Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Quarantine Cooking Week #6

Oven "Fries"

Way back when I started using this recipe, oven roasted vegetables were not the first vegetable cooking method that came to mind. Now, people roast everything. But this was a magic recipe 20+ years ago. A teaspoon of oil? Yep. That's really all it takes. I love this oven baking grid that I bought at Walmart for $5 about 20 years ago. The potatoes brown on the top and bottom—without turning them over half way through. I have no idea if anything like this still exists, but if you see one, grab it.

Pre-quarantine we would go out sometimes on Sunday nights to a local diner for hamburgers. And we rarely made burgers at home. But now we are at home on Sundays, just like we are every other night of the week. Since I've been doing my grocery shopping online I've been at the mercy of what was available. The first time or two, there was no ground beef to be had. So I ordered frozen hamburger patties. And what a surprise! These have been good. And easy since they go on the grill straight from the freezer. They are ready in about 10 minutes.

I typically keep a pretty well stocked freezer. Stocked with foods I have prepared. Soups and stews. Casseroles. Baked goods. Meats ready to thaw, warm and serve. Hot dog chili. Even cooked dried beans. I have done this for years. But in anticipation of a long stay-at-home, I bought a few convenience freezer foods. (But never did I think the stay-home would be this long, with no clear end in sight.) On the nights when I think I cannot look at my stove again, frozen chicken strips have been better than no supper, and I didn't have to cook. Frozen meatballs are still waiting a desperate night of their own. (And I just read that I am not alone. Evidently the sales of frozen pizza have gone way up.) 

Most prepared frozen foods are in the "just okay" category for us, but I'll be keeping these burger patties in the freezer from now on. FYI, I bought the 80/20 lean-fat version. That could be why we thought these were good. Usually I buy extra-lean ground beef and while that will continue to be my first choice for most things, hamburgers are better with a little more fat. The extra fat drips down in the grill, right? Sure thing.

So I'm wondering, have you had any quarantine food discoveries? Freezer finds. Recipes. Ingredients. Things you might not have tried otherwise. Things you'll keep in your pantry all the time going forward. I'd love to know. 

To make our at-home diner meal complete, I cut up these potatoes for the oven. It's almost as easy as frozen fries. Don't have potatoes? Go ahead and use frozen fries. Don't have a bag of fries in the freezer? Then let's hope you have the potatoes. Or sweet potatoes even. This day and time, it's nice to have a choice.

I cut these fries thinner than the "eight wedges" the directions call for. They cook quicker a good bit quicker. Just keep an eye on them and look for the browning. Friend Kathie told me that sometimes she adds a little garlic powder and chili powder to the oil. Next time....


4 baking potatoes
1 teaspoon cooking oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Spray baking sheet with PAM. Scrub potatoes, pat dry and slice each potato lengthwise into 8 wedges.
Put potatoes in mixing bowl and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of oil. Toss to coat.
Bake on sheet for 15 minutes. Turn and bake 15 minutes more, or until they begin to brown.


  1. Those look delicious. Potatoes are one of my favorite foods and I miss having any type of fries. Haven't hed them in months. Don't want to venture out during quarantine.

  2. Don't have much to share I'n afraid, but did find a three-ingredient cookie recipe that might do in a pinch. Bananas. Oatmeal and Chocolate chips. My husband liked it. Can't remember the website but if you google those 3 ingredients it should come up. I thought next time I might add some honey or maple syrup or something since they are a bit dry. And I got tired of mashing bananas with a fork (a lot of banana-mashing going on around here) so I use my Clean fingers and feel like I'm in kindergarten. Goes faster. Chloe

  3. Good tip on the potatoes. Yes, we've stocked up on Whole Foods pizzas which are just right for dinner for 2 (4 smallish slices). I doctor them up with whatever I have on hand, including veggies. We have a salad with the pizza. Bob is always happy when they're in the rotation (tonight!). I also bought him some small Belgium waffles that were packed 2 together. Easy to store in the freezer, and he can pull them out for a breakfast of toasted waffles and fruit. I bought some frozen organic fruit, too. We usually like fresh, but we're waiting 3 weeks now to restock, and we run out of fresh fruit. I defrost some fruit (usually peaches, cherries, and berries), and we share a muffin and fruit for dessert. Stay well. I hope your family is fine, too.


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