Baked sweet potato fries

You know that moment when you open your car door after it has been parked in the sun for an hour?  You know what I’m talking about, when you feel like getting in your oven would be better than getting in your driver’s seat.  Or what about how you start sweating buckets the moment you make it out your front door and realize that deodorant should have left home with you today.  Maybe I’m the only one.

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

In any case, summer is here for real, folks.  The upside is that we are now able to enjoy days by the pool, fruity drinks with umbrellas (right, like we waited for summer), and vacations to the beach.  Additionally, I am officially DONE with grad school and can now say I earned a Master’s degree in mental health clinical counseling.  I am still job hunting but have not come across the right position for me yet.  In the meantime, I continue evaluating my skills (counseling skills, cooking skills, nun-chuck skills) and remain open minded about my career path.  Things have taken an interesting turn recently.

Mom and Stuffed Husband

Mom and Stuffed Husband

Yesterday I interviewed for and was offered a position as a personal fitness trainer at a local New Orleans gym.  This is outside my experience area but I also find myself quite passionate about this career move.  For the next day or so I’ll be mulling it over, praying, and weighing my options.

baked sweet potato fries

baked sweet potato fries

Job chatter aside, let’s cook some yummy grub!  One of my all-time favorite foods are French fries.  I LOVE them. I love them alone. I love them with ketchup. I love them with CHEESE. I love them with MORE CHEESE.  And, I love them with CHEESE and Jalapeños.  Who doesn’t?  OFF WITH YOUR HEAD.

Baked sweet potato fries are a doable substitute when you are craving a yummy fry but trying to make up for your late-night sins of beer and pizza.  It happens.  Baking the fries saves a number of calories and makes clean up a little easier.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • two large sweet potatoes (one potato per person usually makes more than enough)
  • 1 tsp of olive oil per potato
  • salt, pepper, or seasonings of your liking
  • aluminum foil to line your baking sheet for easier clean up

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Wash your potatoes and slice them up into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.

bakedsweetpotatofries2Toss them in olive oil and seasonings in a bowl.  Then lay out on your baking sheet so they are not touching.

bakedsweetpotatofries3Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes.  Do not open the stove during this time.  It ensures a better fry, I promise.  After 20 minutes, remove the fries from the oven and turn each over so we can cook the other side evenly.

baked sweet potato fries 4Follow by putting them back in the oven for 10 more minutes.  NO opening the oven.  Don’t do it.  You’ll ruin everything. Ok, not everything but I promise it will be worth it when you bite into the perfect fry.

bakedsweetpotatofries5Then just serve them up with a yummy burger, some grilled chicken, or just all by themselves.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Dig in!

Dig in!

I will keep you all posted on my career decision as things move along.  Thanks for all your support!

Peace, love, and big girl decisions,

~The Hungry Wife

Running 13.1 miles will make you oh so hungry.

Stuffed Husband and I are not typically the kind to plan far in advance for anything really.  It is characteristic of our relationship that we play most things by ear.  Perhaps that is why we are both in our late twenties and still trying to finish up degrees.  Perhaps planning may have benefited us in that case.  Late last year we actually planned to run the Rock N Roll New Orleans half marathon.  Months in advance we registered and began training.  

rnr

Two weeks into training I came down with my third sinus infection in a row and took a break from training.  Stuffed Husband, in his undying loyalty to me, decided to take a break as well.  Soon the sinus infection was remedied with medication, rest, and the love of that dude I share a bed with.  Two weeks later, I came down with the FLU!  I’m not sure if it has to do with working with 5-7 year olds or that my immune system took a long vacation but I was sick again.  So again training fell to the wayside.  My doctor even recommended I give up training for this race so as to allow my body to fully recover.  Silly physician.

To make a very long story short, the week before the race I decided I could not stay away.  So, against doctors orders and any good sense, I decided I would race.  NO training, NO plan, and NO one was going to tell me otherwise.  I’m just a rebel that way.  Stuffed Husband conceded he really wanted to give it a go too and so we did.

rnr 2.24.13

After the longest two and a half hours of my life, I completed my first half marathon.  The girl who could hardly complete the one mile challenge in high school gym class had now just run a half marathon.  The feeling of accomplishing that was one that I will carry with me forever and always.  Next time though, I will have a PLAN.  I will train.  I will avoid little kids with germs that may lead to the flu, chicken pox, or whooping cough.  I mean really, I even ended up with thrush last year after being on antibiotics so long.  

rnr jenn and i b.w

In the end, I did something I sincerely wasn’t sure I could do.  I wanted it.  I wanted it badly.  But the odds of completing the race with almost no training and running less than three times a week lately seemed pretty slim to me.  I guess what I really learned is that we are all capable of more than we think we are.  It is a matter of continuing to put one foot in front of the other, a matter of not stopping when it gets difficult, and a matter of wanting it badly enough to trust yourself.  Of course afterward I trusted myself with a bowl of ice cream.  Silly me.

rnr mel solo

Happy Hungry Girl.

Peace, love, and pacing it 13.1 miles

~The Hungry Wife

Mardi Gras Gris Gris

Every year some 50 days before Easter Sunday the city of New Orleans parties so hard the whole place has to shut down for a few days.  When I say “shut down” I mean even banks, schools, and commercial institutions cease normal productivity to make way for the big P-rades!  I call parades, P-rades.  It just sounds cooler.  This year was no exception.  We partied, paraded, ate too much, caught beads, and even enjoyed a share of boiled crawfish.  Mardi Gras 2013 was a total success!

Mardi Gras 2013

Mardi Gras 2013

Alas, Mardi Gras season came to an end and my waistline is quite relieved.  I’m sure you can relate.  It’s similar to the relief found when Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years holidays finally end.  With that I decided to grab a trashbag and clean the junk out of the fridge and pantry.  If I have it at home, I’m going to eat it.  It does not mean I can never have a treat.  There will be plenty enough chances/temptations encountered in the rest of life so I try to keep our home a safe healthy haven most of the time.

Mardi Gras Munchies

Mardi Gras Munchies and Libations

I’m happy when Mardi Gras season comes, I’m thrilled when it goes.  My goal is to eat clean all week, primarily non-processed foods.  Fruits and vegetables all the way.  Try this:  next time you fix a meal, think of making a rainbow.  Ideally, you want at least three colors on your plate.  For example, one of my favorite meals is a stuffed sweet potato (orange), roasted asparagus (green), and grapes for dessert (purple).  Additionally, stuffed sweet potatoes are easy and quick for the nights you get home late and stahvin’!  I “bake” mine by washing it, sticking it in a ziploc back with one inch unsealed, and then nuking it in the microwave for 5 minute increments until it’s nice and soft.  The bag locks the moisture in perfectly!  To stuff the potato try mixing two tablespoons of black beans, a tablespoon of light sour cream or plain greek yogurt, a tablespoon of salsa, a tablespoon of corn, and a tablespoon of avocado with your potato “guts” then stuff it back in the skin.  Top with cheese and broil until melted and bubbly in the toaster in oven. DEVOUR!

Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato

Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato

The above picture is credited to FoodieBliss, a fellow female blogger whose recipes are simple to follow and totally tasty.  Click the link above and check her out.

So now that Lent season is in full effect, what are you sacrificing this year?  I chose to give up fried food which was fine in my mind until I realized that included french fries and kettle cooked chips.  I feel the cranky cravings kicking in any minute.  Poor Stuffed Husband.  Is it Easter yet?!

Peace, love, and Mardi Gras Detox,

The Hungry Wife

I.F.B.C. 2011 blew mah mind. Period.

Most things in life that make me happy involve chocolate, ice cream, chocolate ice cream,  puppy kisses, and/or stuffed husband kisses.  I’ma sucker for a sweet tooth.  This weekend the International Food Bloggers Conference did more than make me happy by fulfilling my insatiable sweet tooth. It down right  BLEW MAH MIND!

ChefJohnFolse1

Chef John Folse, a New Orleans staple, cooked up some tasty corn soup that was so good I swear I sang out loud after a taking a bite…or nine in a row.  He offerred a brilliant presentation and shared the history of corn in cooking.  Corn, corn, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. With butter, with cream, with salt, even steam… I digress.

It must be said, Louisiana men (chefs included) know where it’s at.  Just ask their wives.  Ya heard?

IFBCmenu5

Saturday’s three course dinner was…well, it was a mouth-watering, toe-tingling, amazing.  I was still full from lunch when I arrived but I honestly could not help myself.  Lump crab meat, truffles, Duck foie gras…aye ya ya.  I can still taste the watercress caviar.  Why did it ever have to end???

ChefJohnBesh1

1. Ignore the heinously poor quality of my picture of THE Chef John Besh.  It was dark, I am still crossing fingers and toes that I will get a DSLR for my birthday, and … I don’t even need a third reason. Get off my back. 

 2.  Isn’t he precious in his sweet linen suit.  sigh.

Chef John Besh was an absolutely unforgettable speaker.  His passion about food and about the restoration of the city of New Orleans was so alive in that room, so fragrant. It was intoxicating.  With four different restaurants in the great city of cafe ole, beignets, and bourbon, Besh knows how to make a southerner feel good.  I was able to record a one minute video of the king of fresh creole.  As soon as I figure this gosh darn thingie ma bopper out, you too will get to watch the video on a never-ending loop until your husband tells you to turn that thing off.

Thank you to those who continue to encourage me in my blogging endeavours.  I am thrilled, blessed, honored, and, as always, hungry.  The time you take to read my rambling thoughts means more than you can know.

Peace, love, and proper southern gentlemen~

The Hungry Wife

My brain is a sponge…

Last night I experienced a food bloggers conference for the first time.  It rocked my socks.  Brilliant presentations.  Delicious food.  Wine flowed like a river.  I was in heaven.  And it’s only just begun!

I was considerably nervous on my way over to the conference.  Stuffed husband calmed me down by buying me a new blouse so I could feel pretty (of course I had nothing to wear) and even flashed one of his famous smiles at me.  Swoon.

He was sweet enough to drop me off before heading out to play a little golf.  The food at the conference was both beautiful and delightful. 

The wine pairing was exquisite and plentiful.

It was so nice to not be the only person taking pictures of their food…I finally belong!

I was even able to take a picture with Andrew Scrivani…a leader in the field of food photography.  He’s been published in the New York Times and a number of other brilliant publications.  I look forward to bothering him with photography questions via his blog.

Today I look forward to more wonderful food and filling my brain with more useful resources and tips to build a better blog.  I just hope they have a potty break soon…I’m starting to see yellow.  TMI?  Are you really surprised?

Peace, love, and potty breaks on my mind~

The Hungry Wife

You like me! You really like me!!

There are so many exciting things going on in my life right now and I haven’t made enough time to share them with you!  Sometimes chocolate sheet cake distracts me from other duties, like laundry, cooking, and homework.  Oops.

Earlier this week I told you about the awesome scholarship I was awarded in order to be able to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference here in NOLA!!  I spent hours pouring over any literature I could find about who will be speaking, what topics will be covered, and most importantly WHAT WE WILL BE EATING!!!  Naturally food was always on the forefront of my mind.

Upon perusing the internet I found that I was mentioned in an article on line here!!!  Can you believe it??  Finally, validation.  The numbers of hits on my little baby blog have been bigger this week than ever before.  I’ve gotta say, geez it feels good.

Check out the article at the Nola Defender.  It’s a small shout out but I’ll take it.  I won’t keep you long as I am in desperate need of a shower, seriously, just ask my husband.  Also, I’ve got to get ready for the IFBC which starts in just a few hours from now.  Wish me luck!!

peace, love, and pins-and-needles-

The Hungry Wife

I’m still recovering from shock

I am many things.  I am opinionated, loud, sometimes sarcastic (okay often sarcastic), and even a little rowdy when the mood strikes.  Today I am also lucky!  Let me explain.

Earlier today a fellow blogger forwarded me a link about scholarships available for the International Food Blogger Conference 2011.  Thinking I didn’t have a shot in the world, I threw my name into the hat, crossed all fingers and toes, and forgot about it.  Just a few short hours later I received an e-mail informing me that I had been selected for one of FOUR scholarships.  The conference normally costs $350 to attend.  Naturally I had already spent all my fun money on gummi bears, pizza, and puppy potty pads, so the scholarship was necessary in order to be able to attend.

Read more about this awesome event here.  This year will mark the Third annual IFBC.  It was held in Seattle for the last two years but will be held in two different venues this year in NOLA (yayy!) and Santa Monica, CA.  Check out the list of bloggers attending on the blogroll.  My sweet lil blog is named.  Finally, I’m famous!

I’ll be blogging all about it this weekend.  I can’t wait to share my experience with you and to gain some new skills I can use to spruce up the blog and keep you comin back for more.

Peace, love, and bloggers-beware!!

The Hungry Wife