Don’t Drop a Potato Down the Disposal

photo 1 (8)I realized I didn’t have potatoes in like a few months, so I figured it was probably time to learn how to make potatoes on my own. Plus I found this recipe that used parsley, which I needed to use up before it went bad.

Some things I learned: potatoes take much more time to make than I would have thought. I also learned to make sure I put water completely covering the potatoes because otherwise they won’t actually cook for the first ten minutes.

As well, be careful when dumping out the water from the pot into the sink. I accidentally dropped one potato down the disposal, which was very sad because an extra potato would have meant more scrumptious food. Woops. I tried to get out out of the disposal, lest it still look edible, but the potato was cooked so perfectly I wasn’t able to get it out.

photo 2 (9)The recipe I used for these potatoes was pretty simple. You mix together olive oil, salt, garlic salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and parsley. The recipe also says you can add jalapeño pepper but I figured the cayenne pepper would give it enough of a kick.

I would recommend chopping up the parsley. The recipe doesn’t specifically say you should but if you look at the pictures, the parsley was definitely chopped up. I tried doing it in the bowl after I mixed together the mixture and it didn’t really work out.

photo 1 (9)Then you’re supposed to use a fork and mash the potatoes up. My sister is really good at mashing potatoes. I clearly didn’t inherit that skill because they weren’t really mashing up, so I just ended up cutting them.

After you mash the potatoes, you drizzle on the mixture you created and pop them in the preheated oven for a half hour.

Tphoto 3 (8)hese potatoes are probably one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. However, you really can’t eat these potatoes without a glass or two of milk or water. They definitely have a kick to them that make them a little spicy. If you’re like me and don’t like spicy food, don’t add in the jalapeño peppers. The rest of the mixture will be hot enough.

I would highly recommend trying these. Although they take a long time to make, I know I shall be eating these again!

…But next time I will make sure I don’t drop a potato down the disposal.

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Homemade Hot Pockets

There are some ingredients I would never pair together. Like whomever put together the turkey burger with guacamole was a genius, but a genius who likes to live life on the edge. What if the combination tasted horrible? It would be an utter waste of a good turkey burger.

So when someone on Facebook shared a recipe for avocado, cream cheese, and salsa pockets, I was intrigued but slightly hesitant. Avocado, cream cheese and salsa are three ingredients I would never think to put together. But separately I love them all. Could this be delicious delicacy? Or a waste of money?

HotPockets3Let me tell you – avocado, cream cheese, and salsa pockets are scrumptious. The flavors worked in harmony and the mixture of the hot puffed pastry contrasted with the cool avocado and cream cheese.

Although, finding a puffed pastry in the grocery store is harder than one would expect. Like would puffed pastry sheets be near the croissants or in the frozen section? It turns out in my grocery store they are near the frozen pies and there was only one brand of puffed pastry sheets. Which at least made the decision process much easier once I finally found them.

HotPockets1While finding puffed pastry sheets in the grocery store was tricky, these were incredible easy to make. Basically to make these you just cut the puffed pastry sheets into squares. I attempted to make mine hot pocket sized but as you can tell from the picture, they turned out a bit bigger than hot pockets.

Then you just put a dollop of avocado, cream cheese, and salsa on the puffed pastry. Personally, I probably should have mixed the ingredients together a bit more. Since I really just plotted them on there, part of the pockets only had one flavor, which was annoying at times.

HotPockets2After you put the ingredients on the pocket, you just use a fork to close the pocket and stick them in the oven. Keep an eye on them while they’re in the oven so they turn a nice golden brown and don’t burn.

These would be really nice to have for an appetizer at a party, or if you’re like me, you can use them as a meal. As for leftovers, they even taste good after being in the fridge for a night – just stick them back in the oven and you are good to go!

Delicious Peanut Butter Bars

photo 5 (1)The college I went to had these absolutely delicious peanut butter bars. Every single time they were offered as a dessert, I HAD to get one…or two (…or three). Not sure if it was the peanut butter bottom or the chocolate top but I was hooked. After I graduated college, I was devastated that I had to leave these delicious bars behind.

That is, until a few days ago when I decided to see if I could find the recipe online. Low and behold these bars are not as elusive as I thought they’d be – it was the first recipe after googling “peanut butter bars.” They looked easy enough, so I decided to make them as my first non-box-mix attempt.

The first problem I ran into was when I was purchasing my ingredients. I had no idea what confectioners’ sugar was or how it was different from normal sugar. Luckily I quickly learned from a roommate that confectioners’ sugar is another name for powdered sugar. Why not just say powdered sugar in the recipe? Life would be so much easier if ingredients only had one name.

photo 1 (2)photo 2 (3)The second problem concerned the graham crackers. The recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs, so on my first attempt I tried to break up the graham crackers using a spatula (see picture on the left). But then I quickly realized that breaking graham crackers up with a spatula is super messy. More crumbs ended up on the floor than in my little pile of cracker crumbs. It’s also very time consuming.

Then I had the brilliant idea of putting the graham crackers in the bag they came in and breaking them up with my hands (see picture on the right). Not only was this way not messy but it was faster than using the spatula. See, this is what they should tell you in recipes – kind of like the Half-Blood Prince notes (but seriously, how did Harry not know that was Snape’s handwriting?)

photo 4 (1)You may be thinking to yourself, there’s no way you could have a problem with the rest of the recipe. That is where you would be wrong my friend. This recipe calls for melting the chocolate in the microwave or in a metal bowl over simmering water. Didn’t have a microwave, since a former roommate took hers when she moved out, and didn’t own a metal bowl. So I did what any normal person would do – I just heated the chocolate on low heat and hoped it would turn out correctly. Which it did!

After placing these bars in the fridge for the allotted time, I tried one. I must say they passed the taste test. They tasted exactly like the ones at my college. I would recommend keeping them in the fridge if you aren’t serving them right away, since they taste better when cold. Room temperature makes them softer and melty.

If you’re looking for a simple delicious recipe, look no further. Peanut butter bars are the way to go.

Penne, and garden burgers, and corn. Oh my!

I’ve finally reached a point in my life when it annoys me that I have to put in a frozen pizza for dinner rather than take the time to make something. Unfortunately this week I haven’t had much time to eat, so the meals I’ve made have been pretty simple.

Here’s a wrap up of some of the meals and drinks that I have made this week:

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Left: Penne with red pepper and a shredded italian cheese blend, topped with oregano. I was a little skeptical when I decided to put red pepper in my pasta but it was actually really scrumptious. Pair it with a dinner roll and you have a fabulous meal.

Middle: Root beer float! Since it’s summer, this is one drink I can’t pass up.

Right: Garden veggie burger and corn (another post about corn coming soon!) For those who don’t want meat or want a lighter burger, I would definitely recommend a garden veggie burden since it’s super easy to heat in the oven.

Brownies From A Mix ✓

Good news – even I can’t mess up brownies from a mix.

I had bought a box of triple chunk brownie mix because I’ve never made brownies from a box on my own. And these brownies looked too delicious to pass up! The mix only required me adding water, vegetable oil and an egg.

While it turns out I probably should have used a smaller pan to make the brownies, these tasted just as delicious as they looked on the packaging!

Brownies1Brownies2Brownies3 Brownies4Brownies5

The One Thing No One Tells You About Celsius When You Live in the U.S.

Salmon FailSince I live in the United States, I automatically just assume that temperature is always put in fahrenheit.

Let me tell you, it’s not.

For dinner tonight, I was making myself a frozen prepackaged salmon. I set the temperature on my oven to 230° and thought that was a little low. So I double checked the packaging. Yep, it said 230°.

Twenty minutes later and my salmon was looking a little frozen still. So I triple checked the packaging. Turns out it said 230° celsius, not 230° fahrenheit.

The one thing no one tells you about celsius is that there are companies out there that put the celsius temperature before they put the fahrenheit temperature. And they put the fahrenheit temperature in parenthesis. If you’re anything like me, you automatically just skip over parenthesis. Which is problematic if you want salmon that’s not raw.

I decided to start off with cooking some prepackaged food and working my way up so that way I don’t embarrass myself — clearly that didn’t work out. All of you beginner cooks out there, if a temperature seems too low to fully cook something, you’re probably reading the celsius temperature.