Coconut Oil Potatoes

Crunchy on the bottom, tender in the middle, crinkly skin on top. These potatoes resemble homemade potato chips in taste, but are so much easier to make and require much less oil. Serve with sour cream, butter, salt and pepper, or whatever you wish.


Crunchy Coconut Oil Potatoes


  • Approximately 7 medium russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
  • Kosher or Sea salt
  • Sour cream, butter, and extra salt and pepper, for serving


1) Preheat the oven to 425° F. Wash and scrub potatoes to remove dirt. Remove any undesirably spots with a knife. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.

2) Pour the coconut oil into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch pan. Sprinkle with Kosher or Sea salt. Place the potatoes, cut side down, in the bottom of the pan.

3) Bake in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour, or until the underside of the potatoes are browned and the flesh is soft.  To serve, cut the potato open through the skin and spread on a little butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and dab on a bit of sour cream.

Serves 6-8

So, how would you serve these potatoes?



Raspberry Crumb Bars

One evening, when I was in one my baking moods, I felt like making something special for breakfast. I saw these over at Smitten Kitchen and decided that they needed to be made. Of course I made my usual adjustments – whole wheat flour and a natural sweetener. I also left out the lemon zest (as we had none).

To be honest, I thought these bars were a little on the tart side. However, I was overall very pleased with them, and will most likely try them again.

We served them with both liquid and whipped cream. Delicious.


Raspberry Crumb Breakfast Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 cup Demerara sugar or Sucanat or rapadura
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup Demerara sugar or Sucanat or rapadura
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Make the crust and crumb:

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.

2) Put the flour, sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

3) Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Make the raspberry filling:

4) In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

Assemble and bake the bars:

5) Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.

6) Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares. Serve plane or with liquid or whipped cream. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.


Mango & Coconut Chicken

……As I glanced through Simply Summer by Angela Tunner, this recipe caught my eye. You see, I’m a sucker for anything involving coconut. Not only does it taste so wonderfully exotic, it is also very healthy. Granted, the sweetened shredded coconut used in this recipe is not the most healthy variety of coconut products, but it still tastes delicious.

……This recipe is perfect for that scorching summer day when you don’t feel like adding any extra heat to the house. You could cook the chicken the night before, or on some day that’s pleasantly cool. It is very filling, so you can serve it as your main dish. Or spread it on a piece of you favorite bread to create a very different chicken salad sandwich.


Mango & Coconut Chicken

From Simply Summer


  • 4 cups torn or shredded cooked chicken (about 3 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Major Grey mango chutney*
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pepper, black, to taste


1) Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl. Add the shredded coconut, lemon juice, mustard, chutney, and yogurt and toss until well combined. Add the parsley and toss to combine.

2) Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Serves 4

*Angela’s Tip: Major Grey is no a brand of chutney, it is a style of chutney. Look for it under various brand names in your supermarket in the condiments or ethnic section

Perfectly Simple Guacamole

It is Dad’s philosophy that when you find the perfect recipe for a particular dish you should stick with it. We believe we have found the perfect guacamole recipe. I can’t remember the last time we used a different recipe. It was in the far past.

This recipe has a wonderful blend of flavors – creamy avocados, spicy jalapeno pepper, tasty cumin, tangy lime…

One recipe isn’t nearly enough for us. We usually double it.




  • 3 medium, ripe avocados, preferably Haas
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste


1) Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and score with a knife in several places both lengthwise and crosswise. Use a spoon to remove the flesh into a medium-sized bowl.

2) Add the remaining ingredients to the avocados. Mash lightly with a potato masher or fork and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. For best flavor, allow the ingredients to meld: press a piece of plastic wrap onto the guacamole and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Book Review: Simply Summer

I was asked to review this cookbook, Simply Summer: Gourmet Meals Made Deliciously Easy with Tips for Elegant Living by Angela Tunner, the Renaissance Gourmet. I readily agreed, and eagerly looked through the recipes, trying to decide on which to make.

All of the recipes I tried were delicious. They had excellent flavor, yet they were so easy to prepare. And there was no need to turn on the oven. Perfect for those steamy summer days.

The layout of the book was simple and logical. The recipes have useful notes, explaining any unfamiliar ingredients. I thoroughly enjoyed this cookbook and look forward to trying more of the recipes..


I was graciously allowed to feature one of the recipes from Simply Summer on Cooking for Seven. The trouble is, I can’t decide which one to share with you!

So I’ll let you decide. Please leave a comment telling me which of the following recipes you’d like to see. I’ll tally up the votes, and post the winning recipe sometime next week. No comments will be accepted for consideration after Wednesday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m. central time.

Mango & Coconut Chicken

Strawberries & Cream Soup

Bean Salad


Have fun!

To learn more and purchase Simply Summer, click here.

Rijsttafel – Rice Table

It has been over a week since my last post. There has been a lot on my plate lately, and I have had so little time for blogging.

But I have something delicious cooking.

Until next time, I leave you with this set of photos. I’ve been meaning to share it with you for quite some time, but never got around to it.

To read more about the traditional Indonesian feast (Rijsttafel) click here.

To enter the gallery, click here or on the photo below.