Pan Fried Dumplings…………….

There are so many different kinds of dumplings out there. There are Polish Pierogies, Chinese dumplings, Mexican empanadas, Indian Samosa, Japanese Gyoza, Italian Ravioli. Little stuffed wrappers of goodness. They are steamed, pan fried, baked, boiled, deep fried…..but whatever the method, they are so satisfying and delicious. I love them all. You can stuff them with just about anything! My favorite though, is meat filled dumplings, boiled in a hot chili sauce. OH! wait…no, I take that back. My favorite is lightly fried meat dumplings, then steamed at the last minute. Yes. So good. Here are some ideas for fillings:

-cream cheese and bacon
-cream cheese and crab
-cream cheese and jalapeno
-ground pork/beef and potato
-veggie filling…..bean sprouts, broccoli, spinach, zucchini etc
-potato and cheese
-taco meat and cheese (one of my favorites) served with sour cream and salsa
-ground pork/beef and green onion

See what I mean?? The possibilities are endless! Aren’t you excited? You can roll them up or leave the tops open, as I did here.
The ones pictured here are a mixture of ground pork and ground beef.

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Pan Fried/Steamed Meat Dumplings

Packaged won ton wrappers (found at most grocery stores) there are about 50 wrappers in 1 pkg.
1 lb ground pork and beef (use whatever ratio you want)
2 green onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp corn starch (helps the wrapper stick to the filling)

Mix the meat, onion, garlic, corn starch and soy together. Lay the won ton wrappers out, and place a heaping teaspoon of meat mixture in the center of each wrapper.
For the open top method:
Bring up 2 opposite sides and the the other 2 sides. Using your fingertips, gently squish all sides together around the mound of filling mixture. Slightly press down so the bottom is flat. Repeat.
For the rolled enclosed method:
Slightly shape your mixture into a little oblong. Bring 2 opposite sides up on top of mixture. Roll from the bottom of the wrapper to the top. Dab the top corner of wrapper with water to seal it to the dumpling.
Into a skillet, pour approx. 3 tablespoons of oil, on medium heat. Place the dumplings in there and cover the pan. Cook until the bottoms are lightly browned. CAREFULLY and quickly pour in about ¼ cup of water. Quickly put the lid back on. They will cook quickly…just a couple of minutes. Remove from pan and they are ready to eat.
Note: for the open top dumplings, sometimes the wrappers will come apart from the filling. It’s ok! just eat them anyway. 🙂

Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
grated fresh ginger
hot chili paste, to taste… optional

Caramel Sauce………..

I am very much looking forward to fall and winter. This summer has been just awful……so sweaty, yucky hot. Horrible. I want to cook the things that you cook in the cooler months…..chili, soups, stew, pumpkin bread…..which I just happened to bake Sunday. (tomorrows post) Even though it wasn’t that cool outside, there was a breeze!!! That was good enough for me. Ha! I just had to make the pumpkin bread!!
The other thing that I like making in the cooler months, are caramel apples. Although, they are good any time of the year. To make it easier to eat, I make the caramel sauce and then cut up my apple into slices, for easy dipping. Buttery, rich, creamy, sweet, gooey, sticky caramel. M-m-m-m-m-m. This stuff is just so decadent. You will LOVE, LOVE….you will moan and smile and want to just slurp up every last drop. I use it for apples and pears, on ice cream, in my coffee, on pound cake, on pretzels and brownies……..and just scooped with a spoon, right out of the jar. It makes great gifts too. Just sprinkle a little salt on top and it is the best salted caramel. I don’t like things that are overly sweet….and this stuff is on the sweet side…..but once in a while ya just gotta indulge.

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Caramel Sauce/Dip

1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 tblsp corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla, rum, bourbon, whatever….optional
2 tblsp butter
¼ tsp kosher or sea salt, optional

In a large pan, add the sugar, water, corn syrup and bring to boil over medium high heat. Gently whisk till sugar looks dissolved. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes +/- until it turns amber colored. Watch it and don’t let it burn. You can gently swirl the pan a couple of times, but try not to let the mixture get on the sides of the pan. You dont want little sugar crystals to form. Once your mixture gets to an amber color, Turn off the heat and add the cream and butter.  Stand back because the mixture will bubble up!! add vanilla. Whisk till sauce is smooth. Transfer to a glass heatproof container like a measuring cup. It makes it easier to pour into cute jars. Let it cool and it will thicken as it cools. Put lids on the jars and it will keep for at least a month. If your mixture gets too thick once cooled, just add a little water or hot cream…and stir. That is it!!! Easy right??

Asian Sticky Spicy wings……

Chicken wings are a fun thing to eat. They’re a bit messy, but they are so yummy. I have made this particular recipe dozens of times and I love them. They are sticky and messy so be sure to have lots of clean wipes ready. I make mine pretty spicy, but you sure don’t have to. They are just as good without the heat. Well, not really, but………..

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Asian Sticky Spicy Chicken Wings

for 14 wings:

4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1 tablespoon of ketchup

Preheat oven to 400 deg. Clean and pat dry chicken wings. Lay them in a shallow baking pan and roast them for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix all of the ingredients  together and set aside. Remove wings from oven and drain off any juices or fat. Coat wings with the sauce.  Put wings back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. If you like them a little crispy, place under broiler for just a minute or so. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.  Remove from oven and allow to set for a few minutes. Remove wings from sheet and scoop out all of the sauce and pour over the chicken. I sprinkle them with some scallions just for some pizazz. Very messy… will want to lick your fingers, but ewwwwww, that’s so yucky and rude. Don’t do that……:)



Chocolate cream pie in a cup……………..

I think most people like Chocolate Cream Pie. It’s another one of those comfort type foods, right? Which leads me to this………I heard someone on television recently talking about comfort food. They were saying that they just don’t agree that there are any REAL comfort foods….that it is only an excuse for us to eat what we shouldn’t be eating. Well I say Bulls*!# to that! Am I right?? If you eat something that you really enjoy and it brings you that AHHHHHHHHHHH feeling….if it takes you to a calm, wonderful place, maybe back to a good childhood memory….if it just makes you feel good when nothing else can….isn’t that comfort food? The nerve!!!!! This guy probably eats nothing but wheat grass and dry puffy rice cakes!

I asked around and these are some foods that bring people comfort…


Mac n cheese
Fried chicken and masho tatoes
Biscuits and gravy
Chicken and dumplings
Noodle soup
Ice cream
Clam chowder in a bread bowl
Chicken wings

Oh my. Anyway, I got way off subject here. Hahahahaha. This post is about chocolate cream pie. I think THAT should fall under the comfort food category too. Today, I brought in individual chocolate cream pies in a cup, to the office gang. A crumbly chocolate cookie crust, with rich, silky chocolate pudding, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cookie crumbs. M-m-m-m-mm-m-m. So creamy and yummy. Of course you could make a big ol pie, but it’s kinda fun to have your very own little “pie” in a cup. Sometimes I make these in little mason jars. It’s a nice little gift. However you prefer your pie, just do it!

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Chocolate Cream Pie

Blue Cheese Dip……………

This stuff is so GOOOOOD. Tangy and delicious. It’s great with crackers or chips or even on top of a baked potato. It’s super simple to whip up too. If you like blue cheese, you just gotta make this. You better make a big  bowl of it though. It disappears quickly. Be sure to use a good blue cheese so that the flavor really comes through the sour cream.  I used sour cream, but you could use yogurt I suppose…..BLEKH, hate the stuff. I much prefer sour cream! If you don’t like blue cheese, try some feta cheese. That is good too.

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Blue Cheese Dip

2 cups of sour cream
2 tablespoons of minced green onion
3 tablespoons of minced red onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese (a good quality)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together in a bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes. Serve with crackers, chips, veggies.