Homemade Potato Chips

Homemade Potato Chips

I love potato chips!  Not the flavored ones (the flavors get more exotic each year, like Taco Flavor); just plain salty chips.  Simple right?

These days potato chips don’t seem as simple as they should be.  Exotic flavors aside they’re also packed with preservatives, I mean they do have to last thru shipping and sitting in the store until you get it home.  And even then it can sit resealed in the bag for days depending on the humidity.  So what happened to those simple natural chips that are crispy and salty?  They’re pretty much a thing of the past unless  you make them at home.

That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing since this Pandemic forced everyone to stay home and limit trips to the grocery store.  With time on my hands and a bag of potatoes in the pantry I started making Homemade Potato Chips, and my they are delicious!  We may never buy chips again!

Really it’s simple, just a bit tedious if you’re like me and make several bowlfuls.  But they do store pretty well in ziplock bags, that is if you can keep enough to store.  My family eats them as snacks and with their sandwiches.

All you need are 3 ingredients; potatoes, salt, and oil.  I use olive oil, but Canola Oil works wells too.  The trick is to heat the oil enough so that you flash fry the chips and you got to work fast so you don’t burn them.  Oh, and if you really need them flavored you can toss them in garlic salt, or whatever seasoning you want as long as it’s dry.  Or you can dip them in your favorite dip.  But like I said I like mine just crispy and salty!


6 Large Russet Potatoes

1/2 Cup Oil – more if you need it while frying

Sea Salt or seasonings of your choice


Scrub potatoes and peel (if you don’t want to peel them that’s ok too, just be sure they’re scrubbed clean)

Using a mandolin slicer shave the potatoes (you can choose the thickness, I prefer the thinnest setting; thicker chips don’t get very crispy and tend to get hard) If you don’t have a mandolin slicer any veggie slicer should work as long as it has a straight blade.  Or if you prefer you can use a food processor just be sure you use the correct blade.

Place slices in a bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown while you slice the rest of the potatoes.

Heat about 1/2″  oil in a large frying pan.

Place slices on paper towels – work in small batches to keep chips from burning and clumping together.

Pat chips dry – they don’t have to be bone dry just dry enough so they’re not dripping in water.  Placing really wet chips in hot oil will cause the oil to pop and sizzle and may burn you.

Fry chips both sides until golden brown – about 45 seconds at most.  Adjust heat if they start to burn.

Drain chips on a paper towel.  Repeat until all chips are cooked.

Sprinkle with sea salt and gently toss chips to salt all the chips.

To store place in ziplock bags and keep at room temperature.


Easy Beef Shawarma Wrap Recipe

Easy Beef Shawarma Wrap Recipe

Whenever we are in LA there’s this place we frequent, Zankou Chicken; although their specialty is the delicious rotisserie chicken they also serve beef and chicken kebobs and shawarma wraps.  We love the beef shawarma so much that we buy a dozen or so to take home with us.

Since there are no trips planned to LA anytime soon I decided to try my hand at making my own.  Shawarma is usually cooked on a spit and slow roasted as it turn, I don’t have one of those machines so I found a way to make it using just my oven and stove top.  To make the meat extra tender I used thinly sliced boneless beef short ribs with all the fat trimmed off. I adapted a chinese restaurant method used to tenderize their stir fry meat and it made my ribs very tender.  The secret to great shawarma is the spices used to marinate the meat.  So get out your spice rack to make this tasty recipe. We make it into wraps using either pita bread or nan.  Served with crunchy dill pickles and my sun dried tomato/roasted red pepper hummus and you’ve got a filling meal.  My family thinks my version is just as good as the shawarma we buy at Zankou!


Marinade Ingredients:

1 tbls. corn starch
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. garlic powder
1 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cayenne Red Pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
1 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Turmeric
1 tsp. Corriander
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1 lb. thin sliced boneless beef short ribs
Extra olive oil for sauteing
Extra spices for taste adjustment (optional)
Pita or Nan bread
Hummus spread (you can use my Sun dried tomato/Roasted red pepper hummus or any hummus you prefer)
Dill pickle spears
Lettuce, tomato, any other veggies you prefer – optional


Directions  for Marinade:

1.  Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag
2.  Seal bag and knead until it’s well blended – break up any clumps of corn starch that may form so that it mixes in with the oil and spices.  You should end up with a cloudy thick liquid.
3.  Trim extra fat off the edges of the short ribs
4.  Place beef in to ziplock bag, seal bag, and knead bag so that the meat is covered with marinade on all sides.
5.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour; up to overnight.  Turn bag occasionally to evenly distribute marinade.  The longer it marinates in the oven the more flavorful the meat will be.

Cooking and assembling directions:

1.  Place meat on an ungreased baking sheet.
2.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes
3.  Remove from baking sheet and slice into thin strips
4.  Heat some olive oil in large pan
5.  Add sliced meat into hot oil and saute – DO NOT SKIP this step, it’s what gives it the finish like it was roasted on a spit.
6.  If you feel you the meat needs more spices you can sprinkle more of the above spices as you saute.  I usually sprinkle a bit more garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and nutmeg at this stage.
7.  Spread one side of bread with hummus
8.  Layer on meat, pickles, and other veggies you prefer
9.  Fold sides over the filling and serve
10.  Enjoy!


Wonton Soup and Mini Egg Rolls

Wonton Soup and Mini Egg Rolls

So easy to follow and delicious, this wonton soup recipe will serve you for years to come. The wontons can be frozen for quick and easy meals during the week, or for a lazy weekend morning brunch.


These homemade egg rolls are filled with pork and vegetables, all wrapped up and fried to crispy perfection.


Simple Wonton Soup

This simple wonton soup recipe is so delicious and easy to follow. The wontons can be frozen, boiled and added to stock to make wonton soup any time of day

Wonton Soup


  • 10 oz baby bok choy or similar green vegetable (280g)
  • oz ground pork (225g)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sesame oil  plus more for the stock
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 6 cups chicken stock  about 1.5 liters
  • 1 scallion chopped


  • Start by thoroughly washing the vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the vegetables just until wilted, about 60-90 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  • Grab a good clump of veg and carefully squeeze out as much water as you can. Very finely chop the vegetables (you can also speed up the process by throwing them in the food processor). Repeat until all the vegetables are chopped.
  • In a medium bowl, add the finely chopped vegetables, ground pork, 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil, pinch of white pepper, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1-2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine. Mix very thoroughly until the mixture is totally emulsified—almost like a paste.
  • Now it’s time to assemble! Fill a small bowl with water. Grab a wrapper and use your finger to moisten the edges of the wrapper. Add a little over a teaspoon of filling to the middle. Fold the wrapper in half and press the two sides together so you get a firm seal.
  • Hold the bottom two corners of the little rectangle you just made (the side where the filling is) and bring the two corners together. You can use a bit of water to make sure they stick. And that's it!
  • At this point, you can cook (boil) and taste a couple of wontons and adjust the seasoning of your filling to taste––you can always add a little more Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and/or white pepper to your liking.
  • Once you're happy with the flavor of the filling, keep assembling until all the filling is gone. Place the wontons on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment paper, and make sure they are not touching (this will prevent sticking).
  • If you'd like to freeze your wontons right away, you can cover the wontons with plastic wrap, put the baking sheet/plate into the freezer, and transfer them to freezer bags once they’re frozen. They’ll keep for a couple of months in the freezer, and be ready for wonton soup whenever you want it.
  • To make the soup, heat your chicken stock to a simmer and add 2-3 teaspoons sesame oil and white pepper and salt to taste.
  • Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Carefully add the wontons one at a time to the pot. Pick up the pot and use a swirling, twisting motion to keep the pot moving and prevent the wontons from sticking to the bottom. If they do stick, don’t worry, They should come free once they’re cooked. Once they're floating, boil them for another 1-2 minutes. Take care not to overcook them – mushy wontons are a sin! Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon and put them in bowls.
  • Pour the soup over the wontons and garnish with scallions. Serve!


Wontons can be frozen for use later. Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they aren’t touching, and put the baking sheet in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months.

Mini Egg Rolls

You probably heard about Easter egg roll but have you heard of mini egg rolls? well it’s an side dish invented by the American-Chinese influenced Indian / Pakistani spring rolls which are very big side dish served in all sorts of ceremonies and events. Mini egg rolls are prepared exactly the same way as the spring rolls. There is not much history to it but that doesn’t mean the taste is not there.

The other day, I decided to make Chicken Spring Rolls at home.  I love spring rolls, but I often find them quite greasy and oily.  That’s because they are not fried correctly, so they become soggy and absorb too much oil. 

This home-made version is so much better.  They come out crunchy and not oily at all.  And the filling is delicious too.


Mini Egg Rolls


  • 2 tbsp plus 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1-2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 scallions white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed packaged slaw mix (about 10 oz.)
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (about 4 oz.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 square egg roll wrappers, thawed if frozen


  • Warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and scallions. Sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add slaw mix and bean sprouts and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
  • Cut egg roll wrappers in half. Have ready a small bowl of cold water and a pastry brush. Working with wrappers one at a time, lay each out so short side of rectangle faces you. Place about 1 Tbsp. filling toward bottom of wrapper. Pull bottom of wrapper over filling, then fold side corners over filling and roll up tightly, like a burrito. Brush far edge with cold water before closing. Continue with remaining wrappers and filling.
  • Heat 2 cups oil in a large skillet to 350°F. Put a few egg rolls in skillet (don't allow them to touch) and cook, turning over once or twice with tongs, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Halloween Treats for ADULTS

Halloween Treats for ADULTS

Who says Halloween is just for kids?  After the kids have returned from Trick-or-Treating and they’ve wound down for the night put them to bed it’s time for some adult fun.

Whip up some adult treats ahead of time, hide them from the kids, and take them out for a bit of spooky fun with your friends, or snuggle up with your significant other for drinks and nibbles as you watch a scary movie.

Here are a few recipes for Halloween treats and drinks for adults.

Black CocktailThe Blackbeard cocktail from Honestly YUM is made with chocolate stout.  It looks lethally YUMMY!



Pumpkin cheese ballWhip up this Nacho Pumpkin Cheese Ball from Cincy Shopper, it’s creamy, crunchy, with a bit of spicy!

Recipe click here!

Spiderweb DipDip the nigh away with this zesty south-of-the-border dip from Mr. Food.com

Recipe click here!

Mummy BrieAdd a bit of sophistication to your Halloween with this Mummy Baked Brie found on Babble.com.

Recipe click here!


Smoking MartiniHere’s a lovey Smoking Martini created by Thomas Johnson from Cocktailatlas.com

Perfect for Halloween!
Recipe click here!


CocktailThe Grave Digger Cocktail is a concoction of hard cider, whiskey, and ginger ale designed by Boulder Locavore.

Recipe click here!  


Outdoor Entertaining – Free Corn on the Cob Recipe!

Outdoor Entertaining – Free Corn on the Cob Recipe!

Summer is almost here!  And in our family that means outdoor entertaining!  It’s always a good idea to take advantage of good weather and dine alfresco every chance you get!

I know that outdoor entertaining means backyard barbecues complete with grilled meats, corn on the cob, and other mouth watering goodies we can make outside.  Don’t forget the S’mores!  But really outdoor entertaining isn’t limited to cooking stuff on your grill, there are so many ways you can enjoy dining on your patio or backyard.  It could be an intimate breakfast for two, a rambunctious kids’ birthday party, or a more serene adult dinner party for friends and family.

To get your creative juices flowing I’ve got 7 ideas you can build on to take your summer time entertaining outdoors!  By the way outdoor entertaining doesn’t mean you have to invite the whole neighborhood; you can enjoy a nice quite meal outdoors with just your immediate household!

How about an intimate breakfast for 2?

They’ve always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day; how better to start your day than with breakfast outdoors with your spouse or partner?

You don’t have to go all out.  A nice cup of coffee and a croissant will do; or if you’re feeling inclined a plate of bacon and egg and some warm biscuits will hit the spot.  Whatever the menu all you’ll really need is a simple table and chairs on the patio or in the backyard.  (And maybe keep the kids indoors so you can have some quiet time!)

If you’re not a morning person then make it lunch or dinner for two.  Remember the idea is to relax and enjoy some couples time!

Vintage Garden Tea Party

Tea is my favorite method of entertaining  and a Vintage Garden Party is a great to entertain outdoors.  I love tea parties, they’re simple and easy to prepare, they make you and your guests feel pampered, and they are so pretty!

Have everyone dress up in pretty summer frocks to make it an extra special event.  You don’t have to limit tea parties to adult parties, children, particularly little girls will adore a princess tea party for her birthday!  Our you can have a Teddy Bear Tea Party for boys and girls; each child is invited to bring along their favorite plush animal for the garden party.  Kids love it!

Kids’ Birthday Party

In my opinion kids’ parties should always be held outdoors, weather permitting of course.

There are so many options and themes for outdoor birthday parties.  The kids love it because they have room to run around and parents love it because it keeps the mess out of the house and makes clean up easier.

If your patio or yard isn’t big enough to let the kids run around then take your party to your neighborhood park!  Just be sure to clean up and place your trash in the trash containers.

Boho Adult Dinner Party

Adult Outdoor parties don’t always have to include grilled meats or barbecued anything for that matter!

A Boho themed or any themed outdoor party works for any occasion and it’s great if you don’t have enough outdoor tables and chairs.  Just stock up on large floor pillows or even picnic blankets.  Use low tables or a piece of plywood resting on cement tiles for your “dining table”.  Just be sure you cover it with a pretty tablecloth!

As for food serve anything your heart desires!

Baby or Bridal Showers

Who says indoor sofas and shelves can’t go outside?  Bring the indoors out and host your bridal or baby shower in the backyard.

It’s amazing what a bit of “redecorating” can do!

This works great if you have a small indoor living area and have lots of friends and family to invite!


Outdoor Weddings

I just love outdoor weddings!  They can be as low key or as fancy as the bride wants.

Lots of brides have learned to think outside of the box and hired some wonderful wedding venues.  You can check out vineyards, parks, beaches, and even zoos!

Depending on the venue outdoor weddings might take a bit more planning so it’s important to have a great wedding planner on your team!

Outdoor Barbecue

I can’t talk about outdoor entertaining without including the outdoor barbecue.  Take advantage of summer and take dinner (or lunch) outside.

You’ll definitely have lots of opportunities to host an outdoor barbecue between Memorial and Labor Days you’ve got Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, possibly a birthday or two.  Not to mention you don’t need a special occasion to barbecue, you can have one for the family just because!

Now one of my favorite things at an outdoor barbecue is the corn on the cob!  A barbecue isn’t complete without it.  I’m sure you’ve heard of Elotes, Mexican Street Corn, it’s super yummy!  Well it has mayo on it and my son will not touch anything with mayo.  So I had to find a way to make something similar to Elotes without the mayo and I came up with my Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob.  Here’s my recipe!

Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob


  • 16 niblets Corn Frozen (For the corn - I used frozen mini cobs or niblets and boiled on the stove - you can use frozen or fresh and boil it, bake it, or grill it.  This recipe is to boil frozen corn.)
  • 1 pot Water
  • 1 cup Milk


  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 tbsp Chipotle Pepper Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Queso Fresco - crumbled
  • Cilantro - chopped
  • 1 Lime - cut into wedges


  • Make the topping by mixing butter, honey, and powdered seasonings together.  Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until you're ready to use.
  • Boil corn in water/milk mixture for about 20 minutes or until done.  Drain corn and transfer to a baking pan.
  • Place spoonfuls of butter topping on each cob.  Butter topping will melt.  Roll cobs in melted butter until all sides are covered.
  • Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro.
  • Serve with lime wedges for each person to squeeze over cob if they want to.
  • You can keep this warm in the oven until ready to serve.
  • You can store any extra butter topping in the fridge and use for other things.  I like to use it to saute chicken or even veggies.  Pretty much anything you want to add a bit of spice to!


Quick and Delicious Cheeseburgers

Quick and Delicious Cheeseburgers

Cheeseburgers are probably my most favorite foods on earth.  I love a tasty and juicy cheeseburger and am always in search for the perfect one.

Okay I’ve found a lot of truly magnificent cheeseburgers around the country, but in my humble opinion the best cheeseburgers are those that we make at home.

My son make the BEST ever cheeseburgers you will ever taste.  Seriously it’s to die for!  But his burgers are an overnight project.  You start out mixing his seasoned butter the night before and freezing it at least overnight.  Lot’s of work, but the end result is definitely worth it.

As much as I love his cheeseburgers I don’t always have the time nor inclination to make them.  So there has to be an easier way right?  Ok I’ll settle for a good burger at home verses an excellent one.

Recently I made these cheeseburgers for lunch.  I didn’t have to leave home to make them, I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.  It didn’t take all day and all night to make them and they turned out pretty good.  My grandsons loved them.

These burgers are tender, juicy, and tasty.  All this using store bought frozen ingredients.  Best of all it’s cooked in less than 15 minutes.  Perfect for quick lunches or dinners.  Actually it’s the perfect dinner on Halloween when you need to get the kids to eat before rushing out the door to trick or treat.

These burgers are so easy they don’t even require a recipe, just quick instructions.  And here they are!

Quick and Delicious Cheeseburgers


  • Frozen beef patties - thawed in fridge or microwave
  • Frozen Garlic Bread Slices or Texas Toast
  • Cheddar Cheese slices
  • Condiments - Ketchup, Mustard, Mayo, Lettuce, Tomato, Onions, etc.


  • Fry thawed burgers in frying pan over medium-high heat
  • Cook until desired doneness - don't over cook as they will become tough and dry
  • Meanwhile place frozen garlic bread in a separate frying pan or panini maker and cook on high
  • Remove from pan when done and set aside - be careful not to burn your bread - you want it cooked with a bit of crunch on the outside but not over cooked
  • When burgers are just about cooked place a slice of cheese on top of each patty
  • Place another slice of cheese on one slice of bread
  • Place hot burger on top of cheese and cover with another slice of bread
  • Serve hot with condiments - if desired you can place a couple of strips of cooked crisp bacon on top of the patty