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A Proper Baked Potato

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One of the most important life skills is how to make baked potato just right. Thankfully, it is easy to learn how to do this. 

It starts with choosing the right potatoes. Only firm and starchy potatoes without bruises will do. Look out for the ones labeled Idaho or Russet. 

Scrub the potatoes clean. Do this well to avoid dirty surprises later on when you are eating them. 

After cleaning them thoroughly, use a fork to prick the potatoes on every side. When you prick the potatoes, it prevents steam from escaping through spuds and you won’t have nasty eruptions as you cook. 

Besides the potatoes, you only need salt and pepper and olive oil and they will be ready to bake. 

What you will get is pretty much a blank slate. A potato that is perfect for pairing with a savory accompaniment. The exterior will be crisp and the inside of the potato will be soft like a pillow.

Slice the potato along its length to serve it. Add your favorite toppings. Olive oil, labneh, za’atar, or anything else you like. 

While the potato is still hot, add some butter and chives. 

Ingredients

4 SERVINGS

4 Russet potatoes (about 2½ pounds), scrubbed

Olive oil (for rubbing)

Flaky sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Unsalted butter, finely grated Parmesan cheese (or your favorite cheese), and/or chopped fresh chives (for serving)

Preparation

Step 1

Set the temperature of the oven at 350. After preheating, use a fork to prick the potatoes on every side. Rub the potatoes with oil and add salt and pepper for seasoning. 

Step 2

Arrange the potatoes on an oven rack and let them cook until they feel soft to the touch and have crispy skin. This should take an hour or more. 

Step 3

Use salt and pepper to cut open each potato and add salt and pepper for seasoning. Use chives, butter, and parmesan for topping as desired. 

Recipes

Easy Peasy Pea Recipe

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We specifically chose frozen peas because they are easy to work with. 

I had one of those moments in the kitchen. I had just taken a bag of frozen peas out of my freezer. Before I warmed it on the stove the way I always do, I stopped myself. I suddenly realized that I wanted my peas to taste better. 

So I carried out a Google search before cooking the peas. I needed something more. And I came out with something so delicious that my whole family loved it. 

The recipe is deceptively simple but exceptionally good. It is amazing that something so easy can be so tasty. 

The recipe I found involved just warming the frozen peas gently using butter and seasoning it with pepper and salt. 

The ingredient list is short:

  • 4 Cups frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp. (salted) butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Cook for five minutes, and serve the peas immediately.

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Crazy and Effortless Delicious Breakfast: Huevos Al Nido

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Living in a vacation town, I have naturally assumed the responsibility of finding great restaurants and activities for family when they come over. 

My mother-in-law came to celebrate her birthday with us in San Diego.

Since she loves to brunch, we found a restaurant with some unique brunch offerings. We had already celebrated with sumptuous meals: breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner…. when I remembered a popular Spanish brunch meal: Huevos al Nido. Delicious, easy, and quick!

There are several ways of making this delicacy, but here is the most popular way, and one that I love. 

You can include a variety of ingredients under the egg. Don’t be afraid to apply some creativity here. Prosciutto, chorizo, tomato sauce, potatoes, parmesan cheese, sausage…. name them! Put whatever you want to put into it, and it will be fantastic. 

So here goes:

Ingredients

  • 4 diced bacon slices
  • 1 cup packed spinach
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • 2 round bread Italian loafs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Add bacon and water to a pan and cook in medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add mozzarella cheese, heavy cream, and spinach, and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. At the center of the Italian bread, open a hole to create a ‘’nest.’’
  5. Inside the ‘’nest’’ place the spinach mix.
  6. On the top of the egg, add a spinach mixture.
  7. Bake until the white of the egg turns white.
  8. Add pepper and salt.

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How to make a Kale Papaya Smoothie

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This smoothie can serve as a refreshing mid-morning snack or as a healthy breakfast when in a hurry. The best thing about it is how easy it is to prepare. The tropical flavors make you feel as if you are walking on the beach. 

BABY KALE

You want to use baby kale for this smoothie because of its superior flavor. First, you need to wash it, remove the stems, and then blend the kale using milk or your favorite juice until the texture becomes homogeneous. The blending process is a lot easier when you work with baby kale because it is so tender. 

Tip: If you buy a large bag of kale so you can make this smoothie every day, start by washing all the kale and draining it in a colander. You can then store 2oz servings in zip lock bags. 

JUICE, MILK, OR YOGHURT?

This is a recipe you can easily alter to meet your personal taste. Papaya, baby kale and banana are the three staples for the smoothie. You can then add your favorite milk, Greek yoghurt or juice. Pineapple and orange work just fine. When I am making a big batch for the entire family, I use a bigger blender. I serve the kids first, then I then take what is left of the smoothie, add protein to it and re-blend it. The second batch is for my husband and me. When I’m making one serving, I use the Nutribullet. 

PAPAYA

Papayas grow all over Central America, the Caribbean, and the southern states of California and Florida. We are in Miami, and we can get papayas in the local market throughout the year. Papayas are more abundant in some months than others. Papayas come in a wide range of sizes. They taste like melons and have black seeds and orange flesh. I slice my papaya in half and use one half to make the smoothie. I cut the other half into cubed pieces and give it to the kids for a snack. Since I always need to use half of the fruit, I tend to make about two or three servings instead of one.

INGREDIENTS

1x2x3x
3-4oz baby kale
0.5 papaya
1 banana
4 ice cubes
2 cups pineapple juice or orange juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash the kale, let it drain, and remove the stems. Peel the papaya, remove all its seeds and chop it into cubed shapes. Peel the banana as well.

First, blend the baby kale using pineapple juice until the mixture is smooth (If your blender has a pulse setting, use it). Add the papaya and the banana and blend again until smooth. Lastly, add ice cubes. Turn on the ice crushing setting and blend again.

Serve immediately!!

NOTES 

I don’t find it necessary to weigh or measure the ingredients because I try to prepare it as quickly as possible. When making 2 servings of the smoothie I use half a banana and 1 papaya. Remember that the sizes of papayas and bananas vary widely. Feel free to add more or less depending on the size of your fruits. 

If you enjoy creamy smoothies, consider adding a bit of Greek yoghurt when blending. Adding protein makes you fuller. If you want a smoothie with less carbs, skip the pineapple juice and use almond instead.

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