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Birthday cake for my nephew!

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Almost forgot to let all of you know that I made a birthday cake by scratch for my nephew's 6th birthday,which happened just last weekend.It was a beautiful day and all the kid's loved the cake.It took alot of work and planning,but it was fun to create a pirate inspired cake andimpressing everyone.It was actually easier then I thought in the end.I used a basic wacky cake recipe along with an icing and frosting recipe.I also used wilton gel food coloring to create solid vibrant colors.Then I used candy and pirate candles from the dollar store.These basic items were used to create a pirate map cake.It was lots of fun!



Classic Snacks Made From Scratch:Salty Snacks

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Did you guess,what the next salty snack was going to be? Well, if you guess that I made another batch of potato chips then you remembered that it's my favourite salty snack.However this time, I took the flavour challenge of making the popular BBQ potato chip, that is a big favourite during the summer season.This also must of been quite a flavour adventure for Casey since she had to find the spice blend that she thought could deliver in smoky,bold and zesty flavour all in one.Now were really wondering did she even hit that mark with her choice? Well will have to see, don't we.

Well to begin, I have to say I love that this potato chip recipe was layout exactly the same as the Sour Cream and Onion potato chip.It was extremely helpful that both recipes were so similar to each other so that everyone can easily understand.It was definitely great for me because I was able to correct any mistakes I might of made previously along with using my own tips.I felt way more comfortable and confident this time around and I was able to reach my goals.

This time it was less stressful since I knew everything that was going to happen and I was more knowledgeable about how to deep fry potato chips.It was really easy for me to boil my potato slices without overcooking them and I actually reached a better deep frying time for the potato chips.It definitely took time and patience's just like the previous recipe;however in the end I ended up with zero under cooked and overcooked potato chips, with every chip crunchy and perfect.

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Since I reached my goal of a perfect crunchy chip ,similar to a kettle chip.Did Casey even hit the spot on the original BBQ chip flavour? Well when I took my first bite, I got a wave of bold and smoky flavours from the unique spice blend.Paprika was definitely the powerhouse flavour in this combination along with every other ingredient enhancing the main spice.

Every spice played its important part in creating a zesty,sweet and smoky flavour that we all love from the original BBQ potato chip.I will even say that this BBQ spice blend is even better compared to the popular brands.I just love full flavoured potato chips and Casey must as well since she even mention that if you want a really bold flavour choose to use a Spanish smoked paprika or mesquite paprika.Geeesh, I already got a pretty bold flavour from just the regular paprika.I wonder what that flavour must of been like? Ummmm

Well any ways, It was awesome to be able to make another batch of potato chips with no additives or preservatives to cloud up the strong flavour. This recipe may of taking time and patience to make,but was well worth the effort to get that crunchy and bold flavour of the home made BBQ potato chip.Everyone try this recipe for yourself and If you have made the previous recipe then it will be even easier.Enjoy!

BBQ Potato Chips

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Yields: 4 cups

Total: 1 hour ( My Tip: Give yourself an hour and half more)

Difficulty: 2 ( My Tip: Depends if your new to deep frying)

Special Equipment: Electric deep fryer,(or a large pot with candy/oil thermometer) Mandoline,cut resistant gloves (optional)
heatproof tongs,or mental skimmer or mesh strainer.Spice grinder,mini food processor,(my tip: or blender)

2 pounds (about 4 medium) Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Vegetable or Canola oil for frying (Large Jug)

Prepare The Potatoes

I filled a 4 quart stockpot with water and brought it to a boil over high heat.Then lined a large rimmed baking sheet with a kitchen towel.Then I rinsed and peeled the potatoes,then sliced 1/8 inches thick on a Mandoline.( Recipe Recommendation: use a metal mesh cut resistant glove) Then I transferred half the slices to the boiling water and cook them for exactly three minutes.Be sure not to overcook the potato slices.The recipe gives us an approximate boiling time of 3-5 minutes.I learned exactly three minutes is the best time before potatoes slices fall apart.You can test out what the best time might be for you by testing a few slices before half a batch.

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Then I gently and quickly removed the slices with heatproof tongs at 3 minutes (or can use a metal skimmer or mesh strainer,then I drain the slices well in a colander, and transferred them to the towel lined baking sheet in a single layer.Pat dry with additional towel.Repeat with remaining potatoes.

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 Then I placed the paprika,sugar,salt,chili powder,garlic powder,onion powder and pepper in a bowl and whisked thoroughly.Then I placed the seasoning blend in the blender and blend thoroughly.Recipe says to use spice grinder or processor.I found a blender works quite well.

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Recipe Note: Potato slices and spice mixture can be prepared a day in advance.Slice the potatoes,but don't boil them,and refrigerate them overnight in cold water to cover,and keep the spice mixture in an airtight container.

Fry And Season the Chips

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I heated at least 2 inches of vegetable or canola oil to 350 F to a 4 quart stockpot.Then I lined a baking sheet with paper towels and an upside-down wire cooling rack.

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Then I added the potato slices in batches to the hot oil and fried them until golden brown and fully cooked.Frying time will vary depending on the equipment,so you have to watch carefully. (My tip: be sure to watch if the centre of the potato slices are no longer soft and are golden brown).I then removed the chips with heatproof tongs,or metal skimmer or mesh strainer.Then I drained them well on the lined baking sheet for about 1 minute.

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I then poured the spice blend into a gallon size zip top bag.Then I placed the chips in small batches into the zip lock bag,sealed and shook the bag to gently distribute the spices.Then I removed the chips and repeat with the remaining potatoes.(My tip: Do not leave the fried potato slice in the spice blend bag to long)

Serve the potato chip warm or room temp.These chips are best eaten the day they're fried.To learn how to filter oil, click on this highlighted link for Filtering oil for resue.
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