Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Recipe: Sweet Potato Fries

Hello! Let me start by explaining that I am by no means good at cooking. I tend muddle my way through the same recipes every night because I know I won't screw them up. However, one thing that I know I rule at making is homemade sweet potato fries. 

I'm sure if I had the luxury of a deep fryer, I'd use that. But I do not, so I'll just lie and say that I bake them because it's healthier. This is not a science, and no two batches ever turn out the same, so you need to try using these guidelines but it might take a couple tries to get them how you want them.

Preheat the oven to 425°Start by peeling all of your yams. I usually cook one per person eating. Then you're going to chop them in halves and then keep slicing them into fry shapes. You don't want to cut them too narrow though, or else it makes them difficult to pick up and eat.

After you've cut all the yams, you can coat them in a thin layer of corn starch (the starch is optional. Depending on how fatty I want them to be, I will or won't add it. It helps make them more crisp) I find a colander (or strainer) is the easiest way to get the right amount. You end up wasting a lot into the sink, but I'd rather that than have them smothered. Add the starch, then carefully give them a good shake in the colander, until they are just dusted.

Arrange the fries on a pan. I just received a special french fry pan from Brad's mom so this was actually my first time using it! It works really well, and the holes in the bottom allow more heat to cook the fries evenly. However, if you're not quite a fry fanatic like me and don't have special cookware for them, a cookie sheet works just as well! Drizzle oil over the fries, and use your hands to flip them and make sure every side has some on them. 

From there, add any sort of toppings or seasonings you'd like. My personal favourite is rosemary and sea salt, but I usually don't add the salt until I flip them. 

While the fries are in the oven, you can make sauce! This one really needs no recipe since it is only 2 ingredients: Sriracha Sauce (hot sauce) and mayo. Just mix it up in a bowl, and vary the amounts depending on how much spice you'd like. 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Makes 1 plate, enough for one really hungry person or 2 people to share.


2 yams
2 tablespoons of corn starch
2 tablespoons of olive oil
+ any additional seasonings, to taste (I like sea salt and rosemary)

For Sauce (mild spiciness)

1/2 cup of mayo
1 teaspoon of Sriracha Sauce


Preheat oven to 425°. Peel yams, then slice into fry shapes making sure not to cut them too thin. From here, you have the option to soak them in cold water, but it isn't mandatory and I usually can't tell the difference. Coat fries in corn starch in a colander and shake until they are dusted lightly. Place them on a baking pan then drizzle olive oil over the fries, and use your hands to make sure they are lightly coated in oil on every side. Arrange on the baking pan so there is about a finger space between the fries on every side. Add your seasoning preference, then place in the oven. Cook for about 10-15 minutes on the first side, then flip (this is when I add the sea salt) and finish cooking for about 5-10 minutes. This is where it is all down to you, because every oven is different. Just remember to keep an eye on them, and check that they aren't burning.

For the sauce, add the Sriracha Sauce to the mayo and stir. Add more Sriracha for more spice, or mayo to make it more mild, depending on your taste.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wearing: Winter Wonderland

 I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I did nothing today except for sit in bed, eat chocolate and catch up on Mad Men. All while wearing my new comfy PJs from my mom! My poor Bradley had to work for 12 hours today, but to be honest it felt nice to be alone for a while. We have had a great week, but I don't think we've had the apartment to ourselves since Thursday! I couldn't be lazy forever though, so I got dressed and am about to head out for dinner with my cousin.

Beautiful necklace from Brad

dress- Aritzia / tights- American Eagle / boots- Bullboxer / cardigan- Sirens / scarf- Aldo Accessories / jacket- Bluenotes
I'll post about Christmas in the next couple days, once I edit my photos. In other news, I sold my first print on Etsy! I have to wait another day to ship it, as well as the giveaway prints, but I'm so excited!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekend + Giveaway Winner

I feel like my vacation finally started today! Well, it started a day early because I was too sick to go to work today but now I'm free to relax pretty much until the new year.

This weekend was one of the most non-stop 3 days I've had in a while. It started with a trip up to my hometown to see my best friend Lauren, and attend a sort of high school reunion night. It was nice to see people I haven't heard from in years (it's scary to think I graduated high school over 4 years ago..) I don't get to see Lauren nearly as often as I'd like, so it was the best to get to hang out with her even if it was just for a night. I had to head out early the next morning because there was a storm coming, and I needed to be home for our Saturday night plans.

Every year, all of our friends get together for a big Christmas party (called Crewmas) where we exchange Secret Santa gifts, drink, and enjoy each other's company since so many have moved to new towns. This year, no one was able to host the event so I volunteered our apartment. I was pleasantly surprised at how well 30+ people fit into our small space without feeling overly crowded. The storm I mentioned above did eventually hit, knocking our power out temporarily. Some nearby places in Ontario are still without power.. yikes.

I also finished all of my shopping/drawing and wrapping gifts this weekend. If I'd had the time, all of my family would receive a handmade gift, but time was tight so my brother is the only one this year. I try to dress up craft paper in a new way each year, instead of just buying red+white paper. This year, I tried my hand at potato stamping for the first time since I was in kindergarten. I used a white acrylic paint, instead of ink, so it would stand out more.

On another note, the winner of my 3 art prints is Emily of Some Girl ! Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who entered! I'll look at doing this again very soon.

If I don't post anything tomorrow, be sure to have a happy and safe Christmas!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

GIVEAWAY: Set of 3 "Woodland Girls" Prints

Hello! This week I am giving away 1 set of my 3 "Woodland Girls" art prints. They are each 8x10" and printed on high quality paper, with a 1/4" white border for easy framing. This giveaway is open world-wide, and shipping will be covered by me.

There are 4 ways to enter, using the app at the bottom of this post:

1) You must follow Haggard Library on either GFC (Blogger) or Bloglovin'
2) Like Haggard Library on Facebook
3) Tweet about the giveaway
4) Mention the giveaway on your own blog

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Cheesiest title, I know. We finally (and by finally I mean, I forced Brad to take me on December 1st) got out Christmas tree, so it is feeling very festive in our little apartment! Because of the amount of school work I've had lately, I didn't get a chance to go as decorating crazy as I'd wanted to, but I'm still pleased with how things are looking. Especially since last year, all I had for Christmas was a couple stockings and a 1' tall Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I know I'm going to be upset when I have to take it all down, but such is life.

Things I am looking forward to for the rest of December:
- Finishing this semester on Friday
- A Christmas show with my mom on Sunday
- Going to see my best friend in my hometown for a high school reunion dinner
- hosting our annual Secret Santa party for our friends
- relaxing (finally)
- seeing my Gran when she comes to visit
- making spiked apple cider
- cooking more with Brad over the break

I'm off to the printers to pick up a few sets of my prints, so I will post the details of the giveaway within the next few days.. so stay tuned!

best smelling Christmas candle! 

How is your holiday decorating going? Hope that you are all having a fantastic week!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Etsy Shop: Now Open!

Hello all! I hope that your week is going by quickly and pleasantly!

I just wanted to take a second to announce that I've opened up an Etsy shop to sell some of the artwork I produce. I currently have listed my Woodland Girls set of drawings (shown above, and below. Obviously the watermark is only temporary and will not appear on the print). For the time being they are being sold as 8x10" prints. I'm hoping to add more once I'm on my Christmas break and have more free time, but for now please do me a favour and check out the little shop, and maybe favourite it, if you feel so inclined! There will be a link in the sidebar here on the blog so it will be easy to find in the future. In the meantime, click here to go take a look.

I'll be hosting a giveaway in the near future for someone to win a print of their choosing, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful night!