Beer-Battered Onion Rings

Onion rings are one of my biggest weaknesses… I know they are fattening and not the healthiest of food choices (understatement?), but I lovvve them! Now that I am back at the hospital on my rotations, I have to walk by them everyday at the cafeteria – so far I have been resisting, but last weekend a craving struck! I don’t have a deep-frier because I like to keep my diet healthy by not including a lot of fried foods, but occasionally I will fry something up in my skillet. I found this beer-battered onion ring recipe on Cooking Light, and it lived up to the high reviews it has received so far. They were delicious and  really easy to make! Have you ever tried beer-battered onion rings?? I think I like them better than regular onion rings, they taste so good! What is your guilty pleasure?

This has been an exciting week because we are sort of remodeling our little SF apartment. When we first moved in a few years ago, we took all of the furniture we could get from family and friends. We finally decided to make it more modern and more us, so after spending hours at IKEA and other stores the past few weeks, we are getting everything delivered this week! I can’t wait to see what the finished look will be once everything is set up.

Beer-Battered Onion Rings
 
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Prep time
10 mins
Cook time
20 mins
Total
30 mins
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup flat beer
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut the onion crosswise into ¾-inch-thick slices, and separate into rings.
  3. Combine flour, salt, paprika, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Pour beer into a small bowl and stir with a fork to “flatten”.
  5. Stir in beer and egg white into dry ingredients well.
  6. Heat half of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Dip 5 onion rings in batter, letting excess drip off.
  8. Add onion rings to pan and cook for ~2 minutes on each side.
  9. Place the onion rings on a greased baking sheet.
  10. Coat the onion rings with cooking spray.
  11. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until crisp.
  12. Repeat for the remaining onion rings.
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Recipe adapted from Cooking Light (see original recipe here: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/beer-battered-onion-rings-10000000222257/)

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Caramel Banana Pie (Banoffee Pie)

If you’re on Facebook or Pinterest, I’d sure appreciate it if you could use one of those little buttons above! 

This pie is traditionally called a Banoffee Tart, but if I put that in the title many of y’all probably wouldn’t know what on earth I was talking about – I know I wouldn’t have! Besides, it is a caramel and banana pie, so that works too.

Remember, there is not a single section of the Constitution of the United States of America nor a treaty passed by the United Nations that forbids us from calling a dish we make whatever we want to call it. 

This pie is SUPER easy to make compared to traditional versions but every bit as decadent. What’s even better is that  this recipe takes less than five minutes to put together, rather than the hour+ of prep time most recipes call for.

Caramel + Bananas + Whipped Cream +Easy = what’s not to love?

You’ll need: Bananas, a graham crust, whipped cream, and some good old Dulce De Leche, otherwise known as caramel made from sweetened condensed milk.

Now, most people start with sweetened condensed milk and make it into caramel themselves.  There are all sorts of ways to make the caramel for this pie. A popular method for this, which is extremely dangerous, is to boil an unopened can in a pot for a bit and cross your eyes, fingers, and pinky toes that it doesn’t explode on you (most of the time you will get lucky, but it is not worth the risk for me). Others opt for a safe method of cooking it in a hot water bath in the oven or using a double boiler to make it on the stovetop.

Me? My life is complicated enough and I know there is more than one way to tree a squirrel. I go to the grocery store and look in the Mexican foods section and buy that stuff already in a can. Nestle has already done the work for me and who am I not to accept their kindness

Besides, I could write sonnets about the quality and richness of this caramel. 

You may have to look at a grocery store or two to find it but once you know who sells it around you, you’ll always know where to go. Most stores have it with their Mexican foods, right next to the sweetened condensed milk that cost as much as $1 less than the same stuff on the baking aisle. Some stores (like my local Kroger) actually have it right next to the sweetened condensed milk on the baking aisle. Either way, be on the lookout for this because it is well worth the trouble.

Now that we cut out 90% of the time required to make this pie by buying the caramel already made we only have about  3 minutes prep work to get this show on the road!

Open caramel and spread it into a graham crust.

Ain’t that purty?

 Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or until it is somewhat firm.

Note: Most recipes call for topping your pie with sliced bananas and whipped cream at this point but unless you have enough people to eat that pie in one sitting, I suggest cutting the bananas and topping each individual slice just before serving to keep the pie fresh longer.

~INTERMISSION~

Time for a little cooking intermission here…

If y’all want to keep on watching the show just skip over this part.

Does this life ever get to be a bit much for you? If you’re anything like me (which I happen to know a lot of you are), it sure does. We have all of these things looming over our heads, work, needs, emotions, worry, stress, and sometimes their weight just begins to feel unbearable.

Sometimes the world around us rages like a storm. Our natural instinct is to rush in and get caught up in it. But when we do that, we just end up swirling around, as if in a funnel cloud.

How many years of our lives are spent swirling in a circular pattern, kicking up debris and getting nowhere?

I’ve learned that when that cloud kicks up, the best thing for me to do is remain centered, in the calmness that is the eye of the storm. Sure, it takes practice and self discipline but if we can’t, at the very least, control ourselves, what makes us think we can control a tornado?

Rather than rage with it, I keep my soul still. I don’t give up the peace in my heart just because others around me have given up theirs. The storm remains the same, whether I’m caught up in it or firmly in my place. So rather than let myself become frazzled and frayed, I’ll just be still. And rather than let my spirit be anxious and twisted, I’ll just be at peace.

I remember that beyond every storm is a sunrise.

And I hold steady.

And maybe I can be a ray of light from that sunrise to someone in that storm.

And maybe, while looking for hope, I can give hope, too.

Hold steady today and don’t get caught up in the storms, no matter how strong the winds seem to be.

~This concludes our intermission, Now back to our pie which is already in progress~ 

When ready to serve, slice bananas. This is a great job for little helpers.

 Step away from life for a moment and take a bite of decadence.

Ingredients

  • 2-12 ounce cans Dulce De Leche*
  • 1 regular size graham cracker crust
  • fresh bananas (2-4)
  • Whipped Topping

Instructions

  1. Open cans and spread caramel into bottom of graham crust. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour.
  2. Cut into slices and top each slice with sliced bananas and whipped cream just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
  3. *This is commonly found in the Mexican section at grocery stores but sometimes on the baking aisle next to the sweetened condensed milk. You may have to look at a store or two until you find out who carries it in your area.

2.2

http://www.southernplate.com/2013/07/caramel-banana-pie-banoffee-pie.html

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Stay tuned for a new pie recipe each Friday for the rest of the summer with Southern Plate’s Pie Day Fridays!

~Unknown. Submitted by CJ. Click here to read more or submit your own. 

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Stovetop Mac and Cheese


 Today I’m thrilled to be sharing with you a special recipe from the Southern Plate Magazine! Feel free to post this on facebook, pin it, share it with friends, and print it!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Southern Plate Magazine soon as it is only available for a very limited time. In it, you’ll find 20 full menus, over 80 exclusive recipes, with a photo of each recipe!

You can find the Southern Plate Magazine on newsstands or purchase it online with free shipping by clicking here.  

If you’ve found the Southern Plate Magazine in a store near you, please share where you got yours in the comments below! So far I’ve seen them at Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Publix, and Barnes and Noble. 

Enjoy!

Stovetop Mac and Cheese from the Southern Plate Magazine

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 5 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 2 1/2 cups uncooked)
  • Paprika (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; whisk in flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly, over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Add Cheddar, cream cheese, and mustard, stirring until cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in cooked macaroni and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

2.2

http://www.southernplate.com/2013/07/stovetop-mac-and-cheese.html

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