Sweet Potato Wedges

Sweet potato fries are such a great way to eat your beta-carotene!  I love the beautiful color of sweet potatoes and their flavor made these fries seem more like a dessert.  They were easy to prep and cook, but make sure to keep an eye on them because they do burn more easily than regular potatoes.  As with regular fries, I like to broil them the last few minutes of cooking to get that extra bit of crispiness on the outside.

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Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich

If you want a clean, tidy dinner this is probably not the recipe for you. Ending up with barbeque sauce all over was worth it though since this sandwich turned out very tasty. The sweet and tangy barbeque sauce was excellent with the pork. Slow cooking the meat allowed it to get very tender and easy to pull apart. The coleslaw was great with the sandwich, and after looking at some pictures I decided to put it right on the bun. I also baked some sweet potato fries that went very well with the flavors of the pulled pork.

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Coleslaw is a common side dish for a lot of different American foods. The ingredients can vary a little bit but at its most basic is a mixture of green cabbage, mayonnaise, and sour cream. I used a squeeze of lemon, but you can also use a little white vinegar for acidity. There are other variations that use celery seed, mustard and red cabbage as well. I liked how it turned out and in the future I might try those other ingredients and compare. I am looking forward to having this with barbeque pulled pork sandwiches!

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives


I have been wanting to try a Moroccan dish for a while now. A tagine is a type of ceramic dish used to cook a lot of Moroccan food. The idea of cooking with olives, harissa and preserved lemons was very intriguing because I had never tried anything like it. It took a while to make this dish because I had to preserve my own lemons. This recipe takes some effort to prepare but it is worth your time. Although it does look like the kitchen sink in terms of spices they all worked so well together and created a really unique dish. I do not own a tagine so I used a saute pan instead and it turned out fine. I would salt sparingly because the olives and lemons are already pretty salty. I paired this recipe with some Moroccan Couscous and it was very good together!

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Preserved Lemons

preserved lemons 2

Preserved lemons take some time to make but they add a very unique flavor to recipes. I have been wanting to make a Moroccan Chicken Tagine for a long time and I was excited to see that these lemons turned out really well. I didn’t know what to expect–I honestly thought that the lemons would get rotten and moldy. After about 4 weeks, the pith of the lemon darkened so I knew they were ready to try out. Some recipes recommend an even longer time to preserve so I was a bit early. It’s kind of hard to describe the flavor. It’s still very lemony but the most surprising thing was that the bitterness mellowed a lot so you can eat the rind. I stuck with plain lemons, but you can add spices like cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, or bay leaves.
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Harissa (Moroccan Red Chili Paste)

Harissa is a chili paste used in a lot of North African foods. It is usually added to couscous, soups, and meat dishes. You can use any kind of chili depending on how spicy you would like the paste to be. I used Arbol chilis which are on the spicy side but you can use serrano, ancho, or guajillo chilies for a milder flavor. I don’t have a food processor so I ground up the garlic and chilies very finely in order to form a paste–and it still turned out pretty chunky. I am excited to try this out on the Moroccan tagine I will be making soon!

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Zucchini Lasagna

I have always had kind of a conundrum with lasagna. Since I don’t eat ground beef and I don’t really care for the creamy white veggie lasagna recipes, I had to get creative and combine my favorite parts of both types. I like the marinara sauce from the traditional lasagna but I also love the flavors that come with the vegetables in the other lasagna. If you are like me–a weirdo who shuns ground beef and cream sauces then this is the lasagna for you. I love zucchini and I thought it would make a tasty layer. I chopped the zucchini in small triangles even though its more “correct” to slice them in long pieces and boil. John frowned at my unorthodox zucchini preparation but I thought it turned out very well. The cheese layers were excellent–a mix of melted ricotta and mozzarella. I really liked this recipe, which is good because I will be eating a lot of leftovers this week. Oh, and happy New Year everybody!

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