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I’m Studying…

…for my upcoming big and terrifying finals.

It’s horrible.  I miss cooking, baking, and blogging–but hopefully soon I’ll get a chance to make a quick batch of something so heavenly you’ve never imagined it was possible.


‘Till next time, my friends.

Pray for me.


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Hot and Tasty Oven Fries

I just finished taking my second orthopedics practical, and I must say I am very, very relieved.  For some reason I get incredibly anxious before practicals, even when I am sure that I know all the material.  My heart starts racing, I get palpitations, I pee every four seconds (TMI?), and my brain rapidly empties of whatever material I had learned in preparation.  All of that understandably makes me even more anxious, which means I just get swept up into a giant self-perpetuating vicious circle of nerves.

But it’s over now, I did a good job, the sun is shining, I get to blog for a while before I have class at 11:30, and I get to go to the gym tonight.

And my baby tomato plants are growing!

So in the name of spring and summer, I wanted to post a super quick and easy recipe that is perfect for BBQs, cookouts, easy entertaining, pickupable-kid-food, satisfying-man-food, and of course, healthy-lady-food.

These oven fries are cut into big matchsticks shaped just like those from Mickey-D’s, and with a little drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and paprika, they are just as gratifying as the fast-food version without any of the guilt–and you can take or leave the ketchup.

Hot and Tasty Oven Fries (serves 4)

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes (I used Yukon Gold, ’cause that’s what I had, but I recommend Russets, too)
  • 1-2 T olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 t paprika (I used sweet but smoked paprika would also be out of this world)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Scrub the potatoes, but don’t peel them–I like the way they look with the skin on.  Preheat your oven by turning on the broiler–I broil the fries to make them quick and crispy, but this only works with thin-cut fries, not thick oven wedges.  I still use the oven rack in the middle position so they don’t burn.  If you don’t want to use the broiler, use a high setting–400 to 450.

Cut the potatoes into thin matchsticks, roughly the size of fast-food fries.  I like the slice the potatoes into thin rounds and then stack a few rounds on top of each other before slicing into matchsticks.  It goes pretty quickly this way. 

Some people will soak the potatoes in water for 15 minutes to a half-hour to remove some of the extra starch at this point, but I like recipes that are quick, so I don’t go that route.  Don’t worry, they are still delicious!

Dump the fries on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, salt, and pepper.  Toss them about to make sure they all get covered, and place in the oven.  Every few minutes, toss them around again using a spatula so they get baked on all sides.  I like fries that aren’t too crispy, so I kept them in there about 10-15 minutes, but they could have gone longer if I wanted more crunch.

Feast away, my friends, and celebrate the coming of spring, summer, and the foods that go with them.

And as a perfect little note to leave you on, look who I caught napping on the couch together:

If that image doesn’t relieve any lingering anxiety I have, I don’t know what will.  Enjoy the rest of the day!


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Wow. Busiest week ever. Will be updating again tonight!


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Lentil Loaf

I was recently perusing one of my favorite healthy eating blogs (you guys know this: Oh She Glows, duh) and stumbled upon something Angela made called a lentil loaf–basically the healthy, vegan version of meatloaf.  Well, I’m not a vegan, but I do want to eat well, and the ingredients in this loaf just looked spectacular!  I couldn’t resist.

Plus, I’m on vacation and I have a lot of time on my hands.

I even went to the gym again today, even though I went yesterday and plan to go tomorrow, mainly because I was bored.  Hopefully that continues after school starts–tomorrow I’m starting a “Total Body Conditioning” class, and I’ll let you know how that goes.

Anyway, back to the loaf.

Walnut Lentil Loaf (slightly adapted from the Oh She Glows version)

  • 1 C dry lentils cooked in 3 C veggie, chicken, or beef broth
  • 3 T ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 C grated carrot
  • 1/3 C grated apple
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 3/4 C toasted walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1/3 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C bread crumbs

First, cook the lentils in the broth in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

While doing that, toast the walnuts in a 350 degree oven for five minutes–don’t burn ’em!

Also, combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  A weird and magical thing happens and a gooey gel forms (this is called a “flax egg”).

While the lentils are cooking, dice the onion and garlic and saute them in a large pan for a few minutes until browned.  Add the carrots and cook for another minute, then toss in the grated apple, walnuts, and raisins and finish with another two minutes, add the salt, pepper, and thyme and set aside.

Speaking of thyme, remember all the herbs from my herb garden that I hung up to dry?

There they are!  Lavender, thyme, and sage.  I love cooking with herbs that I grew and dried myself–it makes me feel like a totally independent and self-sufficient woman…even though I bought every single other ingredient.

Once the lentils are cooked and cooled, process 75% of them in a food processor until smooth (well, mine weren’t really smooth.  More like mashed).  In a large bowl, combine the lentils (processed and unprocessed), the flour, bread crumbs, and flax egg.  Mix together (man up and use your hands to get it done quickly!), and add the veggies and squish those in there too.

Line a bread pan with parchment paper so that the long sides hang over the pan.  Fill with the lentil mixture and press firmly into the pan until it is even on top. 

For the glaze, mix ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and some honey in a small bowl and spread over the top.  I didn’t measure amounts, but I hate ketchup (and love vinegar), so I can assure you that I went light on the former and heavy on the latter.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (I did 45 minutes this time but would go a bit longer next time for more crispness on the edges), slice, and enjoy!  We ate it with a green salad and some cardamom rice leftover from yesterday.

This was a giant success.  It was great–though I can’t imagine most meat-eaters would like it replacing their mother’s beloved beef-and-rice meatloaf.  I’ve myself have never been a fan (not just yours, Mom, but any meatloaf!), so this is a great substitution for me.  Fritz also raved about how filling it was, and was very shocked to hear all the healthy ingredients fueling him for his test tomorrow.

I love tricking Fritz with hidden extra veggies.

I think this will help prepare me for my future children.


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Thanksgiving II: in photos

Here’s the rest of our Thanksgiving for you to enjoy in photos:

Starting off the day the right way: Kefir pomegranate, acai berry, wheatgrass smoothie

Up bright and early to begin the prep

Hadley helped too

Cranberry sauce: cranberries, dates, honey, sugar, ginger, lemon juice, cloves

Mom's recipe holder

Quinoa Salad

Dad made sweet potatoes: butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar--mm


He also made the standard mash

Bacon curried brussel sprouts

Laura made deviled eggs

Mom's perfect gravy

The table setting

Jordi folded the napkins into origami hearts


And it's just not Thanksgiving without pie: apple, mincemeat and pumpkin made by Barb

So sad to leave…guess it’s time to start looking forward to Christmas!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy every bite of food you eat today and every moment you spend with the people you love. I’ll blog all about it…tomorrow.


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