Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sweet Potato Pie

Hello dear readers! I hope you are all enjoying the amazing food specialties that accompany this holiday season. I have been on a pie kick.

You could say I have been crazy for sweet potato pie.  Now, normally we have pumpkin pie with Thanksgiving Dinner, and that is the only time of the year canned pumpkin is in the house.

Well, I always have at least one sweet potato lurking somewhere. I don't know what got me so fired up, but I just had to have sweet potato pie.

So I made one, for practice. Then we ate it. It did not suck.

So I made another one. That one didn't last more than two days. It may have been breakfast one morning.

Then, I had to make one more so we could have pie for the whole family at my folks' house for Thanksgiving. After mowing down three of these babies in a row, I knew I had to post this for everyone to enjoy.

Unbaked single crust for a 9" pie, use either Pie Crust No. 1 or Pie Crust No. 3
2 garnet yams or other orange flesh sweet potato = 2 1/2 cups mashed
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 stick salted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. half & half
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into rounds about 1/2" thick.  Boil about 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft.  Drain and cool slightly. Mash the sweet potato. Measure out 2 1/2 cups and to be used for the pie filling. If you have extra sweet potato, save it. I'd eat it later.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Add the remaining ingredients to the measured sweet potato mash. Mix with an electric hand mixer until smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into an unbaked 9" pie shell.

4. Place the pie in the hot oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake for about 45 mins or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Your Bijoux Box November 2016

Hello, dear readers. I'm back with a great mystery box of sparkly good stuff.

Welcome to the Black Box! Well, Your Bijoux Box is still sending their cute little Tiffany-blue boxes in the mail, but this month they have a theme. It's black and classy.

Let's check out the product card.

First, the Exotic Leather Bangle by House of Harlow, Nicole Richie's jewelry brand. This is amazing! What a great piece to layer with other bracelets for some serious arm candy.

Second, the Noir Jacket earrings. Jacket earring have been quite the rage lately. These black faceted crystals are great alone. The jacket really dials up the glam, though.

Third, we have the Noir Collar Necklace. Wow! Black faceted crystals and brassy golden chain are great together.

And lastly, a bonus piece, the Cocktail hair pin. It's so small and cute. This is a nice way to add something special to your hair.

If you can't tell, I'm loving this box. Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. For the sake of transparency, I paid for this subscription myself. It was in no way "free" or provided to me for some exchange of services. I just really liked the products and wanted to share my opinion. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Hello, dear readers!

Comfort foods seem to be a no-brainer when the weather gets chilly, especially here in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. Soups, stews, casseroles, and the like come to mind.  One of my favorite comfort foods is scalloped potatoes and ham. It's also seasonal for us since we only get a big ham a couple times a year, usually near a holiday, if not for a holiday meal.

My dear hubby is also a fan of scalloped potatoes although his Italian grandmother makes hers a little bit differently.  She puts whole pork chops on top of the potatoes instead of mixing in diced ham. Her way is pretty darn good too.

One of the best reasons to make this is that it's easy to assemble. The second best reason is that it's kid-friendly.  Any parent of a picky eater knows how foods tend to be white and full of potatoes. So, yes, this is guilty as charged! Although who's going to argue with you for making this?

3 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/8" thick
2-3 cups diced ham
1 small mild yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup AP flour
4 cups milk
black pepper, salt, garlic salt to taste

1. Grease a 9"  x 13" deep baking dish. Add sliced potatoes and diced ham.

2. In a frying pan, saute the diced onion in the butter until softened. Add the flour and cook about 2 minutes to make your roux. Season to taste.  Add all the milk, bring up to a boil, and stir well to break down any lumps. It's OK for the sauce to be thin.

3. Pour sauce over the ham and potatoes. Stir it gently in the pan.

4. Cover the pan with foil and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 1 hour. The potatoes should be fork-tender at this point.  (It is completely edible now, but I like to continue to step 5.)

5. Remove foil and bake another 20 minutes or until the top is browned to your liking.

6. Serve with my favorite sides cornbread with honey butter and succotash!

Thanks for stopping by! See you again next time!