The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

My Mama’s Fried Potatoes

new year's day brunch budget

You guys, 2014 has been such an amazing year! We got a new dog, we bought a house, we traveled all over the country to see friends & family (belated posts TK) and I’m finally getting into a groove here in Austin, meeting new friends and making a new creative community for myself. I also finally redesigned Shoestring after 7 years of publishing here and am reinvigorated, so 2015 is going to be a HUGE year for this site, for sure. I can’t wait to share more of the plans I have in store. Thanks for all of your support, this and every year!

As we get ready to drink & dance our butts off tonight (and pay for it tomorrow), I wanted to share one of my fave budget-friendly brunch ideas, teased yesterday in my banana bread recipe post.

Originally shared readers of my DIY Boston column for as a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day, this combo of my mom’s fried baked potatoes and muffin tin egg & bacon cups from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body is in heavy rotation in our house. Mostly because it’s quick, easy, cheap & an absolute crowd-pleaser, not to mention gluten- and dairy-free. I’ve never tried it with “fakon” but I’ll bet you could make it vegetarian, too, if you wanted to give that a shot. Let’s not talk about fat grams, but the egg & bacon cups only have about 100 calories each, too, so you’re not ruining your resolutions before they’ve even begun.

These potatoes were such a treat growing up, something that my mom made for us on special weekends and every New Year’s Day — a decadent little slice of down-home nostalgia that I hope you’ll try out for yourself. It costs barely anything at all yet feels festive and fancy, my favorite combination.

Happy New Year!

mom's fried baked potatoes

Mom’s Fried Potatoes
Serves 4-6

  • 3 large baked potatoes, cooled
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 2 Tbsps butter (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Allow the baked potatoes to cool completely (best when refrigerated overnight — a great use for leftover baked potatoes from dinner the night before!). Slice each potato into rounds, skin on, and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp each of the olive oil and butter in a cast iron skillet (best) or another nonstick pan. When the pan and olive oil/butter are nice and hot, carefully place potatoes in a single layer and fry until crispy brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully flip each potato round and repeat on the other side. (With additional seasoning, if you like.) Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, add the remaining 1 Tbsp each of olive oil and butter, and repeat with remaining potatoes. Serve immediately.

sparkling spiced pear sangria

If you’re hosting a big brunch for friends & family, I would also make up a loaf of that aforementioned banana bread (no one will ever be able to tell it’s gluten-free) and a batch of my Sparkling Pear Sangria or Deep Eddy Ruby Red Punch — you know, for a bit of that hair-of-the-dog.