Thursday, May 5, 2011

Homemade Potato Chips

Mmmmm, homemade potatoe chips. No, I couldn't have just one either. These were so good and so easy to make with my Swissmar Borner V-Slicer Pro Mandoline V-4000, 7-Piece Set. SUPER thin just like those you buy, too.

I fried these up in a cast iron skillet with about 1/2 to 3/4" deep oil in it. I've also made them in the microwave which, of course, are less fattening. But, hey, sometimes ya gotta let it go, ya know?

To do so in the microwave, simply:
  • Spray the entire surface of a microwave-safe plate with your favorite cooking spray.
  • Lay a single layer of the paper-thin potato slices on the plate.
  • Spray the potato slices.
  • Microwave on high 3-4 minutes watching carefully for them to begin browning. Once they begin browning remove from the microwave, sprinkle your favorite seasoning on them, and allow to cool.
I haven't tried oven baking them yet, but all that would entail would be spraying and laying them out on a baking sheet and baking in a 350° oven.

Now  I just wish I had a V-Wave Waffle Slicer for making ripple potato chips to go with French Onion Dip from Scratch.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Twist and Shout When You Pull These Pretzels Out!

Ever get all twisted up in knots like a pretzel wanting a pretzel that's as close to Auntie Anne's as you can get without having to venture out of your cozy, comfy home? Me too!

I remedied that by pulling out my trusty Zojirushi BB-CEC20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker, Black and whipping up some buttery soft pretzel dough, rolling it out and twisting it into knots.

What makes them "pretzels" is dipping them into a solution of baking soda and hot water before baking them in the oven. Originally pretzels were dipped in a solution of lye and water.

GASP! "Lye?!", you ask. Yes, lye, but it's a real quick dip. I tried to find some lye for this recipe, but it's a bit expensive for no more than I make pretzels so I settled for the baking soda and water.

I've only made pretzels three times, but all three of those times were within a week because they turned out THAT GOOD and were in big demand. If I can do it so can you.

This is a good recipe to do with the kids on a rainy day. Let your bread maker or stand mixer do the kneading work. Once that's done, form an assembly line made up of kids. One can roll out the log, one can twist them, and another can be the dipper. Here's the recipe so you can get started asap! Have fun and enjoy!

Buttery Soft Pretzels
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil  
Mix a solution of
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
  4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sour Cream Coconut Cake

My favorite real estate agent, Mary Ann Rivera, wants the recipe for the Sour Cream Coconut cake I made for Easter. So, as promised, Mary Ann, I've finished my hotdog and here it is. :-)

I've always made Sour Cream Coconut cake with a white cake mix, but this time I decided to try making it totally from scratch. So, I set out in search of a recipe for white cake on my favorite recipe site, and found this one for Simple White Cake with over 1200 reviews.

It is a good cake, but I think using a glass baking dish in my RV oven didn't quite do it justice. My Nordic Ware 9-by-13-Inch Cake Pan with Storage Lid that I used for the carrot cake seems to do a better job of circulating the heat more evenly around the batter in my RV oven.

The Sour Cream Coconut Icing recipe I used calls for whipped topping so I found a whipped cream recipe for that, too, rather than using ready made whipped topping.YUM! Good stuff, Maynard!

In a nutshell, the recipes for each are:

Simple White Cake
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.
 Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

Sour Cream Coconut Icing
  • 1 pint (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups coconut
  • 3 cups frozen thawed whipped topping (8 ounces), light or regular

In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, sour cream, and coconut. Fold in the whipped topping. Fill and frost a 2 to 4 layer cake.