Crispy Smashed Potatoes

I love Pinterest. I can spend hours (and sometimes I do) looking at new recipes. I usually scroll through the Food and Drink posts, but other times I look up something specifically. Here is a great potato recipe I found from Tasty Kitchen. I decided to try it one night when my husband was grilling steaks. They turned out so good that I made them again for a dinner party we had the following week. Easy and delicious – my kind of recipe!


Golden B sized potatoes (as many as you need for your guests)


Dried Dill


Non-stick Spray


Boil whole potatoes in large pot of water. Cook until fork tender – about 30 minutes.

Drain potatoes and set aside.

Spray non-stick spray on bottom of sheet pan. Place potatoes on pan with space between them.

Use the bottom of a thick juice glass to gentle smash the potato. One good smash is all you need.

Cut a small pat of butter and put on top of each potato.

Lightly salt and shake dill on each potato.

Bake potatoes in oven at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

So yummy! Next time, I might try it with sweet potatoes.

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Red, White and Blue Dessert

We had some friends over on Saturday night to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. My middle daughter, who is the baker at our house, made the dessert. Another friend makes a similar dessert she calls The Chocolate Dream with chocolate cake and pudding. This spin-off version is very patriotic with the red, white and blue.  This is easy to make, tastes great and looks beautiful. (The fruit makes you believe it is good for you, too!)


1 box white cake mix (and ingredients from box)

2 tubs of Cool Whip (8oz)

Red and blue food coloring

Blueberries and strawberries for topping

Special tool: Trifle Bowl


Make cake batter per directions on box.

Pour even amount of batter in two bowls.

Add red food coloring to one bowl (we used 100 drops to get it really red) and add blue food coloring (we used 75 drops) to other bowl.  Mix well.

Pour into greased 8” cake pans and cook per directions on box.

When cake is done, let it cool completely.

Break cake into chunks.

In trifle bowl (or clear serving bowl), layer half of red cake.

Sorry she caught me in the photo!

Top with 2/3 of tub of Cool Whip.

Layer blue cake – using all of it.

Top again with more Cool Whip.

Layer again with the other half of red cake and then top with remaining Cool Whip.

I originally thought we would make a nice design with the fruit but my daughter had a better idea.

Create the American Flag on the top of Cool Whip with blueberries and strawberries.

Everyone loved it and there were no leftovers. Looks like we will make it again for the 4th of July!


Breaded Chicken and Rice with Tomato and Wine Sauce

This is one of my favorite meals. I found this recipe several years ago and have changed it over the years. Originally it called for the chicken breasts to be stuffed and then breaded, but it was too messy and the stuffing always fell out. Now I just bread the chicken and make the rice stuffing on the side.

Ingredients for chicken:

Boneless chicken breasts – one for each person

Flour for dredging

1 to 2 eggs (depending on how many breasts you are making)

Panko bread crumbs

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 pats of butter

1 (28oz can) petite diced tomatoes

½ cup white wine

1 tbsp oregano

Ingredients for rice:

2 cups of white rice

1 (10oz) package of chopped frozen spinach

1 cup petite diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ to ½ cup of liquid from chicken pan


Melt butter and saute garlic in skillet. Swirl around to cover bottom of pan

In the meantime, pour flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs in separate bowls

Dredge chicken in flour

Then coat evenly with egg mixture

And roll in bread crumbs

Place chicken in warm skillet.

Brown chicken – about 5 minutes each side

Pour in diced tomatoes, wine and oregano over chicken.

This is where the panko bread crumbs do well. I have used regular bread crumbs in the past and after cooking in the liquid, the breading comes off when you move the chicken. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for 20 more minutes (depending on thickness of breast) or until you have an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

While chicken is cooking, prepare rice per directions and set aside in large bowl. Cook spinach per package, drain and add to bowl with rice.

Pour in diced tomatoes and mix well.

With a large spoon, collect ¼ to ½ cup of liquid from the cooking chicken and tomatoes. Mix into rice. Add shredded cheese rice before serving and mix well.



Broccoli Slaw Salad – Perfect for Potluck or BBQ

Last week we had a potluck dinner at church.  I never know what to bring for potluck. I am always afraid of duplicates – too much of one thing and not enough of something else. Salads are usually safe, so that was my plan. It was a busy week so I wanted to find something that was easy to make and not too perishable as I had to shop a couple days before.

I decided on a Broccoli Slaw salad which is a spin-off of a Asian Cole Slaw.  The broccoli slaw has a nice crunch and holds up better with the dressing. This salad is very easy to prepare and the kids can put it together for you while you get ready. If you are not eating the salad right away, bring the dressing on the side to pour on right before serving.


(2) 10oz. packages of broccoli slaw

½ cup sliced almonds

7.25 oz. package sunflower kernels

(1) 3oz. package Ramen Chicken Soup Mix uncooked


Flavor package from Ramen Noodles

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 ½ tablespoons of vinegar

1/8 cup of sugar


Pour broccoli slaw, almonds and sunflower kernels in large bowl.

Before opening the Ramen Noodle Soup Mix, break up uncooked noodles into small pieces. (In my haste, I opened the package first so I put the noodles into a Ziploc bag to smash them.)

Add noodles to bowl.

Toss the salad to mix evenly.

In separate bowl, pour in oil, vinegar, sugar and flavor package. Mix well.

Pour dressing over salad right before serving.

This salad was a hit at the potluck. Here is what the bowl looked like when I picked it up!


Guest Blogger: My 12-year-old Daughter – How to Make Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

My baking skills are not great. Unlike cooking, baking ingredients and cooking times have to be followed exactly or you will ruin it.  Most of what I make comes out of a box. My daughter, who is 12, loves to bake. When she came home from school the other day, she had a taste for cookies. She looked up a recipe and then started to put it all together. Knowing I had a food blog, she suggested that I add her cookie recipe. She wrote it and took all the pictures. The cookies were very good and lasted less than 24 hours!

1)    Gather the ingredients

  • 1 ½  sticks of softened butter (NOT MELTED)
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

2)    Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar

(The best way to soften is to microwave it for ten seconds and then 5 second increments so it doesn’t melt)

3)    Mix in the vanilla and eggs to the butter and sugar… don’t mix with a mixer, use your hands!

4)    Get a separate bowl and put in the baking soda, flour, and salt. Do not use a mixer unless you want to clean up a big mess, mix with a spoon! Stir until smooth.

5)    Start slowly adding flour to the wet mixture

6)    When all the flour is added into the wet mixture, start adding the chocolate chips!

7)    Start making little balls of cookie dough and put them on the pan

8)    Set oven to 350 degrees

9)    Cook for 8-12 minutes

10) Let them cool on pan for 3-5 minutes then move them to a cooling rack or eat them!

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Carmelized Onion and Blue Cheese Crostini

My husband and I love to cook and of course, we love to eat. My husband always calls dinner an event (except when we are running out the door in the middle of the week to get kids to their events – then he calls it crazy.)

Last weekend we had one day that just had morning games. The afternoon was spent doing chores around the house and the evening was free. Mark was planning dinner for us so I told him I would make an appetizer. We had taken a class at Sur La Table in March and had this amazing onion crostini with blue cheese and bacon. As usual, I converted this recipe a little to fit our tastes and what we had at home. The result was even better than what we had at Sur La Table!

For anyone looking for a quick appetizer, this is not it. It takes about an hour to prepare. We drank wine and had some cheese while we talked so an hour went by quickly. The good news is that you can make the onions ahead of time and toast and make up the crostini later.  Putting it all together after the onions are done takes about 15 minutes. We had enough to put make again another night.


1 medium onion, diced

2 tbsp. olive oil (divided)

4 slices of bacon (we used precooked)

1 cup of broth (we had chicken broth on hand)

1 cup of red wine (we were drinking a Bordeaux so that is what we used)

1 tsp. dried thyme (divided)

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

4 oz. crumbled blue cheese

1 baguette, cut into 1/2” slices


Cook onions in 1 tbsp. of olive oil over low to medium heat until brown and caramelized – about 30 minutes.

Increase heat and add wine and broth.

Simmer and stir until mixture is thick and moisture is reduced by ½ – another 30 minutes.

When done, remove from heat and add ½ tsp. thyme, balsamic vinegar and bacon to onion mixture. Set aside.

To prepare crostini, mix 1 tbsp. olive oil and ½ tsp. dried thyme in bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brush olive oil onto sliced baguettes and set on sheet pan.

Cook in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

When crostini is done, add an equal amount of crumbled blue cheese to each baguette.

The original recipe called for 2 tsp. but we added more. Top blue cheese crostini with an equal amount of onion mixture. Enjoy with a glass of Bordeaux or any red wine. Delicious!


Oven Baked Lyonnaise Potatoes

I love potatoes! I can easily eat them everyday. When I was a kid, we almost never had potatoes – strange for an Irish family. The reason was because my grandmother cooked potatoes almost every night for dinner (not strange for an Irish family) and my dad grew tired of them. Now that I am the adult, we have potatoes a lot, although not every night. I do get tired of the same recipe so I am constantly looking for another way to prepare potatoes. After searching Pinterest, I found a couple recipes that I liked and I took a little from each one to come up with this.

Lesson learned from this recipe as well: Check all ingredients in the house before you dive into making a recipe. I did not have any onions and had to borrow from my neighbors. Thank you Holly and Jenn!


5 medium potatoes (There are five of us in the family)

2 medium onions

½ cup chicken broth

½ cup milk

4 minced garlic cloves or 2 tsp of jarred garlic

1 tbsp dried parsley

½ stick of butter cut into pats

Black Pepper to taste

Paprika for color


▪ Preheat oven to 375 degrees

▪ Cut potatoes and onions into circles.

▪ Spray bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray

▪ Layer potatoes on bottom, touching but not overlapping

▪ Layer onions on top of potatoes. I did not have enough onions so I layered extra potato slices around the onions.

▪ Add a generous (or to taste) amount of black pepper on top of onion layer

▪ Repeat potato and onion layer

▪ In a small sauce pan, warm chicken broth, milk, parsley and garlic, but do not boil

▪ Pour over potatoes and onions and move dish around to evenly distribute liquid. It doesn’t look like a lot of liquid at first, but by covering it with foil, nothing will evaporate.

▪ Sprinkle paprika on potatoes and onions to give it a little color.

▪ Add pats of butter evenly over top of potatoes

▪ Cover with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes.


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