Jump Start

You guys posted so many fabulous lookin’ recipes last night that I just couldn’t resist making one tonight! ūüėÄ

Sophie from Yumventures, posted a recipe for the most amazing-looking sweet potato hash with poached eggs, and when I realized I had nearly every ingredient already on hand, I knew I just had to make this recipe tonight!

Consider this meal a “jump start” on the Reader’s Recipe fun!

I made a couple of changes to her recipe because I’m not very good with spicy food (so no jalepe√Īos in my re-creation), but for the most part, I followed her recipe exactly.

While boiling the sweet potatoes for the sweet potato hash, I sauteed the onion and pepper until they were tender.

Sizzlin'

I combined half of the sweet potatoes with the onion and pepper mixture, while mashing the other half of the sweet ‘taters with plain Greek yogurt (I didn’t have sour cream) and a little bit of sugar (I didn’t have agave nectar).

Potatoes + Veggies

Mashed Up

Once the mixture and spices were all combined, I formed the mixture into patties and tried them up until they were brown and slightly crispy.

Sweet Potato Hash Patties

I topped the sweet potato hash patties with a dippy egg and dug in.

Dinner is Served

Oh WOW this recipe is delicious. Thank you, Sophie!!!

Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs (recipe from Sophie, aka Yumventures)

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced in ~1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced (I used a red pepper)
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (I omitted this)
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream (I used plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar (I used sugar)
  • Cilantro
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • Poached egg (Mine was dippy)

Directions:

Boil the diced sweet potatoes until fork tender. Drain.

While potatoes are boiling, sautee onion, green pepper, and jalapeno until cooked.

Add half of the sweet potatoes to the onion-pepper mixture. Mash the other half with the sour cream and agave nectar, then add to the rest of the ingredients.

Mix all of the ingredients together, along with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, mushing the whole cubes of potatoes as well, until everything is well combined. Scoop out into a bowl. Form patties out of the mixture and pan fry until they become brown and crispy on the outside.

Top the sweet potato hash cakes with a poached egg.

Reader’s Recipe Selection

After looking at every single recipe and clicking every single link, Ryan and I decided we’ll be making Kelly’s Rosemary Chicken and Zucchini. (I wouldn’t be surprised if we make more than one of the recipes you guys submitted!)

Watch for this recipe to pop up on the blog within the next week. When I post about this recipe, you can comment with additional recipes (or the same recipe you already submitted!) that you think I should try the next week.

I’m already feeling more creative! You guys sure know how to get a girl out of the “cooking the same meals” slump!

Oh, and by the way, it’s FRIDAY tomorrow!!!

Chicken It Is!

I was already leaning toward making the roasted chicken with lemon and thyme for my family for dinner last night, and when your enthusiasm seemed to gravitate toward that dinner choice as well, my decision was solidified! Thanks for the input. ūüėÄ

My sister Leslie was excited to help me and we decided to make two roasted chickens.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

This was Leslie’s first attempt at making a whole chicken and she was shocked at the amount of fat we cut off before even beginning to prep the birds. Naaaasty!

Though it took around and hour and 20 minutes to actually roast, the recipe itself was a breeze and eventually we had moist, delicious chicken without too much effort (we didn’t make the gravy detailed in the recipe below).

Chiiiiicken

We transferred the chickens onto a prettier platter and served them with sweet potato casserole made with brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon and butter and my homemade microwavable cranberry sauce.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Yum

The dinner got rave reviews and Leslie’s first attempt at cooking a whole¬†chicken was a success!

Before dinner, we picked up our family Christmas tree! I can’t wait to decorate it today. It smells wonderful and looks very festive.Yay for the holidays!

Today

Today Ryna my family and I¬†will be meeting with a potential florist and wedding photographer. At 11:30 a.m. my mom, Leslie and I are off to a boutique to try on wedding dresses. I’m so excited!!!

If you are married, how many places did you visit to try on dresses?

This is my second attempt at finding the dress, but we’re going back to the same place since we didn’t get a chance to look at everything the first time.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

Ingredients:

  • 1¬† (6-pound) roasting chicken
  • 2¬† teaspoons¬† Hungarian paprika
  • 2¬† tablespoons¬† chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† salt, divided
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2¬† lemons, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1¬† teaspoon¬† olive oil
  • 2¬† tablespoons¬† all-purpose flour
  • 1/2¬† cup¬† dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
  • 1¬† cup¬† fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1¬† tablespoon¬† fresh lemon juice
  • 2¬† teaspoons¬† sugar
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • Thyme sprigs (optional)
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 425¬į.

    Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Combine the paprika, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub under loosened skin. Thinly slice 1 lemon; arrange slices under loosened skin. Cut remaining lemon into quarters. Place lemon quarters inside chicken cavity. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme to chicken cavity.

    Place chicken on the rack of a broiler pan or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Brush oil over skin. Cover chicken with aluminum foil. Bake at 425¬į for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thigh registers 165¬į. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; cover with foil, and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

    Place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup glass measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into measuring cup, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Place pan on stove top over medium heat. Sprinkle flour into pan. Add wine; bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add drippings, broth, juice, sugar, remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.

    Remove skin and lemon slices from chicken, and remove lemon wedges from cavity; discard. Carve chicken, and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with gravy. Garnish with additional lemon slices and thyme sprigs, if desired.

    You may also view this Cooking Light recipe here.

    Nutritional Facts:

    (Serving size 3 oz. chicken, 3 tbsp. gravy)

    Calories: 174 (35% from fat)
    Fat: 6.7g (sat 1.8g,mono 2.7g,poly 1.5g)
    Protein: 23.5g
    Carbohydrate: 3.2g
    Fiber: 0.1g
    Cholesterol: 69mg
    Iron: 1.3mg
    Sodium: 417mg
    Calcium: 21mg

    My Oh My, Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

    I used to hate sweet potatoes. My sister and I would scoff at the orange tater when my mom would serve it at dinner. Sometimes we need extra time to develop our taste buds.

    I’ll never forget the moment I realized sweet potatoes were delicious. Ryan and I were on a hot date to Boston Market in college and ordered the sweet potato casserole as one of his sides.

    sweet-potato-casserole

    Sweet Potato Casserole (Picture from jbarhtexasfoods.com)

    Ryan offered me a bite and I promptly told him I hated sweet potatoes. He encouraged me to try them several times. Eventually I became intrigued by the streusel topping and gooey marshmallows and gave in.

    Wow-zaa! This casserole was amazing!!! For a while I had to doctor up my sweet potatoes with cinnamon and brown sugar, but these days I enjoy the tasty tater all by itself.

    At dinner tonight sweet potatoes (in the form of cinnamon sweet potato fries) stole the show. I began by cutting a sweet potato into strips and soaking it in cold water for 20 minutes. Apparently this helps the fries become crispy when baked in the oven (not sure if I believe this).

    fries

    Soaking Fries

    I then tossed the fries in some olive oil before spreading them out on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprinkling them with cinnamon. After baking in the oven at 450 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, I flipped the fries and baked them for an additional 5 minutes until they were crispy and fragrant. Yum!

    cinnamon fries

    Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

    While I was making the fries and roasting some yellow squash, my meat man grilled up some teriyaki chicken to add some protein to our meal.

    baked fries

    Baked Fries

    squash

    Squash, Ready for Roastin'

    my plate 2

    My Plate

    Dinner was easy and yummy! Not a bad combo if you ask me.

    my plate 3

    Tasty

    What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes? Yes, French fries count. ūüôā

    All My Bags Are Packed

    “Good Lord, we’re only going home for the weekend,” Ryan said as he looked at my bags. Considering I typically live in my pajamas or bathing suit when I’m at home, I admittedly over packed for our weekend at my parent’s house.

    I'm Ready to Go

    I'm Ready to Go

    In my defense,¬†only the bright blue¬†duffel bag is actually my stuff. Sadie’s dog goodies are in the other bag and the black bag on the ground is my computer which¬†I need to keep up¬†da blog. So there! ¬†

    A trip to see my family is always full of fun and food, and last night was no different. When we arrived, my mom immediately rattled off a list of everything she bought at the grocery store: deli meat, the fresh bakery bread with the specs of¬†little nuts, six different kinds of ice cream (I’m not lying), Oreos (Ryan’s favorite), berries, pineapple, veggies, pretzels, Kashi cereal… the woman would not stop talking and my mouth would not stop watering.

    Dinner was ready within an hour of our arrival.

    Steamed Broccoli

    Steamed Broccoli

    Ham Steak

    Ham Steak

    And Again

    And Again

    Fresh Bakery Bread

    Fresh Bakery Bread

    Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet Potatoes

    I filled by plate with a bit of everything and also made myself a roast beef sandwich because I was dying to use the fresh, nutty bread.

    Roast Beef Sandwich

    Roast Beef Sandwich

    Well aware of Ryan’s intense love for Oreo’s, my mom also surprised us with this fantastic Oreo pie for dessert.

    Oreo Pie

    Oreo Pie

    My sister¬†had not arrived yet and the four of us¬†did a number on the¬†the cookie pie.¬†Only a small sliver remained… oops!

    About an hour or two later I helped myself to a large bowl of Edy’s S’mores ice cream for two reasons: 1. I’m home and can eat like a kid again! 2. It’s¬†Limited Edition! It¬†could disappear at any moment. ūüėČ

    Edy's S'mores Ice Cream

    Edy's S'mores Ice Cream

    We spent the evening catching up and laughing while Ghostbusters was on the¬†T.V. in the background. “Who you gonna call!?”

    I went to sleep feeling (overly) full and happy. ūüôā