Tag Archives: Fries

Sea Salt Fennel Chips

Fritz and I did a ridiculous amount of shopping today.  Something about cool weather just makes me want to spend all of our money as fast as humanly possible–combine that with the fact that we redeemed some points from our credit cards that we forgot about (thanks Cait and Jeff for the reminder!) for $250, and it was a done deal. 

It was only through sheer willpower that I didn’t go adopt a fluffy orange kitten.  Next year, Lauren.  Next year.  Maybe as a graduation present?

Since we are good kids, most of the points money will go towards our new iPhones and phone plans, but I did get an amazingly cute dress from Gap for $12, some clothes for Fritz, and the making for a DIY project (a light over our kitchen table).

If that wasn’t enough, my BFF’s mom called to say she was cleaning out her DVD collection, and she just handed us tons of DVDs to look through and claim for our own–it was like Christmas in September!  Thanks, Liz!

Clearly, not much cooking happened today…but I did find a few minutes to make fennel chips.

Sea Salt Fennel Chips

  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1-2 t olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Trim the stalks off the fennel (you can save or toss, I don’t care!), and cut off the ends.  Divide each bulb in half, then peel the leaves from the core.  Toss them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

When baking chips from veggies, it’s best to be conservative with the salt.  The leaves shrink as they dessicate, and the salt taste can quickly become overpowering if you were too heavy-handed.

Remember, you can always add salt, but you can’t taketh away.

Bake on the middle rack, stirring them occasionally, until dry.  You will probably have to remove the smaller leaves before the thickest ones are done, otherwise they will burn.  It should take about 20 minutes to a half an hour.

I actually couldn’t resist tasting them as I checked on them, and didn’t finish baking them because they were just so good as is.  With some moisture still in the middle of the big ones, they tasted kind of like fennel fries rather than chips.

Delicious either way.

Baked veggie chips are also great with kale or chard–see here for the recipe.

Baking the chips was a really great way to make the strong anise taste of fennel a lot more mild.  You could still taste it, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

And yesterday I went apple picking with Fritz and some really lovely ladies:

We ate apple cider donuts, apple cider, and of course, tasted about a million apples on the orchard.  I plan on making apple butter using what we picked, but since I’ve never made it before I want need to find a recipe I like that doesn’t add pounds of sugar.  Any suggestions?

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Filed under Snacks

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

I remember the first time that I had sweet potato fries.

Well, I remember the first time that I remember having sweet potato fries, but it is possible I had them earlier and don’t remember.  But that’s a whole ‘nother discussion we can have some other time.

What?  Anyway.

The first time I remember having sweet potato fries was in downtown Syracuse on a father-daughter date with mon pere.  All I remember about it is that we went down some stairs to a restaurant in a basement, and dad made me try his fries because they were his favorite.  And now they are mine.

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt to taste

Easy-peasy.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (yes, make it hot!) and stick a cookie sheet on the middle rack to heat up.  Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes and slice ’em into thin matchsticks.  It’s worth the work to shape them like Mickey-D’s fries, because they get nice and broil-ey on all sides.

Take the sheet out of the oven (don’t forget, it’s hot!) and drizzle the olive oil over it.  Toss the fries in the oil and lightly salt them.  Place on the middle rack for 5 minutes, and give them a stir.

Turn the oven to “broil” and cook the fries for 10 minutes longer, turning the fries every few minutes.  I like ’em to be nice and dark, because then they are perfect with a smidgen of ketchup.  Yum.

Check that out.

I also grilled a steak all by myself yesterday!  I made a quick Cajun-paprika rub, and I think it came out perfectly.  Fritz, however, was not at all comfortable with me edging onto his turf.  Deal with it, bro.

Tell me that doesn’t look amazing.

Obviously we aren’t on our way to Boston today because Kristen is sick and decided to finish off her weekend at home with the ‘rents to take care of her (I would, too!).  It’s okay though, because I went to the gym this morning for a nice long cardio sesh, and then napped in the sunshine (the sun was out!), stopped at a church sale to snag a few books, and cooked dinner.  Later, Cait and Jeff are coming over to hang out by our fire pit for the first time!  Should be fun.

So, I wanted to share something I’ve thought about lately.  It’s going to be our second anniversary in a week, and I’ve been feeling very nostalgic lately about that first week two years ago when we moved to Long Island, didn’t know anyone, started going to new school programs, and were just getting used to living together.  It struck me as I was driving home from school the other day that we really are in charge of making our own happiness.

If we wanted to, Fritz and I could make a list that was several notebooks long about things we don’t like about our life–and they aren’t just tiny little details.  We don’t love living on Long Island (okay, we hate it), our school programs are incredibly stressful, we are deeply in debt due to school loans (and live on a tiny budget!), our cat is adorable but entirely evil, our families live so far away, and blah blah blah.  But those things don’t matter in the context of what we do have.

We’ve taken hold of the reins on our own happiness and decided that our circumstances won’t dictate our peace of mind.  And I’ve been lucky enough that I found hobbies that I love and am passionate about (cooking, blogging, and my newly found photography), that I can use to fill up any residual feelings of discontent.

Not to mention that Fritz has a totally rockin’ bod.  So that helps.  Kinda hard to be unhappy with your circumstances when that six-pack is just hangin’ around the house all the time.

Oh!  And I wanted to show you guys something that our friend Gill brought over to celebrate Fritz’s citizenship:

 How sweet is that?

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Filed under Side Dishes