Fast meal · Side dish

The Fastest Way to Make Oven-Roasted Potatoes

See those crispy brown potatoes at the top of the picture? Read on!

I love discovering helpful tricks in the kitchen. I don’t mean like putting a rubber band around the spray nozzle and soaking the next user, I mean tricks that help me get a delicious homemade meal on the table in record time! When potatoes are on the supper menu, it can be tricky to get them cooked if you are pressed for time.

My husband and I love oven-roasted potatoes, but they can take 25-30 minutes to get done. I recently discovered a super-fast way to make them. We all know the microwave cooks things faster, but I don’t always love the texture of foods cooked that way. The technique I’m going to share starts off with the microwave, but ends in the oven.

Here’s how to make these crispy, golden potatoes in record time ~

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Cut your potatoes to whatever shape you’re wanting – diced, wedges or into fries.
  3. Place the potatoes into a dish that allows you to steam. I have a pot from Pampered Chef that works perfectly. Don’t over-crowd the potatoes. Using a dish big enough to let them cook. The more potatoes, obviously the longer they’ll take to cook.
  4. I don’t add any liquid at all!
  5. I place my 1 quart size container in the microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes. Potatoes should be soft, but not mushy.
  6. Put potatoes on the baking sheet, Season potatoes as desired. Place in oven and roast for about 10 minutes, or until golden and tender. Or you can cook them on the stovetop in a skillet coated with cooking spray and/or a little olive oil.
This is the updated version of the pot I have and love.

Crispy, delicious potatoes can be on the table much faster with this 2-step method of microwaving and browning. I hope this trick is as helpful to you as it has been for me!

If you need mashed potatoes done easily here’s my best tip for those!

Cleaning · spring cleaning

Cleaning Upholstered Furniture

Spring cleaning is so rewarding! However, if you want to ruin the look of that freshly cleaned room, just neglect a dirty piece of furniture! A stain that’s obvious, a grimy arm on a chair or an ottoman can make us cringe. How do I know? I have an off-white ottoman in my bathroom that got a water spot on it. In an attempt to fix it, I did a little dabbing at it, which only increased the size of the already noticeable stain!

See the dark spot on the left? Yeah, me, too!

HELP!

I went searching for a way to clean it and I found a method that promised me a clean surface if I followed this process, step-by-step. Guess what? It worked!

Tide Simply Oxi, Sparkling water, and vinegar and warm water were my products.
  1. Using a spray bottle, I sprayed the entire surface with warm tap water.
  2. I put 4 parts water to one part stain remover into a spray bottle and sprayed a small surface at a time, rubbing in a gentle circular motion with a white cotton cloth. (If you’re cleaning a colored fabric, I would test a hidden area before cleaning)
  3. Into a spray bottle, I added 1 cup sparkling water and 1/2 cup white vinegar and sprayed the surface of the fabric. The vinegar breaks down the soapy particles and the carbonation in the sparkling water will bring it to the surface, as well as any deeper dirt. I Gently scrubbed the fabric again until the rags stopped pulling dirt from the surface. The sparkling water works wonders!
The finished ottoman, still wet from cleaning.
So clean!

I’m so glad I took the time to address the stain! I had been hiding it under a throw, but now, I can keep it cleared off and show off it’s beauty!

What piece of furniture comes to your mind as you read this post? I hope you’ll try this method!

Refresh your soiled upholstery with a good spring cleaning!

Encouragement · Hope

One Word Can Change Everything

Benign.

Innocent.

Passed.

Completed.

Free!

Think of the scenarios in which those words would make all the difference in a person’s day! They would mean…
No Cancer!
You were found not guilty!
You can graduate!
The last of the hard project is over!
The prisoner is no longer captive!

One word can, indeed make all the difference in a day.

As I recently read through the Book of John, I was struck by this thought as I heard Jesus say one word that would change everything for Mary. Remember that she is the first one to the tomb after Jesus’ death. She found the stone rolled away and then seeing a man, she assumed he was the gardener. Then He called her name,

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Mary went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had spoken to her. In my mind’s eye, I see her joy, I hear her amazement and relief! She was no longer weeping! Hearing Him say her name had changed everything for her with just a single word.

Is your heart heavy today? There is so much going on around us to cause grief in our heart, but we can have the same experience that Mary had; we can get alone with the Lord, open His Word and allow Him to speak a single word to us to give us joy and remove our tears.

Forgiven!

Hope!

Loved!

Rapture!

Heaven!

Mary was encouraged because she went looking for Jesus on that early Resurrection morning. We, too, must “go looking for Jesus” as we open the pages of His Word. Then we will find comfort and then everything will be changed when He gives us the Word that we need to hear.

What word has the Lord given you today that has filled your heart with hope again, even in the midst of heartache?

Refresh your heart with One Word from the Lord!

Dinner · Pork · Sunday Dinner

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

Hi friends! I’m back after a week of rest from blogging. Thanks for checking in today! Let’s start out by talking about Easter since I missed it last week!

Sometimes even good family traditions need to be tweaked. We typically always have either ham or turkey breast for Easter, but I felt the need to try something new (imagine that!). I looked through some cooking sites and found a delicious sounding recipe for Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin from Food and Wine site. While we’re not wine drinkers, they have some great recipes and this one did not disappoint!

The Pork Loin is marinated overnight, giving it flavor. Then in the morning it’s seared in a pan, giving it that nice crispy edge that any meat should have! It is then roasted in the oven for a relatively short amount of time. I did this all before heading to church. Then I sliced it and put it on the platter. All I had to do after church was warm it in the oven a bit. The pan juices made a really savory gravy to pour over top!

I love apples with pork, so I also made a side dish that would incorporate that flavor. I cooked apples with cinnamon and a little sugar until the apples were tender. Then I baked sweet potatoes and we topped the potatoes with a spoon of the apples. It was SO good!

Here’s the recipe for the pork loin. I hope you’ll make this in the near future! It’s a keeper!

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch of rosemary, leaves only, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds center-cut pork loin 
  • In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the pork. Transfer the pork and marinade to a large, resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Let the pork stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Brush off as much of the marinade as possible. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a work surface or carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing and serving.
A full plate, but an even happier heart! Our Savior lives!

Of course dinner was ended with a slice of my Coconut Cake with lemon filling!

How was your Easter and did you serve anything out of the ordinary?