My Two Cents On A Sad Day

On Tuesday, when I read the news about Ed McMahon, I thought it was sad. My feelings were sort of mixed bag. I felt sad that someone had died. I felt sad that when older celebs die, despite their past successes, newer generations don't give it the attention it really deserves...a few days in the news and we move on. I felt the same way about Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur. I was scared because my own grandfather just turned 80 and Ed McMahon was 86. And, I felt like he had a seemingly good life and his time had come.

I, also, thought "who's next?" since these things always seem to come in threes.

Then, yesterday after school I sat down at my computer to check email, and AOL had posted the news about Farrah Fawcett. I fully admit that I didn't really follow her in life. I wouldn't call myself a big fan, but again I felt sad. Being in the medical field, I know what a horrible death she had. She was relatively young, only 62. It also occurred to me how she was so beautiful, and so many people wanted to be her...but how no matter how beautiful or famous you are, there are bigger things at work sometimes.

I emailed Mr. K and told him, and he said he had heard it on the way to work that morning. I put on the TV and watched some tribute specials to her which upset me a little. All of these media people were saying such wonderful things about her, which she deserved, but where were they when the tabloids said she was on drugs or looking so awful? Why do people only get respect after they are gone?
I asked Mr. K who he thought the third was going to be. He guessed Patrick Swayze. I guessed Liz Taylor. About fifteen minutes later, my friend Dave on Facebook posted that Michael Jackson had been rushed to the hospital. I got chills. Michael Jackson can't die was my first reaction. When reports did finally come in that he had passed, I cried. Again, I don't claim to be his biggest fan, but certainly I can appreciate the magnitude thst was the King of Pop. I had a Michael Jackson doll when I was five. I spent countless hours in front of my MTV mimicking Beat It and Billie Jean choreography. And, my all time favorite song EVER is We Are The World, to which I can perform as each individual singer. Don't ask, I won't show you.

My most overwhelming feeling, of course, was shock. Numbness. Unlike Ed and Farrah, Michael was so unexpected. It is difficult for me to make people understand, but I am thirty years old. I grew up with Michael Jackson. I don't know a world without Michael Jackson. And, so few stars have that magic, that brilliance, that makes them outshine all others...make them immortal. Princess Diana. Marilyn Monroe. Elvis Presley. Michael Jackson. All of them seem to be taken from us too soon. We never seem ready or able to let them go. But, maybe we are only destined to have them for a short time...since it only takes a short time for them to touch us.

Regardless of what you thought about him, there is no denying his impact on the world. This little boy from Gary, Indiana made people all over the world get up and dance. That is so powerful. There are so many people focusing on the wrong things right now. I think there are some things we should keep in mind when passing judgements. 1) None of were at Neverland Ranch. None of us know what happened with absolute certainty. 2) He was acquitted. And, none of us have the job of judging him or anyone else.

My personal feeling is that he was innocent. Having said that, do I think he behaved appropriately? No. But, think about his life. He became his family's bread and butter and the age of 5. What were you doing at 5? His father made fun of his insecurities in order to toughen him up. What do say to your children when they are scared? His father beat him, and you may not know that his dad was a former boxer. Were you beaten as a child? Did your dad have a mean right hook? He and his brothers weren't allowed to date because it was bad for business. What were you doing as a teenager? Nothing about this man's life was normal, ever. No one else in the world can appreciate that. Who wouldn't be a screwed up adult after that? Everyone in the world wanted something from him, including within his own family. We don't know what that's like. People today are in therapy for far less. Despite his enormous success, in many ways he never had a chance. In many ways, there was never any hope for him to be "normal". And, it doesn't surprise me that after the childhood he didn't have that he would try to buy later. You know how drug addicts and alcohols who start very young, say as teenagers...when they get sober as adults, its almost as if they start living again from where they stopped. It is almost like they stop maturing when they start using, the race stops, and when they get clean, and start running again...the rest of the world has past them by and they can never catch up. Isn't fame a drug?

I believe it is entirely possible that Michael Jackson truly was, in some ways, a child in a man's body. And, even though we can see why some of his behavior was unacceptable, like any child he could not. And finally, where were the parents of the children who claimed to be molested? This wasn't a regular case, he wasn't their uncle who got them alone in the basement, he wasn't a bad man who kidnapped them off the street. These parents dropped their kids off at his home. Would you let your kids stay there with a strange man? I wouldn't. I don't care who it is, my job is to protect my kids, and that is a completely stupid choice. But they did it. I'm sorry, but for me that screams extortion. And, if you had someone accusing you of something this awful, or had a problem you wanted to escape, and you had the ability to pay it to go away...wouldn't you? Another thing we miss here is that celebrities have people that advise them on decisions...what to wear, what to say...he clearly didn't have good people around him.

Lastly, as far as the new drug accusations. This reminds me so much of Judy Garland. She was another one who made money for so many. And, when she wanted to slow down or focus on herself, it wasn't an option. It wasn't good for business. It doesn't surprise me, especially with the new tour looming, that people around him would make it possible to push through fatigue or illness, or sadness. The show must go on, right? Again, this is something that none of us can appreciate. We get to call in sick or go away somewhere, he didn't. There was no "away" where he was unknown. He didn't get to not be The King of Pop for a day.

My bottom line is, at the end of the day, the world has lost one of the greatest entertainers it has ever know. There will never be another King of Pop. And, that is sad. So, like Ed and Farrah...be respectful. Michael Jackson wasn't just Michael Jackson. He was some one's son, some one's brother, some one's father, some one's uncle. He was a person, and that by itself deserves respect.



TIME Magazine recently reported that Americans throw away 1,000,000,000,000 paper plates and utensils every year. O-M-freakin'-G!!!

BBQ Season is upon us and that means that paper plates, napkins, etc will be the norm. But, how can you look at a number that huge...how can you think about a pile that ginormous...and still grab a pack off the shelf?

The most
earth friendly option, of course, is real dishes that you hand wash afterward. But, logistically they aren't the most user friendly option. They are bulky and breakable. I admit, the paper options make life easier. No dishes after the party. But, why can't we have our cake and eat it too??

We can.

If you’re
in the habit of using disposable paper products when you entertain, challenge yourself the next time you have people over. Use cloth napkins and real plates instead. Or, when your event calls for more portable dishes, choose one of the new eco-friendly options, like 100% recycled plastic plates from Preserve Tableware, plates and trays made from fallen leaves by Verterra, or bioplastic plates made from corn, bamboo, or sugar cane.


A Woman's Week @ The Gym

I got this off of Facebook from my friend, Doris. It is so funny, especially the toothbrush part.


This is dedicated to everyone who ever attempted to get into a regular workout routine.

Dear Diary,

For my birthday this year, my Husband (the dear) purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since being a high school football cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer named Christo, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Christo waiting for me. He is something of a Greek god - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Christo gave me a tour and showed me the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!Christo was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!

TUESDAY: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Christo made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. His rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Christo was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for that early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Christo put me on the stair monster. Why the heck would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Christo told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other crap too.

THURSDAY: Butthole was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late - it took me that long to tie my shoes. He took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny witch to find me.Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.

FRIDAY: I hate that jerk Christo more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic, anorexic little aerobic instructor. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Christo wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the darn barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich.The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?

SATURDAY: Satan left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing his voice made me want to smash the machine with my planner; however, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

SUNDAY: I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband will choose a gift for me that is fun -- like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!


Farmer's Markets

I think I have mentioned farmer's markets in the past. I love them. The colors, the smells, the organized choas. Every once in a while my aunt would take us to one in Boston around the corner from Fanuiel Hall.

I came across these tips in an AOL article, and I think they can be helpful, especially if you've not been to one before. I have sliced and diced, and streamlined the article down for you below.

There are advantages to buying food at the grocery store. It's one stop shopping, and even if something isn't in season where you are, chances are it is still being grown and harvest somewhere else.

Having said this, there are also disadvantages. Supermarket produce travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your neighborhood grocery. A trip can take up to two weeks leaving the produce not especially fresh -- and no longer very nutritious. Then there are the resources wasted to get the fruits and vegetables there and the impact that waste has on the environment.

Your best bet is your local farmers' market, where you can buy locally grown, seasonal produce. If it's local, you know it's fresher than what's lining the produce aisle at your local grocer. And if food is in season, it's at its peak and will be as delicious and nutritious as its going to get.

1. Buy Ugly. If you're not familiar with
heirloom tomatoes, you might think you're looking at inedible mutants, but that couldn't be further from the truth. While most commercial fruits and vegetables are harvested for uniformity and aesthetics, heirlooms are prized for their individuality. They often have a unique and sometimes superior taste, especially as compared to their flavorless supermarket cousins.

2. The Right Stuff. Having the right gear makes all the difference between a smooth shopping experience and a disastrous one. Consider this your market shopper toolkit: Cash: Many vendors don't take credit, Bags: Bring a few large, reusable bags or reuse bags from your home collection, A Cooler: If you have a few stops to make first, it might be a good idea to bring one -- especially for fragile items like delicate berries or if you plan to buy meat or fish.

3. When to Go. First thing in the morning is the best time to go for the best selection. If you're more interested in a good deal, go close to closing time; many vendors offer end-of-the-day specials so they don't have to schlep their unsold wares back to the farm.

4. Before You Buy. Take a lap around the whole market before you break out your wallet. Those ears of corn may look great, but there might be some a few rows down that look even better or come with a smaller price tag. Also, knowing everything the market has to offer before you start purchasing will make planning a complete meal that much easier.

5. What to Look For. Browsing for fruits and vegetables, follow the same rules you would at the supermarket. Don't buy anything bruised or wilted and look for good color and smooth, firm skins. When it comes to meat, "the pinker the better", and stay away from fish that smells too "fishy".

6. Ask Questions. The greatest thing about the farmers' market is that the people who grow it are the same people who sell it. Get to know your farmer! Find out how the food is grown and when it was picked. The vendors are happy to tell you what it is, what it tastes like, give you some ideas on how to prepare it and in some cases, even let you have a taste. Building a relationship with your farmer may also mean some good deals down the road.

7. Don't Overlook Conventional Growers. You might be tempted to head straight to the organic stands, but it's worth a trip to the conventional growers' stands as well. For small farmers, the organic certification process can be lengthy and cost-prohibitive. If you have a chat with some of the conventional growers, you may find that their growing practices are both organic and sustainable -- they just don't have the piece of paper giving them license to use the word "organic."

8. Know Before You Go. Don't go with a rigid shopping list. You never know what new and exciting things you might find there. If you get there and find yourself tempted by some fennel or fava beans, go right ahead and buy it and figure out how to serve it when you get home.

9. Don't Over Buy. Buying at a farmers' market means getting a superior product. The longer you leave that product unused, the more its quality declines. As a general rule, don't buy more than you can use within three to five days.

10. Keep it Simple. Farm fresh foods taste better than their grocery store counterparts, so they don't need overly fussy preparations. Some good quality olive oil, salt and pepper is often enough to enhance the flavor of fresh food at its peak.

If you want to learn more about farmer's markets, or to locate a farmer's market in your area, click

I Liked This

My cousin, Lori, sent this to me in an email, and I liked it....so, I'm sharing.

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of "The Plain Dealer", Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written."

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day.. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Help The Honeybees

I am not sure where I initially came across this, but I have been meaning to write about it for a month or so. And, since I have homework to procrastinate about, today became the day.

So, the deal is that honeybee colonies are dying off at these crazy rates, and no one is entirely sure what the cause is, though there are lots of theories...some, all, or none of which may be correct. It is called CCD, or colony collapse disorder.

h this video.

I know most people are saying "so what", which is a completely logical response, but the fact is that the phrase "busy bee" isn't just a bunch of hot air. Honeybees do lots for you even if you have never taken the time to think about it. The reality is, most people foolishly take the bees for granted, and we shouldn't.

Like what?

Well, let's start with some obvious
answers. First of all, they are the only insects that produce food for humans. Honey. Bees have been producing honey for 150 million years. Even if you don't buy and use straight honey, chances are you are still consuming it in various products from BBQ sauce to granola bars. And, there are honey/honeybee festivals all over the country. There is even a National Honey Board that has a wealth of information about the honey industry, recipes, etc.

Next up is wax. Bees
wax is used for way more than candles. 60% of bees wax is used in manufacturing cosmetics and pharmaceuticals! Who knew! In addition to these, beeswax is also used in many adhesives and polishes. Check out more here.

So, aside from these 2 primary products, why care about the honeybees? How about this...they are single-handedly responsible for pollinating about 1/3 of the foods we eat and $15,000,000,000 in crops every year. Thanks to honeybees we have apples, cherries, almonds, strawberries, asparagus, grapes, cranberries, blueberries, watermelon, pumpkins...and the list goes on and on.

There is a very good chance you have a very good reason to be grateful to these little wonders who work a 10 hour day without any breaks.

There are lots of scientists studying CCD around the country and around the world. But, there are things you can do to help as well!


1. Spread the word. I would bet that most people don't even know this is an issue, and you can help educate them.

2. Support Beekeepers. Honey is the greenest sweetener around!

3. Plant a bee friendly garden. Choose plants that have long flowering periods, and be sure to have a birdbath for drinking!

4. Eat Ice Cream
. Häagen-Dazs has really gotten behind this issue, and the least we can do is support them! A portion of the proceeds from each container of "Bee-Built" flavors is donated to this cause. Try their Vanilla Honey Bee! You can learn more about what Häagen-Dazs is doing here.


Let Them Eat Cake!

Last weekend was my grandfather's 80th birthday. Mr. K & I flew home for the party, which I and my aunt planned. Anyway, it occurred to me that I inhereted my sweet tooth from one, or both, of my grandparents. I was surprisingly good about watching what I ate and I even brought my workout stuff with me. But, its hard to say no all 55 times someone offers you candy, ice cream, etc...which is how my grandmother rolls.

So the party was actually on Saturday, and just about everyone showed. And, since he had recently suffered a fall, my grandfather was only able to make a cameo. As I said I did a good portion of the planning including the cake. The theme was gameshows, so the cake was a Wheel of Fortune wheel. Mr. K helped (AKA took over), and it came out really cute. But, the strangest thing happened just after we played Jimpardy and ate...a complete set cousins who shall remain nameless left...as in BEFORE THE CAKE. Ummm...who leaves before the best part? Oh well, more buttercream for me.

Then just today, which is now yesterday, my friend Sally made a comment on Facebook about going to her nephew's birthday party, but said she was going to miss the cake. OMFG! WHAT??!?!? Another one?So, it has occurred to me that this is some new crazy ass trend of the worst kind. As Mr. K would say "Are you a communist?" Who doesn't want cake? It's mindboggling to me. It is the antithesis of me. In fact, I refuse to go anywhere unless there will be cake available.


I'm OK.

Getting back to my grandparents for just a moment. I joke about them eating so much sugar, and I honestly wish they ate better, but it is part of why I am so comforted when I am with them. It's silly, and certainly there is more to my relationship than that, but I love that when I am with them I am a little girl again and Nan & Grampy will always have little treats for me.

I make a conscious effort these days to eat better and exercise. I worry about my weight and health just like everyone else. And, after all, that is how my little blog was born. But, there also has to be a line. I think it is just as unhealthy to always deny yourself. Dessert feeds your soul. It's one of life's happy endings, and we need happy endings in today's world.

Ernestine Ulman, an American writer, said "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first."

I agree!

Life is short. Cake is delicious. Indulge.


Produce PLU's

You know those annoying little stickers on your fruits and veggies? Well, it turns out they actually have a purpose other than being annoying and slowing you down when you are about to chop. I came across a tiny tid bit in Cooking light magazine that explains...

Each produce item in the grocery store receives a four to five digit price look-up code (AKA "PLU"), as determined by the International Federation for Produce Standards. If the item is organic, it will have a five digit number beginning with 9. Conventionally grown produce will have a four digit number, usually beginning with a 4.

And, I also came across this site which is pretty cool.

'Cause knowledge is power! Yeah!


Eat The Rainbow

Just about everyone I know, myself included, would like to look and feel better. And, the diet industry makes billions every year. Americans are the most obese in the world! Which is why I love that the new trend in dieting is not to diet. Even Weight Watchers tells you that diets don't work. The reality is that you need to change your lifestyle or menu permanently, not just until you get wear you want to be. It makes so much sense, and yet so many of us struggle with it.

I was watching a cooking segment of a talk show and the guest mentioned an easy way of keeping yourself on track. EAT THE RAINBOW. I have heard this little mantra before, but I still like it. It takes all the guesswork out of any food plan. The more colorful and vibrant your plate is, the healthier you are eating. It's as simple as that. And, Let's face it, nothing that comes out of a package looks at appealing, smells as good, or tastes as delicious as fresh produce.

So, the following is some info I came across that breaks down the colors. It tells you what's so fab about each color, and gives samples of those foods.

Check it out!

Red fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called "lycopene" or "anthocyanins." Lycopene in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit, for example, may help reduce risk of several types of cancer, especially prostate cancer. Lycopene in foods containing cooked tomatoes, such as spaghetti sauce, and a small amount of fat are absorbed better than lycopene from raw tomatoes.

Anthocyanins in strawberries, raspberries, red grapes and other fruits and vegetables act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Antioxidants are linked with keeping our hearts healthy, too.

Red apples
Red cabbage
Pink grapefruit
Red grapes
Red peppers
Red potatoes

Orange/yellow fruits and vegetables are usually colored by natural plant pigments called "carotenoids." Beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Scientists have also reported that carotenoid-rich foods can help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and can improve immune system function.

One study found that people who ate a diet high in carotenoid-rich vegetables were 43 percent less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, an eye disorder common among the elderly, which can lead to blindness.

Carotenoids also may be good for your heart. One study found that men with high cholesterol who ate plenty of vegetables high in carotenoids had a 36 percent lower chance of heart attack and death than their counterparts who shunned vegetables.

Citrus fruits like oranges are not a good source of vitamin A. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

Yellow apples
Butternut squash
Yellow peppers
Yellow summer or winter squash
Sweet corn
Sweet potatoes
Yellow tomatoes
Yellow watermelon

Green fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigment called "chlorophyll." Some members of the green group, including spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery, contain lutein. Lutein works with another chemical, zeaxanthin, found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks to help keep eyes healthy. Together, these chemicals may help reduce risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness if untreated.

The "indoles" in broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against some types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of folate, a B vitamin that helps reduce risk of birth defects.

Green apples
Green beans
Brussels sprouts
Green cabbage
Green grapes
Honeydew melon
Green onions
Green pepper

Blue/purple fruits and vegetables are colored by natural plant pigments called "anthocyanins." Anthocyanins in blueberries, grapes and raisins act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage. They may help reduce risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Other studies have shown that eating more blueberries is linked with improved memory function and healthy aging.

Purple grapes

White fruits and vegetables are colored by pigments called "anthoxanthins." They may contain health-promoting chemicals such as allicin, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are good sources of the mineral potassium, too.



Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries are seemingly the new big trendy thing. I am seeing them more and more on menus everywhere. I have also bought them frozen, where you just bake them. More recently, though, I have started making them myself which is WAY cheaper.

Making sweet potato fries is extremely easy. I buy a few fresh sweet potatoes at the grocery store, and they last for quite a while if I can't make the fries right away. I opt for fatter ones vs. long skinny ones because I feel like I will get more fries that way...but whatever. I also wash them as soon as I get home, so when I actually decide to cook them, they are ready to go.

To make the fries, start by just cutting up the potato into fries, whatever size and shape you prefer. I usually do a thicker "steak fries" style, and I leave the skins on. The skins are good for you, and I like rustic sort of look they give.

Once they are cut, I throw them into a bowl with a Tbl of olive oil, add whatever seasons I am using, and toss them to coat. Then I bake them at 375 for about 15 minutes or until golden.

The recipe for making them really depends on you, and what seasoning your like. Personally I like rosemary, and I adore garlic. I have also done them with steak seasoning or rubs as well. And since some like it hot, you can always do cayenne pepper. For this step...the sky is the limit. Use your imagination. Get creative.

And, speaking of creative, you don't have to stop at sweet potatoes. I have also tried zucchini fries and celery root fries. Both are also delicious and a healthy alternative to traditional french fries. I like to make a big plate of them for lunch. They are so good, so filling, and FAT FREE!!!

In fact, sweet potatoes are hugely good for you! A superfood if you will. They are a fiber powerhouse, which is great news if you are watching your weight since fiber keeps you fuller longer. They have all sorts of Vitamins...A, B, and C to name a few. The are good for your eyes, your heart, your blood sugar, your cholesterol. I liked this article, if you want to read more.