Best! THESE Are Your New Way to Make and Mash Potatoes

A bit early for the holidaze on this side of the border, and, at the very last minute kickoff for our cousins to the North – this recipe, more or less from Tyler Florence and adapted a wee, tiny bit by the nice folk at Delish and yours truly; makes the, bar none, hands down, no question, absolutely best mashed potatoes I have ever had the pleasure to wolf down.

ANd now, after a weekend back in New England, serving them up to friends; they also totally agree.

Even if there was a bit of fear in their eyes as I explained what I was gonna do.

See, Tyler recommends boiling potatoes in butter, cream, olive oil and seasonings until tender, then straining all that potato essence infused liquid into a bowl and then…

mashing the potatoes with it!


Note: the nice folk at Delish opted for half and half, but I tried the first time with heavy cream. The second time I made them, I used half and half, and think that they were a little more better. I have no idea why.

Both Mr. Florence and Delish used three pounds of peeled, chopped potatoes. I used 24 ounces of small, whole unpeeled red potatoes the first time, and 24 ounces of small, whole unpeeled yellow potatoes the second. The yellow potatoes were best, I think, but you do what you want.

•24 oz bag small yellow potatoes
•3 tbsp butter
•3 tbsp olive oil
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp dried sage
•1/2 tsp dried rosemary
•1/2 tsp dried thyme
•Half and half to cover the potatoes

Pour the olive oil over the butter, potatoes, and seasonings in a pan. Add half and half to just cover the potatoes, then cover the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Be careful to avoid boiling over.

Place a colander in a bowl and drain the liquid from the potatoes into the bowl.

Note: the potatoes will have a thick coating of the half and half mixture.

Return the potatoes to the pan, then add some of the liquid from the bowl and mash.

Note: why not just mash the potatoes and the liquid in the pan without draining? I found that there was just a bit too much liquid (unless you like really soft mashed potatoes) – and so did not use all of the drained half and half.

The result?

Perfectly tasty mashed potatoes!

Try these once. They will be your holidaze potatoes forever more.


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Parfait! Baked Soul Rolls

Earlier this week, I posted the recipe for Soul Roll Sauce (so simple and tasty!), and Soul Bowls – the wicked nice result of an error on my part about how many egg roll wrappers come in a package (answer to follow, don’t stress).

Today, I figured I would revisit one of my most popular appetizers, Soul Rolls – now baked, not fried!

Oh, and there are TEN egg roll wrappers in a package, so, but TWO.

(makes 20 Soul Rolls)
•2 pkg egg roll wrappers
•1 lb ground turkey
•1-1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1 tsp ground black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•2 cups diced sweet onion
•1/2 pint Pepper Relish
•1 bag coleslaw mix
•1-1/2 cup cups shredded pepper jack cheese
•1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

To make the filling, cook the ground turkey with the onion, seasonings, and Sherry Peppers Sauce in a large pan until completely cooked through.

Drain well and stir in the pepper relish.

Heat your oven to 350º.

Place an egg roll wrapper on a board and add a couple of pinches of the coleslaw mix as shown here.

Top with a spoon or two of the meat mixture, then some of the cheese.

Starting from the bottom, pull the wrapper up and over the filling, then dab a bit of water on the remaining three corners and pull the two sides in and over the bottom piece, pressing the moistened sides gently into the bottom wrapper to seal.

Roll up and over, gently squeezing the filling so that it is nicely compressed, until the top corner seals the the roll.

Apply cooking spray to a rack set into a large baking pan, arrange the rolls in a single layer, then brush each roll lightly with your preferred cooking oil.

Bake until gold brown, about 25 minutes.

Serve with the Soul Roll Sauce and/or, if you like, a nice mustard. It’s all good.

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Soul Bowls

Yesterday, I posted the recipe for my Soul Roll Sauce.

Today, let us discuss making Soul Bowls.

See, it had been close to a year since I last made Soul Rolls, so, while I knew that one batch of the filling would yield 20 Soul Rolls; I had forgotten how many egg roll wrappers were in one package (answer: 10), so, while I had ten very tasty Soul Rolls  to bring to Book Club, I also had a fair amount of seasoned meat and coleslaw blend left.

What to do?

Why, make it all into a bowl, of course!

Just as tasty as the appetizer rolls, but gluten-free and, served, as I did with yellow rice and asparagus, a very nice meal!

•1 lb ground turkey
•2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
•1-1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1 tsp ground black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•2 cups diced sweet onion
•1/2 pint Pepper Relish
•1/2 bag coleslaw mix
•2 tbsp Soul Roll Sauce

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add the turkey, seasonings, onion, Sherry Peppers Sauce  and pepper relish and stir, breaking up the turkey into crumbles, until it is thoroughly cooked.

Set aside to cool.

Remove from the pan and transfer to a storage container.

Warm the remaining one tablespoon of oil to the pan over medium high heat, and add the half bag of coleslaw mix and the Soul Roll Sauce.

Toss to combine, then stir fry until the coleslaw mix is tender – about ten minutes.

Stir in half of the turkey mixture and continue to cook until heated through.

Serve in a bowl with yellow rice (our current fave is Zatarain’s, which is also gluten-free, so, yay!), and blanched asparagus, which I sliced and tossed into the rice cooker after the cycle completed and let rest for ten minutes or so.

Note: so, this happy bowl concept came to me because I had not bought enough egg roll  wrappers. Tomorrow, we will turn the rest of the coleslaw mix, turkey, and a few other things into baked Soul Rolls.

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Soul Roll Sauce

Seven years ago or so, we were watching an episode of Celebrity Cook-Off on Food Network, and Coolio made these wicked tasty looking egg rolls that he called Soul Rolls. I tried them out for the next party we had, and have been making them ever since.

With, of course, a few small changes.

Coolio deep fried his rolls. I originally browned mine in a bit of oil, then baked them to finish. Now, I brush each roll with a bit of oil and then bake them, so, healthier.

I also use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef – though ground pork is pretty darned tasty, too.

I also initially thought the sauce was better with pineapple juice, but have come to the conclusion that canned peaches in heavy syrup work a treat.

In any even, the sauce is wicked simple to toss together, and tastes great on a lot of different foods, so, check it out!

•12 oz Barbecue Sauce
•6 oz peach syrup from a can of peaches*
•1 tbsp Pepper Jelly (optional)

Note: my barbecue sauce is a bit on the zippy side, because that is how we like it; if using store bought sauce, consider one that is spicy.

*There was not quite enough heavy syrup in my can of peaches to make six full ounces, so I ran some of the peach slices through my immersion blender and added that to make six ounces.

Combine the barbecue sauce with the peach syrup and (if you’re using it) the pepper jelly, then stash in a jar in the fridge until needed.

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Buzzalo Sauce. And Wings!

Most folk have heard the tale about the invention of Buffalo Wings at the Anchor Bar in, of course, Buffalo, New York.

When I first came across, I was living in Northern California and the wings were heavily breaded, then baked and soaked in a butter-laden hot sauce that was…

delicious, but…

I am no longer 20-something, and that much fat and breading can cause…


SO. I did some research, came up with a (naturally) lighter chicken wing recipe, and then, stood back and took a look at the actual wing sauce.

So, yeh. Hot sauce and vinegar and butter, but; I now choose to use unsalted Irish butter, add a bit of rice vinegar to the white, and my hot sauce of choice is  Spicy Garlic Pepper. And I add a dab o’ Worcestershire.

The results?


•1-1/2 lb drumettes (or wings)
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp celery salt
•1/2 tsp sea salt
•1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1/2 tsp onion powder
•2 tbsp flour
•2 tsp veggie oil

Buzzalo Sauce:
•1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
•2/3 cup hot sauce
•2 tsp white vinegar
•1/2 tsp rice vinegar
•1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Heat your oven to 400º and apply cooking spray to a rimmed baking pan.

Add the flour and seasonings for the wings to a gallon sized zipper bag, close, and shake to combine.

Note: to make these wings Gluten-Free, use almond flour, or Gluten-Free panko crumbs in place of the flour. I have tried both, and they work a treat.

Add the wings to the bag and shake to coat.

Pour in the oil, close the bag and toss again to blend, then arrange the wings in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes.

While the wings are baking, make the sauce by melting the butter over low heat, and stirring in the remaining ingredients. Whisk until nicely blended, then remove from heat and wait for the wings.

Remove the wings from the oven and transfer to a large bowl.

Pour the sauce over the wings, toss to coat, and put back on the baking pan in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Serve with assorted veggies and ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing.


Note: to make these for a crowd, I find that it works best to double, triple, whatever the wing seasonings, and use a fresh, gallon sized zipper bag for each 10 or so wings,





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Another Look at Seasoned Salt

We spent a lovely Book Club afternoon on Sunday at a friend’s new house, and I brought, as requested, Soul Rolls, which are a hoooge favorite.

Mira, asked me how to make them, and I was telling her, explaining the ingredients that I make myself, to which she responded, “how am I supposed to make all of that?”

In her defense, she works full time and has three kids in school, all with varied and different activities, so…


Mebbe Mira is not going to make the Sherry Peppers Sauce or the Pepper Relish, but she can (easily) make the Seasoned Salt.

Sure, you can just go to the market and buy a jar, but how much nicer if you can make your own and…

customize it a bit to suit your taste and preferences?

I add turmeric, Aleppo pepper, and curry powder to mine, because I love the way they all enhance the flavor.

Not a fan? Leave ’em out, and mebbe add your own favorites! It is all good.

•4 tbsp salt
•4 tsp sugar
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp onion powder
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/2 tsp turmeric
•1/2 tsp cornstarch
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper

Note: concerned about the amount of sugar? Go ahead and cut it back to two teaspoons.

Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl, then transfer to a jar, close it, and give it all a good shake to combine further.

Your own take on seasoned salt.

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Parfait! Fresh Relish

I make a pretty darned decent pickle relish (if I do say so myself), and my pepper relish is not to be sniffed at; but, sometimes, one wants something a bit…


This relish comes together in minutes, and you can use it right away, or stash it in the fridge to allow the flavors to blend.

It is good on hot dogs, sausages, fish, heck chicken and burgers, too, and the best part?

It is flexible!

When I first started making this relish, I was trying to use up some Avocado Pickles that were not going to last.

This time, I used some chopped up Sport Peppers (a Chicagoland hot dog staple) and some chopped spicy pickle chips.

The result?


•Persian or mini cucumbers
•Diced onion
•Grape tomatoes, quartered
•Sliced sport peppers
•Diced pickle chips

Note: I have no measurements for this relish, I simply toss ingredients in as the amount feels right.

Quarter, then slice your Persian or mini cucumbers, then add to a bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients, toss to combine, then transfer to a storage container until needed.

Another Note: The storage container shown here has a fitted rack in the bottom that allows fruits and veggies a bit of air in their confinement. It works a treat keeping them fresh for a lot longer than normal, but, sadly, none of the set I bought will fit in my crisper drawer, so I don’t use most of the pieces. This – the smallest, worked a treat on keeping cherries fresh for close to three(!) weeks, and, as it turns out, that little rack in the bottom of the container is pretty darned terrific keeping “weepy” sliced fruits and veggies and such (like tomatoes and cukes and pickles) from wilting by, essentially, stewing in their own juices. I am not in the bidness of endorsing products, but this find was an Amazon Prime Day Deal, and is made by Rubbermaid. Just mebbe think about just buying the one, small container; unless you have loads of extra fridge space.

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Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Corn Bread Stuffing

First off, let me just say, for those folk who have to make snippy little comments; I do not care a bit whether this is actually a “stuffing” or “technically” a dressing.

You call it whatever you like when you make it, then get your own blog and publish.

That settled, even though our September has remained warm, I was in the mood for Air Fryer Turkey Breast, and, since I had just made Corn Bread Croutons in the Air Fryer, I chose to make stuffing to go with.

I had found a recipe on line on for a corn bread, sweet potato, and chorizo stuffing and I thought, with a few tweaks here and there, it would be just the thing for our turkey dinner.

This was not a holiday feast, so I cut back on the quantities called for, swapped out breakfast sausage for the chorizo, and used these Flatiron Pepper Company Hatch Valley chili flakes (available from Amazon, because, of course). They are nothing but dried chili flakes, nothing else added.

•3 cups Corn Bread Croutons
•1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
•1 tube breakfast sausage
•1/2 cup diced celery
•2 cloves garlic
•1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
•1/2 tsp paprika
•1 egg
•1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
•1 tsp hot sauce
•1/2 tsp dried sage
•1/2 cup pecan halves
•1/2 tsp Hatch Valley dried green chili flakes – or more, to taste
•Olive or avocado oil

Bring the sweet potato cubes to a boil in a pot with one tablespoon of salt added and simmer for seven or eight minutes, until the cubes are just starting to get tender, but are not soft enough for mashing. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Heat your oven to 350º.

Warm one tablespoon of olive or avocado oil in the same large pan over medium high heat and add the ground turkey, the celery, and the garlic.

Cook, stirring and breaking up the ground turkey, for ten minutes or so, until the turkey is cooked through and most of any cooking juices have been simmered off.

Add the sweet potatoes, croutons, chicken stock and seasonings and stir to combine and moisten the croutons.

Brush a two quart casserole with melted butter, then add your stuffing.

Whisk the egg until lightly beaten, then pour over and stir into the stuffing in the casserole. Mebbe dot a few pats of butter over the top.

Cover the casserole, then bake for for 45 minutes, until the stuffing is nicely heated through.

Uncover and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the top is crispity and golden.

We totally loved this stuffing with the turkey breast, and just think of the sammich possibilities with cranberry and mayonnaise and perhaps a dab o’ blue cheese (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it).

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Corn Bread Croutons in the Air Fryer

A while ago, (like, six years?) I published a post about an OK corn bread recipe, and the redemption that turned it into Most Excellent Croutons, with only 1/4 cup of melted butter, a four hundred degree oven, and a bit of patience.

Well… now, I have an air fryer, a pretty nice corn bread (made from a Stonewall Kitchen mix), and, it is every bit as tasty as the original, but I only used two tablespoons of olive oil – so no butter, and half the amount of added fat total. Bonus!

Honestly, I have yet to be disappointed in anything I have made in my machine; but I do know of some folk who weren’t happy with their results. Different machines? I do not know.

I do know that I relied on a good friend who did a bunch of research before she bought and started raving about hers, so, I double checked her brand and model, and bought one myself.

Love it! And at around $70, worth it for the sweet potato fries alone.

But, on to the croutons!

•3 cups cubed bread*
•2 tbsp olive oil
•1/4 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper

*I used day-old cornbread, but a nice, crusty loaf of white or sourdough bread would work a treat here, too.

Cut the bread into 3/4 inch pieces, then toss with the salt and peppers.

Note: if you use regular salt instead of seasoned, cut the amount back to 1/8 tsp.

Drizzle the olive oil (avocado oil works here, too) over the bread cubes and toss to combine.

Transfer to your air fryer basket and set the fryer to 350º.

Cook for six to ten minutes, tossing the croutons every two minutes, until you have achieved your desired level of crunch.


Use as you will for soups or salads, or… why not air fry a turkey breast and turn those croutons into sweet potato and sausage stuffing (regular oven, not airy fryer).

Details, tomorrow…

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Parfait! Coney Dog Chili Sauce

For today’s Parfait! (repeat) post, let’s take a look at a lightened up version of Coney Dog Chili Sauce, which is one of our favorite toppings for hot dogs or (even better) Vienna Beef Polish Sausages steamed in beer!

The cool thing with this “lightened” recipe is that, instead of adding extra “stuff,” I made it all just a bit healthier by swapping out ground turkey for ground beef, unsalted chicken stock in place of beef stock, and used honey in place of most of the sugar.

I was gonna use cracker crumbs, but I had just happened to make a most excellent batch of corn bread croutons in the air fryer (details to come), so used them instead.

Note: you want to make this gluten-free as well? No worries! Replace the cornbread (or cracker) crumbs with G-F panko crumbs or almond flour. Both work a treat.

•1 lb ground turkey
•1-1/2 tsp olive oil
•1 cup chopped celery
•1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
•1 tbsp Mike’s Hot Honey
•1 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp onion powder
•1 tsp chili powder
•1 tsp paprika
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp mixed dried green Hatch peppers
•1 tsp sugar
•1/2 tsp allspice
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/2 tsp oregano
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•2 tbsp ketchup (I used a spicy local brand)
•1 tbsp yellow mustard
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1-1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
•1/4 cup espresso
•1 tbsp corn bread crouton crumbs
•1/2 cup Heinz 57 Sauce

*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the ground turkey and chopped celery.

Cook, stirring to chop up the turkey for about ten minutes, until the turkey is mostly cooked through.

Stir in the seasonings and remaining ingredients until well mixed.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until the chili sauce is reduced and nicely thickened, about 45 minutes.

Note: my chili sauce was a touch, ermmm, zippier than I wanted, so I stirred in two tablespoons of half and half and cooked it down a bit more. Worked a treat.

A note on the ketchup: I used 78 Red Spicy. It is imported from Poland by a local Chicago company and has no weird additives or corn sweeteners. If your market doesn’t carry it, Amazon (of course) does.

A note on the peppers: this blend of Hatch Valley peppers is the real deal – dried pepper flakes and nothing else. It, too, is (of course) available at Amazon.

Once your chili sauce is ready, set it on a back burner to keep warm and bring about 24 ounces of your favorite beer to a boil in a small pot.

Add your hot dogs or Polish sausage, cover the pot, and let rest off the heat for five or ten minutes while you lightly toast your poppy seed hot dog buns on a 225º oven.

Note: obviously, this method is only good for fully cooked hot dogs or sausages.

Buns toasted, chili sauce thickened and ready, and hot dogs (or Polish sausages) nicely heated through, go ahead and serve.

We like ours with yellow mustard and a home made quick relish I make of chopped spicy pickles, red onion, and tomatoes.








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