Monthly Archives: December 2011

Chipfaced

I may be a girly girl, ya know pink birthday cake to match my pink manicure, and long blonde curls for days, but I bleed orange and blue. I am a tried and true Knicks fan, always have been always will be.

I look forward to Fall solely for the return of basketball season, and brunch in the city. But mainly basketball season. So, the NBA lockout was tortuous for me. But now, the NBA is back and I am back in my Knicks gear. But, a simple Knicks tee isn’t enough to show my pride today. Today, I sport my excitement with food. Blue and Orange Potato Chips. Genius right? I know, they should totally sell these at The Garden. But hey, MSG, if you do, please name them after me? Thanks!

And what would chips be without dip? Lonely, that’s what. So, I’ve made a Homemade Caramelized Onion dip to go alongside the chips.

Homemade Knicks Mix Chips
Ingredients
1 large sweet potato
1 24 ounce bag of assorted tricolor baby potatoes (blue,  red, yellow)
1 large bottle of vegetable oil
Kosher salt

Directions
Add the vegetable oil to a fry pan and heat over medium to high heat. Wash and peel your potatoes.  Then, using your mandolin, carefully slice the potatoes thinly.  Place the sliced potatoes in a bowl of water until you are ready to fry them.

Once all of the potatoes are sliced, the oil should be ready.  If you have a thermometer, check to make sure the oil is around 325 degrees.  If you don’t have a thermometer, the best way to check the oil is by frying a potato.  Just use one slice as a test.  Place it carefully in the oil.  The oil around the potato will begin to bubble.

The potato will begin to brown.  You know it is down when the oil stops bubbling.  It’s like nature’s own alarm clock.  If the test potato comes out well, fry up the rest! Make sure not to overcrowd the pan or the temperature of the oil will go down, leaving you with mushy potatoes.  Once the potatoes are golden and crispy, remove them from pan and place them on a paper towel lined sheet tray.  Dust them with kosher salt.  Place in a bowl to serve.  Enjoy!

Caramelized Onion Dip

Ingredients
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
3/4 cup of reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup of 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
Kosher salt

Directions
In a large killet, heat olive oil over medium to high heat.  Add the onions and a few pinches of salt and saute until the onions are caramelized.  This should take approximately 40 minutes.  Then, set the onions aside to cool.  In the meantime, mix together the sour cream and yogurt.  Add the garlic powder and a pinch of salt to taste.  Then, add the onions and mix to incorporate. Chill until you are ready to serve!

Caramelized Onion Dip recipe inspired by 101cookbooks.com

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One Hell of a Chanukah Party

Last night, I had one hell of a Chanukah party.  The champagne was flowing, the caviar was chilled, the latkes were piled high.  It was a great night with great friends and family.  So great, in fact, that I dreamt about it.  So, when I awoke, I was still thinking about latkes.  But isn’t that truly the test of deliciousness? When you dream about your food.  Sure is.

Leftover latkes are incredible.  If you have a lot, you can pop them in the freezer and defrost at your leisure.  Or, if you are like me, and eat 15 at a time, you probably won’t have any latkes for the freezer.  I never do, because I eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   Breakfast Latkes are some of my favorites.  The latke is like a hash brown, but better, because it’s a latke.  So, it’s an egg-cellent base  for eggs.  Get it? Happy Chanukah!

 

 

Menorah Blahnik

So, last night was the night, the big night. And by big night, I mean my big Chanukah party.  I’d prepped all week.  After you saw my Thanksgiving prep, did you really expect anything else? Right. So after a week of prep work, I was finally ready.  While there was lots of yummy stuff on the menu, there was clearly one leading lady and that leading lady was the Latke. 

Although I celebrate Chanukah with the 3 C’s, champagne, caviar and chocolate, none of these means of celebration would exist at my party without the latkes.  My latkes, like many of my other recipes are easy.  Well, easy with a food processor. If you are grating potatoes by hand, and make it through 10 lbs. without fainting, well that’s really a Chanukah miracle in itself. 

Latkes (10 servings)
Ingredients
5 lbs.of baking potatoes
5 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
15 tablespoons flour
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable Oil
Butter

Directions
Wash and then peel the potatoes.  Grate them lengthwise. Place the potatoes in a colander or kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. (Potatoes hold a lot of liquid!)

Combine the potatoes in a bowl with the egg, flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well.  I recommend using your hands.  It’s fun, it’s messy and it’s really the best way to get all the ingredients incorporated.  

Add oil and a little butter to a skillet over medium to high heat. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture into the sizzling butter and oil.  I like big, thick latkes while my Dad likes them to be thin and crispy.  So I change up the amount of potato mixture I add the pan to create different size latkes. Feel free to play around! 

Flatten the latke with a spatula and cook for approximately, 2 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. Flip the latke and then flatten again. Cook for approximately another 2 minutes, until crisp on the outside and golden brown.

Remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel absorb some of the excess oil.  Serve with apple sauce, or the Bite-Sized way, with a dollop of sour cream and a touch of caviar!

Happy Chanukah!

Recipe inspired by Ina Garten
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/potato-pancakes-with-caviar-recipe2/index.html

Dreidles to Play With and Latkes to Eat

Chanukah is my favorite holiday, well really second favorite.  Obviously because Halloween is my first.  But I guess if we are only talking holidays in terms of religion, Chanukah is my number 1.  Wait, who am I kidding? Candy is a religion. Halloween is still my number 1.  But I really do love Chanukah.  Now, I know what you are thinking; Chanukah is my favorite because I get eight presents.  Well both my parents can attest to the fact that that’s just not true anymore.  So what makes this holiday so special? Everything, that’s what.  But, if I had to narrow it down I could choose 3 choice words to describe this holiday: champagne, caviar and chocolate.

I bet that’s not what you were expecting me to say.  But since when is this Bite-Sized Blonde predictable? While predictable I’m not, I am traditional.  And I mean that in the sense that I create traditions and then follow them.  So, for me, Chanukah tradition is all about the three C’s.

Champagne is somewhat obvious.  I told you once, a party just ain’t a party without a little of the bubbly stuff.  And Chanukah is one hell of a party.  You certainly cannot celebrate, especially a miracle, without champagne.  I think that’s considered sacrilegious.

Caviar – also a celebratory food, but that’s not the reason you’ll find it at my Chanukah table.  Caviar is salty, which offsets the greasy latkes perfectly.  With just a hint of sour cream, it’s really the perfect pairing.  If this tasty treat sounds awfully familiar, it’s because it’s kind of like a blini, but better.  And in case it didn’t sound familiar at all, and know you’re wondering what a blini is, I’ll tell you.  A blini is a pancake typically topped with crème fraiche and caviar.  What makes my Chanukah blinis great, is a great latke as a base.

Now chocolate.  Chocolate is as much a part of Chanukah as dreidles.  Hello…gelt.  But, if you’re anything like this Bite-Sized Chocoholic, gelt isn’t enough to calm your cravings.  So, we end our Chanukah celebration with even more chocolate.

I hope your mouth is watering.  I know mine is.  But what I really also hope is that you have a wonderful Chanukah!

Stay tuned this week for recipes, and of course, a photo recap!

The Proof is in the Pudding

I am blown away by the amazing support I received yesterday.  I am truly one lucky Bite-Sized Blonde.  With your help, and the generous support of an anonymous donor, $1,175 dollars is being donated to Feeding America today.  But the proof is really in the pudding, because that money is going to supply 9,400 meals to people in need!

A simple thank you doesn’t seem like enough…so here goes nothing.  Thank you. Muchas gracias. Merci beaucoup. Toda raba.  Grazie.  Arigato. I may run out of languages I know, but my gratitude is eternal.

Feeding America

When I made a list of all the things I am thankful for, I forgot to mention one very obvious thing.  Food.  I am thankful for food.  It seems like a strange thing to be thankful for to those who don’t worry about where their next meal is coming from.  But for 1 out of every 6 Americans, it’s a sad reality.

Many of the Americans that are struggling with hunger are hardworking people.  Despite what you may think, hunger doesn’t just affect those that are homeless or out of work, nor does it only affect adults.  Children across the country are feeling the hardships of not having enough to eat.  More than 17 million children live in homes that are food-insecure.  This is not just a moral issue.  Without proper nutrition, a young person’s ability to learn and grow is hampered.  In fact, children who suffer from hunger are more likely to experience behavior and cognitive problems.

One organization fighting to end hunger across the country is Feeding America.   Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.  They provide nutritious foods to Americans struggling with hunger through the assistance of 200 local and national programs.

There are so many ways to get involved, and there are so many ways to give.  Today, I have chosen to make a donation.  For every $1 donated, Feeding America is able to provide 8 meals to people in need.  But I need your help to make an impact.  For every hit I get on my blog today, I will donate $1 towards Feeding America.  So, get out there and pass this post along!

To learn more about Feeding America, check out this video

Is There Sugar in Syrup? Then Yes.

There are so many reasons I think Buddy the Elf and I could be friends.  For starters, he loves to smile.   Me too.  Also, he likes to sing even though he has a terrible voice.  Sounds familiar.  But mostly, I like him for his love of maple syrup.  So honest, so sincere and so damn honorable.

Maple syrup is the only kind of syrup in my eyes.  Sure, Aunt Jemima makes her own special brand, but the way I see it, there are two kinds of people in this world: maple syrup aficiandos and then there are just people with poor tastebuds.  It’s as clear a distinction as dog people and cat people, dog clearly being the better, cuter, more cuddly choice here.

Although maple syrup is one of the sweetest treats in your kitchen, I bet you don’t use it for much.  Pancakes and waffles, so good but how often are you really making them?  It’s time to start getting more from your syrup.  You owe it to yourself, and I know just the person to help you with this sticky situation.  Me, of course!

Nutmeg-Maple Cream Pie
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from the New York Times

Ingredients
3/4 cup maple syrup
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie crust

Directions
First, par bake the pie crust. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Poke holes in the pie crust with a fork so that it doesn’t puff during bake.  Then place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.  If shell puffs during baking, press it down with back of spoon. Cool on wire rack. Lower temperature to 300 degrees.

Then, prepare the filling. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce maple syrup by a quarter.  This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to a simmer and then remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and egg.  Then temper the mixture to make sure the eggs don’t scramble from the hot cream mixture.  Tempering is done by gradually increasing the temperature of one recipe component by adding another.  To temper this mixture, add a touch of the hot cream to the egg mixture, while whisking continuously.  Once this is completely incorporated, slowly drizzle in the rest of the hot cream mixture while whisking.  Again, you must whisk constantly to avoid the eggs cooking! Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a cup or bowl with pouring spout. Stir in salt, nutmeg and vanilla.

Pour filling into crust and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pie is firm to touch but jiggles slightly when moved, about 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Click here to see the original recipe by Smitten Kitchen
http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/nutmeg-maple-cream-pie/