Best French Fries Ever

Who doesn't love french fries?  Especially homemade ones.  Mine are so simple, so easy, so healthy, so tasty, you'll wonder why you ever bought a bag of them from the freezer section.  And you never will again! Two ingredients is all it takes.  I suppose since they aren't deep-fried, they are neither french nor fries, but what else am I going to call them?  "Roasted Potato Rectangles"?  Doesn't quite have the same ring.

5 russet potatoes (or whatever you have on hand)
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick spray.  Slice your potatoes in half lengthwise, then slice each half lengthwise (to resemble steak fries).  Place in one layer on the sheet, sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top of the slices has started to bubble and brown.

Rhubarb Squares

Rhubarb rocks.  One of the best things about it is the fact that it's an abundant vegetable...or is it a fruit?...which means there's a lot of it and a lot of different ways to use it up.  My husband brought some home from his parents' house and I'm still trying to use it up.  I found this recipe, which was so tasty it didn't last long enough to get a decent picture of it.  Unfortunately, the picture from the original recipe (on does it no justice, and in fact looks kinda gross. 

One thing about this recipe that I didn't care for is the thinness of it.  It calls for a 11x7 baking dish, which I think is too big, hence the thinness of it.  I'm absolutely going to make it again, but use a smaller baking dish to thicken it up a bit.  I'm also going to play with the crust a little bit, and if it turns out I will re-post it for you.  I made this recipe almost exactly the way it says...notice I said almost.  I added 2 tablespoons of flax seeds to the crust.  It gave it a little nutty crunch that worked nicely with the rhubarb.  But if you don't have them, don't stress.  I happen to have them on hand because a breakfast bar recipe I've been playing with calls for them.

Here it is...enjoy!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine


  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

    1. In a bowl, combine the flour and confectioners; sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.
    2. For filling, combine the first four ingredients in a bowl. Stir in rhubarb; pour over warm crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm if desired. Store in the refrigerator.


    Turkey Meatballs with a Twist

    I love meatballs.

    I love their convenient size.  I love the taste, texture...and these days what I especially love about them is they are a great way to stretch a pound of ground meat just a little bit further by adding more and more ingredients to them.

    I haven't made them in a while, and my ground meat of choice is chicken.  Of course they were out of it when I was grocery shopping the other day, so I grabbed the turkey instead.  I like to change things up when it comes to my meatballs so we don't get sick of them, and I rarely make them to serve with spaghetti.  That just occurred to me.  I'm not sure why I don't.  This recipe is yet another variation of my evolving meatball.

    A note:  the taco sauce is not overpowering in it's flavor.  I made my husband guess the "mystery ingredient"...he couldn't.  Once I told him what it was, he said, "Oh, ok.  I taste it now." 

    I apologize in advance for not having any pictures...there was a minor mishap involving my husband and kids outside just as I was getting ready to call them in for dinner, and it was Mommy to the rescue.  Taking pictures of my food was the furthest thing from my mind!  But they looked delicious, I promise!

    Turkey Meatballs with a Twist

    1 lb ground turkey
    1 1/2 c whole wheat breadcrumbs
    1 c shredded cheese of your choice (I used a blend of monterey jack and mozzarella)
    1 egg
    splash of milk
    1/4 c mild taco sauce
    onion powder
    *all spices to taste

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with nonstick spray.

    In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.  Using a small scoop (or tablespoon) to measure, roll meat mixture into small balls.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes, serve hot.

    Crispy Honey Chicken

    I have recently found a new blog that I love.  This girl is after my own heart.  The first thing after the title of her blog is "Where Gluttony Meets Fitness".  Is this where I say, "You had me at hello"?  Her recipes are wholesome and (most) are fairly healthful.  She's extremely entertaining, and as much as I want you to read my blog, I think you should check her and her recipes out (see following link).

    This Crispy Honey Chicken is the first of hers I decided to try.  As usual, I have changed the recipe so much from it's original state that I can say what I made is based on her recipe, and is not actually what she has posted.  You can find her original recipe (along with her amusing anecdotes): here

    I will make this recipe again, as my family went wild over it.  The best part is that you can change it up with different vegetables each time so that you have a different meal every time you make it.  This is how I made mine.

    Carrots, meet Broccoli.

    Excess oil on the chicken is no match for my paper towels!

    Carrots and Broccoli meet Mushrooms.

    Slivered Almonds, ready for toasting!  Did you know you can toast nuts in the microwave?  Cool, right?

    Ready to go, without the toasted almonds.

    And with the toasted almonds (for me!)

    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into thirds
    2 egg whites
    1/3 cup cornstarch (or flour – for dredging)
    1 cup broccoli florets
    1 1/2 c baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
    1 can mushrooms, drained
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1/4 cup honey
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 c slivered almonds, toasted, if desired*

    Prepare and slice all veggies. In 2 separate bowls, add the egg whites (lightly beaten) and the cornstarch or flour.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add veggies, including mushrooms, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add in soy sauce and garlic and stir so veggies are coated, about 60 seconds. Remove from skillet and set aside in a bowl.

    Cut chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat the same skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining olive oil. Dip chicken pieces in egg whites and then lightly dredge in cornstarch. Add to the skillet and let brown for 2-3 minutes, then flip (repeat if necessary, make sure your chicken is cooked through!) Continue with remaining chicken pieces, and do so in batches if needed.

    Once chicken is cooked, add veggies back in the skillet. Add honey and thoroughly mix to combine. Taste and season with salt, pepper, additional honey or soy sauce. Sprinkle toasted almonds over top.  Serve with orzo pasta or rice.

    *To toast nuts in the microwave:  Place a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate.  Add nuts in a single layer.  Pop in microwave for 1 minute.  Remove and stir.  Return to microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave's power level, until lightly browned and fragrant.  Be careful, they're hot!

    Creamy Avocado Pasta

    In my quest for healthier eating, I've tried to embrace the avocado.  I think the health benefits outweigh the fact that they are high in fat (although it's the healthy kind of fat).  I never even tried avocado until I was an adult, and my first taste of it was less than stellar.  There was a man in my office that would bring one for lunch, slice it open, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and eat it out of the skin with a spoon.  How easy, I thought.  So I bought one and tried it that way.  It did not make the best first impression.

    My next attempt was to make a dip that my daughter might eat as an after-school snack.  I had read a recipe but forgot where I saw it, so I tried to wing it.  I used the avocado, great northern beans, a plum tomato minus the skin, and some spices.  I blended it up in the food processor...and was not impressed.

    My cousin is a vegetarian who studies nutrition and dietetics in college, and only eats organic foods.  I talked to her over Easter dinner, and she shared with me a bunch of her recipes.  She said this creamy avocado pasta is one of her favorites, so I thought the third time must be the charm.  It was!  I didn't necessarily use the organic ingredients the recipe called for, but I don't imagine it affected the flavor all that much. It is so tasty, and as the title claims, creamy.  And EASY!  Avocado skeptics of the world, unite!

    1 med. avocado, pitted
    juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest of half the lemon
    2-3 garlic cloves
    sea salt and pepper to taste
    2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    6 oz of your choice of pasta

    Boil your pasta according to the box directions.

    Make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor (or blender).  Process until smooth.  Add in the pitted avocado, salt and pepper.  Process until smooth and creamy.

    Pour over hot pasta and toss until fully combined.  Garnish with lemon zest.  Serve immediately.

    NOTE: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce.

    Original recipe found at

    Iced Coffee

    I love iced coffee.  I drink a Dunkin Donuts toasted almond iced coffee all year round.  I don't care if it's snowing outside.  I love it.  Give me iced coffee over hot chocolate any day.  At home, though, I only make iced coffee when the weather starts to warm up.  Being that it's spring, it's time! 

    I make my iced coffee using the leftovers in the carafe from the morning pot.  Any recipe I've ever seen uses instant coffee granules, but I don't ever have any here and am not inclined to buy them.  My biggest problem is the coffee becoming too watery too quickly, even if the coffee I'm using is already cold.  Insert my genius moment...I bought ice cube trays and filled them up with coffee.  Voila!  Coffee ice cubes.  When they melt, you get more coffee.

    You'll notice there is a LOT of sugar in my recipe.  You don't have to use that much.  I'm one of those strange people that likes the crunch of the unmelted sugar.

    Here is my favorite at-home recipe (nothing will ever beat out my DD toasted almond).

    2 c cold coffee
    enough coffee ice cubes to fill the cup
    2-3 tsp sugar
    1 tsp Cinnabon coffee creamer (or whatever you have on hand)

    Put the ice cubes in your cup (preferably a large insulated cup).  Add the sugar.  Pour the coffee over the sugary ice.  Gently stir in the creamer.  Enjoy!

    Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Muffins

    It's spring, and that means rhubarb.  I had a bag of strawberries in the freezer to use up, so I bought two stalks of rhubarb.  I hate having to buy it, because my in-laws grow it, but I keep forgetting to ask them if theirs is ready.  So I bought it.  Shhh, it'll be our secret.  I did some internet searching for a different sort of strawberry rhubarb recipe.  I mean, we all love a good strawberry rhubarb pie, but, one) I didn't want to make a pie, and two) I'm out of brown sugar so any kind of bar recipe was out.  I found a recipe for strawberry rhubarb muffins, and changed it to make it my own (and in my opinion, tastier).  These are pee-your-pants good, and easy to make.  Enjoy!

    1 c whole wheat flour (can use white flour if you don't have wheat)
    1/2 c all purpose flour
    1 c sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 c chunky applesauce
    1 tsp canola oil
    1/2 c milk
    1 large egg
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 c strawberries, chopped
    1/2 c rhubarb, chopped
    Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling*

    Preheat oven to 375.  Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick spray or line with papers.

    Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a smaller bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, milk, egg and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined (overmixing will make the muffins chewy instead of soft).  Gently fold in the strawberries and rhubarb--you don't want pink batter from mushing the strawberries.

    Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.  Sprinkle tops generously with turbinado sugar.  Bake 18-21 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

    *Turbinado sugar is large grains of sugar, not granulated.  It is easily found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store.