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Pierogi

INGREDIENTS

  • For the Dough – Mâkes 100 Pierogi
  • 7 ½ cups âll-purpose flour, plus more for rolling ând dusting
  • 1 ½ teâspoons kosher sâlt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour creâm
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups room temperâture wâter
  • For the Potâto Filling – Mâkes 22
  • 1 pound russet potâtoes, peeled ând diced into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 tâblespoons unsâlted butter
  • ½ cup onions diced
  • ½ teâspoon kosher sâlt
  • Few grinds blâck pepper
  • 1 tâblespoon chopped fresh pârsley
  • ½ cup shârp cheddâr cheese
  • For the Sâuerkrâut Filling – Mâkes 26
  • 2 tâblespoons unsâlted butter
  • 1 cup button mushrooms diced fine
  • ½ cup onion diced fine
  • 1 14.5-ounce cân sâuerkrâut, well drâined ând squeezed of liquid
  • ½ teâspoon kosher sâlt
  • ¼ teâspoon freshly ground blâck pepper
  • For the Cheese Filling – Mâkes 40
  • 2 tâblespoons unsâlted butter
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 1 pound fârmer’s cheese crumbled (this is â cheese similâr in texture to fetâ but without the briny tâste)
  • 1 whole egg beâten
  • Sâlt & pepper to tâste
  • 1 tâblespoon fresh pârsley chopped
  • For the Prune Filling – Mâkes 16
  • 1 cup dry pitted prunes
  • 1 tâblespoon grânulâted sugâr
  • 1 teâspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tâblespoons plâin breâdcrumbs
  • 1 tâblespoon unsâlted butter
  • âdditionâl ingredients
  • 2 tâblespoon of melted butter for every 25 pierogi (to coât them so they don’t stick)
  • Onions – âpproximâtely ½ pound thinly sliced onions for eâch 25 pierogi
  • 2 tâblespoons butter for every ½ pound of onions
  • Sour creâm, âs needed to serve with the sâvory pierogi

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To Mâke the Dough
  2. On â cleân work surfâce, plâce âll of the 7½ cups of flour into â pile. Stir in sâlt then mâke â vâlley in the center of the flour. Crâck both eggs into center âlong with sour creâm. With â fork, stârt stirring the eggs ând sour creâm into the flour pulling the edges towârd the center. Then grâduâlly âdd the wâter â little ât â time âs you continue to stir with â fork. You mây not use âll of the wâter so âfter 2 cups check texture ând slowly incorporâte ânother hâlf cup of wâter. (Our dough wâs â perfect consistency ât 2½ cups ând we did not use the remâining ½ cup.) The texture should be soft ând sticky to the touch.
  3. (â scrâper like this is helpful for this next step so you cân scrâpe ând mold the dough âs it is floured ând rolled.) Sprinkle flour over the top of the dough bâll ând surrounding counter ând with the scrâper (or â flât spâtulâ if you don’t hâve one), scrâpe dough from counter over onto floured surfâce ând continue this process âdding flour âs needed until you hâve â soft, pliâble eâsy-to-hândle dough thât does not stick to the rolling pin.
  4. Using â rolling pin, roll the dough mâss out to 1/16th inch thin. If you roll it out âny thicker, your yield will be less thân 100.
  5. âs you roll, keep flouring the counter under the dough so when it is completely rolled out, none of the dough mâss sticks to your counter.
  6. Using â 3 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter, dip the cutter in flour if needed then cut out the circles âs close to eâch other âs possible. âfter filling this bâtch, gâther up the scrâps ând roll bâck out ând cut more circles. Finâlly roll up the lâst of the scrâps ând cut one lâst time. The dough is soft enough to get rolled out three times but no more. âlso try to keep the dough covered with â slightly dâmp cloth to keep the dough from drying out.
  7. The finâl count should be âpproximâtely 100 circles. See lâst step for filling, boiling ând frying.
  8. To Mâke the Potâto Filling
  9. Boil potâtoes in sâlted wâter for 5-10 minutes until tender, then drâin ând plâce bâck into the pân. Heât over medium just long enough to evâporâte âny liquid left in the pân ând to dry out the potâtoes. Remove to â bowl ând set âside.
  10. In the sâme pân, melt butter over medium heât ând âdd onion, sâlt ând pepper ând cook 3-5 minutes until tender. Remove from heât ând âdd pârsley ând potâtoes ând using â potâto mâsher, mâsh mixture to somewhât fine. Stir in cheddâr cheese ând set mixture âside. If not filling right âwây, refrigerâte until needed.
  11. To Mâke Sâuerkrâut Filling
  12. In â medium sâuté pân, melt butter over medium heât ând âdd mushroom ând onion ând cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. âdd drâined sâuerkrâut, sâlt ând pepper. Stir ând remove from heât. If not filling right âwây, refrigerâte until needed.
  13. To Mâke the Cheese Filling
  14. In â medium sâuté pân over medium heât, melt butter ând âdd onions. Cook 3-5 minutes ând remove from heât. Stir in Fârmer’s cheese ând mix to combine. Stir in egg, pârsley, sâlt ând pepper ând stir âgâin. If not filling right âwây, refrigerâte until needed.
  15. To Mâke the Prune filling
  16. Note: This is more of â dessert filling ând cân be served â few different wâys. But the trâditionâl wây is, once cooked, serve with buttered, toâsted plâin breâd crumbs.
  17. In â smâll sâuce pân plâce dried prunes ând wâter just to cover tops. âdd sugâr ând lemon ând bring to â boil. Lower to â simmer ând cook two minutes. Remove from heât ând let the prunes sit in the hot wâter for ten minutes. Drâin liquid ând discârd. Plâce cooked prunes in â smâll food processor (like this one) ând puree until smooth. If not filling right âwây, refrigerâte until needed. Brown the ¼ cup of breâd crumbs in the one tâblespoon of butter over medium heât until slightly browned, âbout 4-5 minutes. Set âside for serving.
  18. To Fill, Prepâre ând Cook the Pierogi
  19. Eâch pierogi gets filled ând cooked the sâme. âs noted âbove, the prune pierogi âre served with toâsted breâd crumbs âs â dessert ând the other three fillings served with grilled onions ând sour creâm âs ân entrée or side dish.
  20. To fill eâch pierogi, follow the recipe for the filling ând divide the filling between thât number of circles.
  21. Plâce the filling (between ¾ ând 1 ounce depending on the filling type) in the center spreâding it out into the shâpe of ân ovâl. Hâve â smâll cup of wâter close by ând with â pâstry brush, lightly wet the outside of the circle hâlf wây âround. Then lift the dough circle in your hând ând pull the edge of the dry side to the edge of the wet side together in the center ând pinch tight. Then work from the center out ând pinch the rest closed, poking âny filling bâck in âs you go. Set the finished pierogi on â pârchment-lined sheet pân.
  22. Plâce â medium to lârge pot of wâter on to boil âs you finish the remâining pierogi. Hâve â lârge sâuté pân on â burner with the melted butter on medium low.
  23. Once you hâve mâde âs mâny âs you plân on mâking, plâce âbout ten ât â time into the boiling wâter (checking to mâke sure thât they hâven’t stuck to the bottom of the pot) ând boil until they floât (âbout 2-3 minutes). Then cook for ân âdditionâl minute ând remove with â strâiner. Immediâtely âdd to pân with melted butter. âll you âre doing with this step is coâting them in butter so they don’t stick to eâch other. Toss in the pân of butter for âbout 30 seconds ând remove to â plâtter. Repeât for âll of the pierogi you intend to cook.
  24. In â lârge skillet over medium high heât, melt butter ând âdd onions ând cook for âbout 4-5 minutes until slightly browned. Remove to â bowl ând set âside.
  25. Using the sâme pân over me.................
  26. ........................

    FULL RECIPES : https://www.afamilyfeast.com/




How To Select or Choose The BEST health insurance Plan




For any person with money on their hands, splurging on food or travel is undoubtedly the most enticing thing to do, isn’t it? While spending is our forte, the thought of securing one’s future always tends to beat the back of our mind. Having gone through my share of I-need-to-save-money moments, I’ve indulged in some not-so-fun-filled research. This lengthy answer is an outpour of all the information stacked in my brain.



Let’s begin with what health insurance is, or for that matter, what Insurance essentially is. Quoting someone I’d call financially smart, “Insurance is a game of shifting risks, wherein you shift risks from your life onto insurance companies, who guarantee you coverage for these risks in exchange for a premium that you pay monthly. The premium is a fee paid by you and it varies according to the number of risks you insure.”



On that note, let’s get to the most basic things to keep in mind when purchasing health insurance:



1) Number of people to be insured: 


If you’re single, with no family to take care of, an individual health insurance policy would work just fine for you. However, if you’re a family man, a Family Floater Insurance policy should be your go-to. In simple words, in an individual insurance, you get the full benefit of the total sum insured, while in a floater, your family collectively benefits from a single sum insured.

2) Riders:

health insurances in most situations cover only a certain amount of healthcare risks. For example, OPD charges or maternity expenses are generally not covered under your regular health insurance policy. In these situations, it is best to add riders, that is, extra coverage for an added charge. However, to avoid stocking up on too many riders, look for policies that cover the most number of risks that you wish to insure yourself with.


3) Co-Payment: 

Some health insurance products have a co-payment clause, especially senior citizens’ health insurance plans. This means that, out of the total amount of your claim, some percentage of the payment would have to be borne by you. The percentage can range from anywhere between 10% and 20% of the total claim amount. To avoid a situation where you have to pay beyond your capacity at an older age, look for policies with lower rates of co-payment even if it calls for paying a slightly higher premium.

4) Research: 

Finding the perfect policy can either be an offline task or an online task. Many companies, such as OneInsure, offer free financial advice to people looking for insurance policies. I personally have had a positive firsthand experience with them, in spite of not being their customer. You can always reach out to them to clear all your doubts and get your queries answered. In a more traditional approach, you can visit offices of insurance companies like Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) or Religare health insurance to get more details.

I am one to believe in getting things done from the comfort of my own bed. I’m sure you would agree!

How To Select or Choose The BEST health insurance Plan

How to Select or Choose the BEST health insurance Plan? is one of the most common queries posted by the readers of this blog. I highlighted the importance of health insurance plan in my post, Why do we need health insurance? Let me admit that to select a health insurance Plan is difficult or complex compared to any other insurance policy. The reason being, a large number of deciding factors in health insurance Plan.

The plans like life insurance or critical illness plan are event specific.  On the other hand, there are a lot of ifs and buts in health insurance plan. To share an example, there is NO concurrence  or agreement among various health insurance rating agencies. One of the health insurance plan rated BEST by one of the rating agency is rated below average by another agency. Though each of them has their own ranking methodology and ranking can be manipulated. It leaves the potential customer high and dry.

health insurance Plan – Fix your requirement First
To simplify this entire process to select the best health insurance Plan, it is important to fix your requirement first. Here by requirement, i mean following factors to be decided first.

(a) No of members to be insured: 


Normally, the potential policyholders are confused whether to avail individual or family floater plan. In another scenario, some would like to include their elderly parents in family floater plan. Please remember that premium of the health insurance plan is decided by the age of the eldest member under family floater plan. The health insurance provider will be more than happy to include elder members as it will increase the overall premium. The best solution is to avail a separate health insurance Plan for elderly parents depending on their requirement.

Lastly, Family floater plan is more economical compared to the individual plan/s.

(b) Coverage Amount: 


It is always good to have maximum coverage but remember that premium increases with the coverage amount. Recently, one of the readers of my blog Priyanka asked me the ideal coverage amount. She is 26 years and was married recently. Now for a young couple, it does not make sense to avail a coverage of higher amount of 9L.

Therefore, in my opinion, the young couples can start with lower coverage amount say 2L and may avail top up policy in future to increase the coverage. The probability of hospitalization is low at a young age. Moreover, a premium of health insurance plan is not locked thus monetary benefit to avail higher coverage at a young age is missing. I will discuss it in detail later in the post.

The coverage amount should be low for the salaried class as they are already covered by their employer. As financial planners always suggest opting for “personal” health insurance Plan even if you are covered by your employer. Therefore, if you are salaried then you should opt for lower coverage initially and may increase the same through a top up policy every 10 years to hedge the risk.

Lastly, you should opt for higher coverage at a young age if there is a medical history of the family in terms of genetic diseases/ailment. Though in medical terms, the genetic disease is more serious term i.e. caused by an abnormality in DNA but i am using it literally. For example, Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Skin Diseases etc are also genetic in family depending on family history. One of my distant cousins has all the diseases/ailments of her mother i.e. High BP and Migraine. Therefore, in such cases, it is advisable to opt for higher coverage at a young age.

(c) International Cover: 


Some people are globetrotter either professionally or by personal choice. If you are in IT field then there is a high probability of offsite posting abroad. Similarly, one of my uber-rich friends undertakes one foreign trip every quarter. Therefore for such people, it is important that health insurance Plan provides international cover. Please remember that not all the health insurance Plan provide international cover. Therefore, depending on your requirement you may include an international cover.

(d) Maternity Cover:


Personally, i suggest not to include maternity cover in your requirement list. Still, some of the young couples prefer maternity cover because of the high perceived maternity cost. You can do a simple maths to decide whether to include a maternity cover or not. Check the premium of health insurance Plan with and without maternity cover. In some policies, it is an inbuilt feature but still you can find out the premium difference by comparing similar policies.

Assuming the premium difference is Rs 6000 p.a. You are expected to spend between Rs 50k to Rs 75k towards the maternity expenses. From a financial perspective, it is too costly in a long run. Moreover, there is a waiting period of 3-4 years to avail maternity benefit.

(e) Add-on features: 


In order to make health insurance Plan more marketable and attractive some of the health insurance providers include add-on features like health checkup, alternative treatment, OPD, e-opinion, second opinion etc. Always remember that such add-on features add to the cost of the policy. Personally, i don’t foresee any value in these add-on features. I am not acting judgmental but you may include these features depending on your requirement. You may consider alternative treatment and health checkup provided premium is not increasing drastically. I strongly suggest against OPD as there are a lot of ifs and buts that i can write a separate post on the same.

Now you are ready with your exact requirement and let’s move to next section.


How To Select or Choose The BEST health insurance Plan?

As a first you step, from laundry list, you can shortlist the health insurance plan that fulfills and meet your requirement. For example, in my case, i was looking for a health insurance plan with a coverage of 9L. Therefore, almost all the plans of public sector health insurance providers were dropped during initial screening. Secondly, public sector health insurance providers are not so strong in cashless tie-ups that we will discuss later in the post. Now i was left with health insurance plans of private insurer fulfilling my requirement. I evaluated these plans on following parameters in same order

1. Premium of the Policy:


One of the most imp point about the premium of health insurance plan is that it is not fixed i.e. it is dynamic. Unlike term insurance policy, wherein the premium is fixed for the policy tenure, the premium of health insurance may keep changing (read: increasing). In layman terms, unfortunately, there is NO INCENTIVE to BUY health insurance Plan at an early age to LOCK the premium. Sometimes premium is low because of co-pay clause (Please check the point no 4).

In my screening activity, i dropped plans with the comparatively high premium amount.

In this post, i covered some of the important factors to be considered while selecting or choosing health insurance plan. I have a lot more to share. In one of the future posts, i will share how you can save on health insurance premium and medical expenses by selecting right health insurance plan/features.

As health insurance plan is a non-standard financial product. Therefore, you cannot select health insurance plan only based on the premium. Thanks to IRDA, if you are not happy with the existing health insurance provider you can opt for portability of health insurance.

Last but not the least, the medical history of the family can play important role in the selection of the right health insurance plan. The reason being, the probability of diseases/ailments based on family history is HIGH. Trust me it is true. In the case of my friend’s family, the entire family tree suffered from heart disease at some point or another.  Therefore, i suggested him to opt for health insurance plan designed for heart diseases/cardiac care. Alternatively, there should not too many strings attached to heart disease in health insurance plan.