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Archive for January, 2013

Crispy OVEN Sweet Potato Fries

I’ve been on a quest to find a way to make crispy sweet potato fries in the oven. Crispy sweet potato fries in the deep fryer? Easy. Crispy sweet potato fries in the oven? Not so much.

I tried dusting them with corn starch. But they were just kind of… meh. They had a little crisp to them, but were still fairly soggy. And you could feel the texture of the corn starch on the outside. Not a method I’d use again.

Tonight I found the magic ingredient – egg whites!

I will admit – I was a little skeptical. I was worried they’d taste like eggs. Don’t get me wrong, I love eggs – sometimes I’ll just make an egg on toast for breakfast or lunch. But I didn’t find the idea of egg / sweet potato fusion to be appealing.

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These were awesome!

I beat two egg whites until they were frothy, added whatever spices I wanted to use for seasoning (paprika, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder), and beat again for a few seconds. Then just dipped the fries in the egg mixture and baked on parchment at 400 F.

Very crispy and sooooo goooood! You absolutely cannot tell there’s egg on them!

… and they’re significantly less evil than Brownie in a Cup. 😉

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Don’t touch my baby!

Gah! One of my biggest pet peeves when out in public with baby is that strangers seem to have no understanding of boundaries! You wouldn’t walk up to a strange adult and smooth their cheek or hold their hand. So why on earth would you think it’s acceptable with a baby?!

I’m not talking about running into someone I actually know. I’m talking about complete strangers who do it!

We were out at Costco yesterday and one of the workers came over to oogle baby. No big deal. But then she proceeds to reach out and smooth his cheek and put her finger in his hand!

That is NOT okay!

It’s flu season! And you been handling money all day! And you’ve been interacting with hundreds of people! And I don’t know you!

This morning my baby woke up with a red, irritated eye. I can’t pinpoint the cause. I’m hoping he just scratched it or something. But if it develops into conjunctivitis when myself and my husband don’t have symptoms, I’m going to be pissed!

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I recently discovered what will likely be the thing that kills me – single-serve microwave brownie in a cup! Soooo good! But undeniably evil.

Usually I like to credit the original source of any recipes I post, but I honestly have no idea where this one originated. It’s all over the Internet. (Actually I’m surprised I hadn’t discovered it before now!) Just google “brownie in a cup” or “brownie in a mug” or “microwave brownie” or any variation of those and you’ll get millions of results all producing the exact same recipe. I clicked on a link to a blog called My Happy Place so that’s where I’ll give credit!

But, anyway, I’ve kept you waiting long enough!

Brownie in a Cup

2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
2 tbsp. cocoa
4 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. flour

In a 12 oz. mug, add water, oil, and vanilla. Whisk well.

Add cocoa, sugar, and flour… And mix it all up!

Microwave for 60-90 seconds. Center should be
slightly molten.

That’s it. It’s that easy. Which is part of what makes it so evil. If it required a great deal of work, I wouldn’t be near as tempted to make them. But I can mix it up in quite literally one minute and by the time I’ve put all the ingredients back in the cupboard, it’s done!

Bonus to the evil? It’s dairy-free! So I can get a super rich chocolate fix without torturing my poor breastfed child.

Seriously. Try it.

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Diaper Motorcycles!

I recently attended a baby shower for my cousin’s girlfriend. My intention was to make her a diaper cake with some gender-neutral baby items because she didn’t find out whether she’s having a boy or girl. When googling diaper cakes to get some ideas, I came across a tutorial on how to make diaper motorcycles! I decided that if I could master the diaper motorcycle, it would be the perfect gift because both my cousin and his girlfriend are into motorcycles and each own one! Thanks to Sweetaprils step-by-step tutorial I was able to put together two very cute diaper motorcycles for my shower gift!

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… and both together!

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The pics didn’t turn out fabulously because I took them on my phone. But I think the motorcycles turned out pretty cute for my first try!

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I have finally found an acceptable cheese substitute!

I hadn’t even bothered to check at our teeny tiny local grocery store because a) it’s really small, and I assumed it wouldn’t carry any dairy-free alternatives and b) we rarely shop there because it tends to be more expensive than the larger chain stores. However I had to pop in there one day last week to pick up some milk (not for me!) and noticed a new brand of cheese substitute – Daiya!

I purchased the mozzarella-style shreds. They’re mostly made with tapioca and arrowroot flours and vegetable oils. So they’re free of dairy and soy, as well as gluten, eggs and hormones/preservatives. You can also get cheddar-style shreds and several wedge varieties.

The Mozza ones are great. They actually melt and stretch and have a great creamy texture! I’ve used them to make a modified version of chicken “parm”, garlic cheese toast, and omelettes. So far, they’ve worked well on everything I’ve tried. I’m really looking forward to trying it on pizza and getting the cheddar ones to try. 🙂

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Today’s adventure in my new dairy-free existence was to find a suitable replacement for chocolate milk.

 

Yes, I am an adult. And a dietitian. And I drink chocolate milk. Moving on.

 

I’ve opted not to replace dairy with soy because many children who have sensitivities to dairy also have them to soy. Plus there’s the issue of soy containing estrogen which, in large amounts, can decrease your supply of breast milk. Highly unlikely in the amounts I’d consume in a few soy-based foods, but why chance it? So that left me searching for a beverage to replace chocolate milk – one of my all-time favorite dairy products. And that brought me to almond milk.

 

It’s actually not bad. If I had bought plain/vanilla to just use on cereal or in recipes, it would probably be fine. But I wanted something to replace the chocolatey goodness that is chocolate milk. And it just wasn’t chocolatey enough. So I did what any respectable adult would do – I put chocolate syrup in it. Haha. Problem solved.

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Tonight I decided to see how my rice cheese would work on pizza. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised!

I made homemade pizza dough using a recipe I posted earlier (here!), laid down a base of EVOO and some herbs, covered that with a mixture of BBQ sauce and a little hot sauce, topped with chicken, green onion, Serrano peppers and tomato, and finished with some grated rice cheese.

… Voila!

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Again, the cheese didn’t melt well. Not even with being in the oven for the prolonged time necessary to bake the pizza dough. And it didn’t give that same gooey goodness you’d get from cheese. But it was actually pretty good! I would definitely do it again!

Now I can have pizza again! Hooray!! 😀

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