Family Recipe Central Blog

Anna Olson Shares Her Treasured Family Recipe - Creamy Potato Pierogies

PierogiesIf you have any Polish ancestry, you're probably more than familiar with Pierogies. These are scrumptious little dumplings made from unleavened dough and typically stuffed with a potato and cheese based filling.

Pierogi are traditional peasant food and a staple part of Polish family cooking culture. You'll also find Pierogi are popular in other Eastern European countries including Slovakia, Russia, Romania, Czech Republic and the Ukraine.

The traditional Polish handmade dumpling is made with unleavened dough shaped into a semi-circle. The filling is made from cooked potatoes, a white curd-like cheese and stir-fried onion, similar in consistency to mashed potatoes.

Many regard Pierogi as the national Polish dish. In Poland each year, they hold the annual Pierogi festival in Krakow where eager Pierogi fans consume more than 30,000 Pierogies each day.

A Recipe for Learning: Family Safety, Nutrition & Cooking

The kitchen, with all of its hot surfaces and pleasing aromas, can be both a highly fascinating as well as a highly dangerous place to be, particularly for small children. This certainly does not mean the kitchen should be off limits. Preschool children have growing minds making it easy for them to learn new concepts. Time spent in the kitchen as a family is a great bonding activity that can be appreciated by both adults and children alike. Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Schools, says kitchen time can be a great way for families to regain some lost, but valuable, family time.

There is no doubt that the kitchen is often the main gathering place of the home. Along with being a great place for learning, families are able to come together and spend some essential quality time. “Children can also develop a sense of responsibility by sharing in daily tasks,” said Dr. Zurn.Take advantage of this time to include your children in daily cooking tasks all the while ensuring a safe environment for them to learn and grow. 

Engaging children, even preschool aged children, can be beneficial in many ways. Simple tasks like mixing batter, or rolling dough will help a child’s hand eye coordination develop. However, skills such as following directions, taking responsibility and learning time management can also be taught to children. Other than basic and complex skills, children can also be taught nutritional concepts. Cooking or baking is an easy way for youngsters to learn the importance of eating healthy.

Parents can make the kitchen both a fun and safe environment by keeping the using the following tips shared by Primrose Schools in mind:

Establish Safety Rules

Children of all ages should always be supervised when working in the kitchen and giving them a set of rules to follow should never be overlooked. Make sure that they are washing their hands thoroughly both before as well as after handling food so that no germs are spread. Ensure that they know what they are allowed to touch and what they are not. This will depend both upon their age and skill-set in the kitchen. When working with your children, always make sure that all pans and pots have their handles facing inward while on the stove as you don't want to run the risk of them being bumped and spilling hot contents. 


Cashew Extract May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The following article was submitted by Linda Miller who writes for Diabetic Cookbook ...

School of Montreal researchers recommend us one good way cashew extract may treat type 2 diabetes.

New research published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research advises cashew seed extract may play an important role in preventing and treating diabetic issues.

Cashew Tree indigenous to Northeastern Brazil - courtesy of Eric Gaba The cashew is a tree in the flowering plant family Anacardiaceae. The plant is indigenous to northeastern Brazil.

Scientists at the College of Montreal and the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon analyzed how cashew products affected the responses of rat liver cells to insulin.

In Canada, over three million Canadians have diabetes and this number is expected to reach 3.7 million by 2020, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.

In U.S.A, according to the American Diabetes Association, from the 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, there are total 23.6 million children and adults in the United States - 7.8% of the population - have diabetes. 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year.

Scientists looked at cashew tree leaves, bark, seeds and apples. They found that only the cashew seed extract increased the absorption of blood sugar by the cells.

How Will You Celebrate National Oatmeal Cookie Day?

Are you surprised? Didn't know today (April 30th) is National Oatmeal Cookie Day? That's OK, you're probably not alone. Unless you're really tuned into oatmeal cookies.

Oatmeal CookiesIt turns out, almost every day of the year is a food holiday of one type or another. Interestingly enough, many food holidays are actually proclaimed by the President of the United States.

For example, our US Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 193, designated March 6th (in 1984) as "Frozen Food Day", and requested the President, then Ronald Reagan, to issue a proclamation for this occasion.

In Proclamation #5157, President Ronald Reagan declared: "Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 6, 1984, as Frozen Food Day, and I call upon the American people to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activies". And so it goes ...

Now, you probably won't track down an official proclamation for "National Oatmeal Cookie Day" by a US president. However, this food holiday has been celebrated for many years, and there is plenty of documentation to support that National Oatmeal Cookie Day does really exisit.

Is it Parmesan or Parmigiano?

I must admit, we take the cooking and food vocabulary that we use and hear every day for granted. At least, that's the case for me. And so it is for Parmesan as in Parmesan Cheese.

I was playing around with a recipe the other day that called for Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. And I had to pause with a brief pondering question "what's the difference between Parmesan and Parmigiano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese"?

It occured to me that I've been buying and using these cheeses for years and I've never stopped to understand the difference. In fact, I've probably been mistaken in my assumption that these are just different names for the same cheese.

Well, to some extent, that may be true, but it's a bit more complicated than that as I've come to learn.

OK, some of you (maybe many of you) are probably saying at this point, this one's pretty obvious. Of course, Parmesan is simply the French version of Parmigiano which is Italian. So are these just the French and Italian language equivalents for the same cheese? Not so fast.

Recipe Ingredients Feature Improvement

More continous improvements at Family Recipe Central

While some of the adjustments, fixes and enhancements that we make at Family Recipe Central might seem small and insignificant, sometimes these minor improvements make a big difference for our users.

One of the frequent questions submitted to our support team is "how to have duplicate ingredient items" in the ingredients section of a recipe. Seems reasonable enough, but this has been a limitation in our system up until now.

For example, let's say you have a recipe that has two sections, a fish preparation, and a sauce that is served over the fish. You might want your ingredients list to look something like this ...



  • 2 halibut filets
  • 1/2 med onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 leek, diced


  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vingegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Previously, the problem that you would bump into has been our limitation on duplicate ingredients. In this case, the sea salt in the Sauce section is flagged as an error because it's a duplicate ingredient entry of the sea salt in the Fish section.

New Family Cookbook How-to Get Started Guide

We've just added several new get-started guides all about how to create your family cookbook.

If you're wondering how to use the cookbook and recipe publishing system at Family Recipe Central to create your family cookbook, be sure to see these helpful tutorials ...

Improvements to Recipe Editing and Recipe Ingredients

We've made a few adjustments to the Recipe editing module at Family Recipe Central that our users will want to know about.

Recipe Ingredients - Reordering the Ingredients List

The inability to re-order the items in the recipe ingredients list has been a frustrating limitation on our system. After you put your recipe ingredients in and save the recipe, you may want to change the order of one or more of the ingredients in the list. Worse, if you update an ingredient such as fixing a spelling mistake or rewording the ingredient description, the system will change the order of the updated ingredient in the list, usually moving the item to the end of the list.

We're currently working on an update release that will include a number of enhancements to the recipe ingredients list including a drag-and-drop interface to easily reorder the list.

In the meantime, we've provided an interim solution that makes it possible to reorder the ingredient list.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough - Video Step by Step Instruction

Pizza is definitely a popular convenience food. And while it may seem easier to have that pizza delivered from your local pizza shop, you may not realize that homemade pizza dough is really not that difficult to prepare.

If you're a pizza fan, nothing quite compares to a fresh, homemade pizza!

Cooking Up a Glossary of Cooking Terms at Family Recipe Central

See our newly added "Glossary of Cooking Terms" under the "Help" section at Family Recipe Central. It's a modest collection of cooking terms at the moment, with about 60 entries or so.

We'll continue to add cooking terms and definitions on an ongoing basis, but it's a nice start to kick off the section.

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