• Flavors,  Mexican,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Cowboy Beans

    Inspired by Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday, these beans are my take on a beloved Mexican restaurant side. These beans were for the older boys first dinner home from school for the summer. Along with Chipotle Skirt Steak Tacos, Mexican rice and Creamy Guacamole Sauce, big servings of Mexican comfort food were devoured at dinner. Smoky, a bit spicy, Cowboy Beans are sure to become a favorite with your family. Print Cowboy Beans Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6   Use this classic Mexican bean side to inspire all sorts of flavor combinations. You could add pickled jalapenos, roasted red peppers, or change things up and make a black bean version. Fresh cilantro would…

  • Cooking for a Crowd,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Jasmine Rice

    Rice is a dinnertime staple in our house. I serve it with all types of meals, but especially with Asian dinners, so Jasmine is the rice I make over and over again. The secret here is the cooking technique. I bake my rice which means hands-off cooking and even more important, it cooks consistently. Perfect, fluffy rice every time! Print Jasmine Rice Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 8-10   Why is this rice so good? The secret to baking the rice is the consistent temp - unlike the stovetop where you can never achieve the same result. Make sure you have boiling water and chicken broth (by the way, the combination of the…

  • Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Oven-Baked French Fries

    We are a household of potato lovers, led and encouraged by yours truly. Roasted redskin potatoes are a dinner staple in our house, but sometimes you need to change it up a bit, so instead of our usual redskin cubes, I made russet fries. A big dinner hit! They crisped up great and sometimes all you need is a little change to mix up your dinner rotation. Print Oven-Baked French Fries Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 4-6   These potatoes were gobbled up by the kids. But you can fancy them up a bit for grown-ups. Try sprinkling them with some grated Parmesan and fresh minced flat-leaf parsley. If you are doubling this…

  • Recipes,  Starches

    Smashed Redskin Potato Casserole

    I love potatoes…they are my carb obsession. Potatoes + butter + sour cream = heaven. This potato casserole is so good, and perfect for a get-together with friends and family because it re-heats beautifully. Print Smashed Redskin Potato Casserole Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 8-10   This is a traditional smashed potato casserole. Make it your own by adding the spices and seasonings that your family loves. Happy cooking! Ingredients 3 lb. Redskin potatoes, scrubbed 1 stick Butter, unsalted, softened 2 tsp Kosher salt 1 tbsp Garlic powder ¾ cup Milk, 2% or whole, warmed 1 cup Sour cream Instructions Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with warm water. Bring to…

  • Cooking for a Crowd,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Old Bay Potatoes

    How I LOVE potatoes! They are just my favorite food (and of course a carb downfall), but you only live once and everything is good in moderation. I am always working on new potato recipes and of course anything with potatoes, cheese, bacon and butter is going to be a winner, including this spicy potato casserole that’s perfect for an afternoon of football. It’s an ideal year-round side for pulled pork, brisket, ribs and burgers on the grill. Print Old Bay Potatoes Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 10-12   Just like a mashed potato casserole with some kick to it! There is a good bit of butter here, but consider this a special…

  • Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Pan-Fried Potatoes

    Jeff always finds it funny that for someone who really tries to watch her carbs, I am obsessed with potatoes. I just love them – baked, roasted, mashed, stuffed…you name it, I want it. I have been making my roasted potatoes for years, they’re probably one of my top 5 most beloved recipes of all time. The challenge I’ve found this summer, is that while I am lucky enough to have 2 ovens, the second is one of those half ovens, not particularly helpful when cooking for a crowd. I just don’t always have the oven space to devote to a tray of potatoes – which meant I needed to…

  • Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Hasselback Potatoes

    In our house, I have made my roasted potatoes twice a week for years – and I sometimes get a little tired of them. So, when I saw a recipe for Hasselback Potatoes, I was SO excited. The same flavor and texture as my roasted potatoes, but they look fancy? Yes please! These do take a little more work, not the the mindless chopping of roasted potatoes, you do have to pay attention while slicing, but it’s totally worth it. By the way, the kids, all of them, loved these potatoes!!! Print Hasselback Potatoes Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 6   I cannot say enough about making these for your family, we make…

  • Cooking for a Crowd,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Mac n Cheese

    You will never find a lot of recipes with butter on my site, I personally LOVE butter, but most of my cooking leans towards a cleaner and healthier style. That said, I also believe that when you are going to indulge don’t waste fat or calories on anything but the best. This mac n cheese is amazing – enjoy every buttery, cheesy bite! Print Mac n Cheese Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 10-12   This is a home run side to serve to kids. It is close enough to the yellow box version to feel familiar...no strange or fancy ingredients in this mac n cheese! Try the mac n cheese with my barbecue…

  • Foundation Recipe,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Springtime Risotto

    Years ago I discovered the most amazing fact – risotto is so much easier to make when you start it on the stovetop and move it to the oven. I first tried the technique in one of my favorite “winter” cookbooks, Martha Stewart’s Favorite Comfort Foods. I loved the results so much, that any time I make risotto, whatever time of year, I always start use the oven technique and then adapt my flavors and ingredients to the season. Print Springtime Risotto Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 8   This really is a true foundation recipe. Get comfortable with the technique and then make this recipe your own – herb combinations, different vegetables,…

  • Foundation Recipe,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

    Roasted Potatoes

    How do you make terrific roast potatoes? The secret is in the two different temperatures! This recipe will become a family favorite – they go with everything and kids love them! I am not exaggerating to I say that I make these twice a week – all the kids request them and they work, whatever time of year. In the winter roasted potatoes are my go-to starch with roast chicken, meatloaf, all types of yummy comfort food. In the summer I change it up to burgers, grilled chicken…you name it, roasted potatoes are on the table at my house! Print Roasted Potatoes Author: Kate Wagner Serves: 6-8   The high temp crisps…