Posts Tagged ‘friends’

It seems that there are two types of people when it comes to a Sweet Potato Casserole: Those who cover theirs with toasty melty marshmallows, and those who don’t.  Do you think I am biased?

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You already know I love to sneak dessert-like side dishes onto my table.  Why wouldn’t I top my Sweet Potato Casserole with candy? To be honest, this is the way I grew up eating sweet potatoes.  Each time I see a recipe for a casserole topped with something delicious like a pecan streusel or turned savory I’m tempted to try it, but why mess with something that is just right?

This recipe is actually a lot healthier than you might think.  It is filled with nutrient-dense sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin (yes, pumpkin!), spices and and a secret ingredient:

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I got the idea of using pumpkin butter in a Food and Wine recipe a couple of years ago.  I haven’t turned back since.

The other secret to this recipe is the roasted sweet potatoes.  Yes, you can microwave them to cut down on time, but roasting them adds so much flavor.

To begin, line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil and non-stick spray.  Top with your sweet potatoes and poke holes in them to prevent any oven explosions

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Roast them for an hour or so, or until they are nice and tender to the touch

The softer they are, the easier they will be to peel.  I usually roast the sweet potatoes the night before so that I can peel them easily when they are cool, no burnt fingers required

Place them in a mixer with a can of pumpkin and combine until most of the mixture is pureed but some chunks still exist (you can also mash by hand if you don’t have a mixer)

Add in your pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin butter, a dash of salt and a bit of vanilla

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Once well-combined, place in a large greased baking dish

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Cover with foil and bake until hot

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Remove the baking dish from the oven and top with marshmallows

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Broil for a minute or two, until your marshmallows are lightly browned.  I recommend putting foil or a sheet pan below the baking dish in case you have any drippings

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves 12


8-10 medium sweet potatoes, about 5 pounds

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin, (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup pumpkin butter

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1-lb bag of mini marshmallows


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Line jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with foil and non-stick cooking spray

Poke sweet potatoes with a fork and spread out on baking sheet; roast in oven for about an hour or until they are tender

Once sweet potatoes are cool, peel them; cut a slit in the skin of each sweet potato and then peel with fingers

Place them in a mixer with pumpkin and combine until most of the mixture is pureed but some chunks still exist (you can also mash by hand if you don’t have a mixer)

Add pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin butter, salt and vanilla

Once well-combined, place in a large baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray

Cover with foil and bake about 30 minutes or until hot

Remove the baking dish from the oven and top with marshmallows

Put oven on broil and bake casserole for 1-2 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly browned

Which camp are you in? With marshmallows or without?

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I learned to bake by watching my mom, the Original Baker.  Most of my memories are of standing next to her at the kitchen counter as she measured ingredients and put them together effortlessly.  I’d help pour the sugar into the bowl or turn on the mixer, and sometimes even crack the eggs.  The best part, of which I have many memories, was getting a beater fresh off the mixer with “extra” chocolate chip cookie dough.

Luckily I never got sick from eating the raw dough! Sometimes I doubt that is even possible because I have a lot of experience licking cookie dough, brownie batter and other delicious pre-baked desserts full of raw eggs off of spatulas.  If I didn’t get sick from copious amounts of raw cookie dough, who has?

But just in case you can in fact get sick from raw eggs, no-bake (eggless) cookie dough is a kid’s dream!  Now, imagine slathering that cookie dough onto rich chocolate brownies?  Oh yes.  Cookie Dough Topped Brownies is a dessert any kid would dream about, and well, any adult too;-)

First thing to do is make your brownies.  I used the tried and true Baker’s recipe that is also used for my Chocolate Lover’s Bites.

Melt butter and chocolate in large sauce pan over low to medium heat

Stir until smooth

Remove from heat and stir in sugar

Your batter will get nice and thick*

Stir in eggs and vanilla

Then the vanilla

Whisk in flour until smooth

Batter will get nice and thick

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with foil and greased or sprayed with cooking spray and bake

While brownie is cooling, make your cookie dough

Combine your butter and sugars

Then add a little bit of milk

Mix in some flour

And of course I have a 6-pound bag of chocolate chips

Add them in

Stir until the chips are mixed throughout the dough

Now it’s time to spread your cookie dough

Wait until your brownie is completely cool, it wouldn’t hurt to freeze the brownie first since the dough is very thick

A long strong spatula is good for spreading

Once finished, keep your brownies in a cool place; they also freeze very well

Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

Makes 36 brownies


Brownie (recipe from Baker’s)

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

Cookie Dough (Adapted from the Blue-Eyed Bakers)

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

4 tablespoons milk (I use skim)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup chocolate chips



Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter and chocolate in large sauce pan over low to medium heat

Stir in sugar

Stir in eggs and vanilla

Whisk in flour until smooth

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with foil and greased or sprayed with cooking spray

Bake for ~30 minutes or until knife comes out clean

Cookie Dough

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy

Mix in milk

Gradually mix in flour and salt

Stir in chocolate chips

Allow brownies to cool completely (might be easier if they are frozen) and then spread cookie dough over the top

Store in refrigerator (or freeze)

cooke dough brownies

*While I was making these, I accidentally added too much sugar.  In an upcoming post I’ll tell you how I rectified that and ended up with another delicious dessert.

Do you eat raw cookie dough?

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Happy almost Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday, I thought I would take a step back from the craziness of life to think about everything I am thankful for.  Life can be so stressful.  Most people, including myself, take so many of the important things for granted on a daily basis and get stressed about the little things.  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to give thanks for the pieces that are going right!  Here is my list.  What are you thankful for?

  • My health and the health of my loved ones
  • Having a job in a tough economy
  • The ability to blog about my passion
  • Glee because it makes me smile
  • The ability to laugh so hard I can’t stand up
  • Wonderful readers who leave comments that truly make my day
  • Leggings- three cheers for elastic waist pants!
  • Perfect chocolate desserts
  • Books that are so good you can’t put them down but don’t want to finish
  • Dinner parties with too much food
  • Living in an incredible city
  • The first sip of coffee each morning
  • Windows Live Writer 
  • Peanut butter
  • Memories of the days before Blackberries
  • NY bagels
  • Finding a world of bloggers who love food as much as I do
  • Ice cream in brownie or pie form; oh who am I kidding, really ice cream in any form
  • And most of all, special people in my life like these*

My husband that I’ve been with now for seven years


My family and best parents in the world


My best friends who all live too far away from me


My grandmother, husband and sister – the people I love also love each other!


My aunt and her perfect puppy, Cole


New family

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*Even if you aren’t in these pictures, if you are my friend or family member, you still mean the world to me

I’ll be back week with more recipes from my Thanksgiving with Friends!

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