Monday, June 25, 2012

Chebureki! Quick and Easy Russian Food (Чебуреки) Version #1

Hi! I decided to show something a little different today: A Russian recipe! Food and cooking are a major part of my life, like it or not! :) Fortunately for me, I enjoy it most of the time. This will be called Version #1 because using all the same methods and just tweaking a little at the end, you can make a whole different meal!

One of my favorite past times were sitting at the kitchen table, watching my mother cook. She was always teaching, always showing. If you know Russian food (or even Uzbek food, where I was actually born) than you know it involves a lot of dough! Don't get scared! It seems like a long process but the beauty of cooking with dough is that break you get while the dough is rising. It always make me feel a little nostalgic when I make traditional Russian food and I want to give that memory to my children. When we were little, we always got a little piece of dough to play work with and that has always been such a fun memory!

Chebureki (airy-like flat bread filled with ground meat and onions) are very easy to make. You can make them for a lunch/brunch or as appetizers for a party. They are best eaten right away when they are still crispy from the frying pan but they are even good cold. (I would refrain from microwaving them because it makes them soggy)

Ingredients for Dough:
Flour (All purpose)
2 eggs
1 1/2 C Warm water

Meat Filling:
One pound ground Turkey
One pound ground Pork
Salt and black pepper
1 large onion, minced

1. Mix the eggs with the salt and water. Add Flour. I dont have the exact amount but add by the cup full until the dough starts to form. It should be soft. It will be a little sticky still!

2. Knead a lot. Put it in a bowl and cover with plastic and let it rise half an hour. If it is still too sticky to work with, add more flour. If you do that, let it rise again another 20 minutes. 

3. While the dough is rising, make the meat filling. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. You can add a splash of warm water if it isn't mixing together well. Salt and pepper to taste. It may seem like a lot of onion but the more onion, the tastier!


4. Cut the dough is three parts. Take out one section and cover the rest so it doesn't dry out. Roll out in a long fat snake form. It should be around one inch thick and each chebureka should be 2 inches long. (this is approximate)
5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a oval/circle shape a little smaller than your hand. Don't make it too thin. Put about one kitchen tablespoon on one side. 
6. Spread out on half side
7. Fold the other side over and pinch or press around the crescent. 

Note the meat visible on the right side: this is bad! Try to keep it away from the edges because this causes oil to spray and juice to leak out of the pouches.
8. Pour oil of your choice to fill the bottom of a large frying pan. (I usually use canola oil). Make sure it heats very well before you put in your chebureki. It has to be hot. Fry at medium heat.
9. Fry each side for about 4-5 minutes. When you notice the other side browning (pictured above) you'll want to flip them. Make sure when you remove them that the meat has cooked all the way through. You may need to adjust your heat as all ranges don't cook the same. Also, be careful! Even if you fold them perfectly, they can still seep out juice which causes the oil to splatter! Wear an apron for this one!

 Look at that beautifully fried dough! Yumm!
10. Serve after they have cooled just a little. They are very juicy inside and it can drip- beware! :) We like ours with a dollop of sour cream.

I hope you enjoy this! Another plus to this recipe: It works two ways. I will be posting version #2 soon so keep any extra dough and meat filling left that you were too lazy BUSY to finish! :)

If you would like an exact amount of flour I will try another batch and measure to get that number! Half of my mothers recipes are exactly like this: everything is measured by eye. :) If you try this, I'd love to hear how it turned out and what you thought about it! Have a great Monday!

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

Hello Hello! Happy Monday to you all. 

I hope you all celebrated the father's in your life and made them feel special and appreciated! My husband made an interesting remark of how mothers are always celebrated and are born with the natural intuition to be a mother but fathers have to learn it. Although I don't completely agree with that comment, I do agree that fathers don't get as much recognition as they should! They are just as important in the raising of a child and there are serious proven downsides to growing up without a father. So praise God for yours. Give thanks for having a father for to your children and to those without: I hope you have the peace of knowing Jesus Christ and pray you know Him as your  Heavenly Father Always.

I've promised to show you how we made those big tissue paper flowers for our garden baby shower and it couldn't be easier! There are many tutorials on how to make similar flowers but most of them are made with crepe paper. Living where I do, its not easy to get my hands on! We discovered this method and it turned out beautifully! (And cheaper, may I add?)

 1.  Most of the flowers were made with tissue paper I had left over so I don't know exactly how many sheets you would need. But it's really up to you on how full you want it to look. The bigger the flower, the more sheets you will need. These pictures show me making a smaller one (1/4 the size of a full tissue sheet) About the size of a dinner plate (9 in). If you buy a pack from Walmart, they were rather thin, so i doubled each "petal". This pack had 16 sheets but it really made 8 "petals" of this shape.
2. Trim around the edge. Pictured is rounded off but we also did pointed and heart shape ends to make the flowers look different. My favorite was the heart shape end.
 3. Gather or scrunch the middle of the tissue paper and hot glue the folds so that it stays gathered. Like I mentioned above, I am using two sheets for each petal because it was very thin. But if you have a finer quality tissue paper, one layer would work fine. 
*Be careful! It's hot! You can feel the hot glue through the tissue paper so hold with caution!
 (Ignore the dirty glue gun! That was from gluing pine cones during Christmas time!)- see link :)
 4. Do this step until you have all your petals made:
5. Now you can start to layer the petals one on top of the other, hot gluing each layer in the center.  Alternate positions to make it look most like a flower.

6. Optional: Add a twisted piece of coordinating tissue paper in the center. We did this on every other flower. Again, just to make them all look a little different.

 7. Attach them where you want them. I used regular tape in my dining room when testing it out and it held great. We used wire to attach the flowers to the lattice at the baby shower.

Don't assume this is only for parties! This looked great taped to my wall. :) It would look cute in a nursery or girls room.

Thanks for stopping by! I have lots of cool projects I'm wanting to  show you including another baby shower! I hope to post them soon. :) Have a beautiful day!