Category Archives: Potatoes

Maple Chicken and Veg

I’ve been working and tweaking this recipe for a while now. It’s a one-pot-dish (my favorite kind) and it involves chicken quarters (always very budget friendly) and some root veggies flavored up with some maple syrup (always yummy!)

This is a dish I tried on a whim not too long ago – and to my shock the 4yr old had seconds…AND thirds – the picky eater 6yr old ate her whole meal without endless talking and talking and talking – AND the Hubby who gets bored with chicken and hates potatoes asked if we could put this dish into regular rotation for dinner meals because he liked it so much!

You can change up the potatoes and vegetable to what ever you like, but I feel the carrots and sweet potatoes in particular really compliment the maple flavoring. Try to stay in the same tastes 😉  Hubby also really likes it when I add one large yellow onion cubed up.


4 Chicken Leg Quarters
2 Red Potatoes
2 White Potatoes
1 Sweet Potato
3 Large (FAT) Carrots
20 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup melted Butter
salt/pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and gather all your ingredients along with a good cutting board and a trusty knife. You’re going to be doing some prep work on this dish – but I promise it’s easy and worth it.


Prep your veggies. Peel your carrots, peel your potatoes, peel all those cloves of garlic. Peel EVERYTHING!! Some people like to eat the skins on their potatoes. If your family is of this crowd then CONGRATULATIONS! Your prep time has just been cut in half! My family on the other hand won’t go near anything that’s not fully peeled – – – I know, I know, pick your battles, right?


Cube the potatoes and carrots into roughly one inch cubes. Try your best to keep everything about the same size. Place all those cubed vegetables into a large bowl.

Combine the maple syrup and the melted butter together and give it a good stir. Slowly pour over all the cubed veggies in the bowl and then toss the veggies to get a good even coating of that mapley goodness. Set the bowl aside for a few minutes.
Pull out two large casserole dishes. Pam spray or grease the bottoms of them and place two chicken quarters into each dish. Salt and pepper the chicken.


Scoop out your buttered and syrup’d veggies and sprinkle them around the chicken quarters in both dishes. Pour any remaining syrup from the bottom of the bowl over the chicken. Place in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes. Now you can sit back and relax while dinner cooks itself in the oven and the aromas of garlic and maple and chicken float through your home.


And that’s it! That’s all there is to it! You get your delicious sweet veggies, some roasted garlic cloves, and some juicy chicken meat on a plate and chow down!  Enjoy!!!

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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Chicken, Dinner, Easy, Entree, Healthy, Kids, Potatoes


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Cheesy Smashed Red Potatoes

Have I told you all yet that my husband HATES potatoes? I mean really, he is a walking garbage can and will eat practically anything…unless it’s a potato!  French fries are ok, and he’ll do sweet potatoes, but anything else is simply out of the question. It doesn’t matter how much yumminess I add to it with cheese or butter or cream – bacon or sour cream – baked, mashed, smashed, or double baked. He just doesn’t like them.


I think I’ve found a way to make it work!

Red potatoes. Red potatoes are the key. They are creamier and somehow more appealing than the standard brown Russets. Their price is nearly identical to the Russet (as opposed to say, Fingerling Potatoes), and they are easily found year round where I live.

I’ve also decided that people who don’t own potato mashers, frantically Google “smashed potatoes” while cooking in order to find something that will work for them. During one of these searches I stumbled onto a site called The Very Best Baking that highlighted a recipe for some Creamy Smashed Potatoes and it has since become our go-to dish!


Cheesy Smashed Red Potatoes
6 or 7 medium sized Red Potatoes
1 cup Evaporated Milk
2 TBSP Butter
3/4 grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Wash and quarter your potatoes and place into a small pot with enough water in it to cover the potatoes. Boil 15-20 minutes until they are cooked through and tender.
2. Drain the water and return the potatoes to the same pot. Smash up the potato quarters with the back side of a fork and then add the evaporated milk and butter. Continue smashing and mixing until evenly mixed and creamy.
3. Stir in the Parmesan Cheese and add salt/pepper to taste.
4. Enjoy!!


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Candied Sweet Potatoes

I don’t really know what to say about candied sweet potatoes. They are easy, delicious, and so super sweet that your kids (and husband) will celebrate their veggies as a treat!


Candied Sweet Potatoes:
2 Sweet Potatoes
1 1/4 TBSP Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Water

1. Wash your sweet potatoes and poke several times with a fork. Bake at 425 for 50-60 minutes, until cooked through. (I recommend putting a sheet of foil under the potatoes to catch any syrupy drippings.)2. In a skillet, melt your butter and then mix in the brown sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a low boil.
3. While the skillet is heating up, peel your potatoes and slice them in half. Sprinkle them with salt and place them into the skillet (after it’s reached the boil). Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for approximately 15 minutes or until well glazed.


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Lazy Legs and Taters

This dish was an experiment of mine and I’m soo pleased with the way it turned out, I just HAD to share it! I’ve had a package of chicken legs staring at me from my fridge for a few days and I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with them. Spring is here and the house was getting warm enough in the evenings that I didn’t feel like running the oven to bake them up, but at the same time Hubby has been working until long past dinner time and wasn’t available to grill them for me. (I know I know, I”m sure I could figure out how to light the grill and cook on it, but I’m not interested and darn it, that’s HIS job!)

So what it all comes down to, is that these legs needed to be cooked and I needed to figure out a new approach since my stand-by methods weren’t available to me. The obvious solution would be to use the crock pot – but these were legs! Crock pots are good at tough cuts of meat, or maybe some chicken breasts with a gravy, but really, most chicken dishes come out a little mushy and bland, and just not all that appealing for a summery weather dish.

This is where I was wrong. These legs were not mushy. They were not bland. They were not drowned in gravy or cream soups and too heavy for a summertime meal. They were moist, packed with flavor, so tender the meat fell off the bone of a few legs, and it was SOO easy! I even tossed a few potatoes in the crock pot to cook with the chicken and those came out perfectly too….So it’s a one pot meal! Score!!!

The trick is to use a rub on the chicken, brown it in a skillet, and then build yourself some braces on the bottom of your crock to keep the juices away from your chicken while it’s cooking! Easy, easy, easy! I’ll break it all down for you. First the ingredients…

1 package Chicken Legs
2 Russet Potatoes, washed and halved
1 Onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
2-3 stalks Celery
2-3 Carrots
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

First of, you need to mix all of your herbs/seasonings together in a bowl to make your rub. Once combined, proceed to rub it all over your chicken legs, both on the skin and directly onto any of the meat that is showing as well. Get a skillet on the stove top nice and hot and then place your rubbed legs in to brown them, making sure to turn them occasionally so they get a nice browning on all sides.


While your legs are in the skillet, you can begin to prepare your crock pot. You need to work in layers so the chicken meat isn’t soaking in it’s own juices and turn all mushy on you. On the very bottom of your skillet, spread out your thinly sliced onion and smashed garlic cloves. Next up is the celery and carrots. Cut your stalks into lengths that fit nicely in the bottom of your crock, both lengthwise and crosswise. You want to put a layer or two of these ‘crossbeams’ in to allow the juice to sink, but the chicken to remain supported above it all. Next up is the potatoes. I sliced two potatoes in half lengthwise and wrapped the halves up tightly in aluminum foil. They will steam themselves nicely and will be done and ready to eat when the chicken is done!


When your chicken has been browned, you can place it directly tin to your prepared and layered crock pot. Turn the crock on low for 6 hours and walk away!! Your dinner is cooking itself for you! I turned my crock on high for the last 45 minutes to try and crisp up the skins a little, but they were still a little too soft for my liking. You could place them under a broiler for a few minutes if you want to firm them up some.


The chicken and potatoes should be cooked perfectly, the carrots and celery were really used for structural support, but if you are so inclined you could always save them aside to make them into a stock with the juices in the bottom of the pot. Just cook it down a little more. I wouldn’t recommend serving them as a veggie side with your chicken dish though. 🙂

Enjoy! I really hope you like it! This is going to become a regular around our house for sure!


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Garlicky Red Potatoes

I have to admit, I’m not a huge potato fan. I much prefer them fried up in a vat of grease and sprinkled heavily with salt. BUT. I am a Mom, and I do have to try and feed my kids responsibly soooo….

Garlicky red potatoes was invented! Red potatoes seem to have a much better taste to me than the typical Russets do, and the cost is comparable. Add this together with enough garlic and we’re heading down the path to some acceptable potatoes! Toss in some butter and cheese and now things are really looking up!


4-5 medium to medium-large Red Potatoes
1/4 Butter, melted
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Salt
1 Lemon
2 TBSP grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Wash and quarter the potatoes into even sized chunks. Lay a sheet of foil over the bottom of a cookie sheet or a casserole dish, spray it with Pam spray, and spread the potatoes out on it.
3. Juice the lemon into the bowl with the melted butter and add the garlic and salt. Pour the mixture over the potatoes as evenly as you can, coating as much of the exposed potato as possible.
4. Sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese over the potatoes and cover with another sheet of foil. Bake covered for 30 minutes – then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
5. Enjoy!

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Posted by on March 30, 2013 in Dinner, Easy, Potatoes, Quick & Easy, Sides


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Sweet Potato Mash

This is another easy peasy side dish that is sweet enough to be a big hit with the family and also healthy enough that I feel good feeding it to them. If your oven is already on to cook another dish, then these sweet potatoes practically make themselves! Just chop, bake, smoosh, and eat!! I’ll break it down for you below….


Sweet Potatoes (I used 2 large ones for this recipe)
4 total TBSP of melted butter, broken down into two batches of 2TBSPs each
2 TBSP Brown Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Wash and peel the Sweet Potatoes, cube them up into roughly two inch chunks – you’re going for uniformity here, try to get all the chunks roughly the same size so they bake evenly.
3. Pam spray a baking sheet and toss your potato chunks on there. Pour your first portion of 2TBSP melted butter over the potatoes and push them around to try and get them all coated a bit.
4. Bake for around 35 minutes – keep an eye on them for burning and make sure to stir them once in a while. Browning is good, burning is not :-)
5. When they’re done, take them roasted chunks of sweet potato out of the oven and decide how you’re going to mash them! You can use a food processor (if you have one) to puree them into a nice smooth fluff, you can use a blender to do the same thing, you can just pour them into a large bowl and smoosh them with a large fork, or you can use a potato masher if you like. It all ends up pretty much the same.
6. After you’ve mashed up the potatoes, add the remaining 2 TBSP melted butter and the 2 TBSP of Brown Sugar and mix it all together.
7. Enjoy!!


Oven Baked French Fries

My kids don’t really get to eat fast food. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve done it. There are playlands inside the McDonald’s that we frequent and I often cave and order some fries or something to nibble on. BUT, they have probably only eaten fast food no more than a half-dozen times in their entire lives and I do my best to keep it that way. That doesn’t mean they don’t ask to go eat at “Old McDonald’s” every time we pass one on the street and of course Fries are the main attraction.


French fries are soo easy to make at home. They are cheap, when baked and not fried, they are actually decently healthy, and the kids love them just as much as the fast food version. It’s a perfect, easy side for lunch…and here’s the kicker….my potato HATING husband actually loves them too! Let the kiddo’s help you season up the potato slices and it’s family fun for everyone! Hah!


So here’s the recipe – I will admit I completely wing this one when I make it, I just add a dash of this and a splash of that. But these quantities sound about right – feel free to play around with them though to get it the way you like it!

Oven Baked French Fries:

Russet Potato (I find that one average Russet perfectly feeds one adult and 2 young kids)
1 TBSP EVOO per potato used
1/2 TBSP seasoned salt
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP onion powder
1/4 TSP chili powder (feel free to add more or less to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Wash up that potato really well and blot the excess water off of it. Get a large bowl and toss some ice cubes into it and some icy cold water and set it next to your cutting board. Slice up your potato(s) as evenly as you can into long thin strips – leave the skins on, they add some great taste. As soon as you have sliced the potato up, spread the pieces so they’re not all clumped together and dump them into the cold water.
3. Dig your hands into that icy water and rescue your potato slices out and put them back on the cutting board. Dump out the cold water, quickly towel dry the inside of the bowl, and start dumping your spices into it. Finish off with the EVOO and then get in there with your fingers again and mix the oil and the seasonings together until you have a grainy paste.
4. Grab those potato slices and bring them back into the bowl and again using your hands toss them in the seasoning rub. Smoosh it around and mix it up and do your best to get a nice layer of that goodness all over the potato.
5. Pam Spray the heck out of a baking sheet, don’t be shy on this one – and DON’T think you’re clever and put some aluminum foil on top of your baking sheet to save on the clean up. It won’t work this time. Trust me.
6. Put your seasoned potato slices on your Pam Sprayed baking sheet and toss it in the oven for about 30 minutes. About half way through you need to grab a spatula and mix up the slices so that they can bake on both sides.  And keep an eye on them for when they’re done. If you sliced them thinly, they may finish in 25 minutes, if you sliced them thicker, they will take longer. If you sliced them poorly and have some skinny and some fat…well…you’ll have some extra crispy fries and some a little less done :-)   Practice, practice, practice!
7. Enjoy!!

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