Child Labor

When Miss A first mentioned that she wanted us to cook recipes from Poland, the first thing that came to my mind was pierogis. Pierogis are dumplings stuffed with cheese and potatoes, sauerkraut, ground meat or fruit. They are similar to ravioli and the Russian pelmeni we made a few years ago. Once boiled they can also be toasted in butter and served with onions, or topped with sour cream.

lazy pierogi ingredients

Pierogis aren’t complicated to make, especially if you’re familiar with making fresh pasta, but they are time-consuming. We were all set to spend the weekend making the little dumplings, but we suddenly have become quite busy again. Mr. N auditioned for a play at a theater company in Chicago this week, and he got the part! It’s a Greek tragedy and he’ll be playing one of two children in the all-adult show. He’ll even have to color his hair for the role (which he is actually very excited about!). The play will run for five or six weeks in May and June for a total 26 shows! You know where we’ll be most weekends. Until then, it’s rehearsal time – and lots of it. I (half) jokingly suggested to Mike that we rent an apartment in the city for a few months to save us on the travel. Really though, we’re thrilled for him. He is so excited and proud of himself (and we are too!).

ricotta pierogi

So with the new schedule, I figured we should probably simplify the recipe and prioritize our to-do list for the weekend. Fortunately I came across the recipe for Lazy Pierogi. I dug a little further and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a real dish! Given the name alone, I knew this was the perfect solution for us. Not only that, it also makes a lot of leftovers for easy meals later in the week.

making pierogi

The recipe is simple – combine ricotta, eggs, salt, butter and flour in a food processor to make a dough. Roll the dough out, slice it, boil it and done. In fact, this recipe is so easy, I took the laziness up a notch and let the kids do all the cooking (with the exception of the boiling and frying). They started by combining the wet ingredients in the processor. Mr. N handled that for us.

processing dough

Miss A was patiently waiting her turn (sampling the flour – I have never known anyone to enjoy dry flour, but she does!). melted butter

Once the wet ingredients were mixed together, Miss A dumped the flour in and processed to form the sticky dough.

sticky dough

We then lightly dusted the counter with flour and the kids began rolling out the dough. They formed 1-1/2″ ropes all while laughing at the amount of flour winding up all over their clothes and floor.

rolling dough

Mr. N thought he looked like a painter with the flour dusted all over his shirt and jeans and Miss A was relishing in the sticky mess between her fingers. This was some serious hands-on fun.

lazy pierogi dough

Then she got the hang of it and loved rolling the “worms.”

dough worms

Next the kids helped to slice the ropes into 2-inch dumplings.

slicing dumplings

The kids each dropped a few of the dumplings into the boiling water, but then it was time for mom to step in. The silliness was reaching peak levels and that’s not such a good mix with a pot of boiling water. boiling dumplings

The dumplings sink upon being dropped in the water, but quickly rise to the top. After they rise it’s another five to seven minutes before they are done.

dumplings draining

Much like real pierogis, lazy pierogis can be served a variety of ways. We opted to toast them in a bit of butter.

toasting pierogi

The kids were so excited about trying our little lazy pierogi. I mean what’s not to love – cheese and butter?! It’s absolutely their kind of pasta.

Polish Lazy Pierogi

Mike and Mr. N also sprinkled a bit of dried dill over theirs for a little added flavor. I’m picky about dill, so I left it off mine and we figured it was in our best interest to not put anything green on Miss A’s.

lazy pierogi

The dumplings were dense, but al dente. They had a light butter flavor with a hint of sweetness from the ricotta. They were a decent 3 spoons for both Mike and I.

toasted lazy pierogi

As for the kids, they enjoyed eating their dumplings almost as much as making them. Mr. N said they were a 4 spoon dish and Miss A insisted that they were 5 spoons – knowing that our top rating is four. If her empty plate was any indication, she loved them.

buttered lazy pierogi

Print this recipe: Lazy Pierogi

So there you have it – the lazy pierogi brought to you entirely by our little sous chefs. It’s a simple recipe that only takes about 30 minutes from prep to table. And as you can see, it’s a fun recipe for the kids to make. Now, if I could just get them to help me clean the kitchen….

Before we move on to our next state night cooking adventure, we have one more Polish recipe to share. We’ll be back next week – hint, it’s another lazy one!

31 thoughts on “Child Labor

  1. supertinyrobotfairy says:

    What an adorable and smart blog! I have two kids too, ages 6 and 8, and they LOVE helping me in the kitchen… they’re just starting to stud geography in school, and I bet they’d adore matching food choices to countries too… We’ll look forward to reading more of your adventures!


  2. Charles says:

    Wow, well done Mr. N – that’s huge! Serious question… do actors in theatre get paid, or is it something they do for love of the art? I’ve always been curious about that.

    The pierogi looks great – I never tried it before but it definitely looks like something I’d enjoy. I had no idea (or perhaps I forgot) that you’d made pelmeni too… I’ll have to check those out because they’ve been on my “to do” list for a long time!


  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Huge congratulations to Mr. N! You guys must be super proud of him. Wow, that’s a big beginning. You know all the actors have their first experience in real theatre… this is like that! His career has just started. šŸ˜‰ And I’m craving for these pierogies – sounds amazing! Good luck with the “apartment” idea. That would be AWESOME. šŸ˜€


  4. Bam's Kitchen says:

    I am so happy for Mr. N and for you mom too you must be so excited for him. Your life is going to get really crazy as you shuttle him for rehearsal practices. I love your lazy version of dumplings. I think we all need some short cuts in the kitchen. Toasting them really gives them a nice little flavour and texture. You got some great shots of the kids. My teenagers won’t ever let me take photos of them they are always putting their hand in front of their face or ducking down at the last second. Have a super week and take care, BAM


  5. ChgoJohn says:

    Mr N is a bona fide thespian now. Congratulations! Your days just keep getting more and more busy. All for the best of causes.
    Although I’m very familiar with pierogi, lazy pierogi are an entirely new dish for me. You can’t get much easier to prepare than these. And I’m with the kids. What can be better than cheese and butter with pierogis? Nothing.


  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    How fun! I haven’t had pierogis in years… what a great idea and perfect project for your performers šŸ˜‰ (I know Mr. N is the official actor in the family but I’ve got to say that you have a bit of a natural Sarah Bernhardt in your daughter – lol – those expressions!) — Congratulations Mr. N on your amazing accomplishment. I hope the journey is both challenging and rewarding but most of all, I hope you have lots of fun with it! šŸ™‚


  7. Eva Taylor says:

    Congratulations to MrN, how exciting! Does he get paid? What a great experience and a lovely way to get a great start. He must be very talented to have been scooped up.
    Have you tried Home Away? It’s an app that lists people’s short term rental apartments at better prices than hotels.
    These pierogies look delicious and I love that you browned them in butter. So yummy.


  8. Three Well Beings says:

    I’ve never heard of a Lazy Pierogi before, but why not! They look delicious and not too hard to make. I am delighted to hear that Mr. N has this wonderful performing opportunity. The “bug” has really bit him, hasn’t it? That’s a big commitment for the whole family, but so worthwhile, I’m sure. I can’t wait to hear more about his “season.” šŸ™‚


  9. Karen says:

    It sounds like life is going to be very hectic again but in a good way. Congratulations to Mr. N. It looks like the kids had a great time in the kitchen making and then eating the pierogies.


  10. sallybr says:

    Congratulations, Mr. N! How exciting! Can I stand on the virtual line to get an autograph?

    really, too cool! I hope to see photos of the new hair color, and a few of the performance, maybe the opening night?

    Loved the lazy pierogi…. I could eat a bowl right now


  11. hotlyspiced says:

    Congratulations to Mr N on getting the part in the adult show. All those performances and before that, all those rehearsals! Good luck to all of you and I’m sure he and the show will be a huge success. I’m also amazed that your two children are able to cook as well as they do – this Polish dish looks very yummy xx


  12. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    I had to laugh at Miss A sampling the dry flour, my daughter does that too! I thought she was the only one!!
    Congratulations Mr N for getting the role in the play! I am sure it will be a wonderful experience and great fun!
    I think my kids will be all over these dumplings and that fact that they can make them on their own is a wonderful plus


  13. thecompletebook says:

    Always so many happy things on the go, congratulations Mr N. Think it’s high time I got your autograph.
    Your lazy pierogi look fantastic!
    Have a wonderful and happy week ahead.
    šŸ™‚ Mandy xo


  14. A_Boleyn says:

    The lazy pierogies looks very tasty and so much easier than regular pierogies.

    I’d make it a full meal by peeling the casing from some Polish sausage, slicing them about 1/4 inch thick and frying them in a pan in their own fat. Remove the sausages and in the fat rendered from the sausages (and additional butter if needed), saute some diced onions until they’re soft and golden brown. Add the boiled pierogies to the pan with the onions and mix gently to coat the pierogies. Then serve the sliced sausage and pierogies with sour cream. Yummy.


  15. Dawn says:

    Congratulations Mr. N for getting the role in the play!! What an amazing experience for him! Yes, coming from someone who just dealt with two girls performing in 4 shows, you are certainly going to be busy! These dumplings look absolutely delicious, and these days, I am all for short cuts!


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