Monday, January 18, 2016

Pheasant Hunting

My older brother had this wonderful idea that we should all go pheasant hunting together. It was mine and the Dude's first time hunting pheasant. It did not disappoint!
My older brought his dogs, it was neat to watch them get on point when they smelled a bird!

We paid for 8 birds, after we had sweeped the sunflower patch and another field our total catch was 3. We scared some away and had missed a few. Dad, my younger brother and the Dude were the only ones who had shot one.

After we took these pictures and had cleaned up the birds, the people that owned the placed told us to have one more walk around.
They were so kind they planted two more hens out for us since we had missed so many of our others.

Success!! My older brother got a bird too.
What made the day, was having the opportunity to hunt with my family. Best day ever.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Russian Pelmeni

I promised I would post this recipe, I am finally getting around to it, yay me!!

So this is a Russian dish. The Dude ate a lot of this on his mission. It was a cheap meal for them to buy. When he got it though it was already made and frozen, he just had to throw it in boiling water, and add some sour cream and pepper on it once it was done cooking. 

I actually made this dish from start to finish! Yes, it is cheap in the long run, but it is very time consuming. In our opinion though, well worth the time and effort. I found the recipe off of Natasha's Kitchen, she has a lot of Russian/Ukrainian recipes I would like to try. I am slowly making my way through them.

You will need a pelmeni mold. It is possible to do it by hand, but I would recommend the mold, it will save you at least some time. I bought this pelmeni mold off Amazon. 
We love this dish and I hope you enjoy it just as much!

Russian Pelmeni

Ingredients for Pelmeni Dough:

⅔ cups buttermilk
1 Tbsp sour cream
2 large eggs
2 cups warm water
1½ tsp salt
7 cups plus 6 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour

Ingredients for Pelmeni Filling:

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
½ tsp ground pepper
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp hot sauce, optional
Ingredients/ Ideas for Toppings:
Melted butter, sour cream, vinegar, ketchup

How to Make Basic Vareniky or Pelmeni Dough:

Using the whisk attachment on medium speed, mix together: ⅔ cup buttermilk, 1 tbsp of sour cream 2 cups warm water, 2 eggs and 1½ tsp salt until well blended. 
Switch to dough hook and add 4 cups flour. Mix on speed 2 until well blended.
Add 3 more cups of flour (one cup at a time and wait for the dough to become well blended with each cup). 
Add the rest of the flour 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl (I used 6 Tbsp). Once it is no longer sticking to the bowl, continue to mix 5 minutes. (Total mixing time is about 20 minutes from the time you start adding flour).
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface.

How to Make Pelmeni Filling:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and saute until golden and soft. Add garlic and saute another minute.
Mix together pork, turkey, onion & garlic mix, ¾ tsp salt, ½ tsp ground pepper and 1 tsp hot sauce (optional).

If using a pelmeni mold:

Cut off about tennis-ball-size chunks of dough and roll out into a circle.
Place over mold. Place ½ tsp meat into each pocket space on the mold.
Roll out another chunk of dough and place over the mold.
Use a rolling pin, roll the top, working from the center - outwards until the pelmeni are well-defined.
Turn the pelmeni maker over and push the pelmeni out onto a well-floured cutting board.
Arrange pelmeni evenly on the cutting board, sprinkle with flour and place in the freezer. Pinch together any open edges on pelmeni or the meat will float out during cooking.
Once they are fully frozen, put them in large ziploc bags, sprinkle with flour and freeze them for future enjoyment.

If making pelmeni by hand:

Shape a portion of the dough into a 1 to 2 -inch thick log. Cut off 1 piece at a time (about gum ball sized) and roll into disks to form a 1.5-inch circle with rolling pin. Sprinkle rolling pin and surface with flour if needed.
Place 1 tsp pelmeni filling in the center, close the edges and pinch together.
Pinch the corners together to form, well... a diaper shape.
Place pelmeni onto a well-floured cutting board. Arrange pelmeni evenly on the cutting board, sprinkle with flour and place in the freezer.
Once they are fully frozen, put them in large ziploc bags, sprinkle with flour and freeze them for future enjoyment.

To Cook Pelmeni:

Bring a pot of water to boil (add 1 tbsp salt for a large soup pot, or 1 tsp salt for a smaller 4 quart pot). Add FROZEN pelmeni and return to a boil. They should float to the top, then boil for 3 mintues longer (or until meat is fully cooked). Drain pelmeni and place them in a clean bowl. Toss pelmeni with butter and sprinkle with dill (optional). Serve them warm with ketchup, sour cream or vinegar (Natash's personal favorite).

Thinking of Christmas...

I still can't get over that we are already on day 4 of January! Time just seems to go by so quickly. I despise how it just seems to vanish on me. I really need to rememeber to live in the moment, because that moment will pass me by one way or another and I should be living life to the fullest capacity that I can.

With that being said, I am grateful for pictures, so that we can relive those precious moments that we treasure so dearly. 
Christmas was a wonderful time for us this year. The Dude and I both agreed that this year we would truly try to center it around the true meaning of Christmas, our Savior Jesus Christ. 
Words can't truly describe the love and happiness we felt this Christmas season. He truly is the gift, and for that we are ever so grateful for Him. He was the greatest gift of all, and our most prized gift.

We were blessed to spend time with family this Christmas also, living closer to everyone else definitely has it perks!
Here are some pcitures from our Christmas season.

I love our cozy home.

Our wonderful neighbor brought the Furball a Christmas present, he was estatic to say the least!

His pictures are never straight faced....

The Dude was ready to try out the sleeping mask my parents gave us.

She was excited about the wagon until he grabbed it to drive her around.

Don't worry she warmed up to him! She is ready for her Jedi training from him. (Yes, we love Star Wars in this family!)

I think I need to find some jammies like that in my size!

I see you!!!

I pray that 2016 is going to be an awesome and memorable year for all of us. 
Many great things lie ahead for us all.