potato wedges – easy peasy

I’m not a good cook. I boiled my first egg in my junior year of college … after asking my roommate how to hard-boil an egg. Seriously. I’m not even kidding. My mother is a fabulous cook, but maybe when I was little I burned myself one too many times on the stove, because I don’t like that thing!

130121 potatoes

The oven, however, is my friend. One of the things I make way more than I oughta is potato wedges. Why? Because potatoes are cheap, I’ve never been one to turn down starchy goodness, and potato wedges are easy to make and easy to eat. It’s pretty forgiving so it’s impossible to make them wrong unless you leave them in the oven for hours and burn them to a crisp. Sometimes I use red potatoes and sometimes I use baking potatoes … whatever I happen to have or whatever’s on sale at the grocery store.

Scrub the potatoes clean, slice them into wedges, and pour on chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and/or whatever else. Then pour in some vegetable oil and mix it all so that every wedge is coated with enough seasoning and oil. When you think it’s good enough, line them up on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 350F (or thereabouts) and let them bake for an hour (or thereabouts). Potato wedges don’t take much preparation or thought. They are, in a word, ideal.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

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from the oven

On Sunday I went grocery shopping with the roommate. I tried not to buy much because I still have a lot of food that needs to get eaten. Therefore, I decided to get to work in the kitchen. I made three things, all mostly oven-based, totaling maybe three or four hours. There’s rosemary bread, rosemary potatoes, and chicken parmesan. Ingredients and instructions are below. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in the layouting … I’m not fond of the way the lists look.

090617 01 food

First up was the rosemary bread. I followed this recipe from AllRecipes.com, which is a great site to procrastinate with. Sometimes I find myself browsing recipes for hours. The ingredients are as they were listed originally, but I used fresh rosemary from the apartment complex across the street (so convenient, I love it!). It was designed for use with a bread machine, but since I don’t have one, I sort of made it up as I went.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Process:

  • warm up the water and add the yeast to it
  • wait about 10 minutes until the yeast blossoms
  • add olive oil, sugar, salt, and flour to the mix – knead
  • add in the seasoning, pepper, and rosemary – knead
  • place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a towel
  • put the bowl in a warm place and let rise for an hour
  • punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour
  • bake in oven at 375F for 30-ish minutes until browned on top

So during the hours while waiting for the dough to rise and such, I prepared the potatoes and chicken. First went the potatoes. They weren’t looking too good but I figured they still looked okay enough to eat.

Ingredients:

  • red potatoes (I used 5 small ones)
  • rosemary sprigs (wash them first)
  • French or Italian seasonings
  • olive oil

Process:

  • cut up the potatoes into equal-sized portions
  • in a bowl mix the potatoes with some olive oil and seasonings
  • stick it all in a shallow pan (I used a pie pan)
  • tuck in the rosemary sprigs
  • bake in oven at 350F for about hour and a half, checking every half hour and mixing around the potatoes to make sure they’re even

While the potatoes were in the oven and the bread was still rising, I went ahead and prepared the chicken that I had set out to defrost before we left to the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • chicken breasts (2 large pieces)
  • 1 cup or so of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • spaghetti sauce
  • olive oil

Process:

  • cut chicken into desired size and smush flat or slice them to no more than 1/2″ thick
  • crack the egg into a bowl and beat it
  • get out a plate and spread out the bread crumbs with some parmesan and Italian seasoning mixed in
  • dip the chicken into the egg and press both sides into the bread crumbs (the egg helps the crumbs to stick)
  • put some olive oil into a frying pan and put the stove on medium
  • cook the chicken on each side until just browned
  • put the cooked chicken into a shallow pan (I used the pie pan again)
  • pour spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle parmesan cheese over that
  • bake in oven at 350F for about 15 minutes

That’s what I’ve been eating for the last few days. And that’s what I’ll be eating for the next few days as well. Everything turned out okay, but nothing was fantastic. Next time I’ll probably go back to making white bread and just work on perfecting that. I think in conjunction with the rosemary potatoes and chicken parmesan, the rosemary in the bread was just too much. Oh, and if you look closely at the picture, you’ll see the fine use of my crocheted trivets. The purple rectangular one actually turned out to be a great size for the loaf pan. Go figure.

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]

shopping trip

090613 01 table

I bought a new table! It’s originally from Ikea, but I bought it off CraigsList for a mere $13. Superb. So, from now on my pictures are probably going to look a lot prettier with the white tabletop as the background instead of my nasty carpet. And I’ll have a dedicated workspace for crafting (no more floor, yay!) Hopefully now my back and neck won’t hurt so much.

This morning I woke up early (around 10 AM) and went garage sale-ing. There were a few things that caught my eye, but nothing enough to tempt me to buy. Since I was in the area I stopped by Dollar Tree (a different one than last weekend) and picked up some cheap dollar goodness. I’m lucky, right? I have two Dollar Trees to choose from, and though they have a lot of the same stuff, they do have some unique things. Afterwards I drove a few streets over to Goodwill and picked up a few more things. I took two pictures (the second after I had cleaned things up and added some mood lighting … lol). Oh, and my memory card reader worked again! What a fickle thing.

from Dollar Tree:

  • green car wash mitt ($1)
  • woven basket ($1)
  • orange votive candle holders ($1)

from Goodwill:

  • wooden square frame ($1)
  • green square glass container ($2)

090613 04 basket

The basket went to the kitchen to hold my potatoes. Hm … those potatoes don’t look so great, I wonder how long I’ve had them. Guess I’m going to be cooking potatoes tomorrow. Today was so productive! I got home around 2 PM and then I did laundry, vacuumed the apartment, and took out the trash. Tonight I’m going to start my homework due Monday and prepare for my interview on Monday (my second official interview – wish me luck) and tomorrow morning my roommate S and I are going grocery shopping. Whew, what a weekend!

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is reposted here for my own sake.]