Creamy Moroccan Tomato Soup.

New! Creamy Moroccan Tomato Soup. The cozy weeknight soup that's quick, easy, and healthy too. Recipe: #tomatosoup #easyrecipes #healthy #soup #vegan

Creamy Moroccan Tomato Soup. The cozy weeknight soup that’s quick, easy, and healthy too. Pantry staple canned tomatoes, smoky, fiery Moroccan harissa sauce, and creamy coconut milk, all come together to create a delicious rich bowl of tomato soup that’s a flavorful twist on the classic. Serve each bowl topped with crispy chickpeas for a […]

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Nine Favorite Things.

Nine Favorite Things |

Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post. February always throws me off, it is just so short. The month just always seem to fly by and before you know it it’s March. We have so much happening the next few weeks. I’m both excited an anxious at the same time. This week […]

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Bananas Foster Hand Pies

Bananas Fosters Hand Pies…but first, a story! I feel like I’ve been gone forever but what happened was…I got the flu last week and it hit me so hard I could barely move. It was the absolute worst but luckily I was able to take a few days to recover. I always think getting sick might be kinda relaxing and peaceful but honestly it’s horrible. The pain and body aches and chills are so not worth the “time off.” It also induced some serious anxiety because I fell so behind on work so now I’m fervently trying to keep up. And here we are with the first catch up: Bananas Fosters Hand Pies! These hand pies are topped with yellow glaze and custom yellow sprinkles. The inside is a few mashed bananas all foster’d up by cooking them with a bit of rum, brown sugar, pinch of salt and butter. Fairly simple and straight forward! The crust is a bit softer than a pie crust but still super flaky and delicious. I did this by adding a bit of egg and milk to the dough vs. water. I was going to call these pop tarts but after tasting a few, […]

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Broccoli Hash Browns

If you find yourself in a breakfast rut (I know I do), I find it helps to try to add some colorful veggies to the routine. I came up with these Broccoli Hash Browns which are mostly broccoli, but hold their shape really well and get very crispy in the oven! These baked broccoli hash […]

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Yam vs Sweet Potato – what’s the difference?

Sweet potato vs yam, what is the difference between the two? Sweet Potatoes and Yams might be some of the most commonly confused root vegetables of all time. Keep reading to find out the difference between yams and sweet potatoes.

A Yam and Sweet Potato cut into slices

Are Yams Sweet Potatoes?

No they aren’t. Yams and sweet potatoes grow similarly, look alike and the words “yams” and “sweet potatoes” are often interchanged as a description to fit the cook’s preference. There are times when I visit the produce aisle of the grocery store to find they offer bins of both sweet potatoes and yams but both bins contain the same vegetable! Aside from the shape, these are two very different veggies.

In North America there are mainly two varieties of sweet potatoes; a soft, copper skinned potato with a dark orange flesh and a firm , golden skinned potato with a lighter flesh.  There are also purple sweet potatoes and other varieties. At the grocer, the copper skinned sweet potato is labeled as a yam, but is it really a yam?

Yams and Sweet Potatoes scattered together on a board

Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Yams are native to Asia and Africa, they are related to lilies and grow as roots of a flowering plant. Yams grow from a regular potato size to gigantic proportions of nearly 5 feet long! The skin of a true yam is tougher and bark like and the flesh is white, red or purplish in color. A true yam is not as common in North America, but you can find them in specialty or international stores.

Sweet Potatoes are a member of the morning glory family. They have a firmer skin and can be an assortment of colors including copper, purple, white, orange or red. The color of the flesh varies as well to include orange, yellow, purple and white! As the copper skinned sweet potato most resembles a yam, the name was applied to the tuber to differentiate it from it’s lighter counterpart.  This explains why we (mistakenly) label one as a sweet potato and one as a yam.

Most likely, all yams and sweet potatoes that you use from the grocery store are sweet potatoes. Often, the copper skinned sweet potato is referred to as yam, or sweet potato yam, and these are a firmer version of sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes with the lighter skin and yellow insides are softer. They cook very differently.

To know what you want to buy when faced with a sweet potato and a sweet potato yam in the grocery store, it is important to know what you want to prepare. If you are looking for a classic Thanksgiving dish of Sweet Potato Casserole or Sweet Potato Pie, purchase a copper skinned sweet potato yam. They will give you the texture that you want!

To easily identify which of these tuberous root vegetables you want to buy, take note of the skin. You want to buy the darker skinned potato for a firm potato that has a firmer texture after cooking (but can easily be made into Mashed Sweet Potatoes), and a lighter skinned potato for.a fluffy and creamy flesh.

Sweet Potato Recipes You’ll Love

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Baked Sweet Potato
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Chicken Stew

Sweet Potatoes and Yams baked and ready to serve


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission

California Sweet Potatoes

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The Perfect Ham Recipe

Honey Baked Ham is the most tender succulent ham you’ve ever had!  A juicy spiral cut ham is smothered in a sweet honey glaze. The ham is baked until the meat is perfectly tender and the glaze turns sticky and delicious! 

This spiral ham recipe is the perfect holiday ham for Christmas or Easter served with Scalloped Potatoes, Ambrosia Salad and our favorite Sweet Potato Casserole!

A Honey Baked Ham perfectly cooked with a sticky honey glaze recipe

This Honey Baked Ham recipe starts with a spiral ham which allows all of the delicious glaze can to get into the ham. While I do often make a brown sugar glaze, there really is nothing quite like a homemade honey baked ham served with Hashbrown Casserole and homemade dinner rolls!

How to Prepare a Honey Baked Ham

Most hams (and spiral hams) are pre-cooked when you purchase them. Double check the package that it says fully cooked or pre-cooked.

Ham is easy to make since you’re really just heating it up. I use a spiral ham for this recipe because it’s very easy to cut but even more importantly, all of that yummy glaze gets into the meat. You can make honey baked ham without a a spiral ham too, simply score the ham before adding the honey glaze.

How much Spiral Ham per Person

When buying the spiral ham, you’ll want to account for 2-3 servings of ham per pound if you’re purchasing a bone in ham. I always lean towards 3 pounds so I have leftovers for soups and casseroles like my fave Broccoli Cheese Casserole with Ham, ham sandwiches and of course scalloped potatoes with ham!

How to Cook a Honey Baked Ham

Honey baked ham has both honey and a bit of brown sugar so the glaze gets beautifully caramelized! Since the glaze can be sticky, I like to line my pan with thick foil on the bottom for easy clean up.

  1. Place the ham cut side down and bake uncovered.
  2. Brush with glaze and turn the oven up high caramelize the glaze.
  3. Remove from the oven when the temperature reaches 140°F.
  4. Rest about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Brushing glaze on our favorite Honey Baked Ham recipe

How long to Cook a Spiral Ham

A spiral ham is usually fully cooked and just needs heating (double check on the package you buy). A lower temperature allows the ham to cook through and become tender and juicy. If the temperature is higher, the edges can dry out before the center is warm.

  • A fully cooked spiral ham will take about 13-16 minutes per pound in a 250° F oven.
  • If making  Crockpot Ham an 8-10 pound ham will take about 4-5 hours.
  • A partially cooked ham needs longer, about 20 minutes per pound when roasting.

Be sure to check your label to make sure your ham is fully cooked for the honey baked ham recipe below. Ham should be cooked to 140° F,  and just like Pork Tenderloin, use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s not over or under! To really make a perfect honey baked ham, I suggest using a thermometer like this one.

How Long Does a Honey Baked Ham Last?

You can buy ham well before you bake it! Check the best before date on the package but it’ll often keep in the fridge for a month or more before cooking if it’s sealed! This allows you to watch for coupons or sales.


  • You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. After that you’ll want to freeze them.
  • Can You Freeze Honey Baked Ham? Yes! Cooked cubed or sliced ham will last in the freezer for 2 to 3 months if well sealed.
  • Leftover cooked ham is perfect to enjoy in soups, stews, casseroles and sandwiches!
  • Save the leftover ham bone for Ham Bone Soup.
  • Find our favorite leftover ham recipes here.

Honey Baked Ham on a serving platter ready to serve for Easter dinner

More Ham Recipes You’ll Love

  • Crock Pot Ham – Set it and forget it!
  • Apple Glazed Baked Ham
  • Crock Pot Ham and Potato Soup – easy comfort food.
  • Ham and Corn Chowder – the perfect soup for leftovers.
  • Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze – Classic perfection!


Honey Baked Ham

Honey Baked Ham is tender and juicy with a delicious honey glaze. 

  • 1 spiral ham (8-10 lbs)


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.

  2. Remove the packaging and the plastic disk from the bottom of the ham. Place ham in a shallow roasting pan, cut side down.

  3. Bake for 13-16 minutes per pound until ham reaches 135°F.

  4. Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

  5. Once the ham reaches 135°F, remove ham from the oven. Turn the oven up to 425°F. Brush the ham generously with the honey glaze. (I do 2-3 coats of glaze).

  6. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes or until ham reaches 140°F and glaze is browned.

  7. Remove the ham from the oven and rest at least 15 minutes before cutting. Spoon juices over the ham before serving if desired.

The shapes and sizes of ham can vary, to get the best results, use a thermometer to ensure your ham reaches 140°F but doesn’t overcook.

Cloves can be substituted with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon or other warm spices.

Nutritional information is an estimate only.

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Weekend Oven Roasted Butterflied Chicken

4 lb Whole Chicken
Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested plus the juice of half the lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, 3 carrots, and 3 celery stalks, each cut into 3 or 4 pieces
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Optional – Kitchen Bouquet (gravy browning sauce)


Remove the giblets from the chicken and rinse the cavity. Pat dry. With poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut away the backbone by cutting along both sides of the bone.

Open the chicken and flatten by pressing down on the breast. Sprinkle the chicken all over with salt and place in a large ziplock bag. Refrigerate overnight.

Set the cooking rack in the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 450°F.

Coat the bottom of a large roasting pan with olive oil or cooking spray.
Cut the vegetables into pieces and place them in the prepared roasting pan. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, thyme, and rosemary

Crack the peppercorns until coarsely ground. Add the garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add just enough oil to form a paste. Rub the chicken with the oil paste and place some of the paste under the breast skin.

Place the chicken in the prepared roasting pan, breast side up, on top of the vegetables. Pour the chicken broth into the pan but don’t pour it over the chicken.

After 30 minutes cover the breast area if necessary with foil. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 175° to 180°F. Place the chicken on a serving platter and allow it to rest for 10 minutes then carve.

Drain the vegetables from the liquid in the pan and place on the platter with the chicken.

Pour the drippings into a small saucepan and add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and gravy browning additive, if using. Bring to a boil and stir until the liquid thickens. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with the chicken and vegetables and mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.

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Lomo Saltado

When Betsy and I were in Peru we noticed a strange meal phenomenon: Carbs on carbs. My favorite version of this trend is Lomo Saltado, a simple beef stir-fry that is served with rice AND french fries. You have to try it to believe it, but it’s very delicious. Frequently we would have a meal that […]

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Steamed Whole Fish and the Ginger, Garlic, Scallion Trifecta

It turns out, steaming a whole fish isn’t all that hard or intimidating. There are plenty of fish dishes out there that I feel confident about making. Slow-roasting a slab of salmon in the oven under low heat? Easy. And thank you Alison Roman and Melissa Clark. Sous vide tuna steaks? No problem. But steaming a whole […]

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TASTE Podcast 44: Ori Menashe & Genevieve Gergis

The Los Angeles food world has the most low-key power couple. And they are cool with that. Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis are the chefs and owners of two of the buzziest and most influential restaurants in the city: Bestia and Bavel. They are also the authors of a cool new cookbook: Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the […]

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Crispy Oven Baked Fries

Baked French Fries are one of my family’s all-time favorites. My kids love oven fries even more than the store bought fries. Plus, oven baked fries are so much better for them.

These oven baked fries are perfect alongside a Jalapeño Cheddar Burgers, served up with Oven Fried Chicken or we even serve it with chicken and gravy!

A wooden bowl full of homemade oven baked french fries with ketchup.

Oven Baked French Fries

Russet potatoes are the gold standard for French fries in general. They especially suitable for baked fries, because the skins are thicker and dryer than the skins of other potatoes, so they crisp up nicely in the oven.

Have you ever tried fries in the oven, and found they lack crispiness? Here are two great tips to avoid that problem forever!

A black tea towel full of cut potatoes being dried.

How to Make Oven French Fries Crispy

As deep fried french fries are often double fried (once at a lower temp, once at a higher temp to crisp) I’ve found the same thing works magically for oven fries! You can make oven french fries so good and crispy!

  • SOAK: Soak the potatoes in cold water after cutting for at least 30 minutes.  This step removes a lot of starch (you will see it in the bowl after you remove them) resulting in a crispier French fry!
  • DRY: This is really important. Make sure you dry them well so they don’t steam and get soft when they bake! I spin them in my salad spinner and then dap in a kitchen towel.
  • OIL & SEASON: Use parchment paper to keep them from sticking and oil to make them crisp! While these are a version of healthy fries, if you want them to crisp, you will still need to be generous with the oil.
  • TWO TEMP COOKING: This easy technique allows the fries to bake perfectly crispy! Simply bake at 375°F for a little bit to cook and then turn up the heat to really crisp them up!

Fries being drizzled with olive oil and seasoned on a baking sheet.

How to Cut Potatoes into Fries

I always leave the skin on because it adds a little bit extra fiber (and personally I like the way it tastes… and it’s easier).  If you prefer you can peel the potatoes first!

You can cut french fries by hand or save time using a French Fry cutter. I use a cutter for perfectly even fries.

To Cut into Steak Fries:

  • Steak fries are typically thicker than french fries. To make baked steak fries, you’ll want to find potatoes that are a little bit smaller. Steak fries should be cut into small wedges about 3/4″ to 1″ thick.
  • You will follow the same cooking method below but for a longer period of time.

How to Bake French Fries

To achieve maximum crispiness in your homemade French fries, I do a 2 temperature cook:

  1. Be sure to preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Dry the fries thoroughly after soaking and before seasoning.
  3. Generously oil and season the oven fries. Spread evenly in a single layer on a parchment line pan.
  4. Cook 20 minutes (25 for thicker fries).
  5. Turn the heat up to 425°F and continue baking until crisp, about 15-20 minutes.

How Long to Bake French Fries: Remember, thicker fries will take longer and if your fries are too thin, they’ll just burn without crisping.

The length of time for baked French fries will vary, depending on how thick you cut them and of course personal preference. My family likes them more tender crisp, I like them extra crispy!

Oven baked fries on a baking sheet with a ketchup serving bowl.

How to Reheat Fries

You can easily reheat your leftover oven baked fries, either in the oven, or on the stovetop.

  • Stovetop Reheating: Add a tablespoon or two of oil in non-stick pan. Reheat over medium heat for a few minutes and enjoy!
  • Oven Reheating: Baked fries can be reheated in the oven. Spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven.
  • Microwave Reheating: This is less ideal as they can come out soft or soggy! 20-40 seconds should be plenty of time.

How to Freeze Oven Baked French Fries

Your leftover oven baked fries can also be frozen for up to four months in a freezer bag. To reheat, just follow the steps above.

Frozen fries are great reheated but also perfect added to soups, stews and casseroles!

What to Serve With Fries

We love fries with anything with gravy in place of our favorite Mashed Potatoes and with our favorite sandwiches and burgers! Here are a few that we love:

  • Mushroom Salisbury Steak – serve with fries instead of mashed potatoes
  • Meatball Subs
  • Barbecue Ribs in the Oven
  • Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
  • Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Pulled Pork
[wprm-recipe id=”123243″

These oven baked french fries are my daughter's favortie. Homemade fries are an easy, healthier alternative! #spendwithpennies #fries #frenchfries #bakedfrenchfries #ovenbakedfrenchfries
These oven baked french fries are my daughter's favortie. Homemade fries are an easy, healthier alternative! #spendwithpennies #fries #frenchfries #bakedfrenchfries #ovenbakedfrenchfries

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Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.

Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | #blueberrypancakes #pancakes #brunch #breakfast #lemon

Bursting Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Everyone needs a go-to blueberry pancake recipe, and this is it! These pancakes are made with a touch of fresh ricotta cheese, a little squeeze of lemon, and each one is swirled with plenty of sweet blueberries. They’re light, extra fluffy, perfectly sweet, and all around delicious. And as if […]

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies are thick chocolate cookies loaded with creamy peanut butter chips! The classic flavor combo in an easy cookie recipe is perfect with a glass of milk!

I partnered with my friends at Imperial Sugar on today’s recipe! Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible.

Sometimes you just make a cookie that you know if going to be a major hit.

Continue reading Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies at Cookies and Cups.

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Sorpotel Runs in the Blood of Every Goan

The spicy, acidic curry tells a complicated, labor-intensive story of colonial rule and national (and personal) identity. Sorpotel is not an everyday dish. The bracingly acidic Goan curry of pork offal punctures big occasions and announces sacraments: weddings, christenings, and first holy communions, as well as Christmas and Easter. In the old country, the initial […]

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The Remarkable Life of Margaret Rudkin, Founder of Pepperidge Farm

Famous for her cookies and Goldfish crackers, Rudkin’s influence extends beyond packaged foods. Long before second-wave feminism, she encouraged women to take their place in the American workforce. Revisiting a love from your youth can be a dicey affair. You’ve changed, and so has the world. It’s rare that a soft feeling can survive the […]

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