Saturday, February 8, 2014

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

When my roommate told me how to make these delicious fries, I nearly cried. I loved them so much and I had no idea they were so easy to make. The most difficult part of this entire recipe is actually cutting the sweet potato. So, it's important that you select a sweet potato that's not very firm, and therefore easier to slice. Seriously, once you slice the sweet potato, there's like maybe 30 seconds of work to do. Now, if that's not college food, I don't know what is.

1 sweet potato (or orange/yellow yam)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
A dash or two of sea salt or other type of salt

Wash your sweet potato. There's a ton of nutrition and taste in the skin, so you'll need to scrub some of the dirt and germs from the outside, while maintaining the integrity of the skin as much as possible.
Slice your sweet potato into strips in whatever your desired thickness. I prefer thinly sliced fries, but my sister prefers thicker fries. Either way works, it's really up to you. Do note, however, that they will shrivel some while baking.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
In a small or medium mixing bowl, toss your sliced sweet potato with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and a dash or so of salt. I prefer sea salt, but it works well with garlic salt or other seasoning salts. Feel free to explore a variety of flavor opportunities.
Allow your fries to sit while you line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Trust me, you don't want to skip this step because otherwise you risk ruining your baking sheet.
If your fries feel oily, spread them them across the baking sheet. Otherwise, sprinkle just a bit more olive oil to the sheet before putting the fries on.
Bake for about 10 to 20 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes. How long you bake your fries also depends on your personal preference. Bake for less time if you prefer softer fries. Bake for longer if you prefer crispier fries.
When your fries are to your personal preference, remove them and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. These taste great on their own, with honey mustard, ketchup, or barbecue sauce.

These fries are oh so tasty. And the best part is, they're actually pretty good for you. Not only are they baked instead of deep fried like traditional fries, but sweet potatoes and olive oil are actually packed full of good nutrients for your skin and hair. This is a delicious alternative to your standard deep fried potato fries.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

3 Ingredient Apple Berry Muffins

Ok, ok, I know. Using a mix as an ingredient is kind of cheating. If you're offended by that, I'm sorry, but this is not the blog for you. But, you know what, I'm not sorry. You can make this for under 25 cents per muffin. That, my friends, isn't cheating. It's just plain street smarts.

You might notice the nifty silicon baking cups I used to make these. My incredible cousin got me these for Christmas and this was my first time baking with them. I must say, they are incredible. They're safe to put in the dishwasher, and they're SUPER cute. I still haven't decided if you're supposed to take your muffins or cupcakes out of the baking cups before serving them. The muffins popped right out, so I suppose that's by design? If anyone knows, please comment to let me know.
I chose to do blue and green colors today because of this little thing called the Super Bowl (you might have heard something about the Seahawks playing?). I'm a wee bit excited, even though I don't even have a TV to watch the game on. I'm lame, I know. So, in celebration of my team making it to the Super Bowl, these muffins include Seahawk colors and Washington state apples. The berries probably come from California, but whatever. As long as they didn't come from Colorado, I suppose I'm ok.

1 Mini Package of Betty Crocker Triple Berry Muffin Mix (makes 6 muffins)
1/4 Apple (I recommend Fuji or Honey Crisp)
1/8 teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (375 if using dark or non-stick pans, including these silicon cups).
Cut and core an apple, then use 1/4 of the apple (about 2 slices). Roughly cut off the skins (no need for precision here). Then dice or cube, depending on how large you want the pieces of apples to be.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together muffin mix, apple, baking soda, and water. Let sit while the oven preheats. The baking soda should neutralize the acid in the apple twice, once when combined and sitting, then once when it is heated in the oven. Baking is a science, yo!
Once the oven has heated, spoon mix evenly into 6 baking cups (paper or silicon). Then place in the oven for 16-20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly.
Allow them to cool, then serve and enjoy.

These were delicious muffins. And the perfect amount for a college student or single bachelor. No waste here. And now you'll have a few days worth of on-the-go breakfasts, snacks, or healthy treats.