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Sweet Potato Pie with Bourbon

This is a mash-up (pun intended) of a couple different sweet potato pie recipes I dug up from my cookbook library. Fair warning – use as decent of a bourbon as you can afford, because there is a blast of bourbon flavor in this dessert, even after baking.

Preheat oven to 400º F and prepare your favorite pastry pie crust and place in a deep dish pie plate.

Peel a couple good-sized sweet potatoes. Cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise in 1/2″ slices. Place in a 2 quart pan, add a couple of tablespoons of water and set on the fire, covered. When things start to steam, turn down the heat just enough to keep things from burning ,but still steaming. Plenty of water will come out of the potatoes and you won’t be left with a soggy mess of boiled sweet potatoes. Trust me.

Potatoes should be soft and done in about 15-20 minutes. Cool, mash, and measure out 2 cups.

Blend until smooth in a mixing bowl:

2 cups freshly mashed, steamed sweet potato
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 t vanilla extract (or 1/2 t. double strength Penzey’s vanilla extract)
1/2 cup good bourbon
1 T lemon juice
3/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
heaping 1/4 t each powdered ginger, cardamon, and cinnamon

Pour into the prepared crust and put in the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 325º degrees. Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until done. To test, insert a table knife halfway between rim and middle of pie – should come out fairly clean.

Cool, and serve with whipped cream if desired.

That Time I Threw a Bunch of Stuff in a Bowl…

…and out popped a really good casserole. Amounts extremely approximate – I made it up as I went along, and you can, too.

The trick is the right ratio of sauce to stuff. I wouldn’t recommend penne, rotini, shells or elbow mac – you’ll lose too much of the sauce BUT if that’s what you have, adjust the sauce amounts accordingly.

What-cha-got Pasta Bake

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • couple of ounces of crumbled feta
  • about 1/2 cup random shredded cheese left in the fridge
  • 4 mini roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large green onion, minced
  • 1/4 minced fresh parsley
  • freshly ground pepper (you won’t need salt because of the soup and salty feta)
  • Meat from an extremely large roasted chicken breast – skin removed and diced.
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets – steamed.
  • 1/2-3/4 lb thin spaghetti angel hair, linguine, etc. cooked and drained (get the Mueller’s pot sized thin spaghetti, what a gift to the cook and his/her cleanup)
  1. Mix the first three ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add everything else and mix together. If it seems dry, add some more vegetable broth.
  3. Spray non-stick spray in a casserole dish large enough to hold everything, pitch the contents of the bowl in there. Cover and bake at 350º F until heated through and bubbly (30 min. give or take).
  4. Serve with a green salad or some other vegetable that needs to be used up from your crisper.
  5. Do not expect to have leftovers.

Quick & Easy Southwest Chicken Skillet

I’ve got a quick and easy weeknight meal for you and it takes less than 6 ingredients and that’s counting the seasoning!

2 lb boneless chicken breast halves, (about 3 large halves) sliced in half lengthwise
1 can Del Monte Petite Tomatoes with Green Chiles (drained BUT reserve the liquid)
1 can whole roasted green chiles, roughly chopped up
1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Chicken Soup
Penzey’s Adobo Seasoning (or your favorite TexMex/Southwest seasoning)
Olive or Canola oil

Preheat a deep skillet, add some oil. Season chicken pieces on both sides and brown in in the oil in batches.

While chicken is cooking, combine soup, drained tomatoes and chilies in a bowl.

Return all the chicken to the pan, pour sauce over. Cover and simmer 20-30 min or until tender. Check half-way through cooking to see if the sauce is thick/thin enough for your liking. If too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice.

Serve as-is or with rice or pasta to soak up the sauce.

Serves 6
220 calories per serving (chicken and sauce only)