Saturday Breakfast – Sweet Potato Apple Hash

I realize it’s not Saturday, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to post this. Gabe and I don’t always get to spend a lot of time together between work and other weekly activities, so when we finally get a day off at the same time we try to make it count. One of our favorite things to do after rolling out of bed at a reasonably late hour (is 7AM reasonably late?) and brewing some french press (we save the fancy coffee for the weekend) is make breakfast together. I’ve done eggs benny, biscuits and gravy and crepes, but our hands-downs favorite go-to dish for quick and painless deliciousness is this sweet potato and apple hash. We really don’t seem to tire of it. Now, I realize I’ve said that I’m not a big breakfast person, but when it comes to this hash my appetite immediately perks up. I’m not going to tell some fancy pants story about this recipe. I’m only going to say that you should make this for breakfast asap, preferably this Saturday.

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Did I mention that there is also bacon in it? Because there is.

Sweet Potato and Apple Hash

6 strips of thick cut applewood smoked bacon
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 crisp apple, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
1/2 yellow onion, diced
Fresh thyme, chopped
1 T of bacon fat (reserved from bacon)
1 T of butter
Salt/Pepper to taste

Cook all six slices of bacon in a large skillet until browned and the edges crisp. Move the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Eat one slice immediately then reserve the remaining five pieces for the actual dish. Pour your bacon grease into an old mug and save it in your fridge. Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for you and bacon fat is oh so good for frying potatoes.

While the bacon is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes to the water and cook until a fork can just pierce the flesh. You don’t want to fully cook them as they will finish cooking in a pan. Drain your potatoes and set aside.

Return the pan that you used for the bacon back to the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Add your butter. Once melted, scrape up any remaining crispy bits on the bottom of the pan then add your onions. Cook until just translucent. Add the apples. Once the apples begin to soften and the onions begin to caramelize, add about a tablespoon of bacon fat back to the pan and stir to melt. Turn the heat on your pan up to med-high. Add the potatoes, incorporating into the mix and cook until they become fully tender and start to brown on the edges. While that is browning, chop your bacon and add back to the pan. Stir in your thyme. Add a good pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Be sure to taste it often to make sure it’s not poison.

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Excuse my language for a moment, but you would be a feather head if you didn’t serve this hash with a poached or over easy egg on top. When you cut into the egg for that first bite, the yolk pours out and becomes a silky sauce that coats each potato, which is oh so divine. You may or may not want to add a little dash of hot sauce to this as well. It’s good either way. Enjoy!

The Country, Llamas, Moving Boxes

Oh boy. It’s been a while since I’ve been back here, hasn’t it. You put your “pen and paper” down for one day and all of a sudden you’re standing in a new place three weeks from yesterday. Here, let me just blow off my keys and wipe the dust from my screen and…there that’s better. It’s like I never left.

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In all honesty there has been quite a bit happening these last few weeks. Trips to see family and friends, illnesses, and the biggest change of all, MOVING! Yes, my husband and I moved. We moved so far away from where we were, so far that it took days of driving and boat ride and a moving company and and and…I’m lying actually. We settled into a place only 20 minutes from our old residence. With the help of some wonderful friends, we were able to move everything in about one day. While moving just up north a bit may not seem like that big of deal, it is a world of a difference to us. Not only is it a physical change, a new town and a bigger home, but it has also been an enormous mental and emotional switch.

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Gabe and I had lived in this last apartment since we got married. It was our first place together. It was tiny and it was perfect. We bought our first piece of furniture together there. We had fights there. Shed tears there. That was were we rolled on the living room floor, holding our sides and struggling for air from laughing so hard. There is much that I will miss about our first home: The coziness, the price (hello debt payoff), the large bright windows, the enormous kitchen (for an apartment), the backyard that turned into a lake whenever it rained for a few days, being able to memorize the angles of every room so well that I could navigate in the dark like a bat in a cave. I will also miss forgetting that it’s a small space and that the bed frame is right there and stubbing my toe so hard I proceed to cry like a little girl. Okay, maybe not that last one.

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One of the things that I will perhaps miss the most is the scenery. This was my first time living in the “country” as opposed to the “city.” (I use quotations only because we were all but 5 minutes from town. However, it felt as remote and peaceful as a true country dwelling.) Wildlife would wander into the yard and prance about as if in some sort of Disney cartoon. On misty mornings the horses across the road would be neighing and pawing at the ground. There was also this guy (girl?), pictured below. If it had been a particularly rough day for me, I would throw on my tennis shoes and walk down the road to visit my fuzzy friend. He never failed to cheer me up. I mean, how can you not smile when looking at a llama face like this.

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On top of all of that, I was even more so blessed to be witness to sunsets so beautiful I couldn’t help but stop whatever I was doing to stand and stare in awe.

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Yet, here I am, writing from the dining room (an actual dining room!) of a new apartment. There is not a doubt in my mind that my new home will soon be filled with all manner of beautiful memories. Lord willing, we will not have to move from here for a long time. Moving is exciting and very very tiring. It can be bitter, yes, but it is almost always overshadowed by the pure sweetness of doing something new, of changing things up and being in a completely different location than I was before. I mean, I practically feel like I am on vacation right now and just living in a hotel temporarily, only there are boxes everywhere, I have to go to work in the morning, and there are already a few dishes in the sink. Such is life. I know there will be more fights and more tears in this new space, but there will be even more laughter and an even deeper love between me and my husband than before. There will be houseguests and parties, messes to clean and mail to read. And I truly cannot wait to soak up each and every minute of it.