Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries

I heart sweet potato fries. The good news - I just learned how easy they are to replicate at home. The bad news - I just learned how easy they are to replicate at home!

Even worse - I've learned how to make the yummy maple dipping sauce first introduced to me at the restaurant Yard House. Sounds weird, right? Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

Recipe modified from The Carb Lovers Diet Cookbook

Sweet Potato Fries!

1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed and dried, cut into long, 1/2 thick wedges

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


preheat oven to 400.  Toss potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Roast 40 minutes tossing once.

Maple Mayo dipping sauce for Sweet Potato Fries (from

1/2 cup mayo
1/8 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/4 tablespoon brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together
Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes
Serve with fries!

I think this has Superbowl Snack written all over it!

Cookbook love

Did you know I love cookbooks?  Recently I picked up Cooking Light's Real Family Food

The author, Amanda Haas, has a philosophy 'one family, one meal.' Meaning as you can guess, everyone in the house is eating roughly the same thing. Another blog I enjoy, Dinner, a Love Story, has talked about that principle as well. In a nutshell - pick recipes you think everyone will like, offer only good (reasonably healthy) choices, require kids to only try a bit/eat one part, involve kids in food prep, blah, blah.

She also shares her meal planning strategy: 1) She flips through her recipes and decides what to make for the week (including breakfasts and lunches each day.) She says this only takes 20 minutes - sadly this often takes me longer. Or maybe it just feels longer? 2) She then makes her grocery list based on these recipes. Once she's made the full list, she 'shops' in her pantry and fridge and crosses off what she already has. 3) Finally, she shops. What I found interesting was that even back in 2008, when Amanda first started this plan, she gave herself a budget of $200 a week to feed her family of four. Now, we are only a family of three (not including Cooper), but I don't come close to spending that much. She does mention that she prefers shopping at Whole Foods, and likes to add a nice bottle of wine or two to the list, so perhaps that is why. 

Anyway, her planning strategy is exactly the same as mine. I don't know if I should be impressed with me, or underwhelmed with her?  : ) Do you follow this routine for meal planning? Needless to say, this strategy often feels like a lot of work to me, which is why every once in a while, I just go to the store and buy food, without a lot of forethought. While that seems to usually work out too, I do ultimately like to plan. 

I like that in the table of contents there is a mini-picture of each recipe. So far we've enjoyed the carmelized oninon and proscuitto pizza and the roasted fingerling fries. Yum!

My mom once said that she was always tempted to buy new lipstick - and that she felt just the right shade could be life changing. I feel that way about cookbooks. Are you compelled to collect something?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Greetings 2013!

It's still January, right? Not too late to talk about the new year.  I didn't mean to take such a long sabbatical, but, like anything else, once you get out of the routine of blogging, it's hard to start back up again. Work continues to kick my behind. I spent all day working yesterday (Sat), and now I have two full days at home (yay, MLK!) with no (school)work.  I plan to put on my domestic (un)diva hat, and, clean, work on my sprucing up my late-winter decor, and craft.  I also have a stack of magazines - heaven! Finally - wait for it - a Target trip will be in store. Oh, the excitement. 

Miss P is recovering from a nasty stomach bug, so I am also a bit on nursemaid duty.  First time she's been sick in two years. As one of my favorite classroom parents says - we have immune systems of steel! (knock, knock, knock on wood.)

For the first time, I've chosen a defining word for 2013. Beauty.  Partially for superficial reasons. I had kind of been letting myself go a bit. A ponytail everyday. Minimal or no make-up. Wearing the same thing over and over. Some people could pull that off, but I knew I could and wanted to do better.  So as RIDICULOUS as it sounds, my main resolution for the year is to take the time to actually fix my hair in the morning.  I even have a chart to keep myself accountable.  I also have some work-related resolutions that are more serious.  I tend to feel though, if you feel good about how you look, everything else seems a little better.  So I have been having fun with that.  Another way to look at my word - beauty - is about just looking for beauty in the every day. I enjoy that - the color of the sky, pretty leaves, a cute child, a charming building.  Do you have a word?