and see how things stood. In Joshua 13-14, all 12 spies came back to tell the people that the land was truly wonderful. They even brought back some samples of the tremendous produce of the land like the huge bunch of grapes. But, 10 of the spies said that the inhabitants of the land were giants and it was too dangerous to try and overcome them. But Joshua and Caleb tried to encourage the Hebrews and told them that even though it was true, that God could help them and they would be able to take the Promised Land. Unfortunately, the Jewish people only listened to the discouraging word of the 10 spies and not to the faith-filled words of the 2 spies, Joshua and Caleb. Because of this the people were punished by wandering in the Wilderness for 40 years until all the original adults who had left Egypt had died, except for Joshua and Caleb. Joshua became the leader after Moses died and led them into the Promised Land to take it. Caleb helped him and recieved Hebron as his inheritance. Both were greatly blessed by God.

Where Did Caleb Come From?

"By marriage and submission to the bond of Jehovah's covenant with Israel [Caleb] became a true Israelite by adoption; a specimen of God's mercy to the Gentiles even in Old Testament times, and a pledge of the opening of the door of faith to them widely in the New Testament. So Jethro, Rahab, Ruth, Naaman. Kenaz his ancestor was a duke of Edom (Genesis 36:11; Genesis 36:15). The names Shobal and Manahath are other Edomite (Genesis 36:20-23) names which appear among the sons of the Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2:50; 1 Chronicles 2:52.

"Jephunneh, his father's name, is probably the same as Pinon (1 Chronicles 1:52; Genesis 36:41). Termanites too are among the children of Ashur, Hezron's son (1 Chronicles 4:6). This consideration helps to account for the large numbers of Israelites at the Exodus; proselytes and marriage connections from other races swelled the number of Israelites of pure blood. Hebron was afterward a priests' city, belonging to the Kohathites; but the territory about which continued in Caleb's family (from which sprang the churl Nabal, for faith does not always come by blood descent) at the time of David (1 Samuel 25:3; 1 Samuel 30:14)." -Faussett's Bible Dictionary

What Happened to Caleb?

Numbers 14:22-24 Because all those men who have seen My glory and My miracles which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted Me now these ten times, and have not listened to My voice, surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed Me fully, I will bring him into the land into which he went. And his seed shall possess it.

Deuteronomy 1:35-38 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I swore to give to your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him I will give the land that he has trodden upon, and to his sons, because he has fully followed Jehovah. Also Jehovah was angry with me for your sakes, saying, You also shall not go in there. Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Make him strong, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

Joshua 14:6-15 Then the sons of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, said to him, You know the thing that Jehovah said to Moses the man of God in Kadesh-barnea regarding you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of Jehovah sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land. And I brought him word again as it was in my heart. But my brothers that went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I fully followed Jehovah my God. And Moses swore on that day, saying, Surely the land on which your feet have trodden shall be your inheritance, and your sons' forever because you have fully followed Jehovah my God. And now, behold, Jehovah has kept me alive these forty-five years as He said, even since Jehovah spoke this word to Moses, while Israel wandered in the wilderness. And now, lo, I am eighty-five years old today. As yet I am as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me. As my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out and to come in. And now give me this mountain of which Jehovah spoke on that day. For you heard in that day how the giants were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. If Jehovah will be with me, then I will be able to drive them out, as Jehovah said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. And Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite, to this day, because he fully followed Jehovah, the God of Israel. And the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba; that one was a great man among the giants. And the land had rest from war.

Caleb became the leader of the Israelites after Joshua died. Judges 1.

Where is Hebron?

Hebron is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. Located 20 miles south-southwest of Jerusalem, it is nestled in the southern Judean Hills in the Israeli occupied West Bank (Palestine). Its high elevation (3,050 feet above sea level) gives it a temperate climate; it is also blessed with an abundant water supply from wells and springs. Its fertile soil supports the production of apples, plums, figs, nut trees, grapes, melons, and various vegetables. In ancient times, the Ridge Road ("Patriarch's Highway") connected Hebron with Jerusalem and Shechem to the north and Beersheba to the southwest (now Route 60). It was here that Abraham buried Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah. This cave later became Abraham's burial place and still later, that of his descendants Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah.

Excavations have proven that Hebron's history can be traced back before 3500 BC. Abraham's wife Sarah died at Kiriath Arba ("city of Arba"), the early name of Hebron, and he went there to morn over her. At the time, there was considerable unrest in the region. Living in the area were Amorites as well as at least one clan of Hittites. From Ephron, a Hittite chieftain, Abraham purchased a cave. Because Abraham took possession of the cave of Machpelah (Hebrew "double" or "portion") through a legal transaction rather than conquest, Hebron's Jewish settlers hold that the city is the perpetual property of the Jewish people by right of descendent from Abraham through his son Isaac. The same claim is made by Arabs who hold they are descendants of Abraham's other son, Ishmael. Joshua fought against a confederation of five Amorite kings, including "Hoham king of Hebron." (Joshua 10:3-14) The battle took place in the Valley of Aijalon between Jaffa and Bethel and miraculously "the sun stood still," prolonging the day to secure the Israelite victory. After Hebron was taken Caleb asked for it. In Joshua 20: 7 Hebron was named a city of refuge. Later still (about 1100 BC), the legendary hero Samson, the last of the major judges over Israel, tore out the city gates of Gaza and carried them "to the top of the hill that faces Hebron." (Judges 16:3) David lived in Hebron for 7 yrs and 6 months after King Saul died. David's rebelling son, Absalom, gathered his forces in Hebron and launched his revolt. After the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 587 BC and carried off the Jews into exile, Idumeans (Edomites) from the Negev settled in Hebron. They held the town until Judas Maccabeus attacked and destroyed the city in 163 BC. In the 1st-century BC - Herod the Great (ruled 37-4 BC) rebuilt the town, sealed the Cave of Machpelah and erected the superb wall which still surrounds it.

Caleb's Faith

Our Pastor did a sermon on Caleb's faith today. He pointed out that God had given Caleb a picture of His plans for the Israelites and for Caleb himself. He allowed Caleb to participate in the promise for the Israelites, given to Abraham and re-confirmed to succeeding generations and He gave Caleb a promise too (to give him Hebron). And Caleb believed God and held on to that faith picture, those faith promises for 45 years until he was 85 years old and saw the Israelites move into and take over the Promised Land and he was given Hebron. He had faith that God would do what He said He would do and he waited on God to do it.

His faith was not passive but he walked in his faith, he took action based on what God had promised him. He told the Hebrews that they could take the land with God's help, he calmed them down after the bad report by the other spies. He spoke words of faith to them. It wasn't his fault that they didn't listen. Then, he had to go with them in their wanderings for 40 years but he, at 80 yrs old, was a warrior leader when they moved to take the Promised Land. He and his family helped the Israelites defeat the inhabitants of the Promised Land. He helped Joshua to divide up the land between the 12 Tribes. But all was done with God's Will in mind. He knew God made the promise to the Jews and to himself and he knew that he needed to follow after God's Will and participate in it.

Caleb followed God wholeheartedly, with his whole heart. He kept close to his duty, kept God's revealed Will, the faith picture and promise, close to his heart. His noble, brave heart was ready. As a 40 year old spy he had been assigned the area of Hebron to spy out and had seen the Anak (the giants) in the mountains around the city of Hebron. He had seen them himself. And yet, he had still come back encouraging the people to go in a possess the land. Now, 45 years later, he asked for the very land knowing it was the considered invincible due to the Anakim. And, yet, he wanted it so that God could demonstrate His power and inspire the others to go in and take their land. He was ready. He knew he was following God and where God is, is victory.

Despite having wandered with the other Israelites for 40 years in the Wilderness, he did not complain. "Woe is me! I did the right thing and all I got was the hardest place of all to take. Couldn't you have given me the easiest and best? What about all Your promises? I believed for 40 years and you give me the giants to conquer?" No, Caleb was strong and he believed in God and knew that what God gave him was what was best for Caleb. He knew that God had miraculously strengthened him. At 85 years of age he was still well and healthy despite all the perils of the desert and the judgements that had claimed the others. None of the adults that had left Egypt in the Exodus had survived except Joshua and Caleb. And he was not only alive and well but as strong as he was at 40 years old. He knew God's mercy had been supernaturally given to him.

Caleb was all heart and it was God's heart.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Vintage Travel Trailers

Vintage Travel Trailers

I got online tonight and found these beautiful gems. They are so cute, so miniature. I even found some sites of women who travel in caravans in restored campers like these. Of course, I'm not the size lady who could do anything other than step inside (being careful not to bump my head) and look around. Now my friend, Joy, could go in, sit, stand, lay down, turn around...and she's petite! Wow, how did anyone stand it. But, anyway, that is probably why these fascinated me. Sort of like doll houses. And the people who restore these! Wow, what a good job! I love the retro, jet set, Jetson's look of some of these.

The teardrop seems to be fashionable to restore, as are Airstreams.

This is so Jules Verne "Twenty Thousands of Leagues Under The Sea".

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Melinda's First Christmas

Here is Melinda's first Christmas. I was 4 yrs old when Melinda was born so I'm a little less than 4 1/2 here. Elaine is 2 yrs old. See our matching dolls? Melinda is sitting in the 1960's version of the baby seats. She kept that black and white teddy bear until it fell apart.

Lee on Christmas

Lee had a sad Christmas this year. He got a terrible cold on Sunday and has been sick all week. He missed Christmas Eve and Christmas day and we sure missed him too! It's been hard for him to work with this terrible cold. So far he and his Mother have had it, Elaine and Ronnie had it, I had it (although not as bad as everyone else). I hope no one else in the family gets it because it's a bad one.

This picture was taken on a Christmas morning. Lee got his John Deere tractor. Luke got one too on the same Christmas. They loved them and the pedal tractors got a workout between the three kids.

Luke and Jenny

Here is Luke on a Christmas morning with his newe John Deere tractor and wagon. He and Lee loved their John Deere's and they all three participated in pedal tractor pulls until their legs were too long.

For the first time, we had Christmas without Luke and Jenny. Kyle and Jenny had to work and so they celebrated their first Christmas at home in Charleston. Luke joined the Air Force and is in boot camp in Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. They both called and that helped us over the holiday. But it was still sad, especially for Elaine and Ronnie, not to have them home.

Luke called to say it was tough but he was making it. Although he's missing everyone, he said he has no regrets. I hope that's true because I want him to be happy. Anyway, his head has been shorn and he has his fatigues. He said the drill instructors were waiting for the bus and started yelling immediately. Kyle had warned him about that. He did go to the Contemporary Baptist Christmas Eve service and told his Mom he really enjoyed it although he got teary eyed when they sang Christmas carols because he knew his family would be doing the same thing at the Harris family party.

Jenny called. She was covered up with customers on Christmas Eve (she works at the Mall) but she called us after work and we all passed the telephone around and talked to her. Wonder what she got for Christmas?

Here is the first 5 Grandchildren (out of 9) at the Harris family Christmas Eve party. From Left to Right, standing: Evans, Luke, Joshua. From Left to Right, Sitting: Jacob, Jenny.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Birth Of Christ

Merry Christmas!
Let Us Celebrate The Birth Of Our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Carlo Maratta (1625-1713)

Madonna And Child

Antonio Allegri detto il Correggio,

"Madonna in adorazione del Bambino"

Charles Poerson (1609-1677), French
The Nativity With Angels Adoring The Christ Child

Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779)

The Adoration Of The Shepherds

Sandro Botticelli

Madonna And Child With Open Book

Middle panel of a triptych The Adoration of the Magi; c. 1560

Pieter Aertsen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun Homemade Christmas Ornaments

This star ornament is made of the shiny sides of potato chip bags!

This cute little guy is made from the vintage type of clothespins.

These ornaments are made from used CD's!

Ribbon and pearl wrapped silk ball.

A bead necklace for a pretty Christmas ball!

This beautiful Heather Bailey ornament was made from candy wrappers!

Poinsetta made from pipecleaners.

This funny reindeer is made from a painted lightbulb!

This beautifully painted ball is lovely! I have some Christmas balls that were painted by our Aunt Ruth.

These balls are painted styrofoam and then colored headed pins hold down the beads.

A ribbon ornament made to look like ribbon candy.

These elegant balls are made from styrofoam balls and ribbons.

I found these wonderful pipecleaner deers on Martha Stewart's site.

This kicky ornament is made up of wires and beads!

A crocheted bag cinched over this white white satin ball.
Cute crocheted ice skates using paperclips.

These starched crocheted angels are lovely. A friend of mine made some for me one year.

This is easy enough! Just pop some popcorn, remove the metal cap off clear glass balls and pop them down the chute!

These gorgeous knitted ornaments are so cute! The wool felted cherry on top is a really nice finishing detail.

Print a picture on a transparency, cut it down to the right size, roll it up and stick it down into the clear glass ball. Add some fake snow. Such a simple idea and yet so creative!

Find a paper pattern and make these ornaments using old Christmas cards.

These felt ornaments look really nice with the blanket stitch on the edges.

This simple angel is made from a styrofoam egg crate, pipecleaners, wooden bead and some glitter.

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