Tuesday, August 16, 2011

summer is almost over???

Wow where did this season go? The older I get the faster it flies.

insert cheesy business plug :P

To celebrate the upcoming fall (aka knitting) season I have clearance happening on my etsy use the promo code summerclearance at checkout for 30% off. also having a clearance sell on facebook all the hairbows/bands etc are going up for ridiculously low prices. So if you have a little girl in your life you may want to come check them out.

round 1 & 2

Monday, August 15, 2011

Restaurant style potato skins.

I have always had a place in my heart for all things cheesy, full of carbs and dip-able. cheese fries, potato skins are on the top of that list. There is just something about those yummy tater skins all stuffed with the good greasy, yummy-ness that is cheese. Then as if it couldn't get better you can dip it in sour cream (or ranch I suppose).

There is something about the restaurant style potato skins that just makes them so good, the skin is crunchy and salty but not tough and the inside is cooked to perfection.

After countless efforts and pounds and pounds of russet potatoes later I can bring you a great recipe sure to wow your guests.

No potatoes were harmed in this experiment. :D

I have tried various combos of cooking, parboiling, then deep frying, baking then broiling. this recipe was a hit numerous times here at the house so without further adieu:

Each potato makes 2 skins so plan accordingly, I used 6 last night.

Scrub your potatoes clean unless you like the taste of dirt, which would make you strange, but that is ok we are all a little quirky.

Microwave your potatoes (my little microwave took 14 minutes but if you have a better hi-powered it shouldn't take long) make sure you flip them half way through or else you end up with burned spots. Once they are done take them out and cut them in half, they are hot (duh), please be careful!!

Now with a spoon take out some of the potato, save it in a bowl you can make some mashed taters or what have you with the left-overs. Make sure you leave some potato in the shell though, that is what makes it good, and starchy :)

If you are going to use bacon now is the time to start that in a skillet, I use my kitchen shears and cut it up into the pan. when the bacon is done set aside on paper towel to drain

Now you need some olive oil and kosher salt. Turn the potatoes cut side down and brush the skins with olive oil. Then sprinkle with some kosher (or any coarse salt). stick in the oven on broil (most oven broil at 450-500 degrees, so if you don't have a 'broil' setting just use high temps)

*watch them closely, you want the skin to be a bit crispy but not too much or it will be tough, I think mine took maybe 5 minutes.

Now flip them over! Add a small amount (don't go by my pic cause I over-did-it with the bbq this time around) of BBQ we always use a sweet/spicy or just plain sweet BBQ sauce. Now I am not a BBQ sauce fan, but this really, really makes them yummy. If you aren't sure about it just try a few w/ the sauce and the rest with out. Depending on our company sometimes I do half with and half with-out.

Now, normally I would scream and yell at the top of my lungs 'please use block cheese and shred yourself' this time, either way is good with me because it isn't like its super healthy any way :) I used 'sargento' 4 cheese blend. You can use whatever floats your boat. be generous with the cheese, it is what makes it!

Stick back in the oven (still set to broil) for a few minutes, and I mean just a few until the cheese is melted, top with the bacon and shove back in the oven for a sec to heat the bacon back up.

I usually throw some scallions on top but I was out last night. Also I am sorry there is no plated picture I noticed a storm outside and ran out with a skin in one hand doused with sour cream and my camera in the other :) As you can see in the above picture I was messy with the sour cream lol.

I did get this though:


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Banana bread, perfected.

Avery begs for Bananas every time we grocery shop. Some weeks she eats them before wednesday some weeks they get all black and nasty...

This week was black and nasty which ended up being a great thing. I hate wasting food, hate it. So I decided banana bread it would be.

My last banana bread was good, but it could have been better. I was out to scour the intrawebz for the perfect recipe. I came across one that was Emeril's I mean how can you go wrong with Emeril right? Here is his recipe, but you know me, I changed it.

So Here is what I did.

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs room temp
3/4 cup 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
Pinch 1 tsp of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
tsp of vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Oil and flour a PAM a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Using an electric mixer, cream the shortening and sugar. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time. Add the bananas and mix well. Add the baking soda, salt, flour, nuts vanilla nutmeg and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. The dough will be sticky or cake-like.

Pour the dough into the prepared pan and bake about one hour or until the center is brown and set.

I am so sad that there isn't any left, I hope Avery decides not to eat the bananas this week. i want to make french toast with some banana bread, um, yum!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spina What?

Here we are over 2 years later and Gavin amazes me every day. Sometimes I even 'forget' he has an 'abnormality' Sometimes I catch myself rubbing his head and stopping on his shunt thinking wha? for like .000003 seconds. Simply because he HAS an abnormality to 'you' but not to us, not to him. To us he is absolutely normal. He has totally mastered running and it is the cutest thing ever when he chases his brother or sister around.

Tuesday night Gavin learned something new. He learned to kick. He is a little slow but he picks his foot up keeping his balance and kicks a ball around the yard.

Look out David Beckham!! :)

Anyway, I wanted to cautiously brag about the lil mans new skills!!! We are so proud of him, proud of all 3 of them! Best kids ever.