Saturday, October 15, 2022

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

One night I saw a commercial from a big potato chip company out there that was advertising chocolate covered potato chips? They were only available for a limited time at Target. I thought, “Wow!  This sounds interesting.  Here’s a sweet and salty chip that I must have.”  So I ran to Target and they had one bag left on the shelf.  I bought them and ate the entire bag because they were crazy good!  Of course the bag was only 5 ounces.  Later I would go back a buy more!

Target doesn't have them anymore. But I do! Look what I decided to make when I got that next craving for chocolate covered potato chips. I mean, what was I thinking back then?  They are so easy to make! And mine are even better!

Oh My Gosh these are fantastic! Just a little salt with chocolate...yum! Caution: very addicting.

Homemade Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

1½ cups chocolate chips
1 (15 ounce bag) bag rippled or ridged potato chips

Place chocolate chips in a heat resistant bowl and place over a pot of simmering water. Don’t put too make water in, you want to make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.

Completely melt and stir the chocolate just until smooth. Do not overcook.  Remove from heat and begin dipping the chips, about half way. Shake off any excess chocolate and place chips onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.

Allow chocolate covered chips to dry completely before serving. You can put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes to speed it up!

Next, eat the whole container!  Just kidding!  Wait until nobody's watching.

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Mini Blooming Onions

Okay I’ll admit it. I go to Outback Steakhouse because of the Blooming Onions!  Oh my goodness….they are the perfect light and crispy and I always eat way too many. By the time my dinner arrives, I am too stuffed to eat.  So I decided to make them at home....only miniatures ones....little baby blooming onions that I can pop in my mouth whenever I want!   I warn you….these are so addicting! 

Mini Blooming Onions

6 small sweet or yellow onions
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ teaspoon baking powder

Slice an onion in half vertically, but don’t cut all the way through to the base. The idea is to keep the bottom intact. Turn the onion 45 degrees, slice vertically again and repeat until you end up with what looks like little rectangles of onion, still attached at the base. Repeat with the remaining onions.

Loosen the onions a little by wiggling them around to separate the pieces slightly and create space between them. Place the buttermilk in a shallow dish and then add the onions to it. Toss well and massage the onions to get the coating into the center.
In a medium-size shallow dish, whisk the flour with the salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and baking powder to combine. Working one at a time, remove an onion from the buttermilk and dredge fully in the flour mixture, working again to make sure the breading gets into the center.

Heat 3 inches of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat until it reads 350 degrees on a thermometer.  Working in batches, fry the onions until they’re golden and crisp, flipping them over halfway through cooking, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set the cooked onions on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce

½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream with the mayonnaise, horseradish, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to combine. Set aside to serve with your blooming onions.

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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce


I stopped making the traditional thanksgiving pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving a few years ago. They just got too boring and you can only do so much to a pie to change it up.  I wanted something that when I told my guests to save room for dessert, they really would save room.  They know now that I am going to bring out my warm pumpkin bread pudding covered in delicious hot caramel sauce and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

1 loaf day old Challah Bread (or French or Italian), torn into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
1 15-ounce pumpkin puree
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Place bread pieces in baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, half and half, pumpkin, sugar, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own. You can find the recipe below.

Slowly pour the custard batter over the bread pieces in the baking dish. Push bread down into the sauce to make sure it is completely covered.  Allow to sit and soak up the sauce for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.  While the bread pudding is baking, make the sauce unless you are going to use a jar of store bought.

Caramel Sauce (or use Caramel Ice Cream Topping or sauce)

1 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar, packed

In a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar; bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens, for about 5 minutes; pour over bread pudding before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real treat!

NOTE:   You can make your own Pumpkin Pie Spice with the following:

2 teaspoons cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
Combine and store in airtight container.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Apple Raisin Bread


It's apple season and I can't think of a better way to use apples then homemade bread.  This is one of the first recipes I make when fall arrives. I like to make up a few loaves and freeze them as I start to prepare for hibernation during the winter months. I have big plans for this bread this winter. I plan to bring it out of the freezer and make apple toast! I plan to slice it and make some delicious French toast with butter and syrup. Nothing goes better with cheese than apples and this bread makes excellent grilled cheese sandwiches!  See why I love this bread?  It's so easy to make, so good and so versatile!

Apple Raisin Bread

2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
1 teaspoon sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups all -purpose flour (or more)
1 1/2 cup apples, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons corn meal

In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 cup water and sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, honey, oil, salt and remaining water; mix well. Stir in yeast mixture. Gradually add enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down and turn over in bowl. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the apples, raisins and lemon juice. Divide dough into three parts; knead a third of the apple mixture into each part. 

Shape each into a round flat ball. Place each in a greased 8-in. round baking pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Sugar topping

1 egg, beaten
¼ cup sugar

Brush each loaf with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped.  Makes 3 small round loaves.

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