Simple Yellow Potatoes

Simple Yellow Potatoes

Simple Roasted Potatoes

Simple Yellow Potatoes

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My husband and I absolutely love yellow potatoes. This recipe is the extremely simple way we make them every week.

Where to Start

First you need to wash. Starting with your hands and the counter if you haven’t done so already. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Then scrub the potatoes with a clean sponge. I like to eat the skins, both because I like the taste and I think that’s where most of the nutrients are. But potatoes grow in dirt, so they need to be scrubbed. You will most likely seem them change color from before and after scrubbing as you get that final layer of dirt off.

Simple Roasted Potatoes

Next is cutting the potatoes. You can cut you’re in the more traditional chunk shape. We cut ours in the way you see above, because it’s simple and thin enough to cook quickly. With potatoes, it’s important to have some size uniformity. The slices don’t have to be perfect, but when they are similar enough in size they will be cooked through at the same time. Note that thinner pieces cook faster.

Cut pototaoes

Next cover a pan, the size doesn’t really matter, with aluminum foil. I’m a fan of the nonstick. But I always spray with food release, just in case. Then I coat the potatoes in olive oil. If you are going to cook them on a cookie sheet, you might want to toss them in a separate bowl before putting them on the foil. Otherwise, you can just coat them in the pan you will cook them in.

Try to spread them out evenly for even cooking. Once they are spread out, sprinkle on any seasonings you want, but they don’t need much. Salt and pepper are delicious. For something a little spicy, we like to use a combination of black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne.

Simple Roasted Potatoes

Once the oven comes to temperature, put the potatoes in the oven on a middle rack for 15 minutes. Turn the pan 180° and bake for another 15 minutes. The potatoes are fully cooked when they feel soft as you stab them with a fork. Make sure you try a larger and thicker piece. Once soft, they are ready to eat.


Simple Oven Roasted Potatoes

This recipe is the extremely simple way my husband and I make roasted potatoes every week.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 1 Cookie Sheet or other pan
  • Aluminum Foil


  • 2-3 Yellow Potatoes
  • 0.25 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Food Release


  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Wash and cut potatoes
    Cut pototaoes
  • Coat in olive oil
  • Cover pan in foil
  • Spray food release
  • Put potatoes on to foil
  • Season to taste
  • Once oven is at temperature, bake on middle rack for 15min
  • Rotate pan and bake for 15 more minutes
  • Eat!
    Simple Roasted Potatoes
Keyword Dinner, Side, Weeknight
Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

I absolutely love asparagus. It’s one of my all-time favorite vegetables. I love when it’s so roasted it starts to get soft and brown and almost melts in your mouth. If you like your asparagus more on the raw side, this recipe will still work for you, but you will need to shorten the cooking time.

All the Details

As usual, start with washing your hands and wiping down the counter. Then preheat your oven to 425°F. Next thoroughly wash your asparagus. The big trick to deliciously soft asparagus is how you cut it. But before you start cutting, take a close look at the pictures below.

You can see different smaller cuts along the stalk tried from right to left (I’m right handed) to try to find the right place to cut.

Basically, all you need to do is tap your knife along the stalk and feel the texture change. When the knife sinks in with little to know resistance, you have found the spot.

Everything higher on the stalk with turn tender in the oven. Everything lower will retain a lot more of its fibrous woody texture. I don’t like eating sticks.

After you are done cutting, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with rood release. Place all the asparagus on the foil.

Then drizzle the olive oil and seasoning on top. Seasoning wise, I generally stick to salt a pepper. Maybe lemon or garlic powder if I’m feeling a little fancy. I shake enough to see sprinkles on every stalk, but not a layer. Mix the stalks around each other to make sure each one is coated. Once the oven reaches temperature, put the asparagus in for 20-30 minutes for desired doneness. Mine were done closer to the 30 minute mark.

Plate and serve with dinner! We like to eat this with everything from chicken to salmon to steak.

Simple Oven Roasted Asparagus

This asparagus is so roasted it starts to get soft and brown and almost melts in your mouth.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • 1 Cookie Sheet
  • Aluminum Foil


  • 2.25 lbs Asparagus
  • 0.25 cup Olive Oil
  • Season to taste (salt, pepper, lemon)


  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Wash asparagus thoroughly.
  • Cut off the hard bottom part of the stalk.
  • Cover cookie sheet in aluminum foil.
  • Coat asparagus in olive oil and seasoning on aluminum foil.
  • Bake for 20-30 min, depending on desired doneness.
  • Serve and eat!
Keyword Dinner, Side, Weeknight
Food Restrictions

Food Restrictions

Food Restrictions

This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

There is a lot to take into account cooking for just two people. First there are the things we must avoid, like allergies and migraine triggers. Next there are the things we want to avoid, diets and general pickiness. Then there is just how we like our food.

Please note that this post is personal and is just about my family. I am not any sort of health care professional (like a doctor or a nutritionist). You should take the recommendations of your own health professionals, for your own dietary requirements.


The two biggies in my home are soy and avocado. I do my best to keep everything allergy free, because I believe that home should be a safe space. To be clear when I talk about allergies here, I mean I’m worrying about anaphylactic shock, EpiPens and ER visits. I know there are many types of allergies out in the world, but on this site when I say allergies, I’m referring to the anaphylactic kind.

Avocado is relatively easy to avoid. Avocado oil is becoming more common in foods and beauty products, but it doesn’t stress us out too much. Soy is very difficult. It’s in everything and makes trying new restaurants a nerve-racking experience. We are constantly reading and rereading food labels looking for changes. Like how Lay’s BBQ chips changed their oil, and now they contain soy.

Then everything gets exponentially more complicated when my mother comes to visit.

Migraine Triggers

I’ve struggled with migraines for years. They are nowhere near as bad as anaphylactic shock, but I still want to avoid them. Not all my triggers are food, but I can control what I eat.

The four that I am certain about are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kohlrabi. These are all members of the same species, brassica oleracea, but were domesticated differently. I’m also avoiding all their immediate relatives such as kale, Brussel sprouts, and collard greens.

I think there might be a few still lurking, but I’ll update my list as time goes on.

Avocado is relatively easy to avoid. Avocado oil is becoming more common in foods and beauty products, but it doesn’t stress us out too much. Soy is very difficult. It’s in everything and makes trying new restaurants a nerve-racking experience. We are constantly reading and rereading food labels looking for changes. Like how Lay’s BBQ chips changed their oil, and now they contain soy.

Then everything gets exponentially more complicated when my mother comes to visit.


My cholesterol is elevated, but not so high that my doctor would consider medication. However, I know my family history, and high cholesterol is where I’m headed.

I’m not on a hardcore low cholesterol diet. But I try to limit foods that elevate my cholesterol. You will see this reflected in my meal planning with lots of poultry and red meat only once a week. When I have cheese, I try to limit it and have the reduced fat when I can. In my recipes, I try to have more olive oil and less butter. Even though I love butter.

When I have these sometimes foods, I try to make them really count. My husband loves burgers, so we have those about once a week. I really love cookies and buttercream frosting, so that’s where my butter will end up.


Like many people I have been dieting on and off since I can remember. My previous diet was Jenny Craig, and I lost 100 pounds in time for my wedding. But after two years and going through surgery, it was just too restrictive.

Now I’m on Noom. Basically, I count calories in an app and then estimate balanced nutrition for myself. I’m not claiming that I have a perfectly balanced diet and I recommend that you decide your own personal nutrition.


We are fairly picky people when it comes to food. There are many foods I will eat, but I don’t like, such as chicken alfredo. So, I’m not going to make them. I want us to actually enjoy the food I cook.

Here are a few examples. I hate soup and have a low tolerance for creamy things (except ice cream). My husband is not fond of non-starchy veggies. For my daily vegetables, I have to make them just for me as individual servings.

Differences in Taste

For many of the dishes we make, my husband and I like the same food different ways. I like things spicy, and my meat well done. He likes his meat medium and just a little spicy.

The trick is making two dishes at the same time to different spiciness and doneness levels that finish cooking at the same time. I now do this several times a week.

This is just an overview of the food restrictions I have to think about when I am meal planning. If you are struggling with anything list above, I want you to know that you are not alone. I would love to hear about any food challenges that you are currently dealing with in the comments below.




This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

Welcome to Part 3 of my Chaos Management series: Cooking!

If you haven’t already I encourage you to check out the earlier parts of my Chaos Management series Part 1: Meal Planning and Part 2: Grocery Shopping, before continuing below.

Cooking is personally my favorite part of this series. I’ve broken this post up into three sections: choosing recipes, storing recipes, and actually cooking. To get your own binder covers and other amazing chaos management worksheets, subscribe to my email list below.

Choosing Recipes

Your choices make all the difference. Picking a good recipe is something for you to cherish for years to come.


What to look for

There are many things I look for in a recipe. To start, I use my themes for inspiration and look from there.

The number one thing I look for in a recipe is simplicity. There’s an idea floating around that if a recipe only has a handful of ingredients, that means it’s simple and if a recipe has many ingredients, that means it’s complicated. I don’t agree. For me a recipe is simple if it has only a handful of straight forward steps.

The number of steps in a recipe is completely arbitrary on the author’s whims, so I actually have to read the whole recipe to determine if it is simple. When I write recipes, I try have only one action per step. Other people like to group similar actions into one step, like all the mixing is in step two.

As far as number of ingredients, there are many wonderful recipes that have long lists of spices, but I wouldn’t call them complicated. The hardest part of adding many spices is not mixing any of the cayenne into anything else, while reusing the spoon.

What I try to avoid are detail oriented steps.  If I have to very carefully do anything, it is not going to happen right after work. Things I don’t have patience for on a weeknight include searing meat, watching eggs come to room temperature, and deglazing.

Another important thing to watch out for is time. The total recipe times at the top of a recipe can be deceiving. You really need to read all the way through and watch for words like “marinate the night before.” These recipes might not require herculean effort, but if I only have 30 min to eat, cook and clean the night before I don’t have time to start a marinade.

It can also be tricky when they start with pre-chopped veggies. The ninjas in my audience won’t need to worry about chopping time, but the rest of us might. With my knife skills, chopping time is non-negligible, easily 10+ min. I try to do most of my chopping during my weekly meal preps, because it can be such a time sink. I recommend that you consider what else you can prep as you read through a recipe such as spice mixes, cutting meat, or cooking sides.

Sometimes I find a recipe that looks super yummy, but is time consuming. Then I might consider ways to either adapt, trying it on a special occasion or finding a similar faster recipe.

Where I Look

My favorite place to find recipes is by asking people. Most people take it as a compliment, so don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve never personally encountered anyone with a super-secret recipe.

If I’m looking for something specific, I ask Google. Generally, one of the first few recipes works extremely well and my search is over.

If I’m looking for recipes of a general theme, I’ll go to Pinterest. Then I save way too many recipes to my personal dinner board. Many of my favorite or want to try are also saved to Caramelized Chaos’s boards.

It’s important to not loose these recipes, especially before you even try them. If the recipe is digital, I’ll save it to my Pinterest board. If it’s from someone I know, I try to get it written down as quickly as possible otherwise I will lose it or forget it.

Storing Recipes

I have a two binder method for storing my recipes. First my big binder holds all the recipes, including family recipes from both his and my families. I have so many recipes that this binder is a bit too big for everyday use, so I have a smaller binder with my weekly recipes.

Each recipe goes in a sheet protector, which keeps them portable and durable. It’s also easy to slide them out and take notes on them.

What You Will Need

  • Big binder: I recommend at least a heavy duty 3” D ring with easy locking rings. It’s going to see heavy use and you’ll want to keep it for years. Depending on how many recipes you have, you might need a 4” or 5” D ring.
  • Little binder: I like the easy locking, but any three ring binder should do.
  • Binder tabs: I use these plastic tabs. They came in a set of 8 tabs and I have two set in my big binder. If you are starting out, one might be enough. If you have a ton of recipes, you will need more. Any tabs with enough space to write a section title should work.
  • Sheet protectors: Any sheet protector should work. I use Avery Premium Heavyweight Sheet Protectors with the “easy load” feature. The easy load really makes a difference. I use these for a lot of different things, so I have a box of 250 that I’m working my way through. Depending on your kitchen lighting, you might want to get the non-glare variety.

Note: You really need more than a 2 hole punch. Otherwise, you will have to keep reprinting/ making them as they tear and get dirty from being in your kitchen. No one has time for that.

    Big Binder

    You can decide your sections based on your own recipes. Before I ever considered meal planning, I already had a ton of holiday and cookie recipes. It’s no surprise that my special and cookie sections are the largest.

    If you are starting completely from scratch then you can separate them by theme, protein, meal, side dishes, entrees; however, you personally think about them. But remember one day another human being might want to find a recipe in there, so make sure your sorting has some sort of sense.

    If you already have a ton of recipes, first put each in their own individual sleave. Then sort them into piles. You might need to rearrange your piles a few times before you decide on how you want to group them. Each pile gets its own tab in your big binder.

    The BIG RULE OF THUMB: Only put recipes you know work and plan to use in your big binder!

    My only exception to this rule is extra special family recipes, like my family’s gefilte fish recipe. It’s practically an heirloom.

    My sections are:

        1. Chicken
        2. Weeknight
        3. Sides
        4. Fondue
        5. Fish
        6. Seasoning
        7. Beef
        8. Special
        9. Cookies
        10. Cake
        11. Pie
        12. Candy
        13. Bread
        14. Frosting
        15. Family
        16. Blank (misc)

    I used a label maker to write on the tabs, because my handwriting leaves something to be desired. Also, if I want to change them, I just peel off the label and print a new one.

    Little Binder

    This one is very simple. Only two things go in this binder. The recipes you are using this week and a few recipes you intend to try in the immediate future that you have printed out during the week. That’s it. Don’t clutter this binder.

    Before I start making my grocery list, I quickly take out last week’s recipes and put them away. Then I take out this week’s recipes and put them in. I tend to put them in roughly the order I expect to use them. Saturday recipes in the front. Friday in the back. This process might sound like an extra step, but it doesn’t even take me 5 minutes. Then I don’t waste my precious weeknight time sifting through the big binder while hangry.

    Actually Cooking

    I try to keep my weeknight recipes to 15-45 min of cook time. I measure this from when I step into the kitchen on a weeknight until I am stuffing my face. To keep my cook time low, I tend to do a little meal prep every week.

    The absolute first thing you should do is wash your hands, especially if you touch your phone in the bathroom. The second thing I usually do is a quick wipe down of the stove and counter, so I have a clean surface to make my food.

    I have two main categories of recipes. First is set it and forget it. For these recipes, I can leave the kitchen and not worry about it catching on fire in my absence. Maybe take the dogs for a walk while making frantic phone calls. This food is made in a device with a keep warm setting, and I know that I will hot food waiting for me by a certain time. The three appliances that perform this small miracle are my rice cooker, slow cooker, and instant pot.

    The second category I think of as fast and focused. For these recipes, I won’t be able to leave the kitchen or have any significant distractions once I start. These recipes tend to be very fast, because of my short attention span. Since I’m stuck in the kitchen, there is a higher chance of side dishes being more complicated than slicing a cucumber or scooping rice. It might not be a high chance, but it is higher. These recipes are made on my stove, in an oven or on the panini press.

    Getting Everything Done at the Same Time

    This goal seemed unattainable for the first month I cooked dinner. I didn’t know how long it took to make anything or what order I should start things in. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to master the habits to get everything finished at the same time.

    Start at the end and work backwards from there. Think about how long each step will take and move back from your dinner time.

    Fast and Focused Example: Chicken Sausage in Marinara Sauce over Pasta and Zoodles

    (Zoodles = Zucchini Noodles)

    Noodles: Heat Water 7+ min + Boil 13 min = 20 min
    Sauce: Slice Sausage 2 min + Sear Sausage 5 min + Heat Sauce 5 min = 12 min
    Zoodles: Wash & Slice 2 min + Spiralize 3 min + Salt and Sit 5 min + Squeezing 3 min + Microwave 1.5 min = 15 min

    I also know that my sauce can sit on low for a while without anything bad happening. But I don’t want my noodles to sit too long, and they take the longest. So here is roughly the order I cook the meal in.

    1. Start boiling water
    2. Pan frying chicken sausage
    3. Wash, and slice zucchini in half
    4. Put pasta in boiling water
    5. Spiralize and salt zucchini
    6. Start heating sauce on low
    7. Clean mess off counter
    8. Squeeze zoodles and microwave
    9. Pour pasta out of water
    10. Serve and stuff face

    Set It and Forget It Example: Shredded Buffalo Chicken over Baked Potato

    This order is even easier.

    1. I dump the ingredients for buffalo chicken into instant pot
    2. Take dogs for a walk
    3. Vent pot at the appropriate time
    4. Start microwaving the potatoes I prepped before
    5. Shred chicken
    6. Serve and stuff face

    It’s okay if you don’t get everything out on time, especially when you are just starting to cook. I know that this bothers my inner perfectionist, and it might bother yours too. But it’s just one meal. I have eaten my sides at a different time than my entrée. I’ve warmed things up in the microwave or toaster oven. I’ve even eaten room temp food. Both myself and my husband survived and lived to tell the tail.

    Time Savers

    Meal Planning

    This step really takes out all the guess work for my cooking. All the decisions about what to eat have been made. I already know that I have what I need in my cupboards. Just having a plan going into the kitchen, really help save time and fuss.

    Kitchen Equipment

    Having the right tool for the job also helps. Some of these tools might be a bit pricy, but as you collect them over time, they can make the difference between a sometimes food and a weeknight staple.

    For instance, take zoodles. I love them. But until I had a kitchenaid with the spiralizing attachment, I made them once every couple of months. Now I make them once a week. Other time savers include my food processor, which does a lot of my chopping for me and my knife sharpener. It might sound obvious, but sharpening your knives regularly not only makes them safer, but they will cut more quickly.

    Meal Prep

    Doing some or all of your cooking work ahead of time, can be one of the greatest favors you can do for yourself. And I know my future self needs all the help she can get. You can start small with slicing and portioning, and then work up to batch cooking and freezing. Because we like fresh hot food so much, I prefer doing some prep from each of my weeknight dinners once a week.


    You really will get better at cooking over time. In just my first few months of cooking nightly, I became faster at everything from slicing cucumbers to browning meat. The more you make a recipe the faster you will get. I saw the most improvement in my first few weeks, but I still see some bit by bit every week. If you are just getting started, don’t give up. It takes time and hard work to develop kitchen skills.

    Grocery Shopping

    Grocery Shopping

    Grocery Shopping

    This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. Read my full privacy policy here.

    Welcome to Part 2 of my Chaos Management Series: Grocery Shopping!

    If you haven’t checked out Part 1 of my Chaos Management Series: Meal Planning, I recommend you go take a look there first.

    I hope you are ready to get started. The goal of this post is to streamline making your grocery list. It will save you time and help you stop over and under buying groceries. It has taken me years to really get the hang of grocery shopping. Only after I actually took the time to think about it, did I figure it out. Before then I just wandered the aisles and thought I would remember everything.

    What you’ll need:

      • Your weekly meal plan on a piece of paper in front of you
      • A second piece of paper, like my free printable
      • A writing utensil
      • Recipes for the week

    Making Your List: Item and Amount

    Now you are going to physically go into your kitchen with your pile of supplies. Let’s be honest with each other here. Neither you nor I keep an accurate mental catalog of all the things in our fridge and cupboards. If you don’t start in the kitchen, you will end there to finish writing your list.

    Default Meal Plan

    We are going to start in the top left and work our way from there. For breakfast, I need to check that I have enough oatmeal, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Bread for toast and sandwiches goes on the list every week.

    For lunch, I need to check how much lettuce, carrots, and salad dressing I have. I might also peek at the mustard levels, but my husband is good at letting me know when he needs more.

    For dinner, I need to go through each recipe one at a time to make sure I have enough tomato sauce and chicken broth. If I don’t physically look at the recipes, I will forget essential ingredients like ground turkey for turkey tacos.

    For drinks, dessert, and snacks, I need to see how many bags of chips are left. The rest I generally need to buy fresh. I might also need more flour or tea.

    This is also a great time to throw out anything hiding in your fridge. Are your eggs expired? Should your hot sauce be that shade of brown? Weekly pruning will keep your fridge cleaner and make it less of a chore.

    The last thing I do is check my notes on my phone for anything I might have written down as needing during the week. These are normally toiletries, cleaning supplies, or things I don’t buy often (light bulbs). I keep this list on my to do app, but any basic notes app can do the job or even a piece of paper on your fridge.

    Filled Out Grocery List

    A few things to note

    • You might need certain ingredients in multiple recipes, likes eggs or chicken. I just write 1+2+1 in the amount column and total them at the end.
    • For things like cucumber that I eat several nights a week, I count them all across my meal planning sheet and then subtract the amount in the fridge from the total in the Amount column (5-2=3).
    • There should be no hard math in the Amount column.
    • Be as specific as you like in the Item column. If you need a brand name, or a certain sized package write it down.


    Write the stores you are going to at the top of the list. I recommend only going to 2-3 stores per week.

    I make a little x in the box where I can find the item. If I can get it at multiple stores, then this is a good time to compare things like price and quality. Sometimes chicken is on sale, or the lettuce looks better at the first store I go into.

    As you buy items, I recommend you cross out the entire row. It’s very satisfying. Alternatively, you can take this paper and make mini lists for each store either on your phone or another piece of paper.

    When I order online, I’ll make a checkmark next to where I ordered it. If it’s out of stock at one store, I can sometimes still add it to the order at the other.

    I only go grocery shopping about once a week. I’m too busy to go more than once. My time is valuable, just like yours. Extra trips for that thing I forgot can be frustrating and stressful. My husband and I are starting to do more grocery pickup and delivery, because we would rather spend our time together doing things other than shopping at the grocery store.

    Where I Shop

    My main store is Sprouts, a local produce focused grocery store. We buy most of our produce (zucchini, oranges, potatoes, etc.) and bulk dry goods (flour, rice, sugar) here. If you live near one, I recommend it. I love their produce. It is generally cheaper and tastes better. They are very focused on healthy and organic foods, so much so that they don’t carry many of the name brand staples I use (Heinz ketchup).

    The rest of my weekly groceries either come from Ralph’s (Kroger), Von’s (Albertson’s) or Target. I go to one of these a week depending on my schedule and what I need. This stop is more for name brands, a few staples, and things they don’t sell at Sprouts (Doritos, ketchup, deodorant).

    About once a month, we go to Costco. I love Costco. I assume you could also go to Sam’s Club for roughly the same stuff. We buy large quantities of stuff we know we will go through (pasta sauce, shampoo, paper towels).

    I know grocery stores are very regional, but you can probably find similar stores where you live.

    When You Go

    First thing Saturday morning is a great time to go grocery shopping. There aren’t that many people in the stores, even at 10 am. As long as we go in the morning, we don’t get stuck behind people arguing over coupons or returning half their cart at the register.

    We have to get up to walk the dogs, anyway, might as well go to the grocery store. By going in the morning after breakfast, I’m not hungry and am less likely to impulse buy a pile of chocolate. It also just gets this chore out of the way to I can enjoy my weekend.

    I hope this has helped you make your weekly shopping list. Where do you do your grocery shopping? I would love to hear from you in the comments below about making your list or if you have any questions.

    After you have finished your grocery shopping, please feel free to check out Part 3 of my Chaos Management series: Cooking!