Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

We had enough sweet potatoes (or yams) for two batches so I tried two different recipes.  This one is sweeter and the second one is spicier.

Memphis Sweet Potato
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, paprika and cinnamon.  Toss the potato strips into mixture, to coat well, and spread onto baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and brown sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato Fries
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon chili seasoning
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Use peeler to peel sweet potatoes.  Cut potatoes in half lengthwise then cut into 1/2-inch thick fries.
Place sweet potato fries in a large mixing bowl.  Add oil and spices.  Toss until they are thoroughly coated with spices.
Spread fries in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Place in preheated oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes turning once to ensure even cooking.  Remove from oven and serve hot.

My family preferred the sweeter recipe from the Neelys.  My dad and I also made burgers with avocado, gorgonzola cheese, and onions and mushrooms cooked with with good-quality red zinfandel until it was reduced.

Finally I made a salad with strawberries, a can of mandarin oranges, and toasted almond, tossed in a poppyseed dressing.  The combination of berries and nuts created a taste that reminded me of peanut butter and jelly.  This recipe was inspired by this recipe from Kraft Foods, but i substitued the idea of pasta with lettuce.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Banana Nut Brownies

I made these the same morning I was feeling creative.
Banana Nut Brownies
1 fudge brownie box mix
3 bananas, sliced (mine were frozen and I let them thaw a little)
6 oz pecans, chopped
Make the brownies as directed on the box. Add sliced bananas and chopped pecans into the batter. Pour into a 13x9 in. pan and bake according to directions on the box.

Mixed Berry Cream Pie

I was feeling creative and decided to use some things I found around the house to make a dessert.

Mixed Berry Cream Pie
2 pkg. JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
2 1/2 cups thawed Mixed Berry frozen fruit mix
1 Nilla Wafer Pie Crust
1. Beat pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 2 cups COOL WHIP and thawed mixed berry mix fruit. Drizzle Chocolate syrup over the crust, then pour the filling into the crust.
2. Freeze until set, and maybe keep in the freezer after serving, because transferring to the fridge caused the pie to melt.
3. Top with sliced strawberries and drizzle chocolate syrup.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies

I made these at my aunt and uncle's house because my aunt had extra sour cream she needed to use so I found this cookie recipe.  They were extremely moist and had a strong cocoa flavor.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies

from Cookie Madness

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or use a mixture of chocolate and white chips

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and both sugars. Beat in egg, sour cream and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chips. Drop by rounded
tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes
or until set - do not overbake. They should still look kind of moist on top when you take them out. They will set as they cool.

Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen

I also made the levain cookies again, but this time I used chocolate chips instead of chunks. I prefer the chunks better because they melt more and seep into the whole cookie, where the chips stay moist and gooey but in their respective places more or less.

(These pictures are slightly blurry since I used my aunts camera and could not figure out how to focus on the actually cookie itself or take close-up shots.)