Sometimes, I suffer from really bad nightmares.
These nightmares aren’t pregnancy dreams, frightening sequences where I get kidnapped by a gross old man + try to escape his wrinkly throws by jumping out the car door or even montages of scary monsters, goblins and E.T. look-a-likes. Just as I am about to groggily sink into a relaxed night’s sleep, I see a vision of her and let out a blood-curdling scream…
And then I get wretched visions of gaudy tablescapes, signature cocktails, “Brycer,” overtweezed brows, bottles of hair bleach and a chest that hangs far too low for it to be real. I think there is more “semi-homemade” happening on the show…and I’m not talking food.
All of this becomes entrenched in my Everythingtarian brain – like a car accident you can’t turn away from… a Disney movie you simply can’t stop watching…or another picture of Kim Kardashian’s booty you can’t help but peek at – and I can’t rid my mind of this most irritating Food Network personality.
Making macaroni + cheese out of a Kraft box, adding tuna, broccoli and a shake of paprika doesn’t a Food Network-worthy meal make.
Aunt Sandy, I’m talking to you.
And so here I am before you all today, admitting to the worst nightmare I can possibly think of, because it’s become a reality: today, I’m officially The Healthy “Semi-Homemade” Everythingtarian.
I didn’t want to do it, I swear!
I don’t want to look drunk all the time, I promise!
I even stopped blogging when I didn’t have good recipes for you and posted Brett’s ACT Ride update and offered you guys the chance to win a $100 shopping spree! I triiiieeeddd! But then life got in the way, and suddenly I had no time to prepare a proper Sunday dinner.
So, come 6:00pm tonight, I found a lonely-looking bag of Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs in the freezer and tossed them in garlic salt. Then I baked them. And suddenly, I wanted dips. Because I like dipping things…including my butt to the dance floor, which I guarantee will give you nightmares.
And I remembered this really good restaurant in Madison makes blackberry jalapeno jam for their homemade potato chips…and suddenly, I wanted that too.
Then, scouring the contents of my cupboards, making peanut sauce looked promising.
I remembered I had three sauce dishes…and that was that.
Then, as if I was Sandra Lee’s long-lost sister from another mister (like a curly-haired, olive-skinned, non-Scandanavian and much cooler mister), I started mixing mayo + Sriracha. And I blended blackberry jam + jalapenos. Finally, I whisked a lil’ bit o’ this + a lil’ bit o’ that together for an easy Asian peanut sauce.
I added my tots + a side of pita chips and – voila! – a semi-homemade Everythingtarian feast. All I was missing was a boozy signature cocktail + a powerful NY governor on my arm.
The rule for success?
Keep it at a second grade level, keep it unspeakably easy and always keep it semi-homemade.
Sweet Potato Tots with Three Dipping Sauces
1 bag Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs
1/2 t garlic salt
Pour the sweet potato tater tots on a baking sheet. Lightly coat with cooking spray and toss with garlic salt. Roast at 400 degrees for 18 to 22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Serve hot + dip in condiments of your choice!
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T Sriracha or to taste
Mix well. Serve.
Blackberry Jalapeno Jam
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1 heaping T pickled jalapenos
2 T jalapeno juice (from jar)
dash of salt
dash of ground ginger
Blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve.
2 T peanut butter
1 T mirin
1 T sesame oil
1 t soy sauce
1/2 t minced garlic
drizzle of honey
Whisk together until smooth. Serve.
Makes 4 servings