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Monday, 29 June 2015

ALASKA CRUISE . . . and UKRAINIAN MUSHROOM & POTATO VARENIKI


So yes . . . put an Alaska cruise on your bucket list, folks.  The HUBBARD GLACIER is something no one should miss!

Pack some books:


and we're on our way . . .





Airport


Anchorage, Alaska

Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House

Who doesn’t need a hug after a nap?


On the Norwegian Sun: A wading pool and hot tub set apart for families:  nice!


Nicole says:  Afternoon Cocktails and Book Readin' with Grandma while "Wumpah" and Kepler get their beauty rest--one of my favourite daily events


Cruising into the bay

No empty space at the rails



  • THE HUBBARD GLACIER
300 feet high; it growls and thunders as it calves 


*******

The time to serve vareniki (perogies) is before you go on a cruise.  Afterwards, you’ll be delving into your cooking light recipes J.



PEROGIES, MUSHROOM & POTATO
FILLING:

½ pound mushrooms
8 ounce onion
3 tbsp butter
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp thyme (or reduce this to a pinch as the flavor is strong)
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ pounds to 1 ¾ pounds potatoes

·        Finely chop onions.
·        Finely chop mushrooms in food processor.
·        Saute onions in butter for 7 minutes until just beginning to brown.
·        Add mushrooms, salt, thyme, and pepper.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
·        Boil potatoes and put through ricer (or mash them).
·        Stir mushrooms into the potatoes. 

There is enough filling for one batch of very plump perogies:  for DOUGH recipe & instructions see :
*Serve with steamed garlic sausage and sauerkraut salad.  Yum!



Wednesday, 3 June 2015

POST FALLS, IDAHO and the OLD EUROPEAN RESTAURANT

 While Bryan’s driving, I like to read aloud AAA information about the towns and cities coming up. 

I was really surprised to find, in the “Where to Eat” section for Post Falls, a mention of an Old European Restaurant offering “Swedish cream-filled crepes, Danish aebleskivers (a ball-like pancake), Belgian waffles, German potato pancakes, Hungarian breakfast goulash, and Irish shepherd’s pie”. 
We immediately decided to wait even an hour longer for lunch so that we could check it out.

Then, imagine our disappointment when we entered and were told by the owner’s daughter that they were now closed for lunch!
    
I mentioned how excited I had been to see the sign outside announcing their Russian Black Bread.  The daughter replied, “Yes, my mom and I have been working hard to come up with a recipe and we’ve finally perfected it.”  
  
A young guy at the back spoke up and said he was pretty sure the kitchen staff would be okay with our staying.


Our waitress pointed out that a slice of Russian Black Bread would come with a bowl of meaty, tingly borscht.   It was perfect for me.


Bryan chose the same bread for a huge sandwich.

Already that was going to be enough food, but I couldn’t resist trying a Danish aebleskiver.   The waitress explained that the traditional ones are stuffed with blueberries, but her favourites were stuffed with meat and cheese so we went with that and they were excellent.


What a surprise when the kitchen also sent out a complimentary dish of the traditional ones!  Also delicious J.  Our waitress told us their origin is supposed to be from Viking Days when the fellas would fry up these morsels in their shields, for want of a more traditional skillet.


And the next thing we knew, this complimentary cinnamon bun arrived.  (By this time, I had mentioned my blog to the waitress and she felt we simply had to try one of these as well.) It was too much – I had to save it for later. . .


Wow!  It was just like the ones Mom used to make except for the addition of the delicious cream cheese icing.


Before continuing our journey, we checked out the town’s Falls Park.







Tuesday, 2 June 2015

From LAREDO to DENTON





It’s been an unusually wet and cool spring all down the middle of the U.S.  Laredo has had a lot of rain and the grass seems to zoom to 6 inches high every other day. 



Kepler loves to be outside, but the huge welts on his legs from mosquito bites are worrisome.

Just before we started home, flash flooding damaged San Antonio and Houston.   Tornadoes  ripped through other areas.


The grey skies in Austin meant we had the pool mostly to ourselves. 



I’m still hobbling around in a huge boot but Kepler kept Bryan and Nicole hopping because he’s quick as the lightning. 


                                                Just resting up!

In Denton, there was music on the square, but the skies threatened and we got into our hotel just before the rain began and then continued all night.  




******

In our Austin hotel room, Kepler and I settled down on the bed with a Margherita Pizza to watch “Despicable Me”.

“Which piece of pizza would you like?” I asked.

Kepler scrutinized the plate for a moment, then responded, “Probably this one.”   
!!!!!!!!!!!!

Someday, Kepler, I hope you'll select a piece from the pizza your mom still remembers as being really special:




http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/scallop-and-bacon-pizza-recipe.html