Sweet potato bake

Kiddo is not really a huge fan of sweet potatoes (or many other vegetables),  but he LOVES this. He calls it “the sweet potatoes with the eggs” and is almost guaranteed to eat it. Peanut loves it too, and this cooks up thick enough that I can cut it and give her little finger-food sized pieces. Honestly, I love it as well! I’ve yet to meet a sweet potato I didn’t like, but these are especially good.

Sweet potato bake

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • extra cinnamon sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes (or microwave!) till completely soft; discard the skin
  2. Use a fork to mash the sweet potatoes, then mix together with sugar, beaten eggs, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla
  3. Dot the top of the mixture with butter, and sprinkle with extra cinnamon sugar if so desired
  4. Spoon into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned

Notes

After baking, I slice this like a pie and freeze the pieces individually; they warm up beautifully in the microwave and are a great way to add easy veggies to lunch!

Of course sweet potatoes make me think: what is your stance on the mini marshmallows on sweet potatoes? Yay or nay?

Advertisements

Broccoli bites

My little Peanut, as you may have heard, is NUTS for broccoli. Like, a crazy woman. I actually thought I didn’t like broccoli for years and years — it was roasted broccoli that won me over, and now I just love it in general. Since Peanut loves broccoli all the time any time, I was looking for some new ways to prepare it to give her a little variety. These turned out to be so good that we both ate them! I dipped mine in a little ranch dressing; quite tasty!

Broccoli bites

Yield: about a dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces chopped broccoli, drained well
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then scoop out with a cookie scoop, gently shaping into patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
  3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes; flip them over and bake for another 10

Since Peanut is ALL ABOUT THE BROCCOLI I would love to hear more broccoli ideas! How do y’all use it?

Coca-cola pot roast

I’m freezing. Are y’all freezing? It’s prime comfort food time for me, and this delivers.  A librarian printed this recipe out for me once and I promptly lost the paper; I make it from memory now, and I’m not sure of the original source. Regardless of its origins, it’s hot and tasty and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender.

Coca-cola pot roast

Ingredients

  • Chuck roast, about 4 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (coarse/kosher salt, ideally)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 packet French onion soup mix
  • 1 can Coca-cola
  • Baby carrots or chopped carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven till it’s nice and brown
  3. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and onion soup mix, pour in the Coke and add in the carrots around the roast; put a lid on it and stick the whole thing in the oven
  4. Cook till the internal temp of the roast is 165F; this will take about three hours or so depending on your oven and the size of the roast. Let it rest for about ten minutes before serving

… and may I suggest serving with mashed potatoes? Trust me.

Bonus: you can also make this in the slow cooker so it’s ready when you get home at night. Please to enjoy.

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Okay, these were meant to be like pop tarts, only with pumpkin pie filling. They turned out to be so much more flaky and tender and decadent than that that I’m not entirely sure what to call them! Other than, ahem, gone.

Moving on.

The long and the short of it: to make these I made pie crust from Ruhlman’s Ratio app on my iPhone, and a pretty standard pumpkin pie filling from Libby’s. I cut the pie crust into rectangles, put some cooked pumpkin pie filling on one, then a little egg wash around the edges, then put another rectangle on top and crimped the edges closed with a fork. A little more egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar on top, then baked at 400 for about 10 minutes.

To make these super fast you can absolutely use refrigerated, pre-made pie crust. Heck, you can buy an already-made pumpkin pie (hello, Publix bakery?) and scoop out the filling — see how fast this just got? Life is short; do what it takes. Here’s the longer way around, for those who are game:

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Ingredients

For the pumpkin pie filling:
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated (not condensed) milk
For the pie crust:
    • 340 grams (2.4 cups) of flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 227 grams (1 cup) of butter
    • 113 grams (1/2 cup) cold water
For an egg wash:
  • One beaten egg + a little bit of water

Instructions

Make the pie filling:
    1. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves
    2. In a larger bowl beat eggs, then stir in pumpkin and sugar & spice mix, then slowly stir in milk
    3. Bake in a buttered glass dish at 325 F for about one hour, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since this is technically a custard, I set my glass dish in a larger dish, then filled the larger dish with enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the smaller dish (a water bath — aren’t we fancy?)
    4. Leave in the water bath to cool, then move to the fridge after an hour or so
Make the pie crust:
  1. Using a food processor, a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour, salt and sugar till the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, then pulse or cut in water till flour is just moistened (it will not look like pie crust yet)
  2. Shape into a disc, wrap in saran wrap and stash it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, but up to a day
  3. Retrieve your pumpkin pie filling and make little pies! Go crazy. Use cookie cutter shapes, make rectangles, use biscuit cutters and make half moons — whatever entertains you. For each roughly pop-tart-sized rectangle I made I put in about 2 Tbsp. of chilled filling, but you can kind of eyeball it. The good news is that it’s not runny so it’s not going to go everywhere. Use a little egg wash around the edges before you seal them closed, then put a little more egg wash on the top and sprinkle sugar over it just to be pretty. Poke a couple holes in the top for steam to escape
  4. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 400F for about 10 minutes, but just keep an eye on them — you want lightly browned

Enjoy with coffee and remind yourself that this is a breakfast pastry containing pumpkin, which is a vegetable; you’re totally not eating pie for breakfast

Polenta pizza

As promised, another recipe from The Cousin! May I say that this pairs beautifully with margaritas? 🙂

We made two sheet pans of this to feed the assorted family we had collected at the house that night; The Cousin wrote down the recipe for one sheet pan for a more reasonable size.

Polenta pizza

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups dry polenta
  • 9 cups milk
  • 2-3 cups Parmesan cheese
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Brink milk to a boil (it is so, so likely to boil over so don’t walk away), and slowly add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk then a wooden spoon as it gets thicker
  2. When mixture is starting to thicken stir in Parmesan cheese and salt; continue cooking, stirring fairly often until it is “uber thick” (so sayeth The Cousin)
  3. Spread onto greased sheet pan and cool uncovered in fridge until firm
  4. Top at will (see below) and bake at 400F until cheese is melted

Topping ideas:

  • The Cousin recommends fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and fresh tomatoes. I totally concur
  • Classic toppings like pepperoni, sausage, etc? Also good
  • Sun dried tomatoes on pizza rock my world. I highly recommend
  • Other than that? Go crazy! Let me know what you come up with

Honey soy chicken

Y’all, I have somehow done it again. AGAIN I have a lovely camera lens that is now in two pieces. I don’t even know how, but I do know that iPhone photos of food aren’t quite the same. Better than nothing, though, right?

This is based on the Honey Roast Orange Chicken recipe from The Minimalist Cooks at Home by Mark Bittman. The Yankee and I both loved it!

Honey soy chicken

Ingredients

  • You will need:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (lower sodium kind is great)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Combine everything but chicken in a bowl and whisk to combine
  3. Lay chicken breasts in a single layer in a cast iron skillet or baking dish and spoon over about half the sauce
  4. Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through, turning over halfway through cooking to keep it evenly coated in the sauce
  5. When chicken is done move it to a plate to rest, then pour remaining sauce into the skillet; cook uncovered on medium high until sauce reduces and thickens
  6. Slice chicken into strips (against the grain) and serve over rice and vegetables, using thickened sauce to finish it all off. So tasty!

This was so fast and easy. Let me know what you think!

Myrtle Dip

What, like that’s not a descriptive name?

Kiddo’s Aunt Myrtle (hands seen in picture) made this for me this weekend. We may or may not have eaten it sitting on the floor in front of the fireplace and a chick flick. Ahem.

Myrtle Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 block cream cheese
  • 1 can RO*TEL, drained
  • 2 cans Super Sweet Yellow & White corn (see picture)

Instructions

  1. Drain the corn and RO*TEL, then stir together in a shallow dish (that’s a double batch in a lasagna pan in the picture up there), then pinch off chunks of the cream cheese and scatter over the RO*TEL/corn mixture; bake at 350F for 15 minutes
  2. Carefully remove from oven and stir together so it’s all incorporated; return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. The end!

Y’all know how I love me some easy recipes. Plus, this is really great hot and really great cold. New Year’s Eve anyone?

Enjoy!