Herbed Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I have whined more than once about how much I dislike carrots. But it bears saying again. I don’t like carrots. Though for a woman who doesn’t like carrots, I have a fair amount of recipes that incorporate them, don’t I? If this doesn’t show my love for you carrot loving weirdos, I don’t know what does. But did I ever mention that I’m not a huge potato fan, either? I like french fries, and I love roasted potatoes, but I’m not much on mashed or baked. In other words, if it has been made crispy, I’m cool with it. Crispy for the win! *does a cheer, breaks hip*

That said, I have a major thing for roasted veggies. Roasting even makes carrots taste good. 😛 Seriously though, if you have anyone in your family who isn’t fond of veggies, try this recipe. With roasting, you get crispiness and the roasting process makes them sweeter and takes away any bitter edge some vegetables can have. The following is my family’s absolute favorite way of making them. You have the main part, which is the potatoes and carrots, all flavored with onions, shallots, garlic, salt and herbs. So, so good. This is perfect with a roast, with baked chicken, heck, with pretty much anything. Plus, it works for a special dinner too, not just a family one. The combo of vegetables and herbs never fails to get gobbled up.  And this recipe is totally variable in amounts or type of veggie, too. Feeding more people? Double up into two pans with extra vegetables. Feeding less? Same thing. Like turnips or rutabagas? Cut some up and toss them in there.

You know the drill… get to cooking! 🙂

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, washed, dried and cut in half
  • 1 lb carrots, cut into chunks (you can also just use baby carrots)
  • 1 large onion, chunked
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 to 4 cloves minced garlic ( I have also been known to keep the garlic whole (peeled), and roast it that way. It get caramelized and soft and oh so good)
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes De Provence (easily found in the spice aisle of any decent grocery store)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt or amount desired
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper)
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Combine the potatoes, carrots, onion, shallots and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle the oil over it all and use your hands to give it all a good stir, making sure to get everything coated in oil. Dump in the pan and turn all the potatoes so that the cut edge is on bottom (gets them crisper that way) Sprinkle everything with the salt, pepper and Herbes De Provence.
  3. Roast at 425 for between 30 to 40 minutes, or until everything is tender and the potatoes have nicely browned on bottom. Taste for salt and serve.

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Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Confession time again. As they say confession is good for the soul, my soul should be doing great by now, ehh? So here goes.

I don’t normally care for mashed potatoes. I know they are one of the American iconic dishes, they use potatoes and Lord knows I love potatoes and they are a traditional side dish to so many meals, especially Thanksgiving. But they just aren’t usually a favorite. I think it’s a textural sensory issue more than anything.

But with these potatoes, I may have to make an exception. While I’m sure I’m not the first person to ever think of it, a month or so ago, it popped into my head that as much as I love sour cream and onion potato chips, why not try it in mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving? So I did a smaller test batch to try it out and I am so very definitely making them this way for Thanksgiving dinner, sensory issues be darned.

These mashed potatoes are creamy and buttery with just enough sour cream and onion flavor to make it interesting. If you want a stronger flavor profile, add a couple of ounces more cream cheese. These are rather like a loaded baked potatoes, but creamy. Oh, so good. They are quick to pull together and as with any mashed potatoes, if you want to make these for the holiday dinner, just make them the day before, cover tightly with foil, refrigerate, then heat them in the oven or even a slow cooker the next day. This can be easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, quintupled, sextupletted… ok, I’ll stop now. Sorry.

These are NOT diet food, so don’t go read the recipe and faint, please. 😀

You know the drill… get to cookin!

Mrs. Cupcake, who is going to go eat some more potatoes.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 to 7 medium potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp, divided
  • 4 ounces (half a container) whipped sour cream and onion cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • one green onion, thinly sliced
  1. Wash, peel and cube the potatoes. Place in a pot; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then turn down to medium and let cook until a fork easily pierces through a larger chunk. Remove from heat, drain into a colander and set aside for a minute.
  2. In the same pot, combine half of the butter (1/4 cup), cream cheese, milk, salt (use the smaller amount first. You can always add more salt, but you can’t take it back out) and pepper. Place over the still warm burner and let sit just long enough to take the chill off of the milk, about 2 minutes or so.
  3. Dump the potatoes into the pot and mash well. Then use a beater to whip them into a state of frenzied creaminess. See how easy that was?
  4. Spoon into your serving dish; dot with the remaining butter (if you don’t use it all, that’s fine), sprinkle with the sliced green onion and ground black pepper. Enjoy!!
  5. If you want to make them ahead of time, just spoon them into an oven safe serving dish, cover and refrigerate. Set them out the next morning, a couple of hours before dinner, then about 30 minutes before dinner, heat them (covered if you don’t want them to brown, uncovered if you do) in a 350 oven until hot all the way through.

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Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes


Daisy’s Noisette Potatoes (BLOGGER C.L.U.E.)


Hey there everyone! Time for another month of Blogger C.L.U.E. C’mon…. you remember. I am part of a secret society (does that sound mysterious and all Freemason-ish or what?) on facebook, where a group of food bloggers swap blogs each month and make a recipe related to a certain theme from one of the other group members. This month the theme was potatoes. Makes sense, right? March, St. Patricks Day, the Irish… all leads one to the humble spud, that root vegetable that has been responsible for saving lives many times in the hardscrabble pasts of many different countries. They had little else, but they had potatoes to eat.

It’s funny; we here in the states or most of the Westernized world actually, think of potatoes as looking just a few different way; Russet, baby, red, white and that’s about it. Some of us who are more into food know of a handful more types that are newer (at least to this part of the world) and enjoy using them, but did you know that, worldwide, there are more than 4000 different types of potatoes?! FOUR THOUSAND!

This month the blog I got assigned to was that of the lovely Christy, herself being the owner of the blog Confessions Of A Culinary Diva . Christy has so many delicious dishes, like this Cantonese Lobster With Coconut Ginger Rice or these utterly delicious sounding Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancakes . I have both of those totally bookmarked, but you know what? I don’t think Christy is a big fan of potatoes, lol. I had a heck of a time finding a potato recipe. She had, I believe, two. This, of course, is probably one reason Christy is so lovely…. unlike me, she stays away from the carbs :-p I, on the other hand, love my potatoes. But you know what Christy DOES love, same as I do? Downton Abbey. And one of the recipes she had for potatoes was for one called Daisys Noisette Potatoes. They were part of what she called “A Very Downton Dinner”, which I thought was so cool.

These are delicious! Little balls of potatoes (go buy a melon baller if you don’t have one) that are lightly sauteed in clarified butter (I admit to not worrying about the clarified part), then finished off in a hot oven to give them that final crispiness. When I joined BLOGGER C.L.U.E., one of the things that I was told was that we were supposed to keep the recipes pretty much as we found them and not turn them into something totally different. I did that with two small exceptions. I added some onion and garlic to these and sprinkled them with Fine Herbes. As much as I love potatoes, I am a huge flavor person. I’ve never been much on just salt and pepper and while I can completely see that being the case back in the day in England, I also like to think of Daisy trying to liven up her cooking a little by adding some flavor to plain potatoes

You know the drill…

Daisys Noisette Potatoes

  • 6 russet potatoes , scrubbed free of all dirt
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter (again, I didn’t do that part. I did however, add a touch of oil to the butter to increase the smoke point)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion (my addition; feel free to omit)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (my addition; feel free to omit)
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes (an herb blend you can get at any large grocery store) (my addition; feel free to omit)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Use a melon baller to scoop out balls of potatoes. Put them in a bowl of cold water as you work, so they don’t turn brown while you’re scooping out the rest.
  3. Heat the butter in a large ovenproof pan. Add the potatoes, garlic and onion (don’t crowd, just do two batches if you need to) and cook for five minutes, stirring often.
  4. Transfer the pan to the 375 degree oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until they are golden brown and tender, stirring often. Season with salt, pepper and fine herbes.

Make sure you go check out the other bloggers posts from this months Blogger Clue! These ladies are some amazing cooks!

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Crispy Tandoori Smashed Potatoes (And a Blog Swap!) #BloggerCLUE

Crispy Tandoori Spiced Smashed Potatoes

I think I have mentioned before that I have a strong love for the not so usual ethnic foods. I mean, I enjoy the ubiquitous Italian, Chinese and Mexican (most of which will be sadly Americanized), but when I really get excited is when I try something Indian or Thai or Middle Eastern. It all starts with the smells. The scents of what, to most Americans are, exotic spices, wafting through the house, just makes me happy. It also make me drool copiously but I just wear a bib and hope no one notices. It’s a cute bib with little pink duckies. Wait…too much info? Then the flavors, which may be familiar to those who grew up with them, but to my American palate, are still exciting, even though I have been eating and cooking “foreign” foods for close to 2 decades now.

So the following recipe is one I was so happy to find. I mean, what more does one need? It sends wonderful smells through the house while at the same time, it’s not so unusual as to make my kids balk. It also is made with potatoes that end up ultra buttery and ultra crispy. Crispy potatoes ftw!!

How did I get this recipe, you say? I was asked by a dear friend if I wanted to be part of a facebook based blogger group called Blogger C.L.U.E. Society (ok, so she actually said I had no choice so I may as well just gracefully accept) where, every month, we feature a recipe from a fellow blogger in the group. The twist is that we don’t know who has who until the day the blog posts go live and, the challenging part for me, as is obvious to anyone who has been reading here for a while, is that we can’t really modify the recipe. We are to keep it the way it was written. Do you have ANY idea how hard that was for me?!  We search the blog we are given for a recipe fitting that months theme- this months is “Food that you’d love to have on your Thanksgiving table”. I was all over that theme. You all know how much I love the foods this time of the year. This month I was tickled to get the blog Lawyer Loves Lunch. Azmina was a new blogger to me; I’m not sure how I had missed her! I love her dry wit and writing style and I absolutely LOVE these potatoes Crispy, buttery and they made my house smell fantastic. I will still have to make regular mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving or my family will lynch me, but I also plan on making a batch of these.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Crispy Tandoori Smashed Potatoes

  • 1 lb mini Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot in salted water until they are easily pierced but not falling apart.
  2. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with oil (I also lined mine with foil to make cleanup quicker). Line up the potatoes on the sheet with about 2 inches between each one.
  3. Use a potato masher to smash each potato. You want more or less flat potatoes with nice ridges on them, to help hold all the buttery goodness.
  4. In a small bowl, microwave the butter and spices. Brush each potato with some of the spiced butter.
  5. Bake at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and crispy and browned around the edges.

What did we think- we loved them! Like I said up there, buttery, crispy potatoes with a ton of flavor. What’s not to love?

What would I maybe change up next time?-  I think I might add a bit more of the spices, plus maybe add some curry powder or garam masala.  Otherwise, not a thing. These are delicious!

There are some other bloggers in this group who you really need to check out. I have a list for you of everyone who is participating. Go and give them a look and see who they got and what delicious recipe THEY chose to make! Somewhere in there you’ll find the person who got my blog *bites nails nervously* I don’t know who it is, just know that I hope they liked whatever they created!

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Potato Skins With Pancetta, Brie And Fried Shallots

Potato Skins With Pancetta, Brie & Fried Shallots

Potato Skins With Pancetta, Brie & Fried Shallots

I remember back in the day when I waitressed. I’ve been lucky enough the last few years to be a stay at home mom because I have the most awesome husband ever, but I worked in all forms of the service industry for many many years. Back in the mid 80’s, during my first marriage, I worked at a restaurant called T.J. Applebees. Yep, that was how what we now know as Applebees started. This was in Houston and was one of their first restaurants.

This place was big on appetizers, beer and TV’s playing sports; one of the original sports bars/restaurants. Every Friday night they would have appetizer and drink specials to lure in the hungry masses. You could get ten cent wings (Gosh, I miss the days of ten cent wings lol. Now if you’re lucky, you can find 50 cent wing specials), quarter draft beers, 2 dollar pitchers of margaritas (more tip money spent on those than I care to recall hehe) and a plate of potato skins for a buck. Back then, potato skins weren’t as common. You could find them at places like T.J.’s and the like but no one really made them at home. Now though, they are a common game day snack.

I wanted to make them a bit more upscale though. I absolutely love the original way with cheddar cheese and bacon but I figured they could be made a bit more “knife and fork worthy” if that makes any sense. So instead of the normal toppings, we have some pan browned pancetta, creamy brie (mixed with a bit of Monterey Jack for tang) and some shallots that have been sliced thin, dredged in a touch of flour then fried in the drippings from the pancetta. Then each skin is sprinkled with some Fleur De Sel. Serve these with a bowl of sour cream and green onions and you have a snack worthy of eating with your pinky held out haughtily.

This is a multi step recipe but none of the steps is difficult. The most time consuming part is scooping out the potatoes. After that, it’s all prep.

You know the drill. Git to cookin’.

Potato Skins With Pancetta, Brie & Fried Shallots

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 8 ounces cubed pancetta
  • 12 ounces good quality brie, room temp (preferably a triple creme brie)
  • 4 ounces freshly shredded monterey jack cheese, brought to room temp AFTER grating)
  • 5 large shallots, sliced thin and tossed in 1 tablespoon flour
  • Fleur De Sel or Sea Salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Take each potato and wrap tightly in a piece of foil. Why? Because if you bake these, then bake them again later to melt the topping and crisp them, you end up with shriveled potatoes. Boiling them in foil gives you very pretty unwrinkled potatoes.
  2. Simmer the potatoes in water in a large pot for about 40 minutes or until a fork poked into the middle of the biggest one goes in easily.
  3. Carefully remove the foil and let potatoes cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. When cool, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, carefully spoon/scrape out the center of each potato half, leaving about a quarter inch thick shell.Cover the scooped out potatoes and save to use for something else. You could toss it also but why waste perfectly god potatoes?
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, then lay the potatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Make sure they are right next to each other touching because they can then support each other and prevent tipping over once the toppings are in them. Spray the potatoes liberally with cooking spray and place in a 400 degree oven.
  6. While the potatoes crisp up, start on the pancetta. In a medium pan, over medium heat, fry the pancetta until nice and crispy and browned.  When done, use a slotted spoon to remove to a bowl, leaving the drippings in the pan. Set aside for now.
  7. In the same pan, drop your dredged shallots and cook over medium high heat, stirring once or twice to prevent sticking and burning, until browned and crispy, about five minutes. Spoon out and set aside. If you’re anything like me, do the dishes now because it’s driving you crazy. 😛
  8. In yet another small bowl, mix together your brie and monterey jack. It will be sticky and kind of turn into a sort of cheese ball. This is actually what you want 😀
  9. Take the pan of potatoes out of the oven and fill each skin with a scoop of the cheese mixture, some of the pancetta and some of the fried shallots. Sprinkle each skin with some Fleur De Sel or sea salt.
  10. Place back in the 400 degree oven for about five minutes or until the cheese is totally melted.
  11. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and green onions. Serve the potatoes with the sour cream for dipping.
  12. You can serve these potatoes as an appetizer or as a light dinner with a salad. Either way, they are totally delicious!

I Like Taters Cause Taters Can Make You Mine…

I like taters, specially when eaten with lots of wine!! Ok, so my revamping of song lyrics leaves something to be desired. Like talent. But in my defense the song “I like Dreamin'” has been floating in my head all day long. I had to use it SOMEHOW!

Yes, I know taters can’t really make you mine either. But if I make them for my husband, they make HIM mine. Again. Or still. Or something.

Making these particular potatoes can quite possibly make anyone yours. Think crispy potatoes, gooey cheese, green onions, more gooey cheese. Wouldn’t YOU be someone’s sweetheart for that? I would. So maybe I would be someone’s sweetheart for a ten pack of Twinkies, a few Kindle E-Books and two liter of Coke but then, I’m cheap that way.

I found the original recipe for these potatoes HERE . I knew that, being me, I would change the recipe somewhat but honestly I didn’t do a whole lot. I added a teaspoon of jarred diced jalapenos, some extra cheese (you know me. I ALWAYS use extra cheese) and some green onion in lieu of the regular onion.

You need to try these. Trust me. Just cause I eat Twinkies and drink wine spritzers made with flat Sprite and cheap wine doesn’t mean I don’t know good potatoes when I inhale them. Admittedly, the above sentence isn’t the best way to endorse myself but oh well… Continue reading

Something Smells Fishy Over Here

Smoked Salmon Chowder

Well actually, that’s not true. How many of you realized that if your fish smells fishy, it’s old? It may still be perfectly edible but it’s certainly not fresh. Just thought I’d throw that tidbit out there. If fish smells fishy, buy different fish.

I love fish. Unfortunately we don’t eat it as often as my taste buds or my health would like. it’s one of those foods that is so good for you but is also usually so darn expensive! Continue reading