Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

November 18, 2012 - Written by Diana

This is low fat brussels sprouts because it does not have any bacon or any type of fat.  I’ve found that brussels sprouts are the best when prepared simply without much other than a little olive oil for roasting.  If you are looking for a great side that doesn’t require a lot of prep or messing around, this is it and truthfully, my son could do this one, no problem.  It takes ten minutes at most to throw together, stick it in the oven and it is ready in about 20 minutes. My kids used to tell me that they didn’t want brussels sprouts because I bought the frozen boxes and heated it up.  No, more. I buy fresh and give it a little roast with some olive oil.

Thanksgiving is coming and it’s good to have some dishes with sauces and then have some simpler dishes for those who don’t like it complicated. While you are making the dishes with many steps, the kids or your spouse could make this, easily.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easy but delicious brussels sprout and potato side dish.
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup brussel sprouts
  • 4 medium small potatoes
  • ⅛ cup pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Slice off the stem end of the brussels sprout, then slice in half lengthwise.
  2. Clean potato of any bad spots and dirt and cut into pieces about the same size as the brussels sprouts.
  3. Place the potatoes and the brussel sprouts in a baking dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss.
  4. Bake at 325 for about 20 min,flipping halfway.
Salt can be left out for low sodium.



Fast and Easy – Steamed Sausage and Vegetables

August 30, 2012 - Written by Diana

Steamed Sausages and Veggies

My son came home and asked what we were having for dinner.  It’s a fun game we play.  One of us asks what we are having for dinner and the other responds -“I don’t know, what are you making?”.  If he’s cooking, sometimes I’ll tell him what to make, and if it’s me – I’ll figure something out.  Tonight, I didn’t want to slave over the stove, but I remembered something my husband said when he brought home the market bag.  He said that we should cook up the green beans and corn fresh and fast while we have them and not wait because they’re always best when they’re fresh.

I have a metal strainer insert that I use when I want to steam or blanch.  Then I can either keep the ingredients from getting waterlogged because it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, or in the case of blanching, I can raise the strainer draining the water off without getting burned pouring it off. Tonight I filled the strainer with corn on the cob, green beans, potatoes, sausage (from an area farmer) and set it inside  a stockpot.  I poured a bottle of beer and 2 cups of stock over top – knowing they would drain to the bottom of the pot and would be my steaming liquid.  If I had a steamer that fit better, I probably would have more liquid left in the bottom to use as a sauce, but you could add a cup of water to keep it all  from evaporating off.  I added really fragrant spices that gave off such a great aroma.

If my husband was a shrimp eater, I might have added some of that too. It would work well with any type of meat, like chicken or smoked sausage.  This was a really easy throw together meal, something you could let steam in the pot while you are helping the kids with homework or posting on your blog, or relaxing with the newspaper or book.  It’s a no fuss no muss, even my college son could cook it type of meal.

Fast and Easy - Steamed Sausage and
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Really easy dinner of steamed sausage and vegetables. One pot meal that does the work while you relax.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 4 Sausage links - or 1 large smoked sausage
  • 3 ears corn on the cob broken into 5 or 6 pieces
  • 2 cups large rough chopped potatoes
  • 2 cups fresh green beans tips cut off
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bottle beer or Ale (I used Killians Irish Red)
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  1. Scrub the vegetables clean and prepare to the right size.
  2. Throw all of the ingredients into the steam basket. Turn on the heat and steam the food until it's done.
  3. Slice the sausage links into the bowl, spoon in the rest of the ingredients, and drizzle some of the steam juices from the bottom of the pot over top of the meat and veggies.
You may not need as much broth, if your steam basket fits in tight to the pot and doesn't allow steam to escape. However, if it the basket doesn't fit tight and you want more broth(you will), you may want to add water.


Chicken, Kale and Potatoes

February 25, 2012 - Written by Diana

Cooking from what you have on hand can sometimes feel like a chore because we can’t always make what we have a taste for and instead have to make our tastes fit our refridgerator and pantry. Lots of greens in the fridge right now – which means I need to make sure to get them into our dinners and lunches.  We receive a bag of groceries each week that have local, and non-local seasonal produce and artisan goods that are also mostly organic.  I wondered if I would be able to keep up with the produce – and the greens have started to pile up because my husband and son don’t throw it in as often as I do.  So while I was on a trip to Vermont, the greens weren’t used – except for arugula, my son loves that on his sandwiches.  Today I used my dutch oven to use some of the produce I received in my Weekly Fresh Market Bag.

Kale, shallot and potatoes along with chicken and some white beans are not only delicious, but packed full of good stuff; just what I need to counteract the sugar laden beginning of the week.  I sauteed the shallots with some garlic in olive oil, then added some wine and chicken broth, threw in the chicken, kale, potatoes and some spices all in my dutch oven.   When the chicken was cooked, I pulled everything out, then made a light gravy with the juices and a little more broth and wine. Mostly a one pot – or rather dutch oven meal.

I told my son that he could easily make this with his pals and it would be a great substitute for the pizza they often eat together and pay less for this meal.  (He agreed -but I’m not dumb, he’ll still grab the pizza).  The recipe makes about 4 delicious servings and didn’t take long to put together.  If you don’t have a dutch oven, you can cook it stove top or in a clay baker or small roaster.

Chicken, Kale and Potatoes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chicken, Kale and Potatoes - a hearty, fast dinner.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
  • 2 whole chicken breasts -
  • 1 large shallot or medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • 1 large handful Kale
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 can of white beans drained
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  1. Dice shallots, and garlic, saute in olive oil in dutch oven.
  2. Place chicken breasts skin side down on top of shallots and garlic to brown.
  3. Remove chicken, garlic and shallots from dutch oven, add 1 cup white wine and deglaze.
  4. Slice potatoes about ¼ in thick slices.
  5. Place chicken mixture back in dutch oven, along with kale, potatoes, beans and spices.
  6. Add 1 cup chicken stock cover and bake in oven at 350 for 30 to 40 min.
  7. Remove from heat and place ingredients in a serving bowl, and the liquids into a separate smaller bowl.
  8. With the dutch oven over the stove top, melt butter in the bottom.
  9. Add in two tablespoons of flour and whisk.
  10. Pour in 1 cup of white wine and deglaze again, then add 1 cup chicken broth, whisking while it thickens.
  11. Pour gravy over serving bowl and serve.
I pull the skin off right before serving, but if you like the skin keep it on. I prefer white beans but used garbanzos this time. Feel free to substitute beans and even cook your own dry beans up beforehand.


Potato, Celery Root and Broccolini Soup

December 16, 2011 - Written by Diana

This is a great farm market soup using vegetables that are still growing in the area as the choices get smaller and smaller at the farm markets.  The number of stalls at some of the farm markets are dwindling, but trying to buy and use local as long as possible also means trying to be seasonal in your recipes.

There are a lot of nice late fall veggies in this potato soup hopefully making it nutritionally filling as well as warming you up on a cold day.  I cut the broccolini into thirds.  The bottom third of the stalk, I put away in the freezer for when I am making vegetable broth.  The middle third I used for the soup and the top third I stir into the pot after steaming in white whine vinegar.  I love having the whole veggie to bite into a nice morsel in the mostly smashed potatoes and celeriac broth. The celeriac I peeled and diced into bite size pieces to fill about 2 cups.  I rough peeled the potatoes – because I’m a fan of skin and had both yellow and redskins – diced to make two cups.

The soup starts with bacon and ends with bacon crumbled over top along with a swish of chopped rosemary.  The bacon came from my favorite butcher, and doesn’t have the nitrate thing going on. The rosemary is part of a present I am giving away for Christmas.  The plants are shaped like a Christmas tree, but they are growing out, so I trim them back and hold on to the leaves and try to find ways to use them.  Throwing rosemary bits into the soup was a wonderful way to do that.



  1. In the bottom of a stock pot, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towel and let drain.
  2. Add 2 tbs olive oil to pan.  Throw in onions, potatoes, celery root and the middle third of the broccolini until onions are translucent.
  3.   Add in the vegetable broth.  Simmer until the vegetables are soft.
  4. While the veggies are simmering in a separate pan – heat up 1 tbs of oil and saute the top third of the broccolini.
  5. Splash the white wine vinegar over the broccolini and toss until steamed.
  6. When the potato mixture is soft, use an immersion stick to blend the vegetables together into a rough mash.
  7. Add in the cream and rosemary.  Toss in the broccolini and serve with bacon crumbled over top.




Quail Eggs Over Taters

June 23, 2011 - Written by Diana

I’m lucky.  I try out new things and my family goes along with it.  I bought some quail eggs at the farm market and made breakfast for my family.  I shredded some potatoes and onions, partially cooked them, then put them into ramekins and put some quail eggs over top then finished baking them. This was my father’s day surprise breakfast for the family.

Here’s my opinion of quail eggs – they’re small, really small; about 6 eggs equal one regular egg if that. The shells are cute and speckled with different brown hues.  The membrane that is right under the egg is thicker than a regular egg.  At first I would crack it, then run a knife just under the egg and try not to poke the yolk.  By the time I was finished, I was sticking my finger through the membrane successfully without breaking the yolk.

I probably would buy quail eggs again to do something fun with my food, but functionally it left me wanting more for less work.  I can see making small scotch eggs, or as a garnish to a salad.  You can do anything with quail eggs that you can do with regular hen eggs, but you do it on a smaller scale, or you use a lot of eggs.


Christo Gonzales sent me to his Chez What blog with links to some of his quailventures.  He’s much more adventurous in the kitchen and has a lot of great ideas.  Take a look.  If you want quail eggs, try the Lancaster, OH farm market.  That’s where I got mine.

Garlicky Smashed New Potatoes with Spinach and Lamb Mint Sausage

March 27, 2011 - Written by Diana

Lamb Mint Sausage is my new favorite sausage.  We bought it at Blues Creek Farm Meats when we were at the Lamb Cutting Class and discovered that we love it .  The mint is sort of subtle, and when you throw it into an Alfredo sauce like my daughter did last week, you might not taste the mint at all. However, if you cook it on it’s own and serve it without any sauce, you can get the nice mint flavor that’s subtle, but it’s there.  As a result, I don’t like to mix this sausage with other foods and serve it on the side.  Tonight, to go with the sausage, I made one of my husband’s favorite sides – potatoes, though he likes potatoes almost any way you can think of to prepare it.  I did a rough smash, mixed it with some garlic and shallots that were sauteed in oil, and some fresh spinach that wilted down.  I threw in a couple of tablespoons of butter and some garlic olive oil and stirred it around a little.  That’s it.  Garlicky potatoes – yummy, yummy.


-chopped herbs

Pour about 3 tbs olive oil into a saute pan.  Heat up and when it is hot enough, saute the shallots and garlic lightly. Drain almost soft potatoes.  Add to pan with shallots and garlic and using a potato smasher or bottom of a slotted spoon, rough smash the potatoes.  With a large spoon, toss the potatoes with the spinach while the spinach wilts.  Throw in the butter, the salt, pepper and chopped herbs and give it a nice mix heating it up.  Drizzle top with a little more garlic oil and serve.

Turkey Chili

February 5, 2011 - Written by Diana

Delaware North is the company that provides a lot of venues – such as sports, music, national parks, gaming venues etc with their concession fare.  I gave my older brother the sports fanatic my copy of Homeplate after I reviewed it and he liked it.  It was a book based on recipes at their different sports arenas and parks.  Chef James Major and Chef Jeramie Mitchell sent us two of their favorite Superbowl recipes to share including a healthier Turkey Chili recipe to fit in with our revised healthier Superbowl swaps we’re trying out this year.

BUFFALO, N.Y (Feb. 5, 2010) – Delaware North Companies Sportservice, which serves fans at more than 20 major pro sports venues, knows that food is the best part of any Super Bowl party. Just days before the big game, football fans can still huddle up with two of Sportservice’s regional executive chefs for great party recipes that you can whip up in a hurry to impress your guests.

Sportservice Regional Executive Chef James Major, top chef for the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, helps you score big with a healthy-but-hearty turkey chili. “Chili is a traditional food staple at a Super Bowl party, but it’s usually not the healthiest dish,” Major said. “Turkey chili is a great substitute.”

Meanwhile, for a different version of a pub classic, Regional Executive Chef Jeramie Mitchell, who oversees the great food at the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium, provides the perfect football food: “pig skins.” No, not pork rinds, but classic potato skins topped with pork. “We all know that Super Bowl Sunday is not just about the football game – it’s about the food,” Mitchell said. “With these pig skins, the name says football and the taste will be a big hit.”

Both chefs had a busy 2009, especially in July when they led Sportservice’s efforts at the 2009 Major League Baseball® All-Star Game® in St. Louis. Mitchell oversaw Busch Stadium’s premium dining and concessions for three days of events and developed St. Louis-themed menus for the two biggest parties outside the stadium. Sportservice served 4,000 guests at each party, with Major playing a lead role in overseeing the massive event catering.

Chef James Major’s Turkey Chili

Serves: 4-to-6 people


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, oregano and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes into the skillet, along with their juices and the beans. (If using dried beans, add 3 extra cups of water). Bring to a boil and then simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Chef Jeramie Mitchell’s Pig Skins

Directions :

  1. Make marinade for pork, using onion, garlic, white wine, apple cider vinegar, cracked black pepper, olive oil and salt. Whisk to incorporate ingredients. Pour over pork and rub into meat. Let pork marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Sear pork in hot pan for 4 minutes each side. Place in 9×13 baking dish. Pour leftover marinade over pork. Whisk together 1 cup of BBQ sauce and 2 cups of chicken stock, and pour over pork. Add more cracked pepper, salt, and 2 bay leaves (in liquid). Cover pan with aluminum foil. Place in 300-degree oven and cook for 3 hours or until meat is fork tender.
  3. Make potato skins. Wash potatoes. Split potatoes in half, lengthwise. Lightly rub with olive oil and salt. Bake in 350-degree oven until cooked. Remove and cool. Scoop out potato leaving about ¼ inch of potato with skin (make a “boat”). When pork is ready, fry skin in oil or shortening (350-degree oil) until lightly brown and crisp. If you choose or prefer not to fry, bake the skins instead of frying. They won’t get as crisp but, they’ll taste just as good.
  4. Remove pork from oven and rest for 20 minutes, uncovered. Remove pork from liquid (reserve liquid). Pull excess fat from pork and discard. Break apart meat with fork and place in bowl. Test seasoning and add a little salt if needed. Pour ½ cup of cooking liquid in pork and add ½ cup of BBQ sauce.
  5. Place about a tablespoon of the pork on top of the finished potato skins. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake in 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Garnish with diced chives and serve with sour cream.

Kielbasa, Peppers and Potatoes – a Fast Family Meal

March 10, 2010 - Written by Diana

This is one of my favorite quick tasty dinners.  Maybe I take too many shortcuts, but this one is good.  I can do this meal in under a half an hour, which is more time than my son gives me before he asks about dinner.  Seventeen year olds who run track are always looking for food; the quicker I get it into him, the less likely he is to fill it with junk or fillers. You can parboil the potatoes in a pot of water on the stove or a bowl of water in the microwave.  I do this because it will absorb less oil since it’s partly cooked already.  The kielbasa is turkey kielbasa, and it’s a little lower fat too.  The peppers – are mine.  We grew peppers last summer and froze them.  I haven’t run out of peppers yet, so I like to find  as many meals I can to use them in and the peppers though wilty are still delicious and full of flavor. I don’t put a dressing on it because my son isn’t a big fan, and we just use our preference of mustard or ketchup.  If I had my way I would pour on a mustard vinaigrette or dressing.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA           Ingredients:


Parboil potatoes in water then drain.  Sauté peppers and onions in  olive oil.  Slice kielbasa into 1 inch thick pieces, and throw in with peppers and onions and add in potatoes.  Toss in herbs and spices. 


That’s it, it’s all good. 

My Superbowl Pick – Steak Sandwiches and Parslied Potatoes

February 8, 2010 - Written by Diana

I’ve been posting lots of superbowl recipes lately, but dinner tonight is my pick for a nice easy to eat sit in front of the tube dinner. (We never actually do that at home – just so you know.) My son was going out, so I just wanted something quick and easy that we could munch down on.  Weird little tidbit – when my son is gone, my husband and I usually fill only one plate with food and share instead of separate plates.  Hey – at least he’s not eating out of the pot, like he would if I weren’t around. I made a steak sandwich and parslied potatoes that were so filling, and delicious.  Some of the potatoes are put away for tomorrows breakfast, because it was too much food.  I added some Redwood Creek Cabernet Sauvignon to the steak bits, and some beef broth, to make a nice sauce for the beef.  I bought french bread from the grocery store that needed to be toasted and didn’t slice it open, but baked it closed, so that the soft insides would sop up any juices. The steak was round steak cut into four smaller steaks. If you have time to give it a quick roll or pound, for the tougher cuts, that would be good. We used only one for us, which was way more than enough.  If you are having people over, a few of these used to fill up a whole french bread and sliced into people sized bites would be great.  This meal came together so fast, that I was done before my husband arrived back home from dropping my son off at his friend’s house.  BTW – still plenty of time to hit the store! 😉


SteakGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA           Sandwiches (with red wine sauce)



Heat olive oil in pan.  Slice Onion, garlic and green pepper into thin strips and place in heated oil.  Sprinkle olive oil on both sides of steak, along with some pepper and salt. Lay the steak down in the pan of oil (move the onion and peppers to the sides of the pan) and cook on both sides.  When steak is almost done, using tongs, pull the steak, peppers and onions out onto a plate.  Pour about a 1/4 of wine into the pan and scrap the tasty bits up on the bottom. Reduce the wine about a third, then pour in about a fourth of a cup of beef broth. After this is heated, I put the beef, peppers and onions back in the pan to sop up the sauce a little.  Then place it all into the toasted french bread. I didn’t think it needed any cheese, but if you have a nice cheese, go ahead and throw it on. 

Updated to add: After the beef rests, slice it thinly then add it with the peppers and onions back in the pan briefly to sop up the sauce.  Thanks Gail.


Parslied Potatoes



Place potatoes in pot of water with a little salt and boil until almost ready, but still a little firm.  In a cold pan, place 1/4 stick of cold butter – sliced. Melt butter, add parsley, salt and pepper.  Drain potatoes, put back in pot to steam out any excess water.  Toss into pan with butter.  That’s it. 

Idaho Potato Quick and Easy Superbowl Recipes

February 2, 2010 - Written by Diana

I’m trying to load all you hard working folks up with some quick and easy recipes that have funneled my way.  Sometimes when there’s a big gathering of people who want to eat while sitting in front of the tube, you want something that’s not going to take all day to prepare, and maybe food that can be eaten with your fingers.  Here are some from the Idaho Potato Commission.

Idaho® Potato Pesto Bites

Idaho Potato Pesto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Bonnie Cooper, Carrollton,GA  Photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission 

Beat mid-meal hunger with these nutritional, bite-sized snacks sure to satisfy your appetite.
Yield: 8 servings
Estimated Cost per Serving*: $1.15


  1. Preheat the oven to 425º. Coat the cups of 3 mini-muffin pans (36 cups) with cooking spray.
  2. In a saucepan, in water to cover, over high heat, cook the potatoes about 15 minutes, or until fork-tender, but not mushy. Drain the potatoes, then mash or put them through a ricer. Stir in the salt and egg; set aside. In a small bowl, using a fork, combine the pesto and softened cream cheese until blended.
  3. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of potato mixture into each muffin cup, pressing the spoon against the bottom and sides of the cup to make a small impression in the middle. Spoon 1 teaspoon of pesto mixture into the impression of each cup.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and top each cup with a small amount of chopped tomatoes and one olive slice for garnish. Return to the oven for 3 minutes more. Serve hot or warm.

Estimated Nutritional Analysis per Serving: 222 calories, 7g protein, 22g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 51mg cholesterol, 372mg sodium


Idaho® Potato Pumpkin & Pepita Patties

Idaho Potato Pumpkin and Pepita Patties
Recipe courtesy of Recipe courtesy of Linda Kay Drysdale, Riverview, MI. Photo courtesy Idaho Potato Commission.
Idaho® Potato Pumpkin and Pepita Patties deliver a dose of sweet heat in every bite.
Yield: 8 servings
Estimated Cost per Serving*: $1.10


For more Idaho Potato Super Bowl dishes try this Bowl Frenzy Potato Recipes link.