Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow

So it seems like the cooking-debate of the year is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. Is this dish called Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallow or Yams and Marshmallow? According to my husband, Google, the yams you see in Grocery stores are usually not TRUE yams, which are native to Asia and Africa and are found in international markets or abroad. The yams in grocery stores are simply a firmer form of the regular sweet potato, with extremely subtle differences in the flavors. Interesting, right?

I’m not exactly sure what to say about this dish except for that it was by far the best dish of the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone at my Thanksgiving meal got second helpings of the dish and at one point told me how delicious it was. I know many people are impartial to the idea of marshmallows over sweet potatoes, but this dish was absolutely incredible. While it is very sweet, every single ingredient works to perfectly combine the flavors of the central ingrediants.

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INGREDIENTS

4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

3 cups miniature marshmallows

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.
  3. Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown. (about 3 minutes).

Love,

Ally

Homemade Classic Turkey Stuffing

There is no better time for someone who enjoys cooking to cook than November and December. From Thanksgiving dinner, to peppermint cookies to Hanukkah latkes to New Years Eve appetizers, there is such a large variety of things you can cook and bake during these winter months. Due to my holiday spirit and enthusiasm, I have decided that I am going to, until the end of the holiday season, continue to bake only winter and holiday related recipes.

Staying in the realm of classic holiday dishes, I ultimately decided that this week I was in the mood to make some classic Thanksgiving stuffing. Although this recipe seems, at first glance, to have nothing about it that differs from store bought stuffing packs, the vitality of freshly cut bread in stuffing is evident after making this recipe. The fresh bread makes the dish taste much fresher and the rest of the ingredients more flavorful. Although stuffing has always been one of my favorite holiday dishes, making it from scratch is always extraordinarily better.

This stuffing was fresh out of the oven when we ate it and would be perfectly complimented by any other Thanksgiving dish (OF COURSE!!) and some homemade turkey gravy. Happy December!!!!

 

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Ingredients

3/4 cup butter or margarine
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
9 cups white or sour dough bread cut into cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Lay the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes, or until slightly crispy.

2 Meanwhile, melt butter in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook celery and onion in butter 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove Dutch oven from the heat.

3.  Gently toss the toasted bread with the celery mixture and the remaining ingredients, using spoon, until bread cubes are evenly coated.

4. Use to stuff one 10- to 12-pound turkey. Or to bake stuffing separately, grease 3-quart casserole or rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches.

4. Place stuffing in casserole or baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 325°F for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

Love,
Ally

Apple Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes

For a while, I have been intrigued by the fascination (including my own) of pancakes. I understand cakes, cookies, pies etc. and maybe even waffles… but why pancakes? They’re simply discs of flour, milk, a tiny bit of sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, and butter; why are they any more beloved than a slightly sweetened piece of bread? After thinking about this wayyyy too deeply for a while, I realized that it isn’t simply the flavor, but the experiences that pancakes create and symbolize that make them so special (to at least my family and I). The memories of my family and I making pancakes on a Saturday, or at least sitting down to a delicious breakfast together are what make the simple food full of complex and happy feelings; there was no work for my parents to worry about, school days felt miles away, and there were endless things that we could do with the day. Pancakes simply introduce the best day of my week with the people that love me the most.

As I have gotten older, and my workload has increased along with the stress of my parent’s joband Saturday family breakfasts have become more and more irregular. I woke up early last Saturday (no idea why, it was probably a siren or noise outside/the sun or something), after going months without touching a pancake, and realized that I wanted to surprise my parents with the best family pancake breakfast of their year. I, being the spontaneity-driven person that I am, decided to spice up the recipe a bit, with some apples and cinnamon.

An hour later, my mom, my dad, and I (brother was away at college 😦 ) sat down to a nice family breakfast and my childhood seemed to come shooting back at me. We spent the entire day together, grocery shopping at Trader Joes, listening to music, having dinner with my great-grandmother. The reasoning behind my love for pancakes has never been clearer.

ENJOY!

 

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INGREDIENTS:


2 medium apples (any kind), peeled and diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced apples, butter and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, or about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth. Pour into flour mixture and whisk until well-combined. Batter may be slightly lumpy.
  4. Heat a nonstick griddle (or large nonstick skillet) to medium-high heat, and wait until the surface is hot enough that a drop of water jumps around the pan when dropped onto it (if the water evaporates immediately, the pan is too hot).
  5. Add batter onto pan in dollops (approx 1/4-1/3 cup) and cook until the surface of the pancake starts to bubble. Add about 1 tbsp of the sautéed apples to the pancake. Continue to cook until the bottom of the pancake is golden, then flip and cook the second side until golden.
  6. Serve immediately, with maple syrup and more diced apples.

Love,

Ally