Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet Potato Fries and Scenes from the Weekend

O Christmas tree, O Christmas Tree, how sappy are your branches!  So maybe that's not how that sweet li'l anthem goes, but it's certainly how Christmas tree decorating goes for me.
This is largely due to the fact that Jeremy is what some might call fanatical about Christmas light placement, distribution and saturation.  As long as the lights are being put on when he is ready to do it, that's really his problem.  Well call me whiny, demanding, or whatever you want, but I wanted the lights on NOW.  So after he'd spent a good hour putting lights on the top 1/8th of the tree, but took a break to light the grill, I picked up the slack.
And so it begins...

"You have to do it just right.  Wrapping each individual branch up and back to the core, moving to the left, from front to back."  These were my instructions.  Let's cut to 15 minutes later.  Jeremy is grilling, I am sweating, covered up to my elbows in tree sap, and have what I presume is a very fowl look plastered across my face.  Cheerful Christmas music is tinkling in the background and all of a sudden, I hear myself exclaim at the top of my lungs, a very ugly and decidedly un-Christmas-y word.  I get down off the chair on which I am standing, turn off the Christmas music and curl into a ball on the couch, glass of wine in hand, and frown firmly on face.  Consider this my public confession that I was being a total whiny baby.  After Jeremy came back inside, saw me on the couch and had a good laugh, he explained to me that I could do the Christmas lights my way and he was sure they would be just beautiful.  Well the top 1/4th of our tree is just that.  Beautiful.  As for the rest of the house, Christmas exploded all over it.  Boxes, bags, tissue paper and glitter make for a nice little Christmas sheen all over the floor.

On to more successful endeavors...
Like dinner.  I found some beautiful lamb shoulder chops at Whole Foods and marinated them in some citrus juices, olive oil, fresh garlic, rosemary, and oregano.

Jeremy grilled those babies up while I made some Garlicky Kale and sweet potato fries.

You can make these too.  It's a cinch.  These are my favorite side to make in the summer with some homemade grilled burgers with all the trimmings.  I like mine savory with a good organic ketchup, but cinnamon sugar works great if your into sweet sweet potato fries, sweetie.

Sweet Potato Fries
1 large sweet potato
1 to 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if you're making a sweet version, you might try coconut oil instead)
1 Tbsp rib rub or cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel sweet potato, cut in half lengthwise, and cut each half into fry shapes.  The thinner you cut them, the crispier they'll get, so you want to cut them thin, but not paper thin.  Try to cut them about the same size so they'll cook evenly.  Toss them in the olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with the seasonings of your choice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (This doesn't mean taste the raw potatoes...)
Cook 20 minutes on one side.  Take them out and flip them over.  Cook 15 to 20 minutes more on the other side, or until fries are crisp and browned to your liking.  Sweet potatoes are incredibly healthy, and this will definitely quench any french fry craving you have, so could this be the perfect food?  You tell me.

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