There are many things in life to which I can practice self-control. A trip to Trader Joe’s is not one of them. We are very fortunate to live an entire city away from the nearest TJ’s, because frankly, I would probably not be allowed to own a credit card if we lived any closer. I swear, every time I walk into one of those stores, my eyes turn into giant saucers and my legs go all jello-y. A strange, ethereal melody known only to me fills the room, and I saunter my way through aisles of the juiciest Bosc pears, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, and ohhhhhh— those delectable organic Fuji apples! Don’t even get me started!
Then comes the cereal aisle. It’s almost too overwhelming to walk by and a lot of times I just have to put my hand up on the side of my face to shield all of the gluten-free granola, lightly-sweetened shredded wheat squares, perfectly mouth-sized O’s and A’s and whatever other types of letters they are using in cereals these days. Next is the yogurt, and I can never make a trip without passing up the Australian-style plain yogurt that has the perfect tartness and goes so perfectly with that granola I couldn’t resist just moments before and a little drizzle of honey (ooh that reminds me, next stop- the honey aisle!). After stocking up on about two dozen little tubs of greek yogurt of every single flavor, I catch a waft of something delectable. Oooooh, freeeeeee samplesssss!!! I drop my basket right where I stand (hopefully I didn’t put any eggs in yet!) and rush over to the little stand in the corner of the store where a man in a TJ’s polo stands spooning up little portions of chicken salad with greek goddess dip, a gluten free tortilla chip, and a plump little cherry garnish. A small crowd hovers in awe. “Excuse me, excuse meeeee,” I say as I push my way through the gathering, a bit exasperated that they are all so annoyingly blocking my path to the FREE FOOD. I feel like a college student again.
But then, after I have finished my sample and my stomach has been temporarily quieted, the REAL reason for my visit is upon me. With sudden tunnel vision, a tongue wetted by the small meal I have just devoured, and lips so pursed that those around me wonder if I need to use the ladies room, I make my way to the aisle of light. Also known as the trail mix aisle.
Around Trader Joe’s trail mixes, all bets are off. No self-control is retained. I have literally spend thirty minutes trying to decide whether to get the “just a handful of simply almonds, cashews, and cranberries” (but why would I want JUST a handful?) mix, “Happy Trekking” mix, “Go Raw,” or “Oh My! Omega Trek Mix.” The owner of the store has literally come over to ask me if I needed his help deciding. I lay out the pros and cons for him of the two bags in hand (“Wellllll sir, this one has the raw almonds, but THIS one has the tart cherries!”) without scaring him. In the end I usually decide to get both and mix them together. You only live once.
One item, though, that somehow always finds a way to jump into my already-overstuffed basket is the Sesame Honey Almonds. Perfectly sweetened with a honey glaze and rolled in raw sesame seeds, these little morsels of decadence are a staple in the McCormick household. I savor them like no other pantry item, taking out about 4 at a time and letting them soften slightly in my mouth before I take the first crunch. (Ok that might be too much information.) Anyway, they’re delish. This recipe is inspired by these gems of honey-roasted genius. These sweet potato fries are like candy. Dip ’em in ketchup, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, or whatever else you dream of. There are no rules in this game! Just promise me you will exercise a bit more self-control that I do the next time you make a trip to that Trader we call Joe. 🙂
- 1 sweet potato, evenly sliced into thin wedges lengthwise
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread sweet potato wedges on a foil-lined baking sheet (or very well sprayed one) and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic and chili powders and toss.
- Drizzle honey over sweet potatoes and toss again.
- Bake at 400 deg for 15 minutes, then remove from oven to toss and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Return to oven for 15 more minutes, until brown and crispy.