Brenda Stanley
Belle's Sweet Potato Fries

I learned recently that home economics classes in our schools are almost nonexistent. If they are available, it is usually just an elective class. This was horrifying to me because of all the wonderful things I learned in those classes, especially when it came to cooking.

If you don’t know how to cook, how can you possibly control what goes into your body? And people wonder why there is an obesity epidemic.

I mentioned this indignantly on my Facebook page and received many comments praising me for bringing this to light. I felt pretty good about my endeavor until one of my sons pointed out that he didn’t learn to fry an egg until he was 22. Doh!

I spent so much time just doing the cooking that I didn’t take the time I should have to show my kids the basics. I’m trying to change that now.

One of the recipes that I feel is almost bomb-proof and perfect for the beginner is my sweet potato fries. They are healthy, flavorful and super easy.

Vegetables are one of the most healthy things you can eat, but there are so many different kinds, and many people have no idea how to cook them. This recipe is great for sweet potatoes, but it also works well for zucchini, Brussels sprouts and a number of other vegetables.

Once you learn something and become confident, you can experiment and that is half the fun of cooking.

Belle’s Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes, skinned and cut into ½-inch sticks

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Place the potatoes into a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss well and spread in an even layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until fork tender and slightly browned.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of

twins, and a grandmother of two. She is a cookbook author and

novelist. Her website is at