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Welcome to my week-long Housewarming Party! (Or, should I call it a Blog-warming Party?)

C’mon in and make yourself comfortable! We’ll have several “door prizes” (giveaways), so stay tuned for a few extra posts this week. And as predicted, food is involved . . .

The recipe is at the end of this post, so scroll on down if you’re only here for the food. But if you’d like to mingle and chat a while, I’m getting ready to ramble and rant about my busy month.

If you count last weekend as being part of July (which I’m going to do for purposes of my next statement), I was out of town or had major plans FOUR out of five weekends.

That’s a lot! No wonder I finished the month tired and stressed and in major need of a trip to the grocery store! (And then to finish the month up with the craziness involved in a blog redesign and move? Now, that was just ridiculous.)

But now that we’re here, on the other side of family get-togethers, gatherings with old friends and new, a blogging conference, a baby shower, two road trips with a toddler and a blog makeover, I’m still glad I did it all.

Easier to say after a relaxing weekend at home, two naps, countless loads of laundry and that trip to the grocery store.

Although I have to admit: my suitcase is still on the floor of my bedroom. And since I’ve waited so long to put it away, it’s now covered in cat hair – which means the simple task of zipping it up and putting it in Mark’s closet has now turned into a major clean-the-hair-off-the-bag chore.

You can’t win ‘em all.

One of the tastiest takeaways from my crazy busy month actually happened last Sunday – technically the first of August. We had friends over for dinner, and Mark upgraded my menu from hamburgers to steak. That was nice, but it meant more work for me.

I just don’t feel right serving chips and pickles with steaks.

We discussed the possibility of baked potatoes, but that seemed so boring. So I turned to Tasty Kitchen for a different starchy side. (My dad – just like Mark – is a meat and potatoes guy, so I grew up thinking you couldn’t eat a meal without some kind of starchy side dish. Hence the carb obsession.)

Right away, I found a recipe for oven-roasted potatoes, and it looked both delicious and simple. You know how that’s my criteria for any new recipe.

According to the recipe, I made enough for 6-8 people – and the four of us just about polished them off. As if that wasn’t enough proof that they were good, my friend sent me a message on Facebook two days ago asking for the recipe. She wanted to make them for her in-laws!

They were so good, in fact, that I think I’ll be making them on Wednesday when my friend Mindy comes over for dinner. Here’s the recipe, slightly adapted from the original version from Cooking Ventures.

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

3 lbs small red potatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 oz. packet onion soup mix
1 oz. packet ranch dip mix
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes (leaving the skin on) and cut them into quarters. Mix oil, soup mix, dip mix, garlic and pepper.

Now, the recipe said to make sure you don’t use extra-virgin olive oil, but I did. I don’t know what difference it makes. Also, I used about 4 lbs of potatoes and probably 2/3 cup of oil. (It was too much. Don’t be like me.)

Fold the potatoes into the oil mixture, making sure all potatoes are covered. Pour into a foil-covered and baking spray-sprayed baking sheet. Cook for about 30 minutes.

The recipe called for covering it with foil the first 20 minutes and cooking uncovered the last 10-15 minutes. I forgot to cover it, so I reversed that process. As I mentioned, they were good anyway.

Garnish with parsley. I guess you could use fresh and chop it up. But I just sprinkled it out of a jar.

Have you tried any new recipes lately? And how busy has your summer been? {And don’t forget to come back for giveaways and more fun this week!}

This post will be linked to Mouthwatering Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Friday Food, Foodie Friday and Food on Fridays.


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