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It’s hot – no one can deny it. Today is the hottest so far this summer. With the humidity, it’s almost 45C. Once summer hits, we try to do our part for the environment by not running our air conditioner below 77C, as well as minimizing the use of appliances like the oven. So I cook creatively on my back porch: toaster oven, rice steamer, electric frying pan, or my little grill…I do not barbecue. I could learn but I have no great desire to stand over a hot barbecue on a hot day AND I’m scared of barbecues. I don’t mind cooking on one, as someone else starts it. I’m a self-proclaimed barbecue wuss!

Recently I experimented with sweet potatoes in the toaster oven. I scrubbed them, peeled them and sliced them thinly like coins. Usually I mix olive oil, black pepper, and a little garlic powder to rub on my potatoes, but this time I seasoned them with the 5 Spice Powder I bought a few months ago to season my Kung Fu Dumplings, instead of garlic powder. I have to use it up somehow, right? I rubbed my olive oil mixture on both sides of the potatoes and laid them on a cookie sheet, not overlapping each other. Then I baked them in the toaster oven, on the back porch, at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them though – they can burn easily. The thinner the potato coin, the faster they can burn.

The 5 powder spice was nice! It was a light and subtle flavour that really complemented the sweetness of the potato. I don’t think it would be as tasty with regular potatoes. I served them with a garden salad, a 3-bean salad, and cold roasted chicken smothered in warm barbecue sauce. Just thinking about it, and my mouth is watering. How about you?