Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Comfort Food

Here are a couple of recipes for your holiday break. Both easy and like a big warm blanket on a cold day :)

Sweet Potato Pie - This is Paula Deen's recipe and is one of my favorites.The photo is not her pie, but I'm not a big meringue fan, so this is what it looks like when I make it. I also don't add the bourbon, but it probably adds to that warm feeling.


 Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled, cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup milk
  • 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 3 egg whites

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the filling, using an electric hand mixer, combine the potatoes, 1 cup of the sugar, the butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices. Mix thoroughly. Add the milk and continue to mix. Pour the filling into the pie crust and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the pie on a rack and cool to room temperature before covering with meringue.

For the meringue, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form; beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is glossy and stiff, but not dry. With a rubber spatula, spoon the meringue onto the pie, forming peaks. Make sure the meringue touches the crust all around. Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until delicately browned. Cool and serve.
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My other winter (or anytime really) favorite is Shepherd's Pie. This recipe is from SimplyRecipes.com, which emphasizes what I'm usually concerned with - simple!

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Directions

  • Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).
  • While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.
  • Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.
shepherds-pie-1.jpg shepherds-pie-3.jpg
  • Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.
  • Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.
shepherds-pie-4.jpg shepherds-pie-5.jpg
  • Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.
  • Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.
Serves four.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Claymation Christmas

This is one of my favorite Christmas specials - Claymation Christmas. I love their version of We Three Kings and Joy to the World.