Eggplant Lasagna

Since I am about to go into full on anti-social mode – aka season as a coach, I decided to really branch out of my crock pot zone and create an eggplant parmesan. In all honesty, my experiences with eggplant is very limited. In fact, I have never made it before today. So I went to my favorite resource, Pintrest and researched how to make eggplant – after I had already made the Eggplant Lasagna

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 container of kale
  • 3 tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 piece of vegan mozzarella cheese
  • garlic powder

 

Preheat the oven to 425, and put the sliced eggplant covered with olive oil and garlic powder into the oven for 15 minutes. (I did not do this, and I very much regret it. My eggplant was very tough and needed more time to cook. So next time I will precook the eggplant).

While the eggplant is in the oven, slice the tomatoes, and rinse the kale. Once out of the oven, in a pan about 9″ x 9″, layer your sliced eggplant, then tomato and then kale and repeat. Once you have reached the top part of your pan, evenly pour on your balsamic vinaigrette across the towers. Then put on your mozzarella and cover with tin foil. Let the whole dish sit for a few hours in the fridge. (This is not necessary, but what I had to do because I had to go to work that day. Otherwise you can pop it straight into the oven).

Put the dish in the oven at 425 for 15 minutes with the tin foil on. Then remove the tin foil, and broil the dish for 2 – 5 minutes so the cheese melts and get a bit brown. Serve hot.

Review:

Since I straight up had no idea how to make eggplant, I would say my dish was a bit al dente. My friends disagreed and said it was great. But I think they say that so I keep making them food. I want to make this dish again, but with having the eggplant actually cooked through.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $10.00
  • Total Time: 50 minutes, 10 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking. Longer if you let the dish chill in the fridge
  • Serving Size: 6 – 8 pieces
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Christmas Dinner Part 3: Chicken Korma 

This dish proved to be the most difficult dish to cook, with way more time than I allowed per usual. I really thought that this time I had read the recipe enough to know how much time was needed. But nope. Per usual, that did not happen. Instead, I made it work. (Thanks Tom Gunn).

Recipe: 

Ingredients:

For chicken:

  • 3 lbs. chicken thighs and breast
  • 2 tsp. Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garam  masala 
  • 2 tbsp. Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper

For sauce

  • 2 white onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 tsp. Curry powder
  • 2 tsp. Turmeric
  • 2 tsp. Garam masala
  • 1 tsp. Ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil 
  • 3 large tomatoes diced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 small chile
  • 1 tbsp. Brown sugar

To prep for this dish I again had all of the spices ore made before the trip to the mountains, which was a huge time saver and great for blending everything together. As instructed, this time I actually put the chicken in the fridge with the spices over night to really let the chicken soak up the flavor. I would love to use these spices again on chicken in general. Actually, the only spice I think that I really like is Garam Masala. I think I just want that spice on everything!

After the chicken marinated, I cooked the chicken in a skillet and olive oil for about 10 minutes, just until cooked. I removed the chicken off of skillet pan, and reduce the heat to medium, where I sautéed the onion, tomatoes and garlic. Once those had browned a little bit, I added the spices, and everything else. I let that all simmer for 15 minutes (it was suppose to be 30, but I did not have that kind of time). I then put in my bite size pieces of chicken into the sauce, almost  causing for the whole pan to overflow. Well it kind of did while I let the whole thing simmer for about 5 minutes before I served the whole dish with Nann (1/2 cup gluten free flower, 1/2 cup ground almonds, 1 cup coconut milk and cooked like a pancake). 

  

Review:

The better of the two dishes, and much better the next day. In fact, I really wish I had let it simmer the full time to get the full flavor! It was good, not as creamy as the restaurant style, but good none the less. The chicken tiki masala from last year was better, but I am glad I made this dish and I’d try it again!

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: ??? Thanks Mom and Dad
  • Total Time: 15 prep, 45 cooking – 1 hour
  • Serving size: 6 – 12 dishes 

Christmas Dinner! Part 1: Samosas

The newest tradition of the Daly Family for Christmas includes an Indian feast for Dinner. Last year I made Chicken Tiki Masala, this year I expanded my horizons and made Chicken Korma, Veggie Vindaloo, Samosas and Naan. Due to the intensive nature of the cooking process (and how much I screwed up). This post will be broken up into 3 posts: Chicken Korma, Veggie Vindaloo, and Samosas and Naan.

First up: the Appetizers: Samosas

This post will feature a guest post from my brother. Should be comical .

Samosas 

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 2 Idaho potatoes – peeled, steamed and cubed
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp. Curry Powder

Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cup gluten free flour mix (this mix included brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and quinoa flour)
  •  1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Creating the filling and the dough was very easy. In fact, I made the filling in one bowl and the dough in the other. That is when my sou chef for Christmas Dinner stepped in and took over the rest.

Sous chef and little brother extraordinaire, Patrick, at the ready.

Building the samosas was easy as well. Ball up the dough and roll it out extra thin on a piece of parchment paper, so that it almost looks transparent against the board underneath it. Then placed the filling inside of the dough and fold it up into the nice, familiar samosa shape we all know and love. There should be around 10 samosas in total, all of them decently sized.

Once the samosas are formed, fry them inside of a pan filled half an inch with olive oil. Keep them in the oil for 4-5 minutes (closer to 5) before flipping; both sides needs to be fried to keep the filling inside. 

  
Then once fried, set the samosas aside and let them cool off. Some pay fall apart, but that is okay. Just keep frying them and hope for the best. They are now ready to serve at your discretion. I would suggest some sort of sauce along with it, but to each their own.

  

Review:

Huge hit! There was way too much filling, but overall a very good dish. And a great started to the main dish. (More about how my timing was so off for that later). Requests were made for a repeat, and I would for sure make these again.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $15.00
  • Total Time: 30 minutes prep, 10 minutes frying – 40 minutes total
  • Serving Size: 10 or more samosas, no more than 12.

Egg and Veggie Bacon Baskets

When I was left alone for a weekend, I got to cooking. And by cooking, I mean making way to much food for just one person. My biggest accomplishment of the weekend were inspired by these bacon baskets. Truthfully, I found making these challenging and time consuming, but I was also crafting away working on my Christmas gifts for my family, so the breaks helped to keep me on track with my other project of the weekend.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of bacon
  • 1 carton of small or medium eggs (Large will not work for this dish)
  • 4 mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup of spinach

With few ingredients, one would think little challenge. False. The first coming in cooking the bacon so that it is halfway cooked so you can bend it around the inside of a cupcake pan, but not so raw that it will not cook through later nor burn. This seems like a very detailed explanation, I still found the idea very vague, probably because until this year I had never made bacon. However, once I had successfully fried my bacon on a skillet and let it cool on a paper towel, then came the process of making a basket.

I used some coconut oil, and sprayed the heck out of the muffin pan, because I really did not want to have a broken yolk on me when it came to getting these baskets out of the case. When it came to making the bacon baskets, I found one strip could be the outside, where as about two small pieces of bacon made the bottom. I put the bottoms on first, and then the bacon around the edge.

With the baskets made, I put in my sauteed mushrooms, onions and spinach in the bottom of the basket. I topped the basket with an egg. The most difficult part of putting the eggs in was ensuring that it did not cause an overflow. Stopping the eggs whites from overflowing became a really fun game for myself. Just use your eyes.

Then I put the cupcake pan in the oven at 375 for 12 minutes.

  
Review:

Since I ate a majority of them, in fact all of them. I will say – very good indeed! I would love to make these again for a brunch (since it was relatively painless and I now know how to make bacon halfway cooked). Also, I would love to try this made with scrambled eggs instead of the eggs baked.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $20.00 – for all fresh produce, eggs and bacon
  • Total time: 30 minutes prep, 12 minutes cooking. 45 minutes total
  • Serving Size: 12 Bacon Baskets

 

Homemade Doughnuts

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The final product (with a pretty filter).

Since my life is about to get busier than now, I thought I would challenge myself on my last day off – I made doughnuts. That’s right, homemade, from scratch doughnuts. I decided that in this year, when I cook outside of the crockpot realm I cook things I can fry. I really need to begin to re-think this idea, because this recipe was more complicated than I thought.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups of Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 cups gluten- free rice flour (more as needed when rolling out the dough)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Chia seeds (replaced the xanthan gum)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 beaten egg (set aside for later uses)
  • Enough sugar to cover a small plate top
  • Blackberry Jam

Let’s begin this journey into doughnut making with me shopping at the grocery store. Most of these ingredients were really easy to find, except for the xanthan gum. I have been looking for this ingredient to help with my non-gluten baking experiments, but since moving to Ohio I have not been able to find it. In my research for alternatives I discovered that instead of xanthan gum one can use chia seeds or flax seeds. I was doubtful at first chia seeds would be successful, but honestly they worked extremely well as a binding agent and the doughnut dough stayed together very nicely.

Now on to the cooking/making. The first step of the recipe called for all wet ingredients (2 beaten eggs, 2 cups of buttermilk, and 1/4 cup of melted butter) into one big bowl. Then mix the dry ingredients (5 cups of white rice flour, 1 cup of sugar, 2 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon) in a different bowl. Slowly add the dry mix into the wet mix. How I accomplished this, was that I didn’t. I tried to add in the dry mixture slowly, “layering” it in, but really I would just stir it all together slowly. After I added the last cup of dry mix, I used my hands to make sure the mixture adhered together. Then I let the dough sit for 15 minutes.

While the dough was “rising” for 15 minutes, I set up the vegetable oil (about 2 inches in a frying pan), and the “stations” I would use. Station one: the cutting board covered with rice flour to “roll” out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness and use a cup to make circles. Station 2: the plate to put the circles of dough on. Station 3: The extra beaten egg and brush used to brush the outer edge of the circle of dough. Station 4: Putting jelly in the center of the dough. Station 5: Deep frying. Station 6: Paper towels to put the doughnut on after it has been fried. Station 7: Sugar time! Put sugar on both sides of the doughnut and lastly, put in a container to bring to work tomorrow.

The stations sound confusing, but in the end it made it easier for me to do all of the steps. So once the dough was ready, I took a chunk out and “rolled” it out to 1/4-inch thickness. The truth is, I do not own a roller, so I used my palms and my fingers and eyeballed about 1/4-inch thickness of dough. Then I used a cup to cut a circle into the dough (these would later be used as the top and bottom of the doughnut). The dough proved to be very sticky, so I ended up using about 1/2 – 3/4 cups of rice flour to make sure the dough didn’t stick to the cutting board. I made about 14 circles with the dough.

Next, I took one circle of dough, and then using a brush, paint the outer edges of dough with the egg (this apparently acts as a way for the dough to stick together). Then I put about a spoonful of blackberry jam in the middle. The original recipe calls for only 1/2 of teaspoon of jam for each doughnut, but I didn’t think that was enough, so I just put a spoonful in. Then I put another dough circle on top and pinch the edges together so the jelly didn’t come out of the doughnut.

Now comes the fun part of deep-frying the doughnut. Using a spatula, I put the doughnut in the oil. Again, I struggled with timing when it came to deep-frying the doughnut. The first couple of ones were a little burnt, but I got better as the time kept going and realized my timing. Also, I only managed to burn myself 5 times because I was able to jump out of the way of the oil coming out of the pan. I seem to forget that when you put an object in oil, there will be a splash. It took me about 3 times to remember this fact when I flipped the doughnuts, but it helped me get in my routine to prevent me from burning the doughnuts. After making one doughnut, I would flip the one already in the oil and remove the one on to the paper towels, and then make the other doughnut in a continuous circle. After I had made all the doughnuts, I then sugar on both sides. When all the doughnuts were done, I made doughnuts holes with the left over dough in the oil.

Review:

I don’t think that I had the thickness of the dough around 1/4-inches, so the doughnuts were a little bit “bready”. But, these were pretty good! I would totally make them again so I could have a good gluten free doughnut. I would also add even more jelly into the center, keeping it more moist/rich. Very good and very filling.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $40.00 – I had two buy two bags of rice flour, 2 new spices, and butter milk which proved to be more expensive than I thought.
  • Total time: Prep – 20 minutes, 15 minutes rising, 30 minutes cooking – 1 hr 5 minutes
  • Serving Size: 8 doughnuts

Croquettes (A Non-Crockpot Adventure)

Since it is the New Year, I decided to branch out from just using the crockpot. I have done some non-crockpot dishes before, but this is the first one that I have done which required refrigeration, molding and frying. This recipe for croquettes (which I had never heard about before, but who doesn’t love fried cheese) proved to be one that perhaps I should have saved until I had a few non-crockpot recipes under my belt.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 large Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 skim milk
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt (this replaced the sour cream)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp gluten free flour
  • pepper for taste
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 5 slices of gluten free bread
  • 5 oz of gruyere
  • Canola Oil (enough to deep fry in)

To begin, I washed, peeled and cut up the potatoes and then put them into a steamer. I am back in California right now, and to be honest I had no idea how to steam my potatoes until my mother brought out a steamer device. This device is not the device that you use to steam clothing (that was what I first thought of), but a metal piece that you put into a pot so that the item needing steaming sits right above boiling water.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ab5/63708718/files/2015/01/img_1197.jpgThis contraption blew my mind/ I know that if I tried to make this in my own kitchen I would be lacking this very important kitchen utensil.

While the potatoes became soft from steaming, I combined the milk, Greek yogurt, butter, salt, flour, pepper, and gluten free flour in a bowl. Once the potatoes were soft, I mashed them up with the other ingredients and then put the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes. The whole thought process behind this move was that the recipe called for the bowl to sit for an hour in the fridge, but we were short on time, so 30 minutes in the freezer should work. Wrong. Faulty logic at work here. After 30 minutes the dough had not congealed at all. So after 15 more minutes, I took out the mixture and added about 1/2 cup of cornstarch. The addition of the cornstarch proved to be somewhat helpful but the mixture was not combining in a way that would make it easy to work with, so back in the fridge it went for 15 minutes.

While the “dough” was back in the fridge, I cut up the cheese into 1/2 oz pieces/small rectangles that I could form the dough around to make into cylinder croquettes. Then I made my own version of breadcrumbs by putting pieces of gluten free bread through the food processor. The food processor still provides me with some difficulty, but luckily this one only has three settings – on, off, pulse, so I just kept it on and let the food processor do its job.

I brought the dough back out, and it was still not in a solid enough form. I think there were many reasons for this fail. Gluten helps to keep mixtures together and this croquette was gluten free, so lacking the necessary elements to make the dough more solid. Secondly, I don’t think I mashed the potatoes enough, so there were chunks of potato that also made it so difficult to thinks to bond together. Thirdly, I should have put the mixture in the fridge not the freezer like the recipe actually said – so much for trying to take short cuts.

Because the dough was not really dough, but more a mess of a mixture making the croquettes into cylinders just did not happen. I was able to put dough around pieces of cheese and then I put them back in the freezer for 15 minutes to help form more of a croquette shape. Because my mixture was so sticky, I placed the “croquettes” on wax paper before putting them back in the freezer. This was the smartest move of the whole cooking process for this recipe, because when it came to dunking the croquettes in eggs and then breadcrumbs before deep-frying them, the croquettes came right off the wax paper.

To deep fry the croquettes, I brought oil to a boil on our stove and then would dunk in the croquettes. This aspect seemed very straight forward, but somehow I managed to not have enough oil so I had to flip my croquettes halfway through the deep-frying process. Because I have never attempted to deep-fry anything before, let me tell you that when you drop something into oil, it likes to retaliate and jump back at you. Many times when I put the croquettes into the oil or tried to flip them, I was doing so from an arms length away as to not get burned or what I have no deemed as “hot oil’s fire spits” on me. Many of my croquettes came out burned because I was trying so hard to not get burned and because I had no idea how little time an item needs in oil to deep-fry. In case one was wondering how long that is – it is not long at all. But as I made more, they became less and less burned because I understood that each croquette did not need much time. The solution to this problem of the burnt croquettes – more oil so the whole croquette is submerged, not just one side.

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Review:

The recipe suggested that you serve these with a dip, but I served these with my mother’s dinner of Teriyaki salmon, broccoli and a salad and the croquettes paired well with the salmon because it had a flavor to it while the croquettes did not. Next time I serve this, I will be sure to include a dip or a topping to make it more interesting.

Overall, I would not make this recipe again, because of the fact that the dough never hardened enough to really work with. When I read the recipe the first time (and yes I said read the recipe before doing it), the author made it sound sooo simple. Lies. This was not easy. This was a war in the kitchen with hot oil fire spits, dough that just didn’t want to harden up, and the outcome was a bland deep fried concoction.  I will probably try this again because it was such a challenge, but this is not one for beginners.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: I have no idea, my mother bought everything. You’ve got to love the Holidays!
  • Total Time: 15 minutes steaming, 2 hours in the freezer/prep, 15 minutes deep frying – 2.5 hrs
  • Serving Size: 18 croquettes

Summery Shrimp Pasta Salad*

*This is a non-crockpot recipe, just too darn good not to post.

I have to admit I am pretty proud of this pasta salad, as I created it one night when I just had some leftovers in the fridge. The first time the mix wasn’t right, but by the third, I got it down pat. I will for sure be bringing this pasta salad to other BBQs or just enjoy through out the summer.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

– 1 and 1/2 large avocado or 3 small avocados cut into cubes
– 1/2 container of cherry tomatoes cut into 1/4ths
– 6-8 small bell peppers cut into tiny pieces
– 1 bag of frozen pre-cooked shrimp
– 1/6 cup of pesto
– 1 log of marinated/flavored mozzarella cut into small pieces
– 1 medium onion cut into small pieces
– 1/2 container of gluten free elbow pasta

Overall this meal is pretty easy to prepare, just a lot of washing and cutting. The part that takes the longest is waiting for the shrimp to defrost and cooking the pasta. But if you put the shrimp out earlier that day, and cook the pasta while you are cutting everyone else, then no time is wasted.

Review:

The reason I am posting this recipe is because of the strong response my roommates had to it. The salad is filling yet light and pretty healthy over all. Such a hit!

The Nitty Gritty:

– Total Cost: $25 – the gluten free pasta is more expensive than other pasta
– Total Time: 30 minutes
– Serving Size: 3 – 8 (depends on if you are getting seconds or not)

Instead of onions, you could use strawberries to make it more summery.

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Photo Credit: Elyse Aldana. She also set up the beautiful food photo.

Rubbed Ribs*

*This is a non crock pot dish, but due to the fact it was such a hit, I decided to publish it!

After making an awesome pulled pork earlier since blogging, I decided to make pulled pork again. The new issue became that yet again I bought the wrong piece of meat. The ribs looked very similar to the pork shoulder I was trying to buy, so now I was able to make pulled pork and ribs! The first step was to create a rub for the ribs.

Recipe:

Ingredients:
– 3 tbsp Kosher salt
– 2 tbsp chili powder
– 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
– 2 tbsp paprika
– 1 tbsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp black pepper
– dash of red flakes
– 1/4 of a bottle of BBQ sauce
– 1 onion

So I have no idea how to make ribs, and when I say no idea I mean I wasn’t even sure what a rub was. Now the first thing I learned was that I needed to cut the fat off the back of the ribs. That proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be, but in the end I won and removed the fat. Next came the rub. I was missing some ingredients from the original recipe, so what I wrote is what I put together. I ended up having a lot more rub than ribs (the rub was for meant for 5-6lbs and I only had 4lbs), so I also put the rub on the pulled pork I was making. (I used the same recipe as before, but I added the rub and that made all of the difference!!!! Everyone loved the pulled pork!!!) I then left the ribs in aluminum foil in the fridge for 36 hrs.

When it came to cooking, I am clueless as to how to cook on a grill, but I wanted to give it try. I ended up cutting up an onion and putting it under the ribs in aluminum foil as we cooked the ribs on the grill. (Our grill is not clean enough to cook directly on, so we had to use aluminum as a cover.) I then put BBQ sauce all over the ribs. I ended up cooking each side of the ribs for about 25 minutes, covered in aluminum foil so it can smoke up. I put them in the oven to sit for 3 hrs and then put the back on the grill for 10 minutes. I had some excellent help/an advisor, my friends boy friend and hi and I whipped up some awesome ribs.

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The whole meal. Including the amazing potatoes and ratatouille my roommates made! Photo Credit: Chelsea Lin

Review:

A HUGE HIT! Honestly, I was so surprised people really liked it. But it was honestly the hit of the party! I ended up putting BBQ sauce out for people to eat if they wanted with the ribs, and that was a great mix!

The Nitty Gritty:
-Total Cost: $28.00
-Total Time: 30 minutes of prep, 36 of marinating, and 1 hour of cooking
-Serving Size: 5 – 8 people

Super Bowl Special – Caprese Salad on a Stick*

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*No crock pot was used in the creation of this appetizer

This is a recipe that my older sister introduced to me, and it has quickly become one of my favorites! She got it at a theme cooking contest, in which the theme was balls…and this was a delicious and some what more healthy alternative to the other appetizers on Super Bowl Sunday!

Caprese Salad on a Stick:

Ingredients:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella (the balls are better because they are soaked vs. the block)
  • Basil Leaves
  • Skewers (tooth picks are better, but I forgot them and we had these at home)
  • Pesto
  • Balsamic

So this is a quick and easy make. First my roommate washed the tomatoes as I cut the skewers to be as long as a tooth pick. I had forgotten tooth picks and we had skewers in the house from a barbecue we had over the summer, so those became our new tooth picks. I highly suggest wearing protective eye wear when cutting these skewers, because the pieces fly everywhere. Also, try to create a point with one of the sides so you can skewer the tomatoes and cheese.

First, I put a cherry tomato on the skewer, then a piece of mozzarella, a 1/4 inch part of basil leaf, and then a half of a cherry tomato. A piece of mozzarella means either a mozzarella ball or a piece of a block of mozzarella (our roommate had made eggplant parmesan the night before and had a lot of mozzarella left over, so we also used the block. The block is much cheaper, but you miss the moistness of the mozzarella balls – tehehehe). The longest part was the assembly. We put all of the caprese salads on a stick on a plate and drizzled it with pesto. One of my roommates- Jess- had read that we need to thicken the balsamic. We both thought that thickening the balsamic seemed very logical, but after about 10 minutes of trying to thicken the balsamic on a stove top in a small pot, there was absolutely no change. So perhaps you cannot thicken balsamic on a stove top, but we were not about to find out because of a time crunch and a lack of patience. Instead, we just pour the balsamic on top which added some great flavor.

Review:

Not the most popular dish at the Super Bowl get together, but still was good/people ate it!

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $20.00
  • Prep/Total Time: 25 minutes

Super Bowl Special – Potato Skins*

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*No crock pot was used in the creation of this appetizer.

The Super Bowl. Or as I have come to find it – Super Time to Eat as Much as Possible in One Sitting While Other People Exercise. Ever since college, I have spent most Super Bowls surrounded by bros, eating wings and drinking beer. This year, I had a pleasant change of pace and attended a Super Bowl party that  female was hosting (and we could come in our yoga pants!! Way too exciting). The only requirements: you have to bring something to share. So my 3 friends and myself decided to bring some left over beer and 2 appetizers – Potato Skins and Caprese Salad on a Stick (look to the post above for this description).

Potato Skins This recipe was much harder than I anticipated.

Ingredients:

  • Gold Yukon Potatoes
  • Sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Sour Cream
  • Olive Oil
  • Canola Oil

After doing some research (aka looking at as many recipes as we could 2 hours before we were leaving for the party), we scrubbed the potatoes, put olive oil on them and put them in the oven at 400 for 1 hr. During this time we started making our Caprese Salad on Stick, but more on that laters.

After 45 minutes, we made the bacon. This was my first time making bacon, and that was super easy. Did you know you don’t even need to add oil? Cause now I do. As the bacon was getting done, we took out the potatoes and cut them into halves or fourths depending on the size (the bigger ones were cut into fourths). The potatoes were very hot, so I did use the oven mitt to hold the potatoes as they were cut – there were many comment made about my roommates worrying I would cut my fingers off, but no worries nothing as such happened. Then came the very challenging process of trying to shell out the potatoes. At first, we tried a spoon – epic fail (broke the skin). Then, we tried forks – this worked much better, but our skills at trying to clean out the potatoes was still limited. In the end we did loose some potato skins (broken skins, too thin, etc. – it was a struggle for us), but we added the broken ones to the insides for some pesto mash potatoes for later.

Once we just had the shells, we put a little bit of canola oil on the top and bottom of the potato shells. At first we were not sure how to do this, but then we decided to use our turkey baster. (This turkey baster was originally bought for gin bucket party, and has only been used one other time since then – while making slow cooked pork – so we have to say it was a pleasure being able to use it one more time.) This proved to be a great use of the turkey baster. After cooking still at 400 for 5 minutes on each side, we took the potatoes out and filled them with the sharp shredded cheddar cheese. Because of dietary restrictions, only half were filled with bacon bits (one of our roommates cut up the bacon – and as she would tell you – it was much harder than people make it look). At this point we then put the potato skins back in the oven on broil for 20 minutes.

Reviews:

Huge hit with my friends and I! Sour Cream was added as people liked, but we had an amazing Buffalo Chicken dip at the game, which I added to the potato skins which proved to be awesome! Takes a lot of work, but worth it!

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Total Cost: $35.00
  • Prep Time: 1 hours
  • Total time: 2.25 hrs