{Baked Sweet Potato Fries}

Sweet Potato Fries

It seems like sweet potato fries are really “in” these days, as in you can’t go anywhere without seeing them on a menu–from fast food to real restaurants. I remember the first time I had them and I was just totally confused by the entire concept. Fries that taste like yams? No thank you. Well, something changed this year and I can now officially say I’m obsessed! Maybe it just took making them in my own home without all of the weird added ingredients and additives you can find when you eat out or simply the pleasure of turning something that vitamin packed into a tasty treat. Who knows, I am always late to follow trends…

The fries themselves were ridiculously easy to make and you only need 3 ingredients. How awesome is that? I did soak them in an ice water bath for about 1.5 hours before cooking, but since I’ve never made them before, I have absolutely no idea if it made any difference. Thoughts?

Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Serves 2

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

2 small sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tablespoon salt

Steps:

Cut sweet potatoes into fry-sized wedges about place in a large bowl with ice water. Soak for about 1.5-2 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

When the fries have finished soaking, drain the water and transfer fries into a new bowl. Add olive oil and salt and mix thoroughly, adding more of each as needed.

Bake fries for 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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{Easy Guacamole}

Easy Guacamole

What do you do when you have 2 almost over-ripe avocados sitting in your kitchen? Make guacamole of course! We eat a lot of avocado in this house and guacamole is one of our favorite things to make. When we’re feeling lazy (can you sense that’s a trend of ours?), we sometimes buy the Trader Joe’s guacamole pack. It comes with 2 avocados, a tomato, jalapeno, lime, shallots, and garlic for quick guac assembly.

But since we already had avocados, we just added the rest of what we had on hand to make the perfect weekend snack. Instead of jalapenos, we used the rest of our fresno chilis from our csa box.

Warning, you will probably eat waaay too much of this if you’re anything like me!

Easy Guacamole Recipe

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1/2 fresno chili, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

Steps:

Mash avocados in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients, adding more salt and/or pepper as needed.

Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1/2 hour.

Serve with your favorite tortillas chips (love the Trader Joe’s blue corn tortilla chips!) and enjoy!

{Fresh Tomato Bruschetta}

Bruschetta

My brother’s garden is overflowing with tomatoes, so he brought me an entire bagful of them when he visited this weekend–I was stoked!  We had yet another weekend filled with eating so Monday night Jeff and I were looking for something light to make for dinner and with all of those tomatoes on hand the answer seemed pretty obvious–fresh tomato bruschetta!

I love love making bruschetta. It’s super easy and just tastes so fresh and flavorful without doing much of anything. And it makes the perfect appetizer to throw together when you have friends coming over. The key to making perfect bruschetta is all in the tomatoes–they need to be ripe and fresh. Jeff also likes to rinse them after we chop them to get rid of excess seeds cause he’s weird like that.

If you’re bbq-ing, you can just throw the bread right on the grill too for the ultimate summer appetizer! (who says its fall? It’s 90 here today!)

Fresh Bruschetta Recipe

Makes 6 pieces

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

2 fresh roma tomatoes (anything variety will really do)

1 clove garlic, chopped

4-5 leaves basil, chopped

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 small slices french baguette

Steps:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Spread half of olive oil on baguette slices and place on baking sheet in the oven for about 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, and remaining olive oil.

When the baguettes are toasted, place tomato mixture evenly on each slice.

Drizzle bruschetta with balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy!

Bruschetta

He also brought cherry tomatoes which make the perfect afternoon snack at work.

{Homemade Refried Beans}

Refried Beans

It’s no secret to those who know me that I love my refried beans–we go through about 2 cans a week at our house. But despite my love and constant use of refrieds, I’d never attempted to make them from scratch. In fact, the thought never even really occurred to me. I mean, why change something that’s working right?

A few weeks ago, I was talking to some friends whose parents grew up in Mexico. Somehow, we starting talking about refrieds and I mentioned that I needed to go to the store and go buy a few more cans because I was almost out. They both looked at me like I was crazy and when I asked why, they said they didn’t even know refried beans came in cans! Every morning, their mom would put some beans and spices in a crock pot and let it cook all day to be ready to eat that night–every day! So I figured if they could do it every morning, I could manage it once in my life.

There’s really no recipe for these beans. I started off by boiling the beans, then covering them and letting them simmer for about 2.5 hours. Then, I drained them, sauteed half a yellow onion and lots of olive oil in the pot and added the beans back in. I tried mashing them together with a potato masher but wasn’t getting the consistency I wanted, so I took out the immersion blender which seemed to do the trick. Next, I added about 2 tablespoons of salt but the beans still tasted rather bland. So I looked on the ingredient list of my canned refrieds and started throwing in random spices, hence the fact that there’s no recipe! I added a little garlic salt, smoked paprika, chili powder, and even more regular salt–I think recipe’s like this really work out of for the best with just tasting and adding as you go.

If you’re interested, here’s the basic recipe I started with and then modified as the process went on.

Did you make anything new or unusual this weekend?