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by Liren Baker

Liren Baker is the voice behind the blog Kitchen Confidante, where she shares taste and inspiration in the kitchen. Inspired by the beauty of food, what it represents, what it invokes, and what we can create out of it, she shares recipes and images that remind her of her heritage, her childhood in New York, and the vibrant culinary culture she has learned to embrace in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she currently lives.

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  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • A pile of workbooks and marble notebooks stacked on one side, neatly covered textbooks on the other, I would tackle my homework diligently. My sharp number two pencil would roll off the table and I would sneak a glance at my mother in the kitchen as I picked it up off the floor. She was at the stove, dropping thinly sliced sweet potatoes into the frying pan. Using a slotted spoon, she retrieved them, crisp and beautifully deep orange, and lay the chips on paper towels to cool.

    When they were ready, I would get my own little plate; a wonderful treat after school. Some moms made cookies, mine made Sweet Potato Chips.
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • I thought of her the other day as I dropped off my kids on their first day of school. That afternoon, as they played and chattered about their new teachers, I pulled out my mandoline. Mom should have had one, she would have loved it.
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • Instead of frying, I wanted to try a healthier version of mom's chips. I sliced my sweet potatoes and placed them on a baking tray to crisp in the oven. As they baked, I could smell that familiar aroma in my kitchen, the smell of autumn. I sprinkled them with sea salt and took a bite, and offered some to my kids. I don't know about them, but with each nibble, I was definitely eager to start the new school year.
  • Photo Credit: Liren Baker
  • Baked Sweet Potato Chips

    Serves 4.

    Ingredients:

    2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
    Olive oil or olive oil spray
    Sea salt or kosher salt

    Method:

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly brush or spray the parchment with olive oil. Place the slices of sweet potato on the baking sheets and lightly brush or spray with olive oil. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy while crisp and warm.

    Bon appetit!

    -Liren
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