Oven Fries

I came across this recipe in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook that I ordered from Amazon recently (brand new but technically ‘used’. $7).  Anyway I felt like having fries with the Tuscan Onion Soup that I was making. These came out pretty good really.  Soaking the potatoes did make a huge difference.  It was my own fault that they came out a bit darker than I intended them to-I will take them out of the oven earlier next time.


Oven Fries


  • 3 russet potatoes (about 8oz each), scrubbed and cut into 10-12 even wedges
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tsp canola oil
  • Sea Salt and pepper
  • Ketchup for serving
  • Mayonnaise for serving
  • Freshly-grated parmesan for serving


  1.  Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat to 475 degrees.
  2.  Place cut potatoes into a bowl and cover them with hot water and let soak for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile coat a large non-warping baking sheet with ¼ cup of the oil and sprinkle evenly with ½ tsp both salt and pepper.
  3.  Drain potatoes and pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels. Toss the potatoes with the remaining oil and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cover it tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes then remove the foil and continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes-rotate the pan after 10 minutes-until the underside of them are spotty brown.
  4. Flip each potato over with tongs, keep them in a single layer, and continue to bake for 7-10 minutes longer.  Drain briefly on paper towels then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remember-they will continue cooking for a bit after you remove them from the oven. I forgot this and they got significantly more well done than I intended-but they were still delicious!! I served them with katsup, mayonnaise and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

 Notes from ATK; you may either leave the peel on or peel the potatoes. To cut the potatoes into even wedges first cut it in half evenly length wise, then cut that half in half evenly and so on. The soaking of the potatoes is vital to remove excess starch and so the potatoes can absorb some water to avoid being dried out while cooking.

 From America’s Test Kitchen: Healthy Family Cookbook http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8302722-the-america-s-test-kitchen-healthy-family-cookbook



Zuppa di Cipolle di Toscano (Tuscan Onion Soup)

Ah onions. I love onions. And soup. I love soup. Onion soup is a marriage of 2 of my favorite things.  This onion soup is so so so good. It’s similar to French Onion Soup but the addition of pancetta and parmesan (YUMMMYYYY!!!) give it that nice Tuscan flare and therefore, better than the French one.  It’s so easy to make, it reheats well, freezes well and can be eaten for lunch, dinner, as an appetizer or whatever. So versatile. This recipe is a keeper!!  If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see the broth, onions, parmsan cheese and just a bit of the crust of a garlic toasted bread that’s on the bottom of the bowl. Yes, really.


Zuppa di Cipolle di Toscano: Tuscan Onion Soup


  • 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta diced
  • 5 large yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced (mandolin 3/16”)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 cups hot beef broth fresh or low-sodium canned
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 rolls cut in half length-wise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Grinding coarse black pepper


  1. In a large soup pot heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat, add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions, cover the pot and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring often. When the onions are limp add the lemon juice and allow it to evaporate.
  2. Pour in the broth and wine. Stir the mixture. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep the soup warm while you fry the bread.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan, add minced garlic and brown the bread on both sides. Place a slice in each of 4 individual soup bowls. Pour the soup over the bread and divide and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Adapted from Maryann Esposito via PBS Food.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers is one of my Husband’s favorites so when I came across the recipe for Classic Stuffed Bell Peppers  I decided to make them. I guess I’ve never made stuffed peppers before.  Anyway-while there were a few different steps to this recipe it was easy overall and the end product was really, really good.  I did end up with stuffing left over so I could have made probably 2 more peppers with it.


Stuffed Bell Peppers

4 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers (about 6 oz each). 1/2 inch trimmed off of the top, cores and seeds removed.

1/2 cup long-grain white rice

1.5 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)

12 ozs lean ground beef

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained, 1/4 cup liquid reserved

6ozs Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated (not pre-grated bagged)

1/4 cup ketchup


Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat to 350.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tbsp salt and bell peppers. Cook until peppers just begin to soften-about 3 minutes (make sure the peppers are covered with water). Using a slotted spoon remove peppers, draining any excess water back into the pot, and place on paper towels.

Return water in the pot to a boil, add rice and boil it until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain rice and place it in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown-about 5 minutes.  Add the beef and cook, breaking beef into small pieces with spoon, until no longer pink.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mixture to the bowl with the rice, stir in tomatoes, 1 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir together ketchup and reserved tomato juice in a small bowl.

Place peppers cut-sides up in a 9in. square baking dish.  Using a small spoon fill each pepper evenly with the beef and rice mixture, pressing it down inside the peppers so that you can get the most possible filling inside.  Spoon 2 tablespoons ketchup mixture into the top of each filled pepper and then sprinkle each with 1 tbsp cheese. 

Bake until cheese is browned and filling is heated through 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24464.Here_in_America_s_Test_Kitchen


Brickle Drop Cookies

Over the holidays I had a surpise appendectomy while on vacation in Mexico so I can’t cook anything that requires lifting etc…and I need to lay around on the couch to recover. I’ve also been craving cookies since the surgery. One of my favorite candy of all time is the Heath Bar.  While I was grocery shopping on Saturday I saw a bag of the bits in the baking aisle and decided to make the recipe for the Brickle Drop Cookies on the back of the bag. And the cookies are absolutely delicious!!!


My dog was happy too-he got to lick the beaters as there’s no chocolate in the cookies. Happy Tim 🙂


Brickle Drop Cookies

1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 8oz package Heath Bits-O-Brickle Toffee Bits (one bag)

Pre-heat oven to 350.   Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until blended. Add eggs and beat well.

Stir together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.  Add gradually to the butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in the toffee bits.

Scoop heaping teaspoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, leaving about 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned.  Allow to cook slightly on the cookie sheet then eat them. 

Store cookies in an airtight container.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

I froze half of the batter for these cookies so that I only made about 30. I wrapped the dough twice in plastic wrap, taped the recipe to the top and put into a ziplock bag.

Slightly adapted from Heath Brickle Bag recipe.

Delicious Roasted Broccoli

I love broccoli. I always have. I especially like the stems.  Small heads of broccoli were on sale at my supermarket this past weekend.  Ususally I steam them but I decided to roast it this time-so easy and super delicious.  I love that the little parts on the top get a bit singed and crunchy.


Delicious Roasted Broccoli

One head fresh broccoli, florets cut into bite-sized pieces

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Honestly this couldn’t be any easier. Preheat oven to 400.  Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Lay  broccoli on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Give the broccoli a few swishes around to cover them lightly with oil. Sprinkle the broccoli with salt and pepper and put them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Watch it carefully-they burn easily. Remove when they reach the desired done-ness.

Freshly grated parmesan cheese would also be spectacular sprinkled on these after they’re done cooking.


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