Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

What We’re #MadeOf and Baked Potatoes with #GayLeaFoods

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Barn in Consecon Prince Edward County

The past month has been tough work. We are still jumping through hoops and unraveling the red tape involved in the purchase of our farm. It’s a good thing we are committed to the idea and are passionate about our family business or we would have have given up on this idea a long time ago. When we started on this journey, 3 years ago, we heard that buying land was hard, that farming was hard, that it was all going to need a lot of cooperation but the experience has really gone above and beyond and taught us what we are made of.

Cubits Busy Season

Currently as we enter the busiest week of our spring season and as we enter the final stretch on our road to farm ownership I’ve committed to keeping things nice and simple. Like the simple pleasure of a baked potato for lunch or dinner.

poking potaoes with fork

It’s easy: {Unlike getting a mortgage on land. Ha!}

Heat your oven to 400

Wash and Scrub 1 large potato per person

Poke with fork holes on one side

Rub each potato with butter and coarse salt

Place directly on over rack

Walk away and ignore and bake for 1 hour.

Baked Potato Toppings

As I am clearly a little ambitious, once they’re baked my “just keep it simple philosophy” stops. It’s time to add more butter, salt and pepper, sour cream (I found lactose free sour cream!), crispy bacon all crumbled up, and thinly sliced leeks. The leeks ARE part of the simple plan, as they’re in season here in Ontario and therefore in my fridge.


On this month’s frequent drives from the city to the farm we passed quite a few of the Gay Lea Foods new advertisements. Their theme seems fitting; What are our foods made of? What are our farmers made of? Are our family businesses worth a little hard work? The answers should be simple.

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Protein Packed Mashed Potatoes with Cottage Cheese

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Mashed Potatoes with Cottage Cheese

I’ll admit, I barely know what cottage cheese tastes like. I buy it, put it in the fridge, and then my husband sits down and eats the whole tub with a spoon. In order to share this recipe I had to sneakily buy and mash potatoes during a baby nap. If Ryan had the chance he would have stolen the cheese with no regrets.

Good thing he didn’t, since I really needed to make mashed potatoes.  Chunky, cheesy, mashed potatoes.

Mashed Potatoes with Cottage Cheese

We are constantly in search of protein around here, I’m not sure why but I especially find my daughter and I are happier the more protein we have. With 30 grams of protein per cup, cottage cheese in the mashed potatoes is an easy way to sneak a little extra into our meals.

Protein Packed Mashed Potatoes with Cottage Cheese

Protein Packed Mashed Potatoes with Cottage Cheese


  • 10 small white potatoes
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 cup of Nordica Cottage Cheese
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • optional parsley and thyme (dried or fresh)


  1. Wash and peel potatoes
  2. Boil for 15 minutes
  3. Drain
  4. Mash in blender, stand mixer or hand mixer along with butter, milk, cottage cheese, salt, pepper and herbs.
  5. Serve as a protein packed side dish
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This month, along with other participating sites, we’ll be giving away a Breville Die-Cast Hemisphere Blender valued at $329.99

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’ll also be giving away 1 year of free Nordica Cottage Cheese (12 coupons for free Gay Lea product) to one reader

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Readers may enter across all participating blogs and may win on a single site. Open to Canadians, excluding Quebec.

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

spring time potato salad

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

ramps thyme and chives

We’re up at the farm planting/weeding this week. I’m supposed to be taking advantage of the quiet to work on some material for BlogHer Food’13 since baby Robin and I are leaving for Texas in a little over a week to talk crowd funding with food bloggers.  Naturally I’m totally procrastinating and spending all my time perfecting a spring time version of potato salad. I’ve heard that some people eat when they are anxious; Seems I get excited and then have to cook the same recipe over and over while taking photographs. It’s a bit of an issue but I might as well go with it.

This Salad uses new potatoes, the perennial herbs that are available in Ontario gardens in spring time, fresh from the garden radishes, foraged ramps along with tons of mustard and a few glugs of local white wine. I hope you like it as much as we do.


2.5 pounds of new potatoes (it’s especially nice if a few of them are blue)

2 radishes, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

2 tablespoons of dijon mustard

1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard

2 ramps (or green onions), finely sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 table spoons chopped fresh chives, if you can add a few blossoms please do

sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Start by boiling your little potatoes whole for 15 minutes.  When they are cooked and have had a few minutes to cool down, cut them all in half.

While your tiny potatoes are still cooking start making your dressing. You can whisk the ingredients together if you like but we like to use a jar and then shake it all up. Thinly slice the ramps and chives, chop up your thyme, and  combine all your ingredients except the potatoes and the radishes in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Then simply shake the jar, or even better, get some kids to help out by shaking it up for you. The mustard really emulsifies the dressing.

Once your dressing is ready, coat your potatoes in it.  It’s nicer if they are still warm when you dress them.

Now it’s time to get fancy. Use your vegetable peeler to slice your radishes super thin.  So thin even little children will admire their prettiness. I slice them directly into the salad.

Herb Potato Salad

That’s it.  Give your potato salad a final toss. You can eat this at room temperature or put in in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. If you have them, it’s nice to garnish it with a few chive blossoms.
This salad is perfect for a picnic and goes really well with my crustless quiche.

Easy Instructions to Grow Organic Potatoes in Containers

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

I’ve talked about growing potatoes here before and recently was invited to write about the topic for Kaia magazine.  It’s the first time I’ve had anything I’ve written published in print so check out pages 40-43 as well as the other excellent gardening and eco-friendly articles.

Last year’s potato post was the most popular post ever but this article has clearer instructions than the ones I’ve published before. Planting is still a few weeks off here, but I’ve just placed a giant order with Eagle Creek Farms that we’ll plant here in the city in the garden bathtub and up at the farm this summer as well.  This year we’ll be growing a variety of different coloured and shaped potatoes as well as early, mid and late season varieties and I hope you’ll join me in growing spuds this spring.

Potatoes are not the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of container gardening but they really are the perfect candidate. Potatoes love growing vertically, can take up a great deal of space, and are susceptible to pests and soil contaminates. Simply planting them in a container rather than your garden beds helps maximize your yield while reducing potential problems.

Potatoes are really so easy and satisfying to grow that you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.


1. Pick and Prepare a Container

Almost any vessel will do with the criteria being: well draining, non-toxic, with a preference for a tall rather than squat shape.

In our own garden we have tried a variety of containers.

For years we grew them in an old garbage can with extra holes drilled into the bottom, food grade buckets again with added holes, large terra cotta pots, repurposed wooden crates, in grow bags, and my favorite, an antique claw footbath tub with a layer of stones and brick at the bottom to ensure adequate drainage.

Once you have chosen your container give it a good scrub and add any extra holes it needs, as adequate drainage is probably the most important factor in a healthy harvest.

 2. Choose Seed Potatoes

The best part about growing your potatoes is the variety you can choose from. Potatoes come in a spectrum of colors including yellow, red, purple and blue and many different shapes such as fingerlings.

You may be able to find seed potatoes at your local nursery, gardening event, or organic co-op. It’s also very easy to order them online and some great sources of seed potato are listed at the end of this article.

If you’d rather just use potatoes from the grocery store you can with a few specifications. These tubers should be organic, as some grocery store potatoes have been treated so they won’t grow eyes. Look for potatoes that are showing signs of sprouting and chose new potatoes over ones from last fall that have been treated for long-term storage. Gently wash them; being careful not to scrub off those eyes, as that’s where the shoots are going to grow.

This year our selections include Russian Blue, Rose Finn Apple Fingerlings, Alaska Sweetheart and a bag of organic red potatoes that sprouted by accident.

3. Cut & Cure

Once you have your potatoes you’ll need to chit them, which is just getting them to sprout eyes. Putting them in a paper bag or egg carton for a few days should do the trick.

Potatoes can be planted whole or cut up. It’s a matter of personal preference.  I cut mine in half. Make sure there is at least one eye per piece and then leave them in a dark spot for the cut to heal over night.

4. Plant

Start by filling your container with just a few inches of soil and compost and place your potato pieces on top of the soil. Loosely cover them with another 6 inches of soil and then water.

Potatoes need at least 6 hours of sun per day and will thrive with more. I have normally tucked them away somewhere sort of cool and find they fill a less than perfect corner of the garden.

Potatoes are excellent companion plants to beans, cabbage and corn and are better off growing quite a distance from sunflowers, tomatoes, raspberries and squash.

5. Water & Add More Soil

As they grow, loosely add more soil around the plants. For every 6 inches or growth or every two weeks add a shovel full or so.

Be sure to keep the soil moist and not to allow the soil to dry out.


6. Harvest

After anywhere from 2-4 months, depending if you planted an early, mid or late season variety the leaves will turn brown and die. Nothing’s wrong, this is how you know its time to harvest! Use your hands if possible or a pitchfork. A trowel can really wreck the tender new potatoes, cutting into their skins. Feel free to dump the entire pot over on the patio.

Planting, growing and harvesting potatoes are all excellent activities for kids. It’s really hard to mess it up and digging for them at the end of the season is like a little treasury hunt making a great activity to show where our food comes from.

7. Eat!

Everyone loves potatoes, especially fresh from the garden. We especially like them on pizza with leeks; they’re excellent in soup, as a simple side dish or in a perfect summer potato salad.

So there you have it: a quick and dirty way to put delicious organic produce from the garden on your family’s table.

Recipe: Potato Salad with Yogurt, Dill, Curry & Mustard. Lots of Mustard.

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We’re busy preparing for Rebecca’s 2nd birthday party by making some of our favourite salads.  I am a strict mayonnaise hater and mustard lover so this is our family’s version of potato salad. 

It’s made with new Ontario potatoes, herbs from the garden and a hearty amount of yogurt and mustard.

2 pounds of potatoes
1 cup of organic yogurt
1/4 cup of chives 
1/3 cup of fresh dill
A few springs of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of curry
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon of salt
ground pepper to taste

Boil your potatoes for 10 minutes.  Cut them each in half.

Mix your dressing, that’s all of the ingredients except the potatoes and parsley.  Add to your potatoes and cover them gently.  Garnish with the parsley and Volia! Who says you can’t make friends with salad?

In the past I’ve used blue potatoes and its just gorgeous, the yellow of the curry looks great with the blue spuds.  Somehow I don’t have a picture though.  This time we’re enjoying a basket of fresh Ontario potatoes that I bought on Wednesday and bet were still in the ground on Monday. They are heavenly.

Here are last year’s blue and purple potato harvest that were promptly turned into this salad for her 1st birthday. 

We’ll be posting a few more recipes from this weekend’s celebration, just as soon as I actually get a minute to finish making everything, since almost 2 year olds apparently stop napping?! Really.