It’s funny how food can bring you back in time. I hadn’t bought Ore Ida products for awhile. There’s no particular reason why – I just didn’t think to do it. When I brought the bags home, and put them in my freezer, I was stunned about how many times I turned to them when I was cut short on time to think of something ingenious to serve on the side of my dishes. What’s even better is that it brought me back to being a kid on those occasions where tater tots and fries were served as a side either at home or in school for a lunch.
I remember when my mother would buy tater tots for dinner. As a kid, seeing the tater tots appear on the table made dinner so much fun. Don’t get me wrong – it didn’t happen often, but when it did, it made us appreciate it so much more.
So, one night when the groceries were running low, I decided to make BLT’s using Butterball Turkey Bacon and served Ore Ida Tater Tots on the side. Who would think such a simple dish would get so many compliments?
Another night, I had some baby back ribs that I defrosted. I put a rub on them and used a 2-2-1 method in my smoker using hickory chips. If you’re not familiar, the 2-2-1 method is when you smoke the ribs in the smoker for two hours, wrap them in foil, and put them back in for two hours…then, you take the foil off and smoke them for one more hour. However, during the last hour, I slather the ribs in barbecue sauce and smoke them for approximately 30 minutes if they’re already falling off the bone by the time I get to that point.
My day was so busy, so I pulled some Ore Ida fries out of the freezer, and popped them into the oven during the last part of my smoker time. What a great weekend meal! What struck me as funny is that my 10 year old didn’t realize fries could be made at your house and by using something purchased in a bag.
Another day, I decided to make bird’s nests with hash browns. Usually, we have an over-abundance of eggs here. I don’t know what other methods people use, but I heated some of the hash browns up in a microwavable bowl for about four to five minutes. Then, I sprayed a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. I put enough hash brown into each muffin cup to allow for room for an egg to be broken into it. Then, I sprayed the top of the hash browns with more cooking spray. I put this in the oven for about 15 minutes with it set at 350 degrees. After they were slightly browned, I took the pan out, cracked an egg into each one, and put it back in the oven until the eggs were set. I don’t recall the exact time on this, but wait until the eggs are cooked the way you like them. I did sprinkle them with salt before I cooked them. I would recommend mixing some salt and pepper into the hash browns prior to putting them into the muffin cups. This is a cute breakfast that’s also fun. It goes over well with people who like to use ketchup on their eggs too.
So, if you want to bring a little more fun into your cooking, consider adding a little fries, hash browns, or tater tots to your meals once in awhile. Surprisingly, they aren’t that high in calories, and it not only can bring back memories of being a kid again, but might make the eyes of the kids in your life light up
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