Friday, January 1, 2010

Showing Off Some Christmas Gifts and Crinkle Cut Fries

Well, Happy New Year everyone! For an (involuntary) change of pace I spent most of my New Year's Eve on the sofa, drinking plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic) and then I watched the ball drop through half closed eyes as I snuggled up in bed. I think I drifted off to sleep at about 12:01 a.m. Yep. I'm still battling this flu-bug. Darn it! The good news is that my daughters are both back to normal and my husband is on the road to recovery. Since my oldest came down with the flu the week before Christmas and my youngest became increasingly sick on Christmas Eve and over the course of the following days, the whole holiday has gone by in a blur for me. We had a few scary days after Christmas when our toddler's flu turned into pneumonia. Just as she started to feel better, I noticed that I wasn't really feeling so hot. When we went into the doctor for my daughter's oxygen level check, he confirmed that I too had contracted the nasty flu and would need an antibiotic as it had turned into a throat/upper respiratory infection. Geesh!

I have officially been out of the kitchen since Christmas. A whole week! Today as I lay on the sofa, painting my daughters' pretty lil' fingernails and inventing ways to keep them busy that would require the least amount of energy on my part, the laundry basket sitting on the kitchen floor caught my eye. It's filled with kitchen tools, gadgets, and bakeware. Christmas gifts from my parents, in-laws, and grandparents, gathered over the course of 3 family Christmas dinners. I stacked them all in the laundry basket to put away in my kitchen before the stupid germs put a damper on our yule-tide cheer. Of course, they hadn't moved. I'd just forgotten they were there. I couldn't wait to dig in a try out some of my new toys. Forget the aches and chills...nevermind the fever...New Year's dinner wasn't going to prepare itself! (Do you ever get one of those bursts of energy when you're sick...only to realize that it was a BIG mistake when you need to lie down a little later?) I hauled myself out of the comfy cushions of my sofa, shook off the light-headedness that followed, and set out to make a suitable New Year's Day dinner for our little family. I simplified. No roast pork loin. I defrosted some pork steaks, seasoned them, and cooked em' under the broiler. I heated up some sauerkraut from a jar. Oh, and I made some mashed potatoes...

It gave me an excuse to use my new Cutco Santoku Knife! I have wanted this knife since last February. I remember because I wrote about it in this post about Philly Cheese Mac. I already love my Cutco Chef's Knife and I could not wait to try out the Santoku! So, I cut up the potatoes using that Santoku knife. Isn't she beautiful?!

When the time came to mash those taters' I used my brand new Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender. I have wanted one of these for some time. I also made a broccoli cheese soup on Christmas day using this immersion blender. It's so easy to use, to clean, to much better than hauling out my food processor or electric mixer.

See how creamy these potatoes look! The immersion blender worked super!

Since I was peeling potatoes anyway, and since our new Euro-Pro F1052 Professional 2-Liter Stainless-Steel Deep Fryer
was still on the countertop from those Christmas night hot wings, I decided to use my new Pampered Chef crinkle cutter to make some fries for the kiddos.

The cutter was a surprise gift. Not on my list, but I'm having fun with it! One of the things that strikes me about this cutter is that the rounded blade allows for a comfortable rocking motion and ease in cutting. Very nice.

I just cut potato halves into 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick slices...

And then cut each slice into 2 or 3 pieces.

After about 9 minutes in our new fryer with the oil heated to 375 degrees and we had homemade fries! I drained them on paper towels and dashed with a little salt.

Of course, once all of this was prepared and on the table, I didn't feel a bit like eating. I sort of wanted to pass out! Hopefully I'm feeling better soon...I need a meal plan for next week, the laundry is piling up, and I also have new custard cups, a pastry mat and wheel, and a springform pan that I wanna to try out! Santa was good to me! : )

Happy New Year, everyone!


theUngourmet said...

I must get my hands on one of those cutters!

I'm so sorry you've all been under the weather! A couple of years ago we all had the stomach flu for Christmas. My kids would take turns opening a gift and vomiting. Good times! :0( Feel better soon!

Katy ~ said...

Perfect Christmas gifts for the cook! What fun!

I am so sorry you aren't feeling tip top. It's hard to be a mom and be sick. Hope you feel better soon.

Wishing you good health and many more good recipes for 2010!

Katy ~ said...

Oh! I meant to tell you I have big green eyes for that knife. A good knife like that makes a huge difference in the kitchen.

Ginger said...


I hope that you and your family are feeling better :-)

NOW I want one of those cutters and Christmas is over :-(

I have a February Birthday SO I putting that on the top of the list!

Happy New Year!


Heidi said...

I got a santuko knife for Christmas too! Lets just hope I don't cut my hand off!! I'm so glad things are on the up and up with the flu. Yuck. What a miserable Christmas for everyone.

Chicago Mom said...

Your knife is beautiful, and congrats on the immersion blender.
Glad you are feeling better!

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Gosh I feel your pain. I've been sick myself, hubs has been on the edge himself, but thankfully no children to worry over!! I'm feeling better FINALLY!! But it took a good week.

You're like me, I always ask for kitchen stuff for Christmas too. That's a pretty knife! This year hubs and I agreed not to spend more than $20 on each other so we'd have the money for the grandbabies so nothing kitchen related this year.

I freeze rice all the time! Regular and brown rice. It hardens and needs to be hydrated, but if you sprinkle it with a bit of water and warm it covered, it comes back soft and perfect!

Hope you feel better soon!!

Donna-FFW said...

I want the cutco knife. Thats on my next wish list. Its perfect.

Feel better soon.

Reeni said...

What great gifts! Love that fry cutter! Hope you feel better soon! Happy New Year!

Rachel said...

It looks like you got some fun gifts for Christmas! Your crinkle cut fries are making me SO hungry!

I hope you and your family all feel better--it's awful when the flu starts spreading like wildfire through the house! Take care :)

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