sgrishka's Cooking Page | BigOven
  • Joined May, 2006
  • Expert Home Cook
  • 1 medals this month
  • 714 medals lifetime

 

I learned at an early age that I really loved to cook. As a young boy, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my mother or next door with my paternal (Polish) grandmother. Rather than just cooking for me and my siblings, both of these wonderful women took the time to teach me how to cook for myself.

I feel blessed to have been expose to many "different and varied cuisines." My fathers parenrts lived in pre-WW1 partitioned Russian Poland and White Russia (Belaja Rus). Struggling in surfdom, they were faced with atrocious living conditions, unemployment, starvation, and religious persecution by the Russian campaign to eradicate the Polish national identity as well as the Roman Catholic Church from the former Polish Kingdom. Deprived of any dignity, my grandparents joined the mass exodus of Poles and Jews and emigrated, from Russian Poland to the United States in the early 1900's. My mothers family comes from the foothills of the Arkansas Ozarks with both Scots-Irish and Native American Indian (Cherokee) roots going back to the early 1800's. I was born, raised and live in Northwest Indiana, on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. This area of Indiana and all the way up through Chicago and on to Milwaukee is one of the largest melting pots of European, and in particular, Eastern European immigrants in the world.

Diversity in cuisines is a very tangible benefit of diversity in peoples. Our family members and friends, along with their foods and traditions, included ethnic: Pole, Belarus, Lithuanian, Latvian, Russian, Carpatho-Rusyn, Ukrainian, Moldavian, Romanian, Yugoslavian, Serb, Croat, Slovene, Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, German, Greek, Italian, Swed, Irish, Puerto Rican and Mexican. Family and friends also included varied persuasions of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim religions. I believe that the diversity of these peoples and their foods qualify as a "different and varied cuisine" experience! Basically, I grew up to not only tolerate but to embrace diversity in beliefs, religions, traditions and above all food! I value that highly...

My mother, both my grandmothers and several aunts were always trying new things in the kitchen; they encouraged me to do the same. I can remember my mother trying a new recipe at least 4 or 5 days out of the week, every week, for years -- yes, years! She would find cookbooks that interested her and in some instances, try virtually every recipe in them. Some good, some not so good. One good thing though, no-matter what the recipe result, as she learned "what worked" or "what didn't," so did I. My mother taught me to be adventurous, to not be afraid to experiment. After-all, you have nothing to lose but boredom. She taught me to try new recipes and techniques. You may not like them all, but you are sure to make some new discoveries that could very well become life-long favorites.

 

My Most Recent Ratings

Challah Bread

Challah Bread

Very, very good bread. The recipe produced a dough that was great to deal with and easy to shape. The challah was stunning, having a deeply golden and wonderfully crusty exterior, a soft and airy interior with wonderful tastes. The only changes we made was to add some honey to the egg wash at the end and to cover the loaf with foil during the last 10-minutes of baking. Definitely a keeper! — smdion 6/30/2013
Colcannon #2

Colcannon #2

Quick, easy and delicious...a real comfort food! We made this with some beautiful, tender baby kale that we found at the farmers market and loved the idea of steeping the leeks in the milk for added flavor. Served with boiled ham for a great meal that was a hit with family and friends. 6/3/2013
Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Delicious and easy to make. The pudding was lightly sweet, creamy, and comforting, with the silky texture of the arborio rice coming out as the star. We will definitely be making this again! — Scarlette29 6/3/2013
Flaky Cream-Cheese Crust

Flaky Cream-Cheese Crust

L-O-V-E-D this wonderful crust! We made this for both a pumpkin pie and a chicken pot pie. They were delicious with the crust being tender, flaky and having wonderful flavor. — ladybugplus 3/1/2013
Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes

Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes

This makes for an exceptional baked potato! Easy to make and utterly delicious, you will not be disappointed. — swibirun 3/1/2013
CaboolHaus Perfect Pizza Dough

CaboolHaus Perfect Pizza Dough

Great pizza dough! Very tasty and easy to make as recipe reads…but use olive oil to brush dough after rolling out crusts. We mixed in a KitchenAid standing mixer with dough hook and it took no time at all. We cooked on a pizza stone at 450 degrees for 15 mins. Dough was crispy with enough "chew" to give it substance. — Noblecox 2/1/2013
Tex-Mex Beefy Noodle Stewlash

Tex-Mex Beefy Noodle Stewlash

Terrific, great tasting recipe that was easy to prepare and turned out very well. My nieces absolutely love this dish and make it often. — Beachbumette 2/1/2013
All-time Favorite Pumpkin Pie

All-time Favorite Pumpkin Pie

Our family absolutely loved this pie. We used 2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree instead of canned pumpkin and whisked the ingredients together as stated. Definitely easy to make. — ladybugplus 2/1/2013
Southern Fried Chicken

Southern Fried Chicken

Great recipe…easy, quick and best of all – delicious! The crust was well-seasoned and crisp, and the meat inside moist and tender. True to my mother's southern roots, we had to add a little cayenne pepper to the breading, but followed everything else exactly. — rotts4me 1/24/2013
Pan-Seared Scallops

Pan-Seared Scallops

Wonderful recipe! We love scallops, just plain, and the simplicity of this recipe allowed the true flavor of the scallop to stand front and center, unadulterated by other flavors. Sweet, flavorful and delicious! — Injesushands 1/24/2013
Dairy King Cinnamon Rolls

Dairy King Cinnamon Rolls

Great Cinnamon Rolls, everyone loved them! The recipe was easy to make and the rolls had a wonderful airy texture and great flavor. We baked the rolls on the middle rack of a 375 degree F oven until golden brown and the internal temperature reached 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer…took about 25 minutes. While the rolls were cooling slightly we made the glaze by whisking together the oleo, coffee and maple until combined. Then sifted in the powdered sugar while whisking until smooth, then spread over the warm rolls. You won't be disappointed with this recipe. — angelawalters 1/19/2013
Pierogi ruskie

Pierogi ruskie

Definitely a labor of love…we served these rich and delicious Polish dumplings as part of our traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal. We followed the recipe suggestion and used a mixture of half cake and half all-purpose flours. We also refrigerated the dough about an hour before rolling out and cut into circles. Using the two kinds of flour set this recipe apart from others and produced a wonderful dough that was tender, easy to work with and didn't not fall apart when boiling. For the filling we used a Polish hard curd cheese we found at an Ethnic grocery store on Chicago's south side. Pierogi can be served either boiled or boiled then fried or baked. We like to saute some onions in butter, add the boiled pierogi with the onions and continue sauteing until browned on both sides. We plated the pierogi with the sauteed onions sprinkled lightly over them as well as a drizzle of melted butter, a dollop of sour cream and topped with chopped chives…Yum! ~ Dziekuje! — Elkocyk 1/16/2013
Krokiety z kapusta i pieczarkami

Krokiety z kapusta i pieczarkami

Great recipe…Dziekuje! Krokiety z Kapusta i Pieczarkami (Croquettes with Cabbage and Mushrooms) are delicate Polish crepes (nalesniki) stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms, dipped in an egg wash, coated in breadcrumbs and then fried until golden brown. They are quite easy to make, truly delicious and definitely worth the effort. We served them as part of our traditional Polish Christmas Eve meal. They made a great accompaniment to another traditional dish barszcz (borscht or beetroot soup). — Elkocyk 1/16/2013
Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats

A classic, one of my favorite childhood desserts. The recipe is quick and easy to make and the treats are ooey, gooey good!…a hundred times better than the store bought rice krispie treats! They're perfect as is, but for an extra indulgence, my nieces like to add 1/2 cup of smooth Jif Peanut Butter to the recipe, then melt 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and drizzle it over the top while still warm. — dremaly 1/4/2013
German Pancakes

German Pancakes

Easy to make and came out great! Love the tast of this with a little melted butter, a squeeze of lemon and dusted with confectioners' sugar. For my nieces, I would add a little vanilla into the batter and top the pancake with some Old-Fashioned Fried Apples or Buttermilk Syrup. — DrFry 12/6/2012
Ham & Bean Soup

Ham & Bean Soup

Great soup! We made it with leftover ham from Thanksgiving and it was excellent. Very satisfying and filling! We did modified the recipe just a bit. We used homemade chicken stock, minced the carrots and celery instead of slicing (so that the kids would not pick them out). And, as my mom did many years ago, added a slice of bacon during cooking for flavor. We served it with a tossed salad and cornbread, butter and honey…YUM! — VikkiLynn 12/2/2012
Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy Pancakes

These fluffy pancakes were melt in your mouth delicious and very simple to prepare with ingredients most people already have. We've made them multiple times as is, but for my nieces taste, I add is a teaspoon of pure vanilla to a double batch. Thank you for a great recipe! — Rkranking 12/1/2012
Polish Hazelnut Babka

Polish Hazelnut Babka

Love7721, you are correct. I did not post the photo and the photo posted by lpurganan is not a photo of this recipe. It appears to be a photo of a chocolate babka made in a loaf pan. This Hazelnut Babka can also be made in a loaf pan but the ingredient proportions in the recipe are meant for a standard bundt or tube pan. The texture of a babka in not like a pound cake, it is similar to an eggy sweet dough used in European pastries or coffee cakes. The texture of the babka in the photo is correct minus the chocolate filling since this babka uses a hazelnut filling. When I have it, I also add a teaspoon or two of hazelnut oil to the filling and the glaze for a more intense hazelnut experience… Hope this helped. — sgrishka 9/12/2012
Brined Roast Chicken

Brined Roast Chicken

As for bristol46girl's poor recipe review and question, "What is the ratio of salt to water?" That depends on the type of salt used...the brine portion of the recipe clearly states: 1 cup of Kosher salt to 4 qts. of water (1 qt. hot water plus 3 qts. cold water) and since 4 qts. equals 1 gal. the ratio for Kosher salt is 1 cup of salt per gallon of water -or- 1/2 cup of Plain/Table salt to 4 qts. of water (1 qt. hot water plus 3 qts. cold water) and since 4 qts. equals 1 gal. the ratio for Plain/Table salt is 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. — sgrishka 6/20/2012
Crockpot Beef Short Ribs

Crockpot Beef Short Ribs

LisaAngelina, you may have missed the notes at the end of the recipe but if you refrigerate the sauce after cooking, the excess fat will solidify and can be easily scraped off the top. — sgrishka 6/14/2012

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I finally took the time to look you up on BigOven this evening. I simply wanted to thank you for giving this mom some great recipes! I had no idea cooking could be this much fun. And I had no idea that I could make food that tasted this good. Many thanks!!

6 months ago    RecipesRock

Just a quick thank you for all of the recipes you have posted; I've tried several of yours and they are all winners. Keep 'em coming! Darlene

9 months ago    Thekidsmom1224

I am new to this web site. But I have a question about the banana bread recipe that I think you posted, it is recipe number 163107. This may be a bit silly, but does it matter if the loaf pan that I use is metal or glass? I don't have either so I have to go buy one so I want to get the right one for this recipe.
I hope this is the right place and person to ask my question because I don't know where else to go, thanks

1 years ago    singleguy55

Hi! Question here. I read that corn tortillias bought here in the U.S. are fried, but other countries grill them on hot stones, or bake them. Do you know anything on this. As I said before, I love your knowledge of cooking and of other countries.

1 years ago    aphilbeck8

Thank-you Sgrishka! I always check your contributions for ideas and know the recipes will be delicious. Your time and effort make this ap worth using. I also appreciate Beachbumette. I can locate convenient, contemporary recipes from your listings. Porpo83

1 years ago    Porpo83

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