The night before I was to prepare our Thanksgiving meal this week, I cuddled in bed with Mike and listed out the dishes for the next day: turkey in the doufeu, dressing, gravy, spinach madeline, cranberry sauce, yeast rolls, and pumpkin pie. Then this happened:
Me: What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish growing up?
Mike: Sweet potatoes.
SWEET POTATOES. The one dish I didn't even THINK to include. Of course. It just so happens that Riggs is on a big sweet potato kick, so I had the ingredients for this dish in the kitchen. I rattled around and found the recipe in one of my old standbys: Best of the Best from Mississippi Cookbook. I also happened to have the ingredients for the orange sauce, and let me just say.....that stuff is FINE. It has completely revolutionized the way I think about sweet potatoes, and I'll never again be able to make this casserole without the orange sauce.
4-5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered (I chopped into 1/2 inch cubes)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, melted, divided
1 teaspoon salt
Cook potatoes in water to cover until tender (about 25-30 minutes).
Add 1/4 cup brown sugar to hot potatoes.
Add eggs, 3 T butter, and salt.
Beat until smooth.
Pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
Lay pecan halves end to end, covering the entire casserole. (I just roughly chopped pecans and sprinkled liberally on top.)
Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar.
Drizzle remaining melted butter over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
Ladle Orange Sauce over individual servings.
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter
3 dashes Angostura bitters
In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange rind, orange juice, and lemon juice.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cook until thickened.
Remove from heat.
Stir in butter and bitters.
Great Performances Cookbook
Photo courtesy of Bakers Royale.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
So the other day Riggs and I were playing as Avery was at Mother's Day Out. I was craving something but didn't know what. Then it hit me..... like a bolt from the blue.... CHOCOLATE CHESS PIE. I absolutely HAD to have it. And I was willing to risk being a teensy bit late to pick up Avery so I could bake it. Fortunately from start to finish, this pie only took a little more than an hour and a half, and that's with a 60 minute baking time, so I was able to finish it AND go pick up our little monster.
I think Food.com has my favorite recipe:
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 partially 9-inch baked pie crust
1 Preheat oven to 325F degrees.
2 Combine sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt.
3 Blend in milk.
4 Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
5 Add butter and vanilla, beat until smooth.
6 Pour into prebaked pie shell.
7 Bake in 325* oven for 55-60 minutes.
I whipped up my new pie crust recipe and baked it for ten minutes at 375 while I mixed the pie filling in the same bowl in which I prepared the crust dough. So easy, so delicious. Don't even try to taste this stuff without some whipped cream on top. And it's even better the next day.
Thank you to Food-in-Mouth for the above photo.
It's a rainy, rainy Monday afternoon. Both babies are napping, as should I be, but I wanted to jot down my new go-to for a pie crust before I forget:
Makes 1 pie
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
With your fingers, crumble the shortening into the flour and salt until it resembles coarse cornmeal.
Do not overwork.
Add water - it works better very cold, but that's not necessary - until desired consistency.
Roll out onto floured surface.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Sunday, June 9, 2013
- Riggs giggles when we suck out his nose or wipe his face. He thinks it's hysterical and belly laughs so hard it's difficult to accomplish the task. Maybe that's all part of his plan.
- When I ask Avery for a kiss, she always plants a big happy smiling one right square on my lips. I guess it's because she sees Daddy and me kissing like that, and I don't mind. My heart melts into a puddle when she then turns to Riggs and says, "Riggs kiss," planting one gently on his head.
- I have to bathe both kids together. I could just bathe Avery, but if Riggs is in the bathtub, so must she be. After a few moments of sheer panic on my part, she's proven to be very soft with her brother, and I always let her help me bathe him. I'll sit him up and hold him while she scrubs his back, and he comes out squeaky clean every time.
- Avery has an impressive grasp on the English language, but sometimes her enunciation could use a little work. A few months ago she and I were in the Kroger. I turned around to find her standing in the seat of the buggy and immediately said, "Avery! Sit sit sit!" which of course she repeated enthusiastically and loudly... only from her mouth it sounded like "Shit shit shit!" And of course one of my DAR sisters was right around the corner. You should hear her say, "fork."
- She counts too: "One, two, fee, six!"
- Her favorite songs to sing are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the ABC song, Jesus Muvs Me, and the Itsy Bitsy Speyter. She loves "speyters" so much she often asks me to draw one. There's a worn-out cardboard box in the living room right now with a spider army drawn all over it.
- And to my surprise, she has memorized several of her board books already, including Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, I'm a Big Sister, I am a Bunny, Happy Birthday Little Pookie, and Goodnight Moon.
- The other day Mike was in his underwear, looking for his pajama bottoms. He leaned over, and Avery's patted his butt with her little hand and in her sweet 2-year-old voice proudly said, "Daddy panties."
- Riggs contentedly hangs out in my lap or his Moses basket and takes note.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Life with two has its moments, but most are unbelievably sweet and wonderful. Avery is coming into her own, has a great vocabulary (including "octopust," "kaynket," and "pantyrolls" instead of ponytails), and has the sweetest, smartest, most clever and funny personality. The other day she insisted that the dog says "beep," and I could tell in her eyes that she was having a fun time kidding me. We're working on manners such as yes ma'am, please, and thank you, and potty training is slow but steady. I almost took a photo of her first, ah, deposit.