The Winter Solstice falls on December 21st this year. This is a very special day in our home as we celebrate the seasonal shift and look forward to spring and a new growing season. I always like to celebrate with citrus-flavored treats – maybe it’s because they add a pop of color and sunshine to the shortest day of the year? Continue reading
Tag Archives: holiday recipes
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.
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.