Monday, July 25, 2011

Ranch Potato Chips

I've been making homemade potato chips for a few years now. There are a few things I have discovered in that time:

1) You must use fresh potatoes. They slice much nicer and make better chips.
2) Slice the potatoes on a mandolin (the slicer, not the instrument). It slices them evenly and thin enough to be crunchy.
3) Soak the potatoes in vinegar water for at least 15 minutes. It takes out some of the starchiness. Also, rinse the potatoes several times before throwing them in the fryer.
4) Once the potatoes start to crisp up, stir them continuously. It will help them to brown evenly.

So...last week I got a super good batch of chips and a thought occurred to me...
WHAT if I sprinkled the chips with the contents of a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad and Seasoning Mix?

Brilliant! Yay, me!
Try it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I thought I would share a recipe for salsa. It originated in my husband's family, but I have altered it over the years. I'm not big on measurements so you will have to decide exactly how much of the jalapeno, onion, cilantro and lime you would like to use. If you are unable to judge this then find another recipe. :)

Dump all of these ingredients into a bowl, then mix it up.
1 lg can Rotel (see notes)
1 sm can chopped olives
1/2 sm onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Handful of cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

*I cook the jalapeno in water in the microwave for 1 minute just to soften it a bit. Then cut it in half and seed it.
*Sometimes I will drain the tomatoes a bit, depending upon how much liquid is in it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mediterranean Tuna Quinoa Salad

Every once in awhile my brain thinks up a really yummy recipe. Watching all of those cooking shows on Food Network must pay off. Hubby is on his health kick again, so I'm trying to think up things that will help him meet his goals. I bought a box of Golden Jewel Blend grains at Wegmans. It is "a blend of Israeli Couscous, Tri-colored Orzo Pasta Split Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa." I only ever go to Wegmans for specialty foods that I can't get at Walmart, cuz let's face it, we are all on a budget. I was trying to think of a recipe that would use this. My favorite Food Network chef is Giada DeLaurentiis. I love how she keeps recipes really light and simple. I used her as my inspiration for the following recipe. I hope you can follow it. I'm by no means a recipe writer.

1 pkg Wegmans Golden Jewel Blend grains, or 3 cooked cups of your favorite grain.
1/4 c. chopped roasted red pepper
3 tsp. capers
2 cans tuna in water

1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. fresh Italian parsley
black pepper and salt to taste

1. Bring 2 cups water and contents of package to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low.
2. Add roasted red pepper and capers. Cover tightly.
3. Simmer 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand covered, 2-3 minutes.
4. Prepare viniagrette.
5. Add tuna and viniagrette to grains. Season to taste.
6. Serve over a bed of fresh spinach.

I liked this recipe lukewarm, but you can also eat it hot and maybe cold. Didn't get that far yet. ;)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Round about last Easter, my husband decided he wanted to be a vegetarian. This from a guy who previously obsessed over cooking the perfect steak and finding the best BBQ spot. I was hoping this phase would pass quickly but, here we are in January and he still eats vegetarian. He has loosened up a little. Mainly he doesn't want other meat-eating men to make fun of him, so he'll eat meat in large manly gatherings. I think it's just an excuse for him to enjoy a big, juicy steak though.
Last night I attempted to make the vegetarian version of a meal I used to make with meat...enchiladas. It turned out pretty well. I started by defrosting vegetarian ground meat aka the stuff they sweep off the floor at the mushroom farm. I cooked it in a pot with 3/4 cup of water and a packet of Ortega Taco Seasoning which I'm not sure is 100% vegetarian, but what hubby doesn't know won't hurt him. I put a scoop of the "meat" on a flour tortilla with some cheddar cheese and refried beans. The beans were actually vegetarian cuz it said it on the can. You would think all beans are vegetarian, but apparently not. Actually I think they usually make refried beans with lard or something gross like that. Anyway, I rolled up the tortillas and put them in a casserole dish that had a little salsa on the bottom to keep they from sticking. I used Great Value medium salsa cuz that's the way we roll in our house, but it you are a real gourmet and prefer something better, you can use that. It would probably actually be good with a brand that had chunks of black bean and corn in it, if such a salsa exists.
After I tranferred all of the enchiladas to the dish I topped it with more salsa, some more refried beans and a little of the remaining meat. Lastly I topped it with cheddar cheese.
I cooked the enchiladas at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
These enchiladas were extremely eatable. There were a few instances where you could taste the spongey "meat" but I could actually eat these and enjoy them. I will definitely make these again.