Vareniki – one of the most famous Ukrainian dish

It’s hard to imagine Ukrainian life without vareniki (or pierogi – the polish name). Some foreigners don’t understand why everybody in Ukraine are so obsessed with vareniki, cause according to them “they are just the dumpling-like pastry of unleavened dough with different stuffing”. But for Ukrainians vareniki are magic dish, I would say that they represent the Ukrainian soul – seemed to be simple outside but very rich and deep inside.
You can eat vareniki all day long – as the hot snacks (vareniki with potatoes, topped with fried salo bits – shkvarky and onions), as the main course (vareniki with meat, cabbage, mushrooms, beans and liver), as the desert (vareniki with cherry, cottage cheese, jam and berries topped with honey and sour cream).
There are also lazy vareniki in Ukrainian cuisine – but not because of Ukrainian ladies are lazy, they are just simpler and don’t take a lot of time to cook.
The shape of traditional Ukrainian varenik reminds a crescent. Ancient Ukrainians brought vareniki to the fields not only because they were nourishing food but also symbolized a good harvest.
There were others symbolic meanings of vareniki in the Slavic ancient world. For example, bridesmaids always brought vareniki at the second wedding day as a symbol of wellness in family. Ancient Ukrainians thought that vareniki were almost the medicine – so they were given to pregnant women. Vareniki with cottage cheese were the “best weapon” against evil ghosts.
It’s interesting to know, that vareniki have the origin in Turkish cuisine. But Ukrainians created a lot of recipes of vareniki so nowadays it is 100 percent Ukrainian dish. You may also know the traditional Russian dish – pelmeni (meat dumplings). The main difference between them are the size (pelmeni as usual are much smaller than vareniki) and also the staffing (pelmeni have meat stuffing and they can’t be sweet).
Ancient Ukrainians ate vareniki on special occasions – weddings, birthdays, Pancake Day, Christmas and Easter. At the Christmas feast vareniki with different stuffing meant the union of generations.
Nowadays Ukrainians like to have some divination with vareniki in Christmas time. It is quite simple – while Ukrainian women make a lot of vareniki with different stuffing, they put in several vareniki some sugar, salt, peppers, carrot and even coins! The person who finds sugar will have a “sweet” and successful year, salt – will have some troubles, peppers in vareniki means life’s changes, carrot means love and relationship (so single women were trying to make a lot of vareniki with carrots), coins will bring wellness and new project and maybe the broken tooth:)
Guess where you can find the monument of vareniki? In the Canadian city Glendon, Alberta, where immigrants from Ukraine created the unusual monument of vareniki (pierogi). The big 9 metros stone varenik weights at about 2700 kilos.
This huge love to vareniki proves the fact that Ukrainians are quite simple people who are hospitable, generous and like to share. Because nobody makes only one varenik! It always should be a huge plate of vareniki for every taste!
I guess every Ukrainian single woman knows the secret family recipe of how to make the tastiest vareniki. And she would like to treat you with the best vareniki ever, because except for the dough and stuffing they have positive energy of a hostess and her Ukrainian spirit. So be careful while trying the first serving of vareniki – they may cause addiction

Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake

Pumpkinnnn. Still on the pumpkin train.

This Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake whips up quickly, but then sits overnight to let the flavors meld. It's a great holiday or company cake -- or a great Monday cake, let's be real. If you're not a huge fan of rum, feel free to substitute bourbon or whatever you enjoy -- or leave out the alcohol altogether.

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Hi folks some really interesting people and advice on here if I can be of help or confusion drop me a note

I'm looking for some advice on canning and pressure cookers looking an app 25 l pressure cooker and can't really decide between electric and hob based, I'm an induction guy by the way.

Marina Gavrylyuk - September 2014

"Berry Baskets" Pastries - Корзинки (Korzynky)

Now sure about present time, but about 25 years ago you could buy this treat at every bakery department or store in Ukraine. They were about double the size compared to mine, no fresh berries, mixture of jam and grated nuts at the bottom and a mountain of whipped egg whites on top. Used to cost 22 kopijkas (small change in Ukraine). The name was "Korzynky" or "Koshychky" which is essencially "Baskets" in Ukrainian. Well, I have the commercial recipe, which I will share along with some changes we decided to make. Enjoy!
Foody Thursdays - Filled Tartlets
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Pumpkin Maple Pecan Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing!

Oh, you know. Just one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. NO BIG DEAL. These are so worth the time and energy to get them on your table. I highly recommend these for any special occasion, including Wednesday.

I took my pumpkin yeast dough and filled it with an insane mixture of butter, cinnamon, sugar, maple candied pecans, and magical unicorn dust. Well, that’s what it tastes like, anyway. Then I topped the rolls with this delectable pumpkin spice cream cheese icing. The result is a special fall dessert that would be perfect on a holiday table (but I'll eat it on any ol' table, thanks.)

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

These Pumpkin Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls are all gussied up for fall. They start with a pumpkin yeast dough that gets filled with a thick cheesecake mixture before being rolled up, baked, glazed, and topped with Maple Candied Pecans, because why not? Enjoy!

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Quick and Easy Maple Candied Pecans

These pecans are salty and sweet and scream fall. You probably have everything you need to make these in your pantry right now. Feel free to double this recipe, but be sure to use 2 baking sheets instead of one so you can spread out the nuts.

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To read about why I love haiku, read haiku, and write your own haiku -- because obviously that relates to candied pecans -- please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

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