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Dental Nightmare & What is Runza?!

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Hard to believe it’s the middle of February already! I already went out and hugged Doc….had to give him a special treat too.

Yesterday, we had a rather tough day in town. We took a little overnight trip to Rapid City where we swam our hearts out. Stone loves to swim. Since we don’t get to do much of that we always try to get a little fun time in now and again when we can. We also had a couple of appointments scheduled……one being a visit to Stone’s dentist. I wish I could say that it was a happy visit… was not. Come to find out our little boy has extensive decay in his molars. He has had no pain whatsoever, but I was worried about a small spot on his front tooth (I shouldn’t have worried about that one I guess). I’m no dentist….so I was completely unaware of the disaster going on in his mouth. Here’s where I admit that I feel like a bad mom right now…..aren’t we supposed to know when something isn’t right with our kids? Anyway……I feel awful. Long story short….Stone has to have surgery (root canals and crowns on 6 of his teeth). I was like…….WHAT??!! I mean these teeth are just baby teeth…..they will fall out right? Well, yes, but unfortunately the decay can hinder the growth of his teeth that are yet to come in and cause major problems. So, it’s best to deal with this head on and do it all at once. I really don’t want him scarred from going to the dentist the rest of his life so this is our option…..and our third opinion. The biggest thing I truly wasn’t prepared for? THE COST!!!! Oh my gawd…….I had no idea that pediatric dental work could be so expensive. I feel sick while I’m writing this…..a deep pit in my stomach has formed. Seriously, this surgery is going to cost half of what my 2002 Chevy 3/4 Ton Pickup cost us……and NO, I’m not kidding. Our medical insurance should cover a couple thousand (hopefully), but the rest is up to us….as we don’t have dental insurance. What a nightmare! I guess this is when I need to remind myself that we have a very healthy, happy little boy…..and we will get through this. That is truly what is most important. Things can always be worse……so I will be thankful and quite complaining about it. However, everything extra we had planned for the year has just been cancelled. This too shall pass…..right?! My Grandma used to say that all the time……I know she is right…..deep breaths…..deep breaths!

So, today is Valentine’s Day. I’m making my sweetie his very favorite thing tonight……Beer Battered Steak Tips…..Cowboy Potatoes…..and homemade Peppermint Ice Cream (recipes to follow in my next post). I’m excited to use my new ice cream maker……haven’t used it yet so it should be fun!

Today, I’m sharing a family favorite recipe with you. Runza! What is a Runza exactly? According to the Wikipedia answer: A runza (also called a bierock, fleischkuche or Kraut Pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. They are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle. In Nebraska, the runza is usually baked in a rectangular shape. The bierocks of Kansas, on the other hand, are generally baked in the shape of a bun. The runza sandwich originated in Russia during the 1800s and spread to Germany before appearing in the United States. The term bierock comes from the Russian word pirogi or pirozhki and is the term for any food consisting of a savory filling stuffed dough. The recipe was passed down from generation to generation and is available throughout the Americas, particularly Argentina and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba. The recipe was spread throughout the United States by the Volga Germans (Germans from Russia) and can be found in North and South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. The term “runza” is registered as a trademark in the United States by Nebraska-based Runza Restaurants.[2]

In my neck of the woods, we’ve made it into something somewhat different…..yet similar! I don’t remember the exact date the first time my mom made this, but it was after we had moved down here. So, it was 2005 or so. I think she chose the method we use for the following factors: quick, easy, and who doesn’t love “pie”! (you’ll know what I mean in a minute). I have added my own “changes” to it to make it truly “my recipe”. It’s funny though…..I don’t even have this written down….it’s all in my head….that’s how easy it is. I’m going to write it out step-by-step so you can give it a whirl if you’d like to. Here goes:


  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • ½ head of cabbage, chopped

  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, to taste

  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

  • Minced Garlic, to taste

  • Swiss Cheese, sliced

  • Pie Crust

Brown ground beef and onion.

Add cabbage, stir, and cook until almost done (transparent).

Add seasonings.

Pour meat mixture into pie shell (in a pie plate) and cover with cheese. *We use a pie shell because it’s so much easier than making individual pockets with dough. Plus….there are rarely many leftovers so it just makes sense to us to do it this way.*

Add a top crust if desired (optional). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Cool, slice, and serve.

This is truly delightful……It’s full of flavor, it is filling, and it is great on a cool day! I hope you enjoy it if you decide to make it.

Well, I’m off to redo our guest room…’s a nightmare and I’ve been avoiding it for some time…’s now time to deal with it head on…..reorganize, move some furniture, put up a new border, etc. Should be fun…..I like projects like this. Looking forward to getting it back to the way I like it.

Hope you all enjoy your Valentine’s Day…, it’s Friday so that makes it extra great! ~Cheyenne



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