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!!!







Sausage and Herb Stuffing – Recipe

stuffing ready to serve 2Stuffing is a must Thanksgiving Dinner menu choice, alongside the roasted turkey.

In the past, most cooks baked the stuffing inside the turkey cavity, but now most of us prepare it separately, in the oven or on a stove top.

Every year I like to try different stuffing recipes, so this time I will share one with herbs and Sweet Italian Sausage.

Roasted turkey ready to serve

My latest favorite turkey roasting recipe is by Martha Stewart.

This recipe yields enough stuffing to accompany an 18 lbs. turkey.

Herbs and spices for stuffing


  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter (or Canola oil)
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery (2 stalks), chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, peeled and shredded
  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage, without casing
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Crasins
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups white bread cubes
  • 3 3/4 cups wheat bread cubes


  1. In a medium frying pan, heat the butter, and saute the onion, celery, garlic, carrot, and apple.
  2. Remove from pan into a large bowl, and set aside.
  3. Add the sausage into the same frying pan, and cook for about 15 minutes,  stirring often, to break it up.
  4. Mix in the Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat and add to the sautéed veggies.
  6. Preheat to oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Mix in the eggs, Crasins, and Parsley.
  8. Fold in the bread crumbs.
  9. Pour the broth over the mixture, and toss lightly, to incorporate evenly.
  10. Spoon the stuffing into a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
  12. Uncover, and bake another 15 minutes.
  13. Serve hot. (see TIP below)


TIP: If you like your stuffing quite moist, you can use some of the broth/pan juices from the turkey roasting pan, or additional chicken broth, and drizzle over the top of the baked stuffing, before serving.

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.




Stuffed Pork Roll – Recipe

Pork and sauerkraut dishes are part of every Eastern European restaurant menu, and the main ingredients are a popular staple in every household.

Sauerkraut is  a well utilized vegetable in many Eastern European recipes, including soups, salads, dumplings filling (verenyky), side dishes, and even pastries (Pyrizhky,Kapusnyachky).

Today I will share a recipe I created for Sauerkraut Stuffed Pork Roll, which received “thumbs up” from most members of my family, especially one of my nieces.

This recipe could easily be turned into a casserole dish, rather than a roll, if you prefer.


  • 2 lbs. ground pork
  • 3 cups of sauerkraut
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 4 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil


  1. Place the sauerkraut in a colander, and rinse a little under running water, to remove some of the tartness.
  2. Squeeze out any excess water, and place it in a medium bowl.
  3. Saute the onions in the bacon fat, or in oil, until golden.
  4. Add the shredded carrots and saute for couple of minutes.
  5. Mix in sauerkraut, bacon bits, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, and caraway seeds.
  6. Saute for 15 minutes, mixing it often.
  7. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. In a medium bowl mix the ground pork, the remaining salt and pepper, parsley, garlic, onion powder, eggs,
    Worcestershire Sauce, bread crumbs, and water.
  9. Place the pork mixture on waxed or parchment paper, and form it into a rectangle.
  10. Spread  the kraut mixture evenly over the pork base, leaving at least 1 inch stuffing-free border all around.
  11. Lift one end of the parchment paper, as shown above, and start forming a jelly-roll like all the way to the opposite end of the meat and stuffing. Make sure you do not roll the parchment paper into the meat roll, but rather use it a tool to help you create a roll to enclose the filling.
  12. This is how your stuffed meat roll will end up looking.  The seam of the roll needs to be on the bottom.
  13. Grease the casserole dish with oil, and place the roll (seam down) in the pan.
  14. Grease the top and sides of the meat roll with some oil to form a nice crust during baking.
  15. Place the meat in a preheated oven to 400 degrees F, and bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at least 155 -160 degrees F.
  16. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  17. Slice into serving pieces, and serve with your favorite gravy (mushroom gravy is my favorite).



You already know from my previous post, that I stocked up on well priced pork loin, and will share my new recipes.

This time I tried a recipe for Pork Loin stuffed with a mixture of sauteed spinach with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream, with some modifications.

I decided to use Dijon Mustard and spices  topping, rather than olive oil and spices.

I served this meat accompanied by cooked brown rice flavored with sauteed onions in the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley flakes, salt and pepper.



  •  2.3 lbs Pork Tenderloin, trimmed of fat and membrane
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 10 0z spinach, thawed and squeezed out dry (I also added one bag of fresh spinach)
  • 2 Tbs. white wine
  • 4 0z sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or Greek Yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut the meat horizontally 1 inch thickness from the bottom towards the center, but not cutting it through.
  2. Then cut again from center towards the other end, also about 1 inch thickness, to turn the tenderloin into a rectangular piece of meat about 1  inch, or so,  in thickness.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in sauce pan, and saute the onions until lightly golden, add chopped garlic and saute for a minute.
  4. Rinse fresh spinach, shake off excess water, remove stems.
  5. Mix in spinach into the sauteed onions and garlic.
  6. Add the thawed, squeezed dry spinach, and wine, and saute for a minute.
  7. Remove from heat, and mix in the sun-dried chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, cream cheese and sour cream, salt and pepper.
  8. Spread the filling over the meat, leaving at least an inch margin all around the meat rectangle.
  9. Roll up first 1/3 of meat over the filling towards center, then roll the opposite end of meat over the first one, also towards the center, to form a roll.
  10. Secure the ends and the seam with toothpicks, or use a kitchen twine to fasten the roll.
  11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  12. Place the pork roll in a shallow baking pan, pour the mustard sauce over it, and bake, uncovered for 50-60 minutes, or until the meat thermometer placed in the center of the roll, and reads 155 degrees F.

Mustard Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. Oregano
  • 1 Tbs. Thyme
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Mustard Sauce Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients, to incorporate and spread evenly over the top and sides of the pork roll.


Enjoy, and share your comments.


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