Hot and Sour Soup

8 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 large pieces of wood ear (black fungus)
1 oz (¼ package) bean thread noodles, optional (mung bean threads, not rice noodles!)
8 oz firm tofu
8 oz boneless pork or chicken cooked and finely julienned (I prefer Chinese barbeque pork for this)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 cups chicken stock
½ cup bamboo shoots, julienned
½ cup small cooked shrimp
¼ cup vinegar
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp white pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1-2 Tbsp sesame oil
1-2 Tbsp chilli-garlic paste
2 green onions, finely sliced, optional

In small bowl, cover mushrooms and wood ear with 2 cups hot water; let stand for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain, reserving liquid. Discard mushroom stems and finely slice caps.  Cut wood ear into fine julienne strips. Set aside.
In bowl of hot water, soak noodles for 5 minutes; drain, and place in pile on cutting board and chop into 1 inch lengths. Cut tofu into small cubes.
In large pot, bring chicken stock to gentle boil. Add pork (if using raw pork, cook for 30 minutes or until tender), mushrooms, wood ear, mushroom liquid, noodles, tofu, bamboo shoots, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, pepper; return to gentle boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
In small bowl, whisk cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water; add to soup slowly and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
In small bowl, whisk eggs with 1 tablespoon water, then slowly drizzle into soup, stirring slowly with spoon.
Stir in shrimp, sesame oil, chilli-garlic paste and onions, let stand for 2 minutes.
Serves 4 perhaps, if you want to share.
Note this is Hot and Sour so you can adjust the vinegar, chilli-garlic paste, soy sauce and sugar to your specific taste.  In the picture below I have added another a large dollop of chili garlic paste to make it hotter for me.

Snowy Palms Resort

Beef and Beet Borscht

Borscht is a long-time favourite in our home, lifetime favourite in fact. Served with a fresh made bun or roll it is a meal fit for royalty and peasants alike. Give it a try. Today!

1 lb lean beef, chopped into bite size pieces

1 large sweet onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, pressed
8 cups beef broth (I used Better than Bouillon for this batch)

5 cups chopped cabbage (red or green)

3 cups grated carrot

5 cups grated beets

4 or more bay leaf
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp dried dill seed, or 2 Tbsp fresh (fresh is best of you can find it)
Salt to taste

Brown beef in a large stock pot. Once beef is browned, add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until the onions begin to sweat.

Add beef stock (you could use vegetable stock and eliminate the beef too, but why bother?)

Add carrots and cabbage.

Add bay leaf, dill and cayenne.

Add beets. Bring to a boil then turn down heat and simmer on low for 45 minutes, covered.

Taste as you go and add salt to finish.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!!!

Borscht is a vegetable soup and can be vegetarian or beef based, matters not really.  Also in some borscht recipes you see potatoes added along with other vegetables, however it is primarily a beet and cabbage soup, but tailor it to your liking.

Make a full batch! It freezes really well, unless you add potatoes, then it freezes not so good...

Perogies; Grandma Boos style...

Grandmas Boos Perogy Dough

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup ice cold water (added a little at a time)

In large mixing bowl place flour and salt and mix well to ensure salt is well incorporated into flour (I use a whisk to do this).  

Using a dough hook turn on to medium-low speed setting and add 1 egg at a time until all 6 eggs are mixed in.  Add oil and continue to mix.

The mixture should start to take on a crumbled texture.  Add a couple of ounces of water at a time and mix well.  Add enough water to get the dough to form a firm ball, when it pulls away from the side of the bowl knead it for 4 minutes longer.

Once the dough has finished kneading in the bowl turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for at least 5 minutes. The surface of the dough will become smooth when it is ready.

Once kneading is complete, coat dough with a little oil, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge.  Refrigerate dough for at least 4 hours before using in your favourite recipe. This dough also makes great noodles for soups and other uses like stroganoff.  Yummy!
When using this dough it should be a soft and pliable dough that will shrink slightly as you roll it out between rolls until it has been worked well with the roller.  

Roll out the dough to about 1/8" thickness, then begin making some magic.

Cheddar Cheese and Potato Perogy Filling

3 lbs potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed (russets are best)
1 ½ lbs shredded sharp or old cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Mash potatoes and add cheese to the hot mashed potatoes, add salt and pepper. Mix well. Set aside to cool.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll one piece at a time. 

Roll to 1/8” thickness.  

Use thin rimmed glass or round cutter (we use a Perogy zipper!) to cut circles out of the dough.
Place 2 Tbsp filling on each round.

Lightly moisten edge of one half of dough with water; pinch edges together to seal and crimp. 


Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper; Repeat with remaining portion of dough.

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook perogies, in batches, for 4-5 minutes or until they float to top, stirring gently to prevent perogies from sticking together or to bottom of pot. With slotted spoon, remove to colander to drain.

To serve after boiling, fry a few strips of bacon that have been minced fine before cooking, once fat starts to render toss in 1 large onion that has been minced fine, cooking until bacon is crisp and the onions are caramelized.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Do not remove the bacon fat from the pan. Add the perogies and cook until all wonderful pockets of heaven are cooked slightly brown. Once browned you can either serve them straight up with the fried bacon and onions on the side or top the perogies with the bacon and onion mixture and toss gently. Your choice!

Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

Snowy Palms Resort

Tasty Japanese Beef Curry - The easy/peasey version

Japanese Beef Curry

Follow directions on the box and you will be fine, or use mine below.

I use stewing beef or chuck when making this so it needs to cook for a couple of hours to tenderize, but the resulting flavour it is worth the wait.  I have also substituted chicken for the beef occasionally and it was fantastic as well, just don't cook it to death.

Normally I substitute Campbell's No Sodium Added Beef Broth in place of the water the instructions call for. It adds a depth to the flavour and no additional salt. The roux is salty enough.

1 lb stewing beef or chuck cut into 2" cubes
1/2 package Japanese curry roux (Kokumaro is a common one and available in varying degrees of heat - we like the hot one)

One of the brands available in the supermarkets

When removed from box there are 2 trays and they are sealed like this

Cover removed from tray

Block of curry roux

Block of curry roux broken into pieces
4 cups water or no salt beef broth

4 cups vegetables of your choice (carrots, peas and celery are what we like to use)


Brown beef in a large heavy pot over high heat.

Once beef has browned add water or beef stock and bring to a boil.  Once at boiling turn down heat to simmer and cook for 1 hour or until beef starts to get tender.
Once beef begins to get tender add the curry roux to the simmering stock and stir well until the roux is melted into the stock and it begins to thicken up. Stir to prevent sticking. Add as much roux as you need to get the consistency to the thickness you prefer.

Add the vegetables to the thickened gravy and cook until done, stirring occasionally. Note that I cook the carrots and celery before adding the peas.

Once the carrots are cooked add the peas just before serving. No one likes wimpy peas.

Place over steamed rice and serve hot. Enjoy!

Snowy Palms Resort