Food, Potatoes, Recipes, Tater Talk

Hamburger Packets (With Potatoes)

Ever since I was a kid, my mom (what a woman) has been making what we have called over the years: hamburger packets. These are also known as hobo packets, for those of you who were wondering. These have always come in clutch for our family when we want something yummy, but don’t necessarily want to do a lot of work to get the food. Bonus: they are incredibly filling, which is something my bottomless pit of a stomach is always searching for.

While we’re not exactly the camping kind, aka I’ve never been camping besides setting up a tent in my backyard, these make a camping meal. After you chop up all the ingredients, you simply throw them on the grill and let the heat do it’s thing.

You can also make these in the oven!

Hamburger Packets (With Potatoes, Obviously)

You’ll need:

  • 4 beef patties (this recipe serves 4 people)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Butter
  • You could also add zucchini, onion, squash, etc. Whatever you think would taste good, go for it!

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Lay out 4 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. Rub butter on the foil first. This will serve as a base for the other ingredients, plus it will give them flavor.
  2. Peel and slice the potatoes first, and lay each potato out on the foil.
  3. Peel and slice the carrots next, evenly distributing them as well.
  4. Lay the hamburger patty on top.
  5. Gather the foil at the top, then roll up each of the sides.
  6. Place on the grill and let cook, keeping an eye on them. Once the potatoes are easily forked and the patty looks good, they are done and you can serve them. We usually have a problem with one of the packets not cooking as thoroughly as the others, so be sure to keep an eye on all of them.
  7. If you’d rather bake in an oven, place them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.

The cool part about these is that everyone can have their own serving of food. If one person wants less food, they can simply put less in their packet to start. The potatoes and carrots easily come out of the foil as well, requiring not a lot of clean up!

Food, Potatoes, Tater Talk

My Favorite Pre-Made Potato Products

It’s no surprise that over the years, I’ve come to find just about every potato product I can get my hands on. Naturally, people suggest potato products to me, too. I guess it just comes with the territory when you’re THE potato connoisseur to all of your friends and family!

I come here today with one purpose: to bring to you the potato products that I hope will bring you as much joy as they have for me. I couldn’t imagine making you wait a second longer to hear about them, so here they are! (I am in no way sponsored or affiliated with any of these potato brands, but I wouldn’t say no if the opportunity arose (!))

Idahoan Microwaveable Potato Cups

Image result for microwaveable potatoes in a cup

Picture this: It was the summer before my freshman year of college, and I was sitting at home when my mom brings in the groceries. Imagine my surprise when she pulls these cups out, and says that she bought them with me in mind. I swear I have the coolest mom around. She just gets me, ya know? Anyways, fast forward to freshman year of college. These things came in clutch so many times. Needed a snack? I made these things. Wanted a light lunch or dinner? Easy peezy lemon squeezy, I made these. Literally all you have to do is add water to the mix, stir it up and throw it in the microwave for a little bit. WOW. I give all the credit to whoever thought these up.

Simply Potatoes Diced PotatoesImage result for simply potatoes diced

I give sole credit to the good ole Piggly Wiggly I worked at for five years for this discovery. We carried them for the longest time, and one day I decided to try them on for size. (The first one I tried was their hash browns, but just switch the word diced potatoes on the packaging to hash browns and you can find them easily). I used those for a breakfast skillet, and I used the diced potatoes for the same purpose! These are the best, especially when I don’t wanna go to great lengths to get my potato fix. 10/10 would recommend.

The Little Potato Company Microwave Potatoes

Image result for little potato company

These are also the best. This packaging comes with small red potatoes and seasoning. All that’s necessary from you is to toss the potatoes in olive oil, heat them up in the microwave, and pour the seasoning on top. These could be served with literally anything because they’re the perfect compliment to a meal. The seasoning puts them ahead of the red potato game because it requires no effort from you to figure out how to season the potatoes and what seasonings to buy. A potato that basically does it all for you. This is something I can get behind.

While there are many others, these are my top three that I will stay faithful to forever. I hope you can come to love them as much as I do one day.

Food, Potatoes, Recipes, Tater Talk

Chicken Potato Bake

Once again, Pinterest did not disappoint me with a potato recipe! One day, there I was, just minding my own business. I decided to log onto Pinterest (like one does) and stumbled upon this recipe. To say I was excited was an understatement.

Casseroles are the best, and casseroles with potatoes simply make the world go round. Let me explain. Casseroles are everything in one place. There’s no need to mix your food, it’s already mixed for you! Your entire meal can be scooped up onto your plate. What a time to be alive.

Chicken Potato Bake

You’ll need:

  • 4 medium sized potatoes – you can use russet, Idaho, or red but leave the peel on
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken – can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • optional: chopped parsley for flavor

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dice the potatoes and toss them into a large bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper on top and toss to coat the potatoes.
  3. Spray a large 13 x 9 baking dish with non-stick spray and spread the potatoes evenly in the dish.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking dish from the oven.
  5. Place the diced up chicken in the dish, nestling them into the potato mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the potatoes are browned.
  6. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top, and bake for a few more minutes to melt the cheese completely.
  7. Add chopped parsley on top, if desired.

Rather than not knowing what to cook and scratching your head in wonder, try this dish out tonight! I swear it’s more delicious than you could possibly imagine.


Food, Potatoes, Recipes, Tater Talk

Foil Packet Cheesy Potatoes

All I can say is YUM. I found these bad boys on Pinterest and have been craving them ever since. I didn’t realize one could crave something they had never tasted before, but alas. Crazier things have happened!

These cheesy potatoes (made in foil packets) can be baked in the oven or the grill. The best part is, there’s basically no clean up in the end! If you want to make it a meal, simply add hamburger, chicken, or sausage and you’re set.

Foil Packet Cheesy Potatoes

You’ll need:

  • 4 medium Russet or Idaho potatoes (make as many potatoes for as many people as you have) – this recipe is written according to 4 people
  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

How you prepare it:

  1. Prepare 12″ x 10″ aluminum foil sheets for however many people you’re cooking for. Peel and dice the potatoes, but keep each diced potato separate. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees if cooking this way.
  2. Place each diced potato on their own sheet. Add the onion, butter, olive oil, and pepper on top. Fold up the foil tightly, but leaving enough room for the steam to escape.
  3. Place on a large baking sheet and stick in the oven if cooking that way. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. The potatoes are officially done when they are soft. Once the potatoes are done, sprinkle shredded cheese and stick them back in the oven to melt the cheese, if desired.
  4. If cooking on the grill, get the grill to medium heat. Place foil packets on the grill, and cook for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for 10 more minutes. If the potatoes are done, top with cheese and close to melt it.
  5. Enjoy!!

Whether you want a quick and easy side dish, or want to make it a full out dinner, this recipe is sure to make the perfect summer food on the grill! Throw in some cobs of corn and chicken and you have a meal fit for a king.

Food, Potatoes, Strange, Tater Talk

Spud Fit

Once upon a time, a man lost 117 pounds by eating just potatoes. YES, POTATOES. True story. This is a diet I can get behind.

Andrew Taylor, an Australian dude (I suddenly appreciate Australians immensely), reevaluated his life and realized he needed to make a change. Since he couldn’t abstain from all food, he decided to abstain as much as possible. Despite the horrible rep that potatoes get, they’re actually packed with tons of nutrients (!) He also took a B12 vitamin to make up for the lack of protein, but that’s beside the point.

He declared it…the Spud Fit Challenge! It’s even a book now, too!

Within this diet, he tried a combo of all different kinds of potatoes, while using minimal herbs, spices, and fat-free sauces. He only drank water, and began exercising after the first month. Even before he began exercising, he managed to lose 20 pounds.

The Rules

  • Eat a combo of potatoes, including sweet potatoes, but only use a minimal amount of herbs, fat-free sauces, and spices. Take a B12 supplement if you plan on doing it for more than a few months. Avoid oils and anything fatty, like meats, cheeses, eggs, or dairy products. If you must use milk for mashed potatoes, use soy milk.
  • Don’t restrict or count calories! Eat as much as you’d like, as often as you’d like, and do not go hungry if you can help it.
  • Do your own research and make educated decisions – consult a doctor to make sure everything is going well for you.

Mostly, he made either mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, or baked potatoes. He did not have set things made for each meal, but rather made a big batch and ate it until it was gone.

Surprise, surprise, he didn’t get bored of eating straight potatoes! A man after my own heart, obviously.

If you want, you can order his book here. I may or may not be considering it…

This man just goes to show the importance of eating your potatoes. I think we can all learn something from him.

Food, Potatoes, Recipes, Tater Talk

The Most Genius Potato Idea Ever – Taco Potatoes

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any cooler, it did. One night, I was scrolling through Pinterest like usual. It was then that I stumbled upon this recipe, and I knew that all was right in the world. While I will admit that I have not personally made this recipe, I do intend to very soon (and then will update you on the results!).

This recipe happens to combine my two favorite loves: tacos and potatoes! What better way to honor them than to put them altogether in one?

Special shout out to for this amazing creation!!

Taco Potatoes

You’ll need:

  • Russet potatoes – use your best judgement on however many you can eat
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet of taco seasoning
  • Any other toppings you like on your tacos:
    • lettuce
    • cheese
    • salsa
    • guacamole
    • sour cream

How you make them:

  1. Bake the potatoes however you wish. Personally, I feel that it can be easier to cook them in a microwave by poking holes in them and selecting the potato button (real difficult, right?) However, the original creator suggests preheating the oven to 400 degrees, poking holes in them, and wrapping foil around them. Bake the potatoes for an hour and set them aside to cool down.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the separate the ground beef on medium heat. Add taco seasoning to the meat and any amount of water necessary (this is usually outlined on the packaging for you). Reduce heat and cook until the water soaks in.
  3. Remove the foil from the potatoes and cut a slit on the top to open them up (like you would to make a loaded baked potato). Fill each with meat and your favorite toppings to enjoy!

I am personally STOKED to try these bad boys out this weekend. Who knew life could be so amazing after all?

Food, Gardening, Potatoes, Tater Talk

How to Grow Potatoes…In a Bucket!

Again, shout out to the man, the myth, the legend: The Four Season Gardener. Thanks to his amazing growing guidance, I’m going to shed some light on a topic I KNOW all of you have been dying to learn about: how to grow a potato in a bucket.

Why a bucket, you may ask? Growing potatoes in a bucket is the perfect alternative for when you live in a place that doesn’t provide you a lot (or any) growing land. You could place this said bucket on a patio or apartment balcony and still have that garden-y feeling.

You’ll need:

  • A bucket or garbage bin good for growing in order to accommodate your new potato friends
  • Potato seeds
  • Compost

First, place the potato seeds in the bucket or garbage bin and cover them with compost. Plant them in a large circle. As they grow and push shoots out through the soil, bury them again. Continue to do this until they start to flower. After 100 days, harvest them. Start this process in April/May and begin harvest in the fall.

The difference between this method and others is because in this method, every time they’re buried they push out fruit modules. This gives you the same amount of potatoes, but utilizes way less space than if you were to plant them in rows in a garden.

As for the Four Season Gardener, he hopes this method will produce up to 100 pounds of potatoes. I will definitely be contributing to eating those if I have anything to say about it.

While I’m not a professional gardener, the Four Season Gardener basically is! Check out his blog here for more tips and tricks on the gardening life.

Food, Potatoes, Tater Talk

The Best (and Worst) Types of Potatoes

As you have probably all realized, I have a lot of potato opinions. I’ve come here to settle them. This is my official list of the best (and worst!) kinds of potatoes.

The Best!!

French Fries: Yum. Whoever thought to slice potatoes into small, salty strips is truly on a whole other level than the rest of the world. I LOVE them, as if you couldn’t tell that by my last post. Long fries, floppy fries, crispy fries, seasoned fries, curly fries…you name it, I love it. Honestly, they go with anything and everything. They bring me happiness. They have shown me a love I’ve never seen before. They have been there for me when I’ve needed it most. Okay, I know I’m being dramatic but they’re delicious.

Mashed Potatoes: Double yum. Many people say that we do not deserve dogs, but I raise them by saying that we do not deserve mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are best when they’re lumpy, have the skins still in them, and served with dark brown gravy. I would eat them plain too, if it really came down to it. BUT, I would not eat them runny. Runny potatoes are hardly potatoes at all. These are my views and I’m sticking to them.

Red Potatoes in General: The red potato is the best potato. They’re so versatile, and have so much yumminess to give. Whether you roast them up and add garlic or you peel off the skins and eat them with butter, this potato is good in any capacity. Talk about something that’s too good to be true.

Potato Chips: In addition to the genius that created french fries, the inventor of the potato chip is simply better than everyone else too. My personal fave are Lay’s potato chips, either wavy or regular (in case you wanted to know). Add in a little sour cream and onion dip and you have yourself an award-winning combo.

The Okay

Baked Potatoes: While these are pretty good, there are better types of potatoes than this one. Some people like to put sour cream on their baked potatoes, which I simply DO NOT understand. I’ll chalk it up to my lack of appreciation for sour cream. Again, stick some sour cream and onion dip on a flattened out baked potato and you have something I can get behind.

Potato Wedges: I have a love/hate relationship with potato wedges. While some may feel that I would thrive on the extra potatoes, there’s just something about them that doesn’t tickle my fancy. Sometimes, I feel that they just get under-cooked and under-seasoned. Fix those two issues and potato wedges can consider themselves on my official best list.

The Worst

Potato Salad: UGH. Coming from a family whose heritage is strictly German, it’s a struggle for me that I don’t like this particular food. Something about the taste, whether it’s warm or cold, just doesn’t do it for me. While I respect your choice to like this, I absolutely hate it. Maybe if someone revamped the whole recipe, I could reconsider.

Sweet Potatoes: I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it yet again. I do not like sweet potatoes. I do not like them here, I do not like them there, I do not like them anywhere. They’re simply an impostor potato, plain and simple. Leave things like mashed potatoes and fries to the professionals, sweet potatoes. Your services are unwanted and unneeded.

Food, Potatoes, Tater Talk

The Greatest Fast Food Fries

In my expert opinion, fries make the world go round. Your burger or chicken nuggets would be NOTHING without a nice salty spud to compliment it. Obviously, some are much better than others. While I have not tried all the fast food fries in existence, I have tried enough to form an opinion on the matter. I give to you, the best of the best fast food french fries (with a few stories in between):

Hardee’s Curly Fries: a.k.a. crispy curls to uncivilized people – It’s been the best of times and the worst of times with these fries. My dad’s company did a halftime promotion during every Green Bay Packers’ home game for two years, where I got to help out with activities on the field. After halftime, my dad and I would stop at the Hardee’s Image result for hardee's curly friesright before the highway and get a soda and a curly fry. It was then that I solidified my love for curly fries. Something about the curl just makes it superior to all other fries.

Meanwhile in 4th grade, my family and I took a trip to Pennsylvania to visit the Hershey Factory and Theme Park. Naturally, we stopped at Hardee’s in Pennsylvania on the way. When I went up to the counter to place my order, I asked for a side of curly fries with my meal. To my shock, THE GIRL AT THE COUNTER HAD NO CLUE WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. So there I was: hungry, bitter, and curly fry-less. This was easily one of the saddest times in my life, and I’m not being dramatic at all when I say that. Curly fries are the dream.

Arby’s Curly Fries – Yes I know, these are basically the same thing as Hardee’s curly fries. I promise you though, they are different somehow. I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again, fries taste better in curl form. The seasoning is Image result for arby's curly friesperfect, and honestly I’m getting hungry just thinking about them. One night, my friend and I drove up to visit my roommate and sat in an Arby’s for easily 3 hours. We probably went through 5 boxes of curly fries, but I’m unapologetic about it. They’re just too good. I may or may not have bought bags of frozen Arby’s curly fries at the grocery store just to hold me over until I could go to an Arby’s again. What a good fry.

Image result for chick fil a fries

Chick-fil-A Waffle Fries – Chick-fil-A was one of those experiences where I asked myself, “Where have you been all my life??” Waffles fries are the dream just as much as curly fries are. A restaurant serving them as their main fry is exactly what I need in my life. Chick-fil-A fries aren’t crispy, but they aren’t soggy either. They’re a perfect in-between. My only complaint? They have not yet opened a Chick-fil-A anywhere near me, so basically I’m left with a lot of hunger that I can’t do anything about. Life is so unfair sometimes.

Culver’s Crinkle Cut Fries – If you haven’t been to Culver’s, you haven’t lived. I can Image result for culver's friessay that for certain. Culver’s crinkle cuts are truly the perfect compliment to anything and everything you can order there. Crinkle cuts are amazing simply because they offer more potato for your buck, without getting crazy like potato wedges. Back in the day, my friends and I would go to Culver’s and only order a family fry, just because they were that good. Alternate these salty fries with a scoop of sweet custard and you’ll honestly be set for life. I have honestly just talked myself into eating Culver’s tonight upon writing this post. They’re that good.

Image result for mcdonalds fries

*McDonald’s Fries – I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t care for McDonald’s very much. The documentary Supersize Me was very effective in my case. Unfortunately for my waistline, I can’t seem to kick my McDonald’s chicken nugget and fry habit. Some things just aren’t meant to be. Anyways, the fries. You may or may not have noticed the little asterisk next to this one. McDonald’s fries can be VERY addicting and yummy, pending they are not over-salted or under-salted. Too much makes me feel like I’ll become a human saltshaker. Too little and they just taste like cardboard. The secret lies in the salt. Maybe I’m just too picky, or maybe I’m just a potato connoisseur. I guess we’ll never know.

Image result for five guys friesLastly but not leastly, Five Guys Fries – Five Guys is basically heaven for me, considering they have the bags of the potatoes they use for fries surrounding the restaurant. They’ll even post on a sign which state the potatoes they’re using are from. It’s truly amazing. ALSO, Five Guys usually gives you way more fries than you could possibly imagine eating with your food. They’re the gift that just keeps on giving.


Food, Potatoes, Recipes, Tater Talk

Melted Potatoes – A Follow Up Post

Hi all!

In case you didn’t follow my long, video tutorial, or wanted a more concrete recipe on how to make melted potatoes, look no further! I’m here to save the day for you.

I learned plenty of things during this melted potato video that were not shown, so hopefully this will serve as a behind the scenes look as well! I definitely didn’t do everything according to plan, and hope to translate my tips and tricks to you.

Melted Potatoes

You’ll need:

  • 3 pounds of potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon of thyme
    • I personally used half just because it looked like a lot
  • 9 tablespoons salted butter, melted
    • The recipe recommends 6 but I felt that this wasn’t enough to cover all of the potatoes fully – I also accidentally added too much pepper and this was how I counteracted that
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • I used approximately 2 teaspoons – use your best judgement

How you’ll make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. This will take a while, so make sure you do it first. Then, chop off the ends of the potatoes and cut them into inch-thick discs. Mine ended up being about 1/2 inch, but I just cut down on cooking time towards the end.
  2. Toss the potatoes into a mixture of butter, thyme, and pepper. Arrange them in a single layer on a 13×9 baking pan. Avoid using a glass dish, it may shatter due to the high temperature.
  3. Roast the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove the pan from the oven. Use tongs or a fork to loosen and flip the potatoes onto the other side. Pop the pan back in to roast the potatoes on the other side for about 15 minutes.
  4. Again, take the pan out, flip the potatoes again, but this time add the broth and garlic on top of the potatoes. I mixed these two together to get an even flavor, but its not necessary. After about 15 minutes (or shorter if your potatoes are thinner), remove the potatoes from the oven. Spread any remaining sauce on top of them, and enjoy!