Sometimes, especially during the holidays, all thoughts of healthy go out the window and food is welcome just because of the memories is brings. This recipe – for an old-fashioned candy made from a simple potato and lots of sugar – just might be the one recipe that holds the most nostalgia for me. My grandmother used to make it every year for my dad, and even this many years later, it still doesn’t feel like Christmas without it.
Tag Archives: holiday recipes
For many of us, a happy holiday starts with great food.
This is the time of year to bust out every top notch ingredient, pull your best kitchen tricks out of your sleeve and get the good dishes dirty. It’s also about baking the very best you can, with the spirit of the season in your heart, and sharing with those you love. That’s why holiday food gifts are tippy top on my short list of things I love to give (and receive!) Continue reading
I can’t take credit for what you are about to witness. (That goes to Quick Feet, Good Eats and Smitten Kitchen.) But what self-respecting Irish woman would I be if I found something this wonderful right before St. Patrick’s Day and didn’t share it with you!?
OK, so I’m Italian. Whatevs. Kiss me anyway. (These cupcakes will make you want to, for sure.)
Actually, I owe the inspiration to my Mom, who happens to be celebrating her birthday today, and who also happens to have an affinity for Bailey’s Irish Cream. It was during my search for a fun recipe to make for the moms that I ran into this magnificence:
Fo sho, yo. As soon as I read the recipe title, it was ON. Continue reading
Shhhh...don’t tell the Santa. I’ve been a very naughty blogger.
I’ve been just terrible about taking photos lately, and it’s been an eternity since I’ve passed along a good recipe.
But I’d like to make it up to you with my favorite sweet potato casserole recipe!
As a kid, I love the toasted marshmallow casserole that came loaded with brown sugar. But now, I’m kind of over it. I’ve replaced the candy-fest with a casserole that’s just different enough to pique everyone’s interest at the holiday dinner table, and just traditional enough that everyone will welcome it as a familiar favorite. It has the warmth of autumn’s sweet potato harvest and the bright, sunny taste of orange, nestled under a sweet, tangy topping with just a little crunch.
Those familiar with my blog will know that I couldn’t just leave the recipe as is, untinkered with, so I made a few small changes to suit my tastes. (I cut the salt in half, substituted agave nectar for the honey, left out the eggs and butter, and used coconut oil rather than canola. I also added some dried cranberries for texture and a tangy kick of flavor.)
But I did leave ALL of the freshly grated orange zest. In fact, I may have gone a bit heavy on it. It’s my favorite part of this recipe, and one of my favorite ingredients in general because it adds SO much fresh flavor, eliminating (or cutting down) the need for less healthy ingredients like fat, sugar and salt.
And although I don’t have a recipe photo for you, I do have a photo of the very beginning of the taters we used to make this casserole for Thanksgiving. (A small reminder that colder weather will NOT last forever…the green will come back someday!)
Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe, with a Sunny Twist!
adapted from Eating Well Magazine
Sweet Potato Casserole:
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2″ chunks
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk (may substitute coconut milk for a vegan recipe)
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate (frozen)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan. Mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use.)
- Preheat over to 350 degrees. Coat an 8″ square (or similar 2-qt) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Whisk oil and agave nectar in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt. Add cranberries and stir to distribute evenly throughout mixture. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking dish.*
- To prepare topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and oil in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the casserole.
- Bake casserole until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35–45 minutes.
*A note to those with toddlers: I think this is a great toddler recipe, but there are many differing opinions on when to introduce nuts and/or tree nuts to your child. If you are concerned about reactions with the pecans in this recipe, reserve a small amount of sweet potato mixture for baby before adding the cranberries and pecan topping.
In the spirit of holiday giving, I bring you my favorite Turkey Pot Pie recipe! It is in keeping with my mission to feed my family real food while sticking to a budget and stretching your holiday dollar…and now I’m happy to share it with YOU!
Origin of this recipe: While my husband is totally down with our mission to eradicate processed food from our household, there are a few things he missed from his bachelor days. Those nasty $.69 pot pies from the freezer aisle rank at the very top of the list. One look at the ingredients list on those things and you’ll understand why I love this recipe. During the holidays, there are two things you can count on: a craving for comfort food and lots of leftover turkey. This warm, hearty pie takes care of both, with real, natural ingredients you can feel good about.
This is my own recipe, based on one I found years ago. I will not cite that one, however, because it was terrible and didn’t work at all. I ended up tossing all of my ingredients, and starting over with my own very modified version.
(Note: this recipe makes enough filling for 2 pies. Bake one now, and freeze the rest to toss into a crust later!)
ABCGP Turkey Pot Pie
- Your favorite crust recipe for a double-crusted 9″ pie
- 2 T butter
- 2/3 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cans (14.25 oz each) chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups diced leftover turkey (use more or less if desired)
- 1 cup fresh peas, steamed
- 1 cup fresh corn, steamed
- 3 large carrots, steamed and diced
- 1 1/2 cups milk
Saute onions and butter in deep skillet until onions are translucent and starting to brown.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Whisk in one can of broth until there are no lumps. Pour mixture into pan, stirring to incorporate onions and butter. Add the other can of broth; blend.
Add all vegetables* and turkey to mixture in pan. Whisk in milk.
Allow mixture to bubble over low to medium heat until slightly thickened, approx 10 minutes.
Spray a 9″ pie pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Line with bottom pastry crust. Fill with 1/2 turkey mixture (place 1/2 of turkey mixture in freezer for future use, or make 2 pies.)
Place top crust on pie. Cut slits in top crust to vent steam. Trim and seal edges.
Bake at 425 degrees for 35–
40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes; serve.
* I use different vegetables each time I use this. It is especially good with fresh vegetables (including corn cut from the cob) but frozen work just fine, too. Try using leftover vegetables from your holiday meal! Or leave out the meat and double the veggies, vegetarian-style!