Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos

January 28, 2009 at 8:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos

I found this recipe a few years ago when I was getting desperate for new vegetarian dishes for Lent.  I am so glad that I found this recipe, it is a nice easy dinner, great for leftovers and perfect vegetarian meal for the non-vegetarian.

I always forget how much this really makes every time I make it. As good as they are, by the time we actually finish all of the burritos we’re pretty burrito-ed out. You could easily half or quarter this recipe for a more manageable size. And besides, mashing 6 cups of kidney beans can get quite tiring!

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
Makes 12.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Cook and mash sweet potatoes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Saute onion and garlic until soft.
  4. Stir in the beans and mash.
  5. Gradually stir in water and heat the mixture until warm. 
  6. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper, and soy sauce.
  7. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the 12 warm flour tortillas.
  8. Top with cheese. Note: I added sour cream and green onion. Just add whatever you normally like to your burrito.
  9. Fold up tortillas burrito style and place on a baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes. Note: I generally heat up the burritos as we eat them, I wrap the “extra” tortillas up and heat them up in the oven at a later time a little bit longer.
  11. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Now that Lent is coming up again, I’m sure we will be making these soon!


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Sweet Potatoes, Take 2

January 28, 2009 at 8:15 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

Sweet Potatoes, Take 2

Just a few more recipes from Thanksgiving. This is actually a picture of the leftovers, and they were just as good as the original, just not as pretty. I love sweet potatoes, and have them year round.

Sweet Potatoes, Take 2
The Pioneer Woman


4 Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pecans, chopped (measure before they are chopped)
1/2 Cup Flour
3/4 stick butter


  1. Wash 4 medium sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven at 375 until they are fork tender, about 30-35 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. After the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them open and put the flesh into a large bowl.
  4. Add sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, and salt. With a potato masher mash them up until mixed but not smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl add brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and butter. With a pastry cutter or fork, mash together until combined.
  6. Spread sweet potato mixture into a baking dish, top with the crumb mixture. 
  7. Bake in a 400 oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Maybe I’m biased because I love sweet potatoes, but these were so good! I don’t know if my family has ever done nuts on top of sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, but the topping was delish. Another keeper for years to come!

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Chicken Piccata

January 28, 2009 at 7:49 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Chicken Piccata

And guess what, I am still catching up! We had our friends over for dinner a few weeks ago (they have been over for dinner many times since) and we usually try something new every time. This night it was chicken piccata. I have never cooked with capers before, so this was a bit of an experiment.

We served this with pasta.

Chicken Piccata
Cassie’s Ruminations
Makes 4 servings.


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb chicken tenderloins or thinly sliced skinless boneless chicken breast (I used chicken breast and tenderized it. )
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons flour
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons drained capers
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1-2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  1. Rinse and dry chicken. Note: I went ahead and tenderized the chicken.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lightly coat the chicken with flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
  6. Reduce heat on pan to medium-low. Add garlic and capers to the skillet. Cook for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and stir to coat compleatly with oil, making a roux.
  8. Add broth and lemon juice, increasing the heat to medium-high. Cook for another minute or tow, stirring constantly. Sauce should thicken and all of the flour should be incorporated.
  9. Stir in the parsley, then return the chicken to the skillet. Coat the chicken completely in the sauce.
  10. Serve immediately and enjoy!

This was good. Not sure if it is my favorite, but I will be trying it again. As usual I doubled the recipe and had plenty of leftovers! Something new to add to the dinner rotation!

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

January 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This recipe is a new favorite. I discovered it a few years ago, and from what I can tell every family has their own way of making it. I just picked one of the variations and tried it, I love strawberries and it sounded too interesting to not try. Ever since then, it has been requested over and over again. Misha’s work requested it for the work pot-luck, every time he comes home with an empty dish. I just discovered this year that his work divides it into 6 pieces, and the 6 of them eat it! I had thought that the potluck party was a few more people, but little did I know that he and his coworkers eat this entire thing themselves! His coworkers now request it every pot-luck.

Though it is very easy to make, it does take a few hours (not of actual cooking time, but do this, then cool, do that then, refrigerate, then do this and let sit overnight for the jello to set). So it just takes a little bit of planning ahead.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
various sources, this is one of those recipes where every family has their own variation


1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar, divided
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1 8 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed (cool whip)
1 6 ounce package strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 16 ounce package frozen strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix together pretzels, 4 1/2 Tablespoons sugar, and melted butter.
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Note: Be sure to not overbake, the crust will get too hard.
  4. Set aside the pretzel crust to cool completely.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Fold in the whipped topping. (I forgot this once, oops! It still turned out yummy though!)
  7. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled pretzel crust. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
  8. In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water.
  9. Once mixed, mix in the frozen strawberries and stir until thawed.
  10. Spread mixture evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Note: I normally pull out the strawberries and “organize” them on the cream cheese, since they don’t really spread evenly themselves. That and if you can place the strawberries in a quadrant-like format, you can easily slice down the grid, and everyone gets a strawberry! But I’m crazy like that.
  11. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least a couple hours. Note: I usually let it sit overnight.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

A few quick notes, I only make this the night before. I wouldn’t let it sit any longer than that. Also, after the first slice be sure to finish the rest quickly. Misha likes it a few days later, but I find that the pretzel crust gets a little soggy and messy. Though it usually doesn’t stay around that long. It can also be hard to cut, so if you are taking it to a pot-luck bring a nice sturdy knife to get through the crust. I also like to have people guess what the crust is, I had my Father-in-Law stumped for quite some time! ry, Eas

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Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Pumpkin Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

Misha loves pumpkin. I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan (shhh, don’t tell him) but I do enjoy a good pumpkin cheesecake. When looking on PW’s web site for Thanksgiving ideas, the pumpkin cheesecake caught me. I’ve recently started enjoying nuts more, and pumpkin, caramel, and cheesecake… what could be better! I’m not much of a gingersnaps fan, so instead of a gingersnap crust, I used the plain old grahm crackers with pecans. The printable recipe is here, on PW’s web site. Mine took signifigantlly longer to cook, but I think that my springform pan was slightly smaller.

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January 27, 2009 at 6:06 pm (Uncategorized) (, )


Ok, so I don’t have a picture of the uncarved turkey from our thanksgiving. I guess we were all to hungry!

I used the Turkey Perfect brine (I could not find the brine ingredients that I was looking for). I did half apple juice and half water, instead of just water. I followed their instructions for cooking the turkey and he turned out great! I hope to make my own brine next year (with more planning ahead) but I would use their mix again.

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Stuffing (Cornbread and Apple Bacon)

January 27, 2009 at 6:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Back to food blogging now… whew! I am pretty far behind! I am still working on Thanksgiving, and still working off those calories! Oye!

If you know me well, you know that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. If you know me even better, you know that I have a weakness for stuffing. Nothing like a good stuffing. This year I made two, one was PW’s Cornbread Stuffing, the other was an Apple Bacon Stuffing.

PW’s Cornbread Stuffing

Cornbread Stuffing

Apple Bacon Stuffing

Apple Bacon Stuffing

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed in PW’s cornbread stuffing, it didn’t have as much flavor as I had anticipated. It was still good, and maybe with a touch more of something it would be better. I may try it again, but I may look at a few more recipes to get some ideas of how to give it a bit more flavor.

The Apple Bacon Stuffing on the other hand was delicious. I will be keeping this recipe and doing it again.

Apple Bacon Stuffing
Cooks Illustrated, November 1998


1 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
4 medium ribs celery, diced medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2teaspoons dried sage or 4 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh marjoram leaves
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 cups dried 1/2-inch cubes from one 1-pound loaf French bread, potato, or challah. I used French bread.
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
3 large eggs , beaten lightly
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted


  1. Dry the bread you choose by cutting 1/2 inch slices, laying them in a single layer on baking sheets or cooling racks, and leaving them out overnight. The next day, cut the slices into 1/2 inch cubes and allow them to dry for another night. Note: I just cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes and let it dry overnight.
  2. Be sure that the oven rack is in the center position (course this is assuming that all you are cooking is stuffing, and at Thanksgiving we all wish that we were blessed with four ovens). Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp and brown, about 12 minutes.
  4. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Pour off all but 6 tablespoons of bacon fat from pan.
  5. Return skillet to heat, add onion, apples, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes.
  6. Stir in Sage, thyme, marjoram, parsley, and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  7. Put onion mixture in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Add bread cubes, bacon, chicken stock, eggs, and salt. Toss gently to evenly mix.
  9. Put mixture into a buttered 13 by 9 casserole dish, drizzle with melted butter and cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes (a bit longer for challah).
  11. Remove foil and bake until golden brown on top (about 15-20 minutes).
  12. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is a keeper! Even better, we had leftovers.

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I got tagged!

January 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Kristin from Le Petit Perogi tagged me on her blog a few weeks ago (ok, a month ago… but I’m just catching up). So now I get to share a few things about myself, and pass along the love. =)

So, a few random/weird things about myself:

  1. I never grab the first item, anywhere, anytime, if at all possible. When grocery shopping I will never buy the first item on the shelf, I always go a few back. If there is only one thing of an item, I seriously consider not purchasing it because there is no second “untouched” item. This goes for all shopping, not just groceries.
  2. I am weird about formatting. If you are going to align something, align it, don’t use spaces to move it into the correct spot. Same goes for tab, use the paragraph style, not tab to apply an indent. Also, single space between sentences, it is no longer necessary to double-space. And this is going to sound crazy, but I actually enjoy re-formatting or formatting documents. I could be perfectly happy doing it all day long.ok, we have now discovered my hidden obsessive-compulsiveness. we must move on.
  3. A family friend of ours was appointed Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division under President Obama. Not that it means that I’ll be getting any fun trips or opportunities in DC anytime soon…
  4. I make my own laundry detergent. I am looking to make my own green cleaners.
  5. Coupons thrill me. Nothing like scoring a great deal!
  6. I love Disney, a perfect day would be an uncrowded day at Disneyland with Misha (and all the rides open with no lines).
  7. I am a huge Survivor and Amazing Race fan. I would go on Survivor, but people are too mean at this point. I would love to be on The Amazing Race with Misha. On a sidenote, Misha did an amazing wedding proposal using Amazing Race clues.

Ok, so now for my 7 taged (in no particular order):

Have fun everyone! And now to update my blog!

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I’m here, Happy 2009!!!

January 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm (Uncategorized)

Well, it seems like I have been up to my neck in everything lately. Work has been crazy, stuff at home has been crazy, and everything in between has been crazy. I’ve been busy thinking about all the blog updates that I need to write, but other than thinking about it I haven’t had much more time than that. I have a ton of recipes to blog about, and even more blogs to catch up on in my reader.

Other than being very thankful that 2008 is over, I am thankful that 2009 has gotten to a good start. Lots of the events from 2008 have finally wrapped themselves up. Abby has been given the all clear to be a normal puppy again (and once all of her hair grows back it will be all behind us). Mollie is doing great, she’s just enjoying her retirement now. And though the year went out with a bang with Misha’s car getting totaled, we now have a spiffy new car. Our first new car, safer and perfect for road trips (and a bit more family-oriented… not that my in-laws noticed at all). So though 2008 was a rough year that we will never forget, Misha and I made it through (along with the pups) and I can only think that we have been strengthened by all that happened.

Misha started school again this week. He’s taking three classes while working full time. I’m hoping that all of his hard work will pay off and he will get into Nursing School at Concordia, and start in January 2010. It is hard to believe all that is happening. Our 10-year high school reunions are coming up (has it really been that long?) and we’ll be celebrating our 3-year wedding anniversary in a week. Our two good friends are getting married in March. So many good things to look forward to this year.

And with that I have a ton of blog updates that won’t write themselves. =) Time to get this year started!

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