Previous month:
May 2016
Next month:
July 2016

June 2016

Goodsense Brand Tall Kitchen Bags, Available at Dollar Tree

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

GoodSense Tall Kitchen BagsThey're strong, they're scented, they come with flap ties, they're inexpensive and most importantly, they do the job.

Regular readers know I'm a fan of Dollar Tree, I like to shop there and everything sold there really is just $1.  These tall kitchen bags are another example of why I like the store.  They are quality bags.  You get 10 bags for $1, the fresh scent is nice and the flap ties allow you to quickly tie up a full bag and take it outside to the dumpster or trash can.  Compare that to discount bags sold at places like Walmart - $2.75 for a 30 count box (9 cents each), but the bags easily rip, they're not scented, the quality just isn't there.   These GoodSense brand bags are every bit as good as brand name bags like Hefty ($7.63 for a 40 count box, that's 19 cents each) and you can really stuff them full.

The next time you're at Dollar Tree, pick up a few boxes, you'll be glad you did.


Old School Potato Cakes Take a New Class

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

Potato_cakesIf you've got some leftover mashed potatoes and don't know what to do with them because you ran out of that KFC gravy, let me key you in on a great breakfast, snack or side dish treat.

Potato cakes.

Sure, your mom probably made you these delicious spud patties when you were a kid, but you probably haven't had them since.  If you're not familiar with this old school way to have potatoes, you've been missing out.

Old School Potato Cakes Take a New Class 

This recipe kicks things up a notch from what mom used to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flake
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cookies Flavor Enhancer (or your favorite cayenne pepper based seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Mix mashed potatoes, flour, diced onion, eggs and the rest of the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well incorporated.  Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Using an ice cream scoop, drop potato 'batter' into hot oil, flattening with a spatula to give you that patty look (Tip:  dip the bottom of the spatula in the oil first so the potato cake doesn't stick when flattening).  Cook until golden brown and delicious, about 3 minutes per side.  Remove from the skillet with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels, sprinkle with a pinch of Kosher salt.

Enjoy!

Topping options:  Louisiana Hot Sauce; mayo; ketchup; Thousand Island dressing; a simple aioli sauce; shredded cheddar cheese; bacon bits; and my favorite - an egg, over easy, letting that yolk seep into the cake for breakfast.......   

Save


Make your own bread

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

If you don't like to or have time to bake, then this isn't for you.  And sure, you can buy a loaf of bread at Aldi or the Dollar Tree for $1, but then again, you can buy a bag of flour and some yeast for about $2 at Aldi and make many loaves of bread!  All you knead (get it, 'knead'....  I crack myself up....), is a little time..... 

Below are two recipes, one for a simple cheesy bread, the other for a cinnamon bread, they are both pizza dough style breads, quick, easy, delicious!

Cheesy Bread

Ingredients

  • One packet of yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • One cup warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • One teaspoon salt
  • One Tablespoon garlic powder
  • One Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Couple pinches of Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese

Directions

Cheesy BreadPreheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl or cup, put the sugar in with the water, give it a little stir, add the packet of yeast and set aside TIP:  Yeast loves sugar, it rises more aggressively when sugar is added and doing the yeast separately like this helps in that process.  In a large bowl, put in the flour, salt, garlic powder and oregano, stir lightly to mix.  Add the cup of yeast water and start mixing to form into a dough.  I like to simply mix with a fork.  When the dough is starting to come together, add the olive oil.  You may have to add a little more warm water, what you're looking for is that dough to start forming into a ball, not too dry, but not too wet either.  Now it's time to use your hands to really shape that dough ball.  Oil your hands first, you don't want sticky dough fingers!  Once that dough ball is formed, place it in a warm place to rise.  This is where that time factor kicks in, waiting for the dough to rise.  I like to lightly oil a bowl using olive oil spray, place the dough ball in and then cover with some olive oil sprayed plastic wrap (so the dough ball doesn't stick to the wrap).  After that dough ball gets to at least double in size, place it on a lightly oiled (Olive) cookie sheet and spread it out to about a 1/2 inch in thickness.  Blind bake (no cheesy toppings yet) in the oven on a center rack (never bake bread on a rack that is placed low or high in the oven!) for about 10 minutes.  Pull from the oven and sprinkle with the Kosher salt, Parmesan cheese and the Mozzarella.  Bake for another 10 minutes, or until that Mozzarella is golden brown and delicious!  Slice into strips and serve.

There's nothing quite like the aroma of fresh baked bread coming from the kitchen, it's enticing! 

Simple Cinnamon Bread

Ingredients

  • One packet of yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • One cup warm water
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • One teaspoon salt
  • One cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon

Directions

Cinnamon BreadPreheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small bowl or cup, put the sugar in with the water, give it a little stir, add the packet of yeast and set aside TIP:  Yeast loves sugar, it rises more aggressively when sugar is added and doing the yeast separately like this helps in that process.  In a large bowl, put in the flour, salt and brown sugar, stir lightly to mix.  Add the cup of yeast water and start mixing to form into a dough.  I like to simply mix with a fork.  When the dough is starting to come together, add the vegetable oil.  You may have to add a little more warm water, what you're looking for is that dough to start forming into a ball, not too dry, but not too wet either.  Now it's time to use your hands to really shape that dough ball.  Oil your hands first, you don't want sticky dough fingers!  Once that dough ball is formed, place it in a warm place to rise.  This is where that time factor kicks in, waiting for the dough to rise.  I like to lightly oil a bowl using Canola oil spray (but regular vegetable oil will do), place the dough ball in and then cover with some Canola oil sprayed plastic wrap (so the dough ball doesn't stick to the wrap).  After that dough ball gets to at least double in size, place it on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and spread it out to about a 1/2 inch in thickness.  Combine the cinnamon and sugar and then sprinkle on the bread.  Bake in the oven on a center rack (never bake bread on a rack that is placed low or high in the oven!) for 20 minutes.  Slice into strips and serve.

Tell me you don't have time to make these breads, I dare you!

Enjoy.

Save