My friends can tell when stress is getting to me without asking. Apparently, I recede a little. Chat less. Update my Facebook and Twitter less. A general quieting of my online presence. And they’ve told me on more than one occasion over the last few weeks that they’ve been seeing these things recently. I was surprised, but only because I didn’t realize how obvious it was. Of course, they are right.
January was a hard month for my career. February was a hard month for my bank account. And now it’s March. The good news is things are looking up. Yesterday, the first edition of a new column I’m writing for SheKnows appeared. It’s called Chasing the Dream and is all about achieving those big life dreams we have for ourselves. I am over the moon with excitement about it. Other good things are happening behind the scenes too. It’s like the tide is changing, and it feels good even though I am still reeling from two tough months.
Some weeks, it would be super easy to dissolve into complaints and quips here. When life is harder, it’s so natural to focus on the worst thing happening. I could go on and on about malfunctioning fire alarms in the dead of night and about my internet being spotty in recent storms. I could tell you about the migraine I was fighting earlier today or my strong desire to just sleep, a definitive sign that I am under the weather. But I won’t. I will however tell you that real life happens to me the same as everyone else. If it ever seems otherwise, it’s only because this is my happy place — the place where I choose to focus on the positives. Here on Sarah’s Cucina Bella, I would rather celebrate the good food and good times.
And generally speaking, I think there is a lot to be said for focusing on the positives. Norman Vincent Peale was really onto something with his writings on the power of positive thinking. It’s that positivity that has really helped me during rough patches recently, allowing me to be present with the kids and also focus on forging ahead.
Did I mention good food? Yes? Because that helps too. Good food can brighten a dark moment. Like these fries. A friend recently tossed me the idea of dipping fries in curry sauce after having a similar dish in Boston. I was skeptical but tried it and was totally wowed.
Crispy Salt and Pepper Oven Fries with Curry Dipping Sauce might actually be closer to fry-crack though. When I make them, I literally cannot stop eating them. Good thing they are oven fries and relatively low-fat. And the little bit of cornstarch in the recipe makes the outsides so nice and crispy. Totally killer. I picked that tip up after reading about another blogger — The Art of Doing Stuff — using it in her sweet potato fries. So I tried it on my oven fries, using a really small amount and it worked wonders.
Though the fries are great on their own, it’s that dipping sauce that sends them over the edge. Curry simmer sauce is a sauce made from curry, coconut milk and other ingredients. It’s got this sweet-spicy thing going on that will have you double and triple-dipping for more. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.
- 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Cooking oil spray
- curry simmer sauce, (found in the Asian foods aisle; NOT curry paste)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Wash the potatoes. Then, cut them into 1/2-inch thick fry shapes. Put the cut potatoes into a resealable bag. Sprinkle with the cornstarch, salt and pepper and then seal the bag. Shake vigorously until the fries are well-coated.
- Pour the fries onto the prepared baking sheet, arranging in a single layer. Spray with cooking oil spray.
- Bake the fries for 30 minutes, flipping once or twice, until golden.
- Serve with curry simmer sauce for dipping
I created this recipe for BettyCrocker.com and am sharing here with permission. Visit the recipe page on Betty Crocker.com for more tips and tricks.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.