Home Sweet Home Fries – How I Made Them Before the Pandemic Started vs. After

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In the United States, serving potatoes with your breakfast is common in many restaurants or public places. At homes, maybe not as much.

However, I like to make my own breakfast potatoes, too. I have been cooking since I was 12, but didn’t make home fries from scratch until around 15 or 16 years old.

I made them the same way for many years… until the covid-19 pandemic affected the US in March 2020 and the world shut down. 

While the restaurants near me still remained open for to-go orders or deliveries, their dining areas had to close. So, I basically could not eat my favorite breakfast dishes for an entire season.

I did lose weight from that. But once lockdown ended, I went back to eating out like crazy. Then I gained at least all the weight I’d lost during the shut-down, if not, more.

Recently, though, my mom made me cut down on the commercially-made food. I lost even more weight and kept it off. 

Obviously, that is a good thing. But unfortunately, that meant many of my favorite outfits became way too big on me. So, I had to donate them. Bummer!

Anyway, while the pandemic ruined a bunch of aspects of my life (as well as everybody else’s), some things made me grow and improve on certain activities, including cooking.

That includes breakfast potatoes. 

Now without further ado, let me get started on my methods of making home fries… starting with before the pandemic affected the US.


Cubed potatoes



I chopped my potatoes and cooked them in butter, salt, and pepper. I would sear them in my pan until they were golden brown and crispy.

In my early years, that took longer since I would put raw potatoes right into the skillet. It was not until recent years that I came up with a trick to make the potatoes cook faster: that is to microwave them before you put them on the stove or oven. And guess what–they resulted a lot better – crispier on the outside and softer on the inside.

Now after the pandemic started:

Updated home fries ingredients

Cubed potatoes



Garlic powder

Smoked paprika

The steps to this are pretty much the same as in the one above. However, once they’re done, you toss some garlic powder and smoked paprika before you serve or enjoy them. 

And you know what? They taste way better. There is a stronger flavor and taste that makes you want to avoid the ordinary recipe you used before.

Aside from adding a couple of additional ingredients, I also tried to use copycat recipes of restaurant-style breakfast potatoes.

For example, I used the kind that resembles how diners typically prepare their home fries as well as how a certain deli near me makes theirs and how Friendly’s used to make their grilled breakfast potatoes (which I miss).

For the diner-style breakfast potatoes, I used a recipe by Chef Sally. You can search her on Google to see the exact recipe.

But what I will share are the ingredients:

Sliced russet potatoes



Onion powder

Garlic powder


Diced onions

With that recipe above, you bake your home fries. However, they take a while. So, I would recommend either doing it the night before or if you wake up super-early.

As for the kind a deli near me cooks, I found something pretty similar:

Chopped potatoes

Bell peppers

Chopped onions

Smoked Paprika

A special seasoning (like chipotle or grill)

Notice how I did not include salt or pepper? That is because you really don’t need it. The seasoning will likely contain the right amount of salt and pepper.

And last, but not least…

Grilled breakfast potatoes

Chopped potatoes




Herbs (optional)

This was not a specific copycat recipe of the version Friendly’s used to prepare, but it had a lot of similarities. 

What I do is microwave my cut potatoes first. Then I toss them in oil, salt, and pepper. I wrap it in foil and put it over a preheated iron skillet. I cover it for about ten minutes.

Finally, I remove the lid and unwrap the foil.

While the recipe I used called for herbs (and you can still use them if you want to), I found that the herbs affected the taste too much. It went to the point where the potatoes tasted bitter.

When I cooked those a second time, I omitted the herbs. The potatoes tasted a lot better.

When crises occur, it can be hard to find any positivity. But at least I learned some new things that I would not have bothered to try had this pandemic not happened.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com. Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

4 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home Fries – How I Made Them Before the Pandemic Started vs. After

  1. I love making breakfast potatoes from left over boiled potatoes. I store them in the frig until I get ready to make breakfast potatoes. I chop and slice them up. I add the same things you do. It’s a good way to use up leftover potatoes.

  2. Great idea! I love potatoes with breakfast. I made these this past weekend, and I used the microwave. I can’t believe what a good idea that was. I also used some garlic salt on the fries I made for dinner.

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