Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

Oh, the Sweet Potato. 
I personally prefer it rather than the White Potato (well, generally, but you almost can't beat a salty skinned russet potato from a steakhouse. Can I get a HOO-RAH?)
I am also a bit of a purest when it comes to sweet potatoes. 
When I bake them at home, I only add minimal toppings (like just cinnamon). 
Well, we had a Thanksgiving lunch at work, so, since I LOVE sweet potatoes, I made a Sweet Potato Casserole. 

I found a recipe on and tweeked it a bit. 
I roughly followed it to get my desired result. :)
This recipe is not one of those, half a stick of butter, a whole bag of marshmallows, kind of like dessert sweet potato casseroles---
Sorry, they aren't my preference. 
This is more like a "Wow, I really like the actual Sweet Potato in Sweet Potato Casserole" recipe. 
Yes, there is "stuff" added in, but the Sweet Potato really shines

Here's the original recipe---->HERE

Here's my recipe:

  • 2 3/4 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (ADDED, to offset the Black Pepper) 
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup mini-marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar 


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly; peel and mash in a large bowl.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
4. Stir hmilk and the next 9 ingredients (through egg) into sweet potatoes. Spoon mixture into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the topping; Bake at 350 degrees for  20 minutes

Delicious and a bit *healthier* option than other Sweet Potato Casserole for your Turkey Day Dinner.

Next time, I will either cut down on the black peppers or leave it out. I could taste it a tiny bit and wasn't stoked. It's up to you.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies

If you are a fan of Salty & Sweet combos, this recipe is for you.
Guess what? I actually didn't find this recipe with my usual "surfin' the net."
I found this recipe (well, perhaps it found me...*sigh*) at the Tea & Spice Exchange in our town.
I had "popped in" the store for some Poppy Seeds and a nice browse. 
While I was browsing, the husband of the husband-wife owner duo asked, "Would you like a sugar cookie?" 
Me, trying to be good and having had a workout that morning, politely replied, "Oh, no, thank you." 
Then he said the words... 
"It's a Salted Caramel Sugar Cookie."
Um, yeah, I changed my mind in .10 seconds.
As soon as the cookie hit my tastebuds....YuMmY!!!
I just had to have the recipe.
And he said, "Are you ready? Just go to the store, buy sugar cookie dough and roll it in our Salted Caramel Sugar."
It's that easy. 
Yes, it is that easy. 

The sugar is a nice chunky sugar, more specifically a Turbinado Sugar (Which is basically a natural brown sugar-click the link to read more if you feel interested.)

Here's the link if you feel you must buy some yummy-tummy Salted Caramel Sugar. 
Yeah, I think you must....CLICK HERE FOR THE YUM!

Plus, while you are there check out all the other amazing sugars, teas, spices, rubs, and salts.
Pretty amazing I have this place in my town. 
I'm a tiny bit in love.

Side Note: 
Now, I will say, I made my own sugar cookies, using ----> Easy Sugar Cookies , simply because I already had all the stuff to make sugar cookies. (However, these cookies were a bit too crispy for my sugar cookie preference and didn't brown like I liked - But you may like a crispier sugar cookie, so, have at it.) Next time, I will either 1) Buy the sugar cookie dough or 2) Use a softer cookie dough recipe. 

P.S. There a lot of links in this post, be sure and check them out!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Ground Beef Gyros

Yum. Yum.
With certainty, this Easy Ground Beef Gyros will appear on our dinner table again.

These were great and soooo easy!
Me and the hubby LOVE us some good gyros.
While these are not authentic greek-made gyros, I couldn't believe how tasty these are!
I mean, they are home-made and ground beef only, but, man, don't let that fool you.
Really, these are that good and easy, especially if you are a fan of gyros like us. :)

I literally swung by the grocery store on the way home from work, arrived home, and had dinner made in 30 minutes-from start to finish.
Not to mention, all ingredients required in this recipe are easy to find.

I really recommend making this-I know I will again!

I did use my own Tzazkiki sauce recipe, just 'cause I already know how we like it our house.

Bake Gyro Meat
1 lb lean ground beef
4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 small pita pocket bread, cut in half, warmed (4-inch diameter)

SEASONING 1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

SAUCE (mine, not the recipe's)

1 (6oz) Plain Greek Yogurt
Our Chosen Pita Bread

1/3 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp dried dill
Salt and pepper, to taste
Enough Milk/Water to thin out to desired consistency

1) In small bowl, combine Yogurt Sauce ingredients, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate.
2) Heat oven to 350ºF.
3) In medium bowl, combine ground beef and seasoning ingredients, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
4) Divide beef mixture into 16 equal portions and shape into patties 2 inches in diameter.
5) Place patties on rack in broiler pan.
6) Bake in oven 10 minutes or until no longer pink OR GRILL over medium heat.
7) To serve, place equal amounts of beef and tomato in each pita half; top with yogurt sauce.
P.S. You can serve with Feta Cheese, too, if desired. 

Here's the link for the original recipe--->

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake {Bars}

Yeah, Red Velvet Cheesecake!!!
This was *Delish.*
This is probably my favorite cheesecake recipe I have made thus far. 
I got it in my head, you know my crazy ideas, to make a Red Velvet Cheesecake
Not a regular cake, but a Cheesecake.  
Don't get me wrong, I do Looooove cake, but this was not the time (oh, yes, that may come later). 
I scowered the internet and found a Taste of Home recipe. 
Mmmm. Taste of Home. One of my trusted recipe sites.
I pinned it for later. 
Well, later was today!

What a Great Day, huh?

This was a *bit* of a challenge. 
First problem?
I did not have a springform pan. 
"Eh, I'll wing it," I said. 
I prepared a round cake pan to bake this baby in, but as soon as I started making the filling...there was *no way* the filling was going to fit!
Plan B: I baked it in a 9x13 dish. 
(I dunno have the heck it was suppose to fit in a 9" springform pan, but, hey, it must, according to the recipe. )
As a result, my Red Velvet Cheesecake became Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars.
But pretty? 
Errr...I'm going with a "no."

It's okay, I'll take taste of beauty (with food) any day. 
And tasty, this definitely was.

I may make this for the HoLiDaYs!
The Red Cheesecake, and maybe tint the frosting on top Green?

Go Check it Out!!!!------>Red Velvet Cheesecake Recipe