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Thanks to a few postings from friends on FaceBook, I tried some recipes that I wouldn't have thought of before. Each of them got me thinking of ways I could play with the basic ingredients - and I wasn't disappointed with anything. And every one of them was a hit.
The first one I experimented with was a 2-ingredient cake recipe (thanks Gail). You have that right. Choose an instant cake mix you'd like to use, then disregard the instructions on the box - except for the baking time. You only need one other item. In my case, I used pumpkin filling the first time (I've done this 4 times now with different groups of friends). I found out ofter getting the can of pumpkin that I needed the small one, not the larger size, so I thickened it up by adding crushed Bran Flakes cereal, and cornmeal. Delicious. The second time I used crushed pineapple. Then I tried blueberry pie filling. And finally, I used lemon pie filling. I used different cake mixes each time - angel food, golden, fudge, and chocolate swirl. And they were all wonderful. The blueberry and lemon versions were on the thick side, so I added a little liqueur to thin them. They all turned out wonderfully. I did mine in tiny cupcake tins, so everyone had 2-bite cupcakes - no fuss, no muss.
I also found a 2-ingredient cake recipe that used pop - and I made a similar bread recipe years before with cider, and it was sensational - so let your imagination run wild.
The second recipe I played with was kale chips. Yes - the cabbage relative makes a wonderful chip !! After Kelsie posted how easy to make and addicting they were, I had to look them up. It was a 3 minute snap for me in the microwave (forget having to heat up the oven), after I'd cut the kale into chip-sized pieces. The attached link (click the picture to the right) says to use flat-leafed kale, but I couldn't find any, so I cut most of the frills off the kind I got. I tossed all the pieces I'd cut in a plastic bag with a little virgin olive oil, spread them out on a plate, then sprinkled them with sea salt (any kind will do, I'm sure). In just 3 minutes they came out crunchy and as Kelsie said, amazingly addictive. They had a slightly nutty taste, and everyone loved them.
The next time I tried them, I cut much less of the frill off, and found that the olive oil didn't coat them as evenly as when I trimmed them more. They still tasted ok though. That time I also added pepper to them. As far as spicing goes, let your imagination take the lead.
Your microwave may take a little longer, or less time, so at about 2-1/2 minutes forward until you think they're crisp enough for you, check them every 30 seconds to see how they are.
And finally, thanks to a short piece in a Reader's Digest from a few months ago, I tried beet chips. I had to find a mandolin type veggie slicer first, in order to ensure they were evenly thin enough. I got one for $5.00 at Walmart, and it worked exceptionally well.
And as with the kale chips above, after cutting the beets I put a batch in a plastic bag with olive oil (cutting 2 beets gave me too much for the first try, so I only used a portion of them). I shook it up, then spread them out on a plate, sprinkled salt and pepper on them, then let the microwave do the wonders. I figured since they were thicker than the kale pieces, they'd take longer, so I started with 3 minutes, then kept adding a minute at a time to get to the crispy point. I did them about 7 minutes, but could have stopped a bit earlier. And though some of them were brown like like well-cooked potato chips get, they were still incredible.
They had a slightly sweet, earthy taste (now I know why sugar is derived from beets), that potato chips couldn't match. The interesting thing as well, is that beets have never been a preferred veggie of mine - yet this way, they are stellar. And after watching the clip I found - after I made the beet chips already - I'm stoked to try making carrot chips and chips from other veggies as well. Click the picture left for a quick overview on making beet, and other veggie chips.
You're going to make a lot of your guests happy with these simple recipes.
Please feel free to share .. and click on the pictures to watch the clips, go to the new Food folder in the Fun album, or added February 27, 2014 in the Recent album.
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