Simple advice for a better life.






The hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping is over for most of us (many Ukrainians will still celebrate Christmas on January 6th and 7th), so now it’s time to plan the New Year bash.

Since I will not be hosting  New Year  party this year, and not preparing anything exciting, you may click on the highlighted links to my previous posts with many fun party foods.

Also, I pinned a lot of interesting party foods on my Pinterest board, which you are more that welcome to check out, and test them out.

H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R!!!







Stuffed Dumplings - Turkey stuffing 3These dumplings are almost a complete meal in itself, since you have the potatoes, the meat, plus add your favorite gravy, or a savory tomato sauce, and dinner is ready.

My sister shared a bunch of new recipes with me, so I will also share them with you, as soon as I test them out, and include some pictures to show them off.

These dumplings are very tasty, and the leftovers are great reheated in the microwave.

You may serve them with your favorite gravy, sauteed onions in butter, sauteed bread crumbs in butter, or a savory tomato sauce.

I made my own tomato sauce using fresh tomatoes from my garden.

This recipe yields 32 dumplings, slightly larger in size than a golf ball.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 3 cups mashed potatoes (about 10 medium size potatoes)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Wondra flour
  • 2 Tbs. corn starch
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. Canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • 1 lbs. ground meat (I used turkey for this recipe, but chicken, beef or pork may also be used)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 tsp. Sage
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil
  • 2 Tbs. Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions for the stuffing:

  1. Add 1 Tbs. butter to a frying pan, and saute the chopped onions for 2 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic and saute for a minute longer, stirring often.
  3. Add the ground meat and continue to saute, until fully cooked, stirring continuously to break it up.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, parsley and sage.
  5. Remove to a medium bowl, and mix well with 1 egg and bread crumbs, to make stuffing.
  6. Set aside to cool, then form into 32 meatballs, about the size of a walnut.

Directions for the dough:

  1. Peel the potatoes, cut in chunks.
  2. Rinse and place in a pot of cold, salted water.
  3. Bring to boil and cook until done (about 20 minutes).
  4. Drain the water, and add 1 Tbs. butter.
  5. Mash well, until smooth, and not lumpy.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Place the mashed potatoes on a floured work area.
  8. Mix the all-purpose flour with the corn starch and Wondra.
  9. Make a well in the middle of the potatoes, and add the flour mixture.
  10. Add 1 egg, one egg yolk, salt and oil.
  11. Mix it all up, to create a soft and satiny dough.
  12. Let the dough rest 5 minutes, covered with a tea towel.
  13. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into a long rope, about 2 inches in diameter.
  14. Use a sharp knife, and cut the dough rope into 32 slices, about 1/4 inch thick.
  15. Using floured hands, and working on a floured surface, form each slice into a thin circle (less than 1/8 inch thick).
  16. Place one prepared meatball in the middle of the circle and bring edges together to seal, then roll between the palms of your hands to form a ball.
  17. Set aside on a floured surface and repeat the process until all the dough and filling are used up.
  18. Meanwhile, fill a pot with salted water, and bring to boil.
  19. Place several dumplings (no  more than one layer once they float up to the top) into the boiling water, and gently stir with a wooden spoon, or spatula.
  20. Bring to boil again, and once they float to the top, cook for at least 8 minutes.
  21. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of cold water, and leave them in there for few minutes to cool off. Then pour out into a colander, to drip off.
  22. Repeat the cooking process for the remaining dumplings.


Stuffed gnocchi  - with sauteed breadcrumbsStuffed gnocchi  -  with sauteed onions and butter

Stuffed gnocchi  - seved with mushroom sauce

Serve warm with your favorite gravy (mine favorite is mushroom – center picture).  The above serving suggestions also include sautéed bread crumbs in butter, garnished with chopped parsley, or sautéed onions in butter, garnished with chopped dill weed.




While visiting our relatives in PA, we enjoyed this very tasty meal of a French Roast and veggies, prepared in a Crock-pot.

The whole meal was cooking by itself in a Crock-pot, providing lots of time together to catch up on our past family events, while snacking on delicious horse devours.

The main course was preceded by delicious homemade Borscht, as well as tossed salad, completing the meal with a decadent dessert of a Coffee Cream cake.

This recipe yields plenty of food for 4-6 people.



  •  3-5 lbs of beef (Rump Roast, Eye Round, London Broil)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8 oz. baby carrots, whole (I did not have baby carrots on hand, so cut up regular carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery, cut up
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup French Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Beef Broth
  • 2 Tbs. Dry Tapioca



  1. Trim the meat of fat, and rub it all over with salt, pepper and minced garlic.
  2. Brown the meat on all sides, on stove top in a frying pan seasoned with some oil.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Place the potatoes, carrots and onions at the bottom of the slow cooker.
  5. Sprinkle Tapioca over the veggies.
  6. Mix the French salad dressing with beef broth.
  7. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the veggies.
  8. Please the meat over the veggies ( I cut my meat into serving portions)
  9. Pour remaining dressing/beef broth mixture over the meat.
  10. Cover slow cooker.
  11. Cook on High for 4-5 hours.

Best served hot.










Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all who are celebrating this very traditional holiday here in the US.

I always have the pleasure of attending St. Patrick’s Day party, hosted by my daughter and her husband.

If you are still searching for party food ideas, I will contribute with links to my previous posts of  “green” food recipes for this occasion.

You can also check out my Pinterest board for “Party Foods”, for lots of new ideas and recipes.


Perfect Non-alcoholic Green Punch for those who prefer to keep it that way, or for ALL designated drivers.

Not only green, but really filling and delicious, is this Broccoli/Bacon/Cheese salad.  Everyone’s favorite…really!



Green Beans Vinaigrette is another wonderful salad for St. Paddy’s Day.



I like to prepare  a  Corned Beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes meal for my family, around St. Patrick’s Day, just to be a good sport, and support those who are more into it.


You know how the Irish feel about their potatoes…hence these Irish Potato Pancakes.  Sooooo yummy!!

I am always looking for your comments and suggestions of party foods you like to prepare.  Thank you.

Enjoy your party!!

My latest internet activity consists of being totally enveloped in Pinterest.  It is so easy to spend hours perusing through the myriad of pictures on that site, and always finding something new, and exciting.

Each package of won ton wraps contains at least 48 pieces of these paper thin wraps.  One package has enough wraps to make some Potstickers, plus some of these Lasagna cups, and still have some leftover for a possible dessert idea.

I tried storing these wraps the fridge for later use, but after a while they begin to change color to slightly grayish, and start to dry out.

I understand you can freeze them, but I rather used them up within a weeks time, and be done with it.

Today I will share a recipe for Lasagna in a Wonton cup, which I spotted on Pinterest, and pinned it on my board of Party Foods.

I modified the original recipe, to better fit my taste, since I was making these for my grandchildren.

This recipe yields 24 cups.



  • 24 Wonton Wraps
  • 1 lb. ground beef, or turkey
  • 1 Tbs. of canola oil for frying meat
  • 1 cup of Ricotta cheese (or whipped Cottage Cheese, if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, ground
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I used Prego)
  • 1 tsp. oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp. basil, dried or freshly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking spray


  1. Grease, or spray with cooking spray, the cups of 2 cupcake pans.
  2. Place one wonton wrap in each cup, gently pressing it down to fit to the  bottom of each cup. Set aside.
  3. Pour 1 Tbs. of oil into a medium frying pan, warm it up, and place the ground meat in it.
  4. Saute the meat at least 5 minutes, mixing it frequently, to break it up and to cook it so it is no longer pink.
  5. Scoop out any accumulated fat, and discard.
  6. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil and oregano, and cook 1 minute longer.
  7. Add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and tomato sauce, and cook another minute.
  8. Scoop 2 Tbs. of meat mixture into each wonton cup.
  9. Sprinkle some Mozzarella cheese over the top of each cup.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Bake lasagna cups for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts and wraps are lightly golden.
  12. Remove and serve warm, or cool off completely and store covered in the fridge for later use.  You can also wrap them well, and freeze for a future quick dinner or an appetizer.

Enjoy your meal.


TIP:  If you prefer, you can saute fresh onions and garlic, and use fresh herbs.


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