One-Pan Hash Brown Breakfast

OMG!  I made the actual best breakfast ever this weekend, and no one was there to witness it! I recently bought a bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Hash Browns and I’m lovin’ it.  They are reallllly easy to work with.  The ingredients on the bag?  Potatoes.  That’s all!  It is really nice to have the potatoes pre-shredded.  It’s also really cheap.

After my Saturday morning workout, I come home starving.  I like making smoothies or having some yogurt, but on this particular day I was famished… and nothing light was going to do the trick.

I took out the hash browns, some bacon, eggs, and shredded cheese and went to work.

One-Pan Hash Brown Breakfast

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook

Serves: 1


1 Tablespoon Oil (you can use Olive Oil but I’ve been using Sunflower Seed Oil)

1 Cup – 1.5 Cups Shredded Hash Browns (I used TJ’s frozen, or you can make your own)

1/2 Onion, sliced or chopped thin

Sea Salt, Black Pepper, and Smoked Paprika

2 Slices Bacon, cooked

2 Eggs

1/4 Cup Shredded Cheese (I used Red. Fat White Cheddar)


1.  Heat the oil over medium-high in a small sized non-stick skillet.  Mix the hash browns and chopped onion together.  Add the frozen hash brown mix to the pan.  Arrange so they are covering the bottom of the pan evenly.  Season with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.

2.  Let the potatoes be for 5 minutes or longer, until they start to brown on the bottom.  Flip the potatoes (which should now have taken the shape of the pan, almost like a pancake) so you can cook the top side.

3.  Add the bacon.  *I had microwaved mine which makes it really crispy.  If you don’t want to do that, you can fry up the bacon in the pan first, remove- leaving the bacon grease, and only use 1/2 Tablespoon of Oil.  Add the shredded cheese.

4.  Crack one egg at a time over the potatoes.  Cover the pan and let cook.  After about 4 minutes, check on the eggs and slide out of the pan once the egg whites are white and cooked through.

After it was flipped

This was soooooo yummy.  I’m totally into Smoked Paprika now, and it tasted fabulous with the potatoes.  I only discovered Smoked Paprika because TJ’s started selling it ($1.99 I believe btw)… and i love it.  It gives everything a smoked flavor, and almost makes it taste like it came right of a BBQ!  It also helped give the potatoes a really nice looking darker color when they were done cooking.

At first I was bummed the egg didn’t stay completely on the potatoes, but it didn’t matter in the end! SO GOOD!

The eggs cooked perfectly, which is so hard for me to master.  Cooking them ontop of the potatoes, rather than directly on the hot pan prevented the egg whites from being overcooked, while covering the pan helped create steam which allowed the whites cook all the way through without having to flip them.

Look at this amazing bite! I loooooove black pepper, if you couldn’t tell!

Wasabi Gouda


My parents have raised me to love GOOD CHEESE!  We love going to DiBruno Bros, the Italian Market, or anywhere really… that has different cheeses.  We love to try new ones, and a great place to do that is Trader Joe’s.  TJ’s Cheese Selection is fantastic.  Their cheeses are at least a few dollars cheaper per pound than anywhere else.  It makes it a lot easier to try new things!

This time, we bought a hunk of Manchego (my fav!!!!!!!) and we tried their new Gouda Cheese w/ Wasabi.

The Wasabi Gouda is delish.  It’s super creamy but you can definitely taste the wasabi in there.  It isn’t very spicy, but it’s really flavorful.  We ate a lot of it on it’s own and the rest on plain Triscuits.  You don’t need much else with such a yummy cheese!

Trader Joe’s Shredded Hash Browns

It’s been a while since I’ve introduced you to a new TJ’s item.  These frozen potatoes are so amazing, I had to break out and make a new post!

So, I’m not sure what makes THESE frozen potatoes different than most other frozen potatoes, but what I do know… is that they are delicious.  SO: I looked it up on TJ’s website after writing this… here is what makes them so special:

… is made without artificial ingredients, preservatives or partially hydrogenated oils.

Perfecting hash browns has been a goal of Dave and I for years.  Every time we’re motivated enough to make a nice big breakfast on the weekends, we try a different way to hash-brown.  We’ve sliced them thin like chips, we’ve chopped them up into chunks, and we’ve even shredded our own potatoes, but it never works well.  They end up in a huge clump, not crispy, too crispy, too greasy, etc.

With these potatoes, we made the perfect hash browns this weekend.  I’m telling you, perfect.  All I had to do was heat up my new cast-iron skillet, add some Sunflower Seed Oil (you can use any kind, but this is the new one I have… from TJ’s actually!) heat it up & add the potatoes w/ some salt and pepper.

The key here is to let the potatoes be.  Don’t move them around, don’t chop them up… just let them cook.  Once the bottom is nice and crispy, flip them around and cook the other side.  That’s all you need to do.  They turned out freakin’ fantastic.

I give these an A+!  OH, I forgot to mention… they’re only $1.69 for a 20oz bag!


There they are all crisped-up on the left side. We had a delicious breakfast with a tomato omelet, bacon, and some fresh multi-grain french bread!

Trader Joe’s Mushroom Tortelloni

Did you almost forget about me?  I have been MIA!  I have been taking a mini-blogging break, since I’ve been sick for almost a whole week now.  Don’t feel too bad for me… I just had a pretty bad cold/sore throat.  I am the worst sick person ever though… even just a cold will have me complaining for days and days!

I am starting to feel better now, and although am not 100% wanted to come back and say hello!

What you’ve missed:

1.  My sister graduated from Penn State.  WOW!  Where has time gone?  We had a fabulous time celebrating her graduation last weekend 🙂
The fam after our delish graduation dinner at the Tavern… A Penn State classic!
2.  While at PSU for graduation, we GOT TO GO ON THE FIELD AT BEAVER STADIUM!  OMG!  This was a huge, amazingly awesome thing for us and I cannot wait to get our pictures developed!
a dream of mine!
3.  Post-sick Friday Happy Hour in Manyunk with Dave & Adam.  Had to have a nice big drink after my hard week!
The boys & I had perfect spring weather for a table outside
4.  Mother’s Day Bread Pudding… o.m.g.  Recipe to come very soon, but here’s a little sneak peak!

5.  I learned how to ride a bike.  I know, I know, did I really not know how to ride a  bike?  Well, no, I didn’t know… so close your mouths and stop asking!  I finally learned.  It was really hard but very exciting.  I had a great teacher- Dave!

Look at me go! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

And what does a sick girl eat for lunch at work when she isn’t up for cooking?  Today, it was Trader Joe’s Mushroom Tortelloni.  I started eating these when I worked at good ol’ Trader Joe’s, and havent’ had one since!

You can pick it up at Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section, near the hummus and dips.

Hope everyone had a great week and wonderful Mother’s Day…!

… had to throw in a new picture of Miss Stella, she’s just too cute!

Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai Latte

When my family bought our Tassimo Maker (similar to a Keurig, but one that can make Cappuccinos), Dave discovered his true love… the Chai Latte.  He will almost never drink coffee at my house, as long as we have a Tassimo Chai discs left.


In all of my time working at Trader Joe’s and shopping at Trader Joe’s, it never occurred to me to buy their Spicy Chai Latte Mix.  Honestly, i normally avoid the coffee/tea area because I would buy everything from it… but this time I happened to stumble upon it and thought I had to bring it home for Dave.

I’m so glad I did!  This stuff is the best.  It is so easy to make, and at $3 for the entire tin, it’s a bargain!  All you have to do, is take a scoop (which is included in the tin) of Chai and mix it with hot water.  Pour over ice… add milk… and voila!  There you have it.  Just as good (if not better) than the Starbucks variety.  There are also directions to make it into a hot latte if you choose.

The finished product! ... the eggs were for breakfast, not the latte! Don't worry.

Here’s my secret:  I added two drops of Vanilla extract to make it just a touch sweeter.  🙂  For the record, the Chai Master loved it and even had two servings in one sitting!

St. Agur Blue & Mustard Ale Cheddar

Hi everyone!! Here are two new fabulous cheeses for you to try from Trader Joe’s:

1. English Cheddar w/ Mustard Seeds and Ale

2. St. Agur Blue Cheese

They are very different but both are so good! The Mustard Cheese was the sample when I went shopping this weekend, so of course I got to try it and picked up a hunk immediately. It’s delicious alone, but you could put it on a sandwich and not even need any mustard, it’s so yummy!

The Blue Cheese is similar to a Roquefort, but less salty and maybe even a little creamier. Trader Joe’s own website claims that it tastes “even butterier than butter”, and it totally is. TJ’s is selling this cheese at an affordable $10.99/lb. I had the grand idea of smushing some of this stuff on a cracker with TJ’s new Fig Butter. What a hit!

(it was all so good everyone had taken some before I could snap these pictures!!)

Next, I want to try some of their goat cheeses!






Mushroom Brie & Chocolate Cheddar

After holding out an entire month not eating cheese, I knew I had to buy some on my first trip to Trader Joe’s in Feb.

I love buying cheese from Trader’s because it is so cheap!  They have a wide variety of types and flavors of cheese and the best part is sometimes it can be up to $5/lb cheaper than Wegmans or other grocery stores.

This trip, I tried two new cheeses I had never seen before.

The first- a Triple Cream Brie from Germany with Wild Mushrooms.  Like any triple cream brie, this cheese was thick and well… creamy.  We ate this cheese spread over wheat thin crackers which was perfect because it didn’t overpower the flavor of the cheese.  I was also surprised at how flavorful the mushrooms in the cheese were.  This one’s a winner, if you like mushrooms!

Even more outrageous was the second cheese I bought.  Chocolate Cheddar Cheese?!  Who came up with this idea, and why haven’t I heard it yet??  You might be skeptical, and of course… who wouldn’t be?  But you have to try it!  There is just the right amount of dark chocolate shavings in the cheese to make it the perfect sweet/savory combination.  If you want to try this- get to TJ’s fast!  I just found out this cheese is only here for a limited time and won’t be sold after Feb.