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Potatoes – A Powerhouse of Nutrition

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 15:12

It’s no secret that adding more fresh produce to your diet will improve your overall health, from reducing the risk of cancer and many other chronic health conditions to managing your weight, fruits and vegetables are your answer.  The media and internet are constantly abuzz with stories about the newest emerging “Superfood” and the benefits offered. With those stories, we also hear wonderful facts and figures about the nutritional qualities of broccoli, spinach, blueberries, tomatoes, and beans.  But what we rarely hear are any positive stories about the potato and the nutritional powerhouse that it brings to the table.

Potatoes are one of the most nutrient rich vegetables that you can eat and are seriously satisfying as part of a meal.  Available all year around and in so many varieties, the preparation possibilities are endless, and are always a value at the register.  Potatoes are gluten free, fat free, cholesterol free, and sodium free and that’s just the tip of the benefit iceberg.  At only 110 calories, one medium potato provides 18% of the USRDA of Potassium, an often overlooked, but extremely important mineral and electrolyte. Diets high in Potassium are associated with maintaining healthy blood pressure levels which is important in maintaining Kidney health.

Potatoes have naturally high levels of Vitamin C, providing 45% of daily needs, along with many other antioxidant compounds like phenols, carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthocyanin compounds. The potato also earns high marks for providing 25% of the RDA of Vitamin B-6, which is essential for immune system functionality and the production of red blood cells.  Other vitamins found in potatoes are Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Pantothenic acid, and Thiamin.  With all these benefits, you would think that potatoes would get a little more respect.  They also provide zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and iron in measurable amounts and just for good measure the potato provides 3 grams of protein.

Aside from all the nutritional benefits, the potato also provides 8% of the daily needs of dietary fiber. Because potatoes contain both simple and complex carbohydrates, they provide the body with energy.  Complex carbohydrates are also referred to as dietary starch, are very satisfying and help to reduce constipation.  A medium sized potato contains 26 grams of total carbohydrates, only 9% of the USRDA.

In order to reap the maximum benefits from potatoes, keep their skins on and avoid cooking techniques which add calories and fat.  Keeping a close watch on the toppings to limit extra calories – try some outside of the box thinking like chopped cilantro, diced broccoli, onions, or other fresh herbs to add flavor to any potato dish.

Encourage everyone you know to increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and next time the term “Superfood” comes up, mention potatoes and see just how many heads you turn.

Sorting out Russets

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 09:32

Russet potatoes are the grand-daddy of potatoes here in the United States, but there’s more to these potatoes than meets the eyes. As varietal potatoes like Klondike Rose and Klondike Goldust have become more popular and easier to find in stores, the Russet has taken a back seat to these new potato types. But the stable Russet is the cornerstone of the potato world, so let’s learn a little more about the Russet and its uses.

Baked Potato

Russets come in several varieties, the two most common are the Norkotah and the Burbank. To the naked eye, most of us would have a hard time deciphering which is which, but to the trained observer there are little tell-tells that give the potatoes away. I guess it’s true what they say, “The eyes are the window to the soul…” one of those clues is the deeper set eyes of the Russet Burbank.

Russet Burbanks have a higher specific gravity, meaning they have more solid (or flesh) and less water. Because there is more flesh to these potatoes, they have a longer growing season, harvesting a month after the Russet Norkotah. Because of their specific makeup, however, Burbanks are your standard French Fry potato and are used by national chains such as Five Guys to make a golden fry. A potato with less water will fry more evenly.

Russet Norkotahs have the same flavor profile as the Russet Burbank, but they have a lower specific gravity which makes them better for baking, mashing and roasting. Having a little more water base makes them a fluffier baked potato.

Now the big question, as a shopper, how do you know which Russet variety you are getting? Most of your bags of potatoes will have it named right on the bag enclosure. You can see below that I have taken a picture of two bag closures that I got from the local grocery. These tags will call out whatever variety of potatoes is in the bag, in this case it is Russet Burbanks, but it could be Rosara (Klondike Rose) or Chieftan (red). In Idaho, every bag of potatoes must call out its variety on the packaging. So when you are looking for Russets for a specific use, keep these tips in mind when shopping!

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Written by Barbara Keckler, Marketing Manager at Potandon Produce L.L.C.

Potato Planting Season is Here!

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:29

It’s planting season here in Idaho. Every day it’s not raining, you see farmers out in the fields planting wheat, grain and of course, potatoes. I thought I would tell you a little about how potatoes are planted and how they are grown because before I began working in the potato business, I certainly didn’t think there was much too planting and growing potatoes, but I was wrong.

Planting starts with seed potatoes, these are potatoes that are specifically bred in areas that have little pollution.


Many seed potatoes are grown at the base of the Teton Mountains, an area that has strict restrictions regarding emissions from vehicles and spraying. The reason for this adherence to a clean environment is to produce high quality, disease-free seeds. Before planting, the seeds are tested to ensure they are clean. Having these clean seeds is imperative to producing potato plants with these important attributes; high yield per plant, potatoes with well-developed skins, high quality potatoes that taste great, are resistant to bruising and that will store well.


Another extremely important part of the planting process is the machinery used. The cutters and planters must be clean and disinfected before each use. After the potato seeds are  are cut into chunks they are planted 12 inches apart anywhere between 4 to 8 inches deep. Within a month, the potato tubers will begin to take shape.

Growing Potatoes

For potatoes to thrive, its best that the growing area is prone to hot days and cool nights. If too many of your days are hot without cooling off at night, the yield will be diminished.

Once the potatoes are planted, agronomists begin visiting the crops weekly. These visits are called scouting and the agronomists use it to check on how the potatoes are growing. Each field has protocols based on the soil content, the water needed, and type of weather being experienced. The plants grow and flower, the color of the flower correlates to the type of potato that it is producing. The flowers can be white to various hues of pink or purple.

Potatoes in the Field

Once the potatoes begin to flower, the agronomists will dig plants out of the field to look at the way the skins are setting and check the plant yield. The agronomists are looking for any signs of problems with the potatoes as they grow.  Problems can indicate that the potatoes aren’t getting enough water in their area of the field or they can indicate that the agronomists need to make adjustments to their growing protocols.  Then they will rebury the potatoes. These potatoes will continue to grow until the plants are harvested.

Stay tuned for more potato information!

Written by Barbara Keckler, Marketing Manager at Potandon Produce L.L.C.


Watch for the Johnny’s Be Good/Klondike Brands Sampling Tour at Your Favorite Grocery Store!

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 08:00

Have you seen the Johnny’s Be Good Sampling Trailer at your favorite grocery store yet this year? Watch for us! We started a little early this year with an initial schedule that started in Louisiana and ran through the Southeast part of the country. Our next area will be a revisiting of the Midwest including Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa after which we go to the Northwest.

The Johnny’s Be Good Sampling Tour, the co-sponsored food trailer sampling our delicious Klondike Brands™ potatoes and Johnny’s Fine Foods seasonings, is touring the country sampling at your grocery stores all year. Our fun staff, Aimee and Heather, cook up some delectable potato samples and fill you in on all kinds of information about potatoes and seasonings. Watch for them in your stores or watch them online here!

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Wanna know where we will be next? Here are our upcoming dates!

April 11 – Ingles Markets – Asheville, NC (780 Hendersonville Road)

April 12 – Ingles Markets – Asheville, NC (1865 Hendersonville Road)

April 13 – Ingles Markets – Arden, NC

April 15 – Ingles Markets – Black Mountain, NC

April 16 – Ingles Markets – Mills River, NC

April 17 – Ingles Markets – Brevard, NC

April 18 – Leaving the Southeast heading for the Midwest!

April 26 – HyVee – Lawrence, KS (6th Street)

April 27 – HyVee – Lawrence, KS (Clinton Parkway)

April 28 – HyVee – Olathe, KS

April 30 – HyVee – Overland Park, KS


Would you love to see the tour in your town? Comment here and we will scout new areas for you to see the trailer in action!

Written by Barbara Keckler, Marketing Manager at Potandon Produce L.L.C.

The Science Behind the French Fry

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:07

Ah, French Fries. So delicious, they are the poster child for taking something wholesome and nutritious and making it fattening and artery clogging and they are one of the reasons potatoes get such a bad name. But let’s face it, most of us like a good fry once in a while. I have worked for a potato company for over 15 years and I have seen potatoes fried in a myriad of ways, but did you know there is a wrong and a right way? And that there is a science behind which potatoes are the best for frying?


The key to great fries is in the solids and sugars of the potato. When companies like mine test their potatoes for frying, one of the first things that they look at is the Specific Gravity. This measures the potato for solids. That may sound weird, but potatoes are made up mostly of water. Water and oil don’t mix that well, so the higher the solid or Specific Gravity of a potato, the better chance those French Fries will be golden and delicious. Burbank Russet potatoes have long been hailed as the best frying potatoes and they are still top of the list because their solids are higher than many other potatoes. But a potato that many food service and restaurants are using (which is not available to the general public) is the Pure Gold potato. Unfortunately this potato is ugly with netting all over it and an uneven skin so it is not viable in the consumer market. This potato is a yellow skinned, yellow fleshed potato that yields the best French Fry that I have ever eaten. The fry is always the perfect golden and the taste is unbeatable.

When we fry potatoes we also test for glucose content in the potatoes. It is another important aspect in getting the perfect fry. You don’t want the potato to have too many sugars as it will change the way the potato fries. Remember if you store your potatoes in a refrigerator, the sugar content in that potato goes up and yields fries that aren’t as golden as those stored in a cabinet or pantry.

No matter what type of potato you decide to use for your French Fries, we have a fantastic “how-to” fry video online featuring our Chef Bryan showing how he gets the perfect French Fries. His technique works and produces a golden, delicious French Fry every time. But that isn’t the only way you can fry. Here in our offices we do a fair amount of fry tests so that we can weekly keep our food service customers informed that the potatoes we are shipping that week are frying consistently.


We have a standard way that all of our fry tests are done, that I will share with you here. The first thing we do is we cut the potato into strips. We have a commercial cutter here in our test kitchen that is worth its weight in gold when it comes to cutting fries. It keeps all our fries consistent in size. We then rinse those and spin them in a salad spinner. We spin them to take off the excess water. Once we have the water spun off the fries, we put them into a 300˚ F fryer for 3 ½ minutes. Then we raise them out of the oil and let them sit and “rest” for a couple minutes before returning them to a 350˚F fryer for an additional two minutes. Voila, delicious potatoes.

Written by Barbara Keckler, Marketing Manager at Potandon Produce L.L.C.

Irish Potato Bread

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:15


This year on March 17th all around the world people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day, like most holidays began as a religious celebration. But today, you are most likely going to hear “Kiss me, I’m Irish” and see everyone incorporating green into their attire (so they don’t get pinched). If you have kids a fun activity that is to allow leprechauns come the night before leaving behind treats and little green footprints. If nothing else a big part of this day is enjoying Irish traditions like checking out the pub or enjoying some Irish food. We found a fun Irish Potato Bread to share with you!

Potato Bread Recipe:


1 Klondike Rose potato, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups water

2 packages active dry yeast

6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbs. sugar

2 Tbs. shortening

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. all-purpose flour


In a medium saucepan cook potato cubes in water for about 12 minutes, or until tender. Do not drain. Cool mixture to 110 degrees F. Set aside 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Mash potato and remaining liquid; if necessary add warm water to make 2 cups potato mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on reserved 1/2 cup potato water. Add mashed potato mixture, 2 cups of the flour, sugar, shortening, and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mixing by hand.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape each half into a loaf. Place in greased 8 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pans. Cover. Let rise until nearly double, about 35 minutes. Before baking, brush tops with a little water and dust with additional flour.

Bake at 375 degree F (190 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes. Cover with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

The Good News About Crock-Pots!

Fri, 02/28/2014 - 10:53


For the last few months my eating habits have taken a turn for the worse as the business of life has somehow became even more demanding on my time. Breakfast is hardly ever eaten and my lunch and dinner meals usually consist of fast or frozen food, or easy box meals. Usually the only veggies my body intakes are the lettuce and onions on a fast food hamburger. Don’t get me wrong, I try to improve my diet; I go out of my way in the grocery store to find healthy and fresh items to eat. However, usually that food just sits in my fridge and goes bad. I was about to lose all hope in my desire to live a healthier lifestyle when I stumbled onto an online article about meals prepared in crock pots. I was surprised by the things that I learned. Usually all recipes that require a crock pot are a one pot meal. Do you know what that means? I don’t have to come home from work, make a meal using multiple pans, and then have a mountain of dishes in the sink! It even gets better than that! Crock pots are designed to cook food at a slower rate, which makes it perfect for a busy schedule like mine. I can prepare everything ahead of time, even the night before, and then before I head out all I have to do is put it in the crock pot and let it cook all day. When I walk in the door dinner is ready! Can you image having dinner ready everyday as soon as you walk in the door! That alone makes me feel like I just won the lottery. If this hasn’t gotten you excited about crock pot meals I’m not finished yet. There are portable crock pots that are designed for you to pack lunch in. This means I can have a delicious, hot, homemade meal for lunch! For me I can take it to work, turn it on in the morning, and by the time lunch comes around its ready. The only real problem I see with this is the herd of coworkers that will be surrounding my crock pot. I know the smell of delicious food cooking will surly bring in a crowd. Now that you’re hooked on the idea of using a crock pot, like I am, let me share with you some exciting news! Klondike Brands has committed to sharing tips and tricks in crock pot cooking and has created some delicious recipes just for you! Let’s start now in having a healthier lifestyle and feeling good about what we eat. For more information about crock pot recipes, tips, and tricks go to

Klondike Brands teams up on new Crock-Pot recipe videos with Jenn Bare from

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 07:31

The time has come!  I am excited to finally announce that Monday will be releasing their first recipe video for a delicious new recipe, Breakfast Casserole.  Jenn Bare, the woman behind teamed up with Klondike Brands™ and Johnny’s Seasonings to put together a series of recipe videos along with video tips and tricks that will be shown throughout the year.

Beginning on February 24, the video will be available on the website while Klondike Brands will feature an online Buy One – Get One printable coupon on their website, and Johnny’s Fine Foods will offer free shipping on their site. Both sites will also feature Crock-Pot giveaways throughout the month of March.

I hope you will be watching!

Crock Pot Girl

Get ready to talk to Jenn Bare, author of Get Crocked: The Definitive Guide to Slow Cooking.

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 07:03


I’m a busy Mom.  I work full-time, then after work, I take my daughter to an hour and ½ of rodeo practice, help her with 2+ hours of homework almost every night, clean up the house, oh, and somewhere during that time I have to make dinner. Now, I love making my family a beautiful, nutritious dinner, but let’s face it, I’m a bit tired from my schedule and I am tempted by those “box” meals that only take 30 minutes from open to serve. So I have become more and more intrigued with crock pots. Over the last couple years, there have been so many of these marvels introduced, big ones, small ones, digital ones and connectible ones, you name it and you can probably find it.  I decided to spend some time with Crock Pot expert, Jenn Bare who is the author of “Get Crocked: The Definitive Guide to Slow Cooking” and founder of I specifically wanted to find some recipes that my family would love and that I would feel good serving.  I also wanted to get some tips and tricks to make my crock pot creations come out like hers.  For instance, how do I keep the edges from burning (a frequent issue when I use the crockpot).  Starting February 24,  I will be sharing the advice she gave me over the next couple months along with some delicious recipes she made for me while I was visiting with her.  I hope you love these recipes and can use the tips she gave me.  And I think that this Busy Mom is going to find some respite from my schedule with these fantastic recipes (and my family will reap the benefits).  Stay tuned!

A Klondike Rose Potato this Valentine’s Day

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 06:37

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and most of us guys are stuck in the “decision mode.”  Do we shower her with fancy gifts, maybe clothes or fine jewelry, or perhaps we take the safe route and go with a huge bouquet of extremely expensive roses, which will say I Love You for about 2 or 3 days until they turn into a dried out mess.  What to do, what to do? My advice: this year give Klondike Rose potatoes, and hold your laughter for a few minutes while I tell you why.

Flowers say what exactly – I am stuck in tradition and don’t want to think outside of the box.  Jewelry, which is somewhat of a great gift says more about the giver than the receiver – come on ladies, admit it, how many times have you gotten a piece of jewelry that brightens your day about as much as a penlight?  Clothes, my guess would be something in red or pink, and just might be something in the risqué category, are always top purchases, but they say exactly what men? “I want to see you in this my dear for my enjoyment, and in some cases only for a very short time.”  Trust me when I tell you, no matter what you decide on, they all look the same when they are in a balled up mess on the floor.

Now I can tell you that the humble potato can score so many points in so many areas with your beloved once you fill her in on the many uses potatoes have other than a delicious and nutritious food source.  Start by sharing how in the kitchen, she can clean your silverware in the leftover potato water and can remove rust stains with a fresh potato in a safe and non-toxic way (great high-five moment if she is environmentally conscious.) Let her know if her soup gets too salty, just add a few large pieces of fresh potato for about ten minutes to absorb the excess sodium.  Around the house benefits are that you can shine your shoes and keep your skiing goggles from fogging up using a fresh potato.  Of course we can’t forget using fresh potatoes to remove juice stains on hands and surfaces, removing glue from your hands, and believe it or not you can even grate fresh potatoes to use as a carpet cleaner.  Long ago, women recommended washing your face in potato juice for anti-aging effects, and fresh potato slices placed on the eyes helps to relieve puffiness.  Keeping fresh potatoes as part of your home first aid kit can give you a low-cost treatment for wart removal, burn treatment, and even a headache cure.  Other uses have been for making stamps in crafting, removing a broken light-bulb, and making batteries of all things.   Now I’m just scratching the surface of the many uses of fresh potatoes and I encourage you to seek out additional benefits so you can prove just how valuable giving Klondike Rose potatoes as a gift on this special day can be.

In the old days, herbalists lovingly referred to potatoes as “the apples of love.” Now with an endorsement like that, she’ll never even think about how good a box of chocolates could have been. How can you go wrong with Klondike Rose potatoes?

So as you sit and ponder over this revelation, and hopefully you have stopped laughing long enough to be in total amazement at the versatility of this wonderful vegetable, you’ll start seeing the potential for new gift ideas for your special lady.  Just remember, that the key is in the presentation (I would suggest you cook her a really great meal to accompany your gift of Klondike Rose potatoes, as food has been known to relax people – that way you’ll have an extra second or two to avoid the flying tuber headed your way.)

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day

P.S. – I’m going with flowers AND one of these great potato recipes to avoid the flying potato syndrome

Pancakes & Heart Shaped Roasted Potatoes

(Make your favorite pancakes from the mix of your choice and serve with berry syrup for that Valentine’s Day splash of red!)

Heart Shaped Potato

Roasted Potatoes

6 large Klondike Rose® potatoes (about 2 pounds for 4 servings)

¼ cup olive oil

1 – 2 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tsp Caraway seeds

½ tsp paprika (optional)

Make Heart Cutouts

• Preheat oven to 400˚ F.

• Line baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with non-stick spray or brush with oil.

• Fill a pot with about 1quart -2quarts of water, add 1tbl salt, bring to boil, and then reduce heat to gentle simmer.

• In the meantime peel potatoes, slice them, using a small metal cookie cutter cut out as many hearts as you can. Reserve scraps in water, you can also par-cook scraps or make mashed potatoes

• Cook potatoes in simmering water for 3 minutes, drain potatoes and let cool slightly.

• Combine all the ingredients for the marinade: olive oil, salt, caraway seed, pepper, paprika.

• Pour marinade over potatoes, stir and let sit for 5 minutes.

• Spread marinade potatoes evenly onto the baking sheet.

• Roast them for 20-25 minutes, in halftime using off-set silicone spatulas carefully turn the potatoes (don’t forget to use oven mittens when handling hot baking sheet!).

• If your oven has a broiler, broil potatoes for additional 5 minutes or until they are golden on brown.

Story written by Ralph Schwartz

Potandon Produce and Sony Pictures Team Up to Offer Consumers Big Savings!

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 08:10


Potandon Produce L.L.C., the nation’s largest marketer of fresh potatoes, selling such well-known brands as Green Giant® Fresh, Klondike Brands® and Sunfresh® is teaming up with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on its upcoming release of their new animated comedy, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

On Tuesday, January 28, 2014, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 will be released on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD. Potandon Produce potato bags in 3 lb., 5 lb., 8 lb., and 10 lb. weights will carry a $5.00 off instantly redeemable coupon when both the DVD and the potatoes are purchased together. The specially marked packages will be distributed starting in late January with a coupon expiration date of March 31, 2014.

The hit movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 features inventor Flint Lockwood who thought he had saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention – a machine that turned water into food causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But Flint soon learns that his invention survived and is now combining food and animals to create “foodimals!” Flint and his friends embark on an adventurously mouth-watering mission to battle these foodimals, one of which is a Potatopotomus, to save the world – again!

Potandon Produce will also be offering chances to win the movie free on its social media outlets, and twitter @klondikepotato starting on the movie’s release date.

New Year’s Resolution: Eat More Potatoes

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 13:47

Healthy Picture

It’s that time again, the New Year is here! Now is the time to set goals and expectations we want to reach in 2014. For most people the number one goal is to lose weight. However, we know that losing weight isn’t as important as being healthy. So this year instead of focusing on the pounds, focus on being healthy. That could include; eating fewer sweets, working out a little longer or more frequently, eating less processed and more fresh foods, or maybe drinking more water than soda . The options are endless on what you can do to become a healthier you.

How to become a healthier you:

Start small. Don’t get consumed in thinking that you have to change this and that and that and this to become healthy. Take a moment and think about your daily routine and one area that could use improvement. If you go out to lunch most of the time, which means you are eating a lot more processed, high fat, sugar and salty foods, a good goal could be bringing your lunch to work 2 – 3 times per week for a month. This is a realistic goal that you could easily do that will make a big difference to your health. Once the month is over you can increase how often you bring your lunch or set another goal.

Don’t cut out foods that are known as being “bad”, because they could actually be good. On they shared great insight on this perception that “bad” is actually good. “Oftentimes, diet-obsessed people make the mistake of cutting out highly nutritious foods because they aren’t low-fat. But this isn’t necessarily the best strategy for overall health and weight loss. Not only do these higher-calorie foods have important nutritional benefits, but usually they’re more filling, leaving you satisfied for a longer period of time than lower-fat fare. From pork and red meat to pasta and cheese, find out which traditionally “unhealthy” foods will improve your health more than anything in a 100-calorie snack pack ever could.”  Eating healthy pasta, cheese, potatoes and meat will round out your diet and becomes more realistic.

Eat more potatoes. “Despite their bad reputation, potatoes are actually a health food.” According to American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Karen Ansel, RD, a 5-oz potato has more potassium than an average-size banana, and 20 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C. Plus, potatoes are loaded with complex carbohydrates and fiber, which help keep you full longer. “But this is all provided they’re not fried or slathered in butter and cheese,” she notes. Baked or boiled and mixed with lowfat toppings, potatoes are more than just suitable; they’re a smart diet choice.” ( As stated, potatoes have great sources of vitamins and will keep you fuller longer. Instead of eating a lot of small sugary snacks to get you through the day, try eating things such as potatoes that will keep you feeling fuller longer.

There are great sources that will give you delicious healthy recipes. Of course my favorite recipes will include potatoes! To find great healthy potato recipes go to also check out our January blog on healthy potato recipes.

Healthy Potato Recipes

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 13:33

Healthy Potato

Potatoes are the perfect comfort food but have the reputation of being “bad” for anyone trying to lose weight and become healthy. Potatoes are actually very healthy for you even when you’re keeping your eyes on your diet. Potatoes are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C, especially if you eat the skin.

To start the New Year out right, check out some of these healthy potato recipes to include in your meals this year. Start today to become a healthier you! For more healthy tips follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Leek and Potato Soup

Baked Potato with Chili

Chicken and Potato Salad

Oven “Fries”

Spicy Chipotle Roasted Potatoes

Layered Mashed Potato & Mushroom Casserole

Bacon Mashed Potatoes

Healthier Oven Roasted Potatoes

Lemon Herb Potatoes (Pairs great with Salmon)

 Quick & Healthy Twice Baked Potatoes

Baked Potato Nachos

 Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs Recipe

Fabulous Beef Stew

Roasted Spring Vegetables with Arugula Pesto

How To Successful Plan for Holiday Visitors and Parties

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 14:57


Without fail, every time I plan any type of party my main focus goes straight to impressing my guests. I want everything to be perfect, which is unrealistic. Things will not always go according to plan. There are many times that I don’t even enjoy the party because the expectations I created were not met. If you’re like me planning holiday parties can be stressful and costly. I mention costly because often times I buy additional (unnecessary) items just to seem more impressive.

As I have come to realize this habit of mine, and with the holidays approaching I wanted to find ways to make entertaining easier. That’s when I discovered I found an article on their page that talks about making entertaining easy and enjoyable. I pulled a few things to share with you that really struck me. If you would like to read the full article I would recommend it.

The article can be found at

“Too often, we have strict notions about what constitutes hospitality. We think “dinner party” and fret about whether the towels match the shower curtain-and we miss the whole point of the effort.” Are you guilty of this? Maybe not making sure everything in the house matches, but worrying about things that really don’t matter. The whole point is having an enjoyable time with those you care about.

“What does “entertaining” mean to you? Take a moment, and think of what springs to mind. Do you worry about your lack of fine china and polished silver? Do you fret about the furniture? Do you thumb frantically through cookbooks and food magazines, looking for just the right recipes? Do you vow to bar the door to guests until you’ve cleaned the house from attic to cellar? Time for an attitude adjustment! All these concerns are irrelevant to true hospitality.” Wow, talk about a slap in the face. I’m definitely the type of person that doesn’t want any guests over unless my house is spotless. I wonder if that comes from how you’re raised. I grew up in a home where the house had to be clean at all times. Any thoughts on what causes this mindset?

Step One: “put the focus where it belongs: on the guests. It’s helpful to redefine your terms. Do you “entertain” or do you offer hospitality?

Those who entertain take aim on material things: house, food, dishes, decorations. They view each dinner party as a production that must be scheduled, coordinated and directed to perfection. The event takes place in a stage set of polished furniture, cleaned carpet and precisely-set tables. Too often, the “entertainer” is so stressed and exhausted by all the preparation that she doesn’t enjoy her own party! With this mindset, entertaining is a chore, to be done as infrequently as possible.

One who offers hospitality has a different focus: her guests. To her, hospitality is about sharing. Her home welcomes visitors and draws them into the warm family circle as treasured guests. Her values put people before floral centerpieces and ironed napkins. She may engage in as much preparation as the “entertainer,” but she knows that when a guest feels truly welcome, the state of the floors is unimportant.

Start by changing your mind. Will you offer hospitality this holiday season? Or will you stage entertainment? Resolve to put first things–your guests–first on your list. Armed with this mindset, you’ll avoid the perfectionist traps that stand ready to snare the entertainer.”

Step Two: “Do-ahead preparations will take the stress out of drop-in visitors, and free you to enjoy visits from unexpected guests. Purchase or prepare hospitality supplies: crackers, some good cheese (the smellier the better to deter grazing children) frozen cookies or slices of cake. Child-proof the latter by wrapping aluminum foil and labeling as “liver and onions” before you freeze!

Keep a stock of good tea bags and coffee on hand, and assemble a teapot, sugar bowl and creamer, and several good teacups in one spot. Invite your guests to join you in the kitchen as you swish about efficiently, assembling a welcoming snack! ”

Step Three: If you’re going to throw a holiday party, begin early. The busy holiday season is the very last time you want to experience pre-party chaos.

Try this 10-point holiday party game plan:

1-Set the date

2-Make a guest list

3-Get the word out early

4-Plan food & drink

5-Rehearse your recipes

6-Map your house (Decide what layout you will have for your party)

7-Make your house party friendly

8-Figure out how/when you’re going to get everything done. Shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.

9-Enjoy your party!

10-Handle mishaps with grace

Remember to have a Happy Holiday Season!

25 Days of Christmas Appetizers

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 14:34

pengine appetizer

Food, food, and more food! It’s normal during the holidays to feel a little overwhelmed by all the endless amounts of food. New Year’s is a few short weeks away and a perfect time to start a healthier eating resolution. If you’re on a diet or trying to watch your weight during the holidays don’t feel trapped and miserable. Instead eat what you want, but in small portions.

Along with endless amounts of food, the holidays also bring endless parties and visitors. If you’re hosting a Christmas party this year stock up on some of these tasty appetizer recipes to serve your guests. If you’re pressed for time a lot of these recipes are easy to make or you can even find some in the stores that are premade. Here is a list of 25 different holiday appetizers that are not only visually appealing, but delicious. Every day we will be posting each recipe on our Facebook page at so take a look and see the images you can also follow the link to each recipe on this page.


Cheese Platter JPG


Crab Rangoon

Strawberry Santa’s

Cheese Ball

Marinated Mushrooms

Penguin Appetizer

Vegetable Christmas Tree

 White Chocolate Dipped Cherries

 Cream Puffs!+Mail

 Shrimp Cocktail

 Stuffed Peppers


 Bacon & Potato Bites



 Roasted Mini Potatoes

 Spinach Artichoke Dip

 Onion Dip

 Smoked Salmon

Mozzarella Sticks

Queso Dip

 Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

 Fruit Kabobs jpg




DIY Christmas Tree Decorations

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 14:21

Each year during the Christmas holiday it seems as if prices increase and it becomes more difficult to buy some of the things I want. Decorating for the holidays is something I look forward to each year, but with a tight budget it makes it difficult. This year to satisfy my desire to decorate I found 10 do-it-yourself Christmas ornaments that will be fun to make with friends and family. Also, these new ornaments will give my old Christmas tree a new feel and look without breaking the bank!

*If you like the ornaments follow the link below the image to find out what you need and how to make it. Ornaments were chosen based on appearance, minimal supplies, and easy to create.

Cupcake Ornaments


Ombre Glass Ornament


Christmas Berry Ornament


 Button Wreath Ornament


String Ornament


Monogram Ornament


Tree Ornament


Reindeer Ornament


CD Ornament


Pom-pom Garland


Memories of Santa

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 13:47

I remember standing in line on the day after Thanksgiving to see Santa arrive at the local mall on a fire truck and then patiently (I’m sure) waiting to sit on his lap to tell him what my heart desired for Christmas that year. Every family has a different tradition when it comes to Santa Claus. Things that we did as children to get ready for Santa or things our children did that are indelibly etched in our minds. For instance, when I was a child, we would make Sugar Cookies for Santa and set them out with milk for the tubby guy. Now, I have it on very good authority that Santa’s favorite cookies are Oatmeal Chocolate Chip from a specific local bakery, and that is what my children leave out for Santa. But I remember one snowy Christmas Eve when I overlooked my Mom duties by forgetting to purchase Santa’s treats which instigated a riot and a late night drive to the only open store to procure Santa’s cookies. Each Christmas holiday we store away these Santa memories and the ones we love the most, we try to pass along to the generations after us.

Possibly my most impactful Santa memory was a gift that I received from my grandparents when I was 9. They gave me a book called A Child’s Christmas Cookbook, originally published in the Victorian Era, this book is full of the most beautiful pen and ink illustrations of Santa Claus. It epitomizes the true meaning of Christmas, not the materialistic side of the holiday that we see displayed in today’s society. It describes how to treat Grandpapa when he comes to visit for Christmas; because we all know he has a sweet tooth, by making him cinnamon and sugar toast for breakfast or how to be helpful to Mother, who must be tired after putting up all the decorations by making your own sandwich for lunch. I didn’t realize it when I was 9, but I now cherish the feeling that a book like this hearkens, true connection and care for your family and friends.

I thought I would include a few of the wonderful ideas from this book.

You’re nice to your pets all year round. So why not plan a picnic just for them? Just because it’s Christmas…Give your dog a dog biscuit. Cats like ice cream. Birds a small slice of apple…And turtles – now, how do you have a picnic with a turtle? Well, Alice did…
A gift is something that you make and when it’s half-past November, gifts should be finished and ready to wrap. Such as Pomander Balls
These spicy scented fancies were hung in linen closets, once-upon-a-time. Place unpeeled apple on a pie tin. Stick in whole cloves. Very gently. All over. The more, the better. Roll it in 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Bake in warm oven for about three hours. When it cools, wrap in a scrap of lace, net or nylon stocking. Tie with ribbon. Leave long ends for hanging. Does Mother have an old bonnet with flowers? Use those for decoration.

I’m always struck by how everything was used, and nothing went to waste. A trait that we don’t often use any more. I think if each of us, in our own way looks for ways to be closer to others in this festive time, we personify the Spirit of Santa throughout the entire season and keep these precious memories of Santa alive.

How do you remember Santa?

25 Days of Christmas Appetizers

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 12:57

pengine appetizer

Photo found at


Food, food, and more food! It’s normal during the holidays to feel a little overwhelmed by all the endless amounts of food. New Year’s is a few short weeks away and a perfect time to start a healthier eating resolution. If you’re on a diet or trying to watch your weight during the holidays don’t feel trapped and miserable. Instead eat what you want, but in small portions.

Along with endless amounts of food, the holidays also bring endless parties and visitors. If you’re hosting a Christmas party this year stock up on some of these tasty appetizer recipes to serve your guests. If you’re pressed for time a lot of these recipes are easy to make or you can even find some in the stores that are premade. Here is a list of 25 different holiday appetizers that are not only visually appealing, but delicious. Every day we will be posting each recipe on our Facebook page at so take a look and see the images you can also follow the link to each recipe on this page.

1.     Meatballs

2.     Cheese Platter

3.     Pinwheels

4.     Crab Rangoon

5.     Strawberry Santa’s

6.     Cheese Ball

7.     Marinated Mushrooms

8.     Penguin Appetizer

9.     Vegetable Christmas Tree

10.   White Chocolate Dipped Cherries

11.   Cream Puffs!+Mail

12.   Shrimp Cocktail

13.    Stuffed Peppers

14.     Bruschetta

15.     Bacon & Potato Bites

16.     Fudge

17.     Truffles

18.      Roasted Mini Potatoes

19.       Spinach Artichoke Dip

20.     Onion Dip

21.      Smoked Salmon

22.     Mozzarella Sticks

23.      Queso Dip

24.     Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

25.      Fruit Kabobs

25 Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 14:43


As I’m starting to plan for Thanksgiving I can’t help but make a list of what side dishes to prepare this year. Can there really be too many side dishes in one meal? Side dishes are a big reason why Thanksgiving excites me each year. Don’t get me wrong the turkey is great, but without all those amazing sides the meal would be a little dull. If I only had one side to choose it would definitely be mashed potatoes, but here are 25 amazing side dish recipes that will surely be a hit on your table and in your tummy.

1.      Sweet Potato Casserole

2.      Cranberry Sauce

3.      Stuffing

4.      Mashed Potatoes

5.      Oven-Roasted Asparagus

6.      Green Bean Casserole

7.      Dinner Rolls

8.      Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

9.      Creamed Corn

10.  Mac and Cheese

11.  Honey Glazed Carrots

12.  Potato Salad

13.  Corn Bread

14.  Glazed Pearl Onions

15.  Squash

16.  Macaroni Salad

17.  Broccoli Salad

18. Veggie Tray with Dill Dip

19.  Turkey Gravy

20.  Stuffed Mushrooms

21.  Fruit Salad

22.  Jello Salad

23.  Snicker Salad

24.  Green Salad with Croutons

25.  Deviled Eggs

Quick & Easy Ways to Decorate for the Holidays

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 14:37



What you need: Three class bottles, orange spray paint, white spray paint, and yellow spray paint (you could also use crafting paint).

Instructions: First spray the bottles with white paint. Let dry and then spray with white paint again if first coating wasn’t thick enough. Let dry and spray 2/3 of the bottle orange leaving the top white. Once paint has dried paint the bottom 1/3 portion yellow. Let dry. Now you have candy corn decorations.


What you need: Masking tape, two paper plates, and two sheets of black paper, your choice of streamer colors for the face and hair of your monster.

Instructions: Have fun and be creative!



What you need: Dried corn cornels, burlap string, fake leaves, three candles, and three candle holders of assorted sizes.

Instructions: Fill candle holder with corn cornels. Wrap the leaf with string around the candle then place in candle holder.


What you need: Picture frame, chalk, chalkboard paint (you can find this at Walmart).

Instructions: Depending on what frame you choose you can paint the cardboard, which is the back layer of the frame or you can paint the glass. Paint with at least two coats of chalkboard paint. Once dry you can draw a pumpkin or whatever you would like! The best part about this craft is you can use it all year long and just draw different pictures!



What you need: Christmas ordainments and ribbon.

Instructions: Cut ribbon in different sizes and tie on ordainments. Then attach on light fixture.


What you need: Different ribbon or fabric of your choice and a Styrofoam wreath (found in craft stores).

Instructions: Cute all ribbon/fabric the same size. The pieces should fit around the Styrofoam wreath with a few inches to spare to you can tie the ribbon together in a couple of knots. Tie ribbon closely around the wreath until it is completely covered.

Images were found at