Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bacon Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes

Say that ten times fast.

I swear, this is not a food and/or cooking blog. I swear. If you're looking for one of those, try these out - Half-Assed Kitchen, written by my friend Angie, or Desperate for Dinner, written by my friend Donata.

Those are cooking blogs.
This is not.

But, food is love. Food is comfort. And food is necessary for a family. We can't survive without it. And as life suddenly got more complicated around here, I realized that I could do one of 2 things: eat take out for the rest of my life, OR become a better cook. I chose the later. Now, I'm not saying that I'm an awesome cook (I'm just the regular kind). But I am saying that I'm cooking more, eating out less, and being more efficient at the grocery store. And all this adds up to one important fact: it makes life easier.

With the help of a weekly meal plan (and these cute downloadable meal planning sheets from Amy at Living Locurto), I've successfully attacked the past 5 weeks of meals...with a vengeance. And a glass of wine, but that's another story.

Most of the recipes I've been making are old family standbys, with a few of our more current recipes thrown in for a dash of excitement. If I have trouble with a recipe, I turn to my friends, offline and on, for advice. Take the other day, I was grappling with that ancient Tater Tot Casserole (yes mom, I know this is considered the anti-Christ in your eyes) recipe and my friends were there to help. One facebook friend pointed me to a helpful website, and my best girlfriend talked me through it on the phone as I stood over a hot stove preparing the dish.

In the end, it was fabulous...white trash and all. Katie had seconds and wanted the leftovers for lunch the next day. Clearly a blue ribbon dinner in her book! But, my MIL ate the leftovers in the middle of the night, Katie was crushed, and now I'll have to make it again soon. Good thing I now know how...

But isn't this supposed to be about potatoes?


This recipe is again, lifted from my mother (thanks mom). I'm one of those "that looks about right" kind of cooks when it comes to measuring - except for baking, I do measure when baking, unless it's chocolate chip cookies, then I just eyeball the ingredients (I could make those in my sleep). Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the measurements for this recipe are not exactly exact. Get my drift?

Bacon Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes

6-7 medium sized red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2" pieces
3 slices bacon, cooked and diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup ranch dressing

Rinse, scrub and slice the potatoes so they look like this:

Then, take that bacon,

And slice it up.

Place the bacon and the potatoes in a 9 x 13 pan, like this:

And then, add the cheese (mmmm, cheese - I won't tell if you sneak a bite):

Then comes the sin.

The awful, no good for you, horrible, artery clogging sin.

The ranch dressing:

Believe me when I tell you, this is well worth it, whatever kind you use - my mom likes the "lite" kind. But she doesn't have to shop at Costco for her 3 ranch loving kids. So, like I said, use your favorite. This just so happens to be ours. And it's what I have in the refrigerator. So.

Now, toss all that cheesy, bacony, ranchy goodness together with the potatoes and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes. Or, until the potatoes are nice and soft on the inside, crispy on the outside.

If this were a real cooking/food blog, this would be the time to show you the delicious finished product.

But it isn't.

And the product isn't finished. It's in the refrigerator, covered in foil, waiting to go in the oven in a few hours. But let me tell will be good. Probably so good that I'll forget to take a picture of it, as I'll be inhaling it at the speed of light.

But here's a picture of what else we're having, also not finished, I just thought you'd enjoy seeing how I tie my chicken legs together before roasting:

Bon Appetit!

*Cross posted at Stop Screaming I'm Driving!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

At the Speed of Light

What happened to January?

Oh - life. That's what.

Actually, most of January and so far into February has been spent caring for my mother-in-law. She is living with us now, temporarily, while we help figure out the best situation for her needs.


It's a lot of work.

And a lot more laundry.

And a lot more of everything...but just like everything else in life, we're handling it.

I think being married to the fire service has taught me to take one day, one incident, one hour at a time. I hope that because I'm used to this kind of upheaval, that I will be able to get through this with a little less bumps and bruises (metaphorically, of course) than I would otherwise. Who knows.

For now, we're working it out.

One day

One hour

One moment at a time.

Tonight is the annual party/dinner at the firestation and we'll let go of our worries for a little bit - although never quite getting them out of our minds. We'll toast to a new year with a great department, a great support system, and a great group of professional firefighters to work with. The wives will swap funny stories, babies will be kissed and cuddled and best of all, camaraderie will be plentiful.

I did find a funny picture from the beginning of my husband's career (the boys are so tiny!) that I'll post in a few days...stay tuned.