Grandma Bea’s Sauerkraut Pierogi

My mom taught my siblings and me how to make pierogi when we were very little. I can only remember making cheese pierogi and there were no measurements for the filling. “Add potato flakes to cottage cheese until the cottage cheese is dry. Let sit a few minutes and season with salt and pepper.”

Grandma had many different ways to make pierogi, but sauerkraut is probably my favorite. After making, warm up pierogi in a heavy pan with butter and sau·téd onions. If desired, add sour cream before serving. This makes a great meal, but is best when served with green vegetables or salad.

Grilled Chicken

My brother Joe used to love chicken grilled this way and often had extra in the freezer.

It is similar to the chicken we can get at the fair. It uses an easy marinade and is best if made early morning.

Chocolate Cake

Aunt Bonnie made this cake for Dad McGuire’s birthday in 2011. It is simple, but very good. It also made a great cake for Adrian’s 14th birthday. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or a glass of milk!

The recipes calls for a 9×13 pan. If you prefer use two round cake pans. Be sure to grease and flour the pans well.

German Pancakes

We do not make these pancakes often, but they are very good. Allan said that his mom taught the recipe to him when he was 8 or 9 and he has enjoyed making them occasionally since for special mornings. It is a chance for us to enjoy each other as we take the time to enjoy filling our pancakes and eating them individually.

There are many recipes for German pancakes. Most use a different ratio of eggs to flour and liquid. The pancakes are usually rolled or folded in half and then half again (quartered) and the fillings are unique to each family. This is our families favorite recipe though.

Lebkuchen

Ginger cookies are a favorite of ours. This one is easily our favorite recipe for gingerbread men. We discovered the recipe in 2011 while studying Germany and this was one of the recipes we continue to make.

While they are very good plain, they are fun to decorate. It is best to decorate the day you plan to eat the cookies.

Snowball Cookies

It has not snowed much this winter, so we have not had much chance to play in the snow. Andrea decided it was the perfect day to make snowball cookies when it started to snow for a short while today.

The original recipe called for 1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts (or pecans). We adapted our recipe to use chocolate chips in place of some of the nuts because that is Andrea’s favorite way.

While these are great cookies, they do not stay fresh long. Plan to enjoy them in a day or two, or enjoy them with your favorite hot winter drink.

Potatoes, Onions and Peppers

While these are not exactly like the potatoes at my favorite food vendor at the fair, they are inspired by them. Serve them with sausage or grilled beef.

Strawberry Shortcake

This is a sweet, but not overly sweet shortcake. It makes a great base for strawberries or other favorite berries. While we often use whipped cream with this, vanilla ice cream also works well.

Elephant Ears

I learned how to make elephant ears in high school cooking class.  But I never made them again until after we went to the fair in 2009.

The kids all wanted elephant ears and we were on a tight budget. I told them that we could make elephant ears at home.  So we researched recipes and made  them.

We often make them after the fair now.

Gravy (and Biscuits)

This is a family favorite recipe. It is a very adaptable. Add cheese to the gravy if desired, adjust the amount of onions, use different seasonings if you wish. We usually enjoy it as written.

Use your favorite biscuit recipe, but we prefer it with large buttermilk biscuits. Since this is a heavy meal, a simple fruit salad served alongside is wonderful.