Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie

I haven't made a Sweet Potato Pie since the 80's and decided it was time! What makes this recipe different than the iconic Libby pumpkin pie is the addition of vanilla and I used brown sugar instead of white. As written, this would be a mildly spiced pie, I increased the spices-you know your crowd. It does call for butter, but I cut way back on the amount... Feel free to channel your inner Paula and use as much as you'd like:@)

My pie was spruced up with a little Halloween scene but this would be perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas too.

If you'd like a really fun Halloween idea, directions for this Jack-O-Lantern are HERE.

  • They didn't address how to cook the sweet potatoes before mashing, roasting them in the oven added even more depth of flavor and kept them from getting soggy. Poke them a few times with a knife, 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes should do it. Place tin foil or something under them to catch the occasional drip. Cooling completely in the fridge makes peeling a snap too. 
  • Ma was doing a little purging and asked if I'd like a ricer, it worked great for "mashing" the sweet potatoes and making them very smooth-thanks Ma! I don't usually have Pumpkin Pie Spice but found a jar at a reasonable price so I subbed 2 tsp of that for the listed spices.
  • I did cut the butter back to 2 Tblsp, just didn't think 1/3 C was necessary? 
  • If you want to sub a 15 oz can of pumpkin for the sweet potatoes, that would be fine.
  • My decorations were baked on a cookie sheet, then simply placed on the pie once it cooled.
  • Left over evaporated milk can be used to make a half batch of 5 Minute Fudge, either chocolate or white fudge. Cool in a 4.5 x 8.5-ish bread pan.
  • Some folks mention adding chopped pecans or marshmallows to the top the last 10-15 minutes... I say, sounds good!
Sweet Potato Pie-adapted from Taste of Home
1/3 C butter, softened-I used 2 Tblsp
1/2 C sugar-I used packed brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 C evaporated milk
2 C cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt-I just added a little pinch
1 unbaked 9" pie crust-extra if making decorations
Whipped cream for topping if desired-I desired:@)
  1. Mix everything (except crust) well.
  2. Pour into crust.
  3. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes longer or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  4. Cool and store in the fridge.
 Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cornmeal Dinner Rolls using Rapid Rise Yeast

Is light and fluffy cornbread possible? It is if you start with our favorite rapid rise yeast dinner roll recipe and simply sub 1/2 C of cornmeal. One of my crew is not a fan of traditional corn bread and since I was making Chili I decided to try something new, this recipe turned out to be a hit! The rolls still had a little cornmeal bite and taste but were wonderfully soft and squishy... Perfect slathered with butter or honey:@)
Gorgeous color too!

Cornmeal Dinner Rolls Using Rapid Rise Yeast-adapted from
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 C A/P flour
1/2 C cornmeal
2 Tblsp sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1/4 C water
2 Tblsp butter
  1. Combine 3/4 C A/P flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in large bowl.
  2. Heat milk, water and butter until warm (120 degrees), add to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
  3. Add 1/4 C A/P flour, beat 2 minutes at high speed.
  4. Mix in cornmeal and enough remaining A/P flour 1/4 C at a time to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, shape into balls and place in greased 8" round pan (we prefer a 9" pan). Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until done. Remove from pan and brush with additional butter if desired.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

Monday, October 5, 2015

5 Minute White Fudge Eyeballs

The famous 5 Minute Fudge recipe has been around forever, but there's nothing that says it can't be changed up a bit by using white chocolate chips:@) And since Halloween is coming up quickly... White Fudge Eyeballs sounded like a fun project. After the fudge cools for about a half hour break off little 1" pieces and using the heat from your hands roll it into a ball, gently press a candy eyeball disk into the ball.

They did give the kids a chuckle!

These Wilton Halloween eyeballs make decorating a breeze.
Of course another fun option would be covering the top of the hot fudge with Halloween colored sprinkles HERE.
Fudge is always a fun treat and any white chocolate lover would enjoy this for the holidays, 
simply change the sprinkles to match Thanksgiving or Christmas colors.

5 Minute White Fudge-adapted from Nestle
2 Tblsp butter
2/3 C evaporated milk-the 12oz can makes 2 batches
1 2/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 C mini marshmallows
1 1/2 C good white chocolate chips-I like Ghirardelli
1 tsp vanilla
Candy eyeballs or colored sprinkles
  1. Combine butter, milk, sugar and salt in sauce pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring to a full boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
  3. Remove from heat and add marshmallows, chips and vanilla. (It's best to have all of this already measured out in a bowl ready to pour into the pot). NOTE: White chips don't melt as well as chocolate ones, you might want to either chop them up a bit with a knife or heat them in the microwave a bit before adding them.
  4. Stir vigorously until marshmallows and chips melt and blend in-a minute or two.
  5. Pour into 8" square buttered pan (I just line the pan with Reynolds Release tin foil).
  6. Cool about 30 minutes, roll 1" pieces of fudge between hands to make ball. Press in candy eyeball. ~Alternately, once fudge is poured into pan cover top with sprinkles, gently press in. Allow to cool completely and cut into squares. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds

Things don't always need to be complicated folks, rules and recipes aren't always necessary... I saved the seeds from the pumpkins my son grew this year and simply tossed the rinsed wet seeds onto a silicone baking sheet, generously covered them in table salt and gave them a hearty coating of smoked paprika. Baked at 275 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes until dry (about 30 minutes or so). Gotta say, they are the best pumpkin seeds I've ever had!

Enjoy a seasonal treat and have a happy day:@)

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Philadelphia Eagles Charm Bracelet Update

I wanted to pop in with a quick post to update my Philadelphia Eagles Charm Bracelet. It's full enough now that finding an occasional charm is a fun bonus. Since this pic I've added a tiny Liberty Bell near the flag and I'm waiting for what I think might be my favorite charm to come in the mail.
 And if we don't make the playoffs... I'll be sending Chip Kelly an invoice:@)

Go Team and have a happy day!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nutty Apple Bars -diabetic friendly

These Nutty Apple Bars are chocked full of apples and you can really taste the vanilla too. They whip up in no time and the batter bakes up light and fluffy with the apples and nuts making a nice chewy contrast. The recipe didn't call for it, but I did add some cinnamon and that turned out to be a good idea:@) While they are called bars and you could pick them up... I suggest a plate and fork because they are very moist and you'll want to get every last crumb. Don't hesitate to give this recipe a try folks, I think you'll be happy you did!
  • Even using a somewhat tart apple like Macintosh, I felt 1/2 C sugar would have been plenty, although the kids thought it was perfect as is. The diabetic site suggests using a sugar substitute.
  • I think pears could be subbed or mixed and matched.
  • Walnuts can be subbed for pecans-which is what I did.
  • Apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice could be subbed for cinnamon if desired. 
Nutty Apple Bars-from Every Day Diabetic Recipes
2/3 C sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C A/P flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon, optional-my addition
2 C chopped apples-I aimed for 1/4" dice
1/4 C chopped pecans-I used walnuts
  1. Spray 8" square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Whip sugar, egg whites and vanilla until light and frothy.
  3. Whisk in flour and baking powder (cinnamon if using) until combined.
  4. Fold in apples and nuts.
  5. Bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick near center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire rack, pour a cuppa and enjoy!
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wicked Pumpkin Spicy Popcorn

It's fall and officially the season of Pumpkin Palooza! How about treating your taste buds to some Wicked Pumpkin Spicy Popcorn. Cayenne and black pepper add a little heat and zing to this sweet kettle corn type recipe. The sugar gets melted down in the oil while the popcorn pops and spices are then shaken on before it cools. Perfect for a bonfire or night of spooky movies:@)
As with most melted sugar items, it's best that the kids don't help and stay out of the kitchen until the popcorn cools, a stray 'pop' can cause a burn. Keep your heat at medium/high and brown sugar is a little more difficult to melt than white sugar, be sure to break it up before you sprinkle it into the pot and keep shaking! I think subbing white sugar would be fine if you'd like to. 

Oh and, if you'd like to try this without the wicked... Pumpkin Spice Popcorn can be found HERE and regular Kettle Corn HERE.

Wicked Pumpkin Spicy Popcorn
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
1/8th tsp black pepper
salt, at least 1/8th tsp-I did sprinkle more on top
3 Tblsp vegetable oil
1/3 C popcorn kernels
3 Tblsp brown sugar, packed, then broken up
  1. Mix spices in small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium/high in large pot with 3 kernels of popcorn.
  3. When they begin to pop add the rest of the popcorn and give it a good shake.
  4. Break up the brown sugar and add to pot, give it a good shake.
  5. Once it starts popping  keep shaking. When the popping slows down carefully pour popcorn into a glass bowl. Immediately sprinkle with half the spices, toss and sprinkle with the rest. Add extra salt if desired-I desired. I poured mine onto a cookie sheet so I could get the spices on the popcorn as quickly as possible while it was still hot and sticky.
Enjoy a seasonal treat and have a happy day:@)

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