Sweet Potato Hash

4:42 PM

Hello! My name is Amanda and I'm a junkie, I totally love junk food.

That being said, in the continuing, life long effort to break my bad habits, I've fallen in love with some pretty good food that isn't junk at all.

Enter the sweet potato.

My entire life, my only exposure to sweet potatoes was during Thanksgiving. You know, when they're dripping with sugar and topped with fluffier sugar in the form of marshmallows.

I actually was never a fan of them being served that way, so I kept my distance from them. No sweet potatoes for me!

Years ago when I finally decided I could no longer live on pizza and tacos alone, because my young woman metabolism was quickly fading and those tacos were sticking, I discovered the sweet potato.

Good bye starchy white potatoes, hello soft little mountains of... fries.

See? I first began by turning them into FRIES.

Such a junkie.

Now, I get a little credit because I baked them, much like these purple potato fries.

And then somewhere down the road, I discovered my next not guilty pleasure food, HASH.

Diced sweet potatoes seasoned with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and a little smoked cayenne. Wilted kale and some smoked sausages and I'm DONE.

Simple as that.

And if you're feeling like brinner, top it off with an egg, we generally do.

It's an easy dinner or a hearty breakfast, everyone in my house loves, including my 6 year old, minus the egg for him. Also, as something that needs a little time left undisturbed as it cooks, it pairs well with a needy 10 month old baby.

And maybe a big glass of wine. For your health.

- Amanda

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes, Cubed
  • 1 Head of Kale, cut or torn into generous pieces
  • 1 Smoked Sausage or 4-5 Links of Sausage, sliced
  • 1 Tsp Onion Granules
  • 1 Tsp Garlic Granules
  • 1/4 Tsp Smoked Cayenne Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3-4 Large Eggs [optional]
Heat a medium size non-stick skillet over med/high heat. Add sweet potatoes, season with garlic, onion, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cover for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

In a separate pan cook smoked sausage slices until lightly brown or crisp, whichever is to your liking. Add kale and cover, cook until kale is wilted.

Check sweet potatoes to see if they are soft, continue cooking if needed. When potatoes are soft, stir in meat and kale mixture. Allow to cook together 1-2 minutes and serve.

Top with a medium egg if desired.

Floral and Stripe Quilted Blanket

11:30 AM

Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby.

I have been making a ton of baby blankets lately, many I didn't even photograph because I made them and immediately sent them out the door.

I don't run a business on blankets yet recently I've been selling blankets and keeping busy. 

It all began when I made my daughter an adorable little minky blanket, but I couldn't stand the normal procedure of sewing it inside out, flipping it out and sewing the edges. I wanted it to be something more, something a little more special. I still adore it so much, which says a lot, I generally judge my own creations harshly and grow tired of them.

Her blanket was immediately followed by a beautiful purple blanket for a friend's baby, also with her little initial on it. Admittedly, Maeve's blanket was the tester, so I could be sure I knew what I was doing with the one I was gifting.

The blankets are wonderful and they've caught several people's eyes, we get compliments on them all the time when we're out and about. I misplaced Maeve's once and thought I left it behind in the cart at Target. I love that blanket so much I was in tears, my husband went to the extent of offering to go back but he called first, no blanket turned up. Thankfully he tore apart the car and searched every bag in the house before locating it in a fresh box of diapers! We use that blanket everyday, I may be more attached to than Maeve will ever be.

I've sold several of these now and made a few more as gifts myself. This one in particular was for one of my husband's co-workers at the time. He was working in the office for awhile and when she found out she was having a baby girl, he asked me if I would mind making a blanket. The only thing I had to go on was "pink and gray" specifically soft pinks, not hot pink.

I immediately knew what fabric I wanted for the blanket! I had been eyeing this cute floral at Hobby Lobby forever. It came in after I made my daughter's blanket, otherwise I would've picked it up for her. The way she grabbed at it while I sewed the binding down tells me she would've loved it as well.

I didn't had a binding picked and the coordinating print they had didn't work well for binding, so knowing I needed gray, I began looking at prints. I first thought of using polka dots until I came across this bold stripe. It had a nice pop on top of the floral and still stayed true to what she said she like [though she had no idea she was having a blanket made].

I put a lot into these little blankets, the cutting and pinning is easy. Then I take the time to quilt them together, make the binding and sew it onto the blanket. The binding usually takes me the most time because I finish it by hand, but the upside is that I can spend that time catching up on my stories [I have a Shonda Rhimes addiction] and sit comfy on the couch.

The Momma to be adored it, she had no idea she was getting a blanket and was really touched by the thoughtfulness. I'm always flattered when people go on about my work, it might make my head a tad inflated but I genuinely appreciate hearing how much someone loves my creations.

I've already made another blanket, this one for special young man in my life that guilted me into it and I'm pinned down to three more orders, hooray.

I find sewing be relaxing, so the time I take out of my day to work on these projects falls under "me time" even if it's technically work.

Do what you love, right?

- Amanda

Maeve: 9 Months (And Izzy too)

11:06 AM

My little baby is growing up, faster than I can even manage to keep up.

With everything that has gone on since she was born, I really feel like she couldn't possibly be this old already.

Nine months!? Really?

Noooo, she's a small infant still, isn't she? ISN'T SHE?

I'm clearly not coping well, someone bring me wine... or a glass of cold water, cold water will do.

Oh Lord, I just scrolled back up and looked at her sweet face again, those cheeks, those eyes and that smile. Sigh, what a little lady she is becoming already.

Coincidentally, I'm actually running on time around here this time. This is it, this is the latest set of photos from her, I have nothing else to catch up on.

Lately it has only been photos of the kids, mostly her, because that is the only thing I'm doing.

She's a different child than her brother was, she needs me more, wants me more and so I give her me, as much as I can. I haven't swept in weeks but the baby is happy, I think that means I'm doing pretty good around here. Save the dust bunnies! Or that's how it looks in the hall...

As for being behind, we ended up missing baby dedications at church the last two rounds, so when this round came up I made sure I blocked the schedule. No hunting! No working! No trips! This baby is getting dedicated this time!

See, my husband is to blame, all that was directed at him. And he made sure he didn't plan anything this time around.

We also had our son dedicated, even though he's 6 years old now. We weren't actively involved in a church at the time he was born, we were going through our own season of change. So I went ahead and had him bundled in with his sister.

Of course, when the day came, he ended up having this HORRIBLE raspy cough. I knew it was his allergies, but no way I could leave him in the class of healthy children sounding like he was going to cough up a lung.

Essentially we had to dedicate and dash. My poor parents got up early and dressed for church just to see us dedicated and walk out.

I was just trying to be a responsible parent.

I recall thinking the whole time, "Please don't cough on stage. Please don't cough on stage." And he didn't. But his sister decided to dive from her father to me and kick her brother in the head a dozen times on the way by. I was prepared for a bad reaction, but he simply brushed his hair back down and kept smiling, what a champ.

Their dedications were wonderful! Over Maeve, he [Our Pastor] declared Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves you. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." And the word he spoke over her was, Delightful, which she is. I honestly couldn't describe her better if I tried.

And over Israel he declared 2 Corinthians 3:12, "Therefore since we have such a hope, we are very bold." And the word he had for Israel was Bold. Again, I can only smile and think, "Yes, that's my son. He's certainly bold."

That boy doesn't know a stranger, he wants to be friends with every kid he meets. And look at the glasses he picked? I tried to suggest some nice, neutral tortoise shell brown ones. You know, a safe color. But he wanted BLUE. He tried on 6 different blue pairs before he settled on that color. I don't tell my kids what they must get when it comes to what they wear, I try to let them pick and let them be themselves (The boy, the baby doesn't get a say until she can speak). He is always drawn to bright colors, I guess he's his mother's son. If he was his father's son, it'd be black, gray, navy and very dark gray.

And man, if I'm shocked that the baby is 9 months, well 10 months now actually, I can hardly believe that he's 6. I see the younger photos of him and oh, my heart aches. Sometimes I feel like the chaos of life has robbed me of moments with my children. There isn't enough time for it all!

These kids don't slow down and frankly, I am honored that I get to experience life with them and their father. I would not have life any other way.
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