Thursday, November 21, 2013

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Streusel

Thanksgiving is one week away. We are hosting yet again and I am frantically trying to get our menu put together. Every year I start saving recipes in magazines and pin many new ones with the intention to test drive them. Good intentions, but we often end up returning to favorites when we are a week out needing to make a decision. (And yup. That is happening again) These sweet potatoes worked really well last year and are worthy of a repeat. I love potatoes but tend to only make them around the holidays. With the amount of recipes I've collected, that might have to change this year. This recipe was found on Lauren's Latest.

For the potatoes, you will need:
*3 large sweet potatoes

*4 tablespoons brown sugar

*3 tablespoons butter

*pinch salt

*1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the streusel, you will need:
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

*1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Fork the sweet potatoes to create numerous holes. a Bake for about 40 minutes, or until soft.

2. Allow cooked sweet potatoes to cool slightly. Then slice in half, scooping out the centers into a bowl, leaving about a 1/4 inch border of sweet potato with the skin. Place the potato skins back on the baking sheet.

3. In the bowl of sweet potato, stir in brown sugar, butter, salt, and cinnamon until smooth. Spoon or pipe the filling back into the potato skin shells. (We stopped at this step when prepping ahead of time. We made the streusel and warmed the potato skins shortly before serving)

4. In another small bowl, combine all ingredients for the streusel. Mix together until all the ingredients start sticking together. You might want to use a fork to help blend the butter as it warms. Top the filled sweet potatoes with the streusel. Bake 20-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Recipe Swap: Lighter Creamy Garlic Pasta

It's recipe swap time again. I'm thankful to participate in these swaps since they remind me about this little old blog I have here. Sarah over at Taste of Home Cooking hosts these What's Cooking swaps. This month's theme was vegetarian recipes. I was assigned the blog Cookaholic Wife and decided to try this pasta recipe. I didn't make a true vegetarian recipe because I used chicken stock since it's what we had on hand and what the original recipe called for. That could easily be swapped out for a vegetable stock to keep this vegetarian. This pasta dish came together quickly and was a perfect comfort dish. It would thicken more with a heavier milk, but I loved it just the way it was.

You will need:
*1 tablespoon butter
*4 cloves garlic, minced
*1 teaspoon olive oil
*pinch of salt and pepper
*3 cups fat-free low sodium chicken broth
*3/4 cup milk (I used skim)
*1/2 pound linguine
*1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*fresh parsley, minced, optional (I ended up using some dried parsley topping)

1. Heat the butter, garlic and olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.
2. Once the butter has melted fully, add the salt, pepper, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a boil.
3. Add the linguine and allow to cook according to package directions, stirring frequently so the mixture doesn't boil over.
4. Once fully cooked, stir in the cheese then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Serve with additional cheese and parsley if desired.