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Saturday, 19 September 2015

Fried Onion Strings

As you may have noticed, I'm a lot about desserts.  However, I do like other types of cooking as well.  I'm a huge fan of onion strings.  I find that the pre-packaged ones in the stores are a little over-priced for what they are.  Let's face it, onions are a pretty cheap product in and of themselves.  Plus I'm not a fan of buying pre-packaged foods.  If there's something I can make from scratch that you can buy packaged or bottled, I will learn to make it myself.  Such is the case for fried onion strings.

I love them!  I love them on salads, I love them on burgers, and I even love them as just as snack.  However, since Saturday nights are traditionally burger night in our house I thought I would try making them for burger night.  I like fried onions on my burger, my husband likes raw, but we both love fried onion strings. I couldn't believe how easy this was.

Now, they ARE deep fried in oil, so don't go thinking they are healthy, they are just healthi-ER than buying them out of a bag. And a lot cheaper since I always have onion and oil on hand.

This recipe was so easy, I'm also going to try doing the same thing to zucchini and eggplant.

Fried Onion Strings

Recipe by Fluudbloggler
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 1/4 sweet white onion
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or buttermilk*
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (If you don't have buttermilk)
Cooking Directions
  1. Slice 1/4 onion very thinly into strips.  As thin as you can slice them. 
  2. If using buttermilk, go to next step, if not, put 1 tsp vinegar in whole milk (or table cream), wait 5 minutes.Voila! Instant buttermilk/sour milk.
  3. Pour buttermilk/sour milk over onions, and let sit for at least 30 minutes, an hour is best.
  4. Mix flour and spices until well blended.
  5. Heat oil in a pan or deep fryer until hot.
  6. With your hands put milky onions into flour mixture and mix until well coated.Do not just pour as you will get excess milk poured into the flour and you don't want that. 
  7. To test if the oil is hot enough, put one piece of onion string in the hot oil, and if it starts to bubble and crisp, it is the right temperature.
  8. In two batches, place coated onions into hot oil, and fry until browned.Note: When you first put in the oil, it will all bubble up and you can`t see the onions.  Do not worry about that.  Once the onions start cooking, they will float to the surface and you can see them clearly.
  9. Place on paper towel, and continue with second batch.
  10. Serve hot or cooled.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Lime No-Bake Cheesecake

It's Labour Day weekend.  I'm not generally a fan of this weekend because it heralds the end of summer, and I feel the impending doom of winter approaching.  (Yes, it's official the Fluudbloggler is a bit of a drama queen.  To top it off, the weather where I live, usually sucks on Labour Day weekend. This year however is different - it's ridiculously hot, and that makes me feel a lot better.  

I still felt that I needed a nice sweet treat to get me through the weekend.  However, since it's SO very hot, I don't want to turn on the oven.  A no-bake cheesecake seems to be the answer.

This is so easy.  I normally make a plain no bake cheesecake, and then just add cherry pie filling on top.  I love the taste of lime though, so decided to experiment and make a lime no-bake cheesecake.  You can use the basic cheesecake recipe below for either option.

And because it's so easy, it's such an easy do-ahead or do last minute if you are suddenly invited to a last minute Labour Day weekend BBQ. 

Recipe by Fluudbloggler
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6-8
  • 1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (for crust)
  • 1/4 cup soft or melted butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar white sugar (for filling)
  • 1 package (8 oz, 250 grams) cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (from one lime)
  • 1 tbsp additional lime juice (optional)
  • 1/2 cup additional whipping cream whipped with 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • **If you are making a basic cheesecake not lime flavoured, simply omit the lime juice and zest and replace with 1 tsp vanilla 
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix graham crackers, 1/4 cup sugar, and butter together until well incorporated.
  2. Press down into 9" pie shell.
  3. Place in fridge until ready to use.
  4. Whip whipping cream until stiff, set aside.
  5. Zest lime, set aside.
  6. Juice the lime.
  7. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  8. Add the lime zest and lime juice, and mix until very smooth. 

  9. You will notice that this doesn't look very GREEN for a lime cheesecake, so you can add a few drops of green food colouring if you like.  I prefer the natural colour. 
  10. Pour into graham crust and refrigerate until ready to serve - at least 2 hours. 
  11. If you want, you can pipe the additional sweet whipped cream on top. 
  12. And you are really feeling industrious you can candy some limes and add for garnish (recipe follows)
Even though I said I was making this cheesecake so I did not have to turn on the oven, I did have to use my stove to candy the limes.  This is totally optional, and I did it just because it was something I had never tried before.  
How to candy a lime (or lemon or orange)

  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp additional white sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Thoroughly wash the outside of the lime.
  2. Thinly slice lime.
  3. Place in a pot of boiling water and boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove limes from water, and discard water.
  5. In same pot, pour 1/2 cup fresh water, 1/2 cup sugar and stir.
  6. Place lime slices in this water, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Place limes on wire rack (with parchment paper under to avoid mess) and cool for one hour.
  8. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar on large plate or baking dish.
  9. Press limes on sugar, and coat entire lime.
  10. Keep in fridge until ready to use. 
AND...I actually kept the water-sugar that I cooked the limes in to add to my afternoon mojito. Cheers.