the best part is, i forgot to mention one other recipe that i was planning on making as well — a “vegetable paella” recipe from but let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?

purple mashed potatoes

purple mashed potatoesmy friend wasn’t kidding when she said these were purple. neither was the guy at whole foods (i couldn’t find them at my grocery store or at wild oats, otherwise i wouldn’t have gone to what my friends and i affectionately refer to as “whole paycheck”) when he told me they were deep purple. the photo really doesn’t do them justice.

these are potatoes that are purple. naturally purple! sadly, wikipedia has nothing useful to say on the topic. but take my word for it. if you thought purple ketchup was fun, you will love these things. they are purple peruvian potatoes (i found them fingerling style, but i imagine normal looking ones are out there as well).

the mashed potatoes are excellent! i’m not sure if it’s the potato or the fact that i started using half and half, but they have the smokiest taste, and the skins are a great crunch factor.

the crunch factor is very important, by the way. i’m thinking of going back to school just so i can write a thesis on the two texture factors i have just identified this week: the crunch, and the pop. you will all be the first to read it, i promise you.

next up?

ah yes, marinated chicken with vegetables. this was not exactly a recipe; more of a throwback to how i first started cooking. my very first recipes in married life were of the chicken-in-the-crockpot variety. you can’t really mess that up, can you? this time, it was actually the tastiest i think i’ve ever done. i call it crock o’ havana:

1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breast filets
1 bottle Lawry’s Havana Garlic marinade
1/2 pkg mushrooms, sliced
1/2 jar silver/pearl onions

-Layer marinade, filets, and onions in the crockpot, reserving some marinade for the mushrooms
-Plug in crockpot, let sit for 5ish hours
-Immediately before serving, saute mushrooms in marinade and spoon over filets on the plate
-Serve with purple peruvian mashed potatoes

the only thing i wish were different is how salty Lawry’s marinades are. if only i could figure out how to make them minus the intense sodium… something for a rainy day?

crab cakes italiano have already been documented extensively. my only addition to that topic is, use actual breadcrumbs (i used Progresso) instead of smushed-up croutons. the patties stay together much better.

same goes for ruth’s mushroom soup. make this recipe NOW! it is the perfect fall recipe. warm, soothing, comforting, infinitely tasty… but hey, you already know i’m obsessed with it.

green bean casserole? what, that thing that comes out of the microwave thanksgiving day because you’re pressed for time? yeah, that.

it turns out that, the way that i am obsessed with mushroom soup, my husband is obsessed with green bean casserole — only he’s been that way apparently since childhood. i should have remembered the casserole incident last thanksgiving: this is one of my aunt’s pride-and-joy dishes. she’s wonderful in so many ways, just not gourmet. she is also consistently mocked for her pride in this recipe. last thanksgiving, there was quite a lot left over, and my husband begged to take it home with us. ah, the tears of joy….

in any case, i thought this one would be a snap. little did i know that the fresh green beans at the supermarket would be, ahem, less than fresh (read: covered with white slime). also, i don’t feel like the small can of soup plus milk cut it–they seem a little low in sauce to me. in any case, he’s eaten it all already, so i guess his obsession is not exactly picky. i think i found the recipe on, but i wouldn’t swear to it. in any case, my only advice is don’t EVER used canned green beans. that is just wrong.

stay tuned for: suzy wonders about paella!