Thursday, March 2, 2017

New England Roasted Potato Casserole

I am so excited to be one of the authors for Guideposts "Mysteries of Martha's Vineyard", a marvelous series of 24 books that follow the lives of Priscilla Latham Grant and her cousins Joan, Trudy and Gail as they discover an innate talent for putting wrongs right and solving mysteries along the way!


As a kid I loved Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames.... I loved solving mysteries with just a smattering of romance.... Ned and Nancy.... Cherry and Wade. Oh, and how could I forget Sue Barton??? SHE WAS MY FAVORITE NURSE!!!!

Agatha Christie? Loved 'em!!!

But then I found romance and I stopped reading mysteries. WHAT????

I admit, it was a foolish lapse of sensibility, so when I got a call asking me to do mysteries, I was pretty sure they'd called the wrong number... but no! It was the right number and we're having so much fun! I'm working with six other authors and they're delightful.... And because I love to cook and bake, the heroine (Priscilla) enjoys some fun in the kitchen, and cranberry nut muffins.

But we're not talkin' muffins today. We're talking Charlotte Latham Ingersoll's famous potato casserole, a must at family gatherings...

And when the family had a falling out on a holiday weekend fifty years before, Charlotte left, never to return... and Priscilla never got to know her delightfully quirky cousins... and the cousins never got a taste of that mouth-watering casserole until Priscilla inherits Auntie's lighthouse fifty years later and comes to town as a recent widow...

And so it begins. A new day, a new page, a new life in the shade of old maples and weeping willows and the scent of salt sea surrounding.

Today you get a glimpse of the recipe that Joan and Gail and Trudy dreamed about for 50 long years...

Charlotte's New England Roasted Potato Casserole!!!

Step One: Roasted potato slices

5 lbs. white potatoes, washed
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup chopped sweet onion or 4 Tablespoons dry onion

Cut ends from all the washed potatoes. Cut potatoes in half, then slice each half leaving skin on.
Dip in butter. Lay on cookie sheets. When all potatoes are dipped and on cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic and onion. Roast in hot oven (400°) until turning golden. We want them to crisp up a little, but not over-roast.

For Layering:

1/2 pound ham, cut into small chunks
1/2 pound bacon, cooked almost crisp and broken into pieces
2 cups Ranch dressing
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese

In 13" x 9" pan, cover bottom with layer of roasted potatoes and onions. Sprinkle top with half of ham and bacon. Drizzle one cup of ranch dressing over potatoes, then 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheese over the ranch dressing.


End with layer of potatoes and the rest of the bag of shredded cheese.

Bake at 300° until heated through and cheese is melted.

AMAZING!!!! Roasting the potatoes first is clutch, it gives the entire dish a stuffed baked potato flavor, and this can be prepared a day ahead of time, and then warmed.

The entire family gave a firm two thumbs up on this, and two folks said it was the best potato dish they'd ever had.

Oh, fictional Priscilla Grant: THANK YOU!!! :)

And thank you to Susan Downs and Guideposts for the chance to work with them. What a marvelous opportunity!

We're easing toward spring, but still baking up a storm... And here's what happens when I tell the dog to "Lie down"...

There are a great many similarities in training dogs... and small people!!!

Beth, testing one of the final Cranberry Orange Nut Muffins:

Molasses cookie Whoopie Pies:

And after some fun with bright blue kinetic sand, Xavier mans the vacuum to do clean-up!

And that's it here on the farm! Glad you stopped by and feel free to join me for fun on facebook at Ruth Logan Herne... or twitter.... or at my website I love chatting about faith, hope and love... and the greatest of these is love.

Ringing in the beauty of the Lenten season with gratitude for all God's done for us!


  1. Oh, I LOVE mysteries. They're pretty much all I read, whether it's romantic suspense, mysteries with some romance, cozies, detective novels, etc. I love them ALL.

    Cynthia Riggs had a great series called Martha's Vineyard Mysteries. I loved all ten or twelve of them! And I have seven first edition Cherry Ames, btw. I also have about ten first edition Nancy Drew and four Hardy Boys (my brothers got most of those). I love my vintage mysteries!! I think I read the Maltese Falcon about 20 times when I was in middle school. LOL. Nerd alert!

    I'm so, so, so excited for this! A Ruthy mystery?? It's like Christmas come early!!

    1. I saw Cynthia's Martha's Vineyard mysteries, and someone else has an indie series set on the island, too... Philip Craig... but I didn't want to read either, I'm better with a straight write from my perspective...

      But what an amazing place to visit! Cape Cod... the islands... So New England!!!!

      I'm having so much fun with it... and I was excited to be asked! Just finishing polishing now, and I get a kick out of the great gals I'm working with.... so that's a bonus!!!

      Detective Ruthy, at your service!!! :)

  2. I'm so delighted that you're doing mysteries! I love a good mystery. :)

    And this casserole...oh, the cheese! The roasted potatoes! This is going on the menu for our next carry-in dinner!

    1. Jan, my family is still talking about this one! The base potatoes are so delicious you could just snack on them right out of the oven, but then to layer them with all this baked potato goodness??? Oh mylanta, amazing!!!

  3. I'm over the moon about a mystery series too -- but 24 books in the series? Multiple authors? Do you each take a different heroin'es POV when you're writing? I can't imagine pulling that all together but I'm glad you are.

    This potato recipe had me drooling...until the meat made an appearance. LOL But I bet a veggie version would be just as yummy.

    So glad you've succeeded in teaching the little princess the 'down, stay' command. Such an important one to master. :-)

    1. Hahahaha! Laughing at the Princess, it's so funny! "Libby, lie down".... baby and Libby lie down! PERFECT WIN!!!!

      Kav, they have 8 authors, each of us do 3 books... so we collaborate what we're doing but every author is going to have her own take on the characters, right? I'm excited to see how Priscilla morphs from my book one to book 9... (which I think is me again!)... and I'll adjust as needed.

      This is common for the Guideposts mystery series, and they sell a lot of them, so folks must love them. Cozy rocks!!!

  4. I'm not typically a jealous person, but the chance to do this series????? Oh my goodness, that would be a dream come true. If you ask people who know me what I love- they would answer lighthouses, beach (Have I mentioned my husband and I got engaged on Cape Cod?) and mysteries. Happy Hollisters! Nancy Drew, Tricia. Murder She Wrote.

    Oh my. Good thing it is March because I am positively green!

    And I want those muffins too!

    1. For those who are wondering, Tricia is the autocorrect version of Trixie.

    2. Stinkin' Autocorrect!!!! The muffins were perfection. We'll do those soon, I think they're sending the recipes to readers as we develop them and the stories... so that's always fun! I love connecting with readers any way I can. God bless them, where would we be without them????

      I ♥ Readers!!!!!!

  5. Yay! Congrats to you, Ruthy.

    And this potato dish. Potatoes, BACON, CHEESE... What's not to love? I'm drooling just thinking about how good this must taste. Can't wait to try it.

    1. It is so good... and you could use French Onion dip or plain sour cream instead of the ranch dressing, I'm sure, but we are ranch dressing lovers. We're a little obsessed!!!

  6. You had me at 2 sticks of butter and cute baby/dog photos! LOL This sounds amazing.

    Congrats again on the new books!

    1. Thank you, Missy! And yeah, 2 sticks of butter makes anything better, right??? :)

  7. This looks amazing. I'm always looking for things I can make ahead and give a certain Drexler man ;) instructions on how to warm up when I work late. I also would love to hear about those muffins! Believe it or not while a lot of people do their banking in the winter season I do more in the Summer/fall because that is when the fresh local produce is available.

  8. We must have a lot in common in our choices of reading material! Your selections from the past are the same as the ones I read as a tween. I still love a good mystery story! I got a chuckle out of the picture of your dog and grandbaby. I'll have to try this recipe! Looking forward to reading these new stories.