Sunday, March 26, 2017

Homemade pretty-in-pink Himalayan salt, oil-free, potato chips on a bamboo skewer

I had a hunch after I made that no oil salad dressing that it might work well as a chip dip. I recently watched a bunch of youtube videos about homemade chips baked in the oven or microwaved on a bamboo skewer. The skewer in the microwave idea piqued my curiosity and I’ve had “pick up wooden skewers” on my grocery list for weeks now although still haven’t bought any. So I remembered that I have some hefty wooden toothpicks. Maybe they'll work? I could just use mini prep bowls to keep the potato slices suspended as they bake. And here’s what happened …

First, I lopped off the top of the potato (or chitted the potato, in gardening terms because I’m sending the baby potato chit into a paper bag for a while and then tossing it in some soil to see if it will root like a normal chit would).

Then, I pulled out my mandoline. These things can get pricey but I got mine for less than $10. I've had it for more than a few years and it does the trick. I started without the hand guard but since it slices so effortlessly, so quickly  I soon switched over to the guard because I really appreciate having all my fingers. The mandoline makes super thin slices, so thin they’re translucent. I could never do that with a knife, especially if I want to keep my fingers, and as you now know, I do.

I gave the potato slices a good rinse in cold water to tease out excess starch then strained and rinsed them before returning them to the bowl again for a another nice bath. I thought they would only be in the second bath for about 15-minutes but the idea that I could use toothpicks, even though they are the extra long and thick didn't pan out. They were too short.

But before I dashed out the door to pick up proper bamboo skewers, I added about a ½ tablespoon of table salt to the bath water.


Because osmosis. That's why.

Remember high school biology when your teacher introduced you to the idea of cell membranes and ions and stuff like that? Turns out, that’s what’s going on here when you add salt to the water with potatoes, basically we’re taking the water out of the potato while it is bathing in the water. Okay, work with me on this because it might work to our advantage later when the potato doesn’t have as much water in it when we cook it. Or at least it should.

Oh my. Arts and science on one blog. How do you like me now?


Homemade potato chips are at stake here.

So the potatoes got to have a longer bath, turned out, about two hours. They were very relaxed when I returned from the store with bamboo skewers in hand (as well as French’s Dijon mustard for more oil-free salad dressings).

Next, I strained the water and rinsed again. Since I’m not baking or frying the chips, I didn’t squeeze out the water on a paper or cloth towel. Just let them sit there for a few minutes so that they could drip most of the water off and gave ‘em a little toss and a squeeze.

Then I skewered them and set them on glass, microwave safe bowls to suspend the potato slices in the air as they dry but not before grinding some pretty-in-pink Himalayan salt over them.

So pretty.

I love pink.

Then I popped the first dish into the microwave for three minutes before checking on them. They still weren’t ready at the three minute mark so I gave them another three minute round.

They came out pretty much perfect. Allowing them to sit for a minute or so helped them become crispy, delectable, non-greasy potato chips. The second batch I gave seven minutes in the microwave. Six or seven minutes seems to work equally well.

And I had a really nice, oil-free snack, which tasted great dipped in the oil-free salad dressing and I also popped open the mustard to try that as a topping, very nice.

This is a totally awesome way to eat a potato.

Good thing I live close to Prince Edward Island since this is going to be my new go-to crispy snack.

1 potato (I left the skin on but you can peel it first if you prefer)
1 tablespoon of table salt
A grinder with Himalayan salt crystals (to taste)
Something nice to dip the potato chips in (optional)

Make thin potato slices. Bathe them in cold water, strain and rinse. Bathe them in cold water again, this time with salt added to the water for about 15-minutes. Drain and rinse and try to get them as dry as you can. Skewer the potatoes and place on a microwave safe bowl to suspend the chips in the air while they bake. Sprinkle salt over the potato slices and bake in the microwave for six to seven minutes (microwave ovens vary, so test this a bit).


Homemade, oil free salad dressing, an original recipe

Have been looking for a good recipe for an oil free salad dressing that is quick, easy and made from ingredients I have on hand. I can find recipes, they look great but a lot of the time I just don't have everything I need (like mustard for example, I don't know why as I just need to pick some up soon and I'll be good to go). Plus, I like to experiment with making food. So today, I made my own. It is ready in under three minutes too. Here's a video of the dressing after it was assembled as I poured it over my salad of greens, chopped walnuts and blueberries. Serious levels of yum. The video runs 11-seconds so you can see the consistency of the dressing, it's nice and thick and clings to the salad components nicely. Has a little kick to it but not over the top. Just enough sweetness. No oil. (Or "no oil!" as Dr. Esselstyn of Forks Over Knives fame would say, if you've watched enough of his youtube videos). I don't have heart disease and I would like to keep it that way, that's why an oil free option is important. Hope you like it. :)

Oil free salad dressing ingredients (rough measurements, adjust to suit taste):

  • 2 tsp apple sauce
  • 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil (can't wait until summer is here to pick some fresh basil)
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup

Method: Combine ingredients in a small dish or bowl and pour over your salad. Store in fridge for a few days (it's so yummy it probably wouldn't last that long though).

It's that easy.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

#SuperBowlSunday - "Right Now, I have Everything I Need"

I painted this last year (2016) but can't remember if I blogged about it or not. When people see this painting, they often comment about the big bowl ("the super bowl"). The bowl is part of the inspiration for the title of this painting entitled "Right now, I have everything I need." The emptied bowl represents a full tummy and a moment of feeling satisfied after the effort of earning one's keep. The title is a phrase, an affirmation, I saw taped to a friend's refrigerator a number of years ago that stuck with me. I felt that this painting offered an opportunity to express that idea.

"Right now, I have everything I need"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Creative License Journal Series available now

Introducing a series of blank and lined journals to nourish your muse. There are three journals in total ready for your scribblings, musings, thoughts and more. I grew up spending a lot of time creating things, drawing and writing in my diaries, pretending I was Cher by singing into a hair brush and flipping my hair back over my shoulder. Normal stuff like that. In any event, over the years, I've pasted and stapled and stitched together books with varying degrees of success. Sometimes books I can write in, sometimes books I printed out and tried to figure out how to make a book a book (if you know what I mean) I like making things, like books. So I thought, why not create a series of journals? Makes sense to me. Here they are for your consideration. Click here or on the book covers below for more information about the series or click here to buy one right now (opens a new window).

And in case you're not interested in journaling (although I hope you are), I'm going to bling out my blog with a little Cher and go grab that hairbrush microphone...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello 2017

Hope the new year treats you well.

Am making some plans, mainly ones that streamline and simplify my life. Like this blog. I am working on migrating my lovely Wordpress, self-hosted CMS website and most of its content to this Blogger site you're reading now. Although it won't be as robust, it is solid and I feel the essence of the site will remain true.

I see lots of people are making space for one "sacred guiding" word to provide direction or meaning in the new year. My word? Simplicity. Going to keep things simple, or make things simple ... because sometimes it takes a lot of work to make things look simple. Starting with this blog.

So have a Happy New Year!

2017 here we go ...