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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Laredo HALLOWEEN MOOD . . . and a Rootin-Tootin' Good Sauce!



2015: 2 years old

2016: 3 years old


Bryan and I liked this dinner of Pennsylvania Dutch Meatballs . . .

but then, the next day, I put a Parsley Yogurt sauce on the leftover noodles.  Wow!

Bryan also loved the sauce on Curried Lamb.


½ cup finely chopped parsley
4 ounces finely chopped onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup plain yogurt

Blend the chopped parsley, onion, jalapeno, and coconut together in a food processor.   Then stir into yogurt and chill.  Try it on almost everything! 



Thursday, 27 October 2016


So, figuring I'd probably made into a new age category like, um, old, I checked age groups online:

infant (< 1 year) ->  kid (before puberty)-> teenager (after puberty but < 19 years) -> young adult (between 19 to 25 years) -> simply called adult?? -> middle aged person( 40-60) -> senior citizens?? -> body (dead Emotion: stick out tongue)  

!!! I’ve been in the second last group for ten years already . . .  and the next category is . . !

"Tarara-boom-di-ay. . ."

Well, it’s no wonder I have a heightened appreciation for literature about us old guys. 

There’s a story in this anthology that I would like to recommend.  “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm is about a woman on the verge of Alzheimer’s, but I loved the ending. 

Time to eat pie! 

From my cookbook that’s showing signs of aging right along with me . . .


2 pounds prune plums (the small blue ones){I only used one pound}
1/3 cup water
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp butter
Pastry for 9-inch 2-crust pie
1/3 cup orange marmalade: optional:  (we thought the marmalade was too dominant) 

*Bring plums and water to boil.  Cook 3 minutes.
*Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Stir into plums.  Cook just until thick and clear.  Remove from heat.
*Add nuts and butter.  Set aside to cool.
*Line pie plate with pastry.  Spread bottom with marmalade (if desired).  Add plums.

*Top with crust.

*Bake in hot 425 oven for 30 minutes. 

*Serve with ice cream; YUM!

Saturday, 22 October 2016


 We have a new favorite restaurant in Laredo!

SIETE BANDERAS BAR & GRILLThe" Shrimp on Mashed Potatoes" is supposed to be an appetizer but made a nice lunch dish. I swiped some of the fantastic sauce from my husband's order of Chile Rellenos to add to my mashed potatoes. VERY YUMMY!  

We will definitely be back the next time we’re in Laredo.

We also enjoyed the shaded outdoor seating and were impressed with the shining bathrooms.  The Ladies’ has a huge makeup room – very nice!


Today, we're having lunch at Carl's Jr and tonight, Bryan is going to make a pizza for Kepler.   He has added thin crusts to his repertoire.

Thin & Crispy Crust Pizza Dough

          From all the best pizzas by Joie Warner

1 envelope dry yeast (2 ½ tsp)
¼ tsp sugar
¾ cup lukewarm water
2 ½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
Olive oil
Canola oil

·        Stir yeast and sugar into water.  Let stand 5 – 7 minutes.
·        Meanwhile, start oven preheating to 350 but turn off after one minute.
·        Stir flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
·        Lightly beat the egg.  Stir in the yeast mixture.
·        Add yeast mixture to flour and knead.
·        Lightly brush the mixing bowl with olive oil.  Turn dough around in it to oil all over.
·        Cover with tea towel and let rise in oven for one hour.
·        Brush the pizza pan with canola oil.
·        Turn dough out onto pizza pan and pat out to fill the pan.


·        Preheat oven to 500. 

·        Bake dressed pizza for 13 to 15 minutes until dough is golden brown at edges. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

San Antonio, Bigfoot, Castroville . . . and Moldavian Potato Salad

In San Antonio, we enjoyed the Riverwalk and a BIG used bookstore where we found a Haruki Murakami for Nicole.  

Drinks at Esquire on the Riverwalk were great and we ate there, too.  Just a really great place on the balcony; no other tables near us!
                                                    En Pointe, Wanderlust King, Last Word

                                                                   So we ordered another round :)

                               Camparinha Preservada, Texas is the Reason, and Texecutioner

After San Antonio, we had a fun day of exploring the little towns on the backroads south of San Antonio.  We were surprised to find a charming little restaurant in the tiny town of Utopia -- but only had coffee because we had just eaten breakfast an hour before. 

We saw quail, a roadrunner, and lots of turkey vultures.  

The most surprising find was BIGFOOT.  It's tiny, but it's on the map and it has two dark, log frontier-style buildings -- one is the Bigfoot Wallace Museum which was closed, but I'm guessing was his home.  The other was a replica of where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed March 23, 1836.    

The museum is open the 2nd Saturday of every month or by appointment:  phone 830-663-2532 or 210-275-3748.  

A monument outside the school informed us that William Alexander Wallace, known as Bigfoot, was a "defender of Texas and Texans as Soldier, Ranger and Mailrider.  He protected the advancing frontier."   Died Jan 7, 1899.  

I hope we'll go back sometime . . . with a camera.

Castroville's about 20 miles outside of San Antonio.  Sounds Cuban, right?  It's actually named after Henri Castro (Portuguese background) who brought families here from Alsace in 1843.  It's the only Alsatian community in Texas and we stayed in the historic Landmark Inn Bed and Breakfast.  There are two buildings with rooms and a huge grounds with a dam.   The bedrooms only hold one double bed each.  Our bath is across the hall but there's no one else in our building and we have free run of a large living room area.  $120.00 plus tax.  

We enjoyed walking around the old town and there's an Alsatian bakery.  The brioche are delicious.


 When we got back to Laredo, Bryan immediately was challenged to a duel  and Maybelle insisted on playing ball even though it was super hot out and she was panting so I didn't throw it as often as she wanted.  



2 ½ lbs red potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup finely chopped green onions
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp to ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
8 Black olives for garnish

*Boil unpeeled potatoes in salted water until tender.  Then peel.  Cut into ¾ inch dice.  While still hot, toss with olive oil and garlic.  Set aside to cool.
*Add feta, green onions, vinegar, dill, salt, and pepper.  Toss gently. 
*Garnish with pitted olives. 
*Refrigerate until serving.

*This is soooo good!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


On a recent jaunt to San Antonio, we visited the Alamo.  Here’s Bryan’s account:                             

It is free to enter but you can pay for a personal guided tour.  For

independent tourists such as ourselves there were plenty of plaques, a

video, and displays of well-labeled artifacts.

Under the shade of very old live-oak trees were the partially restored 

walls as well as the church and long barracks where the beleaguered 

defenders made their last stand.

In a nutshell, the battle of the Alamo was a 13-day siege (Feb – Mar, 1836)

 of the former Franciscan mission located in present-day San Antonio. 

About 1600 Mexican troops led by General Santa Ana overran a small 

force (ca 200) of mostly American defenders.  (There were also a few 

Mexican defenders who died at the Alamo.)

The residents of Texas – Tejanos and Texians – had been rebelling against 
the autocratic and centralist government of Mexico City. 

The Mexican army’s fortunes turned with its defeat by Sam Houston’s 

Texan army which ensured the establishment of an independent Republic of Texas. 

                                              (gun range in Laredo)

I  was curious about a ring in one of the displays.   A label indicated only that Colonel Travis gave it to Angelina Dickinson.  One of the staff who really knew her history told me that Angelina and her mother, Susanna, were treated with courtesy by Santa Ana.  They were given safe passage and an escort out of the Alamo.  Travis had hoped that the ring would find its way to his son, but it never did. 

The staffer told me all about Angelina and how she married 3 times – one of these being a common-law relationship.  I enjoyed the stories so much that, later on, when I came across a book about the pioneer women of Texas I dug right into the chapter about Susanna Dickinson and her very interesting life après the Alamo.   She ran "a house" for a spell and respectable ladies refused to visit her, but she ended up marrying one of the wealthiest men in Austin.



¾ cup mayacoba dried beans (or use white or cannellini beans)

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium to large onion
1 garlic clove
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp ancho chili powder  (this is a mild chili – so if you need to substitute only use ¼ tsp hot chili powder)

½ pound button mushrooms

4 ounces Mexican Fresco cheese (or any crumbly fresh cheese: dry cottage cheese would be fine but freeze it and thaw it first so that it will crumble finely)

*Soak beans overnight (no more than 10 hours).
*Drain beans.  Cover with 2 or 3 inches water.  Bring to boil.  Boil fast for 2 minutes.  Cover.  Reduce heat.  Simmer for one hour.  They should be soft as you will purée them.
*Drain cooked beans, reserving some of the liquid.
* Purée the beans with about 1 tbsp reserved liquid and the salt.  Don’t add much liquid or your filling will be too mushy.  Set aside in a large bowl.

*Finely chop the onion in a food processor.
*Finely chop the garlic clove.
*Heat a frying pan on medium heat.  Add oil and onions and black pepper.  Cook for 5 to 10 min until onion is very soft. 
*Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms finely in the food processor.
*Add the chopped garlic and the ancho powder.  Stir one minute.   Add mushrooms.  Stir 3 minutes.  Take off heat and let cool.
*Grate the cheese.  Add to the beans.
*Stir in the cooled onions and mushrooms.

*Make the perogies using the instructions for Mary Stadnyk’s pyrohi. 

Nicole and James liked them so much I made another batch to freeze!

P.S.  Note to Bloggers:  I started this blog in honour of Mary Stadnyk who was a wonderful cook and a generous and loving mother and grandmother.  

My mother made the best perogies ever and I have shared her recipe.  If you decide to use and copy her recipe, great, but I would appreciate it if you would acknowledge her when you do so.  Thanks!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

More GOLDEN WEDDING . . . and . . . Perogies/VARENIKI with Meat Filling

Oct 15th 1981       (from Shoal Lake, 17 cent stamp)
        Dad is watching Baseball so I don’t have anything to do so wrote letters one to Ukarian and one to Marion’s mother* thanking her for the lovely picture.  So thought I would write to you dear as its your birthday soon.
I have found room for everything it may not be in right place but its away. 
Tomorrow we are going to Brandon to see your cousin Martha Fred’s daughter
she has not long to live and Verna told she’s very sick so we will go and see her being Karen is going anyways.

I want to Thank you both for such a nice time** and thank for bringing food it was a great help.  And you worked very hard here only little help.  And I was such a grouch I hope you for give me.
 I have rested up on Monday  Tuesday we went to a funeral stayed for dinner too. 
Today I sewed up the cushion was going to make the inside cushion but found out I need feather thicking so will get tomorrow
I picked over the tomatoes gave Matt ½ pail red tomatoes and will make tomatoe juice on Sat with the other half pail.  I don’t have much more green ones.
There is a lot of auction Sales  We may go Oct 26th to one at least I want to Dad says no but I may preswade him to go.
The men were hauling barley to town today and will tomorrow.

Karen took Tracey to get her tooth pulled as the new is through and the baby tooth did not want to came out. 
Next Monday we will kill the old hens and on Wed the ducks with the geese will have to wait as they are not ready.  Matt is going to start killing his geese but he will use the plucker as he will not save the feathers but I want feathers so we will do it by hand.
I have Dutch Irises I was going to give them to Diana but I forgot now I will have to send them.  Oh yes you forgot nail sissiers do you want me to send.
I will Close for now thanking you again for every thing expecialy for the dress and hat I will have to get you something nice.
May your day be happy and cheerfull. 
Give the baby a big hug from me
The happiest of birthday             Love Mother


P.S. "Marion's mother" :  Marion Bantrock married Mom's brother, Wes.  


P. P. S.   nice time**:  This was Mom & Dad's Golden Wedding Anniversary!

A lot of relatives from Dad's side at this table.  Note the little lady in the black hat.  I think that's Tsyotsye.   The lady in glasses on the left is Teenie Showdra.  At the end of the table Bill Stadnyk and his wife are beside Lorne and Lisa.   Gerald Leschyshyn's wife, Val, is wearing large glasses on the right. 
Uncle Wes and Aunt Marion (in pink) are on the right.  

Aunt Florence's son, David, is in left corner.  Diana is dancing with Stuart.

Jim Z is dancing with Aunt Florence, Uncle Mike Makar is dancing with Aunt Katie, Naomi is dancing with Steven, Aunt Nellie is dancing with ? ********

P. S. -- The onion should weigh about 8 ounces.
            -- Add 2 tsp oil or lard when frying the bacon pieces if the bacon is very lean.

            -- I made a few perogies and found the filling was very bumpy and apt to push through the dough.

So I ground the filling in the food processor to make it smoother.  It still had a lot of texture. 

If you're going to freeze some, boil them for only 3 minutes.  

The ones you're going to serve right away should be boiled 4 to 5 minutes.  

They were great!

There is enough filling for one batch of Mom’s dough.  For: Pyrohy main recipe