crispy roasted Idaho fingerlings

February 12, 2015
by Mimi Holtz

Crispy Roasted Idaho Fingerling Potatoes with Pepper Jack and Bacon

Roasted Fingerlings

February is Idaho Potato Lovers’ Month!

To celebrate Idaho Potato Lovers’ Month  I’m sharing these magical Crispy Roasted Idaho Fingerling Potatoes with Pepper Jack Cheese and Bacon,  and there’s  a fun giveaway for you too!  How did I get so excited about Idaho Fingerlings?

A few weeks ago Don Odiorne and Jamie Bowen from the Idaho Potato Commission visited San Diego to host a dinner for  some San Diego food bloggers to kick off Idaho Potato Lovers’ Month.  We feasted on chef-prepared Idaho potato dishes at Prep Kitchen in La Jolla, and enjoyed a wonderful evening catching up.  Several of us had participated in the Idaho Harvest Tour in October with Don and Jamie.  We were thrilled to introduce more of our blogging friends to these wonderful folks from the  Idaho Potato Commission.

Food Bloggers at Prep Kitchen

Back Row from left, Don Odiorne, Mary of California Greek Girl , E.A. of The Spicy RD, Jamie Bowen, Kim of Liv Life, Barbara of Barbara Cooks, Betsy of BetsyLife, Diane of CreatedByDiane, and The Farmer. Front row from left: Laura from FamilySpice, Liz from LizTheChef, Natalie from TheDevilWearsParsley, Stephanie from RecipeRenovator, Mimi from MimiAvocado

 San Diego Adventure

Earlier in the day I picked up Don and Jamie at their hotel in San Diego to show them around the area.   After all, they toured me around Idaho…it was  the least I could do!   I had a little trouble driving to their hotel in Little Italy, as a water main had broken and the streets were flooding!   Little did we know that the Idaho Potato Lovers’ Dinner scheduled at the Prep Kitchen in Little Italy would be moved to La Jolla.  Thankfully we were able to connect with everyone who was coming to the dinner to tell them about the location change…without cell phones and IPads, we would have had a problem!

Cabrillo National MonumentThe weather could not have been nicer!   After a hearty breakfast (including Idaho fingerling potatoes) at Great Maple,  we headed out to Cabrillo National Monument to enjoy the magnificent views of San Diego and the glorious Pacific Ocean. It was so clear that we could seen the huge rocks in the ocean to the south of us in Mexico!   Driving up the coast, we stopped at a beach so Don and Jamie could get their feet wet.   Then on to the ranch for a quick bowl of soup with fresh California avocados from our trees!

Jamie and Mary

Jamie of Idaho Potato Commission and Mary of California Greek Girl

Idaho Potato Commission Dinner with San Diego Food Bloggers

When we finally arrived at Prep Kitchen in La Jolla, the area for the party was all ready…a beautiful open deck to enjoy a San Diego winter evening outside,  warmed with patio heaters,  Idaho potato culinary delights, and of course, wine!

Idaho Potato DishesServed family style,  we enjoyed Fingerling Potato and Cheese Flatbread, a Cutting Board with artisan cured meats, cheeses, house-made spreads and pickled vegetables.  Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad (including avocado!) was a highlight of the evening, followed by Organic Porter Braised Short Ribs and Pan Seared Mahi Mahi.   Salt Roasted Fingerling Potatoes were given a short dip in the fryer, accompanied by caramelized onions, herbs, and garlic confit.  (My Fave.)  Some of us could not stop munching on the Marinated and Roasted Sweet Peppers with garlic, rosemary, caramelized onions and olive oil.  For dessert:  Pumpkin & Caramel Bread Pudding with Vanilla Custard Brioche, Candied Pepitas & Whipped Cream.  Oh my.

Each of us carried home boxes of food to share with our families, and an Idaho Potato goodie bag with  none other than Mini Spuddy Buddy!  Keep reading because I’m giving away TWO of these Idaho Potato goodie bags to celebrate Idaho Potato Lover’s Month!

Idaho potato goodies

Spuddy Buddy’a goodie bag  included a potato peeler, a fun potato brush, luggage tag, potato recipes, nail file, potato pins, an Idaho state pin, and a deck of potato recipe playing  cards!

I just found out that Fresh Idaho® potatoes are certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food, and  naturally contain many of the nutrients your heart needs to be strong.  February just happens to be National Heart Month too! Plus, Idaho Fingerling Potatoes come in three colors:  yellow, pink, and purple.  Such fun!

Southwind Farms fingerlings

 Crispy Roasted Idaho Fingerling Potatoes Recipe

My favorite way to prepare Idaho fingerlings is to put them in a plastic bag to coat them in olive oil, lay them on a baking pan, and  sprinkle seasonings on top.  Garlic powder, chili powder,  paprika, sea salt, pepper,  dried herbs;  be creative!  Roast the fingerling potatoes in a hot oven (375-400 degrees) until they are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  I could eat them just like that every night for dinner and leftovers for lunch!

roasting fingerling potatoes

We enjoyed Crispy Roasted Idaho Fingerlings with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese as our treat for the big football game, which happened to be on February 1st this year.   What a way to kick off Idaho Potato Lovers’ Month in my kitchen!

Idaho fingerlings

After the potatoes are perfectly roasted, transfer the potatoes to a serving dish.  Okay, you can have one or two to nibble on!

pepper-jack cheese and bacon

Grate the pepper jack cheese  and chop up a few slices of crispy cooked bacon.  Mound the grated cheese on top of the hot potatoes and watch it start to melt…then sprinkle bacon bits into that ooey-gooey melted cheese.  Slide the potatoes back into the oven for a few minutes to finish melting the cheese.

crispy roasted Idaho fingerlings

Crispy Roasted Idaho Fingerlings are delicious with any flavor of  melted cheese and bacon, or other toppings like onions, tomatoes, salsa, different kinds of cheeses,  sliced black olives…anything you would put on a pizza or on nachos would be delicious on Idaho fingerling potatoes!

Idaho Potato Lovers’ Month Giveaway!

I would love to send you one of those cute goodie bags from the Idaho Potato Commission!  If you’d like to win one, just leave a comment below about Idaho potatoes.  Do you cook and serve Fingerling potatoes at your house?  If so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy them?  If not, what’s your favorite potato dish?

Giveaway Rules:

You must be a resident of the USA and be over 18 to enter. To enter, just leave one comment on this post about Idaho potatoes between February 12, 2015 and midnight on February 19, 2015 Pacific Standard Time. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing. I’ll notify the winner on February 20th, and I’ll need a valid mailing address at that time. If I don’t hear from the winners via e-mail within 24 hours of notification, I’ll draw a new name and the new winner will have 24 hours to respond.  
VOID where prohibited by law.
The Giveaway Items are provided by Mimi Avocado. All prizes will be awarded.
Not responsible for technical failures, typographical errors, or resolving identity disputes related to the winner.
Number of eligible entries determines odds of winning.

Disclosure:  I was not required nor  compensated to write this post.  I was a guest of the Idaho Potato Commission at the Idaho Potato Lover’s Dinner where I received Idaho Potato goodie bags.  I also received Idaho Fingerling potatoes as a gift. All opinions and experiences are mine.  As a new member of the Cabot Cheese Board blogger network I gratefully accepted a gift box of Cabot cheeses, included the Pepper Jack  cheese used in this recipe.

avocado hearts on toast

February 9, 2015
by Mimi Holtz

Avocado Hearts on Toast

avocado hearts on toast

Learn to Make Avocado Hearts on Toast!

Are you an Avocado Toast lover?  If you haven’t tried avocado toast yet,  it’s time to discover a new love in your life!  And to make it extra special, add Avocado Hearts!

Bread and avocados

Choose Good Bread

We have fallen in love with this Asiago Parmesan Bread from a local bakery, but any healthy bread will work.  Need Gluten Free?  Use a gluten free bread to make your toast!   Cut a thick slice and slip it into the toaster  until it is perfectly browned and the aroma of the cheese is calling your name.

How to Cut the Avocado to Make Hearts

Slice an extra large California avocado in half, Continue Reading →


February 6, 2015
by Mimi Holtz

Flowers in February

succulent flower

I have never been a fan of succulents.  To me, they always looked artificial and foreign.  Nothing like the spring flowers that grow in the woods of Vermont, or the field flowers that appear throughout the summer, creating a annual timeline that foretells the coming of autumn and winter.   Succulents grow so slowly, methodically, and permanently.

Last week I spied this little star flower, and took a photograph.  When I looked at the plant close-up,  I noticed the frilly purple lace colored on the leaves, and the pale leopard print of purple on the petals of the flowers.  The plant that has been growing in a lonely pot in a corner with no attention nor appreciation has suddenly become a ‘star’ worthy of a photograph and a “come see this spectacular flower”.

white flowers

I decided to look around the yard to see what else I was missing.   Some of last year’s spring flowers must have reseeded themselves, volunteering to reappear after the recent rains. Continue Reading →

Avocado Valentine

January 21, 2015
by Mimi Holtz

Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Fuerte Avocados!

Avocado Valentine

It’s that time of year again when we might be thinking about Valentine’s Day gifts.   Some people put a lot of meaning into the one day, hoping that their sweetheart will remember to shower them with roses,  jewelry,  or a special dinner out.   As much as I enjoy those romantic gestures on the one day set aside to celebrate romantic love,  I wouldn’t trade the everyday expressions of affection that come with a marriage that has lasted just over 33 years.

In the early days I spent weeks planning the Valentine dinner,  choosing the perfect little gift, and reading all the Valentine cards in the store to find the one that seemed to have special meaning just for us.   As the years have gone by,  there have been some Valentine’s Days when we were too busy with our four children or our jobs to come up for air,  much less celebrate with a romantic evening.   Now that the children are grown and have their own lives,  we have time again to put some thought into Valentine’s Day.

The funny thing is that after all these years the store-bought cards and the designer bouquets don’t have the same kind of romantic meaning that they once did.   At this stage of our lives we value an inside joke,  a creative whimsy,  or an extraordinary gesture of caring that really shows that our sweetheart knows what we like and genuinely wants to go the extra mile to please us.


Every winter there  is a flock of mallard ducks that swim in a pond on our ranch.  Sometimes The Farmer makes a point to tell me  he has seen them on the pond. Continue Reading →

Kerrygold cheese at Bookclub

January 20, 2015
by Mimi Holtz

Love Books? Love Cheese? Have a Party!

Kerrygold cheese at Bookclub

It’s National Cheese Lovers Day!  Are you celebrating?

Today I’m sharing a fun and FREE kit from Kerrygold Cheese and Butter to match up the love of Kerrygold cheese with the love of reading  Spend a happy evening with friends, pairing cheeses with fruits, crackers, breads, wines and beers.   Last year my friend Judy used the kit to host her book club friends in her home,  and gave me her photos to show you.

 Kerrygold USA has a wonderful Book Club Kit that is free upon request,  including Continue Reading →

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