Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stuffed Cabbage

OK so last week my dad told me they were making stuffed cabbage and that sounded so good, I thought about it all week and decided to give it a go this weekend (mind you mine is made with meat and eggs and they are vegan so, as good as I'm sure their dish was, mine is quite different...)

This was SOOOOO GOOD!  I can't begin to describe.  I wasn't even sure if I liked stuffed cabbage, to be honest, it has been a long time since I had it and who knows where that was and if it was good.  But as much work and care as this recipe took (this is another afternoon-long cooking project), it was worth every second.  Brandon and I ate until we were stuffed.  It is like a Polish (or German or Hungarian) version of meat loaf... but wrapped in cabbage... and the SAUCE is so good... and with mashed potatoes it is like a slice of heaven in every bite... YUM.  I want to eat it now, for lunch, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day... HAHAHA no just kidding.  But we do have a lot leftover so we can eat it for another dinner and I can possibly take some for lunch as well this week.  NICE!

I looked at so many recipes and read so many comments, I am not quite sure where my final recipe comes from.  I took what I liked from each and this is what I ended up with.  The sauce is close to the one used by Ina Garten.  It was killer.  I wont change it next time at all.


1 large head savoy or green cabbage
1 28 oz can sauerkraut (optional)


1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground sausage or pork
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 generous cup COOKED rice
1 tsp. dried thyme


2 T good olive oil
1 cup diced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans crushed tomatoes, with their juices (I used one can crushed tomatoes and 1 can crushed tomato in thick puree)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2-3 T brown sugar
generous pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 T fresh lemon juice


1.  With a paring knife, cut out the core of the cabbage, and immerse cabbage head in pot of boiling water.  Boil for about 15 minutes.  Peel off the leaves one at a time with tongs, being careful not to tear them, and set aside.  (I got the largest cabbage head you have ever seen from the farmer's market yesterday... it didn't really fit in my pot at first... but I made out OK!)

Ha! yes it is huge. The picture doesn't do it justice.  Anyways..

2.  Saute the diced onion (1/2 cup) and minced garlic cloves (4-6) for the filling in a T. or so of oil, until translucent (you could probably skip this step but I thought it would add flavor to the filling... like I said... whatever I did worked so I would do this again!)

3.  Meanwhile, start the sauce by heating 2 T. olive oil over medium low heat, and then adding the minced garlic (4 cloves)  and diced onion (1 cup), until softened.

 4.  Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices.

 5.  Then add the vinegar (1/4 cup) and the brown sugar (2-3 T).

6.  Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, and turn the heat to low.  Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes while you make the filling.

7.  While sauce is simmering, make the filling.  Combine beef, sausage (or pork), eggs, rice, green peppers, sauteed onion and garlic, bread crumbs, thyme, salt and pepper. 

8.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

9.  Now we can assemble cabbage rolls.  Lay out a cabbage leaf, cut the triangular rib from bottom of leaf. 

10.  Scoop a half cup or so of filling into middle of leaf, across spine, and roll upwards toward top of leaf, folding edges under.

11.  Repeat until all filling is used up.  I ended up with 11 stuffed rolls.

12.  Pour a cup or so of filling in the bottom of a large dutch oven.

13.  Pour in sauerkraut (drain it first), if using.

14.  Add a layer of stuffed cabbage rolls, and then cover with more sauce.

15.  Put in remaining rolls, pour in remaining sauce and, if necessary, add water to cover the rolls.

16.  Cover with tight fitting lid and cook at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until meat is cooked.  Mine was done in an hour and 15 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes (trust me) and enjoy!

Sausage , Garlic, Tomato and Cream Pasta

This is one of my staple recipes that I make at least once a month.  It is very satisfying on a cold night.  The only problem with it is I have a hard time stopping!  I can eat several helpings and still wish I had room for more.  It is also very simple and an easy weeknight meal.  I made this dish for my mother-in-law and she also loved it. 


1 lb. pasta (I like cartwheels or Rotini with this dish)
3 T. light olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. sausage 
1 (28 oz) can Italian whole peeled tomatoes
2/3 cup cream
2-3 T fresh diced parsley

Parmesan for serving


Heat oil over medium heat in cast iron pan (or other skillet).  Crumble sausage into oil and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until brown, add minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 2/3 of the can of cut up tomatoes with their juice (I usually do not use the entire can but you could).  Simmer over medium low heat for about 20 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked down.

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Meanwhile, boil water and cook pasta until al dente.  A couple minutes before the pasta is done, add the heavy cream and turn the heat to high, cooking for 3 minutes or so to thicken the sauce slightly.

Pour sauce over pasta and add parsley.

Toss well to combine.

Serve and enjoy!

Buttermilk Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is TO DIE FOR.  I want to swim in the batter and roll in the icing.  Really I do! Why I made this on a Thursday night is beyond me... I was reading my book during lunch at work and the main character had a piece of spice cake and my fingers darted to my keyboard to browse the internet world of spice cake... it was like I was entranced.  After 20 minutes of internal struggles on the way home in the car, and passing two supermarkets that had the only ingredients I needed (butter and cream cheese... and hence GUILT) I finally spun into a Stewarts at the last minute, doubtful they would have either, let alone both of these things.  That they did, was a sign.  Sigh.  So spice cake:



2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
2 T. ground ginger
3/4 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 lb powdered sugar, sifted


1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Prepare a pan by spraying it well and lining the bottom with parchment.  You definitely don't want to skip this step!   (I used a 9 inch round, you could use an 8 inch square or whatever else you want, just adjust baking time)

3.  Sift together dry ingredients in mixing bowl of stand mixer.

4.  Beat in butter and buttermilk for a few minutes until fluffy and creamy.  (NOTE: you can make buttermilk by adding 1 T of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk.  Here I used about 2/3 of a T for 3/4 cup milk).

5.  Add eggs and beat a couple more minutes until thick.

6.  Pour into prepared pan.

7.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.

8.  Cool on cooking rack.

9.  Meanwhile, make icing by combining softened cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.

10.  Gradually beat in powdered sugar and mix until mixture holds soft peaks.

11.  When cake is cool, ice it with a spatula.

12.  Cut and serve.  (Icing will firm up on the fridge).