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Easy Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

5 Jun

Well. The Thunder are out of the finals, so I guess that means I’m back in action here.  My social media feeds have slowly lost interest once the East and West coast conference champions were announced. No one wants to watch the Heat beat the Spurs. For a second year in a row.  What was so promising in the first round ultimately led us right back to where we were a year ago.  Can I also just call attention to the world’s most illegal screen, courtesy of Blake?  I don’t even have a clever way of incorporating it – I just think it’s too awesome to NOT include somehow.

Any way.

I love opposite flavors and temperatures paired together in my food.  Hot with cold, sweet with salty, crispy with chewy…potato pancakes with a little apple sauce on top is pretty much all of that wrapped into one awesome breakfast.  I’d only ever eaten them in a restaurant but decided to give them a try at home. It was. DeliciousSmitten Kitchen never lets me down, so here is the recipe I adapted:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large russet potato (1 pound), peeled
  • 1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Oil, for frying (Smitten Kitchen uses peanut oil; I used grapeseed)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again. I would recommend getting really OCD and doing it a third time. It makes a difference.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.

    Ready for Frying!

    Ready for Frying!

  3. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

    Flatten with a Spatula

    Flatten with a Spatula

Tip from Smitten Kitchen: Latkes are a do-ahead-er’s dream. You can also keep latkes warm in the oven for an hour or more, if you’re waiting for stragglers to arrive. Cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. Reheat them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.

Easy Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

Easy Potato Latkes (Pancakes)

We had these for breakfast back in January (yes, still extremely backlogged) with eggs over medium and red pear. I was too lazy to make apple sauce, but I couldn’t have my latkes without it.  I had some leftover individual packs of applesauce from the Carrot Cake Cupakes I made, so I popped one open and mixed in some cinnamon and nutmeg. It was PERFECT. The only downside is that our place smelled like fries for a couple of days. Well worth it, I’d say!

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Martha Stewart Cookie Boxes

26 Jan

Sadly, I’m already caught-up on my backlog of holiday baked goods.  I thought I’d wrap-up with a short ditty on how I packaged the treats. I typically opt for a cellophane bag, some festive Glad Tupperware, or a little Christmas bag or box. However, I am quite the sucker for all things Martha Stewart, as well as cute paper goods.  Naturally when you combine the two, I’ll wreak all kinds of domesticated havoc.

Such a Sucker for Cute Paper Goods

But seriously, is this Martha Stewart Cookie Box not the cutest?  It seemed like a great way to showcase my Grinchmas Cookies, S’mores Cookies, Walnut Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies, and Martha Stewart’s Snickerdoodles.  And it even has a freaking window on it for Pete’s sake.

Close-Up of the Nomness

I didn’t create a separate post for the Snickerdoodles because I made them at night-time and the photos were just awful. Plus, no one would be impressed by the process of making a Snickerdoodle… not that anyone is impressed by anything on this blog anyway.

Getting excited to bake this weekend!  My hiatus is drawing to a close!

As an aside, I usually take a lot of pride in carefully selecting things to hyperlink to throughout my posts to shed a little light on certain situations. Well, I’m shamelessly swallowing that pride and am admitting to having absolutely no tie-in to the one I’m about to share.  It just plum made my week.  Hell, it’s made my year so far and I couldn’t find a clever way to include it.  So here it is.  #nerd

Wine Cozy

4 Dec

I completely forgot to post about the wine cozy gift set I made Christina last winter until I was reminded while Christmas shopping on Black Friday last weekend.  I never thought I’d voluntarily stay up past 10pm to (of all things) go shopping, but Jamie is a very passionate bargain hunter and convinced me to go, especially since I too can appreciate the value of a dollar and a good bargain.  I don’t get to see her very often since she lives up north, so I figured how bad could it be?  I should have known I was in over my head when she said we should get there early because they were giving free Cliff Bars to the first 500 people in line for Target.

After over 4 hours of sheer mayhem, wading through a sea of red Target shopping carts being pushed by tryptophanatic zombies, and getting pummeled by an old lady who was literally running while en route to Macy’s, I managed to escape with a plethora of new kitchen tools and appliances. My Santa sack was filled with a 7-cup food processor, a blender, mixing bowls, frosting spatula, dough bands, a whisk, and some other goodies irrelevant to this blog.  During the weekend, I also acquired a pre-owned Ultra Power Kitchen-Aid stand mixer (holler) in exchange for $30 cash plus some of my baked goods – quite a deal!  Oh, the wonders I will make with all of my new toys!

At about 3am, Jamie and I parted ways.  She went on to another Target, another Macy’s, Old Navy, and some other places, and I got the f-ck out of there, slightly traumatized but content with my new treasures.  Jamie told me the next morning that she got home at 9am, took an hour nap, and woke up to go to a few more places.  Jamie, you are a beast.

So back to the subject matter of this post.  For Christina‘s wine set gift, I  threw in a bottle of cabernet and a pretty jewel-top wine stop from Sur la Table to match the cozies and coasters.

Wine Cozies, Coasters, Cab, and Jewel Wine Stop

The wine cozies make great gifts for housewarmings and wine aficionados (winos?) alike.  I recently made a couple more wine cozy sets as housewarming gifts for Shirley and Spencer…

Shirley and Spencer

…and Leslie and Tri, respectively.  As you might have guessed, all four of them like Hawaii – and who can blame them?

Tri and Leslie

Might make some more to throw on the Etsy account, which (I’m happy to announce) is now live.

Spiced Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew

9 Oct

The gloomy weather we’ve been having lately made me really want some warm comfort food so I made one of my favorite meals.  Fall is also the season for one of my favorite foods in the world – butternut squash!  The first time I had a butternut squash and garbanzo bean (or “chickpea” if you want to use the sexier word for it) stew like this was at Nook Bistro a couple of years ago.  I fell in love with it and absolutely had to make it at home.  After trying out a couple different recipes, I found one that was similar enough and really healthy.  I made this a few years ago prior to starting my blog, so I thought I’d give it the shoutout it deserves!

Spiced Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew - Close-Up

Note:  If you decide to make this at home, I would recommend buying pre-cut butternut squash because the rind is not easy to cut through.

A few people have asked what is with the sudden burst in posts.  I love to eat, sleep, and breathe food so naturally, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen with the new found free time I’ve acquired in the last month.  However, it seems like this is slowly turning into a cooking/baking blog, so I’ll change it up in the next couple of weeks with something inedible to share!

New Spice Rack

8 Oct

I’ve been meaning to show off my latest kitchen addition.  I got this spice rack from The Container Store as a gift over the summer, and I had been meaning to share what a difference it made.  Here is a photo of one of my old spice racks…

Old Spice Rack

Yes, it is a paper bag with spices in it that sat on the kitchen floor next to the microwave.  I also had a plastic box full of spices too that acted as my other “spice rack”, but it was never in the same place.  Now, they’re all in ONE PLACE and easy to find, making my spice and herb utilization swift and unstrained.  It’s changed my life!

New Spice Rack

Thank you, Nancy.