Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Candied Sweet Potatoes- Hold the Marshmallows Please!

Since Thanksgiving is upon us, let's talk about sweet potatoes. Growing up we always had the standard: canned yams dumped into a casserole, gobs of butter, brown sugar and marshmallows on top, baked until it was an ooey, gooey mess (sorry mom!). But really, isn't there a another way? Can we start with a fresh sweet potato and possibly ditch the marshmallows? I think we can do better!

I have peeled and sliced 3 medium sized sweet potatoes into 1/4" (ish) pieces and placed in a crock pot. They will turn brown/black just like an apple, you can soak them in some lemon water for a few minutes first if you like. Also, adjust the amounts for how many people your feeding, tonight it's just me and my immediate family...which really means just me because no one else likes sweet potatoes, weird!

In a small bowl add sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Mix well. Pour that over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat.

Dot butter on top of sweet potatoes. *You can easily leave this out for a dairy free version.

Layer the top with lemon and orange slices. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. Awesome- no oven space needed!

I love these sweet potatoes! I hope you do, too:)

Candied Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4" pieces
1/2 orange juice
1/4 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
butter for dotting, optional
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced

Place sweet potatoes in a crock pot. In a small bowl combine orange juice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, mix well and toss with sweet potatoes. Dot sweet potatoes with butter. Layer orange and lemon slices on top, cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Monster Cookies

What keeps you up at night? World peace, your child's future, nope, not me. I'm thinking about what kind of cookie I want...the classic, sweet chocolate chip, hearty oatmeal, salty peanut butter, hmmm, I just can't decide.  How about a trifecta of cookie deliciousness by combing all three! Here is my recipe for a seriously amazing treat that will satisfy your cookie craving.

Begin with butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl, mix well.

Add to that both sugars, baking powder and soda and salt, mix well, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Then add in the eggs and vanilla, mix again.

And add in the flour, mix well.

Last comes the goodies, oats, chocolate chips and walnuts, mix just to combine.

I like using an ice cream scoop so that my cookies are the same size and cook evenly, scoop out onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

mmmm, just out of the oven, they smell so good! wait just a couple minutes before you move them to a wire rack to cool.

And I'm in heaven, crisis averted:) I hope you enjoy!

Monster Cookies

3/4 c butter (or shortening for dairy free), at room temp
1/2 c smooth peanut butter
1 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 1/4 c flour
2 c oats
1 c chocolate chips
1 c walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter (or shortening) and peanut butter. Add to that both sugars, bkg powder and soda and salt, mix well scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Add flour, mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add oats, choc chips and walnuts and stir just to combine. Using a #40 ice cream scoop, or 2 spoons, spoon dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or til just beginning to brown on the edges. Let cool on the baking sheet for a couple minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie

I have to say that my going off of all dairy last June has been a great decision! But then it hit me.... Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I mean, is there anything served on Thanksgiving that does not have a 1/2 pound of butter or cream? hmmm...after sulking for a (long) while I have decided to make the best of it. Here is the first of my contributions to my dairy free Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Pie, yum:)

I always make my pumpkin pie with a crumb crust. I replaced the butter usually in crumb crust with non-hydrogenated shortening. The one trick with this is that it doesn't have the salty flavor that butter has. Without salt, food (even sweet food) tastes flat. 

 Combine graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and salt in your food processor and plus til fine.

Drizzle in melted shortening, pulse until well combined.

Pour crust into a pie plate and tap down with a glass until evenly spread out. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes while you make the pie filling.

In a large mixing bowl combine both sugars, spices and salt.

I substituted sweetened condensed milk with sweetened vanilla hemp milk. It's got the consistency of buttermilk and a smooth, mild flavor.

To the sugars and spices add pumpkin, eggs, hemp milk and water, mix well.

While the crust is hot, pour the filling in and place back in the oven for about 45 minutes. Baking custard type pie is very tricky and can be easily over baked, resulting in cracks in your beautiful pie:( So, I started checking mine at 30 minutes and every 5 minutes until the center 2-3 inches still jiggled when I tapped the pie plate. It will finish cooking after you pull it out of the oven, setting up nicely as it cools. Give it a try and tell me what you think or how you changed it for your family:)

Pumpkin Pie - Dairy Free

Crumb Crust:
1 pkg graham crackers
1/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
6 T shortening, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and slat in a food processor, pulse until desired consistency. Drizzle melted shortening in an pulse until well combined. Pour into pie plate and spread/tap down with a glass. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Filling:
1 1/2 c pumpkin, from a can is fine
1 1/3 c vanilla hemp milk
1/2 c water
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mix well. While crust is hot from the oven, pour the filling into the crust almost to the top. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, start checking at 30 minutes to make sure it's not over cooked. Allow to cool to room temperature and enjoy!