Homemade Pierogies

So you may recall that I started taking Prednisone last week. It’s a steroid meant to ease the symptoms caused by my chemo-induced lung toxicity (which I explained here). Prednisone is a pretty common drug for a lot of things, but like most of the drugs in my cabinet these days, comes with a slew of side effects. Weight gain, puffy face, low bone density, mood changes, unwanted hair growth, the list of fun possibilities goes on and on.

At first I was really, really bummed at the idea of having even more unwanted side effects. I mean, how cruel would it be if I were to lose the hair on my head and grow a moustache? Not cool universe, not cool at all.

I have since eased up on these fears a little having now noticed the ‘roids are actually doing what they are meant to do. My coughing is almost gone and I’m breathing easier. I didn’t realize how miserable I was with my poor poisoned lungs until I started to get some semblance of normal function back.

I will admit to you however that the biggest perk of the ‘roids thus far has been the boost in energy. I pop a pill and a half along with my morning coffee every day and I am good. to. go. Goodbye chemo fatigue.

It is with this preamble that I share a recipe with you today, inspired by my newfound steroid energy. I never would have attempted this if it weren’t for my chemo brain’s inability to think things through properly, and my false sense of stamina brought on by the steroids. I ended up crashing in the end, but first we’ll start with this:


My Dad picked this book up for me at the flea market after haggling them down to pay a buck for it. At first I thought it was a funny gift, but I actually ended up devouring it. So many good recipes in here! Classic “foreign” dishes with very basic ingredients and cooking instructions. I have at least a dozen earmarked, but on the day in question I decided to start with “Polish Dumplings,” aka pierogies. I had all the ingredients on hand and my chemo tummy was telling me dumplings were a good idea.

Usually I don’t share recipes from books, but this one is well-known and already all over the internet:

2 cups sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs plus 1 yolk
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp veggie oil (I used canola)


Just mix everything in a bowl until the dough is nice and soft (I had to add a tbsp of milk), separate the dough into two pieces and let sit for 10 minutes. Roll dough out thin and cut using a drinking glass. Put <tbsp of filling in the centre and fold in half, using a little water to help the dough seal. Then boil for 10 minutes, and fry to finish.

I know that cheese and potato is what most people associate pierogies with, but we had ground beef in the fridge and that sounded really good to me. So for my filling, I browned one pound of beef with one onion, 1 tsp of smoked paprika, 1 tsp of Trader Joe’s All-Seasoning Salute, and a fair bit of salt and pepper.


Making the dough and beef was the easy part. It wasn’t until I started rolling out the dough with my 20 lb marble rolling pin and broken left arm (I can’t put weight on it remember!) I realized that this may have been a steroid and chemo fuelled endeavour, and perhaps not very well thought out.

I then proceeded to fill and fold approximately 158 pierogies.


The only thing that disappointed me about the end product was that I couldn’t get my dough rolled out flat enough so my dumplings were a little too dough-y. With that said, the dough recipe is GOOD and having a little extra wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I really dug my beef filling because it didn’t make it too carb-y. My sealing technique could also use some work, but as my dad kindly pointed out, I didn’t grow up doing this in Poland so I can get a pass on that one.

Overall, this is a stellar recipe and I can’t wait until my next ‘roid-induced kitchen experiment with the Frugal Gourmet. I’ve got a grape leaves recipe that’s ear-marked that thankfully doesn’t require any rolling pins. Just a lot more folding.


In other news, Buster and I have been separated for two days now because he was experiencing some tummy upset. My mom took him so I wouldn’t be exposed what he was releasing. But he is on the mend and I should be getting him back today! I went to visit him yesterday and Archie the poodle is still pissed by this new puppy development. He is not very keen on sharing me, and Buster, bless him, is too stupid to realize it. Haha.

Finally, thank you for the feedback on yesterday’s post. My mom and I both read through the comments and were blown away by some of the feedback and honesty in there. You all gave me a lot of food for thought and I feel really lucky to have so many great people standing by my side through the ups and downs of this cancer thing. You are more than welcome to come over for some pierogies. I still have about 87 of them left.

Posted on October 18, 2011, in Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. Wow, that’s a ton of food :) It’s so funny to see “pierogies” recipes on American and Canadian blogs, because pierogi is actually a traditional and very common dish in Poland where I live (and generally in central Europe, I think). By the way, pierogi is already plural, so “pierogies” is kind of double plural :)

    • I was wondering about the singular/plural while writing this post! Thank you for clearing that up for me without having to Google, haha. In Canada we always put the “s” at the end of “pierogi.” But then again, we also always put an “s” on things like “beers” which is also technically grammatically incorrect. Ahwell :)

  2. Sounds delish. If you are up for a visit this week, I’d love to pop by. (There is no ulterior motive involving perogi(es), I swear).

  3. I have a pierogi recipe in my blog somewhere! I love the frugal gourmet, but I got mine from some Polish cookbook. I also got the dough to be super flat but using a pasta maker. I swear, that was the best investment. I roll EVERYTHING in that and it gets it super thin. Not emaciated, just thin ;)

  4. Those look awesome :)

    Also wanted to add you look amazing :) And I am glad your lungs are feeling better :)

  5. Wow, I actually have (and use) that same cookbook!! I haven’t tried the perogies, but the sauerkraut is amazing!! We actually use his sauerkraut recipe as our family recipe now, it is so good. I might have to make some this weekend now.

  6. I might just have to try these! I haven’t given Pierogies a fair shot ever since I tried them when I was ~8 years old and deemed them terrible. They were potato and dough… what could have honestly been so awful? Obviously I need to give them another chance!

    And glad to hear you’re hopefully getting Buster back soon! :)

  7. Popping by in a few hours then! With Henry and Clara…hope that’s ok.

  8. Mouth watering! I’m dying to eat this right now……but that may be the pregger talking.

  9. OMG those peroiges look so damn good!!!! I must attempt these too. I am trying to branch out and bake and cook different things, not just stuff I am used to making. these fit the bill ;-) And now I am starving! (and I am so glad all of the comments and feedback yesterday were helpful! I love this bloggy world for the same reason!)

  10. Yum, peroiges remind me of college! (Don’t think they’re much of a CA thing?) And with the meat filling they seem like kreplach which is like a doughy meat-filled dumpling they serve in Jewish delis and the like. Funny how so many cultures have similar food.

    • Perogies were a college food for me too – the ultimate late night snack. And totally agree with different cultures having so many similar foods. That’s why I never fret about making something as traditional as possible, because even within families there are so many different variations of the same dish!

  11. So dang delicious! I love pierogies, no matter what they are filled with!

  12. i meant to comment yesterday but my internet was SLOOOOW! bugger. I loved the honesty you put in that post and that is why you are going to be this thing. You raw, real, and know that fighting doesn’t always mean you have to be tough. It means you endure.

  13. I am so glad you are doing better & happier that you were reunited with the doggies! I love that pic!

  14. No hair+mustache would be very, very cruel… And highly hilarious :) I’ve got my eye on a Kitchenaid as well! I am really set on the Green Apple on, but we shall see how this pans out! Hope you are feeling well! I’ve got a count down on now to the start of chemo. Not that I am in any way looking forward to it, but the sooner it starts the sooner its over… hopefully.

  15. I really enjoy reading your blog – all of it. Life can bring us on a wild and crazy ride sometimes. I truly believe that you will look back at this time in your life and realize all of the great gifts you have been given. You are an amazing person!

    I am keeping you are in my daily prayers.

  16. Ops . . . . I am keeping you in my daily prayers!

  17. 1. I love. This. Post. Your ‘roid-induced energy really comes through in your writing, and not that I have any problem with your recent posts but this one sounds a lot more like the “old” you (I hope you take that the right way). Point is, I’m glad you have some energy and it seems like you’re doing better :)

    2. Pierogies. Jealous. Sounds a lot like the time I thought making wontons would be a great idea and ended up spending about 15 hours folding them all but maaaaaaan were they worth it!

    3. I actually laughed out loud three times while reading this post, my favorite part being where your dad actually bargained someone down from $2 to $1 for the book :D Looks like a great book!

  18. I want to “like” your comment about Buster being too stupid to realise – we had a cavalier and bless him, was not the brightest spark. I hope he gets to come home soon!

    • Haha, it’s sort of become a running joke with my family. The other dog is a miniature poodle, who apparently is the second smartest breed of dog, whereas cavaliers are…#44. When the two of them are together it becomes very apparent! Buster makes up for it in character and friendliness though :)

  19. Whoa! I remember Jeff Smith from long ago! He did have some great recipes. I also wanted to share some good cancer news. After two years of operations, chemo, and radiation … My friend, Mike, was pronounced cancer free yesterday! He started with a terrible prognosis, so this has really been a miracle. Just wanted to share that there can be light and joy at the end of the tunnel. Don’t lose heart! We’re all pulling for you.

  20. “He is not very keen on sharing me, and Buster, bless him, is too stupid to realize it. Haha.”

    I have heard, and said myself.. that cavaliers have no brain, but two hearts…

    i love my cavaliers…

  21. Ah perogies! My family is Austrian and my husbands family is also, so we LOVVVVVVEEE perogies. We make them on occasion, but me not having the experience of the older folk, we need to devote an entire afternoon to making those (we are slow to say the least). We either roll them too thin and all the potatoes boil out, or they are too thick and require some cutting to get thru. But oh are they yummy. They are still delic nonetheless. Good job for attempting them!!! Now I’m hungry! And your puppies are so adorable.

  22. So… I totally had a dream last night that I was making Pierogies. Something that I have never done, nor seen done, in my life. I blame this post that I read yesterday. I guess I should make them now….? :)

  23. I LOVE pierogies!! Yours look crazy good!

  24. i am comin over. i want some.

  25. HI Susan. I’ll be right over with sour cream and butter in hand. :) Poor little Buster…what he lacks in brains, he makes up for in beauty! And I’m dating myself, but I remember watching the Frugel Gourmet on PBS on Saturday afternoons. (long before the days of the Food Network) I’m old! All the best for today and beyond!!

  26. On the upside, even if you are bald and have a mustache, you can snap at people and be a complete b!tch, then blame it on the roid rage :-)

    I joke.

    I’m glad to hear you are feeling a little better!

  27. my sister was on Prednisone when she was first diagnosed with chronic ITP…you have my sympathies :( I know she went through hell with it, & she gained 60lbs. She eventually demanded she be taken off of it because it caused so much permanent damage.

    perogies….mmmm that’s something I’ve always wanted to try making!

    Keep fighting, lady! You can do this :)

  28. The pierogie picture with the fork is beautiful! I love how the green dances down the left side of the picture.

  29. Next time you need to roll out dough (especially if it’s for something little) try using a tortilla press. Pop a ball of dough in the center, flip the top over, and push it down. It may take a little strength, but it’s something you can basically do with one hand (just use your other one to make sure the press doesn’t walk across the counter top).

  1. Pingback: Homemade pierogies | Fitoimage

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: