Friday, August 26, 2011

Scrabble tile pendants

Quick little self promotion here...I've got Scrabble tile pendants that I made! These are Halloween themed-you can see them all on my Facebook page (link at the left). They are $3, plus $1 shipping if anyone is interested! Here are a few samples!




Simple Gazpacho

                                        Sippable Salsa seems more fitting.

Cold, refreshing, summery, good for you...it's all those things! You don't have to deal with chopping a bunch of water and seedy (blech!) tomatoes either. See me and tomatoes...we're not the best of friends. I can tolerate them on a taco, and once in a great while actually WANT a BLT...but other than that...they need to be in a sauce of some kind...marinara, salsa, ketchup..you get the gist.
And so I'm on a diet (big surprise right?) and I wanted something fresh tasting and low cal, and never having gazpacho, it seemed reasonable to make it (right). But all the recipes I found called for tomatoes...of which I had none. But I did have V8 and tomato soup...already in the form I prefer them!

Simple Gazpacho
1 can tomato soup (I used Progresso Reduced Sodium Tomato Parmesan)
1 can V8 (I used the empty soup can)
1 cucumber-peeled, seeded, and chopped (I used my mini chopper)
1/2 onion-chopped (again with the mini chopper)
1 small handful cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tablespoon honey

Everybody into the blender and go until it hits the consistency you want it. Me? I let mine get super smooth. I could drink it if I wanted to, but I opted for a bowl with a little cilantro leaf garnish. It was pretty. It was super tasty. The cilantro and cumin do WONDERFUL things to one another, and the cucumber ads that natural coolness.
Absolutely delicious..and I still have a basically full blender in my fridge! Yum!

Wanting a freebie? You still have time to enter the Frito-Lay giveaway!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Ranch Broccoli Tots

Potato chips. Truly one of my two Achilles' heels. What? I've got two legs, that means two heels...don't question. So yes...potato chips are one..big time. Especially thin, crunchy, and covered with flavor chips-like the newest Frito Lay's Regionally Inspired chips!

These new flavors were specifically designed with specific regional flavor profiles!
1. Northeastern U.S. – Lay’s Honey Mustard

     2. Midwestern U.S. – Lay’s Creamy Garden Ranch

                             3. Northwestern U.S. – Lay’s Balsamic Sweet Onion

                             4. Southwestern U.S. – Lay’s Chipotle Ranch

                              5. Southeastern U.S. – Lay’s Cajun Herb & Spice
· All of the Lay's Regional Flavored potato chips are made with all natural ingredients and cooked in healthier oils, like corn and sunflower oils, which contain 80% or more of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat - the "good fats." They also contain 0 grams of trans fats per serving!
· There’s also less sodium in them than you might think – a 1-oz serving of our Lay’s Regional Flavored potato chips contains less salt than a plain bagel!

For the record..I've tried ALL of them, with the exception of the Honey Mustard-which I just haven't found in my local grocery, or I would have!

So you might be wondering where exactly I'm going with this? Well, I got invited to submit a recipe into the Taste from Home contest being sponsored by Lay's AND...I get to do a giveaway with it as well!  And in true Suzy fashion, I waited until the day BEFORE the cutoff to bang out my recipe. What can I say? I work well under pressure!

You migh have noticed, up there #2-Midwestern..Creamy Garden Ranch. Um yes. I (in true midwestern fashion) put ranch on EVERYTHING. Carrots, broccoli, pizza, baked potatoes, chicken, crackers...so I must agree they got my region RIGHT on!
Like I said--day before submission cutoff, and I realize that I need to get this done!
 I was drawing a blank.
 I was hungry.
And all I could think of was driving to the closest drive-thru that has tater tots (great comfort food) and going to town on the salty, crispy, goodness.
Then I decided, what is a contest without some challenge? And it clicked...I had things to MAKE Tater Tots..had I ever made them before,...um..no..but I could and would do it...today.
Little Man is a tot hound, and Little Miss wanted the leftover chicken and broccoli for lunch. So I combined them. And Little Miss named them.
Not only are they amazing, but they call to the forefront the Creamy Garden Ranch Lay's I so love. The potato, ranch, and cheese are creamy. They have an awesome crunch from the panko coating. And the hint of broccoli, so you'll kinda feel like you are being healthy..oh..and a bit of chicken for protein! It's a meal in tot form..oh yeah!

 And here is how I did it!

Chicken Ranch Broccoli Tots
Tot-
2 large white baking potatoes-cooked whole, cooled, peeled, and grated on a hand grater
1 egg-beaten
1/2 cup cooked chicken and broccoli-chopped finely
1/2 cup cheddar/monterey jack shredded cheese
3 Tablespoons AP flour
1 Tablespoon ranch powder
Coating-
1/2 stick of butter-melted
3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ranch powder
vegetable oil for frying-just enough for about 1/4-1/2 inch in a shallow pan.
 (I'll admit, I tried baking first-but nothing can get that awesome tot crunch like frying it...so fry..don't be afraid!)
(Lined up, ready to be fried)
In a mixing bowl add your 'tot' ingredients. Now my potatoes were already cold from being in the fridge-if you take these from cooked to shred, make sure to squeeze the excess moisture out of them. Gently mix all the 'tot' ingredients together and get to rollin'. You know what a tot looks like, right? Take a tablespoons at a time and roll into little barrels-
In a shallow plate mix together the panko, additional tsp of ranch powder, and melted butter, and mix it with your fingers.
The little tot barrel you just rolled? Now, roll it in the breadcrumbs. Coat it good. Make sure to get the little top and bottom.Then set aside on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Once they are all rolled up and set aside, get your oil going. Fry in small batches until just golden,and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Give them a minute or two to cool before you dig in!
You see that creamy ranch interior? And that golden crispy crust? Yum.
I didn't even salt these lovely little tots-the addition of the ranch powder gives you that nice saltiness already. I didn't dip them in anything either...I don't think ketchup would be fitting with the chicken and broccoli...but you know what would be? Some nice cold ranch dressing.

Want to get in on the giveaway action? Want your OWN variety pack from Frito Lay? Comment answering: Out of the new regional flavors which do you like best, or would you like to try the most?

Additional entries-
Follow me on Google (to the left)
Follow me on Twitter (@ssgreer826)
Like Suzy's Cup-Tin Creations on Facebook (to the left)
Tweet the giveaway with #FritoFlavors

Good luck and enjoy the tots!!

Disclosure: I was invited personally for the contest/ This contest and giveaway are courtesy of Frito-Lay. All impressions and reviews are my own!