Tuesday, October 19, 2010

See ya later, tater..

Hey, sorry about the length between posts, weekends are packed around here and this past one was no exception. In fact, although Dan and I had a FANTASTIC lunch at Disney on Friday (and really, rarely is food at Disney "bad") we really didn't cook the rest of the weekend.

So I'm back at it again, today have a pot of bean soup bubbling on the stove from some leftover ham that I DID cook over the weekend but we didn't get around to eating as a "meal" lol. It made a wonderful ham and egg breakfast on Sunday, though, and is currently enhancing one of my favorite homemade soups.

I love to utilize the autumn vegetables that are out right now, and was REALLY excited to see Kale at the grocery store today, it being one of my favorite greens to cook and eat. Fried or grilled pork chops served on a bed of kale....superb.....give it a try.

I got today's recipe from a Publix (supermarket) "Greenwise" magazine. If you're not familiar with the free magazines that Publix has in the front of their stores, you definitely need to do so. They have one on cooking naturally and organically and it's called "Greenwise", also one on wines and their pairings with great recipes for types of snacks to make and serve with them and it's called "Grape" and then there's one that has awesome ideas for kids, cooking with kids, and crafts and...for the life of me the title is escaping me right now but I think it's called "Family"...or something like that. lol. But definitely check those out, they're at the front of the store, in the entrance area on a rack that usually also holds the current weekly sale flyer.

Today's recipe uses the sweet potato, which is available all year but the production and availability really "ramps up" during autumn. This is one a bit off beat, it's for a dessert bar, but it's really tasty.

Sweet Potato Pecan Bars

3 T. butter or margarine, softened
2 T. sugar
2/3 graham cracker crumbs
2 T. finely chopped toasted pecans
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 c. mashed sweet potatoes (cooking in the oven, about 5-7 minutes for 2 average sweet potatoes is the best, and easiest idea---then you can mash them with either a fork or hand mixer)
1/4 c. dairy sour cream
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsps. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. chopped toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350. In a small mixing bowl stir together the butter and the 2 T. sugar. Stir in the cracker crumbs and the 2 T. finely chopped pecans until combined. Press onto bottom of a lightly greased 8x8x2 baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

For filling, in a medium bowl stir together egg, mashed sweet potatoes and sour cream. Stir in the 1/4 c. sugar, the flour and the pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Stir in the milk. Pour sweet potato mixture evenly over prebaked crust. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Immediately sprinkle with remaining chopped nuts, pressing lightly into filling. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack, chill. Cut into bars. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 2 days or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Makes about 16 bars.

If you have someone with the proverbial "sweet tooth" in your house this would be great just lightly "drizzled" with some royal icing--which you can make by just mixing some confectioner's sugar and some milk...whisk until smooth and then lightly pour over. Heaven.

Today's food quote: "Eat the bread, drink the wine...and let life be what it is" Old Tuscan saying.

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