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Tools & Potato Pancakes

Well after a couple of months of looking I finally found some curtains for the den that I like.  David and I put the curtain rod back up last weekend, hung the valances and as far as I’m concerned the den is finished.

You may remember that we were putting wood paneling on the west wall.  This was partly done so that we could help insulate against the summer heat – and I have to say that the radiant barrier David installed behind the paneling seems to be doing its job – and partly for a change in the look. I like the look,  the room has been staying cooler and the electric bill went down for September – and yes,  it was still pretty hot here during September.  So we’re pleased that all those efforts paid off. Even though, doing just that one wall was quite a mess and turned out to be more work than we thought.  

Do you know that it took 19 different ‘tools‘ just to finish the job!!   They were… Step ladder  –   Rotozip  –   Skill saw –   Accu-cut –   Screwdrivers (2 types)  –   Hammers  –   Razor saw  –   Straight edge  –   Power shot  –   Saw horses  –  Box cutter  –   Flat blade chisel  –   Clamps  –  Level  –   Chop saw  –   Nail gun  –   Compressor  –   Power screwdriver  –   and Wet/Dry Vac.

And I’m not including the various pencils that got lost, the note pads for measuring and the several different tape measures we used – or the square edges for cutting!

Of course, during this process all the furniture had to be moved around, curtain rods taken down, windows cleaned, and then everything put back. I think the most difficult part of the whole job was doing the cut-outs for the various wall plugs. This took quite a bit of measuring and transferring to our paper pad.    

We then had to transfer those measurements to the back side of the panels.  We did the cutting from the backside to keep the wood from splintering when David cut out the holes with his Rotozip – keeping our fingers crossed that everything would fit the openings from the front side when we tuned it over.  Check out the picture of my worksheet.   It’s a wonder anything fit!  But…I’m very proud of us – we didn’t mess up one hole!!

  Eggnog Ice Cream

It’s been in the 40’s in the mornings and I’m thinking Thanksgiving is right around the corner…. which of course brings me to Eggnog Ice Cream.  

I whipped out the old recipe and mixed up a batch just yesterday and have it firming up in the freezer. Can’t wait to eat some of it. It’s my favorite ice cream ever – but have to say I’m thinking of trying my hand at a pumpkin-cheesecake ice cream as well – sounds good … but not sure if it will work – may be too heavy . . . too many ingredients to blend . . . or too  something else.   But if it turns out, I’ll let you know. Otherwise – my lips are sealed.



Convenience Foods

I’m not much on the convenience foods you find at the store – usually too expensive and too much stuff in there we don’t need – ie, fat and sodium. But while passing the cooler at the store the other day saw the whole thing full of bags of hash brown potatoes. Stopped dead in my tracks. Hash browns pass the ‘are-they-good-for-us’ test. So I bought a couple of bags – especially since they were on sale.

Aside from the obvious of having them for breakfast, I like to use them for making potato pancakes. All that grating work is already done for me. 🙂  So that’s what I did – made up a batch of potato pancakes – served them with some smoked pork chops and some spiced apple rings. What a perfect fall meal. I’ve got some of the uncooked hash browns left-over and will divide them into serving size amounts and then freeze them to enjoy later.

Here’s my quick fix potato pancake recipe using store-bought ‘Simply Potatoes’ hash browns.

  • 8 oz Simply Potatoes shredded hash browns
  • 1/2 Cup flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 Cup (approx) water
  • 1/4 Cup finely chopped onion (if you like onion use 1/3 cup)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for frying
  1. Chop the onions and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the egg, water, flour and salt/pepper together.
  3. Add in the onions and mix.
  4. Next, gently blend in the potatoes folding them into the batter.  (You may need to adjust the ‘batter’ by adding a little water if too thick; or adding in a little flour if too thin. You want the batter part to look like a thicker pancake batter. You don’t want it runny as the pancakes will loose their shape when put into the oil.)
  5. Set this aside to rest while you heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Once the oil in the skillet is medium-hot, use a large tablespoon to carefully place heaping spoonfuls of the mixture into the oil. Each pancake should be about 3 inches in diameter. Use the back of the spoon to flatten the pancake out to an even thickness. You can usually get 3-4 pancakes in a regular sized skillet.
  7.  Cook until golden brown, turn to cook other side. If you find them cooking (browning) too fast, turn the heat down as this will result in their being uncooked in the center with the outside over done or burned.
  8. Removed cooked pancakes to a plate lines with paper towels to allow them to drain off any excess oil. Finish cooking remainder of pancakes.

These go well with ham, pork chops, sausage, bratwurst or just about anything else you can think of. And, if you don’t have any of the spiced apple rings on hand – try substituting applesauce or cranberry sauce.

4 comments to Tools & Potato Pancakes

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