Grocery shopping is a challenge with rising food prices. I’m always looking for ways to save money. One of the things you can do is prepare your own food. This is especially useful if you have the time, can get the ingredients to use at a reasonable price, and have storage space.
Potatoes are available in the fall and are often on sale. You can make your own hash browns using this simple way to process potatoes. This is especially useful if you have extra potatoes to prevent them from sprouting. You need to boil the potatoes; be careful not to cook too long otherwise they will be mushy and difficult to shred. These hash browns are perfect for breakfast.
18 Yukon Gold potatoes or Russet baking potatoes
Scrub the potatoes to clean them. Prick a few times to allow steam to escape.
Stovetop Method: Cover potatoes with water in a large pot. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Slightly reduce the heat, remove the lid and continue to boil for 7-10 minutes or until the tip of the knife sinks in with slight resistance.
Bake Method: This works if you’re making a larger batch. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cleaned potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes until fork tender.
Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the pot or pan to stop the cooking process. Once cooled just enough to handle, peel the skin off and let cool completely. Chill the potatoes in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to make shredding easier.
Prepare hash browns by grating chilled potatoes with a box grater or food processor. Spread the grated potato on a large 3/4 inch thick baking sheet. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and spread another layer of potatoes. Transfer to freezer until completely frozen. Separate and store in a large freezer bag or container. You can shape hash browns by pressing potatoes into a well-oiled wide-mouth mason jar lid or cookie cutter and carefully transferring to the skillet in a single layer to freeze.
You can use your waffle maker to quickly and easily make hash browns for a fun weekend breakfast. The waffles are delicious with a crispy golden exterior.
One 10 ounce russet baking potato, peeled and grated
½ tsp. finely chopped rosemary (or dried rosemary to taste)
Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon or ketchup of your choice to serve. Preheat the waffle maker over medium heat. Press the grated potato with a towel until it is as dry as possible. In a large bowl, mix the grated potato with the pepper, rosemary and salt. Brush butter on both sides of waffle iron. Stack the grated potatoes in the waffle maker – stuff the waffle maker a little and close the lid. After 2 minutes, press down on the lid to compress the potato. Be careful as the lid will be hot. Check the potato after 10 minutes. They should just start to brown. Cook 1-2 minutes if needed. Gently remove from waffle iron. Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, bacon or ketchup.
You can make an easy soft pretzel using canned cookies in 25 minutes. Put the cookie pieces in a bath of baking soda, which makes them taste like soft pretzels. Bites are best the day you make them.
Super Easy Pretzel Bites
1 box of refrigerated cookie dough (8 pieces)
1 egg plus 1 tbsp. water for washing eggs
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Separate the cookies and roll each into a small rope. Cut into 4 equal parts. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, gently stir in the baking soda. Working in batches, drop the dough balls into a bath of baking soda and boil for 15 seconds on each side. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the balls to a baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix the egg with 1 tbsp. the water. Brush each ball of dough with egg wash and immediately sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. 8 servings.
Note: Skip the coarse salt and make a variation by brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with cinnamon sugar just after removing from the oven.
You can make a nacho cheese sauce to dip your soft pretzels in. This simple and creamy recipe takes 5 minutes to make. You can also use the cheese sauce on nachos and steamed vegetables. I don’t use pre-shredded cheese because it has an anti-caking additive so it doesn’t melt smoothly,
3 cups (12 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 ounces (1 ½ cups) evaporated milk
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper.
Optional-2 tbsp. hot sauce
Place the cheese and cornstarch in a large bowl and toss to coat. Cook evaporated milk in medium saucepan until simmering. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, a handful at a time, until everything is incorporated and melted. Add salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce if desired.