Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sweet Potato Casserole

Casseroles mean left overs. And left overs mean you're set for lunch for a least 4 days. Amazing!

I usually just mash sweet potatoes and add some butter and call it a day. But this recipe from Bon Appetit looked like a must try.

I made a few substitutions which are noted below.

Savory Sweet Potato Casserole
Click Here for the original Recipe from Bon Appetit 

5 pounds medium sweet potatoes, baked
¼ cup rosemary leaves
¼ cup sage leaves
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided into 6 tbsp and 2 tablespoons
1½ cups coarse fresh sourdough breadcrumbs (I subbed the regular plain ones in the can (not glamorous I know) since my local grocery store had no sourdough)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 small or 2 large shallots, chopped (I don't grow shallots so I used a regular onion finely chopped)
1½ cups heavy cream
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
5 ounces Parmesan Cheese (about 1⅔ cups)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (omitted lemon zest...I forgot it at the grocery store...oops!)


Bake sweet potatoes until they are knife tender and scoop out insides. 
I did this the night before. 

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter with rosemary and sage until bubbly and brown.   Let it cool.

Pour 1/2 of the butter and herb goodness in with the potatoes. 

With the other 1/2 of the butter mixture add the bread crumbs and toss. Set to the side for later.

 Heat the last 2 tablespoons of butter to a saute pan. Add onions or shallots and cook until translucent. Add cream and simmer. 

Add to potatoes. Also add eggs and Parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Add to shallow baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs and bake at 350 for 25 mintues. 

This is also great to make ahead for a party. I made this the night before and baked it in the morning and it worked beautifully. A great option for party planning.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Go Right On"

"Go right on" is actually something my Grandma Joan adopted from my Great Grandmother, Helen who I absolutely wish I knew better. Joan would occasionally say, "You remind me of her a little bit," whenever I would say something slightly inappropriate or tell it like it was in a less than glamorous way.  Helen was also famous for telling a customer who didn't like what she was selling, "The road is wide an it's not crowded."  I think all of us have had a moment when we desperately wished to say the same thing.
However Joan was the stark opposite to Helen and I think the only bad thing I remember her saying about someone was when she called this truly miserable man, "a foul ball." Hysterical.

She was by far my biggest cheerleader if only to say, "go right on" when things weren't going my way. It's sort of like Finding Nemo's, "just keep swimming. swimming. swimming."

This was most certainly a "go right on" type of year.

It was hot.

Extremely hot.

And dry.

Very dry.

Which led to some things not quite turning out as I had planned. But hey, a girl just has to "go right on."

Joan was a huge church goer and made sure that I too was a church goer.  One time I asked her to get on that direct line to Jesus via her ever close rosary beads because I needed it to rain.

She said, "I've been praying for over 50 years for more rain. Less rain. No hail. Warmer days. Colder days. I think God is sick of hearing from me."

To which I said, "Now is not the time to stop!"

There are very few childhood memories that she is not in.

She was pool lifeguard in her white moomoo with giant red strawberry screen printed on the front, chocolate chip cookie baking director, jam maker from the raspberries we would go pick at Mrs. Petit's, totally responsible for my childhood obesity as grandma liked "goodies," crushed ice enthusiast, victim of the "fat free" marketing movement, expert sandwich maker (mine are never ever as good), recipe improvisor (which totally explains why I can never completely follow any recipe), out-to eat partner in crime, and so much more.      

I grew up next to her house on the farm and on Thanksgiving either later after everyone else had left or the next day she'd save the wish bone for me and her.  She said that when she was gone I'd miss her the most. We had a mutual admiration and closeness and I think she is probably right.

So this Thanksgiving save that wish bone and make a good wish.  

I am so excited to be "going right on" to the next season with more fruit options, more flowers, trying some new vegetable offerings and continued passion.

Thank you so very very! much for your support this season and Happy Thanksgiving!  


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sweet Potato Frosting

sweet potato frosting atop chocolate cake

Sweet potatoes are such a warm welcoming sign of fall/winter.  I pretty much keep mashed sweet potatoes in my fridge to heat up for lunch, dinner, or a warm snack.

I love to sneak veggies into places they're not normally found.  There are countless delicious and surprising (I consider this one pretty surprising) was to incorporate vegetables into what ever you're whipping up especially desserts.

This sweet potato frosting is rich and thick and everything that frosting on a piece of tender cake should be.

Sweet Potato Frosting

1 cup mashed and smooth sweet potato
4 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate (1 bar)
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk (optional if it's too thick)

(this recipe is enough for 1 9x9 round single layer cake) 

Bake 1-2 sweet potatoes until they are extra knife tender. Peel your potatoes and mash. Measure out 1 cup. Add chopped semi sweet chocolate, butter and sweet potato to a pot on the stove. Stir continuously as the chocolate melts.  Let the chocolate sweet potato cool for an hour.

Grab a hand held mixer and whip together sweet potatoes, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Top a cake or cupcakes and you don't even have to share that the frosting is made from sweet potatoes!