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January 11, 2010

2010! Or the year I at least TRY to keep up...

I have 4 children. Have I mentioned that lately?

Probably not - because they and the holidays have kept me running frantic.

Between surgery for Moo's ears, the episode I'll just refer to as the Thanksgiving flu, school events, social events, sports events, potty training and teething....well, let's just say that every time I sit down here to write my mind is goop.

I can rarely hear myself think over the pitter-patter, er, stompy-womping of feet and screaming and crying because my 3 boys all love to wrestle but don't realize how rough they can be.

Oh, and Pipps is 13 - have I mentioned how enjoyable that is? Probably not...it's not my favorite age. She's an incredible kid but I've unfortunately passed on my dry wit to her and she hasn't quite got the hang of it so she comes off as being snotty and disrespectful and mean. Good times. I shudder to think that this is how I came off when I was her age...and I wasn't as cute as she was...no wonder I wasn't very cool. Haha, er, sniff...

So I know this isn't really supposed to be a cooking blog, but right now, all I can really do is copy and then type out the things I've been making for my brood of hungry monsters. It's the ONE AND ONLY domestic thing that I really excel at so of course it also helps me find peace at the end of a long day. I love cooking.

Today I'm just going to share a recipe that my cousin, Hotty McG, passed along to me. I was hesitant at first, I'm not a cabbage lover. In fact, I remember hating it as a child. I'm pretty sure I told her this when she passed it along. Then, later, realized how snotty I sounded, (did you read that part above where I get upset with Pipps for doing this? Yeah...great example Mom!), so I sent her another email telling her I was sorry - and then partly out of curiosity and partly because I felt bad, I made them.

That was in 2006. I loved them. Then I never made them again. (This is not strange in my house - I have so many recipes that have never been made twice - even if I've loved them.)

Now that it's 2010 - we're on a budget (again) so I'm trying to cook frugally and still maintain the level of quality that I care about on my dinner table. Quite honestly, my kids would eat mac n cheese and hot dogs every night if I let them, and although we do that once in a while, this Mama likes a little more variety than that.

I digress.

Let me just preface this recipe by saying that these are absolutely lovely. Comfort food at it's best. Kind of like a meatloaf but I don't know...I felt a little better about myself since there was all that cabbage. The top gets all caramelized - the juices sort of seep to the cabbage/onion underneath, it just all comes together really nicely. The only thing I don't love about it is that it uses corn syrup - but I went with it and it was good.

I am converted. Make these. You'll enjoy them too. I promise. If you don't, I volunteer to pick up your leftovers for my family...because for the first time in a long time - EVERY SINGLE PERSON in my household raved about dinner. Not easy with Mr McBland and the curious vegetarian...

Note that I just copied and pasted this - I think it was originally in Cooking Light circa 2000.

Cabbage Rolls:

1 (3-pound) head cabbage
2 tablespoons water
Cooking spray
1 onion, slivered
1 cup water
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice (I used "my" rice which is a mix of 2 parts brown and 1 part basmati)
1 cup diced Granny Smith apple
2/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup reduced-fat milk
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper - I think I added more than this - I didn't measure, just cracked away :)
1 large egg
1 pound ground turkey (I used venison - it was what I had in the freezer)
1/4 cup water

  • 4 bacon slices, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dark corn syrup (didn't have it so used a mixture of sugar in the raw, molasses and the Tbsp or so of light cs that I had left over from christmas)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


To prepare cabbage rolls, core cabbage using a serrated knife. Place cabbage in baking dish or casserole; add 2 tablespoons water. Loosely cover if possible. Microwave at high 7-8 minutes. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Discard any tough dark green leaves. Remove 8 light-colored cabbage leaves. Cut off raised portion of the main vein of each leaf, and set leaves aside. Finely chop enough remaining cabbage to measure 1/2 cup, and set aside. Coarsely chop enough remaining cabbage to measure 2 cups; arrange in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with slivered onion.

Bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 8 minutes. Drain well.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage, rice, apple, and the next 7 ingredients (apple through egg). Crumble turkey over mixture; stir just until blended. Place about 1/2 cup turkey mixture in center of each cabbage leaf. Fold in edges of leaves, and roll up; place cabbage rolls on top of coarsely chopped cabbage. Cut several 1/4-inch-deep slits across top of each roll. Pour 1/4 cup water over rolls. Cover with foil, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

To prepare basting glaze, cook the bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat. Remove bacon from pan; discard bacon drippings. Return bacon to pan; stir in corn syrup and remaining ingredients. Uncover cabbage rolls; spoon one-third basting glaze over cabbage rolls. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour, basting with basting glaze every 20 minutes. Spoon about 1/4 cup remaining cabbage on each of 8 plates; top each with 1 cabbage roll.