Aug 8, 2010
First of all, I would like to say huge thanks for all your nice comments on our First Anniversary post! As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve been on a small break from blogging – that’s because I’ve been living in another place where I had absolutely no free space to take photos. Now I’m back and trying to catch up on your updates. My mailbox is bursting with Foodbuzz newsletters and Twitter notifications… so much to read there! I’ve unsubscribed from about ten newsletters recently in order to clear out my mailboxes, but there are still a few I can’t live without!
The heat and sultriness are still here. I hardly know anyone who has air conditioning at home, summer has always been very mild in Latvia. Air conditioners are bad for the environment, after all. So, there are air conditioners in offices and public places like malls etc, but not in people’s homes. I had grand baking plans for this summer – really wanted to learn to make pizza from scratch, for example – but it’s absolutely unbearable to mess with the oven in this weather. I’ve been making tons of blackcurrant cordial instead. We drink it with ice sparkling water as a refreshing fizzy drink. Stano has been freezing cherry and blueberry ice popsicles and making berry and peach smoothies. Looks like his favourite kitchen appliance is hand blender – he always wants to turn all fruit and berries we get into purée, lol. So he is the master of smoothies in our kitchen.
Today, Mom and I decided to make Lazy Vareniki. These are called “lazy” because in contrast to classic Vareniki (which you might also know as Pierogi), cottage cheese is mixed directly into dough, which is shaped into small dumplings. They are much easier and quicker to make than standard Vareniki. Served with melted butter, sour cream, sprinkled with sugar or accompanied by jam, Lazy Vareniki make a very filling homey breakfast! I had some overripe apricots that I cut into quarters and cooked with sugar and ground cinnamon for some 15 minutes until they turned tender and translucent. I served our Lazy Vareniki with this fresh apricot jam. Mmmm!
500g cottage cheese (15% fat or so)
½ cup sugar
2 cups + approx. ½ cup flour
1/3 tsp salt
2 litres water
Combine cottage cheese, eggs, and sugar, and stir well. Gradually mix in flour (2 cups). When the dough becomes thick, knead it with your hands for a few minutes. The dough will be pretty sticky and also grainy if you had a grainy cottage cheese, but that’s okay.
Divide the dough into ping-pong sized balls and roll them into “snakes”, dusting the dough and the working surface with remaining flour. Cut the snakes into small gnocchi-sized pieces.
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil, add salt, and cook the dumplings in boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Lazy Vareniki are ready when they float to the top. Take out your Vareniki with a large perforated spoon and serve with melted butter, sour cream, and sugar or jam.
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