The Perfect Baked Oven Fries

Is there anything better than a plate of piping hot, crispy, salty french fries? The correct answer to this question is ‘no’.

I’m a sucker for a good french fry. No matter how much I tell myself that I shouldn’t have them and that they are not good for me, I just can’t convince myself to get the side salad instead. What can I say? I’m always on the hunt for the best french fries I can find.

Who could have predicted that this hunt would end with a recipe for homemade baked oven fries that puts most others to shame? Certainly not me.

baked oven fries

I first discovered this recipe years ago on one of my favourite food blogs, Annie’s Eats. I had tried making baked oven fries in the past, but they just never compared to the deliciously crispy deep-fried version I would get at restaurants. This recipe was a game-changer. It is a little bit more hands-on than your typical oven baked fries recipe, but it is totally worth the effort.

I recently rediscovered this recipe, and it has been put on our menu every week since. Just now, as I’m writing this post, I’m wondering when is the soonest I can make them.

Please, do yourself and your loved ones a favour and make these baked oven fries. Just be prepared to make them regularly after that.

burger & baked oven fries

Baked Oven Fries (recipe originally here by Annie’s Eats, via Cook’s Illustrated)

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 russet potatoes, cut evenly into fries
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees and move an oven rack to the second lowest position. Cut up the potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Cover with hot water and let soak for up to 20 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil on a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet to evenly coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. Sprinkle the pan evenly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Drain the potatoes and set them on a clean dish towel or paper towels. Pat until dry. Wipe the bowl out so it is dry and put the potatoes back in the bowl. Toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the foil and continue to bake the potatoes until the bottoms are spotty golden brown, about 15-20 minutes, and rotating the pan after 10. Use a metal spatula and tongs to flip the potatoes and keep them in a single layer. Continue baking the fries until they are golden and crisp, about 5-15 minutes. Continue to rotate the pan for even cooking.
  4. When they are finished baking, lay them on a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil. Season with additional salt to taste.
  5. Enjoy!
Continue Reading

The Perfect Snack (AKA Healthy Banana Muffins)

Everyday, when I get home from work, I do two things: change into comfortable clothes and scour the kitchen for a satisfying snack. More often than not, if we have any junk food in our house, that is what I deem to be a ‘satisfying snack’ and I go to town. Typically, this ends up with me being too full for dinner until much later, which isn’t exactly ideal when I like to try to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

More recently, I’ve been trying to make sure we have something both satisfying and somewhat healthy to eat as a snack either after work or any other time hunger strikes. I had a couple of very brown, very sad looking bananas haunting me on our kitchen counter and had just saved this recipe from Cookie and Kate, so I knew it was meant to be.

healthy banana muffins cooling

These muffins taste great and make the perfect snack. They are healthier than most muffin recipes by using whole wheat flour and a little bit of maple syrup for added sweetness. The best part is that you can mix everything in one bowl, which means you can quickly clean up the dishes as you wait for the muffins to bake. They are great right out of the oven, but I also like to freeze them for quick snacks during the week! No one wants to meet Hangry Kelly.

banana muffin

Healthy Banana Muffins (recipe originally from here by Cookie and Kate)

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I have also used avocado oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2-3, depending on the size of the bananas)
  • 1/4 milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I usually put at least double the cinnamon)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats (plus more for sprinkling on top of the muffins)
  • 1 tsp turbinado sugar (for sprinkling on top)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease muffin tin or place muffin wrappers in tin.
  2. Beat the oil and maple syrup in a bowl using a whisk. Add eggs and mix well. Next, mix in the mashed bananas and milk. Then add the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a spoon until just combined.
  4. Divide the batter into the muffin tins or wrappers by filling each about two-thirds full. Sprinkle each of the muffins with a small amount of oats and the turbinado sugar.
  5. Bake muffins for about 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!

 

Continue Reading

Elderflower Grapefruit Gin & Tonics

If you’re anything like me, you are counting down the days until winter is over. It’s dark and grey outside and I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the sun in weeks. I needed a little bit of sunshine in my life, so I used this recipe for inspiration to create a citrusy and refreshing cocktail. It’s simple to make and is perfect to sip on as a pre-dinner cocktail, at the end of a long day or just because.

I haven’t always been the biggest fan of grapefruit, but I love the sweet and tart flavour it provides in a cocktail. It’s refreshing without being too sweet. The rosemary is really what makes the cocktail, though. If you haven’t tried adding herbs to your cocktails yet, then you’re truly missing out! It was just this past year that I started getting into cocktails with herbs and now, I can never look back. My favourite herb to add is rosemary, but sage and basil are great as well.

You’ll notice that the recipe includes specific types of gin, elderflower liqueur and tonic. While I think you could use any brand and still end up with a good cocktail, these specific ones add a little something special to the drink. Plus, both Split Tree and Dillon’s are local Ontario companies so you can feel good supporting local while enjoying your delicious drink.

Please continue reading below to find the recipe, and let me know what you think if you try it!

Elderflower Grapefruit Gin & Tonics

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Dillon’s Rose Gin
  • 3/4 oz St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3/4 oz Split Tree Tonic No 3
  • 3-4 oz club soda
  • 1 slice of pink grapefruit (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1 rosemary sprig

Directions:

Add 3-4 ice cubes to your prettiest glass. Squeeze the grapefruit into the glass. Add the gin, elderflower liqueur, tonic and club soda. Garnish with extra slices of grapefruit and the sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!

Continue Reading