Potato Chip Review – Herr’s – Baby Back Ribs

Talk about a crazy sounding flavor, this is almost like out of the Chappelle Show skit for “Ribs Sleep-Aid.” But being someone that lovers crazy flavors of potato chips, I just had to get a bag of the stuff. Honestly I really didn’t know what to expect, since it seems like every week, someone is coming out with a new version of “BBQ” flavored chips.

But these chips ending up being very interesting for a number of reasons. Number One, is that these are not a “sweet BBQ” style chip, so that a bonus for me. Number Two, is that you actually get a bit of a “porky” taste on these chips, even though there is no pork listed on the ingredient list. But don’t confuse this with the bacon flavor on chips, since these taste more like ribs (un-cured pork) and not bacon (cured pork). And Number Three is…..smoke. Oh yes, smoke, and plenty of it….so much in fact that when I first opened the bag, I thought that I had opened the lid on a vertical smoker. It wasn’t until about a week after opening the bag, that the smoke aroma mellowed out.

Overall, I would get these chips again. But I just need to be in the mood for some smokey BBQ beforehand.

In search of an English Muffin Recipe – Part 1

Maybe I really don’t know what an English muffin should taste like, since the Ruhlman recipe that I used seemed more like a crumpet or johnny cake and less like the English muffin that you would normally get at the grocery store. Personally I think it has to do with the egg & baking powder that was added. Which gave the muffin a yellow tint, and more of a cake like taste, instead of a bread like taste.

Right now I have at least two more recipes to try, before I make any kind of final verdict on homemade English Muffins. One of the other recipes I want to try is from King Arthur Flour and another is from Momofuku (which I found by accident.) I’ve also thought about using a Ciabatta or Focaccia recipe to see how it would turn out as an English muffin as well, but I’m more on the fence on this item.

But here are some tips, if you plan on using the recipe from Ruhlman:
1) You’ll need to adjust the heat to between a #4 & #5 setting on an electric range. Since I noticed that the pan heat fluctuated quite a bit, depending on how many muffins were being cooked in the dry pan.
2) To speed up the cooking time, I discovered that you could cover the frying pan with a lid while the muffins are cooking in the cornmeal. But make sure to only cover the pan after you have turned over the muffin, since the top of the muffin will set if you cover the pan before flipping the muffin.
3) Personally, I really don’t know if the baking powder added any thing to the dough/batter in this recipe. Since the baking powder and the egg, makes me think that this is more of a pancake recipe, and less of a bread recipe.
4) An 3.75″ ring is a must, for making these muffins. That is unless you want English muffin pancakes (see point #3). So consider getting yourself at least three rings, so that you can make three muffins at once in the pan. Also don’t try using a biscuit cutting ring, since you’ll only make a mess in the pan.
5)Also don’t forget to butter the rings, before pouring in the batter/dough.
6) I’m just throwing this out there, but I wonder how these muffins would turn out being baked in the oven, instead of cooked in a cornmeal coated frying pan. Consider this just something to think about.
7) So how’s it taste? Pretty good, but not really what I was expecting. Also this muffin recipe seems to go better with a fruit spread (jam, jelly or preserve) then with butter on top.

So with that, the journey continues for more of a bread like English Muffin recipe.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – v1

This recipe ended up being just the first of many future recipes, in trying to use up 9 lbs of rolled oats that I picked up at Sam’s Club for a dinner party desert. And seeing how I can only eat so much hot oatmeal for breakfast, it was time to starting getting a bit creative on the recipe front.

I wasn’t really in the mood for oatmeal raisin cookies, but on the other hand I had a bag of chocolate chips just sitting on the shelf doing nothing. So between the regular Toll House recipe on the bag of chips, the Quaker oatmeal raisin recipe on the bottom of the lid, and this oatmeal chocolate chip recipe I found on the Quaker Oats site, here was the recipe that I ended up coming up with:


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat brown sugar, white sugar and butter in a stand mixer until creamy. Then beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Finally mix in the oats and chocolate chips; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined jelly roll pan.

Bake for 11 minutes for chewy cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; then remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Side Notes:
1) I tired one of the cookies after it had cooled, and it was good, but maybe not 100% what I was expecting. So let me put it to you this way. On their own, both the regular Toll House recipe for chocolate chip cookies, we well as the recipe for Oatmeal Raisin cookies from Quaker Oats are good recipes. But combined together into this mash-up, it just doesn’t deliver as expected. So in this case, the parts are greater than the sum of the two recipes.
2) I ended up freezing half the batch of cookies, to see how they would taste re-heated in the microwave. And the verdict…..not so good. So don’t plan any long term storage in the freezer for this cookie recipe, after they have been baked.
3) Personally, I’m going back to the drawing board for this recipe. So I’ll probably have to start digging through my recipe archives, to find a better recipe, since I really have no desire to make this recipe again in it’s current form.

Quaker Oats – Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe
Original Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie recipe

Homemade Tahini recipe – v1

Part of the reason I wanted to try and make my own tahini, was just to see if it could be done. Since really how hard could it be to turn whole sesame seeds into a smooth paste? (see side notes) So with a little bit of searching on the interest, I found three recipes that I could use as a starting point, so here is the recipe that I came up with:

Ingredients & Technique:

  • 1/2 cup of white hulled sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
  • 10 TB of Warm water
  • 4 TB of Vegetable oil

Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Then add the sesame seeds, the vegetable oil and the warm water to the food processor and process for about 10 minutes until very smooth.

Side Notes:
1) On first glance, my version of tahini looks pretty close to the stuff that you get at the store. Though it does look just a little bit less brown in color than the store bought variety. Additional toasting would probably solve this issue.
2) Also this tahini seems thinner than what you would get at the store. So I might need to decrease the amount of water in the recipe, to thicken things up.
3) Here is something funny that I only realized after I finished making the tahini. I had toasted sesame oil in my kitchen cabinet the whole time, but I forget to use it, and used vegetable oil instead. So next time I make tahini I’ll have to use the toasted sesame oil instead of vegetable oil.
4) Personally I’m on the fence, about making my own tahini again. Yeah it was easy and cheap and it tasted pretty good, but the final product really doesn’t compare to what you would get from the grocery store. But I’m willing to try and make it a couple more, if only to use up the rest of the 1 lb sack of sesame seeds that I picked up at Penzeys for a couple of bucks.

GroupRecipes – Homemade Tahini Recipe
Suite101 – Make Your Own Tahini Sesame Seed Paste
Food.com – Homemade Tahini