Things that make you go hmmm, then, mmmm


Counting preschool (and I do), I have been either the recipient or producer of education for over 35 years—nearly 90% of my life (and yes, I realize that, for the quantitatively inclined I’ve given you the tools to figure out my age…for those not as inclined, I’m 39…fair is fair).  This probably explains the building exuberance I feel each year as September approaches.  For me, fall, not mid-winter signals the new year.  

Growing up, I loved the promise of a new teacher, new classmates (and old) and learning new things.  As a professional, I love the excitement in the air as a new class matriculates and the returning students re-energize the atmosphere.  I love the start of college football.  I love that there is something fun to celebrate each month between September and the end of the calendar year.  And spanning those 35 years, of course, is the anticipation of back to school shopping.  If it were a matter of national security, I could probably recite every first-day-of-school outfit I’ve ever worn.

In my formative years, it was my dad, not my mom who took me school shopping.  As I transitioned from kid to tween I remember voraciously studying the back to school edition of Seventeen Magazine.  Never mind that fall fashion in Southern California is an exercise in cruelty as it doesn’t get nearly cool enough to enjoy autumnal wool and long sleeves until, oh, February.   Recognizing the opportunity and leverage she  had  over her burgeoning clothes horse of a daughter, my mom also decided it was time I did my own laundry and ironing at this point.  Which I did gladly.  Smart mom.  By the time I reached college, my parents (unnecessarily but very generously) wrote me a check each September and let me obsess how to make it go as far as possible.  Yes, there were spreadsheets.

Which brings me to last week.  Oh, I still go back-to-school shopping.  The total of my haul this year?  Eight pairs of nylons and tights.    After a summer of bare legs and free-to-be-me toes, approaching September now means the return of the pantyhose.  Oh, how the mighty has fallen.

But anyway.  Let’s make an after school snack.

I first saw this recipe in Cleaning Eating Magazine while getting my hair cut and was intrigued.  By the recipe, not the hair cut.

Sweet potato and peanut butter? (Death to the first person who calls me out for calling a yam a sweet potato)

Sure, why not.


The recipe calls this a blondie.  It’s really more like a snack cake.

But, I think it would be perfect in a lunchbox or with a tall glass of  cold (insert your preferred type) milk.  This recipe could easily be healthied-up.  In fact, the Clean Eating version was significantly healthier than the one below (I’ve listed the link to that recipe as well).  However, I figured I should try making the original version before attempting any modifications.  Sweet potato.  Sweet potaaato.


DMB, just because its been a while.

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Lunchbox Sugar Cookies

Potato Cake

Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Blondies

Clean Eating Version

the version below is adapted from Whitney Miller, Masterchef


  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan with unsalted butter.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a small bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter and brown sugar. Stir in the beaten eggs, sweet potato, peanut butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Spread the batter evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.  Cut the blondies into squares or desired shapes.


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