Saturday, May 8, 2021

A Favorite and a Fond Farewell by @DeniseSwansonAu


Here's one of my favorite recipes because it is a way to enjoy relatively guilt free fries. I originally posted this several years ago, but have since made a few tweaks. I prep all the ingredients in advance so I can assemble quickly while the fries are still hot.


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large, but long and skinny Yukon Gold or russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  •  Crumbled feta cheese
  •  1 lb. chicken breast seasoned and grilled, then shredded
  •  tzatziki


Preheat oven to 450F. 

Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; cut each slice into 1/4-inch fries. Toss the potatoes and oil in a large bowl. Season with zest, dried oregano, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley, oregano, and pepper. Toss to coat.

Spread potatoes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake 10 minutes. Flip fries, and bake until crisp and brown, another 15 minutes.

Top fries with chicken. Sprinkle tzatziki and feta cheese over top.


Fond Farewell

It’s somewhat appropriate that I’m posting this on Mother’s Day Eve. As some of you know my mom is 93 and I’m an only child. My father died 21 years ago and since his passing, I’ve been my mother’s only support network. As she’s grown older, that has taken more and more of my time, which is why I have to say goodbye.

It has been my both my pleasure and my honor to be part of this remarkable blog. My fellow bloggers are among the best and the brightest cozy mystery writers and cooks. I’ve learned so much from all of them and been privileged to share their milestones and successes.

I’m also blessed to have come to know all of you, the readers, who are the backbone of the Mystery Lovers' Kitchen community. I’m incredibly grateful for your support.

Today is my final post. Life has gotten busier as I try to balance writing and my mother’s needs. I will miss each and every one of you.

As to who is taking my spot? Stay tuned as the mystery is revealed.

I hope to do a guest post now and then. I truly love sharing my recipes with all of you. In the meantime, keep it healthy, tasty and quick.




  1. We are so sorry to lose you, Denise, but we understand how important the demands on your time have become with your personal situation. God bless you and your mom. Take care, stay safe, and come back when you can for guest posts to keep us all informed of your life and stellar writing career. Good luck and Godspeed, Denise!

    ~ Cleo

  2. We will miss you Denise, but would love to have you back as a guest anytime! Big hugs to you and your mom xox

  3. We will most definitely miss you, but I for one completely understand.

    My parents met on a blind date and were married 7 days later. They were everything to each other. While we had always been a big part of each others lives, after Dad died Mom depended on us more and more. With age, we too were taking over more and more of the every day duties. Then Mom had cancer surgery and Alzheimer raised its ugly head. The last five years Mom lived with us and we became 24/7 caregivers. We did all we could to provide Mom with the best in life and we can look back with no regrets.

    Although a homemaker, I've always said the best job I had was helping and caring for my parents. The monetary pay may not compare to the job market but the rewards are beyond compare when you see the joy in their eyes or that smile on their face.

    God bless both your Mom and you and may you have many more memories to make! Some times our memories are all we have left. <3
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. I have enjoyed your posts and am sorry to see you leave. However, I am keenly aware of what it is like to try to assist a parent through old age. We moved much across the country to provide assistance to my mother-in-law as live in caregiver. My own mother is living with a sibling and his family. Am glad that you will guest post and look forward to reading them.
    All the best to you.

  5. Though we're sorry to see you go, Denise, and we all understand the reasons, we're grateful that you've been a part of the MLK community the last few years. All best wishes to you, Dave, and your mom -- and happy cooking!

  6. A tasty dish as a fond farewell.
    Wishing you the best.
    My niece is taking care of my sister and her husband (her parents, in case that wasn't obvious) and is really working hard at it.
    Wishing you strength and lots of love in your endeavors.

  7. Wishing you the best Denise.

  8. Your mother is so fortunate to have you, Denise--as have we MLKers and readers been fortunate to have you on this blog! Sending you and your mom the best wishes, and we look forward to seeing you here again as a very special guest sometime soon!

  9. I have been in your position. Love your Mom, enjoy all the time you have, and keep thinking of those plot lines. Even when my Mom could no longer reply, I kept on chatting to her, telling her events, etc. Share those plots and ideas with your mom to the end. She will still hear you. Best -

  10. You will surely be missed here, Denise, but I certainly understand, as my husband and I have until recently been full-time caregivers to my parents for the past 6 years. Thanks for all the recipes, and I look forward to your guest posts and keeping up on FB. All the best to you and your family!

  11. I have always enjoyed your posts, Denise, and am sorry to see you go. Of course, you have the best of reasons! I look forward to seeing your guest posts. Hugs. MJ

  12. You must do what you must do. Take care. We'll miss you.

  13. You will be missed. I always enjoyed your posts. Stop by and visit when you can and best of luck to you and your mom.

  14. Truly sorry to see you go! Hugs to you! Stay safe and well!

  15. I'm so sorry to see you leave, but your mom comes first. Take care!