Sweet and Hearty Breakfast

Last Christmas, my mother bought me a full cookware set. I was just about to move in with my long-term boyfriend (and one of the only room mates I’ve actually liked), so it was a huge surprise and relief for me on Christmas day to know that I would not have to make that investment myself. More than being a great gift, though, this cookware gave me a culinary kick in the butt I so desperately needed.

I am one of those people who can get sucked into a reality cooking show, but none more so than Bravo’s Top Chef. Seriously, I’ve been with them since season 1, and I am not generally a “since season 1” girl. I fell in love with the hosts, the amazing complexity and creativity in the food, but mostly the compelling and crazy competitions that lead to inspired ideas under pressure. Despite this culinary obsession, the hours of soaking in seasonings, cooking methods, and techniques, I did not absorb many practical applications. Imagine my eagerness, then, to unpack my new pots and pans and finally get my cooking skills to edible standards. To this date, I have probably never cooked better than 6/10. Hopefully these continuous food posts (and subsequent cooking practice) will change that.

While this is not the first dish I have been working on, it’s the first that I feel proud enough to publish. Please keep in mind that when I say that I’ve “been working on” it, I never invent dishes. I go online and find a recipe online for whatever I have lying around, which I suspect goes the same for most Americans.

Recently, I’ve been crazy for sweet potatoes. Not only are they tasty as hell, they’re so good for you. They are high in vitamin B6, contain vitamins C and D, iron, magnesium and potassium. Among other things, this excellent combo provides resistance to stress, maintains energy levels, and helps to build healthy bones, nerves, skin and teeth. These are just added bonuses, because honestly I would be eating sweet potatoes regardless.

For a quick and low-maintenance breakfast (or whatever), I love making this sweet potato hash.

The prep is quick and simple, but I use the word “prep” loosely, because I usually end up the rest of the ingredients while the potatoes and onions are simmering.

step 1

Another thing that I love about this recipe is its versatility. I haven’t been following the recipe to the tee, but pretty darn close. For instance, I used a white onion instead of yellow and a Mirasol pepper instead of cayenne. I know I know, I live life on the edge.

step 2

However, I see the potential for even more creative additions. I think next time I’d like to add some green onions and more cilantro. Lots more cilantro.

step 4

I don’t know if am using a pan that is too large or my technique is just off, but the last step of cracking an egg onto the hash always gives me trouble. I love the idea, but on my second attempt I simply put the finished hash onto a plate and used the same pan to fry up my egg with much more favorable results. Sunny side up is the way to go.

step 5

I am looking forward to next week’s post, a back-to-back sweet potato kick starter: Rosemary Sweet Potato Wedges. Until then, loosen that belt and eat up!

 

Sweet Potato Hash

o   1 small sweet potato, cubed

o   ½ small yellow onion

– I substituted 1/3 white onion

o   1 tbls olive oil

o   ¼ cayenne pepper

– Or Mirasol

o   Salt and pepper to taste

o   ½ bell pepper, chopped

–  I prefer using either a red or yellow pepper, but       this does not really affect the taste

o   ¼ cup grape tomatoes, halved

– I didn’t buy in grape tomatoes, so I just used half     of a roma tomato. Honestly, it’s probably a lot           better with the grape tomatoes though

o   1 tbls cilantro

– I am a big cilantro fan, so I bought freeze dried cilantro that rehydrates with water. It’s great, but if      you’re going that route then don’t add water to the cilantro. The natural moisture in the dish will            rehydrate everything just fine.

o   1 egg

 

    1. In a small pan over medium heat, cook potatoes and onions with olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.

 

    1. Toss in remainder of ingredients and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

 

    1. Cover and cook for 3 more minutes until the egg whites are set.

 

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Pressed Flowers

pressed flowers

The first anniversary of my graduation for college has just recently passed and, like so many other twenty-somethings, I have been seeking refuge from adulthood.Hoping that a writing project will motivate my fickle ambitions, Advice from an Amateur was born.

My brief introduction has probably left you wondering, “Why would I take advice from an amateur?” While I am not an expert on politics,art, music, media, language, or design by any means, this does not mean that I will refrain from offering my two cents. In doing so, I hope not only to evolve my own writing skills and opinions, I hope to document my emotions throughout my new experiences like one preserves fragile petals between the pages of a thick novel.

I believe that through writing, we (as in ‘the literate’) are granted a profound medium through which we have limitless possibilities of expression. Obviously not every story is worth sharing. (I know from sharing too many.) Hopefully none of those weeds will creep their way into the creases of my metaphorical memoirs, but getting the bad ideas out is as important as recounting the good. Who better to understand the value of scraping one’s knees than an amateur?

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