Pumpkin Streusel Slab Pie

Pumpkin-Streusel Slab Pie

Disclosure: This recipe was created and originally posted on Pillsbury’s website.

In the age-old debate of the champion between sweet potato and pumpkin pie, I have always voted for sweet potato pie. (You should too, btw.) I shunned all the naysayers who thought pumpkin pie was the way to go for so long, that I almost believed them! That was until I actually made this recipe for myself. What I’ve discovered is that a lot of pumpkin pie recipes in the world actually mask the pumpkin flavor with a bunch of spices, milk/cream, and other ingredients. It took baking a version similar to how I make my sweet potato pies to make me see the light on how great the pumpkin pie can be. (Though I’m still #TeamSweetPotato.)

Pumpkin Streusel Slab Pie

The great thing about this iteration of a classic recipe is that it’s in slab pie form. SLAB PIE! That means it’s great for a crowd—a whole baking sheet of pie goodness for your next gathering or party. (The Super Bowl is around the corner, in case you forgot.) This version also has an oat streusel topping to finish it off. Visit Pillsbury’s website for this Pumpkin Streusel Slab Pie recipe.

Pumpkin Streusel Slab Pie

Where do you stand in the pumpkin versus sweet potato pie debate?

Disclosure: This recipe was created and originally posted on Pillsbury’s website.

Rainbow Chard and Potato Soup

Rainbow Chard and Potato Soup

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the US Potato Board‘s “9th Wonder of the World” campaign.

Isn’t fresh produce just gorgeous? I mean, look at this rainbow chard:

Rainbow Chard

But I digress. Today I’m here to talk about potatoes. Though it’s impossible to hate anything fried (fries, chips) or full of butter (mashed), potatoes don’t need to be artery-clogging in order to be delicious. Potatoes are also able to take center stage in a meal instead of being relegated to the supporting cast. I pair some thin-skinned spuds with leafy greens for this quick and easy soup recipe that is perfect to bring to the office for a work lunch (I surely did with this recipe) or as a simple weekday dinner. While this is a pretty light and healthy soup overall (it’s also gluten-free and vegan-friendly), the potatoes help bulk up the soup to provide you with energy to last throughout the day. I used rainbow chard primarily because it looked pretty (I’m a simple human that likes shiny things), but most any dark, leafy green should do. Also, I especially liked the little kick of spice in this soup. This soup recipe will make your kitchen smell wonderful, so be sure to keep any starving children or hungry roommates away until it’s done simmering.

Rainbow Chard and Potato Soup

Rainbow Chard and Potato Soup Recipe:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (including stems)
  • 1 cup white wine, such as chardonnay
  • 4 cups diced red- and white-skinned potatoes
  • 1 quart unsalted chicken or vegetable stock

Yield: about 2 quarts (4 to 6 servings)

Rainbow Chard

Procedure:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, red pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper, and cook until the onions begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the rainbow chard and the white wine and cook until the greens have wilted and the wine has reduced slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes and stock and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Rainbow Chard and Potato Soup

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the US Potato Board‘s “9th Wonder of the World” campaign.

Here’s a video recipe from the US Potato Board for a Potato and Butternut Frittata.



Spinach Bacon Frittata

Spinach Bacon Frittata

Oy… It seems that ever since the latest WordPress release I’ve been having a *few* issues with my site (in case you couldn’t already tell from its temporarily different appearance). It has forced me to switch themes (for the time being, at least) until I try to figure out what happened. There was also an extended period of time where I wasn’t even able to upload any new posts—can you imagine the frustration?!

Spinach Bacon Frittata

It seems that I’ve at least been able to figure that last part out. (Thank goodness!) I suppose this is the nasty part about being a food blogger that people sometimes don’t discuss. It’s more than just taking pretty pictures and writing about food—there’s a whole technical back-end that you need to worry about too. Though I consider myself to be technically savvy, anything to do with web programming is out of my wheel house. My frustration with the situation was definitely starting to get to me, so I’d like to apologize if I was a little short with anyone the past couple of weeks.

Spinach Bacon Frittata

With all of that it mind, please bear with me as I try to make my site design beautiful again. And if you happen to know of any particularly great resources, I’d love to hear about them! Now, moving on…

Spinach Bacon Frittata

I got a macro lens for Christmas and these are the first images posted to the site using it! It’s the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 STM lens in case you want to check it out for yourself. I’m still getting used to it, but I think it will add some new and different dynamics to my food photography. This post contains more images than usual because there were just too many great ones to choose from! The image below might be my favorite out of everything in this post. Which one do you like to most?

Spinach Bacon Frittata

Oh, let’s not forget about the actual food itself! A frittata is a great “clean out the fridge” meal. The only required ingredient is eggs, but other than that you can mix in just about anything else you have on hand. This frittata recipe uses up some spinach that was starting to reach the end of its life. That plus some bacon, cheese, and all the fixings, and you’ve got yourself a winning dish! And though the frittata is usually thought of as more of a breakfast or brunch item, it makes a great meal anytime of the day.

Spinach Bacon Frittata

Spinach Bacon Frittata:

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 ounces spinach (about 1/2 one of those bags)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs*
  • 1/4 shredded Cheddar cheese
  • sour cream, for serving
  • sliced chives, for serving

Spinach Bacon Frittata

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Arrange the bacon in a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Place the skillet over medium-low heat and fry the bacon, flipping occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the rendered fat in the pan. Crumble the bacon when cool enough to handle.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and add the spinach along with the salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Add the eggs to the spinach in the skillet along with three-fourths of the crumbled bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggs just start to set on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake in the oven until fully set, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a plate and top with some sour cream, chives, and the remaining bacon.

Spinach Bacon Frittata

*I used four medium eggs and ate the whole thing by myself… If you’re not a fat ass and/or are into sharing, this recipe can easily feed a crowd by just increasing the number of eggs (and other ingredients as you see fit).

Curry Lentil Chili

Curry Lentil Chili

I mentioned in my previous post about how I intend to try to lose a little bit of weight over the coming months (bikini season will be here before we know it). In addition to actually getting my money’s worth out of my gym membership, I’m also planning on not living on a diet consisting solely of fried foods and booze. Part of that includes taking more of a Dan Barber approach to eating—less meat-centric meals and more of all the other stuff. By making this vegan chili to bring to work for lunch (and getting a salad one day), I (somewhat randomly) was a vegan for breakfast and lunch all during the week! I didn’t realize until about halfway through, but felt committed once I realized it was happening to try something new for myself. Aside from the fact that I grew tired of eating the same thing day after day (hence the salad thrown in), this lentil chili recipe didn’t make me feel like I was missing out on anything.

Curry Lentil Chili

During my recent internet browsing I discovered that the UN General Assembly has gone so far as to declare 2016 the International Year of Pulses. And to answer the question of what is a “pulse”:

“Pulse crops such as lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are a critical part of the general food basket.  Pulses are a vital source of plant-based proteins and amino acids for people around the globe and should be eaten as part of a healthy diet to address obesity, as well as to prevent and help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary conditions and cancer; they are also an important source of plant-based protein for animals.”

So without really knowing, it seems I’ve become part of some sort of movement. Care to join me?

Instead of the “traditional” chili flavors, I used curry powder as my main flavoring agent. Curry powder is a spice mix generally consisting of turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili peppers—many of which wouldn’t be out of place in even the most standard of chili recipes. Sweet potatoes supply some great nutritional value and the lentils give the chili some much needed textural contrast. The recipe below makes A LOT, so feel free to scale it back to prevent lentil chili burnout, or you can freeze some of it like I ended up doing.

Vegan Curry Lentil Chili:

  • vegetable oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 bell peppers (red, orange, and yellow), seeded and diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups green lentils, picked and rinsed

Yield: 8 servings

Curry Lentil Chili

Procedure:

  1. Heat some oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes. (Add more oil as necessary throughout this and the next step to prevent the vegetables from sticking.)
  2. Add the peppers, onion, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and some salt and cook until the vegetables start to soften, another 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the vegetables evenly and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, water, and lentils, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Baked Bacon

The Easiest Way to Cook Bacon

Happy New Year!!! I don’t know about you, but 2015 was a bit of a doozy. It was a year full of ups, downs, and sideways turns. It may not have been all good all the time, but I have to say that I learned and grew a lot from all of the experiences I faced in the past 365 days. I think I’ve learned my lesson, so hopefully I won’t have to experience THAT again.

One of my resolutions for the new year—like most of the world—is to try to lose some weight. But for me that means actually getting my money’s worth out of my gym membership instead of trying to stick to some diet of rabbit food. That means there’s definitely room for bacon! Most of the time I only cook a few strips of bacon at a time, so the standard stovetop method suits my needs just fine. However, whenever you want more than just a few pieces of bacon—which is most of the time if we’re honest—you’ll either need a large skillet or multiple batches. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Baked Bacon

Here’s another breakfast item that’s perfectly suited for the oven. Baking your bacon in the oven frees up your time and attention to focus on the other aspects of your breakfast menu. Plus, by using the oven you can cook a whole pack of bacon if you wanted to with ease. (Not that anyone would ever need to do that…)

The Easiest Way to Cook Bacon:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup) and arranged the slices of bacon on top.
  3. Bake until your desired crispiness (25 minutes for the pictures shown here).
  4. Let cool slightly and drain on paper towels. You can also save the bacon fat in a jar for later for anything from frying chicken to baking cookies.
  5. Eat.

Baked Bacon

Resolve to eat more bacon in the new year with this easy cooking method.

Baked Chicken Thighs and Root Vegetables

Baked Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

Disclosure: This recipe was originally created for Pillsbury.

I saw a post on social media recently that reads “that bit between Christmas and New Year where you don’t know what day it is, who you are or what your suppose to be doing [sic].” Truer (and more grammatically incorrect) words have never been written. It’s my last day home with my family before I jet back to New York City to try and remember what normal life was like. Though the weather kept me stranded in the house yesterday, it was still a pretty great trip. I got to hang out with a couple of friends and spend some quality time with a large chunk of my family. (I even beat my dad at bid whist a few times.) However, the best part of this trip—by far—has been getting to meet my niece, Madison! Isn’t that the cutest face you’ve ever seen?!?! Needless to say—I’m obsessed. (If you follow me on Instagram, then this is old news.)

Madison Michelle Beasley Hutcherson

Back to the food… I’m not sure if I’ve made the announcement on here yet, but I started creating recipes for Pillsbury over the summer. Here’s one of the recipes I created for them recently. Baked chicken is my go-to recipe for a simple, afterwork dinner. Below is my straightforward baked chicken recipe, but you can customize it however you like with any of your favorite seasonings and sauces. By throwing some vegetables and potatoes in the oven with the chicken you end up with an incredibly easy one pan meal! It’s the perfect dish to add to your repertoire if you’re looking to cook more meals at home in the New Year.

Baked Chicken Thighs and Root Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 pound carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 pound baby (new) potatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder

Yield: 4 servings

Baked Chicken Thighs and Root Vegetables

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the chicken, carrots, and potatoes on it.
  2. Drizzle the pan with the oil and toss the chicken, carrots, and potatoes to coat. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder, being sure to season both sides of the chicken thighs.
  3. Bake the chicken skin-side up until golden and cooked through, about 40 minutes.
Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

The weather outside might not be frightful, but Christmas is still just a mere few days away. The standard dessert of the season is indisputably the cookie thanks to its connection to an old, overweight man that breaks into peoples’ homes. I recently made these chocolate white chocolate chip cookies to bring to a holiday party, and I must say that they turned out quite well. The cookie recipe includes a hint of coffee to play off of the chocolate flavor. Then white chocolate chips and sliced almonds get mixed into the batter before the cookie dough is baked. They come out perfectly moist and decadent. All that’s left is to grab a glass of milk to go with them.

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, instant coffee, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with an electric hand-mixer until evenly mixed. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. On low speed, add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until incorporated. Add in the white chocolate chips and almonds and continue mixing until evenly distributed.
  4. Scoop onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring to a baking rack to cool completely.

Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

What cookies are you making for Santa—or yourself—this Christmas?

Salted Honey Sweet Potato Pie

Salted Honey Sweet Potato Pie

I have a confession: I got lazy. With all of the commotion surrounding the #PattiePie review videos I decided to do an update to my traditional sweet potato pie recipe. This is when I made the instructional video on how to make the perfect pie crust, but then I never got around to actually posting this recipe to show the end result. Well folks, here it is! The honey adds a bit of nuance to the sweetness and some orange zest brightens the whole thing up. It gets finished with a sprinkling of sea salt on top for that salty-sweet combo that we have all grown to love.

Salted Honey Sweet Potato Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • One 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (you’ll want to use the good ‘ish)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Yield: One 9-inch pie

Salted Honey Sweet Potato Pie

Procedure:

  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Simmer, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly and remove the skins. Put the peeled potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer).
  2. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are still warm, add the butter so it will melt. Mix on medium to medium-high speed until the sweet potatoes are smooth and the butter is fully melted and incorporated. Add in the sugar, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg, and orange zest, and mix until evenly combined.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell and sprinkle with the sea salt.
  5. Bake at 425˚F for 20 minutes; reduce the temperature to 350˚F and continue baking for 40 minutes more. (Cover the edge of the pie with foil if it starts to get too dark.)
  6. Let cool on a baking rack before serving.

Salted Honey Sweet Potato Pie

 

Pie Baking Tip: Starting the pie at a higher temperature and then reducing it to finish cooking helps to create an extra flaky crust.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I’ve only ever known the canned, jellied cranberry sauce at holiday gatherings up until a couple of weeks ago. And to be honest, I kind of love it. Something about popping open the can, slicing it up, and placing it next to to the stuffing on the dinner buffet just SCREAMS Americana to me. But being the food lover I am, I decided it was time to branch out and make cranberry sauce from scratch. (And I’m glad I did.) Though the processed stuff is certainly always welcome on my plate, this fresh cranberry sauce recipe was a revelation! I finally understood how cranberry sauce earned its place on the holiday menu in the first place.

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

This post is a (pseudo-)twofer: a traditional cranberry sauce recipe, and then some additional ingredients to take things up a notch and modernize the stuff your mom makes. The quantities listed are for a large batch, so feel free to cut it in half if you’re not feeding an army. (Though any leftovers are great swirled in a bowl of Greek yogurt for breakfast.)

Traditional Cranberry Sauce:

  • 2 pounds fresh cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

Yield: about 6 cups

Procedure:

Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and simmer until the berries burst and the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. *Drops Mic.*

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Not Yo’ Mama’s Cranberry Sauce:

  • Traditional Cranberry Sauce ingredients from above
  • 2 tablespoons chopped lemon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

Though the fact alone that it’s not from a can makes the traditional recipe different from my mother’s, the addition of lemon thyme and pink peppercorns to the traditional recipe above makes this cranberry sauce recipe even more unique. Everyone that tried it had nothing but rave reviews.

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the OXO ON Illuminating Immersion Blender. All views are my own.

OXO ON Immersion Blender

Hello to you too, December.

Though my Christmas tree went up a couple of days ago, it is still technically fall. With that in mind, here’s an easy vegan and gluten free soup with sweet potatoes, onions, and coconut milk. You can choose whatever spiced you want to help make this soup recipe your own, but I opted for turmeric and allspice for color and autumnal goodness. I also fried up some fresh sage leaves as a garnish (because I had some leftover from Thanksgiving), but it also just came to me that almonds would be a great finishing touch for this sweet potato soup too.

Sauteed Sweet Potatoes

I used the new OXO ON Illuminating Immersion Blender to prepare this velvety soup. To be honest with you, I already had an immersion blender in my arsenal, but when I saw the sleek and sexy design of this one I couldn’t help myself. It even lights up! (My not-so-inner gadget nerd especially loved this feature, albeit it’s somewhat superfluous when using in shallow containers.) One significant upgrade versus my old immersion blender is the speed dial that allows you to control the power instead of just an on/off button. I recall thinking to myself that the soup was particularly smooth…

Ingredients:

  • vegetable oil, for sautéing
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • salt and black pepper
  • one 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for serving (optional)
  • fried sage, for serving (optional)

Sauteed Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Milk

Procedure:

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and onions and cook for a few minutes. Add the allspice, turmeric, and some salt and pepper and continue cooking until browned.

2. Add the coconut milk and water and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

3. Puree until smooth, adjusting the consistency with additional water if needed.

4. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with more salt and pepper. Divide among bowls, drizzle with some olive oil and garnish with fried sage.

Blending Soup

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the OXO ON Illuminating Immersion Blender. All views are my own.

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup