Friday, May 28

{home fries}

are you imagining things?? has vittles just posted two recipes within days of each other? has the dead come back to life!? 

home fries are essentially pan fried potatoes. i like them with skins and think red potatoes are best, but any of them work. i had been wanting to duplicate magnolia cafe's home fries. i think these were quite good and pretty darn close. next time I want to try rosemary.

Home Fries
from CHOW
5 lb red potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 tablespoons canola oil (i may try olive oil next, but supposedly canola oil heats at a higher temp, according to something i read, something to make it more conducive to frying than olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium shallots peeled and minced (i thought i had a shallot but alas, i did not)
1/2 T. paprika
coarse salt
fresh cracked pepper
Heat oven to 375°F. Halve potatoes lengthwise and place, cut side up, directly on the oven rack. Roast until entire cut surface of potatoes about 20. Until outsides are cooked but insides are not. About 1/2 way cooked. Let potatoes cool until they are easy to handle, then cut into large dice (you should have about 8 cups).

Melt butter with oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. When mixture foams, add shallots. Cook until vegetables are softened and edges are beginning to color, about 3 minutes. Halfway through, add garlic.

Add potatoes and spices, tossing to coat. Allow to cook undisturbed about 5 minutes. Toss and cook again. Avoid much stirring so that they have a chance to get crisp. Total crisping time about 15-25 minutes. Remove them as they look done and crispy to give others a fair shot :) Cover pan if they’re not cooking all the way but are getting crispy. Liberally season with more salt and pepper. 

I actually did this in two skillets because I didn't have one that was big enough. While it did not facilitate clean up, it did probably facilitate the browning, crisping action.

try with scrambled eggs or in breakfast tacos.

Wednesday, May 26

{amish cookies} promised.

who are we kidding here, shortening and molasses. recipe for delish. i think i want to try butterscotch chips in these next time. though raisins were quite good. something about the sweetness of the chocolate, i just can't do it when there are oats in there. i've been eyeing this recipe for a while now and when Taylor brought home old fashioned oats rather than the quick oats i use to make my oatmeal, i knew how to use them.

crispy, chewy, dense, flavorful and fun to make! make.these.cookies. my 8th graders loved them, though there was no clear winner on the raisins vs. chocolate chip debate.

{amish cookies}
recipe and pics from foodie with family
  • 3/4 cup softened butter (6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil or shortening (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (14 ounces by weight)
  • 1 large egg*
  • 1/3 cup molasses (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3- 1/2 cups all purpose flour (15 ounces by weight)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda (not a misprint!)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (also not a misprint!)
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (Don’t forget, you can make your own!)
  • Optional: 1 -1/2 cups of any of the following ingredients: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, coconut, chopped dates, dried cherries, or chocolate chunks.

Oven to 350
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, and coconut oil or shortening on low speed until they the sugar starts combining with the fat.  Turn the mixer to medium high speed and whip until the mixture is fluffy and the sugar is completely distributed.
Add the egg, molasses and vanilla extract to the butter and beat on medium speed until even.
In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda and powder, and the rolled oats.  Add this to the butter mixture along with the buttermilk and beat until thoroughly combined.  Stir in the optional goodies.
On a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet, drop generously rounded tablespoons of the cookie dough three inches apart. Form the cookie dough into balls.
Use a flat bottomed drinking glass dipped in sugar to gently flatten the cookie dough.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottoms and edges of the cookies are lightly browned and the cookies are set. Allow cookies to rest on the cookie sheets for one minute before transferring to a cooling rack.  Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
I accidentally used two eggs. Didn't hurt. Probably made them better and denser. Who knows. The batch was huge! It made at least 4 dozen.

Monday, May 24

a place for everything...

...and everything in its place!

i baked today! but the jury is still out on the results so say tuned. for now, two household ideas that have been keeping me sane. the first needs a story...

when my great aunt gave me a cookbook of her favorite recipes, some of them old family ones, she not only gave me the treasure of her time, her sweet and patient instruction, and her recipes but she, i think inadvertently, taught me a really useful cooking tip.

it was because they threw away food in a trash can in the garage, that she would keep a plastic grocery sack on the counter while she cooked. as we chopped, peeled, wiped up and the like, we threw everything away in that sack right there on the counter, we could move quicker and keep things cleaner throughout the meal prep. at the end, we'd tie it up and take it to the garage.

in truth, my first household sanity tip, with that practical example, is rooted in my perfectionist psychosis which causes me to crumble at large and seemingly daunting {read: unable to be done perfectly} tasks and often results in me never even embarking upon jobs i perceive to be daunting {read: cinnamon rolls}. so, to keep the final cleaning task small and therefore less overwhelming and craze-inducing.  
{1} clean as you go.

haven't you enjoyed these shots of beautiful shelves and clean kitchens, where everything is stacked and sorted neatly in nice little containers?


my second sanity epiphany involved cellphone chargers. the cell phones always ended up getting charged the bar in the kitchen closest to our bedroom door, cords then littering the floor or the kitchen counter. pencils, pens, notepads and eyedrops always ended up out of the study, out of the bathroom and on the couch. loose change always ended up on the tv cabinet. my bobby pins, rings and earrings ended up on the counter rather than in the drawer.

so i put a basket right inside our bedroom door, nearest that odd bar outlet, that now houses all the chargers to our random electronic devices, cameras, cellphones, ipods etc. it also now holds the little little devices and their little accessories as well.

a little tin bucket went on a shelf near the couch for all those random tools needed for some reason near the couch: pens, eye drops {law school}, notecards and even now outgoing mail.

a change catch-all went on the tv unit and it also holds our restaurant gift cards so they're out in the open, not easily forgotten and easily snatchable.

a fleet of little shallow bowls for the earrings and rings.

{26oliveetsy via we heart it }

{2} sometimes its "place" needs to be wherever it ends up. so find a cute basket, bucket or bowl.

now, even though bobby pins allegedly live in the drawer, in reality they are ubiquitous when i want to clean and elusive when i need one. so perhaps epiphany two and a half:
bobby pins will haunt us.

Thursday, May 13

{taco mania}

just acquired a puppy? too crunched for time and slammed at work to conjure up new and exciting dinners much less update your food blog? biding your time for summer?

sorry, i can't relate.

check out taco mania  for pretty pictures and easy ways to zest up many meats. perfect for fast summer dinners. just be sure you get yourself some epic tortillas and life is good.