Baked Mashed Potatoes

In our house, we have a predicament.  I love mashed potatoes.  Zack doesn’t.  For this reason, I try to make them in as many different ways as possible in the hopes that I will find some that he loves.  So far, no luck.

However, I loved these.  It takes forever to make them, but totally worth it in my opinion.  They were so creamy and amazing!

Give them a try if you are tired of the same ole mashed potatoes!

Baked Mashed Potatoes

– 6 large potatoes, peeled, thickly sliced (about 2 3/4 lb)

– 1 medium onion, chopped

– 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

– 1/2 c butter, softened

– 1/2 c sour cream

– 1 large egg, beaten

– 1 3/4 t salt

– 1/2 t black pepper

– 1 t paprika

Combine potatoes, onion and enough water to cover in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Simmer until potatoes are tender; about 20 minutes; drain well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 3-qt baking dish.

Combine potato mixture, cream cheese, butter, sour cream, egg, salt and black pepper in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer set at high speed until mixture is smooth.  Spoon potato mixture into prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake until heated through, about 30-35 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Potatoes may be prepared up to 2-3 days ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to bake.

Baked Lobster Tails

Zack and I love seafood – especially lobster, crab, and shrimp.  The only problem is the price.  Lobster is incredibly expensive (to us anyway) so we rarely ever have it.

We wanted to have a special dinner for New Years though and went to our health food grocery store and lobster was on sale!  We knew we had to get it.

I had never made it before and was worried that I would mess it up and ruin our special dinner (and waste a ton of money).

Luckily, this recipe was super easy and they turned out perfect!  If you like lobster, I highly recommend trying this recipe.  It’s relatively healthy and absolutely delicious!

Our yummy New Years Dinner: lobster tails, green beans and baked hush puppies.  Yum!

Baked Lobster Tails

– 4 lobster tails (8-10 oz each)

– 1 c water

– 1 T minced fresh parsley

– 1/8 t salt

– dash pepper

– 1 T butter, melted

– 2 T lemon juice

– lemon wedges and additional melted butter, optional

Split lobster tails in half lengthwise.  With cut side up and using scissors, cut along the edge of shell to loosen the cartilage covering the tail meat from the shell; remove and discard cartilage.

Pour water into a 13×9 baking dish; place the lobster tails in dish.  Combine the parsley, salt and pepper; sprinkle over lobster.  Drizzle with butter and lemon juice

Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until meat is firm and opaque.  Serve with lemon wedges and melted butter, if desired.

Baked Chicken Strips

My mom has been making these for me all my life.  In other words, I’ve been addicted to these all my life.

They are so much healthier than fried chicken strips (and taste better in my opinion).  I served them with the Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce last time and Zack said they were a great accompaniment.

These are really easy to make and a meal that anyone will like.  Plus, just like fried fast-food chicken strips, they are good with any condiments that you can imagine.  I’m a big fan of honey myself.

Say NO to McDonald’s and YES to being healthier and eating at home with your families.  🙂

Time for a small rant…  In my hometown, they tore down the old McDonald’s and built a new one that opened a few weeks ago.  The first few days the wait was TWO HOURS.  Two hours for food that is taking time off of your life?! People blow my mind.  I am very against fast food.  I don’t like the unhealthiness of it, their marketing ploys to attract children, or the actual preparation of the food.

Okay, sorry.  I get a little bit opinionated when it comes to fast food.  I wasn’t always like this, though.  I used to eat fast food nearly daily.  Just thinking about it now sickens me.

Baked Chicken Strips

– 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

– 2 eggs, beaten

– 1 cup Italian bread crumbs

Cut chicken into strips (~3 or 4 strips out of one breast) and wash off.

Put eggs into a bowl and coat chicken in them.

Dip chicken strips into the seasoning.

Put on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Potato Wedges

Back in my VERY unhealthy eating habits days, I could scarf down an order of potato wedges from KFC.  They are so crispy and delicious…and horrible for you.  Imagine my excitement upon finding a recipe for baked potato wedges!

Zack loves the KFC ones just as much as me, so he was pretty excited for these too.  They definitely did not disappoint.  They were crispy and crunchy and oh-so-delicious.

Plus, the chipotle seasoning gave them a nice kick.  These do call for a lot of butter, so they aren’t really that healthy, but compared to deep fried, they are great.

Potato Wedges

– 2 large Russet potatoes

– 1 stick butter

– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

– 1/2 cup flour

– 1 teaspoon paprika

– 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used Chipotle seasoning)

– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Scrub, peel and cut raw potatoes into one inch thick slices.  Melt butter and dip potato slices in it.  Combine remaining ingredients.  Roll potato slices in flour mixture or shake in bags.  Bake 35-40 minutes at 425 degrees.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Who doesn’t love honey mustard?  It’s sweet, it’s tangy…it’s delicious.  When you bake it with the chicken, it absorbs the flavors and makes for a juicy, succulent dinner!

The great thing about this recipe is you get to make your own honey mustard and it is really almost as simple as just pouring a bottle of pre-made honey mustard onto the chicken.

This is a great weeknight dinner when you want something that’s easy to prepare with not a lot of clean up (a baking dish, a small bowl, and a brush to cover the chicken with the sauce is all you need).

Plus, it’s done in ~40 minutes.  The perfect amount of time when you’re tired from a long day at work or school.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Prep: 15 minutes.  Cook: 45 minutes.  Serves 6.

– 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1/2 cup honey

– 1/2 cup prepared mustard

– 1 teaspoon dried basil

– 1 teaspoon paprika

– 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish.  In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika, and parsley.  Mix well.  Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the chicken, and brush to cover.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Turn chicken pieces over and brush with remaining 1/2 of the honey mustard mixture.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are so, so good.  When Zack and I lived in an apartment, I would buy sweet potato fries from the freezer section (GASP! I know!). The thought of doing that now is embarrassing.  Making your own makes them a thousand times better.

Don’t judge these entirely from the pictures, though.  Try them for yourselves.  The dark parts are not burned, they are just cooked thoroughly.  The dark parts make them crispy and delicious.

Cooking at such a high temperature (450 degrees) means you really have to watch them, so that they don’t burn, but believe me, it is worth the diligence.

Sweet potatoes complement the fall season so well.  Just another reason to eat some!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

– 2 medium sweet potatoes

– 2 teaspoons olive oil

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Peel potatoes and cut into matchsticks about 1/4″ to 3/8″ wide.  Place potatoes in a large bowl.  Add oil, salt, and pepper and toss until coated.

Spread potatoes on baking sheet in a single layer and bake for about 10 minutes.  Rotate baking sheet and gently turn over potatoes.  Continue baking about 1o minutes or until crisp.  Watch potatoes and turn frequently to prevent burning/sticking to pan (a little black on them does not make them taste burned – just gives them more flavor).  Serve immediately.

Baked Apples

In keeping with the fall theme I’ve had for the past couple of days, here are some baked apples that I made last week.  I just used store bought Gala apples, but they still were good.  I served them with dinner which shocked Zack, because he considers them dessert.  I told him that they are apples and healthy and can therefore be a part of dinner (just disregard all of the cinnamon and sugar 😉 ).

These are really easy to make and are a perfect addition to any fall meal.  Plus, as an added bonus, they make yor house smell totally delicious!

Baked Apples

– 6 medium sweet apples (ie Gala) peeled and cored – enough to fill a 8 x 8 pan

– ¼ cup brown sugar

– ½ cup white sugar

– ½ tablespoon corn starch

– 1-2 tablespoons butter (soft spread across top of apples)

– ½ tsp cinnamon

– ¼ tsp nutmeg

Grease pan; fill with apples.

Mix all dry ingredients together; sprinkle over top of buttered apples.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until well done.  They will be bubbly and syrup-y.

 

 

Happy baking! 🙂