Japanese Sweet Potato  Fries 

I have never liked sweet potatoes, and I have tried them a few different ways. Recently, I was served Japanese sweet potatoes at a friend’s house and was a bit skeptical at first, but oh my goodness they were good! I can now say that I like a type of sweet potato 🙂 If you have never seen or heard of them (I hadn’t) they have a purply skin with white flesh inside and are much milder than a regular orange sweet potato. You must give them a try! 


– 2 to 3 Japanese sweet potatoes 

– olive oil, coconut oil, or any oil you want for frying (I used coconut and olive oil) 

– salt and pepper 


Preheat your oven to 375F. 

Begin by washing and drying your sweet potatoes, then piercing them all over with a fork. 

Bake them in your preheated oven for 60-90 minutes, depending on size. The smaller potatoes will cook much faster, so just keep checking them after that 60 minute mark. 

Once they are done, remove the potatoes from the oven, slice in half, and place in the refrigerator. 

Once the potatoes are cooled, remove from the fridge. Remove the skins, and slice into strips, depending on how thick or thin you want your fries  

Heat up your oil of choice and let it get hot. Once your oil is heated, add the potato strips a few at a time. Fry your potatoes and flip over after 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove fries to a paper towel lined plate to soak up the extra oil. Season with salt and pepper. I served them with homemade burgers last week and it was divine! 



Easy Moist Cornbread 

This is a great recipe that yields moist, delicious cornbread! 


– 1 cup all-purpose flour 

– 1 cup yellow cornmeal 

– 1/2 cup sugar 

– 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder 

– 1 tsp. salt 

– 1 cup milk 

– 1/3 cup vegetable oil 

– 1 egg 


Preheat your oven to 375F. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 

 In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, and set aside. Next, add in the egg, milk, and vegetable oil, and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until the bread passes the “toothpick test”. Enjoy! 


Green Bean, Carrot, and Mushroom Medley 

This is a really delicious summer side. I paired it with grilled burgers and it was perfect! 


– 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths 

– 3 large carrots, cut into thick strips 

– 1/4 cup butter 

– 1 onion, sliced 

– 3/4 package of mushrooms, sliced 

– 1/2 tsp. seasoning salt 

– 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 

– salt and pepper to taste 


Steam the green beans and carrots until just tender. 

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and mushrooms until almost tender. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the green beans and carrots, and seasonings. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 


BBQ’d Hamburgers 

My husband got a meat smoker a few months back and we have been thoroughly enjoying it! You can also use it as a regular grill for quick things like hamburgers, hot dogs, and we even made pizza on it the other night! Best purchase ever! The last time we made burgers I tried a new recipe that we were pretty impressed with, so I thought I’d add it to my collection on here. 


– 2 pounds ground beef, we usually do 85/15 

– 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 

– 1/4 cup good quality BBQ sauce 

– onion powder, seasoning salt, and cracked black pepper. I didn’t really measure these but would probably say a 1 -2 tsp. of each. Add more or less depending on your taste buds. 


Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well with your hands and form into patties. I usually get 5-6 patties for this recipe. Grill a few minutes per side until done in the middle. Top with more slices of cheese and serve with all the burger fixings. 



Also, how cool is this silicone steamer basket?! My husband bought it for me and I love it! It’s dishwasher safe and flexible to fit many different sized pots. 



Herb Roasted Red Potatoes

My husband just bought a pellet smoker and we’ve been eating a lot of super delicious various meats that he’s been trying. Last week he made bacon wrapped chicken breasts, a roast which we made french dips out of, and then last night he smoked us steaks for about an hour and then finished them off by grilling. Oh goodness were they good! It was probably the best steak that I have ever had in my life, just amazing! We had some red potatoes in the fridge so I decided to try my hand at roasting them, which I hadn’t previously tried. The potatoes came out great and were very flavorful and paired beautifully with the steaks!

– 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, washed and sliced in half or quarters if they are slightly larger
– 3 1/2 tbsp. Olive oil, divided
– 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
– 1 tbsp. Garlic powder, you could also use 3 cloves minced garlic, I was just feeling lazy
– a generous sprinkling of Rosemary, thyme, and salt and pepper. I would say about 1-2 tsp. of each

Drizzle about 1 tbsp olive oil over a baking sheet and spread evenly.
Place the cut potatoes in a medium sized bowl, and toss with remaining 2 1/2 tbsp. Olive oil. Then, add parmesan, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper to bowl. Toss to coat evenly. Pour potatoes onto your prepared baking sheet and scoop the cheese on top that has fallen off the potatoes. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove and use a spatula to rotate them around. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until the outsides are crisp, but the flesh is soft inside. Serve immediately.






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Here are some of the other meals we’ve made on Hubby’s new smoker 🙂

Sautéed Mushrooms

Mmm Sautéed mushrooms! One of my favorite side dishes, my mom would make these growing up and they are so yummy! My hubby isn’t a fan of them but I am and I may have made a batch when I was supposed to be making dinner the other night, and may have eaten them all as a pre dinner snack 😉 They’re pretty awesome! They would be really nice on the side with a steak or a chicken breast, really anytime you want to make them you can’t go wrong.

– butter for sautéing
– white button mushrooms
– salt and pepper
– 1-2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Melt some butter in a medium sized skillet, add in your mushrooms and and let them cook down until they are nice and tender. Season with salt and pepper and add the Worcestershire sauce. Cook for a few more minutes and serve immediately.







Amazing French Fries!

Good Sunday morning everyone!
I hope you all have had a nice weekend, it was pretty quiet around here. It’s been a bit cold out so we just mainly stayed inside.
So anyways, Hubby and I have been doing awesome on our diets and workouts and both were craving a hamburger, but really didn’t want to go out and ruin our diets. So, I just made them, complete with the fries and all! I used the “man pleasing bacon cheeseburger” that you can find under the “beef” tab on this blog. I didn’t use the bacon this time, but honestly that recipe is so packed full of flavor I really didn’t miss it.
Oh, I need to add also, that this is a baked French fry recipe. Now, before you dismiss the idea of baked fries, hear me out. These fries are incredible, crispy and soft at the same time. I cut mine a bit thicker, so they came out almost as steak fries, but you could easily cut them thinner and achieve a more crispy texture.
I promise you won’t be disappointed, please give them a shot!

– 5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
– 5 tbsp. oil of your choice (I used canola), divided
– salt, pepper, seasoning salt, garlic salt, etc. pretty much whatever you prefer to season with, to taste

Place the peeled and cut potato wedges in a large mixing bowl, cover with water and let them soak for about an hour.
After the hour is up, preheat your oven to 475F.
Using a heavy rimmed baking sheet, pour 4 tbsp. of the oil onto the sheet and spread out evenly, sprinkle the pan with some seasoning, and set aside.
Next, drain the potato wedges. Spread them out on a clean kitchen towel or some paper towels and dry them completely. Dry out your mixing bowl, and return the potatoes to it. Pour the remaining tbsp. of oil into the bowl and mix well, evenly coating the potatoes. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet, and cover tightly with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are up, remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes. Rotate the pan after the 10 minutes, and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of 25 minutes).
Remove the pan from the oven, and turn the wedges over with a spatula turner, the underside should be nice and crispy. Place the baking sheet back in the oven, and bake for another 5-10 minutes (depending on the desired texture). I did only 5 additional minutes because I still wanted some softness in the fries.
Remove the pan from the oven for the final time, and place the wedges on a paper towel lined plate, to absorb excess oil. Season and serve!















The best stuffing!

Oh stuffing. Stuffing is one of those things that a lot of people aren’t that hot on, I think one of the main reasons is because it’s usually pretty dry, and can just taste like you’re eating chewy breadcrumbs if not prepared the right way. Well ladies and gentleman I am here to save the day and give you a superb recipe for flavorful, moist stuffing!

– 1 bunch celery, chopped
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 boxes stuffing mix
– 3 cups chicken broth
– 8 tbsp. (1 stick) of butter and then some for sautéing

Begin by melting a couple of tbsp. of butter in a large sauté pan. Sauté the celery and the onions until the celery is soft but still firm and the onions are translucent.
Boil 3 cups of chicken broth, and add in the stick of butter. Melt the butter down completely and then add it to the pan with the vegetables. Add in the boxed stuffing mix, and cover with a lid. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.










Crockpot Applesauce Take Two!

If you read my first applesauce post, you know I wasn’t completely happy with the results. It was delicious, but it just wasn’t quite right. Well folks, I am happy to announce I think I’ve got it this time!!! I would like to experiment next time with some different apples, just to see how it changes. The last time I used golden delicious apples and this time were gala’s. My mom always used granny smith’s when I was growing up, so maybe I’ll give those a try next. This time I think the applesauce improved because I cut back on the lemon juice and added a bit of brown sugar, so good!

* 4 large, or 8 small Gala apples (I think I’ll try more next time, just so it yields more)
* 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 tsp. vanilla
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 tbsp. brown sugar

Peel, core, and slice apples and put them in the crockpot. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, water, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the crockpot. Give it a good stir and cover with lid. Cook on high 4-5 hours. Stir to mash or use a potato masher until you reach the desired consistency. Put the applesauce in Mason jars and refrigerate!


Crockpot Applesauce Take 1

I love homemade applesauce and grew up helping my mom make it. She would make a huge batch of it during the summer and then freeze a bunch in our deep freeze for the cold winter months. I remember eating it as a treat warmed up, it is such a cozy memory and one that I hope to recreate with my own daughter. When my mom made applesauce she used some crazy sieve looking thing with a crank turner. If I remember correctly, she would boil the apples, crank turn them through that contraption, remove all the cores and stems, then sweeten it, and probably do some more steps I missed. That sounds like an awful lot of work to me, especially considering the sieve turner thing looks as if it’s on its last leg! Haha, so I went looking and found a MUCH simpler way of producing homemade applesauce!

* 4 large apples, or 8 small ones (I used golden delicious and i think a few Granny Smith apples snuck it there too) the original recipe said you could use any apples you wanted, and maybe next time I’ll experiment with a Macintosh or other redder apple and see what the results yield with those.
* 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
* 1/2 cup water
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Begin by peeling, coring, and slicing your apples and placing them in the crockpot. Next, juice your lemon and add that to the apples, along with the water, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Give this a good stir, so that all the apples are evenly coated.
Place the lid on the crockpot and cook on high for 4-5 hours. My apples were very soft after 4 hours, so I would say to check it about that time. If they are ready, mash them with a potato masher or a fork. They should be quite soft and mash easily. Place your applesauce into a container and refrigerate. I used a couple of Mason jars, because it just seemed like an appropriate container for such a rustic mixture 🙂 I think this would be a really cute thing to give the neighbors/ friends/family as gifts in the fall or even to go in a basket with some baked treats as a Christmas present! Next time I plan on doubling the recipe as this only yields two pint sized jars full. I cannot wait to eat this on my pork chops I have brining in coffee in the fridge! Yep, you heard me right, COFFEE! I hope they turn out well! If so, I’ll post the recipe tomorrow! 🙂




I used this handy little kitchen tool, smart huh?






I was very pleased with this recipe, it’s still not quite like how I remember my mom’s. Since this was so easy, I think I’ll keep exploring and maybe next time just add a hint of brown sugar for some warmth and sweetness!