Crash Hot Potatoes


New Potatoes (or other small, round potato)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
Rosemary (or desired herbs)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender. On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil. Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available).

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Thanks go out to The Pioneer Woman for sharing this tasty recipe!


Creamy Fruit Dip


8 oz. pkg. cream cheese (or 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
7 oz. marshmallow creme/fluff

Combine both ingredients in a bowl and mix together until smooth and creamy. Serve with fruit of your choice; bananas are the best in my opinion, but strawberries, cherries, apples, pears, and grapes are tasty as well!

Pot Stickers


Dumpling Skins:

2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 cups boiling water

Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the boiling water. With a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to a rough ball. If the dough is too hot to handle, let it cool a bit; then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and need for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, need a few tablespoons of flour into it. Cover the dough and let it rest for 25 minutes. Cut the dough in two and form each half into a long snakelike roll about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each half into 25 pieces. with a cut edge down, press each into a circle. Using a small rolling pin or a tortilla press that has been lightly floured, roll out each piece into a 3-inch circle. Cover the circles with a cloth or towel to prevent drying. Makes enough for 50 dumplings.

Pork Filling:

1.5 cups finely minced Napa cabbage
1 tsp. salt
.75 pounds ground pork
1 cup finely minced Chinese garlic chives, leeks, or scallion greens

2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice wine (shaohsing)
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1.5 tsp. minced ginger
1.5 tsp. minced garlic

Place the minced cabbage in a large mixing bowl, add the salt, toss lightly to mix evenly, and let sit for 30 min. (this is done to remove the water from the cabbage, so the filling will not soak through the dumpling skin.) Take a handful of minced cabbage and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl. Squeeze out all the cabbage and discard water. Add the pork, minced chives, and “dumpling seasoning”. Stir vigorously in to combine the ingredients evenly. (If the mixture seems loose, add 2 Tbs. cornstarch to bind it together.)

Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each dumpling skin, and fold the skin over to make a half-moon shape. Spread a little water along the edge of the skin. Use the thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the outside edge of the skin; with the other hand, press the two opposite edges of the skin together to seal. The inside edge of the dumpling should curve in a semicircular fashion to conform to the shape of the pleated edge. Place the sealed edge dumplings on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornstarch or flour.

In a large wok or pot, bring about 3qts of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, stirring immediately to prevent them from sticking together, and heat until the water begins to boil. Add 1/2 cup cold water and continue to cook over high heat until the water boils. Add another 1/2 cup cold water and cook until the water boils again. Remove and drain. Cook the remaining dumplings in the same manner. (this is the traditional method of cooking dumplings; for a simpler method, boil for about 8 minutes, uncovered, on high heat. Serve the cooked dumplings with one (or many) of the dipping sauces found below.

Dipping Sauces:

Dipping Sauce I
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. Chinese Black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. shredded ginger root or minced garlic (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce II
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. Chinese Black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. chili oil or chili paste with garlic
1 Tbs. shredded ginger root or minced garlic (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce III (A spicy one)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1T rice wine
1T rice wine vinegar
2t sugar
1T minced scallion
1.5T minced garlic
2T sesame oil
2t chili oil or chili paste

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce IV
½ cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Shredded or finely minced ginger
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup and 1 Tbs. brown sugar

Mix together all ingredients and heat in a sauce pan until all ingredients are combined (or until there is no sugar at the bottom of the pan).

Alternate Cooking Method:

25 dumplings:
3.5 Tbs. peanut oil
5 meat dumpling from above
1 cup boiling water

Heat a large wok or well-seasoned skillet until very hot. Add three tablespoons of oil and heat until hot. Place the dumplings in the pan, pleated side up. Fry the dumplings over medium heat until their bottoms are a deep golden brown. Add the boiling water to the pan and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, and pour out the water. Lightly rinse the dumplings for 5 seconds under hot running water to remove excess starch*. Drain. Place the pan containing the dumplings over medium-high heat. Drizzle 1/2 Tbs. of oil around the dumplings and fry until the bottoms are again crisp (about 2 minutes). Loosen any dumplings that seem to be stuck to the bottom. * I have only had to rinse when I have made the skins myself.

Most of this came from the book Nina Simonds, “Classic Chinese Cuisine”, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1982.

Baked Oven Fries


4 medium baking potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven. Cut potatoes lengthwise into uniform pieces. Place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. When baking sheet is hot (about 15 minutes), place potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Return baking sheet to the oven, and cook until the potatoes are golden on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue cooking until golden all over, about 15 minutes more.

Best Guacamole


2 avocados
½ lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
fresh cilantro to taste

Cut the avocados into halves. Remove the seeds, and scoop out the pulp into a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the avocado. Stir in lemon juice, onion, salt, olive oil, and cilantro. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving with your favorite tortilla chips.

Cilantro Corn Salsa


2 10 oz. packages frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
½ C finely chopped red onion
¼ C chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 T cider vinegar
2 t extra-virgin olive oil
½ t salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight and serve with tortilla chips.

Hot Fruit Salad


1 large can chunk pineapple, drained
1 large can sliced peaches, drained
½ bag fresh cranberries
½ C brown sugar
2 Tbsp. tapioca

Grease casserole dish. Add fruit and sprinkle with sugar and tapioca. Mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Cover for the first half hour. Take lid off and mix. Return to the oven for the remaining 15-30 minutes.