Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category


Two of my favorite things are sweet potatoes (duh) and mac n cheese. So, I figured, why not put them together?!? I based the recipe on my favorite mac n cheese recipe  that I have been making for a while now. I really enjoyed the result! It was super creamy with just a hint of sweetness from the sweet potatoes.

Whoever had the idea to sell corn flake crumbs in a box was an absolute genius!

I like to eat my mac n cheese with peas mixed in. I don’t know why, I just like the texture the peas add 🙂

Today is Sunday, and that means spring break is basically over 😦 but its Sunday Movie Extravaganza! Tonight we are watching the Godfather, I’ve never seen it!

Sweet Potato Mac ‘N Cheese
Makes 8 servings

6T unsalted butter
1 large sweet potato peeled
1/4 cup half and half
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese (this is a LOT of cheese, you could probably cut it in half and be fine. I just love cheese :))
1 box whole wheat elbow macaroni
Crushed Corn Flakes

1. Preheat over to 375
2. Put the sweet potato in a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil for about 30 minutes, or until a fork can be inserted easily through the fattest part
3. Cut Sweet Potato in quarters and put in food processor. Process for about a minute and then add in half and half and process until incorporated and smooth. Set aside
4. Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
5. Melt the butter in a high sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add the flour. Cook sitrring for about a minutes
6. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot milk a little at a time to keep mixture smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, 8-12 minutes
7. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and pureed sweet potato. Mix until incorporated.
8. Stir in 4 1/2 cups of the cheese and set aside
9. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni for about 5 mintues. It will finish cooking when its baking. Remove from heat and drain.
10. Add cheese sauce to macaroni and pour into a 9×13 dish. Top with remaining cheese and spinkle crushed corn flakes on top
11. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.


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I love potlucks. So much yummy food! I usually dont try to make show stopping  dishes for potlucks. I try to make things that I think most people will enjoy. Tomorrow is the birthday of the director of the program that I work for. So we are celebrating! I love celebrations at work. It always seems to make the lunch hour extend and I feel more refreshed when I get back to my desk.

I chose to make a dish that I first had at my bridal shower. My mom made it and it is really the easiest thing ever. The flavors are basic and yet soo delicious! This isnt your typical pasta salad. There is no heavy dressing weighing it down. Just a light garlic lemon oil dressing that enhances the flavors of the basil and feta rather than overpowering them.

I used my fancy schmancy slap chopper to minc the garlic (I dont know if its actually called a slap chopper, but thats what Jeremy and I call it). We were given it for a bridal shower gift and we love it! It makes chopping and mincing things SO much easier! It is also a huge time saver!

Let me tell you, it was HARD not to gobble this up. Obviously I needed to taste it to make sure there was enough salt and pepper. I definitely want people to enjoy the pasta, but I have to admit that I will not be sad to bring some home 🙂

Spinach and Feta Pasta Salad

1 box of riggatoni, prepared as the box instructs
l0 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size ( I used probably 5 ounces and it was plenty)
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/3 c. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
l  tablespoon of lemon juice
fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic
2. Once pasta is finished cooking, let it cool for a few minutes and then add the spinach and basil
3. Add the olive oil, lemon juice mixture and toss to coat
4. Add feta and toss

This is a recipe that I typically make the night before I want to eat it because the flavors taste better after they are allowed to marinate a bit.

Then the kitten did this….

She will squeeze herself in any plastic bag, even when they are full. She LOVES them!

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My Foodview

So! Here I am. My first post. Recently I’ve become somewhat of a food blog nerd. I’ve been spending a lot of my time searching blogs for delicious and healthy recipes that are within my reach (a.k.a. doesn’t require me to go out and buy any crazy tools and doesnt involve ingredients that I’ve never heard of). I began thinking that maybe I’m not the only one who loves dreaming about making delicious and healthy food without getting bogged down with lots of random ingredients. So I decided that I would start to blog about my rendezvous with food.

My senior year of college (the first time around J) I was challenged to write my worldview. This was supposed to be a culmination of experiences and challenges in my life which have shaped the way I view the world. Well… I thought it would be appropriate if I start this blog out by giving my food worldview… or “foodview,” if you will.

I believe that food has many amazing purposes. It adds richness to life! It bring people together; building and strengthening relationships. Every culture on this earth has customs surrounding food and most value food on a higher level. Food is a focus of most celebrations, gatherings, and parties. When we have a friend or neighbor in need, we make them a meal and take it to their house. When my fiancé and I travel we often plan around where we will eat and what kind of food we want to try. As a culture, we value food so highly that we even allow our most dangerous and violent criminals a “last meal” of their choice before they leave this earth.

Food has another very large job, and that is to sustain life. The choices that we make regarding food on a daily basis effect our bodies and the quality of life that we live. I used to have one requirement for the food that I ate: taste. I will say that for most of my 26 years I have been able to eat whatever I want and keep a relatively healthy body weight. Except for that one time when I went to the West Bank and felt such deep pain for the people there that for the first, and only, time in my life I ate to make myself feel better (that and I had a host mother who would get extremely offended if I did not clean my plate and go for seconds at each meal).

Now, I think about food differently. Rather than immediately going for what tastes the best, I think about the way it energizes my body and gives me what I need to function on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, and you can ask my fiancé, there is rarely a circumstance where I will pass up a Reeses’s peanut butter cup.  For the most part I try to eat food that will give my body good, grown from the earth nutrients, rather than manufactured, fake, fat filled, trash.

That being said I decided that my first recipe should involve my favorite vegetable, and also the namesake of this blog… sweet potatoes! These fries are absolutely delicious. They are baked, not fried and rely on the vegetables natural flavors and sweetness to deliver the goodness. Although, the garlic and rosemary certainly add to the taste. Enjoy!

Sweet potatoes are not only DELICIOUS… they are downright amazing when it comes to the amounts of vitamins and nutrients. Yes, those of you counting carbs probably avoid them like the plague… but… if you have a splurge day… EAT SOMETHING WITH SWEET POTATOES IN IT! for me?

Sweet Potato Fries
1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 small clove of garlic, peeled
2 T. olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
2. using a mortar and pestle, mash together the garlic, salt, and rosemary to form a paste.
3. in a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic paste and set aside
4. Scrub sweet potatoes. slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into french fry size peices
5. Put potato slices into a large bowl. Add oil mixture and toss until all potatoes are well coated (I put mine in a tupperware container, sealed the lid and shook it around for a few seconds… the shake and bake method!).
6. spread potatoes out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (the parchment is optional, but makes for easier clean up!). If you choose to not use parchment paper, be sure to grease the baking sheet
7. Roast potatoes for 30-35 minutes turning a few times.

Yield: 2 servings

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