The Cookbook Series with “Make It Ahead” by Ina Garten – Part 2: Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes



Welcome to my second installment of the cookbook series for Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead” cookbook for Part 1: Blueberry Bran Muffins go here. This week I’m sharing Ina’s recipe for Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes. This recipe was very easy to make and was so tasty, there are a few changes I made though. I know what you’re thinking, how dare I change a thing about this recipe, but hang in there and see what I’m talking about. You know I love the barefoot contesssa.

Ingredients for this recipe: Yukon Gold and red new potatoes, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, good olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh chives and Fleur de sel or sea salt.

I only had red potatoes so that’s what I used, I also used Pecorino Romano instead of Parmesan and I had the Fleur de sel which I bought from Trader Joe’s (I like the pretty container). Because I used the Pecorino Romano which is already a salty cheese the Fleur de sel was too salty with the recipe. On the first try of this recipe, it was just too salty tasting but when I made it again it was perfect. I didn’t have the Parmesan and I thought the Pecorino would be interchangeable but alas, it was much saltier. I would suggest if using the Parmesan that you follow her directions precisely and see what you think about the saltiness.

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Both times I made this, I doubled the recipe. We only eat veggies, no meat, so this was the main course of the meal, I just doubled it and made it in 2 batches.

First I scrubbed and boiled the potatoes…


While they were boiling I grated the cheese…


and cut the chives…


 When the potatoes were tender, I drained them and put them on a sheet pan (2 in my case because I doubled the recipe).

With a metal measuring cup I pressed the potatoes until they were about 1/2″ thick. The first time I pressed them a bit too thin and it made it trickier to add the oil and seasoning (again, since my cheese was already salty I only sprinkled some sea salt and fresh pepper and that tasted great).



First round of pressing…


The second time I tried the recipe I only pressed them just enough so that they would open and that worked out better. After you add the oil and the seasoning, move the potatoes around the baking sheet to distribute the oil and then flip them over so they get the oil and seasoning on both sides. This is much easier if you don’t over press them, use a spatula to flip if you need to.

Second and better round of pressing…


Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until the skins have become nicely browned.

Sprinkle the potatoes with the cheese and roast for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the potatoes with chives and fleur de sel and serve hot. This last amount of salt was just to salty for us, so the second time I made these I just left it off.



I served them for dinner with steamed broccoli and salad. It was so delicious. For dessert we had chocolate covered strawberries, which as you can see from the photo didn’t turn out very well but they still tasted great (I don’t usually have a problem with them, not sure what happened).



They also saved nicely and I had them the next day for breakfast with a sunny side egg on top and some left over steamed broccoli on the side and it was wonderful.



Printable recipe to follow.




Parmesan Chive Smashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 1 pound mixed small Yukon Gold and red new potatoes, scrubbed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • Fleur de sel or sea salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 17 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a skewer. Drain the potatoes and place on a sheet pan. with a potato masher or metal measuring cup, press each potato until it’s about 1/2 inch thick (they will be messy). Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.

Roast the potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once, until the skins have become nicely browned. Sprinkle the potatoes with the Parmesan cheese and roast for another 2 to 3 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Sprinkle the potatoes with the chives and fleur de sel and serve hot.

MAKE IT AHEAD PLAN: Boil the potatoes and smash them on the sheet pan. Roast the potatoes and finish the recipe before serving.

Recipe by Ina Garten from the Make It Ahead cookbook.

If I haven’t mentioned it yet, the nice thing about this cookbook is all the recipe can be prepared ahead of time which is so nice if you have a busy schedule or are having a dinner party. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I loved the flavor, that it was so easy to make, that it saved nicely and it looked so lovely on the plate. If you give it a try, let me know what you think in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by the blog and come back next week for another recipe from this cookbook.

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“Currently Reading” series with “Kathryn At Home – A Guide To Simple Entertaining” by Kathryn M. Ireland


Welcome to my second installment of the “currently reading” series. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. First of all, Kathryn is one of my favorite designers, her Santa Monica home (which she just recently sold to move to Venice, CA) had the perfect mix of California cool, cozy, chic and looked completely welcoming and her farm in France is my dream space. Actually she pretty much has what I am aspiring to: the California lifestyle that I love so dearly and the get away location to just relax and enjoy nature. You go Kathryn!

This is her latest book and it is all about entertaining with tips on how to entertain with ease while making it look beautiful, along with many healthy and fresh recipes. Throughout the book there are photos of the two homes mentioned, I did think there was going to be more photos of the homes but it is more a cookbook than anything else.

The book is so beautifully put together, it really showcases Kathryn’s aesthetic. Her love of pattern is shown throughout the book with colorful pages and even the traditional type used enhances the style. Every page is gorgeous and pleasing to the eye, making you want to continue reading and turning the pages to take it all in. I can’t wait to read it cover to cover. I’m thinking this will definitely be one for the “cookbook series” since there are so many lovely recipes I want to try.

Here’s a few of the pages…


Love this traditional font.



Kathryn on her farm in France. You gotta love a woman who can wear a beautiful dress on a tractor.



Beautiful tablescapes.


Some of her gorgeous fabrics that she is known for.


Cute little drawings throughout the book.


I bought my copy through Amazon where you can find this book and 5 other books by Kathryn. Looks like I’m going to be ordering 5 more books…I want them all!!

Hope you’re enjoying this new series, I know it’s fun for this bookworm.

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I found the perfect peanut butter mini chocolate chip cookie recipe


I’ve really been sticking to eating only homemade food. Our kitchen has never been so busy, but I’m seeing our household change. I feel better about what my family is eating and everyone seems to be more involved and wanting to help out. Although we’ve always eaten pretty darn healthy, there certainly¬† were many times we didn’t, mostly due to busy schedules, but that’s all changing. I’m making the time and learning the skills to make our kitchen a place where there is always a fresh and healthy meal, snack or dessert to eat. I know cookies wouldn’t exactly be called healthy, but at least when they are homemade there aren’t any preservatives. I’m okay with the occasional treat and I’ve noticed that when cookies are homemade everyone is eating less because they are so satisfying, when your taste buds are happy you don’t need to eat a whole bag of cookies.

My daughter Skye has always loved Peanut Butter Cookies but I never found a recipe that I liked, but that all changed with this Classic Peanut Butter Cookie recipe and I added a little twist with mini chocolate chips which just made them even better.

I could just tell by the batter that they were going to taste wonderful and it made a nice big batch. I always bake on parchment paper for even cooking and quick cleanup but I find the cookies cook faster so I usually take a minute or two off the time.


For the recipe to these delicious cookies go here, and if you want to make them like mine add 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sooooooo yummy!!!



Perfect peanut butter cookies and with those mini chocolate chips making an appearance every so often, it’s like a bite of heaven.


With a side of milk please!


I brought these to Skye’s tennis match and it was so cute to see all the girls eating them up, wish I would have gotten a picture but they sure did like them.


If you’re a peanut butter lover, you gotta give these a try.




I’ll be doing another recipe for the cookbook series with Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead” so look for that later this week. Happy Monday.

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