Capering at the 2012 Minnesota State Fair – Part 1

I have been so flattered by the number of requests I’ve received for a write up on this year’s Minnesota State Fair! The fact you are all reading my blog enough to remember I did a State Fair post last year is amazing, and now you want more. Wow! Thank you!

So here’s some of my new favorites at the State Fair, and a few tips on how to discover favorites of your own!

Sweety Balls – Potato Man and Sweetie

The guy who served these to me thanked me for not making a joke about their name. While it is a funny name, these deep-fried mashed sweet potatoes are no laughing matter. Drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with a side of whipped cream, these sweet potatoes are like nothing you’ve tasted before.

Even if you hate sweet potatoes, I’d encourage you to give these a try, they taste more like cinnamon than sweet potato and have a buttery texture that works beautifully with the crispy outside. A word of warning: These things come out HOT, so let them cool a bit before biting into one.

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Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potatoes. For me, sweet potatoes are like the candy of vegetables. I get lots of healthy fiber and vitamin A, and I can put cinnamon and maple syrup on it? Yes please!

So really, it’s no surprise that I love sweet potato fries. It’s a natural extension of my adoration for sweet-meets-salty, and I can pretend they’re healthy because they are, after all, a vegetable.

What is surprising is that I have never attempted to make them on my own. The only fries I’ve ever had at home came from a bag, so I was a little intimidated when I decided to take these on. But once those puppies were fresh out of the oven, I just sat there and munched away, straight from the pan! For anyone toying with the idea of making fries at home, go for it! They’re easy, amazingly delicious and much lower in fat since mine are baked and not fried. Even my sweet potato hating boyfriend (How I ask you, HOW do you hate sweet potatoes?) went back for seconds.

Ingredients: Makes about 3 servings depending on how much you love sweet potato

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley – substitute dried if you don’t have fresh on hand
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes in long sticks, about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Lay the fries in a shallow baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the garlic and parsley over the top. Mix, making sure all the fries are coated and put in the oven.
3. Bake for approximately 17 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and cook a few minutes longer to get a nice crispy outside.
4. Pull out of the oven and serve up with your favorite burger!