The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: CLOSED ~ Simply Potatoes Review and Giveaway!
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

CLOSED ~ Simply Potatoes Review and Giveaway!


My favorite type of reviews are when I get to review products that I already use and like. Sure, it's fun discovering new products but it even better reviewing and letting others know about products that I already use and stand by.

When I received the opportunity to Simply Potatoes, I jumped on it because this is one of those products that I buy all the time and that I love. The simple reason is that these potatoes taste great and, better yet, they make my life so much easier.

Sure, I could peel, cut and grate my own potatoes but why? I sometimes opt for the convenience because I don't always have the time. If it makes my life easier, I am all over it. And Simply Potatoes makes my life easier.

Simply Potatoes come in several varieties: Shredded Hash Browns, Southwest Style Hash Browns, Diced Potatoes with Onion, Homestyle Slices, Red Potato Wedges and Rosemary & Garlic Potato Wedges.

Since I live in the boonies, I have only found the Shredded Hash Browns, the Southwest Style Hash Browns and Diced Potatoes with Onion. I have tried them all and love them. My favorite Simply Potatoes product is the Shredded Hash Browns.

I use them at least 3 times a month and not only for breakfast. My favorite recipe ever is my version of Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole. I love that stuff and one day while searching in my fridge one day for a side dish, I found the Simply Potatoes Hash Browns and decided to see if I could recreate the recipe.

I wasn't sure if I could make it work but a few years ago I learned a simple trick to making scalloped potatoes and macaroni and cheese. The key is to make a delicious cheese sauce first then go from there. If you get the cheese sauce right, it would make the dish.

I learned to make the cheese sauce watching Rachel Ray and then I made it my own by "borrowing" a few tricks from The Melting Pot. I realized that Rachel's cheese sauce was like fondue. When I would watch the servers at The Melting Pot make the fondue, they often used beer, garlic and other spices and it was tasty. So I decided I would willy-nilly make my cheese sauce using some of those tricks.

To make my cheese sauce, I start with equal parts flour and butter to make a roux. Now I usually use 3 tablespoons each but you can use 2 or 4 or as many as you want as long as it is equal parts. You melt the butter, add the flour and cook it off so it loses the floury taste. Then I add some ground mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder and some onion powder. That is the basic recipe but I have also added fresh herbs like thyme or sage when I want a different taste. I have added paprika or green chile powder to shake it up. The beauty of this cheese sauce is that it can be changed up. This time I added some fresh thyme I had lying around. Yum!

Once the you have the roux, you add milk. Since I am all willy-nilly, I can't tell you how much because I eyeball it. But I would say start with a 1/4 cup of milk and then a 1/4 cup of beer. You can use any beer but I have found that a darker hearty beer makes a richer cheese sauce. Then you just add a little more milk or beer as it thickens up. Since I am lazy, I buy already shredded cheese. I prefer a cheddar cheese when making the hashbrown casserole but you can change that up and use any type of cheese.

Once the mixture thickens a little take it off the heat and add the cheese. I usually use one pack of cheese. Mix the cheese in. Now if the sauce gets too thick start adding a tablespoon of milk or beer to loosen it up a little. Taste and spice it up more if needed and it is done.

Chop up an onion. Take some Pam and spray the backing dish. I like using a deep round baking dish for this recipe but you can use any you have. Open the Simply Potatoes and start layering the potatoes, onions and a little bit of cheese sauce. I like salting each layer just a little. Continue doing this until the ingredients are all in there. Add any remaining sauce on top. Now if you want a brown crusty top you can some shredded cheese on top.

Again, I can;t tell you how long I cook it for because I have never timed it but if I had to give an answer, I would say cook it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. But I have left it in longer with no problems.

I have to tell that the first time I tried this recipe, I thought it was better than the Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole but that's just me. It is also a dish you can eat as a side dish or entree. You serve this with a salad and you have a veggie dinner in a jiffy! You can serve this with chicken, beef, pork and hubby loves the leftovers for breakfast with some eggs.

There you have it. Simply Potatoes are one of those products that I love and will continue buying. I give Simply Potatoes two thumbs up!

Also, become a member of the Simply Potatoes site and be entered to win free Simply Potatoes products for a whole year! OMG think of all the cool recipes you could make! WOO! And thanks to the peeps at Simply Potatoes, one lucky reader will win a Simply Potatoes coupon to make your own recipe. YAY!

Mandatory Entry

Tell me how Simply Potatoes could assist in building your weekly food menus.

Extra Entries

* Go to Simply Potatoes and tell me your favorite recipe (1 entry)
* Subscribe to my blog through email (1 entry)
* Follow me on Twitter @carogonza (1 entry)
* Like The Art of Random Willynillyness on Facebook page (1 entry)
* Tweet this giveaway. Leave the link to the tweet in your post and use #simplypotatoes in your tweet. (1 entry/tweet per day)
* Follow my blog on GFC (1 entry)
* Subscribe to to my feed (1 entry)
* Add my button to your site (1 entry)
* Add my site to your blogroll (1 entry)
* Follow me on Networked Blogs (1 entry - see right sidebar for widget)
* Blog about this giveaway leave the link (3 entries)
* Add this Giveaway to a Sweepstakes site, Mr. Linky, your giveaway list etc. Leave the link!! (2 entries per submission - unlimited!!)

Make sure to leave a separate comment for the entries you complete!
Deadline: Wednesday, May 4th at 11:59 pm EST. I will use random.org to pick the winners so everyone has a chance to win. **PLEASE leave an email if your blogger profile does not include it or you don't have a blog. I need a way to contact you.** Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18 years of age or older.


Disclosure: I received a sample product for review purposes. No other compensation was given and the opinions in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the product. Sponsors are responsible for shipping prizes unless otherwise stated. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of any prizes.

125 comments:

  1. I have such a hard time deciding what to make for dinner.These would be quite helpful for dinners that would be meatloaf or a turkey dinner. Just naturally goes along with the food.

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  2. This could stretch out our food budget so much. W a fam of 6, our kids all love potatoes, and this being a starch. Would make any meal go farther!!

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  3. Would like to try chilis fajitas

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  4. http://twitter.com/aledol4t/status/58271670229680129

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  5. They would save me alot of prep time. I could think of so much I could do with them.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  6. I am a email subscriber.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

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  7. These would be great on nights I need something quick and easy!
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  8. follow Chili's on facebook
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  9. following Chili's on twitter
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  10. I would love to try the Big Mouth Bites at Chili's
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  11. email subscriber
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. following you on twitter
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Like The Art of Random Willynillyness on Facebook page
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. tweeted
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/58331817262063616
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. follow via GFC
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  16. feed subscriber
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  17. follow via Networked Blogs
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  18. These would be great so I wouldn't have to try to figure out a side dish. Everyone in our family loves potatoes, so this would be a big hit.
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  19. I would love to try the Honey Chipolte Chicken Crispers at Chili's
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  20. I follow Chili's on FB (FawnHammons)
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  21. I am a email subscriber
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  22. I follow you on Twitter @fhammons
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  23. I like you on FB (FawnHammons)
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  24. I follow you on GFC
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I follow you on Networked Blogs
    alsmalu at hotmail.com

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  26. Do you have some info on here from another giveaway? Looks like some Chili's info too. =0)

    We love the Southwest potatoes!

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  27. That recipe looks good. I usually just get the diced potatoes with onions or the red potato wedges and cook them....nothing fancy here.

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  28. I would like to try the Bacon Ranch Chicken Quesadilla.

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  29. I am already following you on Twitter as njhhb.

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  30. I am following via GFC as Nancy.

    ReplyDelete
  31. daily tweet 4/15
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/59053478798036992
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. http://twitter.com/aledol4t/status/59093693231149056

    ReplyDelete
  33. daily tweet 4/18
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/60034075846651904
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  34. http://twitter.com/aledol4t/status/60521410916917248

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  35. Would save tons of time not having to peel and chop potatoes, not to mention keeping a supply on hand that can spoil if not used soon enough.

    Thanks!

    tv608gm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Follow on Twitter as @tv608

    Thanks!!

    tv608gm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Follow Chili's on Twitter as @tv608

    Thanks!

    tv608gm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Follow on GFC as tv608.

    Thanks!

    tv608gm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. daily tweet 4/21
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/61156228071555072
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. They would be very helpful in coming up with a quick side dish. Now I'm working 35 hours a week I need quick and easy meals.
    gingeroo616 at aol dot com

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  41. The egg rolls look yummy!
    gingeroo616 at aol dot com

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  42. twitter follower
    @searching4
    gingeroo616 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. fb fan
    oursafehaven
    gingeroo616 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. gfc follower
    gingeroo616 at aol dot com

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  45. network blog follower
    oursafehaven
    gingeroo616 at aol dot com

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  46. less prep time...more sit down and eat mrs.mommyyatgmail.com

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  47. Make 1 less thing to worry about.

    slb3334@gmail.com

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  48. daily tweet 4/24
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/62340043234226176
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. daily tweet 4/25
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/62609366330777600
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

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  50. The Shredded Hash Browns could assist me in making several meals a week for my family. A filling for a burrito, folded into a frittata, baked in a casserole, etc.
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

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  51. My favorite recipe is the Potato and Cheese Filled Pot Stickers.
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  52. E-mail subscriber
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  53. I follow you on Twitter(5webs)
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  54. I like you on FB(Alicia Webster)
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  55. I Tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/5webs/status/62626808062951424
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  56. GFC(5webs)
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  57. Google Reader subscriber
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  58. I follow you on Networked Blogs(Alicia Webster)
    Alicia Webster
    5webs@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  59. Potatoes are always a good, hearty carbohydrate and are so versatile with so many kinds of menus!

    racheliznewman(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  60. daily tweet 4/26
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/62946531338231808
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  61. daily tweet 4/27
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/63264474030817280
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. daily tweet 4/29
    http://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/64000872077737984
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. daily tweet 4/30
    https://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/64417171454951424
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  64. This would be an easy to fix side dish.
    pkildow at gmail dot com

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  65. Oh man I spend so much time trying to decide what sides to serve with my main dishes. Then get the ingredients and cook it! This would take all the guesswork and prep out of my dinner sides!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  66. Oh the Nachos Potatoes recipe sounds fantastic!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

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  67. I'm an email subscriber, coriwestphal at msn dot com.

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. I follow you on Twitter @coriwestphal

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. I like you on FB: Cori Eckstrom Westphal

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  70. Tweet: http://twitter.com/coriwestphal/statuses/65150462134992897

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I'm a Google Friend (follower): Cori Westphal

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'm an RSS subscriber via Google Reader.

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I have your main button: http://asahmlookingforadeal.blogspot.com/2009/09/sahm-looking-for-deals-favorite-blogs.html (it's alphabetical)

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I added you to my text blogroll (lower right sidebar): http://asahmlookingforadeal.blogspot.com

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. I follow via FB Networked Blogs: Cori Eckstrom Westphal

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  76. We love their hash browns and when we have Wednesday breakfast for dinner night it helps with cutting the time to cut and peel potatoes.

    Thanks
    heidivargas [at] live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  77. Following on Twitter

    Thanks
    heidivargas [at] live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  78. Retweeted - http://twitter.com/#!/coriwestphal/status/65150462134992897

    Thanks
    heidivargas [at] live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  79. daily tweet 5/2
    https://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/65231042361044992
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  80. everyone loves potatoes.this would work out great
    amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  81. gfc follower
    amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  82. i follow your network blog
    amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  83. the bacon ranch chicken quesadila looks amazing
    amy16323(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  84. i haven't tried simply potatoes yet but i would love too try them on game night. i have to fix something hot, fillng and quick and these would help me out! thanks clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  85. the leek and potatoe soup looks good thanks clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  86. sub to email thanks clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  87. twitter follower clallen1971 thanks clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  88. like you on fb thanks clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  89. gfc thanks clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  90. button http://tryingnewproducts.blogspot.com/ clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  91. net blog follower clallen at ntin dot net

    ReplyDelete
  92. I'd like to try the Cheesy Hash Brown Pie

    erroneous02(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  93. GFC follower (greenup06)

    erroneous02(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  94. the shredded hasbrowns would be great for a breakfast feast on the weekend
    bewitched@email.com

    ReplyDelete
  95. I could use this with dinners and any casseroles or with salads

    ReplyDelete
  96. Simply Potatoes could assist me in my meals by me adding this ingredient to a meal/casserole/skillet meal~will make my meals easier 2 prepare!

    pkbailey@charter.net

    ReplyDelete
  97. simply potatoes could help me by making one part of the menu and meal preparation easier!
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  98. Great with eggs & Sausage in the morning

    ReplyDelete
  99. The hashbrowns would be great with eggs and sausage for breakfast

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  100. follow you via twitter susan1215

    ReplyDelete
  101. Simply Potatoes could assist by providing variety to the potatoes I choose to cook for dinner.
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  102. My favorite recipe is the Cheesy Leek & Potato Soup
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  103. E-mail subscriber
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  104. FB fan of The Art of Random Willynillyness (Cheryl S)
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  105. GFC follower
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  106. RSS feed subscriber (Google Reader)
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  107. FB Networked Blogs follower (Cheryl S)
    megalon22 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  108. This would be magnificent in assisting for a special Sunday family feast!

    edgenemmers@gmail.com

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  109. My favorite is the Cheesy Hash Browns. I made this dish for Easter, and everyone loved it!

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  110. I could use the simply potatoes with my breakfast lunch or dinner as a side-dish.
    Diane Baum
    esldiane@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  111. daily tweet 5/4
    https://twitter.com/ljatwood/status/65964521088499712
    ljatwood at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  112. I am terrible at hash browns, so I would use the yummy ones from Simply Potatoes with pancakes and sausage for brunch/dinner.

    ezmerelda at mail dot com

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  113. It would make breakfast more tasty!

    ReplyDelete