Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping

I've been making these for two years now for Thanksgiving and the difference between baking your sweet potatoes fresh rather than using the canned yams makes such a difference. These are so good. My only problem is that I'm torn every year whether to top them with the praline topping (mmmm) or the traditional marshmallows? Still, I don't know yet.

Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping

Serves ~8

3 lbs sweet potatoes
1 can (5oz) evaporated milk
4 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbs firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (1 oz) chopped pecans
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Rinse the sweet potatoes and prick in several places with fork. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until very soft when pierced with a knife, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hrs. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and reduce heat to 325.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and put the pulp in the bowl of a food processor. Add the evaporated milk, butter, eggs , brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Process until smooth andcreamy. Transfer to an 8 inch baking dish.

Topping: Combine brown sugar,flour,butter,pecans and salt in a medium bowl. Spoon topping over potatoes. Bake until topping is golden brown, 25-35 minutes.

Notes: The sweet potato puree can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. The topping can be prepared 3-5 days in advance and stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Brownies

Another great fall dessert. These were more like apple crisp than a true brownie, but I would probably make them over a traditional apple crisp when faced with the choice. They were so moist and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Apple Brownies
Gourmet Mom on the Go

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 large or 4 small apples, peeled and diced
granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top after baking)
Caramel Ice Cream topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Choose your pan size: either a 9 x 13 pan, two pie pans, or a pie pan and four mini-loaf pans. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and apples. Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.

Creamed Spinach

I made this last Christmas and everyone loved it. It is such a great side for the holidays, but it's good enough to make anytime.

Creamed Spinach

Serves: 6-8
Prep. Time: 0:35

5 Tbls. butter OR margarine - divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 dash ground nutmeg
1 cup half and half cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1 sm. onion - minced
3 cloves garlic - minced
(2) 10 oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach - thawed
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

-In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 3 Tbls. butter; stir in flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; slowly whisk in cream; stir in cream cheese.
-Increase heat to medium; whisk mixture constantly until thick and smooth; remove from heat and set aside.
-In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook onions and garlic in remaining 2 Tbls. butter until transparent; stir spinach and water into pan.
-Reduce heat to medium-low; cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
-Stir spinach mixture into creamy mixture; return to medium heat; heat, stirring often, until warmed throughout.
-Remove from heat; fold in Parmesan.

Buttermilk Pancakes.

Omigosh! These were the best pancakes. I know it's just a pancake, but every bite made me so happy I couldn't stop raving about them.

Buttermilk Pancakes Recipe #66241/Williams-Sonoma


  1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy.
  2. Add the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and beat on medium speed just until blended. (You may have a few lumps, but don't worry about it).
  4. You can also mix this together using a wooden spoon or whatever you have.
  5. Heat lightly greased griddle at 350 degrees.
  6. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter onto griddle for each pancake.
  7. Cook until the tops of the pancakes are covered with tiny bubbles and the batter is set, about 4-6 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until the undersides are golden brown, about 4 minutes more.
  8. Repeat with remaining batter.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

I made this recipe into a mini round cake for Jude's Birthday and then used the rest of the batter to make cupcakes. This was such a yummy cake; moist and flavorful, not too sweet and perfect with cream cheese frosting. This is definitely one of my new go to cake recipes.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
Under the Highchair

1/4 lb (1 stick) sweet butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 cup mashed ripe bananas, I used 2 bananas
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9-inch layer cake pans.
-Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add mashed bananas, mixing thoroughly.
-Sift dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Stir until just combined in. Add buttermilk and vanilla. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Fold into batter gently. Sprinkle in chocolate chips and fold together.
-Pour batter into the prepared pans. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
-Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes. Unmold and cool on rack for 2 hours.

Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Mmmm. If your making a cake that needs a firmer cream cheese frosting this is the tastiest I've had. My first choice would be the whipped cream cheese frosting, but this definitely takes second place.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar

  • Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
  • Spread on cooled cake.