Italian oven hashbrowns (and losing my guacamole and dragon fruit virginity)

As my domestication continues, I’m learning all sorts of recipes. I recently learned an awesome new one: oven-baked hashbrowns. The recipe is included at the end of this post.

I’ve also been trying lots of new foods over the past few weeks. I’ve always been fussy and picky, but am attempting to expand my diet. Some new foods I’ve tasted:


guacamole – I tried this at a sampling station at the local grocery store. It’s probably being promoted because of the upcoming Big Football Game (I’m so out of the football loop I forget when it’s happening). Of course, you have to call it the Big Game in advertising, otherwise the NFL will sue the pants off you. I learned that working in radio. Never ever call it the $uper &owl. Ever. But I digress.

Guacamole is awesome. I’m new to this whole avocado thing. But I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty guacamole is with nacho chips. Of course, I think I could eat dog poop if I had great nachos like Que Pasa for dipping. But guacamole is so much healthier. (P.S. Que Pasa chips are the best ones. Ever. And they come in low salt!)


chia seeds – I loves me some ground flax seed over my cereal in the morning, so I was jazzed to try chia seeds. I’ve been meaning to try Salba, a health food product with medical benefits (it regulates blood sugar). But it’s tres expensive. However, I discovered Salba is comprised of fancy chia seeds. So I headed to the Bulk Barn and bought me some ground up chia seeds.

Remember the Ch-ch-ch-chia pets that were once all the rage? Same stuff! In fact, what a waste of such nutritional food, growing a grassy Garfield head!

Chia seeds are as healthy as flax seeds and have more antioxidants than blueberries. Pretty cool, I think.

And I love all that grainy, seedy stuff in the morning.

Chia seeds taste much the same as ground up flax. The only problem? They’re much more expensive. So I mix my chia with my flax, and really make my cereal stick to my ribs! I can feel my cholesterol lowering as we speak.


dragon fruit – Every so often you probably see these in the grocery store.

The very lovely dragon fruit, a stunning fuchsia.

They’re pretty expensive when they’re not on sale (I think around $5 or $6) but I got this one for $2.99. It was just SO pretty, I had to give it a spin.

This is what it looks like when you cut off all the pink:

The inside of the dragon fruit resembles a white kiwi.

Looks kind of bland, doesn’t it?

Yup. Well that’s how it tastes. Despite the stunning exterior, the inside is very mild. Sweet, with crunchy seeds, giving it a great texture. But if you’re looking for a taste that smacks you upside the head, this probably ain’t your kind of fruit.

Will I buy it again? Not unless it gets cheaper. It was nice to try an exotic fruit, but there’s definitely cheaper, tastier fruit out there. I seriously wouldn’t buy it if it was $6.

However, now I can say I have lost my dragon fruit virginity. I think I’ll stick to the guacamole. Now where’s me some nacho chips?

Here’s the epic hashbrown recipe that will make your kitchen smell AWESOME, and will force you to eat so much, you’ll get heartburn. Yeah, it’s that good.


Italian Oven Hashbrowns


  • olive oil
  • 3 to 5 potatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • 1/2 to 1 whole sweet pepper (green or other)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon thyme
  • pepper
  • salt
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar is a good choice)

Wash, peel, and dice potatoes. Toss them in a bowl with all ingredients except tomatoes and cheese. Add enough olive oil to lightly cover everything.

Spread on cooking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cook in 450 degree oven for at least 30 minutes (longer if you want crispier potatoes).

A few minutes before serving, top potatoes with tomatoes. Cover with cheese. Bake until melted.

These hashbrowns are so good, you’ll be glad you have leftovers.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ben says:

    You can get Dried Dragonfruit, and dragonfruit juice form this website. I tried the dried and its actually a lot sweeter than when it’s fresh. The company has a really cool social mission too in Central America.

  2. Laura Best says:

    I just recently discovered avocados myself. Miss Charlotte is a big fan and whenever she’s here we stock up. Now we’re just buying them because we like them, but have never had guacamole ..It on my list of foods to try, though.

    Dragonfruit is certainly new to me. I’ll have to keep my eye open for them. Interesting.

    1. Julie says:

      I found the dragonfruit a bit dull despite its promising exterior. I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover!

      However, I think it’s crunchiness would be a nice addition to a salad. The texture was lovely, but it just didn’t have much taste.

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