Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I'm back! + Haystacks

Hey, Internet! Man, 'Real Life' is so annoying. If only I could just stay at home and cook and then blog about it and then paint and then maybe blog about that too and then tweet about it all... but instead I have to work like the schmoe I am. (psst! Follow me on Twitter!)

The point is - I'm still here. I know I've been gone for a good while, and truth be told it's partly because I haven't been cooking much, at least creatively. Winter gets me down, I guess. Hadn't been feeling too creative. (Been eating lots of mac&cheese...) But golly does it feel good to be a genius. Today I remembered this (and I say this in the humblest way I can): I am a culinary genius.

Don't fret, I will show you exactly why I am a culinary genius. But first - a quick detour into the past a la Hiro Nakamura for Haystacks.

I had been wanting to make these since I visited my extended family in Louisiana after Christmas. My Aunt Tammy has the insanest repertoire for sweets and cakes and candies and pies, and she loves whipping out the favorites for the holidays. I guess Haystacks are kind of a classic but I had never had them before.

So once I got back to Minnesota, the next week I spent my birthday doing my hair ALL DAY and then hanging out in the afternoon with my friend Erin. (Seriously, it took me, like, two hours to do my hair. I have a lot of hair anyway and now it's super long. ugh.) We made Haystacks and brownies from scratch, but holy cow did the brownies go south. You won't find pictures of that on here.

Haystacks are super simple. Tell me this isn't the easiest and most delicious looking recipe you've ever seen:

Yummmmm. You take a stick o' butter and a bag of butterscotch chips and melt them in the microwave. Stir it up. Here's me all did up for my birthday, stirrin'.

[One loaf bread. One green bean. Stir it.]

Then you coat some shoestring potatoes in the delicious doublebutter mixture. This is where I learned my lesson. I had just dumped the potatoes into the bowl and the proportions just weren't right. Aunt Tammy's Haystacks were totally coated in butterscotch... maybe she takes a stack and dips it? They're supposed to look a little more like this:

These Haystacks (via Google Images) look like they're made out of crispy noodles or something, but you see the ratio difference of butterscotch to crunchy stuff? Erin's and mine didn't look like that. Maybe it was just too many shoestring potatoes off the bat. Maybe add a few and then fish 'em out.

Whether you dip them and get your fingers messy or mix them in and grab them out, once you have them coated, you just set them out to dry. Wax paper is best... but Erin didn't have any so we used plastic wrap. Too sticky but it did the job.

So they didn't look as lovely as my Aunt Tammy's, but let me tell you -- they were still freakin' delicious. Butter + butterscotch + fried potatoes cannot equal anything but deliciousness.

Stay tuned for something that I really think has revolutionized my kitchen and the future of my cooking. And some yummy stuff I did with it.

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