Anita declared these as “the only way we will cook tater tots from now on”. And I am in total agreement with her too. Just like potato skins they have a crunchy side and a soft side and taste, well, potato-y. Topped with our favorite potato skin toppings, cheese, green onion and sour cream, these tater tot potato skins can be served as appetizers at your next party or as a side at your next grill-out. Make sure you make lots of them, though, because they are crazy addicting. You can actually skip the thawing of the tater tots and squash the tots after they have been in the oven for 10 minutes. I found this works fine, but not quite as well as when you fully thaw the tater tots first. They don’t squash out quite as flat, but they still get super duper crispy crunchy, which is the goal.
I spoon sour cream into a squirt bottle to top these tater tot potato skins nice and evenly. You can of course spoon the sour cream directly on top, but I usually end up with a little too much in one spot and not enough in another. The squirt bottle solves that problem.
Anita said that I must make these green beans again, and soon. She proclaimed them as ‘awesome’, and I definitely agree. This is not a complicated recipe, but it gives green beans fantastic flavor. They need help, let’s face it. No one has ever sat down with a bucket of cooked beans with nothing else on them and said “dang, these are awesome!”. Sit down with a bucket of these beans you will say “dang, these are awesome!”.
Anita proclaimed that the broccoli in these Parmesan broccoli potatoes was the best she’s ever had. I guess I could’ve left out the potatoes but they were my favorite! It’s a win-win dish for us! I made them on the grill, cooking them over indirect heat, but you can cook them in the oven just as easily. They really are fantastic!
After about 10 minutes I checked the potatoes and broccoli and gave them a little stir. If they’re looking a little dry don’t be afraid to add a bit (1/4 cup!) of water and stir. Depending on how big your potatoes and broccoli florets are you might need a bit longer than the 15 minute cooking time.
One thing is guaranteed. Put a bean salad in front of me, and it’s going to disappear. For me, it doesn’t get any better or easier. The perfect contrast in textures and flavors. A little sweet. A little tang. There are hundreds of variations on bean salad, and I am pretty sure I’ve made and enjoyed them all. This tangy bean salad is no exception. Made in no time, but better after it gets happy in the fridge for a few hours first. Like with any good ole bean salad you can change this tangy bean salad up to suit your tastes. I little slices fresh jalapeno is great if you like a little kick. Roasted red bell pepper instead of green bell pepper is also a nice change.
Corn is in season and that’s a happy time for me. And as much as I love grilled corn-on-the-cob, corn in salads is tied for my favorite way to get some good fresh corn into my belly. Like this jalapeno popper grilled corn salad. Creamy dressing. Crunchy bacon. Deliciously sweet corn. And a little heat. This is the perfect side dish for a grill-out or picnic. We’re getting our corn from the southern US now, but soon they’ll be harvesting corn here in Indiana. Almost time for my yearly ritual of putting up corn for the winter. I race on down to our local farmer’s market, Binford Farmer’s Market, and load up on corn as soon as it’s available. And I do mean load up. My favorite? My Dad’s Sweet Corn from Tipton, Indiana. Hand-picked and incredibly sweet, they always have great corn.
This creamy dill broccoli slaw is a wonderful spin on my favorite salad, creamy cucumber salad. Loaded with dill and a hint of lime, it has a great summer flavor with plenty of crunch to it. I added a few sliced fresh chili peppers and chives from our garden for garnish. Cilantro would also make a great addition to this slaw. You can substitute ‘normal’ shredded cabbage for the broccoli if you wish. Broccoli slaw tends to stay crunchier longer than cabbage, which can get soggy in no time. If you do make this creamy dill broccoli slaw with cabbage instead, sauce only the amount of slaw you plan on serving. That way the leftovers won’t get drenched in sauce and become soggy.
My oh my oh my these roasted spiral potatoes were good. And kinda pretty, too. But definitely delicious. The potatoes get cooked up perfectly, mixed with smoky bacon, garlic and seasonings. As the potatoes near their journey to doneness they are then topped with butter and cheese. Oh yeah! Garnished with sour cream and green onions, this is one mighty fine side dish. Assembling the potatoes in the pan is the key to having them cook perfectly (and look cool). It’s easier than it looks. Just cut all of your potatoes the same thickness (it’s up to you if you want to leave the skin on or not). Then for each circular layer select pieces that are roughly the same size. You then just lay them into a lightly oiled cast iron skillet at a slight angle, overlapping by about half. You’ll need one hand to hold them in place and one hand to add potatoes. Once you’ve made the full circle they’ll stay in place. When the roasted spiral potatoes come out of the oven they are tender, covered in ooey gooey melted cheese. They look and smell out of this world. You’ll never want to cook potatoes any other way.
Make sure you add a good bit of paprika to the spice mixture. It adds great color.
These potatoes go great with a grilled steak. The perfect meat-and-potatoes dinner!
You'll need a cast iron skillet to make these roasted spiral potatoes. The larger the skillet, the more potatoes you will need. I used a 10" Lodge.
4-5 Russet potatoes, sliced (try to select potatoes that are all roughly the same sizes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus a little more
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and paprika, all to taste
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 stick butter, melted
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream and chopped green onions, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Lightly oil your skillet.
Lightly toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and the minced garlic
Layer potatoes around the edge of the skillet. You'll want to select pieces that are roughly the same size. Over lap the potatoes by about half, using one hand to add potatoes while the other hand keeps the potatoes in place. You'll want them to be at about a 60 degree angle, slightly angled back, following the contour of the skillet.
Once your first layer is done, add two more, each inside of the other. You might need four total layers depending on the size of your skillet and potatoes.
When you get to the end you'll have a little round 'hole' in the middle. Place a potato end (point-side up) in that spot to complete the arrangement.
Combine the seasonings and sprinkle over the tops of the potatoes. Don't be shy.
Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the top and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Drizzle with the butter, raise the temperature to 425 F, and cook another 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
This cherry tomato salad is crazy good. Tomato season is our favorite time of the year, and this dish definitely satisfied our quest for tomato yumminess. The combination of balsamic vinegar and pesto sauce really makes for a wonderful dressing and marinade. The red onions add a nice bite. The original recipe calls for half an onion, but I thought the onions were so great that I’ll definitely use the entire onion the next time I make this salad. This cherry tomato salad can also be made with whole tomatoes (heirloom would be amazing!) cut into wedges. Of course, it wouldn’t be a cherry tomato salad then but it’d still be great!
If you’re looking for a tomato salad more suitable for kids, try my hot dog tomato salad. It was a childhood favorite of mine.