Tag Archives: potatoes

Easy cheesy potatoes

I hope you guys have had an amazing weekend. Like me, you should be sitting back, relaxing, patting yourself on the back for getting those few pesky chores done and smiling on all the fun you just had. Because like me, you just had the perfect summer weekend. That totally happened for you too, right?

This gal got to go to Duluth and see her indomitable brother not only complete Grandma’s Marathon, but do it with a smile on his face. In a word. Amazing. Oh and one more. Inspiring.
It was great to see him and our friends push themselves past their limits. Also super fun was cheering on all those runners, friends or not.

Grandmas Marathon-1

Then today on a foray for breakfast, we met a couple of amazing small farmers, selling produce fresh from their greenhouse. They had everything we were looking to do (albeit on a much larger scale). They were certainly the nicest couple, and willing to share some pointers and fantastic produce. Brekkie was quickly followed by a nap in the hammock and now I’m re-energized for more.

Now, fill in the gap in time (and space) between those two paragraphs and fill it with talking, laughter, and foodie love. Yeah that was my very perfect weekend. And now to top it off with the easiest side dish in all the lands. Now keep in mind, I live in the frozen tundra so even in June, it’s no big to have my oven on for 30, but if you live in warmer climes, pop these into a well oiled foil packet and toss ‘em on your grill. Easy, cheesy, comfort food, and the simplest side dish imaginable.

Enjoy!

Easy cheesy potatoes from thePenandthePan

Easy cheesy potatoes

2 lbs potatoes
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup green pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
¾ – 1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Clean, trim, and peel potatoes (if desired). Slice potatoes into ¼ inch pieces and place in 9×13” pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Top with onions and green pepper. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and potatoes are pierced easily with a fork.

Smashed potatoes from Closet Cooking

You know what’s amazing and awesome and about to happen to this very gal?! Getting to see your favorite band, in your favorite venue, with your favorite sibling! I’ll be real honest here, I can’t focus on a whole lot else right now. Tomorrow immediately after work, I’m hopping in the car for a solo camera venture across the state, landing in Minneapolis just in time for dinner with friends and then a night full of ROCK! All that excitement to be followed on Saturday by lunching with some favorite ladies, a little retail therapy, and another scenic route home. Just me, visits with rad people, and exactly zero pressure.

It did cross my mind to stay for a second day, but on the way into work this week, I looked around at all the peeps coming to vacation in this town, and I thought, “Huh, do I really want to miss out on a fine weekend afternoon in what will surely be the shortest of summers?” The answer was an emphatic no. That coupled with the fact that the ever talented Himself is willing to work on my car on Sunday, and it’s a def no-brainer, not a single moment wasted away from my north woods paradise.

That said, I’m crazy excited to go, and have exactly zero interest in planning elaborate meals this week. So, because I’m a grown up, it’s appetizers for dinner! Boom! Cause I can. I love this recipe because you can fancy it up for your friends, or do what I did and use leftover bits and pieces languishing in my sad fridge. Intentional ingredients, happy accidents with leftovers, either way, these little bites are so yummy. Think a potato skin with more potato and less grease and guilt.

I’ve copied over the original recipe from Closet Cooking in case you’re ready to wow your friends, but if you just want a little comfort snack, you’ll get the gist of it and adapt away.

Enjoy!

Smashed potatoes from thePenandthePan

Smashed potatoes from Closet Cooking

1 pound new potatoes (about 1-1 1/2 inches across), washed
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 strips bacon (optional)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup sour cream
2 green onions, sliced

Bring the potatoes and enough water to cover them by an inch to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until a fork can easily be pushed into them, about 15-30 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes, before draining them.

Place the potatoes on a greased baking sheet and ‘smash’ them by pressing down on them with something like a potato masher, the bottom of a glass or bowl, etc.

Brush the potatoes with oil, season with salt and pepper and bake them on the top shelf of a preheated 450F oven until golden brown and crispy on top, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook and crumble the bacon.

Sprinkle the cheddar onto the potatoes and optionally broil for a minute to melt the cheese.

Top with the sour cream, bacon and green onions and enjoy as a side or as an appetizer!

Option: You can cook and smash the potatoes a day ahead of time.

Samosa wonton cups

You guys! I just want to go outside so badly. Me and everyone else in this town. It’s been rainy and cold, and we just can’t take it any more. Well, ok, there are some things about the rain that are sorta ok. There are few things that smell nearly as amazing as rain in the wet and muddy pines.

Problem is, while I could totally handle the cold in February, it’s April (imagine me saying that last part in the whiniest voice you ever heard). Now I just want to be outside. The birds and animals are all returning despite the cold, and I want to enjoy it too.

Just check out this wolf we spotted on the way to work on Monday. Granted, I don’t want to run into this dude outside, but with zero woodscraft, he’d hear me coming and be gone long before I reached him.

Wolf_Deer River-2

Can’t really blame this guy for coming around, though, check out all these deer (look closely, my friends). We’ve been seeing crazy amounts (16 at a time!) in the field across the way. Yayyy nature!

Deer a-grazing

Oh well, this time indoors hasn’t been put to good use. Just check out these samosa wonton cups I made. This appetizer isn’t really a wonton and it isn’t really a samosa. But what it is, is super crazy delicious, and it’s my blog, so I’m calling them samosa wontons. So there.

There are a lot of steps, but they’re super easy. Though, you can also make the filling and wonton cups ahead of time. Just wait to fill the cups until ready to serve. Either way they’re delish!

Enjoy!

Samosa wonton cups

Samosa wonton cups

24 wonton wrappers (found in the produce section)
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced to ½ inch
½ tablespoon olive oil
⅓ cup onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
½ cup fresh peas or thawed frozen peas
⅓ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon curry powder
pinch cayenne pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350º. Separate wonton wrappers and place in ungreased mini muffin to create a cup. Bake unfilled wrappers for 5 minutes. Set aside

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil potato pieces until just tender, no more than 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook an additional two minutes more.

In a large bowl, mix together mayonnaise, mint, garam masala, and cayenne pepper. Add potatoes, onion mixture, and peas.

Fill each wonton with potato mixture. Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped clinatro. Serve hot.

Curry stew

HOLY BUCKETS YOU GUYS! I AM SO CAFFEINATED RIGHT NOW!

Ok, I’ll dial it back a notch here, but seriously, I am currently enjoying a delicious iced (yes iced!) latte right now, and I have had a most exciting and eventful couple of days.Of course busy is often paired with exciting and eventful, so I’ve been drinking all the delicious coffee drinks today.

I know what you’re thinking. “JESS, quit with the suspense and tell us what’s happening already!” I’m getting to it, but you know how I like to build a little excitement. Let me start by saying that this week, I’m the poster child for good things coming in threes. Number one! You’ve already heard me go on (and on and on and on) about how much I love my new job. Number 2! I also got a raise at my work from home job, and I had completely forgotten that I was even close to eligible (c’mon, I’ve only had a little going on these days). Drumroll please. Number 3! WE ACCEPTED AN OFFER ON THE OLD HOUSE!!!

Yup, that’s right, an offer. You see we moved before having sold the old house, thinking (and being told) that it was only a matter of time before someone snatched it up. Well, it’s been a struggle, but that big ‘ol weight is finally off our shoulders. And we couldn’t be happier. Oh, and as if I needed another reason to be the happiest gal in all the lands, it’s starting to warm up! I actually left the office sans gloves today. I know, I can hardly believe it either.

Sure, there’s still some cold to come, but we’ve turned the corner finally. On those few cold days remaining to us, you totally need to make this stew. Yes, it’s more curry, but different than the ones you’ve seen here before. Though the curry heat and flavor still shines, the vegetables really take center stage here. It’ll warm you through and fuel you through those last few winter chores. It’s like the best marriage of your traditional stew and my favorite Thai flavors. Of course, you don’t have to put it in a bread bowl, but we’ve already talked about my love of all bread products before, so naturally I had to use the bread bowl.

Enjoy!

Curry stew from thepenandthepan

Curry stew

Adapted from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas

2 Tablespoons coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ Tablespoon curry powder
1 ½ Tablespoons red curry paste
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
½ Tablespoon soy sauce
½ Tablespoon sweet chili garlic sauce (or favorite hot sauce and a pinch of brown sugar)
3 ½ cups potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thinly
1 cup carrots, sliced
2-3 links chicken sausage, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onion, and green pepper and cook just until softened, no more than 5 minutes. Stirr in curry powder and curry paste and cook 1 minute.

Add coconut milk, chicken broth, soy sauce, and chili sauce. Cook just until heated through. Add in potatoes, carrots, and chicken sausage. Cover and cook in preheated oven for 1 hour. Serve with crusty bread or in pretzel bread bowls.

Coconut chicken curry soup

As you read this, I’m on a whirlwind road trip straight to Minneapolis and back, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Though I would love a chance to get back for a nice leisurely visit, alas, today is not the day. That’s not to say that there isn’t a little bit of awesome in store for this trip. My dad is getting ready to move (maybe to the area!!). Like all good Hendrii, he’s amassed a lot in the way of tools and gadgets. Now Himself and I have a whole lotta space, so in an effort to help out, we’ve agreed to store some stuff here. I mean, we’re really taking one for the team, finding a useful home for all the tools we don’t already have (I’m sure you’d agree).

This gal gets to choose one extra stop on the road trip, and since there isn’t time to visit more friends or family, I naturally chose something to tempt any foodie’s heart. When we lived in Anoka, we joined a rad little co-op that has amazingly fresh spices and herbs. I spent yesterday, cleaning out all kinds of jars in preparation to get one of everything (I wish!). Of course, I could get stuff here, but the opportunity to make my own spice and tea blends is something no good foodie could pass up.

And another thing you can’t pass up is this soup! (Pretty nice segue if I do say so myself) I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the things I miss about the “big city” is Thai food. But this soup, with everyday(ish) ingredients totally stems that craving. Not to mention a big bowl of warm soup is comforting on any cold day. You can kick up the heat a little with the addition of some cayenne pepper too. But taste as you go along, a little of that red pepper goes a long, long way in a soup.

And if you’re looking for a little more comfort out of your meal, serve this with some delicious breadsticks.

Enjoy!

Coconut Chicken Curry Soup

Coconut chicken curry soup

1 Tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1 cup carrots, sliced thin
½ onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
3 teaspoons green curry paste
2 14 oz cans light coconut milk
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cups diced, cooked potatoes
¾ cup frozen peas

In a large pot over medium heat, saute onions and carrots in oil until slightly softened. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste and stir one minute. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, brown sugar, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce. Let simmer over medium low heat about 5 minutes. Add chicken, potatoes, and peas. Heat through.

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