A Promised Update: Sweet Potato Cassarole with Brown Sugar Pecan Crumble

So from here on out I wanted to only post healthy recipes…at least for a long time!  Buuuut I had promised you all that I would add pictures of the process to this post, and it is so delicious it is worth it!  I don’t want you to miss this!!  The most heavenly Sweet Potato Cassarole EVER.  So here’s pictures for ya!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

Photo (1)

Peel and chop your sweet taters.

Photo (2)

Boil until tender, just like you were making normal mashed potatoes.  It will probably take 20 plus minutes, just because sweet potatoes are more firm.

Photo (4)

Drain…

Photo (5)

And mash!  I use my stand mixer, it makes them uber creamy!

Photo (6)

See?

Photo (7)

Now add the rest of the ingredients…

Photo (8)

Pour into a greased casserole dish…

Photo (10)

Slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.  (It usually takes mine a bit longer than that.)

Photo (9)

While waiting, combine your topping ingredients.

Photo (11)

Sprinkle on top and bake 5-10 minutes, until it is browned but not burned.

Photo (12)

And there ya go!!  SO DELICIOUS!!

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Yummy yummy yummy!!

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Home Made Relish Hot Cereal! On the 9th Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me, a frugal breakfast recipe!!!

Frugal is nice, huh?  I know all you mamma’s out there (no, I’m not one yet but I saw it in my mamma, and I know lots of them!) realize that the true stress of Christmas cooking is not necessarily the first Christmas meal, but finding a way to get your family to eat leftovers for a week or more afterwards so that you don’t waste food…and without caving to the chorus of “not that AGAIIIIIIN.  I want to eat something new, waaaaah!”  Haha, maybe a little dramatic, but you feel me?  🙂  This year I tried my hand at repurposing my left overs, and ended up with a few great ideas!  So I thought I’d share a couple of them with you, so here is number one!!!

Home Made Relish Hot Cereal.  Sweet and tart.  Colorful.  Warm.  Comforting.  And a way to eat leftovers for BREAKFAST!!  That’s not typical right there!!!  And it’s stupid easy.

If you are a faithful reader, you will know from my Lemon Blueberry Oat Bran post that I have been in love with oat bran.  I am kind of an oat meal fan, but rarely finish my bowl cause it just gets overwhelming and the texture isn’t my fave.  Then I discovered Oat Bran…which has a texture similar to Malt O Meal, which I grew up on!  But can’t seem to find in New York.  (However, my mom sent me a box for Christmas haha!!  So stoked!!)  So I am going to show you this recipe with Oat Bran, but I am convinced it will work with any hot cereal!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Serving Oat Bran, or your favorite hot cereal
  • 1-2 Spoonfuls Cranberry Orange Relish
  • A pad of butter (optional)
  • Tbsp of Sweetener of your choice (also optional, if you don’t use it, it will run more tartt.  I would add a little honey or agave…though I am uncertain of the health of agave at the moment.  It is under scrutiny!  Or since there is already sugar in the relish if you want to not worry about the whole health thing…add a big ol’ spoonful of brown sugar and watch it melt!!)

 

And here’s how you do it.  Easiest.  Thing.  Ever…

  1. Cook hot cereal according to directions.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together.
  3. Eat.

 

Whoo!!  We made it!!  What do you think?  Good way to repurpose something that could possibly just rot in the f ridge?  I think so 🙂

Isn’t it pretty!  Ohhhhh, I bet it would be tasty with some pecans in there too!!

Photo (11)

Brown Sugar Orange Sweet Potato Casserole. On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me the best sweet potato recipe!!  Seriously, this sweet potato casserole cannot be topped!  It’s so good that we usually all agree that it should be served with the desserts its so tasty…and then we just keep eating it with the entrée haha!!  Warm, soft but crunchy, sweet with a hint of citrus…yay!!

Just a heads up…I will soon have photos of the process, because I am going to make it for Christmas!!  But I figured if you guys need this recipe for YOUR Christmas, you can’t wait for the photos!!  So I am going to post a few pictures of people enjoying this beauteous treat, and add the pictures of the process later for ya!!   Because seriously…you don’t want to let Christmas slip by without making this!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

photo 3 (1)Here is my dear brother Gabe, about to dig into the casserole!!

photo 2 (1)And here it is, next to the mashed potatoes and Fresh Cranberry Relish!

photo 4My mommy always makes such a pretty holiday set up!!!

Cornbread Buttermilk Biscuit Stuffing. On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me a buttery Southern stuffing recipe!!

Stuffing, my friends, does not come out of a bag.  I am so sorry if I offend you when I say that.  But that fact was driven into me at a young age.  I had never even tried the bagged stuff until I moved to New York.  Now that I know how to make the traditional Kirkwood/Gilliland recipe (our friends that are proud of their southern cooking!!)…I hope to never have to eat it again, or make my family do so either.

Because this stuffing.  Is.  So.  Good.

I mean, it is most of my favorite things.  Butter.  Biscuits.  Cornbread.  Butter.  Did I mention there is a lot of butter in this recipe?!  😀  You can’t get any better than this.  Soft, but crispy…herby and a little hint of sweet.  Perfection.  I’m drooling.  So let’s get to it!!

Note:  There are a few different steps, but do not be afraid.  None of them are complicated, and while you wait for one thing to bake is the perfect opportunity to be working on your other dishes!!

Here’s what you need:

Buttermilk Biscuits:

  • 1/4 C Shortening or Oil
  • 2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 C Buttermilk

Cornbread:

  • 1 C Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 C Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 C Buttermilk

Stuffing:

  • 3 Sticks Butter
  • 8 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Medium Onions, Diced
  • Sage
  • Poultry Seasoning

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*.
  2. Start your biscuits.  Cut shortening or oil into flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Stir in just enough milk so dough balls up and leaves the side of the bowl.  It should not be too sticky…but also not too crumbly!
  4. Turn the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Pat down into a 6 inch square with floured hands.  Cut into 2-inch squares.
  5. Brush with melted butter.  Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
  6. Now for the cornbread!!  When your biscuits are done, turn the oven down to 400*.
  7. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  8. Stir wet ingredients into dry mixture until just blended.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove top with a small amount of oil in the bottom.  Pour batter into pan and transfer to hot oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until done and starting to brown.
  10. When breads have cooled to a manageable temperature, crumble them both into a large bowl.
  11. Using same cast iron skillet, melt 3 sticks of butter over medium heat.
  12. Add onions and celery and cook until tender.  Dump buttery veggie mixture over breads and stir till coated.  Add sage and poultry to taste (original says “to smell”) about 2 tsp.  Season with salt and pepper, stir, taste, adjust.
  13. Stuff in turkey, or bake for 20 minutes!  I actually love it even more not stuffed, because the breads get moist and buttery but still hold together!!  Up to you!!  Let me know what you think!!!

Photo (10)Starting the butter milk biscuits!   Cut shortening or oil into flour, baking powder, and salt.

Photo (11)Stir in just enough milk so dough balls up and leaves the side of the bowl.  It should not be too sticky…but also not too crumbly! Turn the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Photo (12)Pat into a 6 inch square with floured hands.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 2 inch squares (yes, I forgot that step…doesn’t really matter if you are just using it for stuffing, but kind of important if you want actual biscuits!)

Photo (13)Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Photo (14)Start your cornbread (after you turn the oven to 400*).  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl…

Photo (15)And wet ingredients in a different bowl…

Photo (16)Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir till JUST combined.

Photo (17)Heat a small amount of oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet.  Pour in batter then transfer to hot oven and bake until done and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Photo (18)

Photo (21)Melt three sticks of butter in same cast iron skillet your cornbread was in…

Photo (22)Dump in your veggies and cook, stirring until tender…

Photo (24)Buttery goodness!!

Photo (25)Then pour on top of your breads…season with salt, pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning.  Stir to combine!

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Now you are ready to either stuff your turkey, or simply bake this mixture for 20 minutes and devour just how it is.  BEST STUFFING EVER!!!  Let me know how you like it!!

Cranberry Orange Relish. On The Third Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to meeeee, a sweet and tangy classic recipe!!

 

Yes, that’s right!! I gave you two fun new recipes to freshen up your Christmas season and bring the “wow” that you probably won’t see anywhere else.  Now I am going to change it up and show you how to make those classic “it’s not Christmas without this” foods!  And make them dang good.  How can I guarantee that?!  Well, because I grew up eating them, they didn’t come from a bag or can…and because I tried them out for our Rodgers family Thanksgiving so I could share them with you for Christmas!!  Yay!! So…our first classic???

CRANBERRY RELISH!

You put down that can of jiggly jelly stuff!!  This will blow your mind!!  And if you are a weirdo like me and am not a huge fan of turkey OR gravy…this is a great way to bring a pop of flavor, texture, and moisture to your turkey! However, at our house, we started eating it with our turkey…and ended eating with a spoon.  Yes it’s that good.

 

And you know what the best part is?  It is 3 ingredients…and they’re all pretty cheap ingredients that you may already have in your house considering the season.  🙂

 

SO….here’s what you need…ever so slightly adapted from oceanspray.com!

  • 1 Orange, NOT PEELED, Cut into eighths (seeds removed if it had them)
  • 12 oz Bag Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
  • 1/2C- 3/4C Sugar

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place 4 of the orange slices in a food processor, then dump in half the bag of cranberries.
  2. Process until finely and evenly chopped and dump into a bowl
  3. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange.
  4. Sprinkle on your sugar and stir in.  Taste and adjust sugar amount.

 

How fantastic is that flavor?!  Citursy…tart but so sweet, somehow refreshing and rich at the same time!!  Just so good!!  Yay!!  ENJOY!!

 

Peectures!

Photo (5)Slice orange with the rind still on!!

Photo (6)Rinse your cranberries….

Photo (8)Place in a food processor, half of each at a time, and whiz until finely and evenly chopped…

Photo (9)And dump into a bowl, stir in sugar, taste, adjust, and enjoy!!! I wish I had a pretty picture of it on our turkey, but I was too excited about eating to think of taking pictures haha!!!

 

“THE BEST” Chicken (or Leftover Turkey!) Barley Soup

Why do I call it “THE BEST” you ask?!  Well…because of this…

Photo (7)Hahahahaaaa.  I think instead of being a post about “Feeding Mr. Rodgers,”  this should be “Pleasing Mamma Monaghan.”  The original idea was to create a chicken noodle soup without noodles.  Haha, I tend to cook classic foods without their main ingredient I have noticed.  Mr.  Rodgers loves chicken noodle soup…especially on days like the ones we have been having.  Cold.  Wet.  Dark.  Well I wanted to leave out the noodles for health reasons, but still wanted something nice and tasty other than just veggies and meat.  And I began to reminisce on my childhood when my mamma would make barley soups, so I thought I’d try it out.   Well my mamma in law decided to try a bowl…and promptly informed me that there might not be any left when I came home from work that night.  She then packaged it up and put it in the fridge for me…and I found this note.  Hahahah.  So sweet and fun!  And it really didn’t last very long either.  She devoured it, and I am so glad, cause she’s not a big eater so I love it when she goes crazy on healthy foods!!

But she wasn’t the only one thrilled with it.  It truly was perfect for our rainy day and the flavor was beyond wonderful and comforting.  I used chicken breast, but here is the beauty of a soup like this…you can use whatever meat you have laying around.  So tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Why not re-purpose the left over turkey into a barley soup?  Not only delicious…but oh so frugal!  And a good way to get the kids to eat the same thing for days without realizing (or complaining about) it, eh?

So…I think this was adapted from marthastewart.com.  But honestly, when you look up Chicken Barley Soup recipes…they are pretty close to identical so I can’t remember for sure which one I based this off of haha!

 

Here’s what you need!

  • 3 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 4 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2-3 Lg Chicken Breasts, Cut into cubes (or about 2 Cups cooked Turkey!  Or meat of choice!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 C Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 C Barley (I did not use quick cooking because I wanted to let it simmer!  You can use either and just adjust the time/wait for it to get tender)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Prep all your veggies!
  2. Melt your butter or coconut in a large pot over medium heat and add all your veggies except the garlic.  Cook until starting to get tender; about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in, cooking another 30 seconds.
  3. Cut up your chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Add to the skillet and cook a few minutes, until starting to brown. (If you are using leftover meat, you just have to throw it right on in there!)
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme.  Bring it to a boil then add the barley.  Now cover and reduce; letting simmer until you are ready to eat!  (At least 15 minutes so the chicken gets cooked through, but I let mine simmer for a good part of the morning while I did laundry and such wifely things!  Gotta love mornings off!)  How easy as that?!  Easy as pie!  Speaking of pie…you will probably be regretting all the pie you eat on Thanksgiving, so this recipe will be really good for upset tummies and trimming for expanding waist lines, haha!!!  Enjoy!

 

Prep your veggies!

PhotoMelt your butter or coconut oil in a big ol’ pot…

Photo (1)

Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.

Photo (3)Add your meat source…be it chicken breast, left over turkey, browned ground beef…don’t forget a little salt and pepper!

Photo (4)

Add chicken broth and thyme….

Photo (5)Bring to a boil, add barley, reduce heat, and simmer till done!  At least 15 minutes but can be simmered as you do your laundry until you are ready to eat!  😉

Photo (6)Yummy yummy in your tummy, healthy healthy for your body!! Hopefully you will find a note kind of like this on top of your soup!!

Photo (7)❤  LOVE IT!