Simple Woodland Santa table for two and Hasselback potatoes

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I’ve been trying to introduce as many people as possible to Hasselback potatoes ever since I learned to make them watching Randy Sharp’s “Dinner Party Tonight” videos over on YouTube, and this past week I invited my friend Tracey over for dinner so we could have them along with beef tenderloin filets. It was a fun evening with a good meal and after-dinner conversation centered around things going on at our mutual workplace and the antics of our respective cats.

Hasselback potatoes are essentially thin-sliced russets that you then slather in herb butter and bake. Super-simple and really delicious!

I set the table using “Woodland Santa” salad plates by Sakura (with adorable artwork by artist/illustrator Debbie Mumm) and my versatile stitch-border white dinner plates from Home Goods.

My Santa was chopping wood for the long winter ahead.

And Tracey’s Santa was feeding the birds and wildlife, who were happy to gather around him!

Everything for this table came from my stash and was purchased in thrift stores or deep-discounted retail. The centerpiece attempts a woodland look with the tall woodchip Christmas tree, small piece of bark, rustic burlap ribbon, and sweet bird ornaments resting on the “log.”

Now as it turns out, Tracey had already heard of Hasselback potatoes – apparently they are kind of a 70’s thing, but they were new to me this Fall and I really like making them. Here’s the recipe for you to try!

Hasselback Potatoes for two:

2 Russet baking potatoes
8 Tablespoons butter (1/2 lb)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh or dried Rosemary
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh or dried Thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dried sage

Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Wash/scrub the potatoes but leave skin on.

Slice the ends off each potato and discard. Carefully slice the potatoes as thin as possible but NOT cutting all the way through the potato. TIP: I use two mixing spoons as a “stop” for my knife by holding the potato firmly between the spoons as shown, so my knife stops at the height of the spoon handles and doesn’t cut all the way through.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the herbs and stir til thoroughly combined. Place the potatoes in a baking dish, then brush the herb butter over each potato, working it down in between the slices. Your prepared potatoes should look like this:

Bake potatoes at 350 F for about 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours or until fork-tender. Occasionally brush the herb butter from the dish up over the potatoes as they bake, working it down into the crevices. (For faster baking, try 400F for 30-45 minutes.)

Remove potatoes from the oven when tender and drizzle any remaining herb butter over the top and down in between the slices. Serve hot – I recommend a separate plate for the potato, as the butter will go everywhere! You can sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top if you like.

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