Vegan Vixen


Sometimes you just need a little help from friends. Even though it has been a while since I last asked friends for their suggestions for their perogies ideas, there has been one idea that has stuck with me and I finally got around to getting it started. A co-worker of mine suggested a recipe that included a plum wine sauce so I began brainstorming a recipe.

Helen is a hard working nurse and also graces the local theatre stages. She is part of the ensemble The Janes. I have had the opportunity to see Helen in a play a while ago and was really impressed by her talent. Not only do you get a glimpse into a co- worker’s life outside of work but you are supporting local artists. I hope to see more of her work! The plum wine sauce she suggested conjured up images of darkness, the colour purple, smoothness of velvet, and warmth. Helen herself has dark features, is smart, has a killer sense of humour, super cheeky, and has a strong knit relationship with her co-workers. To fuel all her energy is a strict vegan diet, therefore this recipe will be vegan friendly.

So I set off on cooking up a plum wine sauce first.  I had left over blue plums from the summer, harvested and delivered by my Mom’s acquaintance who has a property in British Columbia’s interior. I knew I was getting lovely organic goodness! In my family, I am the only one who savours the raw fruit. I just can’t handle 20 lbs worth all on my own. So baked apple plum crumbles became a staple autumn treat for us. But luckily I had some left over to use for this recipe.

I started by slowly cooking down the fruit in a little water. I used just enough plums to cover the base of a medium sized sauce pan. I added half a cup of water and set it to a medium heat.

Frozen, ready to feel the heat!

Frozen, ready to feel the heat!

The fruit began to change colour from a deep purple blue to a warmer deep purple and the sweet scent released was divine!


The "sauce"

The “sauce”


I then lowered the temperature to a simmer, added 1/2 cup of port wine and a 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger. I did not want to overpower the sauce with a spice like cinnamon, but thought the ginger would give a little flavour and heat. The port wine was a gift good friends brought with them to our place on New Years Eve. It was a 10 year old bottle, very sweet and luckily I had just enough left over to add to the sauce.

After about 20 minutes, the whole concoction had reduced to just under half. I then added 1 tablespoon of dark maple syrup to add a little more sweetness. Perfect.

I strained the sauce, pushing through as much as I could, leaving behind only pulp. As the sauce cooled, it did slightly thicken, enough so to lightly coat a spoon.

Finished product!

Finished product!

When tasting the cooled sauce, I initially sensed wild rose, then the plum, followed by the port and ginger.  I think this sauce will pair well with vegan apple crumble perogy, and non vegan options would potentially include a ricotta with chocolate filling. It’s hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Please stay tuned!

Itch to pinch


Oh man. It has been a while. And do I have an itch to pinch. Pinch me some soft dough around a new scrumptious filling! With the new year upon us I hope to get back to the therapeutic task of working up a recipe, cooking and blogging about my efforts.

I just watched Jon Favreau’s Chef. An quick inspiring look into the beginning of a new approach for a chef to cook with his heart the simple, home cooked goodness that he loves and believes in.

When I think of home cooked goodness I think of the tireless energy and love my Mom and Dad put forth to put homemade meals on our table almost every night. Now, my boys at home, big and small, are my inspiration to feed their bellies and hearts. They are my motivation as well as my strongest supporters. They believe in me and teach me so much.

Just like Jon Favreau’s character takes a great risk with support from family and friends, I too hope to venture into some new recipes and projects with family by my side.

I’ll keep you all posted. Now excuse me while I scratch.



Mac’n’cheese ‘rogy


Made some homemade macaroni and cheese yesterday for lunch. Had some left over perogy dough. Bam! New perogy recipe. Carbs anyone?

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Buttery Mushroom with Rosemary and Garlic


I have always loved mushrooms in perogies or a tortellini type shell. At Christmas my Mom makes little mushroom “ears” (uszka, prone. ooh-shka), a tortellini pasta stuffed with mushrooms. Traditionally we have it with beet borsch, shared at our Christmas Eve table (Wigilia, pron. vee-gee-lya). I had some cremini mushrooms on hand and fresh rosemary so I decided to create a new recipe.

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The “Big Mac” Perogy


This recipe was alot of fun to work on. I forgot to take pictures (too busy serving them up and eating!) but the end result was great! I was initially inspired by a friend who once served homemade hamburger cheese pizza that tasted just like a Big Mac! Pickles and secret sauce and all! Also, my brother-in-law loves the Big Mac and when he was visiting last year with my sister and their kids I treated them to these via the perogy vessel! Here is how it unfolded:


1/2 med yellow onion, diced
3strips bacon, diced
1 kg ground lean beef
Ground black pepper
2tsp. paprika
Secret Sauce:
4tbsp mayo
2 tbsp ketchup
4 med sized minced dill pickle
1. Cook the bacon on medium high heat on a pan until almost crispy. Remove the bacon and drain some of the fat, reserving a little for the onion.
2. Add the onion to the pan and cook until golden. Remove and add to the cooling bacon.
3. Add the ground beef and paprika; cook fully through.
4. Once the meat is cooked mix with the onion and bacon, add some salt and pepper to season. You may not want to add too much salt as the bacon itself has salt of course unless you have used reduced sodium bacon.
5. Let the mixture cool then blend all together with a hand blender or whatever appliance you have that will mix everything together nicely and help form an even mixture without being too crumbly when filling a perogy.
6. At this point you can go ahead and make the perogy or you can leave overnight for the flavours to come together.
7. For the secret sauce, I blended all the ingredients together and refrigerated until ready to use.
8. Cook the perogies as you normally would, boiling then draining well with slotted spoon before placing on hot pan, greased with olive oil and a little butter.
9. Fry perogies until golden brown on both sides.
10. Serve with the secret sauce.