Loaded Sweet Potato Fries

This is a total non-recipe recipe. I say that because it doesn’t necessarily need precise measurements or a lot of ingredients, but sometimes you run across a particular combination of things that are just too wonderful not to share. This happened to me last night. I was not planning on blogging this recipe (hence the poor photography) but after digging in I was like, whoa, I have to share this. Then Brittany from Tragic Girls blog had an idea for a series called Simple Sundays where I share meals that are easy and quick for those Sunday’s where you don’t have the energy for anything more than quick and easy. I thought this would be a perfect one to start with because you can use leftovers or pre-made items if you have them, measurements don’t need to be exact and  you can totally customize to your taste. So I snapped a pick and here we are. loaded sweet potato fries

This was incredibly easy to put together and it would actually be a really good idea for a build your own loaded fries bar for a Superbowl Party- just line up all the different toppings and let them go at it. Or make as a snack while watching Golf Channel on Sunday afternoon (and by that I mean desperately trying to find something else to do while your husband watchs golf). I used frozen Alexia Sweet Potato fries and baked them because no one has the time (or desire) to slice and fry up potatoes and then clean up the mess when it’s so easy to dump a bag of precut and seasoned fries on a sheet pan and throw them in the oven. I also used a pre-marinated meat to go on top- the Arrachera steak from Costco to be exact. It’s sooooo good. I bought a 3 lb package at 7.22 per pound and divided it out into 1/4lb bags and froze them so I can use it later for tacos, burrito bowls, or Spicy Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili (recipe testing in progress). Seriously, you should make this. For very little effort you get delicious and impressive results. This recipe will make enough for 4 as a full meal and probably 6-8 as an appetizer or snack but the recipe can easily be cut in half.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Alexia Sweet Potato Fries
  • 1 lb of pre-marinated carne asada or arrachera steak
  • 1 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • hot sauce to taste (I used Tapatio)

Method

  1. Bake fries according to package instructions.
  2. While fries are baking, cook the meat- it is best grilled but if that’s not possible cook in a heavy skillet on med- high to get some good searing. Cook just under done. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice into strips or cubes and set aside.
  3. Heat black beans in a pot with the cumin.
  4. When the fries are done sprinkle a thin layer of cheese on top followed by the black beans, steak and onion followed by another handful of cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  5. Top with avocado and hot sauce just before serving.

Friday Favorites No. 5

Sometimes it feels like I have these really exciting weeks where everything is fabulous and I have to share it with you. And other times my life is rather boring and routine. This week was going to be one of those weeks until my mother in law invited me to go see the Lion King at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. They have had season tickets there for a long time, and Eric and I have been able to enjoy going in their place off and on for years. It’s one of our favorite dates- getting dressed up, going out to dinner before the show, and sipping champagne during intermission has become a tradition for us. This year we gave up our tickets because of moving and other finacial priorities and it nearly broke my heart to give them up (I didn’t know that my in-laws purchased them in our place so the really good seats will not be lost!) I was so happy to learn that those seats had not gone to some lucky person on the waiting list, and that I might still be able to enjoy them every once in a while.

Anyways, last nights show was the Lion King. It was wonderful. I could not get over how much the characters of Timon, Pumba and Mufasa sounded just like the characters in the movie. The costume and props alone would have been entertaining, there was so much happeneing. The giraffe costume was just fabulous, and the whole time I couldn’t help from admiring the physique of all the performers. This is the highlight of my week and a very welcome distraction from the painful steroid injection in my ear from earlier that day. Another exciting thing- I am finally getting my keloid on my ear removed. I am terrified. Just the first steroid shot was painful as it was and is still sore two days later. Wish me luck. And calm nerves.

Also I had a good hair today today. Which is awesome because I am also rocking last nights make up. I know it’s terrible and I shouldn’t do it, but I hit so much traffic coming home I was too tired to take it off before crawling into bed at 12:30am just to be miserably unable to sleep because 1) I can’t sleep on the right side like I always do because of my ear, 2) my husband does acrobatics in his sleep and this time I was (un)lucky enough to be the victim of a flailing arm, and 3) the alarm went off at 5am. and 5:15. and 5:45. and then finally my alarm went off at 6:40 because I am not traveling to NorCal today. All that being said I am in quite the cheerful mood today and fairly impressed with myself for it.

Anything good happening this weekend? We have lot’s of birthdays to celebrate- my sister, and two uncles (Happy Birthday!!).

Here I was saying that this was going to be a boring week and look at this novel of good things I just wrote. I like doing Friday Favorites because it makes me think not just of what I love but also what I am thankful for and blessed to have/enjoy in my life. Have a blessed and wonderful weekend my friends!

xoxo,

Amanda

Miso Butter Roasted Butternut Squash

I didn’t get any good photos but because I mentioned it on my favorites and because it is such a simple recipe I decided to share anyways. Please use the miso butter on other things, it is so easy. Try smearing it on salmon before roasting, baste corn or tofu with it before grilling, swirl into mashed potatoes or whipped sweet potato. It’s seriously delicious. Trust me. I like to use shiro miso, a mild white variety, although called “white” it is actually a very light beige color . If you need help choosing between the many varieties you might see in your local asian grocery store, there is a great guide about all the different types HERE.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 3-4 TBS of miso butter

To make the miso butter: Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan over low heat, then mix in 1/2 c miso stirring until combined. Remove from heat and stir occasionally as the mixture cools to ensure it is combined thoroughly. refrigerate. I am not sure how long this will keep in the fridge, but in an airtight container it should be equally as long as the shelf life marked on your miso. I generally use mine up very quickly.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Pierce the skin of a medium butternut squash 8-10 times, microwave on high for 3 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing ends and peeling. Remove the seeds and slice into cubes.
  3. Toss the cubes in miso butter (more or less depending on size of squash).
  4. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until butternut squash can be easily pierced with a fork.

Friday Favorites No. 4

  1. Miso butter. I know I have talked about miso multiple times before and even mentioned a recipe for miso butter grilled corn a few weeks ago (also here and here), but I have a new use for it: EVERYTHING. I made a big jar of it (1 part butter to 1 part miso) and I have been smearing it on anything and everything (mostly roasted veggies and  salmon). Last night’s creation was by far my favorite. I tossed cubed butternut squash in miso butter and roasted it at 400 degrees before topping it with sesame seeds and devouring. It had such a rich, buttery umami flavor I couldn’t stop, it’s like candy. There wasn’t enough left over to do this but pureeing that deliciousness into a soup was on my mind and something I will probably have to do soon. I also have butternut squash ravioli in the fridge and I am going to make the easiest ravioli ever by topping them with melted miso butter (from my pre-mixed jar in the fridge). You must try this stuff. I use Kerygold unsalted butter and a shiro miso which is a mild white miso and this has been my favorite combo and ratio. Whatever brands you buy make sure to use an unsalted butter as miso is already pretty salty.
  2. Powdered peanut butter. I know I am probably a little late in discovering this, but I just couldn’t get myself to jump on the P2B bandwagon. For starters I generally chose other nut butter over peanut for a multitude of reasons (my favorite is cashew butter), and I generally use the butters in smoothies and I recently discovered that with a vitamix it’s actually better to just use a whole nut instead of a butter because then you can use the nuts for other things like salads, trail mix, and snacks and not have to get nuts AND nut butter. I found another brand of powdered peanut butter and on a whim decided to give it a try. I sprinkled a teaspoon over vanilla ice cream and gave it a dirzzle of pure maple syrup, a dash of cinnamon, and bit of cocoa powder and stirred it all up. Oh my was it yummy and probably my new favorite fall dessert. The brand I bought was Santa Cruz Organic Peanut Powder (affiliate link)- I chose this brand because it has only two ingredients listed: organic peanut powder and organic milled chia seeds. So while powdered peanut butter isn’t any better for you than regular peanut butter, I definitely like this for the flavor and the ability to add it to things you normally wouldn’t add it to easily, like ice cream.
  3. I am normally not about flavored lattes or coffee drinks; I like my coffee with sweet cream and thats it, maybe a sprinkling of cinnamon, or a dash of (real) vanilla, a drizzle of caramel here or there but definitely not about sugary flavored syrups. We even use Natural Bliss coffee creamer that has only 4 ingredients- milk, cream, sugar, and flavor, depending on which flavor you chose- and none of the nastly chemicles and preservatives and thickeners in many other creamers. (I just looked up ingredients for International Delight Fat Free Sugar Free Vanilla- EW!! It has no cream? Corn syrup is the main ingredient besides water. And cellulose gell and cellulose gum? no thank you. Anyways, my point is, have you tried Starbucks Toasted Graham latte yet? I have been hearing a lot about how people don’t like it, that it’s missing something, but I couldn’t disagree more! For the person who likes the flavor of coffee over the flavor of syrup this is wonderful. It’s like my morning coffee- medium roast drip brewed coffee with Natural Bliss Sweet Cream creamer- got a hit of cinnamon and some foam . It’s probably one of my favorites (as an occasional treat because I know it has some of those ingredients I avoid in my daily coffee  along with a lot of extra calories), what do you think?
  4. I use parentheses way too much. (sorry)