armadillas


Puppy Training

Today was so much fun! Recently, a friend of mine adopted a Bernese Mountain dog. Ohmygoshsocute! He’s only 11 weeks old and he’s the most adorable thing ever. I wish I had a decent picture of him, but every time I whipped out my phone, he would move, leaving me with blurry photos. Today we took him to puppy training. I never thought I would be interested in attending something like that, but honestly I had a blast with it. Today’s class was about loose-leash training and greeting, which means we walked the dogs around the store, luring them forward with treats. Little Max is not much of a walker. He gets tired so quickly! But he was a really good boy.

Ah, makes me want a dog of my own! Hmmm maybe I’ll consider it as summer approaches. By then I should be nicely settled in here.

Enough about pups, let’s get to the other good stuff. I would like you all to meet Laura. She is another recent Youtube discovery. I really enjoy her videos and thought it was about time I tested one out. Because it’s Sunday and Sundays are about brunch, I chose to make her hash brown recipe. I can’t say my attempt was A+ successful – practice makes perfect mind you- but they were pretty good all things considered. I did, of course, make a few alterations.

Recipe courtesy Laura Vitale

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Ingredients:
1 large russet potato, peeled (I used three Idaho potatoes)
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons grated onion or shallot (I only had onion powder on hand- season to taste!)
1 egg white
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil (I used canola)

Find some potatoes

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And peel them!

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Using a box grater, go ahead and grate them up. I only have a little hand grater so I grated the potatoes directly into a bowl of cold water. This helps to remove some of the extra starch

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Look at that murky water! Let sit for about 5 minutes while you clean up your work space -ahem- stuff everything down your dish disposal

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Now comes the fun part. If you have a potato ricer, you’re in luck. If not, you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way like me. Take your shredded potato and place it in a cloth. Now twist the cloth into a ball around the potatoes and squeeze squeeze squeeze squeeze squeeze until you get as much water out as your hands can muster

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Bravo!

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Put into a bowl and add all other ingredients except the oil: flour, egg, onion, salt, pepper. I took the liberty of adding parmesan-romano as well. To each their own!

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In a skillet, preheat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan on medium-high. Fill 1/3 of a cup with the shredded potato mixture

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Carefully place the potato mixture into the hot oil. Then using the bottom of the measuring cup, flatten out the hash brown

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These are supposed to take 5-7 minutes on one side, but I felt like mine were burning slightly. Adjust heat accordingly if you must. Once golden brown, flip and cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown again. Remove from oil and continue cooking up the hash browns until there’s no more to be cooked. My batch made six (I ate a couple while cooking).

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As you can see, mine aren’t quite as pretty as Laura’s but they were tasty enough for my first go at hash browns. Next time I think I will add some more cheese…and perhaps some garlic. They tasted fine on their own, but if you had a couple burnt edges, a dollop of sour cream does the trick!

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By the way, no turkey recipe for us today- it’s still slightly frozen so maybe tomorrow. I sure hope it’s thawed out by then. I definitely plan on using it for dinner all week long. Turkey salad, turkey noodle soup, roast turkey sandwiches…

I tell you one thing, though. The downside to cooking here is the smell fills up the whole apartment and can last for a couple days. I’m not even going to tell you how sensitive the smoke alarm is. Pouring a bowl of cereal could make it go off!

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Chills and Youtube

As you guys know, I’ve been on a Youtube kick when it comes to finding recipes. Today, I was in search of a recipe for creamed spinach, and not for any particular reason mind you. I’ve never eaten my spinach creamed before so I thought I’d see what it was all about…especially since I should probably add more spinach to my diet, along with other vegetable. And since I’m not much of a salad enthusiast (all rabbit food if you want my opinion), I’m currently exploring other vegetable friendly options. Anyway, there I was waiting to watch a video when the most charming advertisement popped up on my screen. Usually, I skip all ads that come my way, but this one was different; it was a full video on how to make apple cider in your very own kitchen! I was hooked as soon as soon as I saw the apples laid out. I just knew I was in for a treat, and I certainly was!

The channelpagewhateveryouwanttocallit is Thirsty For…by tasemade and I’m in love. Seriously, I’ve already watched all twelve videos. The first thing I plan on making is their masala chai. Mmm chai. My favorite! Though I generally prefer it iced to hot, but considering I’ve chosen not to turn on my heat…

For some reason the embed feature is linked to the above video, but that’s okay. I don’t mind (I just don’t feel like fiddling with it right now. Here is the link for the chai! Ahh, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Watching things like this makes me remember how much I love cooking- the art, the science, the craft of it. Sorry, I didn’t actually cook anything in this post, but I just couldn’t wait to share my find! On a bright note, today I bought my first turkey breast. Yeah, that’s right. A turkey breast! I always assumed you had to go to a fancyshmancy grocer for such things, but nope! Hopefully it’s thawed out by tomorrow…


Confessions

I’m a terrible blogger! I know, I know it’s been awhile since my last post- but do let me explain. I moved. It’s as simple as that. I moved and these recent changes have made me either too lazy or too social to stay at home and do what I love, which is spending time in the kitchen. But it’s hard to spend time in the kitchen when you’re only cooking for one. Do you know how hard it is to cook for one? Of course, you should always cook for two because that means leftovers for lunch the next day, but I think you understand my point. I’m really enjoying my new apartment; there are perks to living alone. But that doesn’t mean you don’t miss certain things. And now we’re getting off subject and I refuse to make this post a depressing one.

So I will leave you with a small treat. Usually when I search for a new recipe, I go through a list of blogs until I find something I like. But recently, I’ve been watching cooks on YouTube. It’s great! I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.  No worrying about if there are step by step instructions and pictures. It’s just as easy as watching the video!

The other day I was really craving some souvlaki. Mmm souvlaki. I had the fortune of first trying souvlaki at a wonderful little cafe in Greece when I was 17. What I would do to go there again! Greece is beautiful, and you know what? I actually preferred Athens to all those islands. I was surprised, too. Anyway, so I really wanted some souvlaki, but it’s hard to find the good stuff around these parts. Naturally, the only solution was to just make some myself. So did a little research and discovered TheScranLine. Not bad stuff. He had a video on how to make souvlaki…and tzatziki!.

Enjoy!

Find some Greek yogurt

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Dump it into a bowl lined with cheese cloth

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Looks kinda gross, doesn’t it?

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Tie up the cheesecloth in a ball around the yogurt

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Done! Let rest in a bowl on the counter for the rest of the day (or on top of the fridge if you have a cat). By the time you get back, all that extra juice will be sitting at the bottom of the bowl

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And you’re left with creamy, thick yogurt!

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Now just add garlic, cucumber and some oil and you’re on your way to some fantastic tzatziki. Pacha seemed to like it anyway…

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