Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vareniki, granola, and apple bread

Our mom is in the States for 3 months. She spends most of her time in NYC, so I don’t get as many goodies as my sister does. During this week when she was visiting, I tried to squeeze in as many dishes that we wanted to exchange on the menu. One of the things that I miss the most about mom’s cooking, is hand-rolled pasta dough and 10,000 dishes she uses it for. We made a slightly gourmet version of vareniki, traditional Ukrainian ravioli, apple bread, and granola. I made some tweaks to the apple bread recipe from smittenkitchen.com and staple granola recipe substituting sugar for agave.
Apple bread: substitute a cup of oil and sugar for ½ cup of oil and ½ of agave.

4 cups of regular oats
generous pinch of salt
1/3 cup of agave
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
3 cups of assorted chopped nuts, seeds, and dry fruits. I used walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, and raisins.
Bring the oven to 300F. Mix oats, salt, agave, and oil.Spread the mixture evenly on a cookie sheet or non-alumni baking sheet. When using alumni baking sheet cover it with parchment paper, because aluminum might alter the taste of some foods.
Bake for 1 hour. Mix in nut, seed, and fruit mixture and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate in a closed container for up to 2 weeks.
1.5 – 2 cups of white flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 cup (at the most) of tepid water
Mix 1.5 cup of flour and salt. Make an indentation in the flour mixture and add the egg. Mix in the egg breaking it gently. Start adding water a little bit at the time and mix it in. Add enough water to form a dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes soft and elastic adding flour and water if needed for about 3-5 minutes. Cover the dough with a bowl or plastic wrap and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
Uncover the dough and knead for another 3-5 minutes. The dough should be very easy to
work with and should not be sticky. Split the dough into 2 balls. Cover one, while you roll out the other into a 1/6 inch thick disk.
Cut into circles of dough using a cookie cutter or a glass. Cover the sheets with a towel to prevent drying out.
2 medium size yellow squash
2 medium size russet potatoes, skins removed
salt/pepper to taste
olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400F. Split squashes in a half forming boats. Brush squash with olive oil, sprinkle salt/pepper, and bake for 30 minutes. Bring a pot of salted water and boil potatoes for 20 minutes.
Scoop out the flesh of squash, strain potatoes, and mash with a little olive oil until smooth. Using immersion blender makes this a little easier. Adjust salt and pepper.
Take a dough circle, place about a teaspoon of filling on one side and close the pocket. Place vareniki on a floured surface until you assemble all of them.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and carefully drop vareniki. Boil on high heat until vareniki start floating on surface. Scoop out carefully.
Eat right away with a little butter, pesto, or any other light and herb sauce.


  1. Nice Job Girls! Saule,I didn't realize you liked cooking THIS MUCH, to make a blog on it! Very impressive - keep it going!!! Masha

  2. Mashenka, thank you for warm words. I hope you will try the recipes and will become a regular visitor of our blog