Chilled Cucumber Salad

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These chilled garlic soy cucumbers are a refreshing snack for any hot summer day! Make a batch to accompany your next summer meal!

Cucumbers are perfect as a light appetizer.  They’re refreshing, they aren’t too filling, and they taste surprisingly good.  Also, they’re really easy to make.  No stove required!  You may have seen chilled Cucumber Salad as an appetizer at a Chinese restaurant.  Now you can make your own!

Ingredients:

1-2 large seedless cucumbers

2-3 cloves of garlic

Soy sauce ( start with a 1/2 cup, then add to taste)

Rice vinegar (start with a 1/2 cup, then add to taste)

Chili oil (Optional, but delicious)

Directions:

1. Peel the cucumber first if you don’t like the skin.  Otherwise, just wash it, and then slice it into pieces 1/3-1/2 inches (or around 1 cm) thick.

2. Dice the cloves of garlic.

3. Put the garlic and the cucumber into a large bowl.  Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili oil to taste.

4. Toss gently.  That’s it!  You’re done!  Now enjoy!

Wasn’t that easy?

Credit: my mom and Allison

Photo credit: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/chilled-garlic-soy-cucumbers/

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Microwave Potato Chips

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I made these in the microwave. Really!

Yes, I know.  Microwave potato chips.  They do come out of a microwave, but trust me.  Unlike most nuked food, these are actually crispy.  They’re also healthier than the normal potato chip, because they use much less oil. I’ve tried making these before, but foodgal’s tips made my chips better, so I’m sharing a mashup of our recipes.  Depending on how thinly you slice your potatoes, the amount of each ingredient will change.

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds of potatoes (foodgal said Yukon Gold or red, I say whatever you have in the kitchen)

1-3 tablespoons of oil (if you cut your potatoes super thin, you may need more)

1 teaspoon salt (add to taste- I like my salt)

Something to grease your plate with- oil, butter, or cooking spray

Optional: onion powder, chili powder, garlic salt, be creative!

Directions:

1. Grease your microwave-safe plate, just well enough to cover the whole surface

2. Slice your potatoes.  This may take a while, if you want thinner (and crispier!) chips.  But if you’re impatient and hungry, like me, mangled chips or thicker chips in the style of kettle chips still taste great.

3. Toss your potato slices in a bowl with your oil and salt.  Try to get a bit of oil and salt on every slice.  Feel free to add a little more salt and oil if you need to.

4. Arrange your slices on the greased microwave-safe plate in one layer.  Overlapping chips in multiple layers means they won’t be crispy.  I like to form spirals.

5. Microwave uncovered for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to turn brown (may be 30 seconds if you sliced your potatoes really thinly).  Thinner slices brown faster.  Turn your slices over (I use a fork or chopsticks because they are HOT) and repeat.

6. Once both sides have been microwaved, take them out!  Wait for them to cool and turn crispy.  This shouldn’t take too long, unless your slices are on the thicker side. And even then, potato slices taste great!  Now distribute your chips among your friends (but only if you want to) and enjoy!

Credit: http://www.foodgal.com/2010/01/microwave-potato-chips-really/

Halloween Tip #2: Reeses!

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Halloween instantly brings to mind Trick or Treating!  And that means lots of candy.  One of my favorites is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  To get into the spirit for Halloween (or to get rid of that mountain of candy you’ve accumulated), here are 3 quick tips on how to further incorporate these bits of chocolate-y, peanut-buttery goodness into your life.

1. Hot Cocoa

Next time you’re settling down for a cup of hot chocolate, add a Reese’s to your cup before you add your cocoa powder mix, marshmallows, and boiling water.  It’s delicious!

2. Waffles/Pancakes

Right after you pour your batter into your waffle-maker, pop a handful of these on too!

If you’re making pancakes, you can use Reese’s Pieces, or chop your Reese’s into smaller bits, and sprinkle them into your batter.  Then make pancakes as normal.

3. Cupcakes/Muffins

Just before you pop your next batch into the oven, press a Reese’s right into the middle of each muffin!  When it’s done, you’ll have a bite of molten chocolate and peanut-butter filling as a surprise for whoever you want to impress!

Idea Credit: Ellen Krantz

Microwave Choco Pudding

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It’s still early in the school year, but that dreaded time has come. Midterms. In between study sessions, I find myself craving something sweet and easy. What’s easier than a chocolate pudding you can whip up with a microwave in about 15 minutes? This recipe makes 4 servings, so share some with your study group!

Serving size: 4 cups of puddin

Ingredients:

  • ​1/2 cup white sugar
  • ​1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ​2 cups milk
  • ​2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Optional: (for toppings) chopped bananas, sliced almonds, caramel drizzle

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add the milk in a little at a time to avoid lumps.
  2. Cook everything for one minute.  Stir, then cook again for another minute.  Stir.  Continue microwaving for one-minute intervals, and stirring until the pudding looks shiny and thick.
  3. Then stir in the vanilla.
  4. Carefully place a piece of plastic kitchen wrap smoothly onto the surface of the pudding.  This will prevent a rubbery layer of “skin” from forming.  Chill in the refrigerator.  Once the pudding has set, it’s ready to serve!
  5. Stir in chopped bananas and sliced almonds or whatever you feel goes with chocolate pudding!

Enjoy!

Source: AllRecipes.com

One Minute Cheesecake

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Are you ever craving something just a little unhealthy after dinner, or at three in the morning? We are.  But we’re usually too busy, or too lazy to put anything together.  This recipe from yourlighterside.com solves that problem with a few ingredients, some creativity, and a microwave.

Serving size: one cup’s worth of cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla/ vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar/ sugar substitute

Optional:

  • Fresh fruit for toppings, or to be swirled into the cheesecake
  • 1 graham cracker to crumble and press into a crust under the filling)

Instructions:

  1. Mix everything together in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Place in microwave on high heat for 90 seconds.  Stir every 30 seconds. Keep in the refrigerator until you serve it.
  3. If you’re so inclined, go for whatever berry is in season, smash a couple, and fold them into the cheesecake filling.
  4. Smash a graham cracker into crumbs.
  5. In a ramekin, cup, or small bowl, mash the crumbled graham cracker into the sides of your container until it takes the shape of a crust.
  6. Spoon in the filling.
  7. Top with fruits and your choice of whipped cream, Nutella, caramel, or whatever you have on hand.  Or all of the above.

Enjoy!

Source: yourlighterside.com