Hey you….look at me, we live in Suburgatory! {Crispy Baked French Fries}

Hey you….look at me when I am trying to be friendly!  What is it with people nowadays? I am trying to be friendly in this uptight, anxiety ridden society.

Oh, don’t let me forget…I have a fantastic oven baked french fry recipe to share….once I get off my soapbox that is!

Where was I?    Hold on while I climb up onto this big soap box………..

Let me set the scene!   Cottell Park in Deerfield Township, a little over an hour before game time.   K’s All-Star baseball team is getting ready to play the big game.  PT thinks this is the toughest competition they will see during the tournament, and he should know….he is the coach!  Bonus for me….B is one of his assistant coach’s.  Makes me proud to see my 3 guys on the field together!  Anyway….I had the brilliant idea to walk around the park while the team warmed up!  Haven’t walked much lately, and I need to get back at it.  What I really wanted to do was catch up with steamy Christian and Ana, but exercise is more important!   Hmmmm…is it?

Cottell Park is a gem of a park….baseball and soccer fields, bike paths in and around the fields.  A beautiful Veteran’s memorial for MIA and POW soldiers, sparkling pond  and the cutest old house right smack in the middle of everything.  Reminded me of a mini Mt. Vernon, and I learned they hold summer art camps inside for the little one’s.  How sweet is that?   So here you have it, beautiful setting, giving up Christian for  hopefully a 4 mile walk…..passing people on the bike path, waving, smiling, and what do I get…. NOTHING….. NADA….NIENTE…..RIEN, and all around BUPKIS!

I expected it in a big city, but never in middle class suburgatory!   Let me take that back.  When I lived in lower Manhatten, I was faced with bustling sidewalks—- Men and women streaking by, always late for something.  But I always got a nod or smile of acknowledgement.  Something that said, “I am so late for work, my boss is going to kill fire me, but I swear we would be friends if we got to know each other”.

Before I get blasted by the Cincinnati area, let me be the first to say that there are plenty of friendly people in Mason, Ohio.  B and K  play hockey with a bunch of them, whom I consider dear friends!  I will also say that I can be very moody, use exercise to forget about my day and decompress.   Okay, I have totally lost where I was going with this!  Crap!  Let me climb down…wait a sec!

Let’s talk french fries!  You have been patiently waiting for me to get to the point.  The point is……no one can resist a hot, crispy french fry, right?  I have a guilty secret….I love McDonald’s french fries.  No one, and I mean no one could surpass them on taste, until Wendy’s came out with their sea salt fries.  Very stiff competition for good ole’ Mickey D’s.  Only one problem….the older we get, fried foods head immediately South.  Sigh!!!

Remember the zucchini fries I was raving about?  If you don’t remember, or if you are new to my site, you can find the recipe here.  You will be crazy not to try them….they are fab-u-lous!  I got to thinking, if zucchini was so good in the oven why not give potatoes a whirl.  The possibilities are endless, the seasoning combinations are endless.  We have been eating alot of chicken this summer and Crispy Baked French Fries are now a staple in this household.

Let me be honest again.  I have not had a single baked french fry….each time I have made these, I have made zucchini fries for myself.  How the heck do I guarantee their awesomeness?  I have 3 very picky men/young men to feed, and they have scarfed them up.  In between muffled bites and chewing, asking me why I didn’t make more….each and every time!  I will have to give them a shot next time though!    I have a new trick I want to try,  Cookie and Kate swears it will make the french fries even crispier.  The trick/tip—–soaking the potato wedges in hot water before adding the oil and salt (I will still use my seasonings).  I will give you an update after I make her version.

When you make these, please note that the olive oil and seasoning is per pound of potatoes.  If you double the potatoes to 2 lbs, then you need to double up the oil and spices as well. Or triple, or quadruple.  I think you get the picture!

Now I can finish my sermon!  I am seeing it more and more.  People so consumed with busy work that they are losing site of what is important….connecting with people!  We are so busy chasing the ultimate dream that we don’t realize what we already have staring us smack in the face!  Satisfaction can only be achieved when you stop focusing on what you don’t have and start appreciating what you do.

If you see me out walking, I would love a nod….a smile or even a half wave.  But if it doesn’t happen, I won’t take offense.  I know that you are worrying about something else, or trying to get back in your ‘groove’ from a long day at the office or struggling with the kids.  I still enjoy living in Suburgatory, and know that you will love these Crispy Baked French Fries!

Crispy Baked French Fries

Ingredients:
1 lb. Russet potatoes (approximately 3 potatoes)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

* Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray and put in oven while preheating.

* In a small bowl, combine all of the dry seasonings together.  Set aside.

* Rinse and scrub potatoes, and dry with a clean towel.  On cutting board, using a sharp knife, quarter the potato, then slice each quarter into 4-6 slices.  Make sure the potatoes are not too thick!

* Put the sliced potatoes into a Ziploc bag (storage bag will work also, just make sure you can seal it), and pour olive oil and shake to coat.  Sprinkle on dry seasoning mix and shake until all potato slices are evenly coated with olive oil and spices.

* On preheated baking sheet, spread out potatoes to make an even layer.  Bake for 45 minutes, turning after 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Serves: 2-4

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I forgot to tell you all—-K’s team one!  Woohoo!  Wasn’t as close as PT thought it would be, the boys pulled it together and played very well as a team.

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