Monday, October 29, 2012

Marinating is Your Bestie: Weekly Menu 10-29

Marinated SAlmon, Flank Steak and Pork Chops

Some weekday mornings, it's all I can do to pack lunches and microwave some oatmeal for breakfast. But I can usually squeeze in maybe five minutes prepping a marinade and throwing in a protein because guess what happens 8-10 hours later? I can quickly grill, roast or broil something super flavorful. And that, my busy friends is why marinating can be your best friend. I put very few shortcuts or make ahead notes in below because marinating by definition is a make ahead and a shortcut.  Also, please know that it's hard to go wrong with a marinade. Feel free to riff on the recipes below and add in spices or seasonings that are complementary and sound good to you.

Also, marinating is not just for outdoor, warm weather grilling. One of the recipes below calls for roasting at a high temp in the oven, another can be broiled, plus indoor grill pans work well too. If you want to experiment with other marinades, try the Korean Style Pork Tenderloin or the Grilled "Unbelievable" Chicken, which are also ideal for prepping quickly in the morning and cooking quickly later in the day. 

  Barbecue Roasted Salmon

Roasted Salmon Marinated in Pineapple and Lemon juice
This dish has been a staple of ours for ages. The warm spices and bright fruity flavors of the marinade, combined with the oven-roasting cooking method guarantees perfectly cooked fish.

Sides:  Steamed Brussels sprouts and pearled couscous mix such as Near East

  • Buy canned, sliced pineapple or pineapple chunks and use the juice. Save the fruit for lunchboxes or another use.
Make Ahead Notes 
  • Zest the lemons for the spice mixture before juicing them for the marinade.
  • Combine marinade ahead and set aside in fridge. Note: This is one marinade that you don't want to use for much longer than an hour once you add the fish.
  • Combine spice mixture and set aside for later.
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • Cooking spray
  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Remove fish from bag; discard marinade. Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients (sugar through cinnamon) in a bowl. Rub over fish; place in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon slices, if desired.
Recipe from Cooking Light

Marinated Flank Steak

Honey Soy Marinated, Grilled Flank Steak
  Score the surface of the steak with a sharp knife to help the marinate penetrate the meat.

Sides: Baked potatoes and steamed green beans tossed with S&P and a squeeze of lemon

  • 1.5 lbs flank steak
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 -4 tablespoons honey (can use 3-4 tablespoons real maple syrup as a substitute)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 -3 tablespoons coarsley chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 green onions, coarsley chopped 
  • In a zip-top bag, combine all marinade ingredients.
  • Score the surface of the uncooked steak about 1/4-inch deep across the grain. Add meat to bag and turn to coat with the marinade; place the bag into a large bowl.
  • Refrigerate for up to 24 hours (turning the bag a couple of times during the refrigeration time).
  • Remove beef from the marinade and allow all the marinade to drip off scraping off the chopped garlic pieces and green onions from the meat. Allow to sit out at room temp until ready to cook.
  • Preheat grill to high heat. Season beef with salt & pepper
  • Grill the meat about 5-6 minutes per side for rare doneness (turning ONLY one time, do not overcook the meat as it will cook a little more after removing from the grill). 
  • Remove to a plate/s and allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing. 
  • Slice the meat across the grain.
  • To Broil:  Preheat broiler. Place flank steak on broiler pan and cook, turning once until medium rare, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board to rest.

Recipe from

Hoisin Marinated Pork Chops

Hoisin Marinated, Grilled Pork Chops
Remember, a little pink inside means a juicy pork chop!

Sides: Vegetable pot stickers (I like Trader Joe's) and sauteed sugar snap peas

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 bone-in  pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick) 
  • Cooking spray
  • Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
  • Prepare grill.
  • Remove pork from bag; discard marinade. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until done.

Recipe from MyRecipes

Extra Credit: Monkey Bars

Moneky Bars - banana chocolate chip snack cake bars
Be sure to bake until the toothpick comes out clean. I prefer to store them in a bowl covered with a towel because an airtight container sometimes makes these banana bread-style bars turn mushy.

  • 1 2/3 cup (about 5 bananas) mashed ripe bananas 
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup oil 
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon each baking soda and cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour 
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips 
  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a 15 x 10 x 1⁄2-in. baking pan with nonstick foil (let the foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends). 
  • Whisk mashed bananas, sugar, oil, milk, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl until mixed thoroughly. Whisk in flour just until blended; gently stir in 1⁄2 cup of the chocolate chips. 
  • Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. 
  • Holding foil by ends, lift from pan onto a cutting board. Carefully cut lengthwise in 4 strips and then cut each strip in 10; remove foil.
Recipe from Woman's Day

Saturday, October 27, 2012

3 Strategies for Getting Kids to Help with Housework

I once asked a good friend how I would know when my kids were old enough to help out more with housework. Her reply: "When their arms are long enough to reach all the way into the dryer."

Indeed. Besides wanting a little help with the many day-to-day chores of running a household, I also want my kids to understand that helping around the house is a way to show respect for themselves and for the rest of the family. For those reasons, I have been putting some creative strategies into place to get them to help, and they seem to be working. Of course, to make things go smoothly, adjust the chores to the child's age, and be really specific about what the task is and how you want to see it done.

Strategy #1: Limit the Time of the Chores

Use a timer to limit kids' chore time and motivate them to beat the clock

Play into the fact that kids usually have an abstract view of time. When you say they have to spend "some time" helping to clean up the kitchen, that could seem like an eternity. Instead, take out an old school kitchen timer if you have one and set it for the amount of time that the child must spend helping. Here's what they will appreciate: the task is guaranteed to NOT go on forever, plus they are now in a game of beat the clock, which can make the chores feel like a game.

Parent Ground Rules:
  • Choose a specific task that can be completed or at least well-tackled in the allotted time, such as folding laundry or putting away toys. Anything bigger or more nebulous (like "clean your room") may leave you and your kid feeling disappointed with the results. 
  • Pick reasonable amounts of time - a minute per year of age is a good place to start. Do not go over 15 minutes for any age. When the time is up, the work stops.
Kid Ground Rule: 
  • He/she must spend the entire time doing the task at hand. 

Strategy #2: Trade Chores for Screen Time

Create chores lists for kids that must be completed to earn screen time

If you live in a household where screen time, whether it's with an iPad, a DS, the Wii or just TV is requested more than you'd like, then trading housework for screen time might be a good approach for you. I use this strategy when all homework is completed, all sports are done and a good amount of outside time has already happened. What you see here are what I call "tickets," as in "your ticket to use a screen."

Parent Ground Rules:
  • Create "tickets" for kids with maybe 1-3 specific, age appropriate tasks.
  • Be clear about how much screen time they earn for completing a ticket. Thirty minutes total works for us, and consistency in timekeeping is key.  Be sure you watch the clock and call time when screen time is up.
Kid Ground Rule: 
  • Explain that the tasks must be completed to your satisfaction before the screen time can be earned. 
  • Set the expectation that there should be no whining or complaining about "almost reaching the next level" or similar when time's up.

Strategy #3: Create a "Buy-back" Program to Control Clutter

Claim kids' clutter and make them pay to get it back at end of week

Our kids have too much stuff, and inevitably there are orphaned games, hair accessories, toys, books and more that are enjoyed occasionally and then as good as invisible when it's time to put them away. To help control clutter and make you feel like less of a nag, I have an approach that might work. At the end of every evening, ask kids to pick up and put away anything of theirs that's laying around. Explain that anything that has still not been picked up and put away by your specified time will go into a special bin like the one pictured. Then, explain that at the end of the week, the items in the bin may be bought back by the kid for $.10 (or more if you have older kids). If they don't want the item badly enough to take care of it in the first place or pay to have it again, then it's an item better off in the Goodwill bag.

Parent Ground Rules:
  • Have a family meeting before creating this program to calmly explain how it will work.
Kid Ground Rule: 
  • Kids must wait until the end of the week for the buy-back option. Consider this a cooling-off period when they will find out if the item really means something to them and can think carefully about parting with money for it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Menu 10/22: New Ideas for Chicken

Honey Lime Chicken Burritos, Pretzel Chicken, Chicken and Barley, No-Knead Bread

For as versatile as chicken is, I so often get trapped into doing the same old, same old with it. I've been trying to branch out and try new chicken dishes, and this week I challenge you to do the same!

Need more inspiration than what you see above? Try Buttermilk Baked Chicken, which is a great oven-fried option, or Chicken with Balsamic-Honey Glaze, both of which can be found in previous Weekly Menus.

As long as we’re talking about chicken, here’s an invaluable tip from a professional chef (and good friend) that has simplified my cooking and clean-up routines when preparing chicken. Do you feel compelled to rinse raw chicken before cooking it? Turns out that only *heat*, not water, kills the bacteria in raw chicken. Makes sense, right? In fact, rinsing chicken may just splash that nasty stuff around your kitchen even more. In case you want the official word on this, the USDA tells us that rinsing raw meats is not a good idea. So pat chicken pieces with a paper towel, clean your hands and preparation surfaces and carry on. I still bleach where needed, but I don’t feel like I’m mopping up a CSI crime scene near my sink anymore.

Honey Lime Chicken Burritos

  Easy way to use cooked, shredded chicken: Homey Lime Chicken Burritos

Oh, these burritos are tangy and creamy, with just a hint of heat. I found this recipe a couple of years ago on a coupon site, of all things, and it is a total winner. Make then NOW!

Sides: Guacamole + chips or the avocado and black bean salad found in a previous Weekly Menu

Short Cuts
  • Use rotisserie chicken instead of cooking the chicken yourself
  • Use bagged, shredded cheese
Make Ahead Notes
  • If shredding cheese yourself, do this ahead and put in fridge for later
  • Juice the limes; mix up the honey-lime mixture and set aside for later
  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
  • 1 12-15 oz. bottle salsa verde (green salsa)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8-10 flour tortillas
  • 4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • In a large bowl; whisk together honey, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder and salt.  Add cooked, shredded chicken to the lime mixture.  Let sit 10 minutes.
  • In a 9×13 pan, pour 3/4 of the salsa verde bottle to cover the bottom of the pan.  Set aside the remainder sauce.
  • Take a flour tortilla and fill with a couple tablespoons of  chicken and cheese.  Roll up and place seam side down in the salsa verde pan.  Repeat process until all tortillas are filled.  After you have removed all of the chicken, there will be some remaining lime sauce in the bowl.  Add the remaining salsa verde and heavy whipping cream to the lime sauce and mix.  Pour mixture over the filled burritos and cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is brown & bubbly.

Recipe adapted from The Krazy Coupon Lady site


Smothered Chicken and Barley

This incredibly warm, comforting dish is front-loaded with the prep work, but then it just simmers away while you do nothing for an hour. Since the whole process takes a little extra time, save this one for a Sunday or another day when you have more time leading up to dinner.

Sides:  This is a one-bowl meal, so the only thing you might add is crusty bread on the side.

  • Buy pre-chopped fresh onion
Make Ahead Notes 
  • Mix up dry seasonings in small bowl and set aside
  • Chop all vegetables and set aside in fridge
  • Rinse barley in a colander and set aside for later
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
  •  6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes--drained
  • 6 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and rub chicken with half of spice mixture.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook 1-2 minutes on each side or until chicken is browned. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
  • Re-coat skillet with cooking spray; add chopped onion, bell pepper, and soy sauce. Cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned. Add broth, barley, tomatoes, and remaining spice mixture, and stir well. Add chicken to skillet, nestling into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 55 minutes or until chicken is done. Let stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions.
  Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken with Mustard Dipping Sauce

A new way to use chicken breasts: Pretzel Crusted Chicken

To get the crunchy crust you see here, you must use the big, thick pretzels that usually come in a box, such as Snyders sourdough pretzels.

Sides: Roasted baby potatoes and steamed broccoli

Make Ahead Notes
  • Put pretzels in a food processor and pulse until you have mostly coarse pieces, not dust
  • Alternately, put the pretzels in a big, sturdy Ziploc bag and let a kid whack away at it to crush them
  • Prepare the dressing ahead of time and set aside for later

  • 1/2 pound hard pretzels, coarsely crushed (4 cups) - don't pulverize it all into to dust
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, pulse the pretzels until coarsely ground; you should have coarse chunks and fine crumbs. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl.
  • Wipe out the food processor. Add the oil, whole-grain and Dijon mustards, water and vinegar and process until smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  • Pour half of the dressing into a large shallow bowl, add the chicken breasts and turn to coat. Dredge the chicken in the pretzel crumbs and transfer to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Slice the chicken and serve warm or at room temperature with the remaining mustard dressing
Recipe from Food & Wine

Extra Credit: No-Knead Bread

Try the easiest homemade bread ever: No-Knead Bread

I have never, ever made real yeast bread, so this was a first and it was dead simple. It takes lots of resting time, but only about 10-15 minutes of active, hands-on time. And look at that beautiful, golden, rustic crust and airy interior! I bought high-end Kerrygold butter to slather on it and it was heavenly.

  • 3 cups bread flour (I just used all-purpose flour that was in my pantry) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast 
  • 3/4 tablespoon of kosher salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water 
    • Use a covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel...something that can go into a 450F oven) - do not grease the pot
    • Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on counter top.
    • Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Place a large sheet of parchment paper that is lightly dusted with flour on counter. Plop your dough onto parchment paper. Lift parchment paper up with dough and place into a large bowl. Cover bowl with a towel. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you've got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.
    • Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Grab the ends of the parchment paper and lift entire wobbly dough blob out of bowl into pot. Doesn't matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes.
     Recipe from Steamy Kitchen site

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Weekly Menu 10/15: From the *To Try* File

    Does your “to try” recipe file look like mine? Withered newspaper and magazine clippings or a “Recipe” folder in your email overflowing with those recipe chain emails that go around sometimes? I put my foot down recently and decided to clear out some recipes. Fortunately for all of you, only some of the good ones made the cut below. 

    Bonus! Two of them, the Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken and the Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin, were unexpectedly 5 ingredient recipes which makes them easy to whip up because so few non-pantry staple ingredients are needed.

    My offer still stands: do you have a recipe you’ve been meaning to try forever? If it’s one that’s a good fit for busy women like us, I’ll take on the challenge by trying it for you and sharing the results. Bring it! Send me a link or recipe name in comments below or send me an email, or post it to the Easier Simpler Better Facebook page.

     Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken

    5 ingredient dinner: Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

    Dare I say it – new family favorite! Looks pretty, tastes fabulous. I’ve said it before, but be sure to cut your chicken breasts to deck-of-cards size. The bigger breasts that are usually sold will take forever to cook and will thus dry out.

    Sides: Wilted spinach and pearl couscous (see couscous recipe with the chicken dish in this previous Weekly Menu)

    Make Ahead Notes
    • Combine seasonings in a small bowl and set aside for later
    • Chop onion and refrigerate for later
    • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
    • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes.
    • Combine thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt; sprinkle over chicken. Add chicken to skillet; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
    • Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, preserves, vinegar, and pepper, stirring constantly until the preserves melt. Spoon raspberry sauce over chicken.
    Recipe from Cooking Light

    Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Apples

    Fall Flavors: Maple Mustard Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Apples


    Many people avoid pork because it turns out dry. The trick is to let it rest for several minutes after cooking and make sure it’s a bit pink inside – that’s when it’s juicy. Don’t take my word for it; see what the USDA had to say.


    • Buy pre-cut, peeled apples
    • Use frozen oven fries, such as Alexia brand
    Make Ahead Notes
    • Combine mustard, syrup, rosemary, S&P ahead and refrigerate for later
    • Peel and cut apples and submerge in a bowl of water with two squeezes of fresh lemon juice to prevent browning; drain and refrigerate for later
    • 2 (1/2-pound) pork tenderloins  
    • Cooking spray
    • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
    • 6 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 4 medium Granny Smith apples, each peeled and cut into 16 wedges (about 2 1/2 pounds)
    • Preheat oven to 425°.
    • Trim fat from pork. Place pork on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Combine mustard, 2 tablespoons syrup, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; brush over pork. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of pork. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until thermometer registers 145° (slightly pink).
    • While pork is baking, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add apples, and sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to low, and add 4 tablespoons maple syrup. Simmer 10 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Cut pork crosswise into slices; spoon cooked apples over pork.
    Recipe adapted from CookingLight

    Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta

    One dish dinner: Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta

    I served this to my kids without the spinach because they don’t care for it. I just put the spinach in a shallow bowl with a couple teaspoons of water, covered tightly and microwaved for 30-45 seconds until wilted, then added it to the "grown up" bowls.

    Side: Garlic bread

    • Use rotisserie chicken bought from the store instead of grilling your own chicken
    • Use chopped, jarred garlic
    • Buy quality, pre-grated Parmesan from the deli section
    • 2 (6-ounce) bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    • Cooking spray
    • 8 ounces uncooked linguine
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
    • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
    • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
    • Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
    • Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 8 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 10 minutes. Carve chicken off bones, and thinly slice.
    • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well; keep warm.
    • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour and garlic; cook until garlic is browned (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk; bring to a simmer, and cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and spinach; stir until spinach wilts. Add pasta and chicken; toss to combine.
    Recipe from MyRecipes

    Extra Credit: Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

    Healthy side dish or afternoon snack: oven sweet potato fries

    This was in my "to try file" too and I think roasted sweet potato fries are so versatile - great for a dinner side dish or an after-school snack. I used the garam masala seasoning because I had it on hand and was looking for a reason to use it up, and it was fragrant and yummy.






    • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 3 large ones
    • 1/4 cup olive or other vegetable oil
    • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp salt
    • 1-2 Tbsp spice or spice combination of your choice: chipotle powder, smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, Cajun seasoning, etc.
    • Preheat oven to 450°F. (For more crispiness, preheat your oven to 500°F.) Recommendation: Preheat the baking sheet before adding the potatoes to help achieve crispiness.
    •  Peel the sweet potatoes and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges.
    • Put the potatoes in a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and spices of your choice. Use your hands to mix well, so all pieces are coated with oil and spices.
    • Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet; the oil they are coated with should keep them from sticking to the pan. Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
    Recipe from Simply Recipes