Roasted Smashed Potatoes

by Amy on 13 October 2015

Roasted Smashed Potatoes | www.FearlessHomemaker.comYou’d be surprised by the number of recipes in frequent rotation at our household that aren’t actually on this blog at all. A lot of them are basic-yet-fantastic side dishes, like these roasted smashed potatoes, that I just never think to photograph and properly write-up. However, last time I made these (to accompany a scrumptious steak), I realized that they had a combination of deliciousness + simplicity that meant they really needed  to get on this blog ASAP. So, I grabbed my camera, snagged a few pictures, and I’m so thrilled that I can now share ’em with you.

These potatoes are truly heavenly. The potato skin gets wonderfully golden and crisp, while the inside is perfectly soft and creamy. It’s like a beautiful hybrid between roasted potatoes and mashed potatoes. With this recipe (and many of my recipes), I tend to have a “simpler is better” mindset, and for that reason, I serve these very simply, with olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you do want to dress them up more, you absolutely can — with sour cream and chives, or parmesan and garlic, or rosemary and thyme, for example. Actually, as I write this, some of those dressed-up versions sound amazing — I may actually have to try those myself next time I get a craving for smashed potatoes. =)

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Disney On Ice - Let's Celebrate! Nashville performance giveawayDisney on Ice Giveaway - Nashville October 1-4, 2015You may remember that, a few weeks ago, I hosted a giveaway for Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! in Nashville. We had the pleasure of attending a performance ourselves this weekend, and I wanted to share my experience. While I was excited to attend myself (because I grew up loving movies like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast), I was most excited about the idea of taking our 2-year-old daughter. She had never seen ice skaters before, nor had she been to a big performance like this before, so we were really eager to see her reaction.

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Slow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta

by Amy on 22 September 2015

Slow-Cooker Beef and Peppers with Polenta | www.FearlessHomemaker.comI go through phases of obsession with my crock-pot. I may not use it for a month or two, but then I remember how awesome it is, get into crazy crock-pot mode, and find myself using it three or more times a week. And these days, folks, I’m in crock-pot-lovin’ mode. Life is (wonderfully!) busy, between work and family and friends, and I adore the set-it-and-forget-it aspect of a slow-cooker dinner. Pop it all in in the morning, go about your usual day, and a whole lotta hours later you come home to an amazing smelling house, and a meal that’s ready to be devoured.

And this particular meal? We loved it. Fall-apart tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth beef, combined with flavorful peppers, onions, and garlic, all in a savory tomato-herb broth. While I’d normally serve this type of beef with mashed potatoes or pasta, the original recipe called for it to be served over polenta, so I decided to give that a try. And wow, I loved it! The creamy, buttery, mild polenta is a beautiful complement to the super savory beef + veggies, and a sprinkle of fresh basil + a grating of parmesan rounded the whole meal out perfectly. I did serve the leftovers with pasta, to see which version I liked better, and I’m split 50/50 — it was fantastic both with the polenta, and the pasta.

So, if you’re looking for some new slow-cooker meals to add to your lineup this fall/winter, add this one to your list — it is wonderful. And hop over to my Recipe Index for all my slow-cooker/crock-pot recipes. There are tons of fantastic ones to choose from!

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Middle Eastern Kofta Kebabs

by Amy on 15 September 2015

Kofta Kebabs (Middle Eastern-spiced lamb/beef meatball skewers) | www.FearlessHomemaker.comI love Middle Eastern food. The flavors of Lebanese, Turkish, and Persian cuisines in particular are some of my all-time favorites. One of my most-likely orders when I’m at a Middle Eastern restaurant are kofta kebabs. Kofta are essentially meatballs, and kofta kebabs are meatballs that are shaped around a kebab skewer. Kofta is a popular dish in many different countries, and there are endless variations, depending on the country, culture, and individual cook’s preferences. In this version, I used a blend of lamb and beef, seasoned with beautiful, warm spices — cinnamon, allspice, cumin, coriander, and ginger — plus onion and parsley. I shaped them around a skewer into long skinny meatballs, let them hang out in the fridge for a couple hours, then cooked ’em up.

And, heavens, they turned out AMAZING. This was a Sunday supper I made for my family a few weeks ago, and I declared (loudly and proudly) that it may have been the tastiest Sunday supper we’ve had … EVER. I served them as pictured, with rice, salad, homemade hummus, pitas, and tzatziki sauce, and it was a seriously perfect dinner. I was so confident that this dinner was going to rock that I doubled the recipe when making it, and froze half of the kofta kebabs (uncooked) for a future meal. I’m already eager to thaw those out soon, and replicate this fantastic dinner again! continue reading →

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Disney on Ice Giveaway - Nashville October 1-4, 2015Disney On Ice - Let's Celebrate! Nashville performance giveaway
Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! is skating in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena October 1-4, 2015, and one lucky reader will win 4 ticket vouchers to redeem for the Nashville performance date/time of their choosing. Read on for more information, and use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Good luck!

We will be taking our 2-year-old daughter to one of the performances, and I am so excited to see how it goes. This is going to be her first time seeing anything on ice and her first time experiencing any Disney performance, and I have a feeling that she (and we) are going to love it. Look back here in early October for a full review of our experience at Disney On Ice in Nashville!

Note: This giveaway is for ticket vouchers that must be taken in person to the Bridgestone Arena Box Office to exchange for actual tickets. For the best possible seats, the giveaway winner should exchange the vouchers for tickets as soon as possible after receiving them. Additional adjacent seats may be purchased at full price, if needed, when the vouchers are exchanged for tickets. Also note that this giveaway is for the Nashville shows only.

Nashville / Bridgestone Arena performance dates/times:
Oct. 1 (Thursday) – 7 PM
Oct. 2 (Friday) – 10:30 AM, 7 PM
Oct. 3 (Saturday) – 10:30 AM, 2:30 PM, 6:30 PM
Oct. 4 (Sunday) – 1 PM, 5 PM

It’s one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Join Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy as they celebrate a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; a Royal Valentine’s Day Ball with your favorite Disney Princesses, including Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a whole new world with Jasmine and Aladdin; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivities from around the globe. Come join the celebration!

Disney on Ice Giveaway - Nashville October 1-4, 2015

Disney on Ice Giveaway - Nashville October 1-4, 2015a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disney on Ice Giveaway - Nashville October 1-4, 2015

This giveaway ends on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 11 PM CST. 1 winner will be selected randomly, emailed + has 48 hours to respond, so please use a valid email address on the giveaway widget. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Contest is open to anyone who can be in Nashville on October 1, 2, 3, or 4 for the event. Disney On Ice tickets were provided to my family, but no additional monetary compensation was received for this post.

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