Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Potatoes--Sweet and Mashed (Paw Paw's Taters)

Hello My lovelies.....

I thought I would post a few of my favorite holiday recipes and I will start with potatoes!

I tried the sweet potato recipe from The Pioneer Woman last year and my family all agreed that it was divine and we never missed the marshmallow topped version of sweet potatoes.

The link to her printable recipe is here

Sweet Potatoes
Prep Time: 45 Minutes Cook Time: 30 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 10

4 whole Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk
2 whole Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Pecans
½ cups Flour
¾ sticks Butter
Preparation Instructions
Wash 4 medium sweet potatoes and bake them in a 375-degree oven until fork tender, about 30-35 minutes. When they are finished cooking slice them open and scrape out the flesh into a large bowl.
Add 1 cup of (regular granulated) sugar, 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of salt. With a potato masher, mash them up just enough—you don’t want to be perfectly smooth.
Now, in a separate bowl, add 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup pecans, chopped (that means measure a cup of pecans, then chop them), ½ cup flour, and ¾ stick of butter. With a pastry cutter or fork, mash together until thoroughly combined.
Spread the sweet potato mixture into a regular baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

And my favorite Mashed Potato recipe is Paw Paw's Taters. My grandfather, who, we call Paw Paw, made these one year and we all wanted to lick the plate....hence the name!

The link to the original post is here

And here is what I wrote....

Paw Paw's Taters

Pretend like you are going to make regular old mashed potatoes (which, by the way, you will never want again after you have them Paw Paw's way). So, take potato pearls, potato flakes, or actual real potatoes and cook 'em up! Now, all you do is add a block of cream cheese (use Neufchatel if you want 1/3 less fat) and a medium sized container of sour cream (fat free or lite is a-okay as well!) and mix them up with the potatoes. If you are making a wee amount (aka, single or double serving) then use far less this would probably be enough for an 8X12 pan. Now that it is all mixed and fabulous...add salt and pepper to taste and then put in the dish and spread out. Now top with some pats of butter and sprinkle with paprika and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It is SO YUM! In fact, I may need to run home and make some tonight! (By the way, I know I spell Potato(e) the old fashioned way, but I just like it better that way!)

I also have started adding about a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash when I am mixing it together and calling it Herb Party Potatoes (in the formal setting) or just Herb Paw Paw's Taters.

Other variations....
add some shredded cheese for Cheesy Taters
add some mashed sweet potatoes for Potato Delight Taters
add some bacon bits, cheese and chives for Twice Baked Taters
really, the possibilities are ENDLESS!

I will try to make the above mentioned dish and post a pic soon!

Cleaning Potatoes

Hello! Happy Friday to you all! I was reading an article about things you can safely do in a dishwasher and one of the suggestions was clean potatoes. If you are needing a large amount of potatoes (say like for Thanksgiving potatoes or a big old potatoe salad) then you can put them in the top rack of your dishwasher (with nothing else, just potatoes, no dirty dishes!) and put them through a rinse cycle on your dishwasher. They should be all clean and ready to cook. It makes cleaning a bunch of potatoes a snap! I thought it was a great idea so I thought I would pass it on.

Yum! Potatoes!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shortage of Wheat and Sugar


I went to a seminar a few weeks ago and they talked about the wheat shortage that is about to happen in this country. Evidently, the droughts and wheat stalk rust (that is not the technical term for it) has cause a vast majority of the wheat farmers across the world to not have a wheat harvest. Pretty scary!

I was chatting with a mom today who is a food buyer for a major company in our area. I asked her about the wheat shortage and she agreed and said that sugar was also going to be in shortage and the prices would continue to rise, especially as we head into baking season!


So, I hope you are or can get prepared for these shortages. It is scary to think that everything made with wheat, flour, and sugar will be going up in pricing!

It pays to live providently!

Canning Carrots & Pears

I am going to post some of my canning expereience here, just in case anyone else tried their hand at this. One of the things that I have found is that I don't always know how much to buy. So, I canned carrots yesterday and bought a 5 pound bag and it gave me 8 pints once they were canned.

We bought a box of pears, which I think is around 30 pounds, and we got 27 pints of sliced pears and 6 pints of pear sauce (like applesauce). We had about 9 pears that were bad so we could have had more. We got a really good discount on the pears since they were ripe.


I don't know about you, but we have been having lovely Fall Texas weather this last week. I personally love not having to turn on my air conditioning and my pocketbook likes that too!
I have been canning and trying out new recipes, so I am sorry to have abandoned posting as much as I usually do. Life has just been hectic!!!
As I have been canning, I have been to some seminars and demos and everyone says that this book is the Bible of Canning, so I wanted to share it with you.

This book is simple, easy to read, and has pictures! All the things I love in a cooking book. It takes you through the basics step by step. I have already canned pears, pear sauce (think apple sauce but with pears), loganberry-raspberry jam, and carrots. I have found real satisfaction in canning these things and looking at my pantry shelves and seeing those beautiful cans. A friend of mine and I have resolved to do canning at least once every other month and we are going to try to do some dry pack (aka suck the air out of the pouch or jar) canning as well. I prefer to always have essentials plus more on hand in case of emergency, so it makes me feel at peace to know that I have food in my pantry to feed my family. After my husband lost his job last year, we ate from our pantry a lot and I was so glad that I had extras on hand to get us through the financially hard times. While things certainly are not super stable in the economy, I want to rebuild my food storage and be even more prepared if that happens again.

I also want to send my heart and thoughts out to the people of Fort Hood and the tragedy that occurred yesterday with the gunman. My heart weeps for you and your loss. It is sad and maddening that a fellow soldier would do that to his own.

I hope you all can enjoy this beautiful Friday and a great weekend!

Seek out the beautiful in life!


Beautiful Basics

Life is about a journey, and you are the only one who can make yours... So, embrace life: the good, the bad, and the is the only one you've got.

Here's to being Beautiful, inside and out!