Night Terrors and Sweet Potatoes (and where I matched!)

January 16th was exactly 2 months out from Match Day.

What is Match Day, you ask? It’s only one of the most stressful days of any medical student’s life.

On Match Day, you find out where in the country a computer algorithm has placed you for your residency (aka where you do your training once you decide what kind of doctor you want to be). You are given one option, and one option only, and if you choose not to go there, you’re banned from most residencies for the rest of your life. Ohhhhhh, and to top it off, there aren’t enough spots for everyone to Match, which means you just paid for 4-8 years of med school and can’t get an actual job.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s not a fun process.

Anyway, on the morning of January 16th, I was woken up at 6am by my friend as he got ready to go to work by the following:

“Honey, are you okay?”

Naturally, I was confused, and not only because I had just woken up and I personally got to go back to sleep for another 2 hours.

“Well, you woke up around 2 am, threw yourself out of bed, screamed ‘Oh my god I’m not going to Match!!!!’ in this horrible voice, then jumped back into bed and pulled the covers up really tight. I tried waking you up to see if you were okay but I couldn’t.”

You thought only small children had night terrors? Oh no. We med students have them, too.

For those of you wondering, I did match. I’ll be doing my Anesthesiology residency in Chicago starting this July!

No More Nightmares Sweet Potatoes

I should have eaten these before I fell asleep


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1/8 c fat free greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Peel sweet potato and dice into chunks. Place into a medium saucepan, cover with water, and add some salt.
  2. Boil for approximately 10-20 minutes (depending on the size of your chunks) or until the sweet potato is easily pierced by a fork (and you want this to slide right in- otherwise it makes the next steps harder).
  3. Drain and add butter. Using a heavy duty whisk, mash the potatoes, being sure to whip some air into them as you do so (just stir them fast every so often with the whisk).
  4. Add in greek yogurt, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Salt and pepper to taste. And whip some more air in with that whisk.

92 thoughts on “Night Terrors and Sweet Potatoes (and where I matched!)

  1. Awesome! I think you’ll like Chicago.

    1. I have to go there for work all the time, so I at least somewhat know the city!

  2. One of my favorite mash – so this I will put on file – like the thought of greek yogurt and cinnamon. Nutmeg and sugar I use in all mash (my grandma tip). You have perfect a perfect mash there on the photo – hate runny mash, baby food for me.
    Thanks for sharing – nice post.

  3. OMG – Sounds crazy stressful. I hope that Chicago brings you tons of Joy!!!! Keep the stories coming, you always make me laugh.

  4. I’ve found that sweet potatoes, in some form or another, are a remedy for most things πŸ™‚ I’ll add night terrors to that list. I wonder if they will cure my kid of sleepwalking (the other night he wandered onto the front porch all cute and asleep and underwear clad and then slammed the door and went back to bed. Funny πŸ™‚ But not funny)

    1. My best friend was a “sleep-arguer”- she’d wake up in the middle of the night, start yelling at people, and then go back to sleep. πŸ˜‰

      1. My little boy totally did that last week. He insisted that I took his computer out of his room. He was ADAMANT. But when he sleep argues he’s totally compliant so when I’m done with the hilarity of it, I just say, “Andrew. Go to bed.” And he does. It’s very funny.

  5. Mmmm, the Greek yogurt sounds like a great addition here. I’m just getting to know Greek yogurt and have also been pairing it with nutmeg and cinnamon and apple chunks for breakfast.

    1. It gives it that extra creamy texture and a slight tang- that way it doesn’t taste like you’re just eating filling from sweet potato pie.

  6. Congratulations!! We do matches for Dietetic internships too…and its been rough. It’s soo great that you matched. =D

  7. Congrats on the Match!!!!!!!

  8. Congrats! I remember that excitement πŸ™‚

    I hope Chicago was on the top of your list. Enjoy these golden months before the black hole of internship sucks the life out of you. Just kidding — it’s not that bad πŸ˜‰

    1. I’ve actually been told it’s worse now with the new intern work hour restrictions…at least my life will be better starting second year!

  9. Congrats! I live in Chicago – it’s a fabulous city. And you’re coming in July – perfect timing to enjoy the best of Chicago – summer. Also – these look delish and easy!

    1. I’m actually moving at the end of May- that way I have a month’s vacation essentially in Chicago before I start work.

      1. even better then! have so much fun.

  10. Congratulations – great city! My old headquarters from a ‘previous life’ was in Chicago. Lots of great restautants and things to do…with whatever downtime you have….

    1. In other words, lots of places to get good takeout when I’m spending all of my downtime studying. πŸ˜‰

  11. Congrats on your match! I hope Chicago is wonderful to you. Those sweet potatoes look wonderful. I am only recently falling love with sweet potatoes.

    1. My relationship with sweet potatoes didn’t start until late in high school- I’m pretty addicted now. However, I can’t stand that roasted sweet potato dish with marshmallows on top!

      1. No. I don’t like the marshmallow dish either. I have a copycat recipe for Boston Market’s sweet potatoes and it is like a little bite of heaven. I should definitely share that recipe.

  12. Sounds like you got a great match. Congratulations!! I simply adore sweet potatoes, and I agree that you would have had sweet, calm dreams had you eaten them before your slumber. Comfort food πŸ™‚

  13. Congratulations! I love sweet potatoes, so I will definitely have to try these. I also have night terrors all the time, so if these help I will let you know. My husband would certainly appreciate it.

  14. Congratulations! Chicago is a great place!

  15. letstalkaboutfamily March 19, 2012 — 12:01 pm

    Congratulations on your Match! I hope it is a match made in heaven, I have heard anesthesiology is a stressful field, so instead of being stressed for awhile, you will continue life of stress in between “boring moments” as it was once explained to me. Keep up with the sweet potatoes– they will heal you from the stress.

  16. Congrats on your match!! You’ve taught me something new about medical studies in the USA! Oh and sweet potatoes are the ultimate comfort food to me! Great food choice to keep bad thoughts at bay πŸ˜‰

  17. Congratulations! I’m sure you’ll have a blast in Chicago πŸ™‚

  18. Congrats on your match.

    The sweet potatoes look yummy and surely ward off any night terrors or other things that go bump in the night.

  19. Chicago welcomes you! We are a friendly town and I think you’ll really enjoy it here:)

  20. Chicago is a great town.

  21. Congratulations on your Match!

  22. I always get a kick out of reading your blog. Fun!

  23. awwww! I really wana give u a hug! ha ha!
    Congratulations on your match! I have family in Chicago and have been there a few times to’s an amazing City..and every time I went the weather was remarkable!!
    How long is your residency for?? Enjoy it πŸ™‚

    1. Anesthesiology is a 4 year residency, followed by 1-2 years for fellowship.

  24. Congratulations! I think you will have the best time there! Hope you learn lots!!

  25. We have a ballot for our intern year and from then it’s pretty easy. Mostly, if you’re good you get to do your specialty training where you want.

    I love sweet potato.

  26. Congratulations on matching! I hope that you had ranked Chicago highly and that you are looking forward to it. For the best Chicago Pizza check out Lou Malnati’s and for the most incredible pancakes ever, try to trek out to the burbs for Walker Bros. Original Pancake house (several times because everything is so different and AMAZING). Good luck!

  27. Chicago is a great town.

  28. If you get lonely in Chicago you should let me know and we can get together for coffee or something. Chicago can be a really hard place to make friends. Although, I suppose residency will keep you busy.

  29. Congrats on matching… I love Chicago… (I live in Milwaukee)

  30. I love sweet potatoes, too, especially with steak on the Bar-B-Q, grilled to perfection. I’ve added low-fat sour cream to mine but will definitely have to try the Greek yogurt.

    Enjoy your time in Chicago; I used to travel there for business but never had a chance to really see the city–working, working, working (same as you only you’ll be studying, studying, studying)!

  31. First, congrats on the match! Second, thanks for stopping by my blog, feel free to visit any time. Third, there’s some really good food on here! πŸ™‚

  32. Congratulations on the match!

  33. Hey thanks for the follow of The Explorer. I read your bio, on food photography. less is more, white plates wiped clean before shooting, spray it with crisco before you shoot to make it glisten. But then you may not want to eat it. Most food that is styled for shoots is mostly inedible.

  34. sahbinahvioletflynn March 19, 2012 — 8:41 pm

    Congrats on your Match! Can’t wait to try your recipe. Sweet potatoes are soooo good for you (fitness guru Shaun T eats them everyday). I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All the best to you in Chicago!

  35. Congrats on the residency. Great achievement just getting this far.

  36. Those look so yum….I gotta get some yammage in me!

  37. By the way Chi town is a foodee’s dream Bon Appetit!

  38. Nothing like freshly grated nutmeg on a root vegetable, great recipe.

  39. I’ll havea to try the greek yogurt on the sweet potato. What I’ve been doing lately is cooking a sweet potato in the microwave, splitting it open and adding butter and then sprinkling it with cumin powder. Sometimes salt & pepper. I bet the greek yogurt would be great with that!

  40. The Coffee Crazed Teacher March 20, 2012 — 7:28 am

    You make me even more scared for my future. . . πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the recipe, they look delish! Happy that you matched, I can’t imagine that nerve wracking pressure!

  41. Congrats on your placement! I don’t know a lot about MD duties, but I can tell this is a big deal for you!!! πŸ™‚ good luck!!!

  42. Congrats on matching! I know you are glad that whole process is over!

  43. Love the food solution to night terrors. Interesting read!

  44. Congrats on your Match! You must really be relieved to have that behind you. The “taters” look great πŸ™‚

  45. Is there a Doctor in the house? I nominated you for the Inspiring and Versatile Blogger Awards. You can read about it here:

  46. lol…yes med life is a horror, i sometimes get confuse how we manage other activities with all the stress….med students are superman πŸ˜€

  47. Congratulation…but personally I do NOT envy your next 4+ years out of personal connection with close relatives who are doctors. But through your posts, I imagine you’re armed with great sense of humor/attitude that will fill your new journal pages with wonders and many more “laughter” to share…with delish recipes πŸ˜€

    1. I’ll at least get some good stories out of it πŸ˜‰

  48. You have a very cute blog πŸ™‚ And congrats on the match!

  49. Congratulations on Chicago. πŸ™‚

  50. Congrats on Chicago! And I love the idea of putting Greek yogurt in these–will have to try this soon!

  51. I love sweet potatoes and your concoction looks divine. However, yogurt doesn’t sit well with my stomach. I hope they’ll still be good sans yogurt. And yay for being my first follower. : )* Have a great day!

    1. They’re still good without yogurt- I just like the creaminess and extra bit of protein it adds. You can omit it or add a tiny bit of sour cream or soymilk instead.

  52. I loved your post. Your sweet potato recipe looks great too–I will have to try it! Congrats on your match and thanks for reading my blog too. –Maria

  53. Your stories are pretty amusing. I like your writing style and sense of humor about things. Ahhh your poor husband. Night terrors indeed. Good story. Congrats on the match πŸ˜‰

    1. Hahahahaha….too bad I’m as single as they come! It’s how I get half my stories for here, anyway. πŸ˜‰

      1. Ha! What a nerd I am…I saw it said “friend,” but I assumed it was your partner/dude/husband…ha! Single as they come indeed…sorry πŸ˜‰

      2. Ehhhh I’m hoping that happens eventually πŸ˜‰

  54. This was funny!! I keep having weird dreams too, mainly related to work and paranoia about not getting ad campaigns set up properly! The recipe looks so good, congratulations on your match! Chicago looks fantastic πŸ™‚

  55. Congrats! and great recipe πŸ™‚

  56. Hi there! I nominated you for the sunshine blog award. Hope you will accept and that you are having a great weekend!

  57. Hurray and congratulations!! The sweet potatoes look great, but the bigger news is your match! For me, that was so long ago, it is hard to remember, but over the years I’ve been privileged to see lots of students on Match Day. One of the greatest days of your life.

  58. Just for grins and giggles – and to confuse folks accustomed to your usual recipe – try subbing mace for the nutmeg. Way too subtle difference for most.

  59. I love sweet potatoes and your recipe sounds delicious!! Congrats on a succesful match and your Residency in Chi town!

  60. Does this serve only one person? I want to use this recipe for Thanksgiving this Thursday!

    1. Normally 2-3 servings, depending on how hungry the person is and the number of sides πŸ˜‰

  61. I LOVE sweet potatoes! They are the epitome of delicious and nutritious. Never thought of adding Greek yogurt for creaminess, though… I’ll have to give it a shot!

    Congratulations on your fabulous match. Chicago is a fun city!

    1. Yes I love it! It’s a great place to live.

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