Of Hashtags & Hashbrowns – Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise (Potatoes Baked w/Cheese) & Onion Biscuit Squares


Tweeterpated, twitterish, tweetastic, twitterific, tweepstakes….. For the longest time, I avoided Twitter, basically because I had no desire to follow #bieber, #littlemonsters and felt silly to even think about publically typing something like #LesNipplerables. Besides, it was the darts in the dress people.

What changed? Two things 1) wanting to grow my Facebook, blog and Etsy traffic (with the hopes of someday quitting my day job) and 2) Martha Stewart showed me how easy yet empowering it is on the new Macy’s Commercial. She basically tells Marcus Samuelsson what’s what about coriander – devilishly in less than a 140. So simple. So powerful. So Martha. I long to wield such power… Thank you #marthastewart.

Don’t worry, it won’t be a play by play of my doldrum day, but much like how I decided to start blogging (again coming from a place of denial), I have things I want to say or share. Now I can share them even if not worthy of a blog post. Something new to learn too – so much more than useless LiLo tweeting (Hurricane Sally?). I came across this post on the 7 Deadly Sins on Twitter. On day two, I have already committed a twittersin or two – mostly out of ignorance. First sin – Voracity, I just got excited and tried different approaches, resulting in a lot in a little. There was also more self-promotion than ideal (but hey, I had to start somewhere, and it was ONE day. Second sin, although not on the 7 list – inappropriate hashtag applications. In theory anyone can hashtag anything, nothing is stopping you. And so I did, jumping right into Twitterdom. However, I am law abiding and decided after the fact to educate myself about these pound-sign-preceded-string-of-letters.

Key Hashtag Points –

  1. There are “official” hashtags. While going rogue is “ok”, you aren’t going to start trending unless a superfamous with millions hanging on each precious letter or First Lady #bestdressed #michelleobama
  2. Hashtags.org is a real site. Helps with trending and defining
  3. You can and should define your hashtags in a tweet, especially if inventing new ones
  4. Don’t overuse them, it benefits no one and #how #canyou #readif #tweet #looks like this? #OMG
    1. They should add VALUE to your message
  5. Pick a single hashtag early for special events or themes
  6. Unless reading a tweet, don’t start saying “hashtag” or making some hand gesture to suggest the emphasis

Tomorrow is a new Twitter day. Now on to hash browns… the thought conceived on the bus ride home from work, pondering how to blog about Twitter but not lose my “voice”. I just let my mind wonder while watching a lady make and fly paper airplanes crafted out of bus schedules, while asking people to stop talking because her mind was full. I know the feeling.

Another vintage cookbook gem: from the 1950s – Gourmet Cookbook (a la Gourmet Magazine). I also flipped through my new, but old, Duncan Hines Adventures in Good Cooking book but didn’t come up with anything tonight other than apparently oat cake on page 48 “stinks” (see picture). Chuckle but I’ll take their word for it.

To accompany dinner tonight, I looked for a starch, #fancypants hashbrowns to be exact – Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise (aka potatoes baked with cheese) – not exactly hash brown, but yummy and deceivingly easy.  Although filed in the Vegetables-Molded Potato section (potatoes are borderline vegetables), it was spot on. Looking at the recipe and seeing a 45 minute bake time, I knew I could cram in something else. Enter Onion Biscuits. Meal was delish, although maybe a bit disjointed with grilled peppers, though they added a nice pop of color albeit more Bobby Flay than Gourmet. Enjoy my interpretations!

Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise (potatoes baked with cheese)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (note – I didn’t have regular milk but had some goat milk I was waiting to try, worked like a charm!)
  • Few onion slices (I used the rest in the following biscuit recipe), probably not a deal breaker if you don’t have any on hand
  • Butter for pan, 2 T to dot on the top
  • Garlic for pan (preferably whole cloves to rub on the bottom – I only had minced, turned out just fine)
  • Gruyere cheese, about 1 cup grated, more if you want


Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare a baking dish or individual baking dishes by rubbing the bottom with butter and garlic. I just spread a tiny bit of minced garlic on the bottom since I didn’t have full clove to rub.
  2. Scald (bring to boil) 1 cup of milk with a few slices of onion in it. Pick/strain out onions
  3. Put peeled and sliced onions in a mixing bowl and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. I basically put salt, pepper and nutmeg (such a fun ingredient!) on all over then mixed the potatoes around to “expose” the slices to the seasoning, then added a bit more pepper and nutmeg (I didn’t do more salt, always cautious to not over salt) until it looked good to me. I also though my nutmeg might be less potent and did one last pinch for good luck. Hopefully the picture helps guide you. Remember you can add it at the end if not enough
  4. Add the milk to the potatoes, and then add in the beaten egg. Mix. Mix
  5. Pour into baking dish(es).
  6. Cover generously with grated Gruyere, dot with butter and top with another slight sprinkley of nutmeg
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes and watch that cheese brown up. Yum, burnt cheese bits!
  8. Enjoy.


Onion Biscuit Squares

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons shortening
  • ¾ cup of milk (again, I use the goat milk I had on hand, worked like a charm)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups onions sliced
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ sour cream (I used my plain homemade yogurt, as I always have it on hand)
  • Cayenne pepper, couple pinches, depending on your level of “kick”


Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 F
  2. Thinly slice onions and brown in pan with butter. Stir them (or find someone to stir for you) frequently. Add salt, pepper and cayenne. Goal is caramelized. If you just want plain old biscuits, don’t do anything with onions….
  3. Sift 2 cups flour into a bowl with 1 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. baking powder.
  4. With fingers or pastry cutter, work in 4-6 tablespoons shortening.
  5. Stir in ¾ cup of milk to make a soft dough
  6. Turn dough out onto floured counter and need for about 30 seconds.
    1. Now, if you just want biscuits, stop here. Roll out dour to about ¼ -1/2 inch, cut with a biscuit cutter or knife and bake for 12-13 minutes until nicely browned
  7. Flatten dough and place in a pan 10 in square or so. I had a 6 x 11 or some odd size that worked fine; I just kept out some of the dough. I don’t think the pan size, if larger, is really critical, just different.
  8. If lots of grease, drain off. Spread the cooked onions on top of the biscuit dough.
  9. Beat one egg with ¾ cup sour cream (or yogurt), season with salt and pepper. Pour over the onions.
  10. Bake in hot oven for 20 minutes until nicely browned.
  11. Cut into squares and serve hot
  12. Tasty for dinner but I think would be delicious for brunch too. Left overs here we come!



Any Twitter sins you have committed? Do you Tweet? What do you want to see or hear from me?

#peaceout

(oops, just sinned, made that one up I think)

One thought on “Of Hashtags & Hashbrowns – Pommes de Terre Dauphinoise (Potatoes Baked w/Cheese) & Onion Biscuit Squares

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