One woman's insight into her daily life and some 'adventures'.............cooking, collecting, travels etc. With a lil' bit of this and that...........

Friday, July 8, 2011

Italian Fries

I love these Italian Fries.....but then anything in The Mad Hungry Cookbook I love. It's now like my fave cookbook. When Lucinda Scala Quinn cooks she makes her recipes easy and simple and very delicious. I've always enjoyed her cooking throughout the years. When I saw these fries I knew I had to make them and they have since become a favourite in my family. They taste even more crispier as I leave them in longer because my husband loves crispy and over done (don't ask why). These could compare almost to 'fried'. I also did a combo of parmesan and romano......but on occassion have just used parmesan and they were just as great........love the addition of fresh parsley......my garden is bursting with parsley, till the chipmunks don't get at them. I always find that parsley adds a summery and fresh flavour and look to any dish.
We make these along with some homemade hamburgers and grilled brats or any kind of grilled summer treats on the bbq........yummmm!

 Cut and ready to be baked.

Italian Fries
(recipe from Mad Hungry, byLucinda Scala Quinn )


6 -7 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick French fry-style strips (see potato prep in #2 below)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese (I used 1/2 cup of Parmesan and 1 1/2 cup of Romano)
1/4 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into cubes
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Potato Prep: For a French-fry cut, peel the potatoes and slice lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Stack the slices on top of one another, a few at a time, and slice lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick strips. Peeled and sliced potatoes can turn brown pretty quickly. To avoid this, try floating the peeled, cut pieces in cold, salted water. Let soak for a couple minutes.

3. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with paper towels. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on each of 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread out the potatoes. Overlapping is fine.

4. Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly over the potatoes. Liberally spread the cheese and parsley on top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cheese. Scatter the cubed butter around the pans.

5. Bake until the potatoes are golden brown, rotating the pans after 30 minutes, for 45 to 50 minutes total. Use a spatula to lift off the potatoes with all the crusty cheese adhered to them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Notes; I left my fries longer in the oven only because my husband loves overly roasted and more crispy fries.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Strawberry Pie

This is strawberry season and it is one of my favourite fruits. When I was growing up my Mom and Aunt would make lots of strawberry jams and strawberry syrups. I remember that strawberry syrup dripping over ice cream, cheese blintzes, waffles only to name a few.
We use to go to the strawberry farms and pick them ourselves as kids....which was quite back breaking. I think that I popped more into my mouth then into my basket. We would all pile into the car and go out of the city to a strawberry farm......which basically all they grew was strawberries.
Sometimes we would over pick and then ended up handing out our baskets full of strawberries to neighbours and friends.......

 This is a recipe that I got off one of the Foodie Boards that I'm on and ever since I tried this recipe I've been making it quite often.....it is very good and so fresh tasting. 

Strawberry Pie


1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Blend ingredients with fork until well incorporated. Press evenly into 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool.


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup water

2 cups mashed strawberries (pastry blender or potato masher works well for mashing - see *Note below)

1/2 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

Enough halved strawberries to place about 2 layers in pie crust (no more since you need room for the glaze).

Optional: Whole berries and mint sprigs for garnish, fresh whipped cream


Combine sugar, corn starch and salt in a saucepan. Stir in water and mix well. Cook over low heat briefly just until sugar dissolves. Add mashed strawberries. Cook over medium-low heat (stirring often) until mixture comes to a low boil, thickens, and "clears." Boil for another minute or two, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, if using. Let mixture cool completely to room temp, stirring occasionally.

Place halved berries in baked pie shell as evenly as possible. Pour glaze over berries and chill for at least 4 hours. Before serving, cover pie with whipped cream or serve dollops on slices. Garnish with whole berries and mint sprigs.

*Note: Depending on how you prefer the glaze, the strawberries can be mashed until still somewhat chunky or more pureed.

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