Friday, June 15, 2018

10 Easy Recipes When it is too Hot to Cook

Summer is my favorite time of year. Just being able to do anything outside in the warm sunshine after being cooped up inside the house during the harsh winter feels almost decadent.

Until the high heat and humidity kick in and make it too hot to move.

And cook.

10 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas When it is too Hot to Cook

Basically, I take my hot weather dinner ideas from my travels to the sunny south and southwestern United States because while I have to deal with scorching temperatures for a few months, those folks are living in it year round.

Like they say, travel broadens the mind – and food palette!


10 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes When it is too Hot to Cook

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Baked French Fries Recipe in 30 Minutes or Less!

There is nothing that goes better with a grilled burger than French fries. They are easy to order when you are eating at a restaurant but let’s face it, deep fat frying French fries at home is messy and in all honesty, most doctors will tell you baked side dishes are generally more healthy than fried.

That’s why I serve my protein burger of choice with fast and easy homemade baked French fries. No my friends, I didn’t buy them in the frozen food section (not cheap and loaded with extra ingredients you don’t need to eat.)

I whip my homemade French Fries up on the cheap from real deal potatoes and they taste exactly like the season salt fries from my favorite local restaurant – for a whole lot less.
 

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How to Make Quick, Easy, and Healthy Homemade Baked French Fries – Not Deep Fat Frying Required!


You will need:

 

Potatoes – I am using Yukon Gold potatoes in this recipes. My in laws grow Yukon Gold potatoes every year in their vegetable garden.  Their self buttering goodness and flavor can’t be beat!

Your favorite type of vegetable cooking oil – I am using peanut oil to get the same flavor of the French Fries from my favorite local restaurant but without the frying mess. Olive oil, vegetable oil, and what have you work too. Although I would stay away from using Coconut oil in this recipe because it has such a high smoke point.

Baking stone – I recommend using a baking stone because it makes the French fries crisp up nicely

Chef’s knife

Cutting Board

Vegetable scrubber
 
Pastry brush and small bowl

Optional seasoning if desired:  healthy season salt, rosemary, sea salt (or regular table salt,)  or whatever strikes your fancy.

Disclosure: I am including some affiliate links in this post for your convenience.


Step by Step How to Make It


1. Clean the skin of the potatoes using water and the vegetable scrubber. If you don’t want the extra nutrient goodness of the potato peel on your French Fries, you can use a vegetable peeler like this one to peel the skin instead.

I’m going the quick and easy (and lazy healthy) route by leaving the clean potato peels on the potato. It’s low effort way to fancy Nancy looking potato wedges.

2. Use the chef’s knife and cutting board to cut the potatoes in half followed by cutting them into potato wedges. If you are feeding an army, using a vegetable mandolin to julienne  the potatoes will make this step quick and easy.

3. Arrange the cut potatoes on the baking stone or sheet.

4. Pour a small amount of vegetable oil into a small bowl and use the pastry brush with a light hand to brush the hand cut French fried potatoes with oil. The olive / peanut/ vegetable oil is only there to help the potatoes brown in the oven and encourage the seasonings to stick so you don’t need to go nuts and drown the potatoes with oil.

5. Sprinkle your seasoning (if desired) onto the French fries before baking them a 450 degree (F ) oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes until the French Fries are soft and golden brown. The baking time will depend upon how thick you cut the potato wedges and how soft or crispy you like your French fries.

 Nom! Nom! Nom!

6. Pull the baked French fries out of the oven. Eat, enjoy, repeat!

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

10 Minute Meals: Instant Pot Chicken Paprikash Recipe

I grew up in the Cleveland area and if it is one thing Cleveland does well, it is Hungarian food, chicken paprikash in particular. Chicken paprikash is the type of comfort food that reaches down to your very soul and gives it a big, warm, Hungarian grandma hug.

It wasn’t something I ate often as a kid and as an adult I now know why – chicken paprikash takes over an hour to simmer! That cooking time doesn’t include the prep or making the traditional spaetzle from scratch! No wonder so many of those chicken paprikash dinners I remember were served over wide egg noodles or gnocchi.

That is, until now. I came up with a paprika chicken recipe that takes 20 minutes in the Instant Pot instead of 2 hours on the stove to make!

That 20 minute meal includes cooking with frozen chicken in the Instant Pot. (aff link to the best thing ever!) Yep, don’t have to defrost meat when you use an Instant Pot. The meat comes out just as tender and the cooking time stays the same. The only difference is the electric pressure cooker takes a few extra minutes to reach it’s cooking pressure when you use frozen meat. No big deal.

Best Ever Quick and Easy Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Monday, April 16, 2018

25 Green Living Items You Can Buy at the Dollar Store to Save Money

Recently I was helping a family change their habits toward green living and at one point the frustrated mom said,”why is eco friendly living so expensive? I think this plastic free, zero waste, and organic stuff is only for rich people.”

In one way she’s right. I know quite a few green bloggers who refuse to mention how they are also saving money doing what they do and look down their nose at those who do. I guess because otherwise your green living heart isn’t pure if you admit to also being being motivate by living within your means?

I don’t think that’s true.

I’ve bought expensive made from eco friendly material high waste stuff at a spendy hippie store and zero waste items at the 99 cents store. It all depends upon what your green living focus is and how you want to go about meeting your goal.


25 Green Living Items You Should Be Buying From the Dollar Store


Monday, April 9, 2018

12 Practical Ways to Use Cotton Balls You Need to Try Right Now!

I recently opened a new big new bottle of vitamins, and found that three quarters of the bottle I bought was stuffed with cotton wading. Being rather annoyed that I basically just bought a bottle of cotton instead of the necessary supplements,  I reused it bu cutting the nonsterile cotton into smaller pieces and using it to remove my nail polish before tossing it into the trash bin.

Rinse. Repeat. Every time I open a new bottle. Why can't they use smaller bottles instead? Grrrr!

Instead of getting mad, I’m getting even. Obviously I shouldn’t cut down and reuse the cotton packing from pill bottles for anything that requires a clean and sterile cotton ball, like cleaning cuts and scrapes, but there are several ways to creatively use non sterile cotton roll for things other than crafts. Here are a few ideas:

12 Ideas to Reuse the Annoying Cotton Roll Packed in Bottles

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Instant Pot Chipotle Pozole Recipe

Snow on the first Day of Spring, a husband with a cold, and a busy concert week rehearsal schedule requires comfort food.

But making dinner has to be quick because I have rehearsals almost every day this week.
And if it could be a soup or a stew my ailing husband would be most appreciative. Poor guy!


Our Kitchen MVP, the Instant Pot, came though with a fantastic 30 minute meal – Chipotle Pozole, a filling pork and hominy dish that almost made me late to practice because I couldn’t leave the house without a big second helping. So good!

30 Minute Meal: Mexican Pork and Hominy Soup

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How I Saved Thousands on Groceries with One Simple Hack

Who knew pantry months and later, kitchen ants, would help me lower my grocery bill 10 – 30% per trip and without using coupons or rebates?

Seriously.