Seeing Clearly (Recipe: Cast Iron Skillet Potatoes)

Last night, I returned from a long weekend in San Francisco where I had attended the BlogHer 2010 Food Conference. I was overly exhausted, but perked up the second I saw my husband and four kids peeking through the airport gate, waving enthusiastically at me. I walked closer and when I was close enough I brought each of my kids in for a tight squeeze.

As I stepped away from them, I looked at their faces and noticed that things had changed. They each had grown…looked bigger and more mature, all in the matter of the 4 days while I was gone. Was that possible? Could my kids really had changed that much in the short amount of time I was away?

As I was collapsing into bed last night, I reflected on how crazy the past few weeks had been. On top of work and deadlines, I was helping to coordinate a lovely party I co-hosted at BlogHer Food and prepared to speak on the value of a blogging community at the conference. School was in full swing and life was back to its crazy nuttiness. It was then that it hit me. My kids hadn’t changed while I was away, I just hadn’t been clearly seeing them for the past several weeks. I was too caught up in the noise and the fog of everything else that I hadn’t been focused on what I should really be, which was my family. Sometimes, it takes stepping away for a bit to be able to see clearly again.

This is the same with anything you do…blogging, crafts, photography, painting, writing…it is easy to get caught up in all the noise, but to really see clearly when things get foggy, you sometimes need to step away for a bit. When you return, you’ll have a new perspective and will be able to see clearly again.

This is another post where the recipe has nothing to do with what I am writing about, and if I would listen to some of the talk I heard at the conference, it is perfectly unacceptable to have such disconnect. But, you know what? This is my blog, my space and I want to share this recipe for cast iron skillet potatoes with you because its a good one. So here you go!

Herbed Potatoes Recipe (From the September 2010 issue of Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1 1/2  pounds  Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 1  teaspoon  butter
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  small basil leaves
  • 2  tablespoons  coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes; drain and pat dry with paper towels.

2. Heat a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of potatoes; sauté 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and potatoes. Add butter and garlic to pan. Stir in reserved potato mixture, salt, and pepper; sauté 1 minute or until mixture is thoroughly heated and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; sprinkle with herbs.

Want more recipes for your Cast Iron Skillet? These bloggers have some great recipes for you to try:

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  1. says

    Well said, Kristen. A little perspective (or a self-inflicted slap upside the head) is needed regularly for me to put my priorities in order.

    And, by the way, I couldn’t care less that your post and recipe have nothing to do with each other because those potatoes look darn good.

  2. says

    Yum. I printed this one so I will actually make it. So glad you didn’t “listen” to the discussions about disconnect. Because seriously, you just connected. Thanks!

  3. says

    The disconnect totally works for me. You’re right. Stepping away helps put things in perspective. Glad you had a good trip and made it home safely. The potatoes look great and the little girl…precious…

  4. says

    Lovely post, Kristen. A little time away almost always sharpens our focus and perspective. Not to mention recharging the batteries and refreshing the spirit! And I totally agree that it makes no difference, at least to me, that your recipe and post are unrelated. I love a good thoughtful post and then getting a great recipe at the end is just the icing on the cake!

  5. says

    I love that you blogging post and the recipe is totally unrelated. It makes the whole story way more interesting and personal. I had been trying to keep mine linked and consequently I haven’t had the opportunity to share some great thoughts. I will no longer be too concerned. I agree with Lana, the recipe at the end is the icing on the cake :)

  6. says

    Okay, I can’t make the carbs because they’re evil, but I *adore* the disconnect of your post. Thank you for letting us share in that moment when you saw your kids again. So sweet! I think you’re right about how we get so caught up in our lives that we simply don’t notice those around us sometimes. I find myself often with my laptop in my lap, making noises in response to things my husband says. I have to force myself to take my fingers off the keyboard and my eyes off the screen so I can truly listen to him.

  7. says

    you can’t go wrong with potatoes! these look fabulous and cooking it in a cast iron skillet, I am sure made it delicious! loved meeting you this weekend. only wish we had more time to have a one on one! there is always next year! xx

  8. says

    Thanks for the comment. Our family loves your oven ham sammies and they are great on Wednesday church nights.

    We love cast iron in our family. I use it everyday.

  9. says

    I’m all for infusing a bit of life into the blog. Even if it has nothing to do with the food.

    Gorgeous kids, gorgeous food, gorgeous writing. That’s why I love it here.

  10. Pat Wogan says

    Remember when I was going to school and trying so hard to “get ahead”. I got a phone call from Crystal one night and it made me realize where my real priorities were. My family! You do it all well! And your family always knows you love them. That is the important thing! I think you are a better wife and mother because of the time you spend “doing your thing”. Loved the post! And love the picture of Leah!

  11. says

    Kristen, the party you planned was amazing! I can’t wait to see you again, hopefully very soon. I know what you mean, it is so hard to focus on what is right in from of us sometimes. I think your skillet potatoes go very well with the rest of your writing in this post – potatoes comfort as do our families.
    xxoo M

  12. says

    It was great to see you at Blogher Food. The party was fantastic! Thank you for all of your hard work. Also, a high five to my fellow sizzling sister:) We rocked it!

    I have a hard time focusing in life, sometimes it is good to step away and regroup. Great post and I am loving the potatoes!

  13. says

    Great post Kristen! Life is full of disconnect and it’s good to take a breather once in a while if it means you come back re-focused. I felt the same way when we got back from Italy a couple of weeks ago. It’s refreshing to get a change of pace, routine and scenery. It makes coming back home all the better because you feel rested and renewed. Hope I can meet you someday at a BlogHer Food conference!


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