Friday, November 27, 2009
We love these sweet potatoes and eat them year round. I like to make them for our Thanksgiving feast as a healthier verison of sweet potatoes. They never disappear at Thanksgiving because there are to many other choices to fill up on, but at a regular meal there are rarely any left.
I never enjoyed sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving time. Everyone in my family loves my mom's sweet potatoes layered with butter, brown sugar, and marshmallows, but for some reason I have never acquired a taste for them to this day. It is nothing against my mom's cooking because she is a fabulous cook and I am always calling her with cooking questions. It wasn't until I had these yam/sweet potatoes at my sister-in-laws Echo's that I learned to like yams. So the honest truth is this dish is more like a pie--maybe that's why it won me over. It is a very southern style dish. If you like sweet potatoes this dish will have you asking for seconds. If you don't like traditional sweet potatoes with roasted marshmallows this one might win you over like it did me.
SWEET POTATO CRUNCH
2 Large Cans Yams/Sweet Potato, drained and mashed. (I use Bruce's Brand)
3 eggs (I only use 1 Egg if making half a recipe)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, milk, margarine, and vanilla. Put in a 9 x 13 (or 2 1/2 quart.) baking dish.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup margarine, melted
Mix brown sugar, flour, pecans, and margarine together. Put over the sweet potatoes in baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
Yields: 8-10 servings
May be prepared early in the day or the day before.
If there is one dessert for me and my family of origin that says "Thanksgiving" and "Family Favorite" It would be mom's homemade BANANA CREAM PIE!! Mom would always feed a crowd. We'd have one of almost every flavor of pie and we had to have 6-9 Banana Cream Pies. The other pies were always leftovers! You were lucky if you got a piece of Banana Cream Pie with all the family and extended family that was at our home on Thanksgiving Day. So holding with tradition I have continued to make this wonderful pie for my little family and guest were ever we have Thanksgiving. It is still the Belle of the Ball so to speak! If you love creamed pies this one is in my opinion just "HEAVENLY!!!"
Vanilla Cream Pie
(Enough for one unfilled baked-crust pie crust)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
(I like to put these in the saucepan and blend them together before adding the milk)
3 cups milk (I always use 1% whatever you normally drink works here)
3 egg YOKES, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Prepare and bake pastry for unfilled one-crust pie using 9-inch pie pan. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in milk. Blending until smooth. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat. Blend a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. (This part can be tricky if you pour it in to hot it cooks the yokes and you get little lumps of scrambled egg type pieces in your pie. I have found the best method after much trial and error is to put my yokes in a bowl that I can add the hot pudding to one Tablespoon at a time. I cool each Tablespoon just slightly before whisking them in the beaten eggs. I continue you this for about 4-5 Tablespoonful then I had one straight from the pan and when I feel like the yokes are warmed up to my satisfaction I pour them slowly into the main batch). Return the hot egg mixture to the mail pot, blending well. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 1 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in margarine /butter and vanilla. Cool pudding. (We always pour ours out into a new bowl (Because we need the pan to keep cooking several more batches! ;-)) and cover with waxed paper so it doesn't develop a skin. Pour into cooled , baked crust! (Never put a hot filling in a cold crust. Hot in Hot and cold in cold--to keep your crust beautiful and not soggy.) Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set. If desired, serve with whipped cream. (We also cover it with wax paper after putting in pie crust to keep the skin from developing. Maybe mom did this to keep little taste testing fingers out! until time to serve.)
BANANA CREAM PIE: Cool filling in saucepan to lukewarm. Pour into Pie Crust. When ready to serve, slice banana on top of pie and top with whipped cream. (Bananas can be added in on top of the crust before pouring the filling in, but we have found that they don't keep as well-turning brown and mushy. Our preference is to add them to individual slices when ready to serve.)
Butterscotch Cream Pie: Substitute firmly packed brown sugar for sugar.
Chocolate Cream Pie: Increase sugar to 1 cup and add 1 oz (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate to filling mixture before cooking.
Coconut Cream Pie: Stir 1 cup coconut into cooked filling with margarine and vanilla.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
We love soup and this recipe called for fresh tomatoes and Basil which I just happened to have because I transplanted my basil plant and brought it in side (so far it is still a live) and my green tomatoes that finally turned red in their box were screaming, "we are on our way out lady!". . I am pretty confident that using dried alone would produce the same flavor because I had to add some to get it to taste right. (I don't think my fresh basil leaves were big enough.) My kids enjoyed this recipe and it hit the spot for me the day of and then the next as leftovers.
Garden Vegetable Soup (Found this recipe on Parents.com)
1 Leek, white part only
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 of medium Zucchini (I doubled the recipe so that I could use a whole Zucchini)
6 green beans (I left them out!)
1 medium carrot (I always double or triple the carrots in my soups because they are the boys favorites)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 1/2 Tablespoons water
4 cups no-salt added Chicken Stock (I used my Chicken Base added to water)
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded (I used medium size)
15 fresh basil leaves, washed and dried (mine were small and it didn't seem to taste right so I added 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil. If you don't have fresh I would use 1-2 teaspoons dried basil to taste.)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Cut all the veggies into 1/4-inch pieces. In a large pot, mix half the olive oil with the water. Add veggies; saute on medium-low until the water evaporates. Don't let the veggies brown. Add stock, bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil for 30 minutes. Meanwhile puree tomatoes, basil, garlic, and remaining oil. Stir puree into soup. Don't let it return to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
We enjoyed this soup with crackers or toast.
We are always willing to try new caramel corn, so when I saw this popcorn brittle I just had to give it a try. It taste just like peanut brittle. I used small baking M&M's because I had them on hand. They didn't hold up so well. I definitely think that the bigger ones wouldn't melt as quickly and would add a bigger splash when it comes to the fun colorful dimension they are to add to the treat. We ate it and enjoyed it anyway! This recipe reminds me of Harry and David's Gourmet Moose popcorn with the chocolate drizzles.
1 bag (3.3 oz) Gourmet Butter Microwave popcorn (I used a 98% fat-free version)
1 cup M&M's plain candies
1 1/2 cups firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Lightly Salted Peanuts
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
Prepare popcorn according to package directions. REMOVE all UNPOPPED KERNELS. Spread pooped corn evenly in 15 x 10-inch nonstick shallow baking pan. Sprinkle evenly with M&M's; set aside.
Place sugar, butter, corn syrup and vanilla in medium heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium-high and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Add peanuts. Cook an additional 2 minutes or to the hard-crack stage (300-310 degrees), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and mix well.
Immediately pour caramel mixture evenly over popped corn and candy until coated. DO NOT STIR! (We learned the hard way!) Let stand 30 minutes or until caramel has cooled and hardened.
When Cool Break into pieces, share some with friends & neighbors then simply enjoy!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
• 2 packages (14oz each) caramels
• 1/4 cup water
• 8 medium apples, such as McIntosh, Gala, or Fuji
• sticks for apples
In slow cooker, combine caramels and water. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until caramels are melted, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, line a baking pan with wax paper; butter the paper.
Wash and dry the apples. Insert a stick into stem end of each apple. Reduce crockpot heat to LOW.
Note: If the caramel does happen to scorch, put it through a mesh strainer and discard any dark particles. Put the sauce into a saucepan or back into the cleaned slow cooker and keep warm while you dip the apples.
Dip apple into hot caramel; turn to coat entire surface. Holding apple above pot, scrape off excess accumulation of caramel from bottom apple.
Place coated apples on prepared wax paper in pan. As you near the bottom of the pot, use a spoon to spoon hot caramel over apples. Put the pan of coated apples in the refrigerator to set thoroughly. Use caution if children are helping; the crockpot will probably be quite hot to the touch and the caramel could scald.
Makes 8 caramel apples-med to large in size. (I got almost 20 *small apples) *If I can get this size of apples again I will always use them. They were the perfect size for eating without getting the caramel all over your face. I also didn't feel bad about allowing my kids to eat the entire apple.
I will have to post my mom's caramel apple recipe later.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This is such a great and healthy snack! If you are picky about the snacks you give your family, you are going to love this one!! It has carbs and protein to keep you and your kids going. Its a sweet and nutty flavored snack that everyone at our house loves. I usually double or triple the batch every time I make it. (I got this recipe from Parents Magazine in November 2006, p. 2006)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I got this recipe over the summer from Sisters Cafe, who gives credit to a Julie Badger Jensen for this recipe. It is now one of our all time favorite soups. My boys gobble it down and ask for seconds and thirds. The recipe listed here is doesn't make much so I highly recommend doubling it if you are hoping to feed more then 4 or 5 people. I would say it serves 4 a cup of soup, so if you are wanting it as the main dish take that in to consideration. It is quick and has a wonderful flavor!