November 26, 2013
For someone with a massive sweet tooth, I didn’t like sweet potatoes as a kid. You would think that with them being smothered in brown sugar, maple syrup or marshmallows, my chubby face would have been all over these. But it never took with me. I liked my sweets after dinner, not next to my chicken. In fact, I actually thought they were too sweet. Now that I have a newfound affection for sweet potatoes, I’m happy to try new recipes and have found that when they are made in a savory way, I’m all over them. These Parmesan-Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes are a perfectly non-sweet way to enjoy these sweet spuds.
Sweet potatoes are microwaved (I used the pre-wrapped sweet potatoes from the grocery store) and then cooled before the pulp is scooped out and mashed with a little bit of butter, fresh sage, and salty Parmesan cheese. That’s all there is to it. In about 9 minutes, you can have yourself a healthy, superfood side dish. If I liked having sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, I might consider making these on Thursday but this year I’ll be sticking with plain old mashed potatoes like I had when I was a kid. I’ll save these sweet potatoes for every other night of the week.
If you like this, also check out Roasted Chipotle-Lime Sweet Potatoes and Twice-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle.
Pierce each potato with a fork 3 to 4 times on each side. Wrap each potato in a damp paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes, turning after 4 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half; scoop pulp into a bowl. Mash pulp.
Stir butter, milk, sage, Parmesan cheese, and salt into potato pulp.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Cooking Light magazine
November 25, 2013
I’ve had so many people say to me lately, “Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving?” I don’t know what’s surprising about it to people but it’s no shock to me. Maybe it’s that I think about food all the time and have been thinking about what I want to make for Thanksgiving since the calendar changed to November. Either way, yes, Thanksgiving is this Thursday so I hope everyone is ready. It’ll be low key for me, just me and my cousin, so I have no stress in making a ton of food. But if you have a bunch of people coming by and wonder how you’ll get everything done, consider making these Maple-Chipotle Peanuts if you need a quick and easy, no stress, no fuss appetizer that can be made ahead of time.
Maple syrup and chipotle chile pepper are simmered together until slightly thickened and then mixed with dry-roasted peanuts. Once cooled, the result is sweet, salty, and spicy peanuts that are seriously addictive. Once the peanuts cool, the peanuts become ooey and gooey and it’s hard to not want to shove your face into these. Once they’ve cooled overnight, the syrup hardens, the gooeyness is gone and the peanuts become candied. Whichever way you prefer, these are amazing. The smell of these peanuts reminded me of being at a carnival or my county fair as a kid for some reason. I realized that if I continued to eat these peanuts at the rapid rate I was, there was a good chance I would have devoured an entire container of peanuts in two days. So consider yourself warned. If you have a lot of guests coming, you might want to make two batches. And if you have any leftover, throw a handful on top of some pumpkin ice cream. Yum!
Simmer 1/3 cup maple syrup with 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder in a saucepan until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Stir in 2 cups salted dry-roasted peanuts.
Pour onto a lightly oiled pan and let cool.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Food Network magazine
November 19, 2013
I have to be honest. I’ve been trying to watch my carbs lately. It’s a pattern with me. I get mad at myself so I torture myself by watching my carbs and end up getting mad at myself even more. So, straight up I’ll tell you that I made this recipe for Easy Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce a while ago. I wish I could say I made it recently but sadly, no. Would I give my left arm for some of this now WITH the pasta underneath it? Probably.
Cherry or grape tomatoes are added to olive oil, garlic and red pepper flake and heated until they open up and become juicy (if they don’t open on their own, use a wooden spoon and get some delight in popping them open against the side of the pan – it’s kind of like popping bubble wrap). Once heated through and the juices flow, remove from the heat and add fresh basil. Literally, that is it. When the title of this recipe says “Easy”, it means it. And not only is this easy to make but it truly is so fresh tasting that my first bite made me think of what fresh restaurant pasta sauce tastes like. The only thing I have to say is that I used A LOT less olive oil that it called for. I used 1/4 cup (as opposed to 1/2 cup) and my sauce was plenty oily. Next time, I’ll use even less. So use your own judgment when it comes to the oil. You want the tomatoes to be the star and trust me, if I stick to this low-carb thing much longer, I’m not too proud to make this sauce and just eat it with a spoon. Seriously.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. (If tomatoes stay whole during cooking, pierce each one with the tip of a knife to release juices; cook 1 or 2 more minutes.)
Remove from heat; stir in basil.
Divide pasta among serving bowls; top with tomato sauce, cheese, pine nuts, and additional black pepper, if desired.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Coastal Living magazine