Flashback Friday – Crush

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 2/11/09 at Exit 51.


Who was the first person you had a crush on?  It’s ok, I won’t tell anyone.  Me?  My first crush was probably Shawn Cassidy.  Yes, I grew up surrounded by Tiger Beat and Teen Beat magazine hotties.  Oddly enough, I was not allowed to buy those magazines. In hindsight, I think that may have shielded me from some less worthy crushes like Scott Baio, Kirk Cameron, and Duran Duran.

I still get crushes.  But let’s be honest, what are the odds of your crush ever turning into a real relationship?  Unless of course, you happen to be Katie Holmes and your crush is Tom Cruise.


I find that more and more, I develop crushes on recipes.  They woo me with their online photos and descriptions until I can think of nothing else.  I am beholden to their charms.  And then, finally, I give them a chance.  Much like the fickle adolescent that I used to be, I tend to get over these crushes pretty quick.   The idea of them is better than the reality of them.  But some do turn into lasting relationships.  They are the TomKat of my cooking world.

Here’s my latest crush.  I can’t decide whether it’s a keeper or not.  I think I need to give it one more chance to win me over.

Crushed Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Ginger
The Washington Post, From executive chef Ethan McKee of Rock Creek at Mazza.

The dish can be fully assembled, then cooled, covered and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. To reheat, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 4 large (3 pounds) sweet potatoes, scrubbed well, then cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 10 to 12 cloves garlic (from 1 head)
  • 1 cup nonfat vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar substitute or light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a large, lidded baking dish.

Combine the potatoes, herb sprigs and garlic in the baking dish. Pour the vegetable broth over and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Cover (or use aluminum foil, wrapped tightly) and bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and the garlic is tender.

Transfer to the stovetop; discard the herb sprigs and use a potato masher to crush the vegetables. Add the grated ginger and the brown sugar substitute or brown sugar, stirring to mix well. Drizzle the oil over the top, mixing just to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve warm.

12 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Crush

    1. Definitely Donny Osmond!! Those purple socks were hawt. I even had a Donny version of a Ken doll. My sister had Marie, and we had their tour bus, which was later repurposed as the General Hospital ambulance. Donny’s fate was worse – he lost an arm down the Cold River on a camping trip.

      1. Jennifer, I’m jealous. I never had any of the fun doll accessories like the dream house or cars. Poor Donny, losing an arm that way.

  1. i’m a little embarassed to say this but my first crush was a cartoon. from Voltron, KEITH was the leader of the rebel group. at least i had enough sense to crush on a strong guy. HA!
    real life person, probaby John Cusack, the nerd from 16 Candles. I KNOW. he’s still in my top 5. the most enduring one tho is Keanu Reeves, he’ll always be my #1.

    i don’t really have food crushes. ok i lied. there was that summer where i loved the hell out of fennel. and now i’m pretty enamored with beets…

  2. I was precocious and started “reading” Tiger Beat and 16 before I could actually read. My first crushes were Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy, and Donny Osmond. (My first concert was the Osmonds, at the Civic Center, age 5. My dad took me.) Oh, and Tom Jones. Mom said I was practically out of diapers but I would go crazy when Tom Jones swiveled his hips.

    Shaun Cassidy didn’t become popular until I was in the 7th or 8th grade, and I didn’t think he was as hot as his older half-brother. And Duran Duran was so worth of crushes – especially John Taylor, who at 50 is still hot. Can’t say that for Shaun. (Actually, Patrick is the best-looking Cassidy boy.)

    1. Miz Minx, I LOVE the mental image of you rocking out to Tom Jones! And there’s a third Cassidy brother? I had no idea. Must go consult the googley.

  3. So what’s the ultimate story with these sweet potatoes? Did they ever fully win you over?
    My first crush . . . probably a boy named David from kindergarten and 1st grade. Except I told a girl about it (she’d promised secrecy) and 3 seconds later she was announcing it to the entire lunch table. That’s when I learned never to share who my crush was.

    1. You know Jenna, I never gave these sweet potatoes another thought until today. Guess it was just a mild infatuation.

      I am cringing just thinking about that girl broadcasting your crush to the lunch table.

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