Yesterday my son and I decided to make homemade potato chips. This is not something I had ever done, and it was a fun thing to do together. I don’t think we will be putting Frito Lay out of business any time soon, but they were really good. They tasted much better than they look. A little too good actually, we couldn’t stop munching on them and there were hardly any left when we were done. They say there are no calories if you are standing while you are eating, so it wasn’t that bad 😜
We peeled some russet potatoes, the potatoes were small so we used six of them. Then sliced them as thin as we could get them.
I tried using a grater to slice the potatoes but they were coming out too thick so I switched to the sharpest knife I own, which was this small pairing knife. It definitely would have been easier if I owned a larger sharp knife.
As we were slicing the potatoes we kept putting the finished pieces in cold water to soak. Once they were all sliced we drained them, rinsed them, and put them back in a bowl of cold water with 3 tbsp. of salt and let them soak for 30 minutes.
We heated canola oil in a pan until it reached 350 degrees.
Drained and rinsed the potatoes and added them in small batches to the oil.
Once they browned we transferred the potatoes onto paper towel lined plates and patted them to remove the excess oil. They are browner than we wanted, but they still tasted delicious!
We made three different kinds; ranch, nacho, and sea salted. For the ranch and nacho I used popcorn seasoning.
We are already planning on making them again the next time we make turkey burgers. So good!
Today I had some ripe bananas perfect for making banana bread, but I didn’t feel like dirtying a whole bunch of dishes so I went with the one bowl recipe. Even though I do have a favorite recipe that I use much more often, this banana bread is delicious! If you are looking for an easy recipe, this is the one for you! The next time I have ripe bananas and bake the other version I will share it in my blog as well so you can see which one you prefer.
If you have never made a banana bread, the bananas need to be really ripe. What I mean by ripe is to the point you are about to throw them away. The bananas I had were pushing it a little by the way they looked, but they were just right inside. They need to be so soft that they mash easily.
Bananas are kind of like avocados where they are never ripe enough to use when you buy them, but if you wait just a little too long they have gone bad. Avocados are way worse in that regard.
Once you have your ripe bananas, here are the rest of the ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Mash bananas in a bowl until lumps are gone. I used a small potato masher, but you can use a fork.
Add melted butter and combine.
Add sugar, egg, cinnamon, baking soda, vanilla, salt and flour, combine well.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min or until toothpick comes out clean.
New England chowder or “chowdah” as we New Englanders affectionately like to call it, is a soup with a base of broth and cream which is not to be confused with Manhattan Chowder which is tomato based. I remember ordering chowder in New York once many years ago and was very disappointed when I was given what looked like tomato soup and not something creamy as I was expecting.
My favorite types of chowders are corn chowder and fish chowder, so why not just combine them into one chowder. Once I asked a waitress in a Maine diner what was in their corn chowder and was told very matter of factly, “There’s cawn in the cawn chowdah”. I asked no further questions lol.
Most chowders are very fattening, and with this chowder I tried my best to make it as low fat as I could without sacrificing the creamy chowder taste. You can make it even less fattening by either using all milk, altering the amounts of milk and cream, or using a low fat milk which is what I use. If you want it creamier, use all cream and forget about the milk.
For this haddock chowdah you will need:
2 pounds haddock or cod
2-3 slices of bacon
2 cups frozen corn
1 stalk of celery
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
32 oz. seafood stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter
As I was trying to make this a little lower fat, I decided not to have the bacon fat in the chowder so I cooked the bacon first in a separate pan and drained it on a paper towel. Every little bit helps right?
Peel and cube the potatoes, chop about 1/4 cup of onion, chop the celery, mince the garlic, and crumble the cooked bacon.
Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large sauce pan, then add all of the vegetables, spices, and the crumbled bacon. Cook on low/medium heat for a few minutes while stirring frequently.
Add seafood stock to vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 5-7 minutes.
Cut the fish into large chunks and add to the pot and simmer covered for another 5-7 minutes.
Break up the fish into bite size pieces with a spoon while it is in the pot.
Add the butter, milk, cream, salt and pepper, and simmer covered for another 5-7 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Now you too are a chowdah lovah!!
Stamping silverware is another one of my many talents 😜
Chicken and waffles are another Southern dish that I have been craving lately. Not only had I never even tried them, but I had never even heard of chicken and waffles being served together until a few years ago. Despite its increase in popularity in restaurants, it just seemed like such a strange combination to me. I mean syrup on chicken? Really? My family has ordered it at restaurants and loved it, so I thought why not give it a try.
Actual fried chicken is not something I ever cook because I am not a big fan of meat on the bone, and if using boneless chicken I just prefer to have it “oven fried”. It helps with eliminating a large amount of the fat and calories to bake the chicken as opposed to frying it.
My chicken turned out moist inside with a really tasty crunchy outside. It was delicious! Here is how I make oven fried chicken.
2 lbs. bonesless chicken breast
2 cups of buttermilk (I use milk and lemon juice)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 cup flour
My chicken was a little thick so I decided to pound down some of the pieces. I didn’t want them as thin as I would for cutlets, but just all the same thickness. To do this I cleaned and cut the chicken, then pounded them with a wooden mallet in between some plastic wrap.
I made two cups of buttermilk and let the chicken marinate in it for about 30 minutes. Longer is better if you have the time.
To make buttermilk I just add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the two cups of milk and let it sit for a few minutes. I know there are other ways but that is the way I learned growing up.
You will need three bowls. In one bowl combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
In another bowl put the flour, and in the third bowl combine the beaten eggs with an almost equal amount of water.
Dip each piece of chicken in flour, then in egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
Top the fresh waffles with the chicken, add a little syrup, and enjoy!
If you would like to see how I made my waffles, here is the link to my waffle blog:
There is nothing like a thick, soft homemade waffle, and a waffle iron is not a bad appliance to have in the house. They are not only great for breakfast with syrup and butter, or with strawberries and whipped cream, but make a perfect dessert sundae! One of my children’s favorite ice cream places is a waffle sundae shop, and since I was making chicken and waffles for dinner I decided to make a few extra for a treat for the next day.
My son loved his treat, who wouldn’t?
I have made chocolate waffles in the past for ice cream sundaes, but I stuck with regular waffles this time. Especially because chicken doesn’t really go well with chocolate waffles. Here is a picture I had taken of the chocolate waffle and it looks so good that I think I need to make these again soon.
I have also made gingerbread waffles from a Stonewall Kitchen waffle mix which was quite good.
Ok, I am digressing and getting very hungry, let’s get back to the waffles I am currently blogging about.
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a small bowl beat the egg yolks. Add the milk, and then add egg milk mixture to dry ingredients.
In another small bowl beat the egg whites until foamy, and then add them to the other mixture.
Heat your waffle maker and cook waffles per the instructions. Mine cooked for about 3 minutes.
I am kicking off my cocktail recipe blogs with one of my favorites, the French Vanilla Martini, or French Martini. There are only three ingredients, and it is a delicious combination of vanilla, raspberry, and pineapple!
If you aren’t familiar with Chambord liqueur, it is a wonderful black raspberry liqueur that can be used in many different cocktails. It is a great liqueur to have in the house.
2 oz. vanilla vodka
1.5 oz. Chambord
2 oz. pineapple juice
Add 3 ice cubes and other ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well until mixture becomes cold.
Chicken salad is such an easy dish to whip up, and there are so many different ways to make it. Today I decided to add celery and red grapes to the salad. When I don’t add grapes, I usually add a little red onion. And then sometimes, just celery, it all depends on what I’m in the mood for or what I have in the house.
Today I also decided to have the chicken salad on a bed of lettuce, but it is also perfect in a sandwich or on a croissant. I prefer to make my own because I like to use low fat mayonaise to cut calories a little bit.
Here is what you need to make chicken salad:
2 lbs. boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
stalk of celery chopped
grapes (red or green)
Cook chicken breasts in a glass baking dish at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until no longer pink. Let cool.
Whisk together mayonaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
Chop up a stalk of celery and halve the grapes.
Cut up the chicken into cubes and mix all ingredients well.
I prefer chicken salad cold so I refrigerate for at least an hour. Enjoy!!
Lately I seem to be making and craving lots of Southern food and I’m not exactly sure what is prompting this. I guess because it’s yummy? Seems like as good of a reason as any. Grits are not something I ever had growing up, and I think I only tried them a few years ago. I honestly had no idea what grits even were, which I found out are ground dried corn. Oddly grits were available to me two separate times over the last month, and it made me want to try making them.
When I went to purchase grits I had to stop and think about whether to buy quick cook grits or regular grits. Then I remembered the line in the movie My Cousin Vinny, “No self respecting Southerner uses instant grits”, so regular grits it was. Good thing I have all this impressive knowledge readily available in my brain.
In addition to all of this Southern food I’ve been making, I also really want to start saying “y’all”. I’m not sure how that would mix with my Boston accent though, “y’all gonna pahk ya cah or what”. I think I may just need to stick to the food and not the slang.
So, how do you make grits? Well, I looked on-line at a bunch of different recipes and decided on my own way. Here’s what you need to make my version:
1 cup of grits (not quick cook!)
4 cups of milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter
Splash of cream
Bring 4 cups of milk to a boil while being careful not to burn the milk. Add a dash of salt to the milk. Whisk in the grits. Turn the heat down to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes uncover and whisk well. If the liquid isn’t absorbed cook for a few more minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. I used about an 1/8 tsp. of pepper to start, and then added a tiny bit more after I tasted them.
And that is all y’all need to do to make cheesy grits! Yum!
Potato latkes are considered a traditional Jewish food served on Hanukkah, and even though I am not Jewish, they are something that I grew up having. One of the perks of your mother and grandmother growing up in the old West End of Boston which was a melting pot of nationalities. My grandmother’s best friend was Jewish and I would bet that is where this recipe originated.
You may not be familiar with potato latkes, as many people are not. They look something like a potato pancake, and are often referred to as a pancake, but to me they are quite different. The difference between a potato pancake and a latke are that pancakes are basically when you take your left over mashed potatoes and fry them in a pan, which I also grew up having. Latkes look like a pancake but are crispy and made with shredded potato. They are not something I make often, but they are delicious!
They are a little time consuming because you have to grate the potatoes, but they are very easy to make. They are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and make a great side dish!
6 russet potatoes
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Heat 1/4″ of oil in a frying pan on medium heat until it is hot enough for a drop of water to sizzle.
Peel potatoes, and use a grater to grate them. They will be very wet so I put them in a colander to drain the liquid before combining with the other ingredients.
While you are draining the potatoes, grate some onion. I don’t use that much because I have to sneak it in there so my son doesn’t notice. Maybe about 1/4 cup?
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Drop by tablespoonfuls in to the oil and flatten with a spatula.
Cook until brown, flip and cook the other side.
Drain on a plate lined with papertowels.
Serve warm plain, or with the traditional side of sour cream and applesauce. Yum!
My husband and I went to Nightshift Brewery in Boston last weekend for the first time. We have always been “brew pub” fans and are always up for trying someplace new. I had seen it from the highway not too long ago, but wasn’t exactly sure where it was. It is in a building right next to TD Garden, and around back on the water which would be really nice in the warmer weather. I have been to TD Garden so many times throughout my life and for some reason never knew there was water back there.
When we arrived we got carded at the door which when you are my age, you pretty much just want to go back for that reason alone. I get so excited when I have to dust off my license and show it to someone. I know it’s just a technicality and they aren’t really even looking at it, but whatever, I’m going to keep telling myself it is because I look so young.
I really loved the place, but after we left we realized the food and service weren’t very good. But I still loved it, and want to go back. I think the main reasons I loved it so much was the atmosphere, the popcorn, and the beer. I am not a big beer person, but their beer was excellent! I tried two of the sour beers, and actually loved them which never happens. I had the Made In The Shade which is a Gose beer with salt and lime; and the Briar Weisse which is a sour ale with blackberries and lemon peel. My husband really liked the ones he tried, but his favorite was the Mint Condition which is a dark ale with cocoa, spearmint, and dark chocolate. So for beer, I give them a 10!
Now let’s talk about the popcorn. Oh. My. Goodness. You can order a little bucket of truffle white cheddar popcorn with free refills that is one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. I actually found myself doing a happy little food dance while I was eating it. I felt like Pooh Bear. I honestly could have sat there and had about 20 of them, the buckets are quite small but still. Just writing about it is making me want to go back now.
Along with the popcorn we ordered the Half Pound Pretzel. Soft pretzels are one of my favorite things, but this pretzel wasn’t soft. It was hard and kind of burned, which I have never experienced and I have had many soft pretzels in my life. It was bad, like really bad.
For dinner I ordered the mac and cheese with chicken, because the woman next to me was eating it and it looked really good. It was good, not great, but good and even though I only ate a tiny bit I enjoyed it. My husband tried it and didn’t like it, however.
My husband ordered The Hot Take, which was a chips and cornflake fried chicken sandwich, with viva habanera hot sauce, ranch, tomato and arugula. He sent it back because the fried chicken was too hard and over fried. He never sends food back either, so it must not have been good. He also didn’t even think it was remotely spicy. The replacement was covered in the hot sauce, but just as over fried and he really didn’t like that one either. The fries were very good, however.
The waitress was also not very good, and never brought one of our popcorn refills 😡, and really just didn’t care about us or my husband not liking his meal.
As I mentioned, I am looking forward to going back mostly for the popcorn and beer, but I will try something else to see if it was just a bad food day.