How to Make the Best Blueberry Smoothie

February 24, 2013

The best blueberry smoothie is the perfect way to start my day. My body craves it. Even in the winter, I have to have it. If I include protein powder, a big smoothie will last me for 3 hours until I get hungry for second breakfast.

You do know about second breakfast, right? (Sorry for the dorky “Lord of the Rings” reference. I love those movies.)

Best Blueberry Smoothie Recipe


You can throw whatever you like into the blender, but here’s my basic recipe for what I think is the best blueberry smoothie.

Best Blueberry Smoothie

1-1/2 cups frozen organic blueberries
1-1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 heaping scoop unsweetened vanilla brown rice protein powder
1/2 tsp maca powder
1 tblsp coconut oil
Splash of homemade vanilla extract (see note below)
Optional: a tiny bit of chlorella powder

Place everything into a blender and mix until thoroughly blended, adding a little water if the mixture gets too thick. Enjoy!


  • I use blueberries because they’re such a nutritional powerhouse, but you can use any fruit. I used to mix in some strawberries, but I’ve been reading that even organic strawberries are likely to contain pesticide residue. I prefer frozen fruit because then I don’t need ice cubes to get a nice freezy texture.
  • My usual liquid is Almond Breeze, but I’ve added a splash of orange juice for flavor when I had it around. I don’t like using much juice though because of the high natural sugar content. If I wanted a sugar buzz, I’d rather have a piece of chocolate.
  • Instead of the flax seeds or in addition to them, I’ve also used hemp seeds and chia seeds. They’re all good in smoothies.
  • Maca is one of my favorite little foods, and I think it’s highly underrated. Google it and see. It’s a powdered Peruvian root that I first read about it in Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive. It helps balance out hormonal issues for menopausal women, and is said to have a variety of other benefits including increasing energy and endurance, and reducing stress and adrenal fatigue. I don’t know about all of the claims, but I can tell you that my hormonal issues are lessened when I use it and I just feel better. I like the Royal Maca brand. It is gelatinized, which means it is less starchy, more potent, more concentrated and easier to digest than raw maca.
  • Coconut oil is another little jewel that I love. It’s supposed to reduce night sweats and other hot flashy problems, as well as helping to prevent Alzheimer’s and provide quick energy since it doesn’t have to be metabolized through the liver first like most other fats. I’d really like to get one more tablespoon of it in my diet each day.
  • Homemade vanilla extract is pretty complicated, so pay close attention. Once I finish a bottle of my favorite vanilla extract, Penzey’s Mexican Vanilla, I keep the vanilla bean inside the bottle and fill it up with the cheapest vodka I can find. Then I just store it in the back of the pantry for a few weeks. I have 3 bottles in rotation, so while I’m using the oldest bottle, I have 2 others marinating in the pantry. Why do this? Because I’m a vanilla extract snob; I like the good stuff which is pricey. There’s no need for it in a smoothie though and this cheap version works perfectly fine.
  • Chlorella is another food I learned about from Thrive. It’s a freshwater algae that is a detoxifying super hero! It helps speed up the rate at which toxins are removed from our bodies, and is even used in cases of mercury overload. You have to respect chlorella for the power it possesses, and add it into your smoothie very, very gradually, otherwise you’re likely to experience bloating and real discomfort. I don’t add in chlorella all of the time, and when I do it’s usually 1/4 tsp or less.

I hope you’ll give the Best Blueberry Smoothie a try, and start your morning with a team of super nutrients that will go to battle for you throughout the day!


Beach Break Cafe Review

June 25, 2011

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been back home from my extended weekend trip to California, and I’m still thinking about Beach Break Cafe!  On our way to take me to the airport, we stopped in for a late breakfast/early lunch and we can’t believe it took us so long to eat there!

We happened to be at Beach Break Cafe on the last day of school, and this was apparently THE go-to spot for happy high schoolers who were eager to celebrate their freedom with an awesome California-style meal.  HayHay saw oodles of kids he knew.  We had to wait for a table for 15 or 20 minutes, but it was well worth the wait.

Even before our food came, we were loving the cafe.  The service was friendly and efficient.  The decor and vibe was very beachy-cool, and fun.  We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the fresh air and people watching.  This is our kind of place!  You can keep your fancy fah-fah-fah restaurants.  Give us a laid back hole in the wall cafe and we’re happy girls!

Being vegan 99% of the time, my food choices were somewhat limited as usual, but I did have options.  Take a look at the menu.  I was dying to try the legendary crispy hashbrowns, so that’s what I had, along with sliced tomatoes, biscuits and coffee. There was no way I was going to be virtuous with oatmeal or fresh fruit on this trip!  I wish I’d gotten the fresh-squeezed tangerine juice that LilSis tried.  It was pure California gold in a glass!  Beach Break also offers fresh-squeezed grapefruit and orange juice.

Here’s LilSis’ meal before she tore into it.  Check out those crispy golden hashbrowns!

Beach Break LilSis

LilSis' plate at Beach Break Cafe

Check out HayHay’s plate.  You can’t even see the 2 ginormous slabs of sourdough toast on the side!

Beach Break Chicken Fried Steak

Beach Break Chicken Fried Steak

You see that hand on the right of the photo?  It belongs to a 17 year old surfer and it’s holding a fork.  You know what that means? It means in 10 minutes flat you have this situation:

Beach Break Empty Plate

Beach Break plate after HayHay attack!

I guess he was too full or the garnish would have been history too!

We’ll definitely make breakfast at the Beach Break Cafe a regular stop when I’m visiting.  The whole fam damily is hearding out to Californie later this summer after my new great nephew is born, so Beach Break better get ready!  We’ll need lots of those delicious hashbrowns!



This Muffin has a Secret

March 14, 2010

Banana Wheat Germ Muffin

This humble muffin is a muffin with a secret.  He’s not very flashy; lots of other muffins are turbo-size, or chock full of fruit and even chocolate chips.  He’s not real pretty either; just a modest little tan guy with a few glimpses of nut here and there.  And he’s not a sweet-fluffy-puffy-light-as-air muffin.  He’s a substantial guy, moist and dense.  But his secret is what makes him more special than the flashy or pretty muffins.  This muffin is healthy AND tasty.

This guy’s given name is Banana-Wheat Germ Muffins, and he was born in the cookbook called Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  Yep, you guessed it!  This muffin’s middle name is Vegan!

Banana Wheat Germ Muffin Top

I made these muffins a couple of times when Bry was here, and we polished the dozen off between us in only a couple of days.  It is true that Bry is my nephew, and a sweet one at that, so even if these muffins were craptastic, he would probably still gobble them up and declare them delicious.  I’ve had my share of baking disasters though, and I don’t count these muffins among them.

This recipe was my first foray into vegan baking, and I was nervous to say the least.  How could I make a delicious baked good with no eggs and no dairy?  The first thing I needed to do was find a reliable and creative vegan cookbook, and Veganomicon fits the bill.

These muffins use baking powder for leavening, with a bit of canola oil added to the mashed banana for tenderness and moisture.  I made just a couple of changes to the original recipe.  I added about a cup of toasted, roughly chopped walnuts, and used my homemade almond milk instead of soy milk.  I also added a dash of good nutmeg, along with the cinnamon.  You can find the recipe for Banana-Wheat Germ Muffins on RecipeZaar.

Banana Wheat Germ Muffin Split

There’s a lot to love about these muffins.  They are:

  • Low in sugar: only 1/3 cup for the whole dozen.
  • Full of whole grains from the whole wheat pastry flour and wheat germ.
  • Low in fat: only 1/3 cup canola oil.  No butter, no eggs, no sour cream, nothing to clog your arteries!
  • Easy to customize by adding your favorite nuts, seeds or spices.
  • Filling and do a great job of keeping you satisfied til lunchtime.

One note:  I think these are better the second day.  The first day, they have a very slight bitter aftertaste that I suspect may come from the wheat germ, but it mellows and dissipates by the second day.

Hey, LilSis! Don’t give up on baking, even if you weren’t happy with your Low Fat Fruity Breakfast Muffins.  Any time you try a modification, you run the risk of a boo-boo, but keep trying!  I wonder if maybe you weren’t totally pleased with these muffins because there was a pretty high ratio of goodies to batter?  And don’t be intimidated by the fact that SisMama and I like to bake; we both have our failures and we both always use a recipe!  Don’t quit!  For the love of HayHay and SirHoney’s sweet tooth, don’t quit! :-)


Low fat fruity breakfast muffins

March 12, 2010

You know the old saying, “looks can be deceiving”?

This muffin almost looks tasty, doesn’t it?

In the close up, you can see all the yummy fruit. These were loaded with carrots, zucchini, raisins, and even some canned pumpkin with some coconut on top.

But these glompy, globs of fruit didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned.  They look more like a preschooler’s art project gone wrong! I decided to suck it up and show this photo. Aren’t they horrid?

Yesterday I was disappointed and pissed off, but today I just think it’s pretty funny. I wasted about two hours yesterday morning making these and cleaning up. I did try one and I’m not saying that they are inedible, but I won’t eat another one. Way, way too heavy and glompy, or as HayHay called them; groddy! (I don’t even think that’s a real word but it did describe them pretty well.) Each muffin weighed about the same as a hockey puck.

Hmmm. That just gave me an idea. I could probably let the kids down the street use these as hockey pucks. I haven’t thrown them out yet but I know that no one in this house is going to eat them! Not even HayHay, my 16 yr old garbage disposal. :-)

I was trying so hard to come up with a really healthy breakfast muffin that I got a little overzealous and made too many changes. I could ramble on and on about what I did wrong, what I shouldn’t have substituted, and what I would do if I ever tried this recipe again, but it would just be a waste of time. I’m not going to try them again.

There are several reasons why I’m not a good baker and why I don’t enjoy baking BUT I’ve finally narrowed it down to only one reason.

  • I don’t like to follow any recipe to the tee.
  • Never.
  • Ever.

That’s my problem and I can’t really ever see myself changing. I can’t do it. I love the creative part of cooking and not the precise measuring and science that is a requirement to be a good baker.

When I cook, if a recipe calls for one garlic clove, I’ll use three. Or if it calls for an onion, I’ll use shallots instead. Or maybe I’ll throw in capers or artichokes in a recipe just for a little something extra. Whatever. You just don’t have that freedom with baking unless you REALLY know what you’re doing.

I know that there are very experienced bakers out there that know exactly how to adapt a baking recipe. Some of my favorite blogs are written by some amazing bakers and I totally enjoy reading them and am always amazed at the talent it takes to be a good baker. I admire those of you that know “your stuff”! I really think you’ve either got it or you don’t. And, I don’t.

I’m not saying that I’m giving up forever, but I’m going to put myself out on a limb and say that, for now, I’m leaving the baking up to BigSis. And, I wish that someday we could get SisMama to do a guest post here on BigSisLilSis. Our Mom is an amazing baker and can whip up a cake, cookies or pie from scratch without even thinking twice or looking at a recipe. BigSis got lucky and got the baking gene from SisMama, not me.

Anybody know of a great healthy breakfast muffin that I can buy at the store? :-)


Crockpot Apple Butter for Daddy

October 14, 2009

I made apple butter at Christmas for several years because Daddy liked it.  I’m not sure if he especially loved my version as much as his favorite store-bought brand, but he always acted like he did.  Apple butter still reminds me of him whenever I think about it or smell it or taste it.  I haven’t made it in a long time, and it’s kind of bittersweet to make it now knowing I can’t take him a jar of it.

But I did make apple butter again for the first time since he’s been gone.  I had 6 giant Fuji apples left after the Gooey Apple Cake/Cobbler stuff, and didn’t want them to go to waste.  I was super busy on Sunday getting ready for our BlogWorld trip, so I didn’t have time to fuss around with a boiling, spitting, scorching pot of apples on the stove.  The solution?  My underutilized crockpot, of course!

I added a cup of water to the apples to get them started, but I’ve seen crockpot apple butter recipes that don’t use any water at all, and I suppose they might  take slightly less cooking time.  My apple butter was in the crockpot on high heat for 10 hours, and then the next day I still wanted it a little thicker so I simmered it on really low heat on the stove for another hour.  Just cook it til it looks the way you want.

The flavor in this is exactly the way I wanted it.  I love that it’s not very sweet, and has the zip of the lemon and the perfect blend of incredibly flavorful spices from Penzeys.  I think Daddy might like it too.

Crockpot Apple Butter

6 large Fuji apples: peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
Healthy dash of salt

Place all ingredients into crockpot, and mix together. Cook on high heat until desired thickness is reached; probably 10-12 hours.  Use a stick blender for a smoother consistency if you wish (I wished).  Best served on a big steaming buttered homemade biscuit!

Note:  I plan on finishing this up within the next few weeks and keeping it chilled, so I didn’t worry about the whole canning/processing procedure.


How to Make Dairy-Free Almond Milk

September 17, 2009

I can’t start my day without my morning fruit smoothie.  I’ve never been a milk drinker because of the lactose, and I’m not a fan of soy milk.  That leaves a bunch of great nut milks to choose my smoothie base from, and my favorite is Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla.  I add a splash of juice to it, plus frozen berries, vitamin powder, coconut oil and flax seeds.  Whiz it all up in my pink Kitchenaid blender, and away I go to work with all kinds of nutrients zipping around in my bloodstream.

So, I go through a lot of almond milk, and it’s not terribly expensive but if I make it at home, I can choose  the ingredients that go into it and save a little money too.  How difficult is it?  Not difficult at all, in fact, it’s pretty darn easy:

  1. Buy raw almonds from the bulk section of your local store.
  2. Soak a cup of them in water for 8 hours, or less if you don’t have that long. I think the milk is creamier with longer soaking.
  3. Rinse and drain the soaked almonds.
  4. Blend them with 4 cups of water.
  5. Drain the pulp out.  I use a couple of coffee filters in a strainer over a tall bowl.
  6. Add flavorings and sweetener as desired:  vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, or anything else.
  7. Chill and enjoy within 3 or 4 days.

Voila!  That’s all there is to it!  You could use macadamia nuts or cashews instead of almonds.  I don’t know if you could use pecans or walnuts successfully, but it’s an intriguing idea.  I like to add the flavorings after I strain the pulp out so that I can use the pulp in a savory way if I choose.  Adding lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and dill to it makes an awesome spread for crackers.

Remember this milk is dairy-free, but it’s not just for vegans.  It’s great for anyone who is allergic to milk or lactose-intolerant, or who just wants a healthy tasty beverage.

If you’d like to see photos of the process or learn more, go check out Gina’s awesome blog at Choosing Raw.  That’s where I learned to do it, and I’m glad I did!


Healthy Breakfast Choices

September 10, 2009

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, all the kiddos are back in school and moms across the country are breathing a big sigh of relief. Am I right? :-)

Our son started back on August 27th, so he’s been back for a couple of weeks now but we’re still trying to get used to the morning routine again. It’s not like we ever got to sleep in much during the Summer because he always wanted to be at the beach surfing before 7:00. He’s definitely not as excited about getting up for school as he was when he was waking up to go surfing, so our mornings are a little challenging right now.

I’m a HUGE breakfast person and have pretty much drilled into my kids’ heads that it IS the most important meal of the day and NO MATTER WHAT, they don’t leave the house without eating breakfast. (I’ve been known to go running out the door after them with a banana in hand if they ever manage to escape without eating breakfast.)

During the week, I keep our breakfasts pretty fast and easy. I’ll make either a fruit salad, a wheat English muffin with peanut butter and banana, a egg bagel sandwich, a bowl of oatmeal, yogurt and fruit, or maybe a bowl of cheerios.

We’re so lucky to live within walking distance to the high school so during the week, we always have breakfast at home. But, sometimes on the weekend, we drive through somewhere quick and easy for breakfast, while out and about. It’s definitely hard to make good choices at most fast food places, but I’ve been on the lookout for some better choices and have found a couple that I really like.

My favorite so far is the Starbucks Egg White, Spinach, and Feta Wrap. It was full of flavor, thanks to the spinach, the feta, and the tomatoes and was actually so filling that I didn’t finish the other half. It’s a little high in sodium for me to treat myself to one very often, but in a pinch, this is a great choice.

Starbucks egg white wrap

PER SERVING (1 wrap): 280 calories, 9g fat, 1,140mg sodium, 35g carbs, 8g fiber, 4g sugars, 19g protein

And another great option from Starbucks is their Perfect Oatmeal. You have a choice of three add-ins: a package of brown sugar for 50 calories, mixed nuts for 100 calories, or dried fruit for 100 calories. I choose the mixed nuts but just used half the package. This was really good and very easy if you’re in a hurry.

Perfect Oatmeal

PER SERVING (1 container, nothing added): 140 calories, 2.5g fat, 105mg sodium, 25g carbs, 4g fiber, 0g sugars, 5g protein

Dunkin Donuts is supposed to have a good Egg White Veggie Flatbread, but since we don’t have Dunkin Donuts around here, I won’t be trying one of these until we go back to Chicago. (They love their Dunkin Donuts in Chicago!)

Dunkin Donuts Egg White Veggie Flatbread

Dunkin Donuts Egg White Veggie Flatbread

PER SERVING (1 sandwich): 290 calories, 9g fat, 680mg sodium, 39g carbs, 3g fiber, 4g sugars, 11g protein

This might not be quick and easy to grab before school or work, but I just heard about the IHOP Spinach, Mushroom, and Tomato Omelette from the IHOP For Me Menu. HayHay is always wanting me to take him to IHOP for the Grand Slam, so I’m happy to hear that they have a healthy choice for me.

This is made with a fat-free egg substitute and is stuffed with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and swiss cheese. I’d have to take the onions off but this sounds really good! We’ll try this some weekend when we have a little more time.

IHOP Spinach, Mushroom, and Tomato Omelette

IHOP Spinach, Mushroom, and Tomato Omelette

PER SERVING (1 order): 330 calories, 7g fat, 660mg sodium, 37g carbs, fiber n.a., sugars n.a., 30g protein

I hope you can make time to start your day off right and have a healthy breakfast; whether at home or on the go! At least now, if you’re in a hurry, it’s easier than it used to be to find something that’s at least halfway healthy.


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Lemon Blueberry Bread in Memory of Sheila Lukins

September 9, 2009

The New Basics Cookbook has been on my shelf for a long time, but I don’t think I’ve ever made anything from it, until I heard last week that one of its’ authors, Sheila Lukins, had passed away after battling cancer for only 3 months.  I decided it was time to put the cookbook into use by baking something from it in Sheila’s memory.

I’ve been on a lemon blueberry kick lately, hence the two batches of Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars, so I gravitated toward Sheila’s Lemon Blueberry Bread.  It’s described as a classic tea bread, but I would describe it as more of a cake or coffeecake.  I would also say that it’s delicious!  It’s so good that after I ate two slices, it became clear to me that it had to go in the freezer if I didn’t want the whole thing to end up in my mouth and then on my butt.

This bread is chock-full of blueberries and has a nice subtle lemon flavor in the background.  The topping tastes like cinnamon toast to me; don’t leave it off!  It makes the bread really special, I think.  I only made once change, since I don’t buy milk and didn’t have any almond milk in the house.  Instead of 1/2 cup milk, I used 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/4 cup water, and it seemed to work fine.

Thanks for the recipes, Sheila.  This one’s for you.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Lemon Blueberry Bread
(The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins)

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9×5 loaf pan (I used pan spray with flour included).

Stir topping ingredients together in small bowl until smooth and set aside.

In medium size bowl, combine sugar, milk, butter and egg until smooth.

In another bowl, toss flour with baking powder and salt. Stir this into wet ingredients; then gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake 50 minutes, until topping is deep golden and has formed a thick crust. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to wire rack for cooling.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Lemon Blueberry Bread


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Mini Asparagus Tomato Quiche Cups

August 25, 2009


Have you ever bought the little frozen mini quiches for a party when you’re in a real pinch for an appetizer and don’t have any time to make them from scratch? Actually, I’ve had to do that a couple of times, but I would much rather serve homemade appetizers. I guess I could compare myself to a baking from scratch snob that doesn’t like cake mixes; I don’t really like store bought appetizers.

If I think back to my childhood days, I may love appetizers as much as I do because SisMama and D always had cheese, crackers, and sardines or chips and dip out for us to snack on before dinner. I always loved that and still do! SirHoney’s mother doesn’t believe in appetizers before dinner because it could spoil your appetite. (Party Pooper!) You might even get your hand slapped if you try to steal an olive off of the relish tray before you sit down to dinner.

To this day, I prefer to go out and share a couple of appetizers for dinner versus ordering a full entree. And, I’d much rather host an Cocktail & Hors D’Oeuvres Party instead of a sit-down dinner party.

For some reason, I’ve never made mini quiches myself.  Yesterday, I was in the mood to do something a little different, plus I was hungry and didn’t want to wait almost an hour for a full size quiche to bake, so I decided to make these. And, I always make my quiche crustless, so the mini cups were also crustless.

Since I wanted these quiche cups to be bite size, I used the mini muffin pan instead of the regular size muffin pan. I browsed the Internet a little bit to peek at some recipes, but I didn’t find anything that ‘blew my socks off’, so I ended up just throwing this together. I saw that a lot of the quiche cup recipes used muffin baking cups but I didn’t see a reason to use those. I just wanted to pop them in my mouth right out of the tin instead of having to remove them from a baking cup.

And, since I was hungry, I got in too big of a hurry and forgot the Frank’s Red Hot that I had intended on adding. (I even had it sitting out on the counter.) I was also going to add some cracked pepper and maybe some shallot pepper but I totally spaced and forgot that too.  :-(

You could vary these ingredients and add ham, bacon bits, spinach or broccoli instead of asparagus, onions, chives, basil, etc.  This is EXACTLY the kind of recipe that I LOVE! You can make it your own and use whatever you happen to be in the mood for that day without worrying that you’ll screw it up! The quantities are not exact and luckily, it doesn’t matter!

These got the ‘thumbs up’ from BigT and HayHay, who both happened to be standing by waiting for them to come out of the oven! You could actually pop the whole little cup in your mouth, but if you happened to bite it in half, here’s what you would find!

Closeup Quiche2 (1)

Mini Asparagus Tomato Quiche Cups

3 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
12 stalks grilled asparagus (tips cut off and the stalks chopped)
1/4 c. or so of chopped leftover sauteed mushrooms
Pam Cooking Spray

Spray the muffin tin with Pam. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add the cheese, tomato, chopped asparagus and mushrooms. Stir until blended well. Ladle the quiche into the muffin tins. (I used an ice cream scoop to prevent a mess.) This quantity perfectly filled up the 12 mini cups. Place an asparagus tip on top of each filled cup. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

It doesn’t get much easier than that, does it?


Potato Ho Down: Breakfast Potato Pancake

June 15, 2009

This past week, we had a big fresh fruit salad every morning. If you’ve been reading, you’ll remember that I talked about SirHoney’s doctor wanting him to go on the Dash Diet Eating Plan to try to lower his blood pressure. So, I’ve been buying a ton more fruit and making a variety of fruit salads every day.

I decided since we’ve been good all week, it wouldn’t hurt to have a little treat for Sunday morning breakfast. So, I started with a traditional Potato Pancake recipe and tweaked it a little. This is what I came up with.


Potato Ho Frosty Gay’s Breakfast Potato Pancake
(adapted from Williams Sonoma Everyday Roasting)

3-4 tablespoons olive oil
5 large russet potatoes
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 c. grated cheese (I used a light 3 cheese blend from Trader Joe’s)
coarse salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
small bunch chives, cleaned and snipped
sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil a ceramic quiche dish with a teaspoon of the olive oil. Grate potatoes into a bowl, working as quickly as possible to prevent them from turning brown. (You can put the grated potatoes in a bowl of cold water while grating the rest, but be sure to dry really well.) Transfer half of the shredded potatoes to the prepared dish. Sprinkle with some of the coarse salt, a few grindings of pepper, a few drizzles of olive oil, half the bacon and half of the cheese. Put the remaining potatoes in dish and repeat the salt, pepper, olive oil, bacon and cheese.

Roast until potatoes are dark brown and crisp on top yet soft inside, 50-55 minutes. If the potatoes begin to brown too quickly, as mine did, reduce oven to 350 degrees.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes, sprinkle with chives, then cut into wedges. Serve immediately. I couldn’t resist adding a big dollop of sour cream to the top!

I’m submitting this recipe to this month’s Potato Ho Down.

potato-hoYou can check out the full roundup of this month’s Potato Ho Down hosted by Krysta at Evil Chef Mom on Wednesday, June 17th.