Fun Fact: when one smoke alarm goes off in my house, ALL the smoke alarms go off

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Don’t do this to your sweet potatoes

Things you might be wondering:

  • What did sweet potatoes ever do to me?
  • Why would I put these vitamin A bombs through such trauma?
  • How did I manage to burn the crap out of so many while others were left mushy and undercooked?

Well, sunshine, it’s a skill. And I’ve got it.

It turns out that oven roasting sweet potatoes is NOT the same process as oven roasting other types of potatoes because they’re sweet. That’s right! The higher sugar content makes a difference. A big difference. An important difference. Now if I had read the section on sweet potatoes and not just assumed that they would behave the same as regular potatoes, this crime against vegetables, this plant travesty, could have been avoided. But I did not. So I’m having to pay the piper, take my medicine, and swallow my pride.

Now listen to your Auntie Jamie here, boys and girls. If you’re trying something new and you have a recipe or a really cool cookbook devoted to “Better Home Cooking Through Science,” go ahead and take the 10 minutes to read that section on it. I’m not saying study it, commit it to memory or carve it into your forearm for perpetual reference, but go ahead. Get crazy. Read it. Consider following the recipe the first time around.

And if not, make sure you have something else to prepare after you get done fanning the screaming smoke alarm, opening the closest windows, and burying the evidence of your misadventure under onion skins, a mandarin orange netting, and that clump of slimy spinach you didn’t eat fast enough earlier in the week. Not I ever do that.

On the upside, our cyclists can’t make it tomorrow after all so we had plenty of food in the house that could get diverted. Tuscan white bean soup to the rescue.

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Earlier in the week, we made a variation of this Black Bean Soup, substituting veggie broth for the chicken to keep it vegan and using 1 green and 1 red bell pepper instead of 2 green since that’s what we had in the fridge. After cooking, we found the broth not quite as thick as we’d like, so we’ll probably add another can of black beans and reduce the broth by a cup next time. I say next time because the overall flavor was good, it was pretty quick to prepare and clean up was easy. A great option for those nights we need to cook, eat, clean up and get out the door again lickety-split.

Because my sweet tooth needed a reboot – *tears* ok, it soooo didn’t – AND because I made the mistake of reading what sounded like a nice, easy recipe on the NY Times cooking app AND because I had everything I needed already in the cupboard, I made gingerbread cookies to go with my morning cup of tea. They’re so good. I’m both lazy and a fan of efficient storage so I didn’t use cookie cutters or frost them but, instead, cut them into rectangles and patted myself on the back. None of the flavor leaked out. For the record, they freeze really well and re-soften nicely sitting on top of a steaming mug.

PS – The recipe is hidden behind the NYT paywall but if you really want it, let me know. I just might be able to get it to you. If you ask nicely. And you really like gingerbread. I’m not risking my reader-in-good-standing status for someone that’s wishy-washy on the gingerbread front.

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