Homemade Potato Chips and Goat Cheese Dip

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Phew, it’s finally Friday! I don’t know about you but to me this week felt extra long. I’m certainly ready for this Friday and Angie’s Fiesta Friday party! If you haven’t joined us yet for the Fiesta, you should certainly join.

This week I’m bringing some homemade potato chips and a delicious goat cheese dip to the party. Hope you enjoy!

Homemade Potato Chips with Goat Cheese Dip
Chips:
4 potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oilphoto(92)
salt
pepper

Dip:
4 oz goat cheese
2 teaspoons sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground back pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes very thinly, about 1/16th of an inch thick. Place the slices on a paper towel for about 10 minutes to dry out a bit, flipping them over after 5 minutes. The longer they dry the better, but I’m impatient!

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2. Add the potato slices to a bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat them. Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 for about 12 minutes, then flip the slices over and bake for another 12 minutes. If they aren’t browned or starting to crisp leave them in the oven an additional 5 minutes.

3. Remove the potato slices from the oven when browned and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Combine all of the ingredients for the dip in a bowl and stir to combine. Serve the dips with the chips, enjoy!

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A blogoversary, pasta e fagioli and big thanks!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first started this blog. When I first started, I was fairly certain no one except my mom would actually read it. I was really shy to share it at first (and was mortified when some of my co-workers discovered it). I’m humbled and thrilled to see all of you reading, commenting and sharing! I want to send a HUGE thanks to all of you. It’s been such a pleasure learning new recipes and techniques and generally just having so many people to discuss food with!

I figured for my blogoversary (not sure if that’s a real word but I’m going with it) post I would re-do my very first post. I wanted to update it a little and add some better photos. I’m not sure if it’s just my lack of photography skills or if this is just generally not a photogenic dish, but unfortunately these pictures aren’t a whole lot better!

I also want to express my thanks to those of you who nominated me for blogger awards! I was shocked and thrilled with each one. I had every intention of completing the required steps to receive them and pass them along, but I always got stuck trying to come up with all the unique facts about myself for each one! So I want to thank all of you here for your acknowledgement! Thank you to Lori and Ngan for nominating me for the Liebster Award, Jillian for nominating me for the Sunshine Award and Nancyfor the Dragon Loyalty Award! If I missed anyone, please let me know!

And now on to the food!  I chose Pasta e Fagioli for my first post because it was the first dish I really learned to cook myself and it got me interested in learning more about cooking.  I’ve made some small changes since the first time I posted it and I think it’s just a little bit better now!

Pasta e Fagioli
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashedphoto(88)
4-5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16oz crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
30oz (2 cans) cannellini beans, drained
32 oz chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 box ditalini pasta
1/3 cup heavy cream
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese for topping

1. Heat the olive in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and the carrots. Let the carrots cook for about 5 minutes than add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the carrots soften and the onions are translucent.

2. Add the crushed tomatoes to the saucepan. Stir in the reaming spices. Let the sauce cook at a simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about 30 minutes, add the beans.

3. Add the broth, turn the heat up and bring the liquid to a boil. When it’s boiling, add the pasta and cook to al dente, about ten minutes.

4. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Top with cheese (I like lots of cheese) and enjoy!

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Corn Dip

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I’m almost embarrassed to admit that in my household of only two people, who generally consider themselves to be pretty healthy, this dip barely lasts 24 hours. It’s that good. It’s the perfect mix of the sweet corn, creamy cheese and tiniest bit of spice. I’m a real whimp when it comes to spicy things so I usually only add a tiny bit of cayenne and add some paprika instead. But, if you’re a spice lover you can certainly up the heat or add a diced jalepeno. I also somehow only had about half an onion, so I added some green onion to to this batch. I used canned corn because that’s what I had, but fresh would be great!

I’m bringing this dip toAngie’s Fiesta Friday party! Hopefully everyone there likes it as much as I do (or maybe hopefully not so I can eat it all myself..eek)photo(83)!

Corn Dip
2 cans sweet corn
1 small onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
8 oz cheddar cheese shredded or cubed
4 oz softened cream cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon paprika

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Drain the corn and place in a bowl. Combine the corn with the rest of the ingredients until it’s all mixed together well. Place in an even layer in a baking dish.

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3. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, until it begins to brown on top, enjoy!

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Simit (Turkish Bagel)

Simit
In the past week I’ve made kabobs twice, humus and now simit. Something tells me I’m really missing this time last year when I was enjoying these foods with tea by the sea in Turkey. Simit was basically everywhere in Turkey, we’d buy a bunch in the morning and snack on it all day long while we walked around.

I wasn’t totally sure how to go about making this myself. Traditional Turkish simit has grape molasses in it, something I didn’t have. I used a light maple syrup instead for the syrupy component. It wasn’t quite what I remembered but still a great snack that I’m sure will be all gone in the next 24 hours. These are best served with a glass of Turkish tea, but personally, I like to dip them in Nutella!

Simit
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 cup water
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons grape molasses (I used maple syrup)
1 cup toasted sesame seeds

1. Combine the yeast and 1 cup of water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit for about ten minutes. Then, add the flour and salt and combine. Let it mix for about 5 minutes, until you have a slightly sticky ball of dough. Transfer the dough to a bowl and let it rise for about an hour, until it doubles in size.

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2. When the dough has risen, divide into 12-14 even pieces. Roll each piece out into a thin log. Combine two of the logs and twist them around each other. Combine the ends together so it forms a circular shape.

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3. Combine the water and molasses in a shallow plate, and the sesame seeds on another.

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4. Dip the simit in the water and molasses mixture, let the excess liquid drip off, then dip them in the sesame seeds.

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5. Continue with each simit and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the formed simit rise again for about 30 minutes. Finally, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes, until they’re slightly browned. Enjoy!

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Chicken Kabobs

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Can you believe it’s Friday already? I seriously can’t, this week flew by. I’m happy I’m now caught up and I didn’t miss Fiesta Friday ! I’m glad to see that many of my fellow bloggers have embraced the change in seasons and are already taking to their grills. Given that I live in a small apartment in the DC suburbs, I’m not allowed to have a “real” grill, but I’ve found my cast iron grill pan works almost just as well. You don’t get the exact same flavor, but definitely some great grill marks.

I’ve also noticed many people making kabobs which bring back memories of my visit to Turkey almost a year ago. While I’m sure nothing I’m grilling at home is going to taste as great as what I ate in Istanbul, I’m certainly willing to give it a try!

Chicken Kabobs
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove chopped garlic
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 red bell peppers
1 onion

1. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mint, oregano and garlic in a bowl. Add the chicken and let marinate for two hours.

2. Chop the peppers and onion into inch long pieces and add to the marinating chicken.

 

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3. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes.

4. Place the peppers, onions and chicken cubes on a skewer in alternating order. Place on a hot grill pan and cook for about 15-25 minutes (for some reason mine took a long time to cook), until the chicken is cooked through, enjoy!

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Panzanella with Bacon and Sweet Balsamic Dressing

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As much as I’ve been trying to be very healthy lately, I have been and always will be a carb-aholic. I love bread of every shape and size and simply can never get enough. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise you that I would he a huge fan of a bread salad. And if you’re already making the salad out of bread, why not add bacon? Now that’s a salad!

I received some great little yellow tomatoes in this week’s farm basket and their color just goes so great with the bacon and toasted bread. However, you can use any kind of tomatoes you like. I also added some spinach to this so I could feel slightly less guilty while eating it. I topped this salad with a sweet balsamic dressing which was just perfect. I’ve already eaten two helpings of this salad today – and it’s not even noon, oops! Oh well, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I am!

And to make things even better, it’s Fiesta Friday! Check it out and join the party!

Panzanella with Bacon and Sweet Balsamic Dressing
For the salad:
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 slices day old bread, cubed
3 pieces of crunchy bacon
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped in half
1 cup spinach chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 ball of mozzarella cheese, cubed

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Add the salted butter to a pan on low heat. When the butter melts, add the bread cubes to the pan and cook until lightly toasted, about 8-10 minutes.

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2. In a bowl combine the bacon, tomatoes, spinach, green onions, parsley and mozzarella. Add the bread when it’s toasted and toss to combine all of the ingredients.

3. To make the dressing whisk all the ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the salad, enjoy!

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