First of all, I love sweet potatoes. They are healthy and Dr. Oz approved. They have beta-carotenes in them, which I have no idea what they are but I know they are good for you. In my ever-continuing quest of eating better, sweet potatoes have been an obvious choice. One of the first things I gave Bug when I started to feed him baby food was pureed sweet potatoes and as he’s grown I’ve changed how I’ve served them to him. The last few times I’ve sliced them and fried them in coconut oil which is delicious but TIME CONSUMING! When I saw sweet potato fries and noticed they were also GLUTEN-FREE I was sold. I don’t have much time and any inexpensive time saver is grand. The fact that I was selected to go on a shopping trip at Sam’s Club to both buy and blog about these was like an added bonus!
Shopping with my family is always a little… stressful. All of us went which usually means general chaos at some point on the trip. I started with a small list and ended up with a child-sized camping chair (only $10!) and some ratchet scraps ($20!) among other things. Why? Ben said we needed them. We are going on vacation to Colorado soon so I shopped for snacks for the road while Ben checked out the tire selection.
I found the Ore-Ida Sweet Potato Fries really quickly- (my one complaint being they needed to be in a re-sealable bag!) they were being displayed on a freezer end cap. I didn’t have to search for them which was nice because Bug was throwing his cereal out of his snack trap like we were Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of where we’d been inside Sam’s Club which I’m sure they *really appreciate*. We quickly maneuvered through, grabbing trail mix, veggie straws and toilet paper before Bug’s screeches informed us we had reached the end of our shopping trip and needed to get to the food court and feed both him and Bear.
When we left that *one* greeter was working at the door. IF YOU SHOP HERE YOU KNOW WHO I MEAN! Elderly lady, super loud and friendly, and has to be from Jersey. She smiled and waved. A trip to Sam’s Club is not complete with out hearing her!
When I accepted the challenge of creating a dip recipe, I originally dreamed of butter, brown sugary goodness , then realized that was kind of the typical thing to do. I then dreamed of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin-ness all together in a warm, cozy, fall-esque type of dip then WALKED OUTSIDE INTO THE +100 DEGREE HEAT and immediately that was vetoed mentally. The last thing I wanted to do was have my oven blazing and then standing over my stove stirring something, no matter how great tasting, in this heat wave. I think it’s been over 100 degree the last month…
So, what tastes great cool, would be fresh tasting and GREEN in this red heat as well as be something without a ton of sugar and would be healthy- something I’d actually WANT my kids to eat regularly. I came up with fresh limes, local honey, Greek yogurt and … cilantro! Served COLD.
Here it is- Honey Lime Yogurt Dip with Cilantro:
1 cup greek yogurt, 1 fresh lime, honey and several sprigs of fresh cilantro
I squeezed 1/2 a lime into the yogurt then zested some of the lime peel into the bowl. I minced about 5 cilantro leafs- I was careful not to add too much and overpower the flavor. Then I added honey to taste! I think a fairy obvious question would be possibility of curdling with the citrus and yogurt- so far mine is fine! I wouldn’t make this the night before however!
I like beautiful things. I like placing food on plates to look visually appealing so I had fun trying to make my dip look as appealing as possible. I’m sure you’ll agree I succeeded. Oh and yes, it tastes like a cool, summer evening…
OH- and although Ben wouldn’t try the dip (he doesn’t like “weird” food!) he said the sweet potato fries were “OK”. I was happy to hear that positive of a response from my Meat ‘n’ Potatoes Man! Bear and Bug loved it- Bug had two servings at his high chair! I’m happy he likes them because he’s getting to a picky stage so anything healthy he eats is a WIN! Like so many busy nights, dinner was a random mix of cut-fruit, some veggies, chicken and rice and the sweet potato fries. The fries were the hit…
FOLLOW-UP: Since I wrote this post I was able to make another dinner showcasing the Sweet Potato Fries- I served them with steak, grilled cabbage and mixed veggies. The women and kids loved them- the men, not so much. One guy said it was “weird” and that “the color was strange”. Ben decided not to partake in any with his dinner either. MEN.
**This project has been compensated as part of a #OreIdaFries shopping mission for Heinz with #CollectiveBias. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my OWN though!**
I’ve really debated on posting this. Sometimes I feel like I over share, but whatever, that’s why I created this blog to begin with!
A Sam’s Club bag of Ghirardelli double chocolate bittersweet chips is an arm’s length away from me. Some weeks are defined in the good, the places visited and the friends, then other weeks are defined by the poundage of chocolate ate. I’ve noticed that if I get quality dark chocolate then I eat a lot less but still have that classic void filled.
I had a hard week and a half, part of that was traveling with my two young kids, and the other part of that was that I was freaking out privately inside because I was worried I may be pregnant (don’t judge! Even married with two other kids doesn’t mean I want to increase my brood yet. Or ever…). Because of that I was looking at the world through a weird lens- like a camera, I switched out the good lens with the bad, out of focus one. Instead of a positive, God focused attitude, I was instead over-analyzing EVERYTHING and having mild panic attacks over NOTHING. It was the kind of week where I felt like I had to explain almost everything I said and bring up awkward conversations later on to make sure they didn’t think I was being mean or asked a question that may have seemed rude.
As it usually does- when it rains, it pours. These few days brought up past pains and I heard lies whispered in my ear about my value, my worth and what people thought of me. I’m a people-pleaser. I am also randomly insecure and have had trouble with female relationships in the past so every now and then I’ll have a mini-freak out session where I’m convinced that no one likes me and that I’m a loser. The fact is, I KNOW that isn’t true so I don’t know why I even waste the time thinking about it. I don’t mean that to sound prideful like “ohh look at me with all my friends, ” but believe me I’ve been places when I didn’t have many and this is not one of those times.
I had a close friend have a bad day and I felt like everything I said she’d respond chastising me or she’d say something rude. I felt scolded and just…little. She later apologized, but the ball was already rolling in my head. I realized that although this person had been a close friend for many years that she really, at this time, doesn’t GET me. I had thought she did and spoke too freely with her about everything- I realized I had to be filtered with her now. I felt a little shattered. I am a person who ‘is who she is’ with people I meet. I had adopted the attitude that if you don’t like me, SO WHAT, we don’t have to be friends. But what happens when someone seems to grow to dislike you? A similar situation unfolded a few days later- naturally. My people-pleaser has gone into over drive and I find myself with a sick stomach, and no appetite (other than the chocolate!). I’ve prayed about it constantly, given it to God but then like a sick addiction I’d be back: obsessing over hurts.
I thought of when I was hurting so bad over Bear being diagnosed and scary surgeries we endured and how a friend said she was there for me. and she wasn’t. I think she couldn’t handle the depth of what I was going through, so she left. I felt so abandoned during the hardest time of my life. I can forgive, I can talk to her now without anger but is it possible to be friends again?
I thought of the first time I experienced that rejection and how it shattered me to the core as a 4th grader when my new best friend and neighbor in a new town rejected me when school started up in the fall. It was ME that she suddenly didn’t like. I hadn’t done anything. She changed her mind.
These deep rooted pains I thought I had gotten over years ago came back with an ugly vengeance. My stomach churning, I’ve lived this last week reeling again, wondering if this will be a forever struggle. It’s so hard to have my identity in Christ and rest in his love when the world seems (dramatically) against you.
Just writing this now feels like poisons are being released that were choking the life out of me. I think this is also in part because another friend told me earlier today that I get “really emotional about relationship problems” and it was like a giant light bulb came on. I’m just now able to sit down and process. I’d been trying to figure out my feelings by rehashing old ones, thinking I was stressed about possible pregnancy and hosts of other little always-there problems that suddenly loomed larger than life. My friend had shrunk that monster down to a basic sentence that clicked with me. Since then it’s been easier. It’s like an alcoholic admitting they have a problem for the first time to themselves out loud. Admitting to myself that I get emotional about relationships when I think someone is rejecting me is a HEALING. I feel like a weight is lifted for now. I’d love to think that I’ll get over this at some point, but I think that our root, core issues always linger. I hope that they get less and less, like a scar fading over time from an ugly gash and I feel like for the first time in a long time a sense of healing over my body.