Just a little video with a pretty song…
Just a little video with a pretty song…
Mashed potatoes are not my specialty. They are more than just “not my specialty” – they are my arch nemesis! I just can’t seem to master them. They usually come out gluey or lumpy or both all at the same time!
I think making mashed potatoes are a lesson in patience (which I am short on) and require some amount of technical ability. You need to put the peeled (patience needed) potatoes into the big pot of cold water and bring it all up to boil together (more patience) for the potatoes to cook evenly. You really should warm up whatever dairy product you are adding – milk, cream etc. Don’t over mash and make sure you season liberally.
For Christmas lunch – I decided to be patient with my mashed potatoes and I was rewarded with lovely, creamy, perfect mashed potatoes!
And then I added a few things…
Some roasted garlic cloves. Some grated Parmesan cheese…Some chopped spinach. Yup, chopped spinach. I thought the chopped spinach would be a fun “mash-up.” Like having creamed spinach and garlic mashed altogether.
While my mother and I thought it was tasty, my husband did not! Weird because cooked spinach is one of the few veggies he really likes and he likes mashed potatoes very much. So what’s not to love about mixing the two?
5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes – peeled and cut into similar sized pieces.
3-6 large garlic cloves – roasted and mashed
1 box of chopped spinach ( 9 oz +/-) defrosted and squeezed of excess water.
1/2 stick salted butter
1 cup whole milk – warmed
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tb “Better Life Foods” Depot spice ( or more to taste)
Ground black pepper and additional salt to taste
Hasselback Potatoes are the perfect blend of “easy but looks fancy!”
What are they? Basically they are baked potatoes that have been sliced in a decorative manner. They were a Swedish invention at the “Hasselbacken Hotel” in Stockholm, where they are called “hasselbackspotatis,” back in the 1700s.
I decided to test these out as a possible Thanksgiving dish. We were always more of a baked potato family than a mashed family so a twist on the family standard seemed like a good idea. I washed and sliced some potatoes, poured melted butter and seasoning over them as the many internet recipes suggest and baked them in a high oven ( 450!!!) for 50 mins. They were easy and they look impressive, but I think next time I will slice and bake them with just a bit of oil rubbed onto the potatoes and at a slightly lower heat. I will save the butter-garlic-topping for when they come out of the oven because I noticed that garlic pieces burned unless you conscientiously tuck each one into a slice – who has time for that on thanksgiving!
Here is a look at my “test drive”
Home opener for the Red Sox was yesterday – Home opener for my grill was today!
Both have some meaning around here. Red Sox means crowded subway lines during games and neon colored tags on ladies purses worn as a small badge of pride that they were recently at a game. Home opener for my backyard grill means an entire category of cooking opens up after along winter of “same old same old.”
I was planning on cheeseburgers but since I had the grill on I decided to throw on a few other items I had kicking around in my fridge – creating the “trifecta” of baseball grill food: sausage, hot dogs and burgers.
I did put a twist on things by not just making any old cheeseburger, but a green chili cheese sauce burger. (on toasted English muffin cause everyone knows they make the best rolls!)
A green chili cheese sauce can easily be made by melting 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour, creating a roux. Add in about a cup of milk whisking constantly till thick. A pinch of seasoned salt and some black pepper to season. Add in 2 slices of provolone cheese and about 4 oz mild cheddar cheese. Whisk in a few dashes of the green Tabasco® sauce and about 2 oz of chopped green chilies (this is half of the small can – if you want to use the whole can, double the other ingredients and make a big batch of cheese sauce for a crowd!)
Serve warm drizzled over burgers, nacho chips or just about anything!
It all starts with a Kringle in early December.
That delicious Nordic treat of pastry dough and filling shaped into a ring. And apparently Racine, Wisconsin is the epicenter of such a treat!
Next the fancy box of chocolates, with an edible “logo” chocolate bar of course! These folks know how to plan ahead!!
By the time we entered the week leading up to Christmas, the office was receiving treats practically hourly! (not that I am complaining one bit!) There was a box from New York’s little Italy – full of authentic meat, cheese and cookies! oh those cookies were good! The whole thing was so good that I couldn’t even get a picture snapped before we were descending like seagulls attacking. It was 10:30 in the morning.
After that… more candy!
( you notice many are already missing!)
And basically onto full “holiday carnage” as the deliveries reached a fever pitch…
And finally on Christmas eve (yes a few of us are working today!)… the last of the pastries that came the other day….they won’t last the morning!
When I considered the restaurant brunch options for Mother’s Day in my mom’s hometown I couldn’t think of any place nicer then her porch. Besides I know her likes and dislikes better than any chef and I love to cook!
We had a full day ahead of us, opening up the porch to ready it for summer, changing out storm windows for screens and getting the hoses out in the extensive yard.
So breakfast on Mother’s Day was not going to be an elaborate, leisurely affair but rather a quick, nourishing start to our busy day.
And lucky for everyone her garden chives are already up so I paired that with the “corn and tomatoes on the porch” leftovers from the night before to make tasty omelets!
So fresh and yummy – even if I do say so myself! and of course it’s never really too early for a decadent dessert made with early strawberries, warmed slightly and sweetened with just a touch of honey, served over the best vanilla ice cream! (crumbled chocolate brownies optional!)
I actually graduate tomorrow (yippee!) and I am looking forward to new and more frequent blog entries now that I can have my life back! Stay tuned….