Spicy Oven Fries in Memory of Momzie #recipesfromtheheart

 Spicy Oven Fries by Cravings of a Lunatic

Welcome to a very special event we are holding today. Jen of Juanita’s Cocina and myself teamed up to invite a wonderful group of bloggers to share personal stories and recipes with you today. The focus in on raising awareness for heart disease. I realize some of you are shaking your heads right now looking at these fries, and thinking I’m crazy. It’s okay, I am a little crazy, but there’s a story behind these fries that I’d love to share with you. 

Today marks 29 years since the day my mom passed away. 29 long years filled with lots of missing her and wishing she was still here. My mom died when she was only 47 years old. She passed away in her sleep of heart attack. Earlier that day she had not been feeling well. My dad took her to our local clinic, they sent her home with a misdiagnosis. I think she knew something was very wrong, but thought the doctors knew better. She went to bed that night, and never woke up again. Not a day goes by I don’t miss her, or wish someone would have taken her warning signs seriously. My mom had high blood pressure, so I have always wondered how the doctor could have missed the signs, why he didn’t send her to the hospital immediately. It is truly heartbreaking to me that with proper care she might have survived. We lost a special person that day, someone irreplaceable in our lives.

My mom was a remarkable woman. However she did not lead the healthiest of lifestyles. She loved fried foods, and adored salt. With her blood pressure it was a bad combination. She grew up in Quebec, and had a huge love affair with french fries. I think it was one of her favourite things to eat. She loved to make them from scratch, and I’m not going to lie she made some kick ass fries. She was not concerned with her diet most days. One of her favourite things to make was french fry sandwiches. I’ve never been fond of those myself. I have tons of memories that revolve around her making fries, or french fry sandwiches. When we decided to do this event I fought with myself over what to make. Initially I thought salad, then I thought a pork dish would be nice. But my heart was still stuck on the fries.

I decided to make them in a way that those of us who love them can still indulge without the guilt and health risks. While fries will never be super heart healthy, there are ways to make them better. When I used to run and work out a lot I used to do oven fries often. I remember Oprah’s chef Rosie making them. I bought her cookbook and tried her unfried fries eons ago. They were spectacular and we’ve eaten them often. I’ve seen Gwyneth Paltrow’s version on the internet as well. There are a couple of ways to lighten up your fries. One thing I do is soak mine prior to cooking them. Also when you oven bake them they still get that crispy skin without tons of oil. It’s truly an amazing way to cook potatoes. You can add spices to them which are good for your metabolism and add great taste to them. You can also avoid using salt by using other spices which is nice for folks with blood pressure issues like myself.

So for those who of you who were sceptical about fries for a heart friendly post I hope you understand that I wanted to do this for sentimental reasons. And I also want to show people that eating healthy does not have to be boring. Making small changes that will stick will go a long way to a healthier lifestyle. If you force yourself to eat food you hate you are not going to want to stick with it. I hope you try these. You can jazz them up in a number of ways. I made three small batches with different spices. I loved them all.

Spicy Oven Fries by Cravings of a Lunatic

Spicy Oven Fries in Memory of Momzie #recipesfromtheheart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A great way to make fries without deep frying them. You get to indulge without all the guilt.
  • 4 Russet Potatoes, cut into small thin strips
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil, I used garlic olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (use to your own taste)
  • optional: small pinch of salt if you do not have blood pressure issue, if you do skip the salt!
  1. Peel and cut your potatoes into thin strips.
  2. Soak in cold water for 30 to 60 minutes prior to cooking.
  3. Drain and pat dry.
  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  5. You can either line cookie sheets with parchment, or don't use parchment but spray pans generously with non stick spray.
  6. In a bowl combine the oil and spices with the potatoes, and toss till evenly coated.
  7. Lay the fries on the baking sheet in a single layer.
  8. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, checking them often depending how thin you sliced them.
  9. Flip them all over and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes depending on how you like yours. I like mine quite crisp and dark, so start keeping an eye early. They can go from golden to overcooked very quickly.
  10. Remove from oven and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any extra oil. Pat them to remove excess.
  11. You can sprinkle with a touch of salt if you like. With the spices it's really not needed though.
  12. Serve with a big old smile, and perhaps some ketchup!
You can spice these up with so many options:
black pepper
chili powder
garlic powder
onion powder...
the possibilities are endless!

Remember that the thickness in which you cut them will affect the cooking time. I cut mine super thin, almost matchstick thin, so they cooked quickly. A friend, Carla of Chocolate Moosey already tried these out. She cut hers thicker so her cook time was 30 minutes. So remember to adjust your time accordingly and keep a close eye on them.

Spicy Oven Fries by Cravings of a Lunatic

You have to admit these do not look oven baked. It’s just amazing how fabulously they cook up inside the oven. I honestly wanted to try them with coconut oil but I was not feeling too adventures after the flu. If anyone has made a version using coconut oil I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

This past week has been a whirlwind. I’ve enjoyed having the distraction of work. Usually every year as March 5th approaches I tend to get a little edgy. I start to really think about what my life would be like if my Mom was still here with us. How my life would be different, how my kids lives would be different. Thinking about her being at my wedding, being a grandmother to my kids, having someone to talk to when life gets rough, or when great things happen. This is all a life that is not mine. I realize this may seem like a  pointless exercise in disappointment. Yet for some reason once a year it gives me great peace to think about what might have been. I spend the day quietly thinking about all the “what if’s”. When the day is over I just as quietly shelve those thoughts for another year.

My beautiful picture

Anyone who has lost a loved one knows these days are never easy. Yet you cannot wallow in it. You need to celebrate the person’s life and remember them with fondness. For me it’s a bittersweet day. I know how lucky I am to have had a mother who was so devoted to her kids. I know I am lucky to have had a mother who made us all smile, and laugh like crazy. Her sense of adventure and fun was limitless. She was always up for a giggle, for enjoying life’s little moments and spending time with us. I am so grateful to her for showing me how to be in the moment with my own kids. To let your guard down and be silly, just for the sake of a good giggle. That gift is priceless to me. I hope my kids take it and share it with their own kids one day in the future. Being able to let the walls down and not worry about looking stupid while you play and laugh is just an amazing thing in life. Living fully, each and every moment you can.

Family Fun

My mom loved to sit on the porch. We’d eat french fries in paper sacks and talk. We’d watch neighbours go by and gossip. She would tell us stories about her own life and listen to our tales. We would laugh and yell, and basically raise holy hell every chance we got. We spent so much time with her. She was not the kind of mom you didn’t want to spend time with. She was the kind of mom who you loved to hang out with, bring your friends around and just enjoy each other’s company.

My beautiful picture

I miss those days. I miss her laugh. I miss talking to her. I miss her causing trouble with that look in her eye. I miss her. Every single day.


So if you have your mom near you right now, I suggest giving her a big old hug. Tell her you love her and spend time with her. Simple because you can.

For those of you who have stories of heart disease of your own I encourage you to share those with us today. Life is easier when you share openly and love with a big heart.

I’d like to thank Jen of Juanita’s Cocina for being my co-host today. Jen is an amazing lady and someone I count among my dearest of friends. She is the type of gal who has your back when you need her. And she’s wickedly funny. My mom would have loved her.

I would also like to thank all the lovely ladies who are participating in today’s event, sharing their recipes and stories with us with an open heart. I encourage everyone to go visit them all. Show them some love. These ladies have been so supportive and kind during this process. I cannot thank them enough for all their heartfelt emails the past few days. Their support has been made the days leading up to today more tolerable than normal. That means so much to me.

The Recipes from the Heart Crew:

Healthy Snacking with Radish Dip by Juanita’s Cocina

Arugula, Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Farro, Apple & Pecan Salad by It’s Yummilicious

Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce by The Spiffy Cookie

Pasta House Wilted Salad by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars by The Cooking Actress

Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts by All Day I Dream About Food

Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce by Chocolate Moosey

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon by Curry and Comfort

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad by Magnolia Days

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal by Crumb

Hoisin Flounder by Taking on Magazines

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Veggie Nachos by Dine & Dish

Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake by Hungry Couple

Ahi Tuna Salad by Noshing with the Nolands

Canapes of Apricot, Goat Cheese, Almonds and Rosemary by Cook the Story

Thai Chicken Soup by From Cupcakes to Caviar

Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf by Rachel Cooks

Black Bean Quesadillas by Pastry Chef Online

Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa by Whipped

Polenta Rounds with Apples and Cheddar by Diethood

Our Mission:

Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease. I lost my Mom to heart disease when she was 47, and I was 15. Each year on the day Mom passed I share stories and photos of my Mom. This year I joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day. We got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives. So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honour of Momzie, my Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.



Thank you to everyone who read this today. It is definitely one of my longer posts, but with very good reason. I encourage anyone who has a story to tell to share it with us today. I would also like to encourage anyone who is having issues with their heart to seek medical attention immediately. Do not wait, do not pass it off as no big deal. Get your butts to the doctor and find out what is wrong. Life is an amazing gift, and it can turn on a dime. Make the most of it and do not take it for granted.

There are so many wonderful heart organizations out there to get information from. You can browse around The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. They are such a great resource for information. There are also recipes on their site for those looking for heart healthy meal options. Hamilton Beach Canada is another great resource for healthy eating and recipes. I am not associated with either company, I just like and trust their sites. So I thought I’d share them with you.

Toodles and smoochies! xx

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  1. says

    Thank you for sharing these lovely stories and pictures of your mom. I love that you’ve made healthy fries in her honor. And spicing them up, I think, is one other way to divert attention from he fact that they weren’t fried. Great idea! My thoughts are with you today, my dear friend. Hugs,

  2. says

    When you speak of your mother… it always brings tears to my eyes. I wished (as much as you have for these past 29 years) she could have been with you all these years. I love your kick ass oven fries… Thank you for asking me to join today’s blogger event. I am slowly making my way to everyone’s blogs and reading their stories. My story is not so big…. but heart disease is still there. I hope this messages comes through loud and clear. Take care…. sending you a very big hug. ~ Ramona

  3. says

    This is a lovely tribute to your Mom, Kim. What a special lady and what a great Mom. I am thinking of my grandmother and uncle today, too.

    I love the looks of your baked fries, too! I’m trying to eat healthier and will bookmark these for when the craving for fries hits!

  4. says

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Kim. It is an honor to be able to participate in your memorial to her today. Much love. And oven fries. <3

  5. says

    Hugs, Kim. I had to scroll quickly past the photo of you and your mom looking at each other because my throat closed up. I’m so fortunate to still have both my parents with me though both have heart issues. I also have strong memories of mom making fries from scratch. We always knew we were in for a treat when she’s bring the big pot of lard upstairs from the basement. Your fries do indeed look delicious.

  6. says

    Oh my goodness Kim. You have me balling right now girl! 5 years ago, I lost my Dad to a massive heart attack in his sleep as well. This is a beautiful post, and I know that your Momzie is right there with you everyday, and I know you’re making her proud! Wanna know something funny? I noticed at the end of the post you wrote “Toodles”! That’s what my Dad used to tell me everytime he was leaving to go somewhere lol :) *BIG HUGS FROM ME TO YOU*! I wish you lived closer, we could bake healthy recipes all day until our hearts were content! :)

  7. says

    Kim, this is a lovely post from start to finish. Life is indeed a gift and posts like these are reminders to live it, love it and nourish it with the best possible choices. While heart disease hasn’t touched my family, other disease has cut branches from the family tree. I applaud your choice of fries, in part for the connection you have with them, but more so for the smarter way to prepare them. And if this post can turn someone towards mindful, healthier eating then you’ve raised awareness in the memory of Mom.

  8. says

    A lovely post Kim and a great tribute to your mom. Today has to be very difficult for you. I’m sending you big hugs to help get you through.
    Thank you very much for including me in this event. I’m honored to be with such fabulous bloggers.

  9. says

    I’m so very blessed to have a friend in my life who’s able to cherish the memories of a wonderful mom…and allow others to live vicariously through you. Momzie sure was a special woman, and it appears that she spread her joy and beauty onto you <3
    By the way.. those fries are making me drool!

  10. says

    So sorry to hear about your mom but what a great event to raise heart disease awareness. These oven fries are perfect for leading a healthy lifestyle living. I am really touched by your story.

  11. Joan@Chocolateandmore says

    Kim, I’m so sorry for your loss but I can’t help but smile at the wonderful memories you have of your mom. Seeing how active she was with you kids, I don’t think my mom would have even considered getting on a trampoline, lol. Without knowing your mom, I know that you must be so much like her. Your humor, your sense of adventure, your love for your family, your mom is definitely a part of who you are. I love your take on these fries, sometimes it’s just the small changes we can make that will help us to live a little longer, and keep creating all those wonderful memories. big hugs my sweet friend!

  12. says

    Heart disease runs in my family, too. It is great you are making everyone aware. And your mom would be proud for all you have done. Especially for the way you have conquered those fries. :) If we’d all only stick with those…And thinking about your mom being at all those wonderful family events is just your way of keeping her in the picture. And that is good. She will always be with you because your memory allows her too.

  13. says

    Sending you love and hugs today… even though my mom totally pushes my buttons and drives me crazy, I still love her to death and can’t imagine a life without her.
    Tonight I’m going to make a big batch of oven fries in honour of your Momzie. She sounds like she was a pretty awesome lady. (Which obviously runs in the family, since her daughter grew up to be a pretty awesome lady too.)

  14. says

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute with all of us. From reading how you have described your mom, and from having read your blog for a while, I am going to say that in a lot of ways “like mother, like daughter”. I believe you share the same sense of fun that she did.

    My dads father had his first heart attack at 40. After several more, he passed away years later. My dad had a “minor” heart attack about 5 years ago. Then 2 years ago he had another one. He ended up having to have a quadruple bypass. The issue is hereditary and I was told years ago that I have the same issue. I turn 40 this year. While the age itself doesn’t bother me, I am very aware of it. Yes, I bake a lot. However, I also try to stay active and have been eating Paleo for my meals (which has helped reduce some physical ailments). Every little bit helps (or so I’m hoping)!

  15. Debra says

    What a totally touching post Kim! Your mom sounds like she truly loved her kids. She was brought up in a different time and back then they didn’t think about how to make things healthier, that was just the way you cooked. So your post today has such great meaning and what a tribute to her! She would be so pleased! Sending big hugs!

  16. says

    Lovely post. 47 is way too young. These fries are a great tribute to your mom – you’ve found a way to make them that tastes great and is healthy. Awesome job, both the recipe and the post. Thanks for sharing with us.

  17. says

    Such a wonderful tribute to your mom!! She would be so proud of you and the spectacular mom and woman you’ve become! And I’m sure she’s smiling down at you making these french fries in her honor…I’m going to have to try them soon! xx

  18. says

    What a lovely post and wonderful recipe. It is hard to loose someone you love at any time but at 15 it is so difficult. I am glad that you did this event and I truly hope it is cathartic for you. Thank you for thinking of me and including me in this. May you have many years to make wonderful memories with your family.

  19. says

    Kim, thank you for sharing this wonderful, heartwrenching ode to your momzie. I read it with tears in my eyes. She sounded absolutely fabulous (no surprise since she raised you to be such a kick ass, warm, amazing lady). I love all the photos you shared with us. This is a very important cause and I’m so glad you rounded up this amazing group of ladies to blog about it. My grandmother had a heart attack a few years ago and she didn’t say anything about the pain in her chest until days afterwards. By the time she said anything and we took her to the hospital, the damage was too severe. She lingered for weeks before passing away. My dad has had high cholesterol and type II diabetes for as long as I can remember. My oldest sister was told at the age of 35 that her cholesterol levels are incredibly high. My dear husband, who is only 32 and who has always been active and healthy, was just told by his doctor that his levels are dangerously high. He’s on medication for cripe’s sake. I just saw my family doctor for my yearly check-up and I’m going to get my cholesterol tested soon. I know I need to take care of my heart better – I feed it terribly and I never work out. I’m stressed out all.the.time from work. I’m a disaster waiting to happen. Thank you for today’s post. I’m going to take it to heart (pun intended) and do something. I’ll start by making all the delicious recipes featured today. I’m sending virtual hugs and love your way!

  20. says

    What a beautiful post Kim! Your mom sounds like a fabulous woman and she raised an amazing daughter. Thank you for sharing with us, I know this wasn’t easy.

  21. says

    Thank you for letting us share this day with you. Each year when you post about your mom, I end up crying as I read. This year is no different. Love you!!

  22. says

    I hope the fact that so many of us shared this day with you has made it a little easier. And I think making her favorite food in a healthier way was the perfect choice. We do oven fries all the time. So much so, in fact, that we’ve forgotten any other way. Take good care of yourself for your children, your husband and because it’s what your mother would have wanted for you. Big hugs!

  23. says

    A heartfelt tribute to your mom, Kim. Your entire post had me in tears and I think we can all some way or the other, relate to your pain and loss.

    Such events definitely begins or continues topic on heart disease that’s plaguing all around the world.

    That fries looks absolutely delish! I love oven fried fries, and I’ve made it with sweet tates before. Yum :)

  24. says

    Such a beautiful post with beautiful pictures and lovely memories. Heart disease is scary.. my dad had a quadruple bypass 10 years ago. He’s a skinny little guy who exercised every day. But his genes did him in along with his growing up on a farm in Minnesota where the cream off the top of the milk was a nearly every day treat and where his mom saved the bacon grease from breakast to fry the lunch potatoes in.
    I’m happy to say though, that 8 months after his bypass, at the age of 75, he climbed Half Dome in Yosemite without issue! He eats healthier than I do, and we always laugh as he picks up each chip he eats and rubs the salt off. He’s an inspiration.
    Thank you for your beautiful post and wonderful review. I’m eager to read the other posts as well!

  25. Ann says

    **sigh** I heart you. I’m sorry you lost your mother at such a young age, she seemed pretty amazing! Hugs to you and yours.

    …and your fries look delicious!

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Ann. Not only for the support and kind words but for being my photo editor on these pictures. Cannot thank you enough. I really love the black & white with the pop of colour. It’s really cool. You give good photo. Lol!

  26. says

    Ah, the what-ifs. It’s hard not to indulge once in a while when the memories are so sweet. It’s easy to see where you get your verve from and I am sure you have passed it on to your children.

    Your fries look wonderful! I always make oven fries but tend to cut them in wedges. I am going to try cutting them skinny and the soaking like yours next time. And I will eat them one by one, in honor of your sweet mother. Wouldn’t she get a kick out of so many people loving on her daughter through this blog!

  27. says

    Ok I’m tearing up a little bit now. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom, especially with the “what ifs” of the misdiagnosis. Im fortunate to have my mom still around (although her and I don’t get along too well for more than a few days in a row). There are days where I wish I lived closer to them, so I can actually do something like dinner once a week or drop off baked goods or something more often than once a month.

    I’ve never been a fan of making fries. Eating fries, yes if they are done right (most places arent too crispy). But making them? I don’t fry foods too often (more because it’s a pain, not because of health reasons!) and baking, well, I never had too much success. I’m stuck at home today because of the snow and I have red potatoes to use up. May not be the same as Russet potatoes but I bet your method will still make them tasty.

    Thank you for coordinating this and for sharing your story. I know it must be tough and cannot even imagine how long it took you to write this between the tears and memories, but just know you have all of our support <3

  28. says

    What a wonderful post! We have recently been effected by some scary heart related issues so this was timely for us too. Consequently, I am looking for heart healthy recipes now! This is wonderful.

    My thoughts go out to you because I can”t imagine losing a parent.

  29. says

    Such a lovely tribute to your mom. My dad was only 54 when he died, and it was such a loss. We will never forget our loved ones who left us much too soon.

  30. says

    Thank you so much Kim for sharing your story. Your mom sounds like she truly was an amazing soul! Heart disease is a big issue in my family. My grandfather just had a scare a few weeks ago, but someone was looking down on him, and he is still here with us! I always try to eat healthier because of our family history. Your fries sound like a perfect way to celebrate such an amazing woman!! Sending big hugs, Terra

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