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!
This morning my son was home sick from school and said he was craving a chocolate chip muffin. I offered to make him some, and I was thinking out loud that I don’t think I had ever made chocolate chip muffins. He asked if I could just use chocolate chips instead of blueberries in the muffin recipe we love. That is what I decided to do, except I decided to add a little vanilla to see how it would taste. And they tasted amazing!
This recipe has never let me down, and always comes out perfect. It is so easy to make, the only downfall is that it doesn’t make many. I am always a little hesitant to double recipes and have yet to try that with this one. I usually just make two batches.
So here is what you need to make these amazing muffins:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup (less) milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Grease a muffin tin. I prefer to use shortening, I’m old school like that I guess but you can use spray as well. Or you can use muffin liners.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium size mixing bowl. Sift all ingredients together.
Add 1/3 cup oil to a 1 cup measuring cup. Add 1 egg, then add enough milk until it measures 1 cup.
Mix oil mixture and vanilla into dry ingredients.
Mix in chocolate chips, and scoop into muffin tin. I like to use a large cookie scoop just because I make quite a mess when I use a spoon. It works really well this way.
Fill to the top, and as you can see it only made seven muffins.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until done. Once muffins have cooked for a few minutes I like to sprinkle coarse sugar on to each muffin and continue baking.
They look so good don’t they? Yum! Let them cool in the pan before trying to remove. I use a knife to just try to loosen the muffin tops at this point.
My son was very happy to have these homemade chocolate chip muffins to satisfy his craving! And so was I 😋
I absolutely love decorating and seeing how other people decorate their homes. Isn’t it fun at night sometimes while out for a walk, or while driving to just peak into windows and see the different kinds of architecture and decorating styles? I mean from a distance of course, not in a creepy way like climbing in people’s bushes. One of the many reasons I love living in New England is for all the different styles of older homes and all the wonderful antiques that can be found.
Being able to save old items and give them new life brings me such joy. I love how old industrial pieces like this antique cobbler’s rack can be repurposed in so many different ways. What’s old is new again! Even if your style is more modern furniture and decorations, adding one fantastic unique older piece just makes a room.
We decided to repurpose this old rack into a wine rack and I love it! Is there a term for more than love? If there is, that is how I feel about this piece. It is such a wonderful conversation piece, and it makes me smile every time I walk by it. The best way to be happy at home is to surround yourself with whatever makes you smile. Just not too many dogs, I learned the hard way with that one. Oy!
As an antique dealer, I have come across a few of these antique cobbler’s shoe racks over the years and have always sold them. Except for one other small unique rack that I actually use as a display piece in my shop. This rack is just gorgeous however, and I personally have never seen one like this. They usually have either flat shelves or round spindles for holding the shoes. Although I love them all, I love this one even more.
The last shoe rack I purchased I sold to a wine sommelier in New York (seen below). Yes, I had to look that word up when I first heard it, and it means wine steward in case you weren’t sure either. I am not really sure what a wine steward does, but he was planning on using my rack for wine. That rack had spindles as seen and I had staged it with wine and glasses to show how they can be repurposed.
Imagine if you told the factory workers back in the day that these shoe racks were going to be highly sought after some day? I’m sure they would have laughed. And then stored them all in their basements when they were to be thrown out. Or down cellar (cellah) as we like to say in the Boston area.
I purchased it with the intent to sell, like the others I have purchased. My husband who usually tries to talk me out of keeping any of my inventory, tried to convince me to keep that rack but I just wasn’t in love with it and couldn’t really find a spot for it.
When I purchased this rack out of a barn in Maine, he was once again pushing to keep it. I resisted but I pushed it around my kitchen in my house in Maine anyway just to appease him, but doubtful once again that we had a spot for it. Well we didn’t have the perfect spot, but I am so glad we found one because I just love it! Have I mentioned that yet? It holds so many bottles and glasses, much more than I had on there when I took the pictures.
I also got a little out of control over the last year collecting these vintage glasses with sailboats on them and now thankfully I have a place for them. And a place where people can see them instead of in a cabinet. Although the cabinet is an old repurposed music cabinet that I turned into a bar, which is also pretty cool.
So if you like the look of this wine rack and think you might want one yourself, just keep your eyes open. They aren’t easy to find, but they are out there waiting for your repurposing touch!
I love guacamole and how there are so many different variations that make them all slightly different. The only thing I don’t like about guacamole is that every time I see it I think of that guacamole song my children used to sing by Dr. Jean, “Guacamole, gauc, gauc-amole”. Is anyone else familiar with these food songs? Anyway, this recipe is easy, and everyone that has tried it LOVES it! It differs from most guacamoles by not including cilantro as an ingredient. I’m not a huge fan of cilantro. This recipe also uses cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.
If you have never worked with an avocado, let me tell you they are not the easiest things to work with. I knew I was going to make guacamole for the game Sunday and bought them three days ahead, which surprisingly worked out perfectly! Ripe avocados are the key to a good guacamole and a ripe avocado is not an easy thing to find. A ripe avocado is just slightly soft, which they never are when you think you want one and go to a store to buy one. Then while you are waiting for them to be ripe enough to use, you basically sneeze and they have gone bad. I’m exaggerating, but barely.
Well I didn’t sneeze and they were exactly how they should be! I showed them!
Here are the ingredients you need for guacamole:
3 ripe avocados
1 tsp. salt
2 plum tomatoes – finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Slice the avocados all the way around and cut them in two.
Then just use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Watch out for the pits, they are quite slippery and I shot one right onto my shirt while trying to remove it.
Combine avocados, salt, and the juice of the lime in a small mixing bowl. Mash them together until most of the lumps are gone. I like to leave a few lumps so it is a chunky guacamole.
Add tomatoes, onion, and garlic and mix well.
Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Left over guacamole can be saved for a day or so, but avocados turn brown once they are exposed to the air. It doesn’t mean the guacamole isn’t still good the following day, it just may look a little different.
Ok, ok, I know the photo quality is horrible and the cake is not the best looking. I made this cake 15 years ago when my daughter was 4 and in ballet. Back in the days when you didn’t take pictures of your food, and if you did it was just to remember a special occasion not thinking it would ever be posted on-line.
I came across this recipe recently and after I wiped away my tears, I looked on-line and saw that you can’t find this recipe anymore. At least I was unable to. So despite the terrible photo from taking a photo of an old actual photograph, and me not being the best cake decorator 15 years ago, I felt it was worth sharing.
Let me just say how thrilled my daughter was to come home to this cake after her “big” dance recital. I’m adding a photo of her more for myself than anything, but wasn’t she adorable? Also back in the day where you couldn’t see the photo and didn’t realize she was squinting. She still is adorable, but she is in college now, gulp. The years really do just fly by. Cherish every moment of your little ones, because they are big in the blink of an eye.
So, this cake is not gourmet in any way, but it really doesn’t matter to a little ballerina. It will pretty much guarantee you the title of “parent of the year” for making it though. What you need are:
Red or pink fruit roll ups
2 frozen pound cakes
Red food coloring
Thaw the pound cakes and trim them with a knife to look like the shape of ballet slippers. Use some of the vanilla frosting to spread on the tops where the slipper opening would be. Dye the rest of the frosting pink with a few drops of red food coloring. Frost the rest of the slippers pink. Place one slipper leaning against the other as I did. ** One thing I can’t really remember is whether or not to decorate the cakes completely and then lean one against the other, or to lean and then decorate. That should be easier to determine when the cakes are in front of you.
Cut the fruit roll ups into 3/4 inch wide strips. Then cut four 3 inch pieces and place them as an “X” across the white portion of each cake. Cut four 8 inch strips and cut the ends as I did, then drape them off of the cakes where the straps would be. Use the red M&Ms to outline the white frosted areas.