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Welcome to my Blog 'In The Kitchen With Don'! Thank you for your visit and come back soon!

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Cabbage Rolls

 I first learned to make cabbage rolls from my adopted Ukrainian babcia, Stephanie Bilynsky.   She also taught me how to make borscht and pierogi.    They are a bit labor intensive, but well worth the time!

1 head of cabbage

1 lb ground beef or pork or a mixture

1 1/2 cups rice, cooked in 3 cups water or about 4 cups leftover cooked rice

1 onion, peeled and chopped,

1-3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

salt and pepper or any other seasoning you may like

4-6 cups crushed or canned tomatoes or a mixture of the two


Preheat over to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil. While water is heating, cut core from cabbage, then remove any soiled leaves from the outside of the cabbage and discard. Continue to remove as many of the large leaves as possible, you will need about 20 or so. When as many leaves as possible are removed, blanch each one in the boiling water for a couple of minutes. You want the leaves to be wilted, not so much cooked. Remove from water and set aside. While they are cooling, mix the raw ground meat with the cooked rice, add the finely chopped onion and garlic, as well as any seasoning you are using. Grease a large roasting pan with a lid, chopp some of the remaining cabbage and place on the bottom of the pan. Taking a cabbage leave, if there is a thick rib running down the lengthe of the leaf, carefull shave off the thickest part, this is so that you can fold the leafe without tearing. Place one or two tablespoons of the meat mixture in a log across the bottom (stem end) of the leaf, fold over the sides and then roll up. Place in the roaster fold side down. Repeat with as many as the leaves and filling as you have. When all leaves are filled and placed in roaster, top with the crushed and or diced tomatoes, tightly seal the roaster with foil and then a lid, place in the oven and bake for about an hour. After an hour, remove the lid and bake another 30 minutes or so. Cool a bit and then eat!


You can use the same meat filling mixture for filling sweet peppers and cooking the same way.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Greek Style Chicken and Rice

 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken, thighs are the most flavorful, cut into bite sized cubes

2 lemons, zested, juiced and juice strained

1/2 tsp dried oregano

salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups rice

about 1/4 cup good olive oil

1 bunch green onions, washed, trimmed and chopped, divided in two parts

1 medium sized onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic, use a lesser amount if you are not a garlic nut like I am!

3 cups chicken broth or water

a bag of baby spinach, torn in pieces

(if you happen to have a jar of Better Than Bouillon in your fridge, a heaping tablespoon of that, if you don't have it, don't worry about it.)

Place the chicken in a large bowl, then sprinkle with half of the lemon juice and grated zest, the oregano, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, as well as a tablespoon of olive oil, toss well and allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes.     Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy dutch oven and then brown the chicken in two batches, remove from the pan and set it aside.   In the pan add the onion, half of the green onions and the rice.   Fry until the onion and garlic are wilted and starting to brown a bit, adding more olive oil if needed.    When it reaches that point, add the broth and stir well (if you have some Better Than Bouillion, add now and dissolve in the broth, it will add a bit of extra richness and flavor)  scraping up any of the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken and any juices back into the pan and mix well.   Bring broth to a full boil, then reduce heat to where it just barely bubbles.  Cover tightly and cook for 20 minutes.   When done, remove from the heat and allow to sit a couple of minutes, then add the spinach, stir it in, recover and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes.   Pour the reserved lemon juice and zest, the remaining green onions and another couple tablespoons of olive oil, stir it in and and then serve.   All you really need with it is some crusty bread.   

If you are needing something lower carb, omit the rice and most of the chicken broth, brown about 4-5 cups of cauliflower rice with the onion and garlic, then add about a cup of chicken broth, along with the chicken and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until it is nearly dry.    I have even made this using both the rice and cauliflower rice and it was very tasty.  

Friday, January 29, 2021

Gluten Free Almond Flour Sour Cream Cake

 My brother in law has celiacs disease and I am always on the look out for good recipes that are both gluten free and tasty, as close to regular baked goods as possible.  This cake is just that.... tender, moist, flavorful and flat out delicious.  Even if you don't have to eat gluten free, this is a good one try.  And if you are trying to eat lower carb,  just get rid of the sugar and use your favorite non-sugar sweetener.   

3 1/4 cups fine almond flour

1 cup white sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup sour cream

1/4 cup melted butter (for a bit more flavor you can lightly brown the butter)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Butter an 8x8 inch square cake pan and set aside.   Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.    In another smaller bowl, beat the sour cream and eggs until well blended, then stir in the butter and flavorings.   Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix well, then spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the  top.    Bake about 40 minutes or until golden brown and a tooth pick stuck in the center comes out clean.   Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting. 

 If you wish you can either frost with a butter cream frosting or, my favorite, make a like glaze to drizzle over the top.   It is also tasty eaten with fresh fruit and whipped cream. It isn't a very sweet cake, so if you wish to use more sugar in the batter, I would add about another 1/2 cup.  There is no no reason you couldn't use brown sugar in place of the white, either.   A butter, flour and sugar streusel on top of the cake would be tasty, too.   Just either more almond flour or any gluten free all purpose flour with sugar and butter.    

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

 Choose your favorite sugar cookie recipe, replace 1 cup of the flour with cocoa powder, if you have the dark cocoa powder even better.   Also use half brown sugar for the white sugar and add 2 tsp instant coffee granules.   These cookies will turn out tasting a lot like a chocolate brownie.   They are very good.  

Cream Cheese Cookies

 1/2 cup softened butter

8 oz softened  cream  cheese

2 cups white sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 eggs

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Cream the butter, the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the  eggs and extracts.   When well mixed, add the flour, salt and baking powder.  Mix until well blended.   Place in a covered dish and chill at least three hours, overnight is better.   The dough will be very sticky.  When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  With wet hands, form the dough into balls and flatten slightly. Place the balls on a cookie sheet about 2-3 inches apart.   Bake for 11-12 minutes, until the bottoms are just slightly starting to brown.   Cool slightly on the cookie sheet, then place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.   Enjoy!   These are addictive!