Easy Air Fryer: And We have a Baked Potato

I finally have a great use for my air fryer — baking a potato. I happen to love baked potatoes — they make an easy meal for just one person when everyone else is out of town. However, baking a potato proprely is not as easy as it seems. A great baked potato should have a salty, flavorful yet chewable outer skin and a moist, steamy inside. But, why heat up the oven and entire kitchen to bake just one or two potatoes? After many tries, I finally have a recipe for one “perfect” baked potato in my air fryer. And, I’m loading my baked potato up with vegetables and cheese — for a healthy meal!

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Crock Pot Pork Loin Roast with Potatoes, Apples & Sauerkraut

Last fall, I cooked a delicious recipe of “Pork Loin Roast with Potatoes, Apples & Sauerkraut” in my crock pot. This was in honor of Oktoberfest, that great beer-drinking festival which is celebrated every autumn in Munich, Germany. Although Octoberfest has long since passed, my slow cooked pork roast with all the fixings makes for a satisfying winter meal. Every now and then, I’ll get out my crock pot. It is the perfect way to cook a large roast which needs moist heat and time to cook and tenderize it. And I love sauerkraut and potatoes; we usually have a jar of sauerkraut in the refrigerator — just because. This is such an easy recipe; simply add the ingredients to the crock pot, turn the setting to high, and leave it alone. In three hours, supper is ready. In the meantime, I became curious about German heritage in New Orleans after a friend shared the story of her great-grandfather. He was a German immigrant to the city in the late 1800’s and became the beer master at the Weckerling Brewing (now the site of the World War II museum). After researching the subject little further, I discovered that New Orleans was quite a German beer-brewing and beer drinking city at one time. I’ve shared my eclectic “discoveries” on that subject at the end of my blog post. It is for the folks who like history in addition to cooking!

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Cheesy Cauliflower & Potato Soup

What do you cook with half a head of cauliflower and one baking potato which are left over from other cooking projects? A soothing, hot soup for these cold spring nights is just what we all need. So I made “Cheesy Cauliflower & Potato Soup” which combines two of my favorite vegetables. The soup is creamy, smooth and flavorful. I used evaporated milk in the recipe rather than heavy cream; the soup is low-fat and healthy, too. Freeze the leftovers if you have any left. Add a little hot sauce to give a Cajun “zip.”

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Instant Pot Magic: Coconut Curry Chicken with Potatoes & Carrots

Can you cook oriental cuisine in an Instant Pot? I decided to find out by cooking “Coconut Curry Chicken with Potatoes & Carrots” in my new kitchen appliance. And I was pleased with the results of my “Americanized” dish. The flavors of coconut milk, yellow curry and chicken combine to make a nicely seasoned main dish. The recipe comes from a college roommate and is one of my favorite oriental-inspired dishes. Typically potatoes are included in this recipe. My roommate, Lucy, also added carrots and onions. Serve the chicken with rice — even though it contains potatoes. Had I known that cooking with an Instant Pot was so incredibly easy, I might have purchased this kitchen appliance several years ago.

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Family Favorites: Old-Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes

Mrs. Grossnickle made the best recipe of “Scalloped Potatoes” that I can ever remember. The dish was probably loaded with cream and butter. Not healthy by today’s standards, but very tasty. When I was growing up, the Grossnickles lived across a cow pasture which we could see from where we lived on a small hill. “Scalloped Potatoes” was served at almost every Sunday dinner after church and especially at holidays such as Easter. I am guessing that we were invited to the Grossnickle’s home for some of these meals and this is where I ate the “best” dish of “Scalloped Potatoes.” I consider this to be an old-fashioned “comfort food” and still like the dish after all these years; although with slightly less cream. For nostalgia, I’m making this dish again on Easter Sunday.

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Cajun Hash Browns at Louie’s Cafe — an LSU Tradition

If you are an LSU football fan; this is the year to celebrate. And if you follow college football in general, then you should know that the undefeated LSU football team is top-ranked in the country. We’re going to the national championship playoff game on Monday at the New Orleans’ Superdome. LSU vs. Clemson. To commemorate the successful year of LSU Tiger football, I’m going to make the signature dish of Louie’s Cafe — hash browns. This small diner is located next to LSU’s campus and is a favorite eating place of LSU students¬† Louie’s hash browns are both unique and delicious. Here we go. This is my copycat attempt.

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One Dish Meal: Classic Greek Moussaka

Here’s a recipe that combines my some of favorite vegetables — eggplant, potatoes and onions — with other ingredients to make a one-dish meal. I ate a wonderful version of this dish, Beef Moussaka, at Lebanese restaurant in Niagara Falls, Canada, of all places. It has been five years since we took the trip to Canada and I’ve made many attempts at duplicating the recipe. With eggplant in season in the summer, I’m trying again and here’s my final recipe.

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Potato Latkes with Zing for Chanukah

This year the Chanukah holiday — “Celebration of Lights” or “Feast of Rededication” — begins on December 13. I’m making Potato Latkes which are small fried potato pancakes traditionally served during this holiday. The holiday observance begins at sundown on the preceding evening; so I’ll serve my Potato Latkes at dinner tonight. My recipe is perhaps a bit unusual; I stumbled on an ingredient which adds “zing” to the pancakes quite by accident.

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