Archives for posts with tag: side dish


When I saw this post on Annie’s Eats, I couldn’t agree with her more.  I have struggled to find a good oven baked fry recipe that is so delicious I am just head over heals.  Annie always has really great recipes on her site, so I trust her judgement and tried these.

Oh. My. Gosh.

DELICIOUS is not even the word.

It takes a few steps, but it’s so worth it.  We made these with “Jamaican” Beer Burgers and Grilled Zucchini Planks (Recipes soon to follow).

Baked Oven Fries

Recipe #: 102

Saved Since: Feb. 2010

Count: 14 down, 192 to go

Husband’s Rating: 5 out of 5

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Serves 2 to 3


  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into wedges
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 475F.
  2. Put potato wedges in a large bowl and cover with hot water.
  3. Let soak for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Put 2 Tbsp. canola oil onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Coat the pan evenly with oil using a pasty brush.
  6. Sprinkle the pan evenly with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with towels.  Wipe out the bowl so it is completely dry.
  8. Put the potatoes back in the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.
  9. Arrange the wedges on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  10. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes
  11. Remove foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes.
  12. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato over in a single layer.
  13. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Rotate the pan again as needed for even browning.
  14. Transfer the fries to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up excess oil.
  15. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed and serve warm.

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats


I can’t cook rice.  I just can’t do it.  I’ve only tried a few times, but something always goes wrong.  I grew up with instant rice.  You know… boil water, throw a bag of rice in and wait 10 minutes.  It’s never let me down before so I don’t know why I can’t just be happy with my rice in a bag. 

I just get intrigued when I see a recipe for rice that requires a little more effort than boiling a bag.  Pioneer Woman’s Basic Mexican Rice just spoke to me.  And then after all was said and done I think it laughed at me.  My basic issue was that I didn’t pay attention to the rice-to-liquid ratios of my rice.  I just went by the measurements in the recipe.  As I was failing, my husband asked “what is the ratio?”.  I was like “what?”.  Shows how much I know about rice. 

Anyway, it took a long time to cook through and even then some of it wasn’t fully cooked.  BUT it was delicious.  The spice was hot, but it was the good kind of hot.  Like the really good kind.  I recommend this recipe, just do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Check the ratios on your rice package!
  2. OR cheat and make the instant rice first and mix it in with the other ingredients later.

I will be choosing option 2 next time for sure.

Basic Mexican Rice

List #: 123 (Full list on the About page).

Saved Since: November 2009

Husband’s Rating: “would be better if it was all cooked” (thankssss :-P)

My thoughts: really good spice; will make instant rice next time

Recipe Count: 7 down, 198 to go


Serves 3 to 4


  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/4 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. long grain rice
  • 5 oz. Rotel, drained (or not drained, depending on how you like the heat)
  • 7 oz. whole tomatoes
  • 1 c. low sodium chicken broth (but for the love of fully cooked rice, check your ratios!!!)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add rice and garlic.
  4. Stir continuously.  You don’t want the rice to burn.
  5. Cover and cook 3 minutes over low heat.
  6. Add Rotel and tomatoes, breaking up the whole tomatoes.
  7. Stir to combine and cook for 2 more minutes.
  8. Stir in cumin and salt.
  9. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  10. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.
  11. Add more liquid as needed.  You don’t want the rice to be sticky.
  12. Sprinkle cilantro over the top, just before serving.

 Source: The Pioneer Woman Cooks

When I started this blog 10 days ago, my idea of “never putting off until tomorrow” included training our dog so that he would stop acting like a fool all the time.  He is a good, sweet dog who can sit and lay down, wait and stay (for the most part).  He sleeps peacefully in his dog bed every night and doesn’t destroy anything in the house while we are at work anymore.  But he does bark and growl obnoxiously at our neighbors anytime they come outside, he has bolted out the door and sprinted around the neighborhood 3 times, and most notably, he lunged at a little boy on a bike the other day and managed to rip the pocket on the boy’s shorts.  This last incident is not acceptable under any circumstances.  The situation could have gone a lot worse.  We don’t really know how to correct or control these behaviors and I really think a professional trainer providing private in-home instruction could be really beneficial.  So Goal #1 for training the dog = find a trainer for the dog.  So far I have spoken to one and need to call another back.  I will keep you posted!

In the meantime, you should make this potato dish.  It’s pretty tasty and very easy to throw together.  I made it the same night as the chicken burgers.  I added some rosemary to the potatoes and omitted an ingredient.  They came out really nicely.

Summer Potatoes

List #: 156 (You can see the full list on the About  page).

Saved Since: August 2009

Husband’s Rating: Pretty Good

My thoughts: Another yummy way to eat potatoes 🙂

Recipe Count: 4 down, 201 to go


Serves 2


  • 14 oz. baby red potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • pinch of black pepper
  • salt, to taste 


  1. Leaving the skin on, cut the potatoes in half.
  2. Put a large pot with a couple inches of water on to boil.  Place a steaming basket on top and steam the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove potatoes to a bowl and add wine, oil, and lemon juice.
  4. Let potatoes sit for about 15 minutes, allowing the potatoes to absorb some of the liquid.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together before serving.

 Source: adapted from Good Things Catered

I have 4 words for zucchini:  I FREAKIN’ LOVE IT. 

Anything zucchini = my favorite.  Barefoot Contessa’s Zucchini Gratin was no exception.  This recipe was surprisingly easy.  I have never made Gratin before but it will definitely be added to the menu more often!!  I like this recipe because it’s relatively fool-proof for someone who has a hard time with rues and sauces.  I think the reason I was so successful with this one was the fact that I wasn’t hovering over it, watching every moment of the cooking process and trying to figure out if it was “ready” or “right”.  Since I was making something else to go with it I couldn’t focus my full attention on the gratin and I just kind of let the ingredients hang out and do their thing.  And their thing is just fabulous.

Zucchini Gratin

List #: 72 (You can see the full list on the About  page now).

Saved Since: April 2010

Husband’s Rating: Excellent; “You could make this again anytime you want”.

My thoughts: A guaranteed success; rich and tasty; layers of flavor

Recipe Count: 2 down, 203 to go


(ingredients listed are for 3 servings; originial recipe written for 6)


  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter plus 1/2 Tbsp for topping
  • 1 medium onion cut in half and sliced
  • 2 large zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 c. hot milk
  • 3/8 c. panko bread crumbs (eyeball it, I probably used more)
  • 3/8 c. grated Gruyere (eyeball it, I probably used more)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Melt butter in a large saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes or until tender, but not browned.
  2. Add zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender.  Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.  Microwave the milk for 30-45 seconds until hot.
  3. Stir the flour into the onions and zucchini.  Add the milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small rectangular baking dish.
  5. Combine the panko and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture.  Top with 1/2 Tbsp. butter in small bits.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned.

Source: adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999.