It was a week of potatoes, girl power, and comfy pants... in other words, it was a great week.

By Darcy Lenz
March 09, 2018
Photo: Jen Causey; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson; Food Styling: Marianne Williams

It wasn’t official or anything, but I’m just going to go ahead and state the obvious: This was the Week of the Potato at MyRecipes. (Yeah, and you thought being in the year of the dog was exciting.) 

Because the simple things are often the easiest to mess up, we started off with a solid refresher on how to make a perfect baked potato. And yes, there is in fact a right way if what you’re aiming for is a fluffy on-the-inside, deliciously crisp-skinned spud. However, if unevenly cooked, shriveled skinned taters are perfectly fine by you, go ahead—put it in the microwave. We also dove into how to make potato skins (which, under no circumstances do we suggest even attempting in the microwave) because sometimes, you really just want the toppings more than the potato itself. But hey, don’t let the baked potato flesh go to waste; just save it for later when you’re feeling up to making a pot of mashed potatoes, creamy potato soup, or perhaps some crispy potato cakes. We also figured out how to make the Internet-famous "melting potatoes" with an Instant Pot (so, without cranking the oven up to 500 degrees).

Loosely related to potatoes (in that it comes from a dense, starchy root and is also a great ingredient for anyone following a gluten-free diet) have you ever tried cooking with cassava flour? You so should, particularly if you’re interested in gluten-free alternatives. Cassava flour has a very mild flavor and is one of the few alt flours that can often be swapped into a recipe calling for AP at a 1-to-1 ratio. Plus, it’s essential to making traditional South American specialties like Farofa. Should you feel as though you still do not have enough starchy goodness in your life at this point (valid), check out our easiest potato recipes, our best roasted potato recipes, our best baked potato recipes, OR our best twice-baked potato recipes! 

Note: If you go with all of the above, you will likely feel a desperate need to change out of your jeans and into some stretchy pants (I feel this desperate need at the end of the day regardless of what I eat, by the way, so no shame); here are 5 adorable food-printed pairs we love. Once you’re nice and settled in your comfy pants, pouring yourself a nice cup of tea probably wouldn’t hurt either. 

In non-potato news… Yesterday, we celebrated International Women’s Day by paying homage to some of the most influential female faces on supermarket shelves—i.e. the women behind the iconic convenience brands that have shaped the way we cook and eat. We explored the fascinating stories of Betty Crocker, Little Debbie, Aunt Jemima, Marie Callendar, Sister Schubert, and Mrs. Fields, (and created a few new, fun recipes using favorite products from these brands). I found significant inspiration in reading/editing this series, written by the talented Gillie Houston; so if you haven’t had a chance to take a look, I would highly recommend doing so. All of which is to say, celebrating the stories behind and evolution of powerful female names is a privilege, and it’s one that we, as a staff, are incredibly thankful. 

WATCH: How to Make a Banana Upside-Down Pancake Cake

 Finally, if you’re looking forward to (read: physically aching for) warmer weeks ahead—SAME. Here’s a list of the top-priority dishes we’re cooking the second spring produce starts rolling in. And for anyone gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day next weekend, here’s everything you need: Guinness things, Baileys things, festive St. Paddy’s dessert things, and a friendly reminder that green beer is not your friend. 

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