sweet potatoes are better than regular potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.

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The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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A Letter To The Almost High School Graduate

“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.” –Kiran Desai
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To the high school senior weeks away from graduation,

Stop.

Just take a moment to look back on all of the things you're used to, all of the things you consider your norm, and all the things you grew up knowing life would be.

Take a drive at sunset and look at the town you call home. Reminisce in all of it –that shop you used to get frozen yogurt with friends or that pizza shop where you went on that date with that guy.

Go past your elementary school. Swing on the swings and hide under that playset you used to call a fortress.

Visit the place you called “home" –your friend's house, the band room, the gymnasium. Any place you truly felt like yourself.

I ask you to do these things before it's too late. Yes, it is actually possible to be too late.

Do those things before everything you've ever know changes. Do those things before you leave. Do those things because one day you'll come home and you won't recognize a thing.

That favorite fro-yo shop you and your friends went to –closed. That playground you used to love –removed. That big oak tree outside of your back door –chopped into pieces, fallen from a storm.

Now, these things may seem meaningless to some, but they are part of our familiarity. Our sense of how life was.

It's a simple concept, yet it's difficult to grasp once you're away from home.

The concept: life goes on, even when you're not there.

It won't hit you as soon as you think, but when it does, it hits hard. It hit me when I Facetimed my parents and they showed me my room. It felt like my brain had glitched; it didn't understand why I could see my room, yet I wasn't there in person to see it.

This glitch is called your reality check. You don't ever ask for it, but you always need it.

The same thing occurs when you come home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It happens when the whole family gathers and they see you “post-high school" and now as a “new college kid." They say, “wow, you've changed so much!" but you look the same. They say, “you're so much more aware of everything now –it's incredible!" but you really haven't; you've just been looking outside of a dorm window instead of your house's window.

Why does everyone see you differently, yet you feel completely unchanged?

The answer: your reality check hasn't happened yet.

You haven't begun to realize the dark half-crescent shaped shadows under your eyes from lack of sleep. You haven't seen your sudden weight gain (or weight loss, for some). You haven't seen how differently you interact with people here than you did before you departed.

And just like that, all that change occurs and there's no time to realize it. Until it's too late.

So realize these things now. Soak up the norm and live the life you may call “ordinarily boring." Because one day, it won't be. And you'll have no idea why.

And so, I leave you almost-graduate with this: stop and smile.

Look back on all you've lived through and all you've accomplished. Look at all the memories of you growing up. Remember, reminisce, and embrace your childhood for a little while longer, before it all disappears.

When you wake up on graduation day and you look in the mirror, fully dressed in cap and gown, smile.

Because you've made it to the end of part one, and now you've reached the beginning of part two.

This is your new norm.

Signed gratefully yours,

The Kid Who Wishes She Had

Cover Image Credit: pxhere

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A Love Letter To My Air Fryer

And why you would love an fryer too...

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In a previous article, I wrote about how love to use Trello.com for organizing things. I'm still loving Trello. I've haven't grown bored of it and stopped using it (like I have with some other organizational systems). This time, I'm going to share another item that I love, and it's for one of my favorite things, food! I finally gave in and bought an air fryer, and after my first use, I literally said that it's wonderful! I bought a small air fryer. It only holds about two quarts, but it's perfect for quick lunches.

I thought I'd love the air fryer if it could dry fry food with little to no oil, and it does just that. I'm also in love with the air fryer, because I could simply put the food in it, set the timer and live my life for a few minutes until the food is done. I don't have to stand over it and watch the food cook. That makes the air fryer a winner! Did I mention that it really does work?! Yes, it does work. Now, you could buy foods that are already breaded and throw them in the air fryer, but if you want to go the healthier route, you can use bread crumbs, flour, and eggs to make your own crispy coatings for your foods. Dipping your food in your own homemade batter cuts out some of the salt and added chemicals in the frozen pre-fried foods.

You can also fry foods that do not even need a homemade batter. Without using the batter, I've made sweet potato French fries and burritos in it. The tortilla for the burrito turned out nicely crispy, but I didn't leave it in the air fryer long enough for it to be crunchy. The sweet potato fries came out nice. I've tried making crispy chickpeas with Italian seasoning, but they weren't to my liking. However, I have loved everything else that I've made in the air fryer. Sometimes I just put a quick meal in it, just to re-heat it, since I don't use a microwave. I just think that using the air fryer is healthier than using microwaves, and I love that I don't need to put my food in a special box or anything for it to be really crispy. If you love fried chicken or fried fish, you'd love this little machine as much as I do!

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