Weekending: Every-which-way with Cheese

Continuing with our streak of visitors, we spent time with my parents this weekend. They visited hands full of my mom’s famous sous and we provided Sophia for entertainment and some of our very own culinary creations to round out all the family fun. I can never shake off my parents generosity and desire to ease our kitchen burdens — they will always want to delight us with something delicious. I can’t complain either because as I said before, my mom is an amazing cook. Besides it being delicious, it is nice to know that someone cared enough to make something for you or at least offer. As much as we love to cook, someone else’s culinary offerings are always a treat. Try as I may, I will need years to match my mom’s kitchen expertise especially in Russian/Azeri dishes. But try we do and in our own way, we manage it.


Now that the end of winter is near, I am somewhat sad about its imminent departure. Before it really goes away and snow is no longer likely, I decided to make Pelmeni which are hand-made dumplings with savory fillings. I opted to fill mine with veal for flavor, pork for texture and sautéed onion and garlic for that extra little something. Shaping and filling the little dumplings turned out to be quite an undertaking. I probably spent three hours at the task but the result was well received by even the youngest of critics. They are typically served with sour cream and plenty of freshly cracked pepper or sautéed with butter and onions.

CheeseyPelmeniAs you can see, we prefer ours with sour cream and cracked pepper. Even Sophia, who admittedly was skeptical when I first placed her plate in front of her, ended up completely smitten with these. These are absolutely a labor of love. I’d make them again, but only once in a blue moon and for someone I truly love. Thankfully, three hours of these have yielded two more dinner-sized portions in my freezer.

Cheese and dairy seemed to play an accidentally integral part of our weekend as we also made blintzes, ricotta gnocchi and that farmer’s cheese cake my sister shared with me last weekend. The blintzes I just had to show off to my mom as she makes them so well and I’ve recently freed her of said responsibility for us. The ricotta was burning a hole through my culinary to-do list and I’d missed making home-made tomato sauce. The gnocchi were super easy and the tomato sauce is fail-proof.

CheeseyGnocchiThe gnocchi, finished off with basil were part of Sunday lunch which I finished off with the cheese cake… I changed the recipe my sister shared with me and it needs a bit more tuning before I will share my version of it with the world. That said, I think I’ve made mild improvement but have more changes I’d like to incorporate.

CheeseyCakeAll this would not be possible without two extra pairs of hands to help with Sophia.


What’s more, I took advantage of a few free moments to treat my mom and me to an excursion to the shoppes. Mother-daughter time is something that I don’t get often, cherish and thoroughly enjoy. Great fun was had by all. This weekend was originally supposed to be just the three of us, but I am glad my parents visited. We are officially declaring next weekend time for just-the-three-of-us.




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