Mike Kalina’s Pittsburgh Potato Cheese Pierogies


One of my most favorite foods. Growing up in Pittsburgh, pierogies were everywhere. Everywhere! The best are the ones made by church ladies, and my Aunt Bonnie (goddamnit, why do I not write down the dough recipe when I see her?).

My Gramsy was one of the pierogie ladies at St. Mary’s Church in Lawrenceville. “She went to pierogies” as she’d like to say, for years. She even had a “St. Mary’s Pierogie Princess” t-shirt. Which I now have. It is, obviously, one of my favorite t-shirts. I wish I had a picture of it.

But anyhoo, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at them, but just never did. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. But over the weekend I finally–FINALLY! made them.

Which is fitting because October 8th is National Pierogie Day!!!!

Mike Kalina's PittsburghSince I cannot remember Aunt Bonnie’s dough recipe, I consulted  Mike Kalina’s
Pittsburgh Cookbook
(1991).  My mum got this for me this Christmas last year. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know who Mike Kalina is (apparently he was KDKA’s Phantom Diner!). Regardless, I think this cookbook is very  cool because it includes menus and recipes from Pittsburgh restaurants (some still there, some not). And weird little facts and old Pittsburgh photos.

But holy shit, I googled Kalina and THIS turned up.  Apparently he committed suicide in 1992 after it was suspected that he was accepting money from restaurants for favorable reviews in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He was apparently an extremely successful writer and tv personality and was on the cusp of going national in a big way but an investigation was to start, and he may have gotten throat cancer, so he ended it.

Ugh. I just found out all of this now. After I made the pierogies. Which were awesome. Seriously awesome.

So let’s forget all of that suicide shit and talk little dumplings, OK?

I chose this recipe because Kalina says that it’s his favorite pierogie recipe (there are 2 others in his book). I also chose it because it is a combo of onion, potato and cottage cheese filling.
pierogie recipes
pierogie recipe

Those are my favorite fillings. Well, that and sauerkraut. So I decided to take a look at another recipe for the sauerkraut filling. This one comes from a Ukranian Cookbook called Baba’s Cook Book  by Emily Linkiewich (1st published 1979).

Baba's Cook Book

IT’S A CANADIAN BEST SELLER! And a fun little book. The beginning provides the recipes for traditional Ukranian Christmas Eve and Easter menus. But here is the Pyrogi recipe… Continue reading

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Bourbon Bonfire


It’s National Mulled Cider Day! So I have to pull this one out of the archives, like I do every year.
Is it autumnal where you are? It’s still a bit stuffy here. But I think starting tomorrow we might be entering sweater weather…

Originally posted on Dinner is Served 1972:

Welcome to autumn, bitches!

There is definitely a chill in the air here in Baltimore. Fall has FINALLY arrived. To ward off those nippy nights, here is a little cocktail I concocted that is a twist on a Bourbon Furnace, which is traditionally hot cider, bourbon, whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick. I wanted to make mine a little saucier, a little spicier. So I added some spiced rum and some additional spices and the result was a Bourbon Furnace with an exotic kick. So I give you the Bourbon Bonfire!

In a sauce pan combine:

3 cups cider
1 whole nutmeg
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala.

When hot, stir in :

3 shots bourbon
1 shot spiced rum

The result is sweet, peppery, and warming.  And boozy. Deliciously boozy.

I need to buy some cider, find myself a a boy (good luck with that one…

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Well, I feel like I’ve missed it all!  Seriously. I’ve missed the blog, you guys.

I’m going out on 4 dates this week. Four. All with different guys. One already happened (very nice young man. Army. I’d definitely give him a 2nd date if there is an offer). But because I was out, I missed the 1st episode of Scream Queens. Did anyone watch it? Was it any good? Or The Muppets?

Well, the remainder of this week’s dates I am totally building around my television viewing schedule. Seriously. Tonight is a happy hour date so I can be home in time for Empire.

Because how can I not watch this?


That is some Joan Collins Dynasty shit right there. And I am living for it!!!

Over Labor Day weekend I watched all of season 1. I have a hulu plus account now just because of this show. But it got me to watch Fargo, so thanks hulu!

And tomorrow night I will be ending my dinner early enough to get home to watch How to Get Away With Murder at 10.

Although nothing they do on this show can ever top this:


Sunday I am doing an NFL Sunday 1 o’clock game brunch/lunch date. Because of fantasy. I can’t NOT watch the games. There is too much at stake! I’m going into week three in 1st place. Because I am a boss. Yay, Team Hannibal Lecter’s Face Mask!

Insert obligatory Hannibal gifs:



Oh, and that reminds me–guess who is going to see Gillian Anderson in May on stage in A Streetcar Named Desire?


I’m sooooo stoked. I have some David Duchovny-related news (because, duh), but I’ll save that for later.

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60. Orange Duck

I can’t remember how long ago it was that I made this dinner, just that I prepared it in my parents’ kitchen. When was the last time before the last time I was home?

(checks calendar)

Oh. May.


Well, here’s a DiS! card!

60. Orange Duck

Anyway, I chose to make 60. Orange Duck when I visited Pittsburgh back in May because my dad LOVES duck. He’s absolutely bonkers for it…

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Happy Labor Day 2015!

This is an updated version of a post that appeared in August, 2012. There are more delicious dishes than last time!

Hi, darlings! I want to give you some ideas for your Labor Day cookouts, picnics, clam bakes, or whatever it is that you do to celebrate the labor of the, um, we remember the people who? OK, what the hell are we celebrating for Labor Day? Unions? Yeah, it’s unions. It’s gotta be. Right?

Whatever. It’s an excuse to get out of town, drink, eat and enjoy a long weekend. And for your holiday weekend, here are some dishes that would be welcome at any shindig….

Barbecued Chuck Roast! Look how deliciously charred that piece of beef is! And it’s paired with a corn relish. And that’s a macaroni bake. Who doesn’t love Mac & Cheese?

Yum. This was delicious!

Also, your guests will marvel at the 8th Wonder of the World: Frosty Melon:

This potato salad is the best potato salad I’ve ever had and would be perfect to bring to a pot-luck.

Or this lovely linguine salad!


Another option is to bust out the slow cooker and do a Yinzer take on BBQ Pulled Pork with my Pittsburgh Chipped Ham Barbecue Sammiches with Church Lady Slaw.

These sammiches really are delicious, you guys. And cheap! I want one right now.

Do you have to bring dessert to a barbecue? How about the classic Watergate Salad?


Ruth is a boss and knows what she’s talking about when it comes to molding things.

Speaking of molds, Perfection Salad could be just that–perfect.

Vegetable Jello

So there ya go. Those are just a few ideas. So don’t say I never did anything for you.

Happy Labor Day! I’ll be back next week!

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One Kidney, Two Ways: for the Love of Hannigram

Well, here we are.

I am so excited for the last episode of Hannibal to see how they end the Red Dragon story, but so utterly bummed because it’s most likely that this is the last we see of this fan-fucking-tastic show.

Oh, Hannigram, how much I will miss thee! However, I am riddled with guilt for shipping you.

where you are find youwhere I am


This was such a dick move! Will Graham gave an epic break-up (for lack of a better term) speech and then Hannibal essentially turned himself into the FBI just to mindfuck Will. Some other Fannibals thought this was flat-out romantic. But dude, Hannigram, you’re the most disturbing, manipulative, passive aggressive, psychologically abusive relationship captured on film since, well, that 50 Shades of Grey bullshit.

This sequence, however, I found quite romantic. In its own fucked up way.



Hannibal: If I saw you every day, forever Will, I would remember this time.

Will: Strange seeing you here in front of me. I’ve been staring at after-images of you in places you haven’t been in years.

Hannibal: To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

Will: I wanted to understand you, before I laid eyes on you again. I needed it to be clear, what I was seeing.

Hannibal: Where does the difference between the past and the future come from?

Will: Mine? Before you and after you. Yours. It’s all starting to blur.

If I saw you every day, forever, I would remember this time.

OMG. I would just die if someone said that to me.

Of course, with Hannibal and Will, someone may very well die–later in that conversation Will says, We’re conjoined. I’m curious whether either of us can survive separation. 

AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! So many feelings!

Well, I decided to work out my feelings in the kitchen, just as a certain serial killer would.


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Liberace at Thriller Villa Exhibit Opening Cocktail


OMG. If only I could somehow make it to Las Vegas…

Originally posted on The Liberace:

Owner of Thriller Villa opens doors to limited number of Liberace Foundation supporters to experience massive Liberace exhibition.

  • Meet the Cast and Crew, members of the Board of Directors and member of the Advisory Board of the Liberace Foundation, as well as the designers of the Thriller Villa and this massive exhibition
  • Cocktail and hors d’oeuvres
  • Silent auction of rare and limited edition collectors items and much more
  • Live entertainment
  • Exciting announcements
  • Cocktail Attire
  • RSVP for tickets

Liberace at Thriller Villa Opening  Cocktail

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Is Your Date Behind This Door?


In a word: no.

I owe you all a dating post. So away we go!

(all gifs from RealityTVGIFS.com one of my most fave blogs)

kittenOn a fine summer evening I went out on a lovely wine bar date with a guy who lived out in the county. He was nice, polite, all those things. But there was one odd thing about him. In addition to his actual job, he bred Bengal kittens. In his basement. The basement of his house. Cages of cats. The males in one and the females in the other and then he gets them to mate and have babies and then sells them for hundreds upon hundreds of dollars.



I just imagine that his house would have to smell like cat pee.  OK, and you agree with me that the cat breeding is weird, right?


Today’s public service announcement

That’s not the worst of it.  I had brunch with dude who was obsessed with Adam Levine.

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Playboy Champagne Sherbet Punch

The birthday party rolls on!

I made a punch for my birthday. Because of course I did.


champagne sherbetpunch recipeThis recipe is from the Playboy Host & Bar Book by Thomas Mario (1971 edition).

Angostura bitters? Check.

But the Safeway didn’t have lemon sherbet. Because of course they don’t.

I bought pineapple. I don’t know how much of a difference it made, but my other option was lime, and lime, I think, would have be a bit strong. And wow would the punch have been green. So I bought a half gallon of pineapple sherbet instead.

Anyhoo, I went to my local liquor store and bought a ton of sparkling wine. J. Roget, I believe.


It was, like, $6 a pop. It’s punch, people! Don’t judge. I think I purchased 10 bottles of it. How many fit in a wine box? 12?

Anyway, I wasn’t sure if folks would be down with the punch (because not everyone loves punch) but oh! They were! My friend Kristen, half way through the party, had to go down to the liquor store because we ran out of bubbly. She grabbed whatever bottles of J. Roget that were left. The guy at the shop said to her, “it’s so weird, someone came in yesterday and bought almost all of those.” HA!

How was the punch? Seriously yummy. And I’d totally make it again.

And now, after this and the Super Summer Sangria Punch and the Mad Men Canadian Club Punch, I know that my friends are totally punchy.

Well, I don’t have a picture of the punch. I think I was too busy drinking it. So I’ll just give you a sweet photo from the Playboy book. They’re kinda like punch glasses.


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Velveeta South of the Border Dip

Hello, darlings. I threw myself a big birthday party!

And I made a ton of dishes from my cookbook collection for the occasion. It was a hefty spread and I am looking forward to sharing them with you.

But I guess I wasn’t looking forward to it that much because I’m an Aquarius. That means that my birthday is in January. I threw a big birthday/housewarming party for myself at the end of January and I haven’t gotten around to writing about it until now. In July.

But better late than never, eh?

I’m going to close out the month with my birthday party dishes and then I gotta get cooking again. Seriously, I’m almost out of things to write about. I may have to do another readers’ choice poll.

Without further ado, Velveeta South of the Border Dip!

Fresh Ideas

This little pamphlet was given to me by my mum’s best friend from high school. At first I thought, ooooh asparagus with cheese. But then the more I look at it, the more it looks like some sort of alien hand. Or Swamp Thing’s hand! Man, I haven’t thought about that movie in ages. It played all the time on HBO when I was a kid. I liked Swamp Thingswampthing

However, the thing that I remember most is that every time it was on, my parents would refer to Adrienne Barbeau as “Tits Barbeau.”

OK, back to the dip…

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