Happy holidays from the FoodieTots fam to yours.
We hope you’ve made many happy & delicious memories
this holiday season.
One of my favorite things about the holidays is learning the stories behind treasured family recipes. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to holiday meals, and yet I can’t resist the occasional tinkering or experimentation. While our Thanksgiving menu generally resembles the meals I had growing up, I’ve taken a few liberties with some dishes. We rarely spend the holiday with my own family, so I make the sweeter cranberry sauce we prefer instead of my aunt’s cranberry-orange relish, and add blue cheese to my mom’s green bean amandine. Other things, like sweet potato casserole, have made their way to our menu even though I don’t recall having had them as a kid.
For one of the first Thanksgiving meals my husband and I hosted, I decided to add a Southern twist to that ubiquitous sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. (This Oregon girl and New York boy now reside in Virginia; though just slightly in “The South,” there are a few Southern favorites we’ve embraced, like bourbon.) A splash of bourbon and crunch of pecans counters the sweetness, and the result is a fully-loaded crowd pleaser of a casserole that’s earned its place on the table every year. The kids go nuts for the marshmallows while the grown-ups like the sophistication of the bourbon. I’m kidding of course, the grown-ups go just as nuts for the marshmallows as the kids. After all, at what other meal of the year can you get away with topping the vegetables with candy?
Recipe: Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon
1. Wash, peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Place in a large pot and fill with cold water to one inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread potatoes in an 9×12-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, brown sugar, pecan pieces, and bourbon. Place marshmallows on top.
3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until marshmallow tops are golden brown. Makes 6 servings.
What’s your family’s favorite holiday dish? Macy’s wants to know: Macy’s is cooking up a storm at its Facebook page and asking fans to share their most-loved recipes here. Then, fans can vote for their favorites for a chance to win fun prizes! The Facebook contest is open until November 30.
And, you can enter to win a prize right here: Macy’s is offering one lucky FoodieTots reader a choice of one of four products:
- Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Ceramic Covered Casserole Dish (perfect for sweet potato casserole!)
- Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Hard Anodized Fry Pans (set of 3)
- Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Stainless Steel 15” Roaster with Roasting Rack
To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing which item you would choose and what you’d cook with it. The giveaway ends Friday, November 25 at 11:59pm, Eastern time. The winner will be notified by email so be sure to leave a valid email when you comment (will only be visible to me). For additional entries, tweet or share the contest on Facebook, then leave an additional comment here letting me know you’ve done so. Good luck, and happy cooking!
Update: Thanks everyone for entering our holiday giveaway — the contest is now closed and the lucky commenter is #13, Sara. Check your email, Sara!
There’s a lot going on at the Foodie Tots’ house these days. The foodie tot himself graduated from Pre-K on Friday. We hosted a small post-graduation brunch on Saturday, there are relatives in town and we’re about to head out of town on the first of several summer trips. Throw in work and all the other more mundane items on the never-ending “to do” list and we’re lucky if we even remember to eat.
On busy days like these it’s nice to have a few basic recipes to fall back on. My protein-packed “Peach Power Smoothies” is one such recipe — a great breakfast for Meatless Monday and any other hectic day of the week.
Did you make it to the farmers market this weekend? Around here, cherries are beginning to appear, and garlic scapes, summer squash and squash blossoms have been spotted as well. Visit us on Facebook to share what you found at the market this week.
It would be hard to out-do the highs and lows of 2010. Looking back, some of our most memorable meals weren’t even homemade — such as the pizza dinner in our new dining room the day we closed on the house, and the first sushi after the foodie bebe’s birth. Between the many firsts still in store for the baby, and the boy starting kindergarten in the fall (?!), 2011 is bound to be full of so many more memories. But before we forge forward, here are just a few favorite Foodie Tots moments of 2010:
3 favorite Sweet Treats –
3 favorite Farmers Market Meals –
And tooting my own horn for a minute, 3 notable honors:
And looking forward now … the foodie bebe ate her first solids on the first day of 2011:
Stay tuned for a few posts on baby food as we kick off 2011 with a renewed focus on good food for even the littlest eaters. Thanks for reading these past three years, and please drop me a note if there are topics you’d like to see more of in 2011. Cheers!
One of the wonderful things about the Jewish culture is its rich culinary tradition. Recipes are lovingly passed down from generation to generation, so that every family seemingly has its own variations on the same common themes. Latkes, or fried potato pancakes, are the traditional food of Hanukkah. (Who doesn’t love a holiday dedicated to foods fried in oil? You’re also obligated to eat jelly donuts. Yum!) Now I’m only Jewish-by-marriage, so my basic potato latke recipe actually comes from a little Chanukah book my mom bought at Crate and Barrel one year. But hey, it works! Now I know better than to tinker with classics, and I always make a plain white potato latke. But I like to add sweet potato latkes sometimes too, and these ones are gussied up a bit more with a little carrot and ginger. You could add parsnip or really any other root vegetable you have on hand. Enjoy these for Chanukah or just breakfast this weekend.
Instructions: Peel and grate the potatoes and carrots, then place in a large bowl. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl, then add to the shredded vegetables. Add matzo meal (or flour), ginger and salt and stir until just combined. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drop sweet potato mixture by heaping tablespoon full into the oil. Cook until edges appear crisp, then flip and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Outsides should be golden and crisp. Remove and place on paper-towel lined plate to drain. Serve warm, with homemade applesauce. Enjoy!