Friday, September 16, 2011

Crispy Microwave Potato Chips

I'm a snacker. I snack. I snack too much, to be completely honest. My favorite snacks are salty: chips, popcorn, pretzels. This isn't good for many reasons, not least of which is the oil & other stuff in potato chips (snack of the champions).

I'm sure many of you have seen the recipe(s) for microwave potato chips. I've seen it a few different places over the past year or two. When I saw it the first time I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. The recipe I followed was simple enough: slice the potato very thin (with a mandoline/slicer if possible), blot, spray with cooking spray or oil, arrange on a glass plate or on parchment paper, microwave for 3 minutes, turn the chips over & microwave again. It produced chips, but they were not quite "right" (to my discerning snack palate --ha!). They were crunchy but not crispy, you know? And sometimes they didn't cook evenly so there would be a limp bit in the middle of crunchy.

Fast forward to 2 days ago. I suddenly wanted to try making them again. I get these bizarre brain jumps in the middle of my work day and then spend the rest of the day mulling it over, problem solving or designing a plan while I work (and sometimes it leads me to wasting time online but we'll keep that our little secret). So Wednesday, I wanted to try microwave potato chips again, so I googled it because I couldn't remember all the instructions. This time I came across this plastic ring with slots cut into it. It was a microwave chip maker! This (of course) led me into a google sink hole where I spent (mumble) minutes looking for a place where I could get one in Canada.

Normally I have really excellent Google-Fu but this time I just couldn't find anywhere to get one locally (or on this side of the border). So I sadfaced and carried on with my work.

This is when the brain jump kicked in in earnest. Suddenly I realized I could hack the chip maker at home! Using recycled cardboard! (this is the point where anyone I've told about this starts laughing. So go ahead, I'll wait).

Of course, the minute I got home I had the scissors out and was constructing my chip maker. I tried a small batch, microwaved for 2 1/2 minutes, checked the chips, then another 2 1/2 minutes. When I took the chips out, they looked like "real" potato chips. I tested one and promptly wished someone was there with me so I could brag/gush about my experiment. The chip was crispy!!! Not crunchy, not slightly stiffened, crispy. Success!! I tweaked the process slightly (and made a second chip rack) and proceeded to make a fairly significant amount of chips in a short time. No oil! No additives! Just potatoes and salt.

Here's what I did. If you try this please let me know what you think! Or if you have any suggestions to improve it.

**Of course, please use caution when cutting the potatoes, when using the microwave etc. Don't walk away and leave it running for an hour or something. I think short bursts is probably the best way to go with timing the microwave.


Cut a kleenex box or other piece of cardboard to the size you want. I used the length of the box and the height and then cut down the bottom to match the height. It's approximately 9"x6". You may need to measure inside your microwave to see what will fit.


For the first rack I carefully measured 1/4" spacing and cut on the lines. My cutting was a touch wonky as you can see. The second one I just eyeballed and they both work just as good. One suggestion would be to not get too close to the long edge when cutting as this will make the slot too wide. I had potato slices fall out.

When you have your slits cut, cut away every other flap to create spaces for your potato slices.


I ended up adding a piece to each end on the bottom to hold the shape and to stabilize it. Depending on how well your piece stands on its own you may want to cut these as well.


Slice your potato as thin as possible. Blot on paper towels. I added salt before cooking--just sprinkled it on while they were blotting. Load your chip rack and carefully transfer to the microwave. (I had to reload at least 3 times out of the 6 or so batches I made)


After 5 minutes in total. Mmmm. Chips.

I found that some of them were quicker than others but the most it took was about 6 1/2 minutes. My microwave isn't the most powerful one around so you may have different results.


I'm not usually a fan of flavored chips (prefer plain) but I was thinking you could probably try those popcorn seasonings if you wanted to make flavored chips. Or just herbs or spices. I'd be interested in any seasoning ideas anyone has. I'm sure I'll be making the next batch tonight!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


Just as I was astonished that I was able to make pants (PANTS!!!) earlier this summer, I am astonished I was able to successfully make a hoodie. Not just that I made a hoodie but that I immediately started planning the next hoodie I would make when I snipped the last thread on the first.


I used the pattern in Sew U Home Stretch and some heavier weight cotton knit. I thought it would take a long time to sew but, after I had the pattern pieces prepped it only took about 2 hours! I don't know why I thought it would take longer than that...


(my camera blew out most of the shots and no amount of trying to fix it seemed to really help. oops) The dark navy is one of my favorite neutrals. I love the fabric, it's the perfect weight for fall/spring and for in my office where the temperatures swing between Arctic and Equatorial at least twice an hour.


I made the size Large and it fits perfectly. I didn't have ribbing that matches the main fabric so I extended the pattern pieces to make a deep hem and cuff. All edges are serged (whee!!!) and I managed to successfully use a twin needle for finishing.



My one major d'oh appeared when I went to sew in the zipper. I somehow made one pocket a good half inch taller than the other. Oops!

Now, if you just take the evidence of this often neglected blog, I haven't been doing much making this summer. On the contrary, I just haven't been finishing much this summer. Making and finishing this hoodie in one afternoon has really kicked my "must finish stuff" drive into gear. Either that or I just need to start documenting my WIPs. I'll try to get on one of those soon.