Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar-Pecan Topping
 adapted from Epicurious
22 ounces red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled,
  cut into 1-inch pieces 6 tablespoons
(3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of salt

For topping
1 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook sweet potatoes in large pot of boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; transfer potatoes to large bowl and add butter.

Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add egg, sugar, spice and salt; beat to blend. Transfer mixture to 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

(Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

Bake potatoes until beginning to brown around edges and slightly puffed, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare topping: Mix together all ingredients in medium bowl. Spoon topping evenly over potatoes. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes longer.

-I multiplied this recipe x3 to serve 20.

Here's what you'll need for the potatoes.

Cut the potatoes and put them on to boil.

Drain them.

Add the butter.

Using a hand mixer, whip the potatoes.

Add the sugar and spices.

Add the eggs and mix.

Spread out into a baking dish. 
(If making ahead of time, cover and put in the refrigerator at this point)

Now to prepare the topping.

Here's what you'll need:

Place the corn flakes in a bag and crush them.

Place the nuts in a bowl.

Add the brown sugar.

Add the butter and mix together.

Put the potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Add the topping and cook for another 10 minutes.
Our Thoughts:
I asked my friends on Facebook to send me their favorite Thanksgiving dishes and my friend, Andrea, sent this one to me.

Of course, sweet potatoes a staple at Thanksgiving but this dish was extra special.  Normally, our sweet potatoes are still in big chunks so whipping them with all of that butter really gave them a creamy texture.

The start of the dish, though, was that brown sugar-pecan topping.  SO GOOD!  The crunchiness of the pecans against the smoothness of the potatoes made for a perfect bite and the melted brown sugar was delicious.

I will definitely be adding this to my holiday favorites!

Hope you enjoy!

Cranberry Pineapple Mini

Cranberry Pineapple Mini
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
2 pkg. (3 ounce) Rasberry Jello
1 16 ounce can of whole berry cranberry sauce
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 Apple chopped

Directions:  Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to measure 2 1/2 cups, pour into saucepan. bring to boil. Pour over gelatin mixes in large bowl stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in pineapple, cranberry sauce, walnuts and apple.Spoon into 24 paper lined muffin cups. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm.

-I used pecans instead of walnuts.

I forgot to take a picture of what you will need but just look at the recipe.

Drain the pineapple juice into a bowl and add enough water to make 2 1/2 cups of liquid.  Put it on to boil.

Open the gelatin packet and pour the hot liquid over it.  Stir until the gelatin completely dissolves.

Add the cranberry, crushed pineapple, diced apple and walnuts.

Pour into muffin cups and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Here's what you'll get:
Our Thoughts:
A few weeks ago I put out a request on Facebook for my friends' favorite holiday dishes.  My friend, Kendra sent this recipe to me.

I didn't think that I would really like this dish because I am not a jello fan at all but, boy, was I wrong!  This dish was great and a huge hit at our Thanksgiving table.

The combination of the pineapple, apple, and nuts gave it the texture that I definitely need.  It was sweet and tart and went perfectly with my cranberry glazed turkey.

I ended up taking all of the little muffin bowls and just putting them in to one bowl so that we could each dip out as much as we wanted.

This is definitely a dish that I will start making year after year.

Hope you enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Chili Soup

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Chili Soup adapted from Nibble Me This
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/4 inch wide strips
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes and green chile
1 can corn kernals, drained
1 can light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
1/4 tsp dried lemon peel

Directions:  Preheat a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Add butter and oil to pot and brown chicken for 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate.  Add the diced onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Deglaze the pot with balsamic vinegar. Return chicken and any juices to the pot.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Garnish with crispy fried tortilla strips or masa dumplings.

-I did not use lemon peel
-I was out of balsamic vinegar so I used apple cider vinegar.
-I added an extra can of black beans.

Here's what you'll need:

Cut the chicken into strips or chunks.

Dice up the onion and the garlic cloves.

Chop up the cilantro.

Warm the olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven.  Brown the chicken for 4-5 minutes.  Remove the chicken.

In the same pot, add the onions and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the garlic. 

Deglaze with the vinegar.

Add the chicken back into the pot along with any juices.

Add the beans and corn.

Add the diced tomatoes.

Add the cilantro, herbs, and chicken stock.

Let simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
We loved this dish!  As soon as I read the ingredients, I knew that it would be something that my family would enjoy.

You could always add an extra can of diced chilies or a jalapeno but I really don't think that it needs it.  The beans and corn mixed with the chunks of chicken make this soup hearty and the addition of the cilantro into the soup instead of just used as a garnish gives it a nice peppery touch.

I added just a small scoop of sour cream and served with a hard tortilla round and dipped the chip much like a cracker. 

Everyone enjoyed this so much that the entire pot was gone with no leftovers :(

Hope you enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup adapted from Pink Lady
1 large Onion -- sliced
2 Carrot -- sliced
2 Celery stalks -- sliced
4 ounces Mushrooms
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Parsley
10 ounces Peas -- frozen
3 Chicken breasts
5 cups - Water
3 cups Noodles

Directions:  Place all ingredients in crockpot, except noodles, in order listed. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours (HIGH 4 hours). Add noodles. Cook on HIGH another 1/2 to one hour until noodles are cooked

-I used chicken broth.
-I did not add mushrooms.
-I used whole grain egg noodles.

Here's what you will need:

Cut up the veggies.

 Place the frozen veggies in the bottom of the crockpot.

Lay the chicken on top of the frozen veggies. 

Add the chicken broth.

After it has cooked for 4-5 hours, shred the chicken up.

Add the noodles and cook about 30 minutes or until noodles are cooked.

Here's what you'll end up with: 
Our Thoughts:
This dish is super easy to make and great for a cold fall/winter day.  I liked the use of the chicken broth instead of just water as it gave it a salty, deeper flavor.  You could add virtually any vegetable to this dish and it would still be great.

I did end up adding about 1 cup of water and an extra chicken bouillon to the dish.  I also seasoned with garlic salt.

Hope you enjoy!

Latin Chicken in Crockpot

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Latin Chicken in Crockpot adapted from Tales from the Motherhood
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2 (15.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 cup hot salsa
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large cloves garlic, chopped

Directions:  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet; season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over the chicken thighs; brown the chicken in the frying pan, 3 to 5 minutes each side. Or however long it takes so that your husband will fear you have undercooked the meat.

Arrange the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and black beans on top of the chicken. Mix together the chicken broth, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, salsa, cumin, allspice, and garlic together in a bowl; pour into the slow cooker. Set slow cooker to LOW and cook for 5 hours or until the sweet potatoes are soft. I had to crank it up to high for 30 minutes at the end to get those sweet potatoes to submit.

Serve it over whatever you want, but I choose white rice and it worked well. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves about 6 hungry adults.

Here's what you'll need:

Slice up the peppers.

Cube up the sweet potatoes.

Chop up the garlic.

Roughly chop up the cilantro.

Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and then brown them in olive oil.

Sprinkle cilantro over the chicken.

Once browned, move the thighs to the bottom of a crockpot.

Add the sweet potatoes and peppers.

Drain and rinse the black beans.  Add to the crockpot.

Mix the chicken broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, allspice, and more cilantro.

Add to the crockpot.  Cook for 4-6 hours. 

Here's what you'll end up with:

Our Thoughts:
When I saw this dish I knew that it was something that I had to try.  We love sweet potatoes and anytime I can make a meal in the crockpot, it is just a bonus for me.

This dish had a sweetness from the sweet potatoes matched with spiciness from both the salsa and the cilatro.  Served over rice, this dish was awesome . . . even Kanin asked for seconds.

You could always make it hotter if you added hotter salsa, a can of chilies, or maybe even some hot sauce.

I will definitely be making this again.

Hope you enjoy!