Best Homemade Hash browns

If you ask me, I think breakfast is the best meal of the day.  So many possibilities – savory, sweet, traditional, eclectic – the skies the limit!  In fact, when Tony traveled for work, Hannah and I almost always fixed breakfast for dinner.  Sometimes pancakes, sometimes home made egg McMuffins.  Maybe because it’s the most economical meal is why I like it too.  My store routinely sells big baked potatoes for .25 each.  When that happens I usually stock up and bake 3 or 4 at a time and then let them hang out in the fridge.  Sometimes I’ll cut them up and fry them for steak fries for a meal.  Sometimes I’ll dice them and pan fry them for a side dish.  My favorite though?  Hash browns!  It’s weird, when you shred the potato, the jacket of the potato nearly comes off in one piece!

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I think the secret to getting crunchy hash browns is because the baked potato sat in the refrigerator for a week, it lost some of it’s moisture.  I heated up my non-stick skillet over medium heat, and added 2 teaspoons extra light virgin olive oil.  When the pan was hot, I laid the potatoes in a single layer – and let them cook until browned on the bottom – about 8-10 minutes.  I did end up adding about another teaspoon of olive oil before flipping.   This was Saturday’s breakfast and lunch for me.

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Tony gave my hash browns thumbs up too!  This was super filling.  I ended up eating this around 10:30, and had a cup of soup at the restaurant at 5:00.  Tony picked up a small pizza for himself for dinner and heated it up for me when I got home Saturday night – got home by 11:15 on Saturday night from the restaurant – nice!   Check out the heart shaped cheese ravioli the restaurant is having next weekend for Valentine’s Day – so cute!

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I now give you another episode of Texting with Tony!  I love it when he sends stuff and spell check corrects him!

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I did another breakfast/lunch yesterday – French toast sticks!  I bought this one pound container of mixed fruit at my store for only $2.99 – I am kicking myself I didn’t buy another one.  And I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I need to remind you to buy your bacon from your deli.  You can have them cut it as thick as you want, and our store sells it for $5.99 a pound – you would spend the same on Oscar Meyer bacon for a 12 ounce package, and it would be super thin.  Bacon is important so I have to spread the news! Open-mouthed smile

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Last week Tony and I bought a big ham – 10 pounds to be exact, with the intent on grilling it in our gas grill.  Well, as you probably realize, our weather hasn’t been that conducive to grilling, but yesterday we decided to go for it.  It just meant snow blowing the snow off the deck so we could actually get to the grill.  This is Tony’s “I am so done with winter!” face:

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Tony had grill duty because I had an employee meeting at the restaurant last night from 4-6.  It’s a 45 minute drive one way, so I was bummed I had to go anywhere on my one day off.  But the next few weeks are critical to the restaurant.  Valentine’s weekend, then our grand opening.  Press releases are going out to the media this week and our Chef will be on a cooking segment on our local news station on March 3 – I’ll be sure to post the video here!  Food critics, local politicians – with social media being what it is, it’s important that everything from the kitchen to the servers to the front of the house are all on the same page. 

But, we did get a beer tasting – I’ve never heard of this brewery before, but it’s 30 minutes from the restaurant and they have been in business for 17 years.  We have Domaine DuPage on tap, and two canned beers – this was my favorite canned beer – it’s super light, and would be great for a summer beer.  Pricey though – my grocery store sells it for $10.99 a six pack – probably why I’ve passed by it for years!

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They ordered pizza, but since I knew we had ham on the grill, I only ate one piece of pizza – basically because I had to try it – MAC N CHEESE PIZZA!

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Guess what?  I actually liked it!  I mean, it was like double the cheese.  #winning!

One of the servers I work with is really struggling.  She quit her other job to start this job, and she works mostly lunches and that part of the business has been slowly building, but obviously with lower lunch tabs, that means lower tips.  She basically relies on her Friday and Saturday nights to make ends meet – she’s separated from her husband and has an 11 and 14 year old, and says that she’s not much of a cook, so she relies on boxed macaroni and cheese, canned Manwich, etc. because its cheap.  So I brought her a batch of my homemade Panera broccoli soup, a loaf of artisan bread and a stick of butter.   I always have to remember that even though I have to work two jobs to make our ends meet, there is always someone struggling more than me, so I need to pay it forward.

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And when I got home from the meeting, the ham was ready!  I never even planned a side dish, so I just heated up a can of green beans and had sliced ham dipped in Dijon mustard – this ham was delicious!  And with the leftovers I plan on making these ham and swiss cheese sammies, a crustless ham and cheese quiche, and probably some ham, macaroni and cheese – my twin sister probably makes that once a week!

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Which will probably still leave me with five pounds of leftover ham – Question of the Day: How do you use up your leftover ham?  I want to put up a list of links for leftover ham around Easter time – please send me your recipe links – or if you don’t have a blog – just email me your recipes at

I have to start putting my stuff together – one of the secretaries already called in sick today, so I should be busy and not have to make scratch paper pads today – yippee!

Happy Monday – make it a great day!

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  • Errign
    February 10, 2014 at 7:59 am Hey Biz! That was sweet of you to bring soup and bread to your coworker! I made your deep dish pizza last night because I read your last post and had a craving! We did one link of turkey sausage in each with mushrooms and onions! Yum!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:13 am Hey Errign! Can I just tell you again how happy I am that you are happy! And everything sounds great about the pizza - except the onions! :D
  • Heather
    February 10, 2014 at 8:03 am How funny! I was literally thinking about asking you how to make hash browns from baked potatoes a few days I think Tony did so in a past breakfast for you? Will definitely try it out. Now if you could just help me figure out how to make frozen chicken breasts so that they are TENDER and not chewy I would be totally #winning! oxox
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:24 am Yes, Tony makes some mean hash browns too - same method, although I think he adds cheese to mine. :D Do you have a crock pot? I think you can "poach" frozen chicken in the crock pot? "For frozen chicken breasts, arrange in crockpot, add 1/2 cup chicken broth or water, cover, and cook on low for 8-9 hours, rearranging once during cooking time."
  • thekitchwitch
    February 10, 2014 at 8:16 am You are such a kind-hearted person to provide homemade food for your co-worker! She's lucky to have you.
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:25 am Thanks Dana! :D
  • SuziCate
    February 10, 2014 at 8:17 am I cooked hashbrowns in the wafflemaker a few weeks ago for the first time ever...Oh my, perfectly crispy just like I love them!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:25 am I tried that once, but it didn't work for me - but I think my waffle iron didn't get hot enough. Glad it worked for you!
  • Dottie Williams
    February 10, 2014 at 8:29 am I always make pea soup with my left over ham. Actually made it yesterday with leftovers.
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:26 am That's my husbands favorite!
  • Aimee
    February 10, 2014 at 8:55 am You're the nicest Biz! That was so sweet of you to do for that woman. I also really admire how dedicated you are to your job. I'm going through some co-worker struggles lately and dealing with lack of work ethic and nasty attitudes gets old. I actually like to work and don't mind going above and beyond sometimes. Turns out that's not popular!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:27 am Well, there are a few of the people I work at the restaurant with that just expect to come in, get big tables, make the money and kick the patrons out so they can leave. But I like to think I set the bar! :D
  • Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
    February 10, 2014 at 9:33 am Those raviolis are so cute!! That was really thoughtful what you did for your co-worker. :)
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:27 am Thanks Courtney :D
  • wendy
    February 10, 2014 at 9:40 am I always make split pea soup too!
    • wendy
      February 10, 2014 at 9:47 am And those ravioli are adorable!
  • Lynne
    February 10, 2014 at 9:49 am Love the ravioli! You are so sweet to help out your co-worker - such good lessons we can learn from each other :) I make split pea soup, bean soup and scalloped potatoes with my leftover ham, but I don't have any special recipes. I just made scalloped potatoes and used the Joy of Cooking recipe - it was a winner! I make bean soup using BobsRedMill veggie mix and add all my own aromatics and seasoning...maybe I'll have to write that one up! Have a great day...I think tomorrow will be our last sub-zero morning for a very long time :)
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:28 am Ah, scalloped potatoes with ham! How could I have forgotten about that one?! It was -11 when I left the house this morning - I am hoping that's the last sub-zero morning too!
  • Marcia@Frugal Healthy Simple
    February 10, 2014 at 10:35 am Ham: sandwiches, fried rice, macaroni and cheese, ham and bean soup, spaghetti amatriciana (probably my favorite but it has onion!), potato/veggie/ham hash, burritos, omelets, frittata
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:28 am I knew I could count on your Marcia - fried rice is a great idea!!
  • Erica
    February 10, 2014 at 10:54 am're amazing. SO giving, SO wonderful. You just totally rock. Um...those hash browns!!! yum yum yum!! SO so good. I need to try that. Those heart raviolis are so darn cute
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:29 am Aw, thanks Erica! I hope I sell a lot of those heart shaped ravioli this weekend! :D
  • Abbe@This is How I Cook
    February 10, 2014 at 11:09 am Hash Browns? Did you say hash browns? Totally love them. And Potatoes? any which way I can get them. you are a good one, Biz.
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:29 am Potatoes are like bacon - how can you go wrong?!
  • jenn@slim-shoppin
    February 10, 2014 at 11:09 am Ha! I am making ham macaroni and cheese tonight! Lol!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:29 am I knew you would at least one day this week! :D
  • Joanne
    February 10, 2014 at 11:18 am The hash browns look delicious. MMM... You are so kind to other people. I make homemade scalloped potatoes and ham. My family loves it. Egg bake with ham is good, too. Cold here still, but a warm up heading for the midwest later this week.
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:30 am I am so waiting for temps even in the 30s! That would be a relief.
  • Jan
    February 10, 2014 at 11:58 am you are so kind. Good people are just what the world needs!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:30 am Thanks Jan!
  • Louise
    February 10, 2014 at 12:43 pm Oh my that ham looks sooooo good. I would have to chime in with green pea soup or scalloped potatoes and lots of ham sandwiches. Also I freeze the ham for meals later on down the road. Must try hash browns your way....I am always baking extra baked potatoes....usually just slice and meals with meat and vegie for the husband and send him off to work. I am sure Zeal's appreciates having you around as their employee. I can see where you fit in perfectly and see their vision. Good job Biz!!! It's nice that you helped your fellow waitress out....shows you care about people. Well....just made another batch of that vegie marinara sauce....that is the best "sketti" sauce in the world and so healthy too, makes for a good pizza sauce and added a little sauce to batch #17 of Lasagna soup!!!!! Yep, I am hooked and addicted to Lasagna soup and Vegie marinara sauce!!! :) :) :)
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:32 am Well I think it helps that I love food so it's easy to describe the dishes to my tables! Hooray for more sketti sauce and batch #17 of lasagna soup!! Love it. We sent the one card that was in my batch of cards you sent me that had a heart on the front - so detailed. We sent it to my PIL for Valentine's day and they gushed over how beautiful the card was - thanks!!
  • Kim
    February 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm Every time I read your blog I think you are one of the nicest people I "know." That ham looks awesome - I don't think we've ever grilled ham but now I want to!!! Ham & swiss sandwiches (or paninis) sound tasty!!!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:33 am The grilled ham is so easy Kim, it's fully cooked so it only takes about 15-20 minutes a pound to warm it all the way through - so much meat for only $10!
  • Sherry Werth
    February 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm That was so nice of you to help out your co-worker!! Just so you'll know...I'm becoming a much more inventive cook just by "hanging out" with you! lol The ham looks awesome! I've made ham & cheese strata with leftover ham but other than that I just freeze it and heat it back up when we're in the mood for it again. My gas grill is under a covered outdoor kitchen and I won't go back out there until spring! I can't imagine having to beat the snow off to use it! lol :-D
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:37 am It's not the first time I've shoveled to get to the gas grill and it won't be the last either! I'll be grilling up salsa later this week when it's in the 30s! :D Glad I can help you be more inventive Sherry!
  • Renee'sKitchenAdventures
    February 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm Love you Biz! <3
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:37 am Aw, thanks Renee! :D
  • Michelle
    February 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm Broccoli and cheese soup sounds good! I think I will make some this week and give to my mom and sister . I love the idea of paying it fwd! Also thanks for the bacon tip!
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:37 am Once you get thick cut bacon at the deli, you'll never buy packaged again. :D Let me know how the soup turns out for you. :D
  • sara
    February 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm That mac and cheese pizza looks AWESOME. When I have leftover ham, I love to use it in potatoes gratin...not the healthiest choice. :)
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:39 am Not the healthiest choice, but still delish! My Mom still makes the best scalloped potatoes - and she leaves the onions out for me because I am her favorite. :D
  • A Life From Scratch
    February 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm You are such a kind person - love what you made her, how sweet. I'm with you - breakfast is the BEST meal of the day! i need to start making it for dinner more often, not sure what the husband would think though ;) Hey guess what? I think I'm coming to your office - soon! Logan is sleeping over and Becky and Tylers on the 21st (!!!!) so I will be delivering him to Tyler at your office! Let me know if you're around. I'd love to bring something for your server friend :)
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:40 am Yep, I'll be here on the 21st! I usually leave for the restaurant at 4:30 - so I'll be here up until then - that would be awesome if you wanted to make something for my co-worker! :D I'll email you.
  • Fran
    February 11, 2014 at 6:17 am That's so sweet of you to help her out but ..... here I am being the evil witch who is trying to protect you: remember you made food every week for your SIL, remember you made lunches for your boss everyday. You stopped because you needed to think more of you. So bottom line of this bitchiness of me: don't make it a habit to give her food before you know it you will be cooking for her every week. I always love your breakfasts, mine are so boring. And then I come here and see another great breakfast and get inspired but never do it. Time for a habit break :) Did you like Focus T25?
    • Biz319
      February 11, 2014 at 9:41 am I know Fran, I was thinking the same thing - so I will randomly bring her stuff. You know me too well! :D I haven't started it, but I plan on starting it on Monday - 30 days of T-25 - I'll keep you posted.
  • Brooke: Not On a Diet
    February 11, 2014 at 11:25 am When I read the title, I honestly thought it said "Hash brownies!" LOL! We have been to the Two Brothers Brewery. If you get a chance to go, do so! The food is fantastic and the place is just really neat!
  • Erin
    February 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm OMGosh, you are the sweetest coworker ever! Leftover ham is pretty much my favorite... *ham and bean soup (I'm usually a bean hater but not when it comes to this soup), *hot ham and cheese sandwiches (I just throw a few slices of ham with Swiss on those little King's Hawaiian buns and pop them in the oven at 350 for like 10 mins tops), *ham and broccoli crust less quiche with cheeeeese, and last but not least... *mac 'n cheese with ham Soooo, I might have to make the ham that is sitting in the freezer right now ... ;-)