Thursday, September 15, 2011

Potato Pancakes

As a child of a polish mother, potato pancakes were a staple in my diet, especially around Easter for lent. This past weekend my mother and I made them together and it brought back a lot of memories. My mom to this date makes the best potato pancakes in this world.

Potato Pancakes with Applesauce

4 Large Potatoes shredded
¼ to ½ grated or diced onion
2-3 tablespoons of flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
Enough oil to coat the bottom of your frying pan

First peel and shred your potatoes. According to my mom, this must be done by hand because they taste better that way. If you are busy a food processor will suffice. Another tip, use fresh potatoes because they are better with fresh potatoes. Either grate or dice your onion and add to the mix to a large bowl. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of flour, depending on the water content of the potatoes. You really do not want to add a lot of flour to this recipe because you want to taste the fresh potatoes. If you add too much flour it will taste like paste, trust me it happened the first time I ever made them. Then add your baking powder, egg, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Bring your oil up to frying temp and place the potato mixture in the pan. You may need to flatten it a bit with a spatula. Cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping it halfway through. Drain on a paper towel. These are best served right out of the frying pan so try to make them on the spot. My mother grew up eating them with applesauce so that is the way we eat them, but there are plenty of other options. You can eat with sour cream, ketchup, or even maple syrup. My dad eats them with maple syrup, I’m actually a bit repulsed by it but I have to admit there was a time I used to eat them like that. If you are feeling fancy, make them bite sized and top with sour cream and caviar, when I ate caviar, I thoroughly enjoyed them like that.

This is what the mixture should look like

Thursday, September 8, 2011

One Last Lemonade

You know the old saying when life gives you lemons you make lemonade? Well it’s more like life has been chucking them at me, in the face and then laughing at me. Since that is a bit more dramatic I figured spicing up some homemade lemonade with herbs, fruit and spirits, would be appropriate.

As anyone from Philadelphia knows, Art in the Age RHUBY has hit shelves and bars and has been the talk of the town. I was one of the unfortunate souls that have not tried RHUBY yet. The anticipation was killing me especially since SNAP and ROOT are some of my favorites.

Being that it is the end of summer I thought that one last lemonade would help ease me into the pumpkin frenzy that is fall and RHUBY would be the perfect addition to my lemonade.

Strawberry RHUBY lemonade
3 Strawberries
4 basil leaves
1 shot of RHUBY
Homemade lemonade (recipe below)
A bit of sparkling water to top it off

First muddle your strawberries and basil then add RHUBY and top off with homemade lemonade and sparkling water or club soda. Pass back and forth in a glass with ice to ensure your drink is refreshingly cold.

Homemade lemonade
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
¾ cup simple syrup (1/2 natural sugar, ½ water brought to a boil)
4 cups of sparkling water

You can add more simple sugar and or more or less water if you’d like. It is all your taste preference.

I have to say I absolutely love this drink creation and I cannot wait to drink more RHUBY! It is a true gem! Thank you Art in the Age for another beautiful spirit.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Foodspotting Hot Dog Crawl

Stuffing my face with The Big Kahuna
A vegetarian on crutches in Philly on a hot dog crawl…can it get much more outrageous? No probably not!
My fellow foodspotters and I ventured out on a fine Tuesday night in Philly to taste some of the finest dogs we could find. Obviously I opted out of most of the tastings. Sorry Brauhaus and Supper, your dogs looked and smelled amazing, but the whole reason I went on the crawl was for Hot Diggity! They offer vegetarian Worthington Linketts dogs! I haven't been able to chow down on a veggie dog outside of my home or Citizens Bank Park in awhile and guess what I am hooked! 

I did have potato pancake from Brauhaus and I must say it was pretty tasty!
kasewurst from Brauhaus Schmitzs
Mitch the chef and owner of Supper made the Supper dogs that day from scratch!

 The Big Kahuna dog was my favorite hot dog of all time. The sweetness and the spiciness was absolutely perfect!

The Big Kahuna from Hot Diggity
 The Seattle Grunge was a close second! I never thought of putting cream cheese on a hot dog! 
The Seattle Grunge
I cannot wait to try the other dogs I saw!

The Saigon Fusion
The Windy City
I’m so excited that I found a place with delicious veggie dogs and delicious toppings that my meat eaters friends can enjoy too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan

During the summer month’s zucchini and eggplant roll in faster than most gardeners can use them. My parents neighbor gave us 2 nice eggplant and my parents had a zucchini. So, what better to make than Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan? 

First cut the zucchini and eggplant into 1/8 to1/4 inch slices depending on desired thickness.

Beat two eggs with salt and pepper and dip zucchini and or eggplant into eggs.

and then into Italian seasoned bread crumbs.

Fry in vegetable or canola oil until golden brown on each side.

Place fried pieces on a paper towel to drain.

Add homemade sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13 or casserole. Add zucchini and eggplant top with more sauce and then mozzarella cheese. I used both zucchini and eggplant in one casserole so that I could have a little bit of each.

Bake at 350 until cheese is golden brown.

Serve with your favorite pasta and sauce. For meat eaters you can make Chicken Parmesan or serve the Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan with sausage or meatballs.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summertime Kebabs

Grilling with a few friends in the summer is always a fun time and kebabs make it even better! I love the taste and smell of grilled veggies, for me there is nothing better, ok I still do love the smell of meat on the grill, but grilled veggies have my heart.

For the meat eaters we made chicken and steak, for the vegetarians, ok just me, we made veggie kebabs.

I must mention that the old way of doing kebabs was mixing the meat and veggies, but the possibility of cross contamination due to differing cooking times is likely. Now it is better to grill the veg on their own skewers and the meat on their own as well.

The first trick is to soak your kebabs in water for about a half hour before you skewer the food on them and throw them on the grill. The second is to marinate your meat or veg for a half hour as well. You can use whatever marinade you like, ours are below.

Veggie Kebabs

Always use an assortment it’s much prettier that way. We used onions, green, yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, cherry and plum tomatoes. Once again marinate with Italian dressing and salt and pepper, or grill seasoning.

Chicken Kebabs

Cut chicken into manageable pieces for skewers. Marinate with Italian dressing and grill seasoning making sure all of the pieces are coated.

Steak Kebabs

Cut steak (almost any kind will do) into manageable pieces for skewers. Marinate with grill seasoning and A1 steak sauce making sure all of the pieces are coated.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Warm Indian Spiced Potato Salad

I’ve made this potato salad a few times and I loved it. I just keep forgetting to write an exact recipe down. This is still not an exact recipe because I tend to measure by taste and smell, but this is as close as I’m going to get. When I was a meat eater this went well with chicken or steak. Now I can just eat a bowl full with a side of veg and be completely satisfied. I love all of the spices with the vinegar, oil, and warm potatoes, it is a bit indulgent but I love it. It just makes me feel warm and comfortable.  

6 large red skin potatoes skin on
few dashes of red wine vinegar
few dashes of olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dehydrated onion
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Start by boiling your cubed potatoes for about 15 minutes or until tender. Once the potatoes are cooked coat with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Do not add too much liquid only enough to keep the mixture moist. Then add your spices and mix being careful not to break up the potatoes too much. Serve warm and enjoy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Angel Hair Frittata

The other morning I got a craving for eggs, but I had leftover angel hair pasta that I had to use so I figured I’d make a frittata. The angel hair had homemade marinara so I didn’t have to add much, but you can add sundried tomatoes, meatballs, sausage, mozzarella, daiya mozzarella, olives, pretty much anything you can think of. I made a small sized frittata for one but I had enough to eat it for leftovers the following day.

I started by heating the pasta in a small pan and then scrambled 2 eggs with a bit of milk, salt, and pepper. Poor the egg mixture over the pasta, make sure the egg mixture and pasta is even. Now once you’ve cooked the egg thoroughly on one side you can either toss it under the broiler (the way you make a traditional frittata) or flip it like an omelet. I sprinkled some pecorino romano and fresh cracked black pepper and then topped it with fresh basil.

I haven’t made one of these in a long time but it was a fantastic way to finish leftovers and enjoy my eggs!