Tag Archives: recipes

Perfect Fried Breakfast Potatoes

I love all things potato.

As a potato (and breakfast) enthusiast, it has always pestered me that I’ve not been able to master the fine art of perfect breakfast potatoes. I came across a new  recipe today that seemed a little weird, but since the perfect potato has escaped me to this point, I thought I’d give it a shot. It worked. I think the whole thing maybe took eight or ten minutes. They’re amazing. These potatoes were so perfect that they freaked me out a little. Here’s what I did –

Chop potatoes small, about 1/2 inch maybe.
Heat about 3 tablespoons oil in a large fry pan.
(Enough to cover the bottom of the pan.)
Add your potato pieces, in one layer only.
Salt, pepper, I used a little Adobo.
While they are frying for 2 or 3 minutes, chop 1/2 a small onion.
Add the onion and fry all together for an additional minute or two.
(They do not need to brown at this point.)
Add four or five tablespoons water. I just splashed a good amount in.
Cover and cook on medium heat until spuds are soft & water is gone.
(Maybe turn them once.)
(They will brown as the water cooks out.)



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Coming and Going

I’m wandering around in a bit of a cloud, but as the Sondheim song goes, “I’m still here.”

Lot of disorienting stuff all in the same week. Nothing too shaky, just one of those weeks where there’s so much going on, you frequently have to stop to think about whether you’re coming or going.

There’s a chill in the air. It’s dark early. Halloween is big and busy at our place. The weather changed and we’ve been getting snow. I have a cold. I had my new group start singing this week. I have a lot of work planning for Christmas to get done. We had a service Saturday as well as Sunday this week. I have orchestra rehearsal for two different concerts a few nights a week. I left (resigned from?) a little side job I had. I still have Winter’s-Comin’ chores to get done around here. As I say, nothing too terrible, and some of the busy-makers are downright awesome. It’s just a lot.

Hey, look! Halloween! I didn’t get any great photos, but I took a few. Less kids than last year – it was sleeting – but we had a great time, and a few neighbors came over at different points in the evening to hang out with us and have hot cider in the cabin, with a fire going. Here’s a few shots of the graveyard. Boo!

My new choir group sang for the first time in church today, and I was super proud. This group sings more contemporary music, lighter pieces. For this first time, we warmed up with a unison piece. Lots of dynamics and tempo changes though. Went off without a hitch! The group’s ability to follow is uncanny.

As I said above, I left/quit/resigned from a side-job that I’d had. Another church meets at St. Luke’s after we finish up, so I was playing for that congregation too. In the best way, it was a few more bucks and I liked being available for them. In the worst way, it was preventing me from going to St. Luke’s meetings, attending coffee hour, and really getting to know the St. Luke’s congregation at close range. As St. Luke’s is my I-chose-it-and-it-chose-me church, and because I am a salaried employee, I felt like my attention was being taken away, to some degree. So – although I don’t like to use the Q-word –  I quit the other church. I felt bad for doing it, but I felt deep down, it needed to be done.

What I didn’t mention above? My quit smoking date is tomorrow. Actually it was tomorrow, but I ran out, so it’s technically now. I had a visit with my doc, have my box of patches ready, and I’m motivated. I suppose that’s about all there is to say about that, other than wish me luck. I’m not looking forward to it, but at the same time, I’m looking forward to it. I’m considering keeping my eyes open for a treadmill for the tiny cabin. Celebrating the Winter with health.

So many changes.

As the cold season comes upon us, I start to cook. Fried zucchini yesterday. Snickerdoodles today. I have a really interesting Fried Pasta recipe ready for this week. (You heard me correctly – Fried Pasta.) I’m also obsessed with Cornish Pasties lately. So, needless to say, I see some English meat pies in our near future.

Speaking of meat pies, that brings us full circle. Since we started with a Sondheim lyric, let’s close with one.

Well, ladies and gentlemen
That aroma enriching the breeze,
Is like something compared to its succulent source,
As the gourmets among you will tell you, of course.
Ladies and gentlemen you can’t imagine the rapture in store,
Just inside of this door.



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Ricottegg Breakfast Casserole

Yes, Friends. We have yet another “a friend explained a recipe and I forgot so much of it, I ended up making it up” post. Today, Ricotta & Egg casserole. My friend Kathleen mentioned it, and it seemed like a perfect fit around here – I certainly have fresh onions, parsley, and eggs of my own, so for the price of a tub of ricotta, it’s a meal. You know how crazy I am about these one-or-two-bowl easy recipes!

Five large eggs
1 cup (ish) ricotta (the little container)
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
A little minced garlic, if you like
1 cup (ish) grated cheddar cheese
Spices to taste
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Brown your onions (and garlic) and toss in the spices (I just used fresh parsley). In a mixing bowl, beat five eggs. Add to beaten eggs – 1 cup (I used a little more) ricotta cheese, most of your shredded cheddar, a little salt and pepper, and finally, the browned onions and spices. When mixed up good, pour into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan (I used Pyrex) and sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top. Bake in a 375F oven for 35 minutes or until it is browned around the edges.

Very successful! It looks great! I was going to add some broccoli to the egg bake, but my broc was from last week and it got fuzzy. You could include whatever small chopped veggies you might like. I think some crumbled sausage would be good too. I think there must not be anything better than the scent of home cooking on a crisp Fall Saturday morning, listening to Car Talk. Awesome.

In personal news – Ladies and gentlemen … grey in the sideburns. As we say in the English Music Hall, “Oy!”

You have a great day too!


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French Onion and Vegetable Gratiné

The furnace man came today. Long story short – It’s only a little broken (actually clogged with crud), but he can’t fix it because he’s not certified to work on RV furnaces. Eh. A call will be placed to the RV service guy tomorrow. Luckily, there’s a guy in Vermontville. Here’s hopin’.

I was looking for the furnace manual and schematic in our big folder of manuals-and-schematics, and I ran across an old cookbook. Took a look, and found a great early Fall recipe, right up my alley. I adapted it a bit (okay, a lot) and came up with – Voilà! – a French Onion and Vegetable Gratiné. Sort of like a really hearty, almost minestrone, French onion soup sort of thing.

Here ’tis. Super easy, and this would be a great crockpot recipe if you browned the beef and onions ahead of time. (Good way to get rid of those tough green beans that you let grow too big, too!)

*  *  *

1/2 to 3/4 lb lean Ground Beef
1 Small Onion
1 16 oz. can Tomatoes (chopped, or chop your own)
64 oz. (ish) Beef Broth
1/3 cup Marsala or Red Wine
1/2 to 1/3 cup Elbow Macaroni
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green beans
1/2 to 3/4 cup (or one can drained) corn
1 16 oz. can (or equivalent) white beans (navy, great northern, cannellini, etc)
1 Bay Leaf
1 to 2 teaspoons spices of your choice (Oregano, Basil, Marjoram, etc.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 slices toasted French Bread
2 (or more) slice mozzarella (or provolone) cheese

In a skillet (or right in your soup pot), brown your ground beef and chopped onion. Add remaining ingredients, except bread and cheese. Your beef broth should cover everything comfortably. Really, just make sure you like the mix of vegetables, and cover it all with broth. No big. I use almost two of those cardboard 32 oz. cartons of broth, because I cook it down quite a bit.. (Aldi has those 32 oz. broth boxes for a dollar-something each.) Anyhow. You might not use the whole 64 oz. Really, just be sure the broth covers by an inch or so. (How’s that for a precise measurement?) Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring now and then. Taste. You can add a little water if it’s too strong for you. Discard the bay leaf. Spoon into an oven-proof gratiné dish, place the toasted bread on top of the soup, and top with a slice of mozzarella. Bake at 450/500F a short time until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

You have a great dinner too!


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The stuffed zukes were a big hit at Wine Night. Just perfect – I made ’em pretty light, not loaded down with heavy stuff. The best part about these is easy and quick. Seriously. Check it –

  • Lightly brown maybe 1/3 cup of chopped onion and garlic in a touch of olive oil.
  • Cut two large zucchini longways, to make “boats.”
  • Scoop out most of the zuke fruit with a metal spoon. Set the boats aside.
  • Chop the fruit (don’t be too fussy) and toss it in with the onions.
  • Cook and flip for five minutes or so. It should be mushy/chunky.
  • Dump it in out of the pan into a big bowl (so it stops cooking).
  • Add (a lot of) seasoned bread crumbs until you have the consistency of stuffing.
  • You could add some cooked sausage, maybe tomato. Turkey Sausage. Whatever.
  • Spoon the mixture back into the zucchini boats.
  • Sprinkle with more bread crumbs.
  • Place the boats on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 15 or 20 minutes.
  • Shells should be soft-but-not-too-soft. Top with parm or romano.

If you’re not going to add sausage or pepperoni or tomatoes or whatever, I’d use the fruit of an extra zuke, just so you don’t have half-empty boats. Looks great on the table too!


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Special Potatoes

Posting what I made for dinner? I’m totally mom-ing out today.

This one’s especially good though, and it’s a favorite around here. My “Special Potatoes” recipe changes to include what’s around here, left over, in the garden, and/or fresh. This particular derivation was awfully good.

Goat Cheese Kitchen Sink Garlic and Onion
Parsley Potatoes with Vegetables

6 or 7 Potatoes
1/2 an Onion
Four or Five cloves of Garlic
Little bit o’ Butter, maybe 3 tbsp
1/4 or 1/2 cup Feta (Goat) Cheese, crumbled or cubed
1/4 cup or so chopped Parsley
Cooked Veggies (your choice) to Top

  1. Peel and boil yourself some potatoes.
  2. Mash up them potatoes.
  3. Go out in the rain and dig up an onion.
  4. Saute some fresh onion and garlic in butter.
  5. Crumble as much feta (goat cheese) as you might like.
  6. Heat up a little bit of chicken broth, maybe a half cup at most.
  7. Go back out in the rain and pick some fresh Italian parsley.
  8. Time is of the essence! Mix it all in while the potatoes are still hot!
  9. Thin to your preference with a little milk or cream.
  10. Top with broccoli, zucchini, whatever you like.


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Knish Me Once, Knish Me Twice

Knish me once,
And Knish me twice,
And Knish me once again,
It’s been a long, long time.

Apologies to the great songwriter, Jule Styne. He would understand. He was a New Yorker.

Allow me to tell you a story. I was recently reading Julie Andrews’ early-years bio, and came across a mention of Ms. Andrews’ fond childhood memories of potato sandwiches. What?!

Must be an English thing. That was enough for me. Being as I love anything English, I love Ms. Andrews, and I love potatoes, I jumped on the bandwagon. I found a recipe easily enough, but decided to adapt it a bit. Nothing major in the changes department, but I have to admit, I did adapt. Italian Parsley subbing for corriander (because we grow parsley), the microwave subbing for a boiling pot, added a tiny bit of sour cream.

  1. Microwave (bake) a potato. Or boil one.
  2. Cook up a little onion in a pan with some butter.
  3. Mash up the cooked potato, onion, and some parsley together.
  4. Add a little sour cream to smooth it out, mix/mash it up.
  5. Salt to taste.
  6. Spread it on a piece of bread.
  7. Grill the thing with butter (like a grilled cheese).
  8. Or grill it in one of those sandwich-maker things.
  9. Serve with ketchup.

It didn’t even occur to me while I was making it, but – You know what I unwittingly nailed the recipe for? What this thing tasted exactly like? A New York City knish. Those Yiddish-origin potato treats you can buy from the street vendors in the city. They were always a favorite of mine. Serendipity! I learned about a delicious English treat, and I rediscovered a favorite New York City street food.

English, Yiddish … When it comes to our potatoes, we’re not all that very different, are we?


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