Cindy's Country Mix

do it yourself projects, watercolor


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Potato Chips Revisited

Okay, some of you may remember my disastrous attempt to bake my own potato chips.  You can read the post here. Today, I decided to search for a potato chip recipe.  I entered ‘home made potato chips no fail’ into the search window.  Reading through the many results I picked the one from Allrecipes.com, because I have visited their site before.  I read their recipe and discovered that they are made using the microwave.  Now, I know that some of you are not microwave friendly.  I’m sure that you can make these in the oven, also.  However, I will not make them in the oven.  You have seen my results there!

I went to the kitchen and began my experiment.  I followed the directions from Allrecipes.com.  It states to cook the potatoes for 3-5 minutes depending on your microwave.  Well, after making five batches, this is how I did it:

Using yellow potatoes from Costco, I first washed them and cut out any roots or spots. 

I then used my Pampered Chef mandolin to slice them as thinly as possible.  Watch your fingers, if you use a mandolin.  They are VERY sharp.

I sliced up about three to begin with.  Kirkland, Organic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is what I used to oil the dish and chips with.

The recipe calls for 1 T. oil per batch.  I poured about 2 T. into a small bowl and used it for all five batches.  I prefer less oil.  It didn’t seem to make any difference in the chip itself.  I oiled my microwave turntable by brushing it with oil.

I then lined it with a layer of potatoes and brushed the potatoes with oil on top.

One of the reviews of the recipe on Allrecipes.com said they found it better to cook them longer.  I discovered that 3-5 minutes was not long enough.  I think it more depends on how many potato slices are on the dish.  You see in the upper photo that I lined the dish with the potatoes touching.  Then in the photo on the right, you can see that they shrink up when baking.  As I watched them baking, I would add 30 second intervals until they turned brown.  The batch to the right were baked for 7 minutes and it was not long enough.  They were chewy.

This was my last batch. I baked them for 8 minutes.  See how they are browned.  They are nice and crispy.

Do not attempt to make these while hungry.  As you can see in the above photo we were eating them faster than I was baking them!

I, also, made my own dip to go with the yummy chips.  I used Greek yogurt from Costco.  I put about 1 1/2 cups of it in this plastic container.  I added 1 clove of garlic pressed through my Pampered Chef Garlic Press.  That is the best press I have EVER had.  I also added a small amount of salt, perhaps 1/8 tsp, and about that much onion powder also.  As this dip sits it will become even more flavorful.

Try this recipe.  I think you will agree that it is very simple.  The only drawback being that you have to make such small amounts at a time.  But, really, that’s better on the caloric intake anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Old Notes

I was recently reading through some of my old notes, and found a few that are interesting enough to post about.  People are always making jokes about chocolate and finding more ways of excuse for consumption.  Who needs excuses?  But here is an interesting one I found: Cocoa flavonoids, found in dark chocolate, have shown to give some resistance to sunburn in volunteers.

Which brings me to few more sun-related ideas:

A study at Newcastle University in England showed skin resistance to UV rays increased by 33% when volunteers consumed 1/4 cup tomato paste daily. 

Wearing UV blocker sunglasses, even on cloudy days, reduces risk of cataracts, melanoma and macular degeneration, says Dr. Paul T. Finger, eye cancer specialist in New York City.

A study at Yale found that wearing a damp swim suit can contribute to urinary or reproductive tract infections. They suggest changing into dry clothing after swimming.

When the weather reaches temps in excess of 105 degrees, remember to drink lots of water. Slow down and try not to over-exert.  It is best to remain indoors seeking air-conditioned buildings.  Perhaps you could go SHOPPING!  ๐Ÿ™‚

And a few heart healthy tips:

If you sit a lot, as I tend to do, it is good to get up and walk around every hour.

Get 30 minutes aerobic exercise daily, such as using the elliptical.
Get 20 minutes strength training two times a week.

Keep your diet plant based and, for some, keep your sodium intake low.

Don’t forget that lowering stress is also important and one way of doing that is to add 30 minutes of hobby time to your schedule daily.  Why do we not do that?  That’s a fun thing to do!


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Notes and Lists

Do you take notes or make lists?  I have been a note taker and list maker since a young age.  It’s not necessarily because I am forgetful.  Note taking keeps me focused on the speaker if listening to one, and also allows me to keep the most important highlights from articles that I read.  List making, one of my favorite practices, allows me to keep a log of my progress as I am able to cross out completed projects or items purchased.  I LOVE crossing things off!

I have many interests and am forever perusing books, magazines, and the web learning new things.  Notebooks are a fun way to keep track of all this information.  Yes, it is possible to keep all of this information in files on my computer as well.  However, I happen to be one of those people that likes to hold the book or piece of paper in my hand.  I prefer not to constantly refer to my computer screen.

My Palm Pilot is always with me, where I do have myself organized, complete with alarms so as not to forget important life events.  I have been a PDA user since the early 90’s when my husband gifted me with a Casio B.O.S.S. Caring for my mother along with homeschooling my children had begun to overload my mental memory abilities to the point that I had forgotten a couple of important appointments within a short time.  He was very sagacious in his discernment that I needed a little help in my daily life.  From that point forward, I have not been without my PDA.  A Palm TX is my current model which I found on ebay new from a company that had purchased too many for their employees.  They were offering them, still in boxes, for $100 complete with wireless keyboard and metal case.  That was a savings of 66%, at the time, which made me happy.

Many friends have smart phones that will do all the same functions as my PDA and more.  It would be nice to carry one device in place of my phone, personal recorder, and PDA, but such a device is not in my budget right now.

On my nightstand, within easy reach, is a small notebook and pen.  During the night, I occasionally think of something that I know I will have forgotten by morning.  Writing it down in the notebook saves me hours of sleeplessness trying to organize it into my brain in a way that I won’t forget it.  

Being organized does take work, but is so beneficial to my well being.  Once you have yourself organized to your own satisfaction you will find yourself less stressed and better prepared for life and what it brings.  There are a lot of books that can help you with organization.  A few of my favorites are:

Emilie’s Creative Home Organizer (Barnes, Emilie)
The Quick-Fix Home Organizer: Making Your Home Beautiful and Your Life Clutter Free
Tiptionary 2
Is There Life After Housework?: A Revolutionary Approach to Cutting Your Cleaning Time 75%
How to Have a 48-Hour Day: Get Twice as Much Done as You Do Now!
Weekend Makeover