Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits

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This is one of my favorite holiday recipes. We had these biscuits again this Thanksgiving, and they are marvelous! The recipe comes from Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, where I was lucky enough to intern in graduate school. I’ve altered the recipe a bit, replacing lard with butter (you’re welcome) and increasing the spices. They are sweet, spicy and moist, with enough flakiness that they are a true biscuit and not a roll. Great with ham or with soup!

This recipe makes a LOT of biscuits. If you don’t want quite that many, you can freeze the uncooked biscuits for later and just pop them onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees. Or you can just halve the recipe!

Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits (makes about 3 dozen biscuits)

  • 5 c. unbleached flour
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1 c. solid very cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 c. roasted, mashed and cooled sweet potato
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger and allspice. Combine well.
3. Cut in the butter with two knives or with your fingers, until crumbly.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the sweet potato, cream and pecans.
5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the potato mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
6. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll or pat dough to about 2″ thick.
7. Cut biscuits with a 2″ cutter and place biscuits about 1″ apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
9. Serve warm to happy guests!

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Week 49 Budget and Menu

Thanksgiving (or also Thanksgivukkah) is right around the corner and we are prepping for some serious cooking at our house! In light of the food fest that will occur next week, we’re keeping it a bit on the light side this week, and focusing quite a bit on some new vegetarian dishes.

What are you eating this week?

Budget [$55.13]

  • The Produce Box (organic spinach, organic kale, collard greens, country ham, sweet cabbage, organic sweet potatoes, broccoli, chestnuts): $31.00
  • Trader Joes (organic white beans, organic onions, curry simmering sauce, organic vegetable stock, bacon, rolls): $24.13
  • Mae Farm (sausage): $10.00

 

Menu

  • Wednesday–Out for dinner
  • Thursday–Broccoli, Spinach and White Bean Soup, rolls
  • Friday–Pasta with Kale, Bacon and Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Saturday–Curried Red Lentils with Sweet Potato and Spinach
  • Sunday–Sausage with Braised Cabbage and Apples
  • Monday–Collard Greens, Field Peas and Corn Bread
  • Tuesday–Leftover Buffet

Pumpkin Pasta

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Pumpkin is everywhere right now. In coffee, on bagels, baked in cookies, whipped into mousse, roasted, stewed and frozen. Try to avoid it. I dare you. Rather than run away from the squash invasion, I’ve embraced pumpkin and its similar fall vegetables butternut squash and acorn squash.

This pasta is coated with a thick, savory sauce that has the texture of a creamy pasta sauce without all the fat. Perfect for a chilly, fall night when you crave something as rich as mac and cheese, but still need to lace up your running shoes and move forward. This recipe is based on one for Creamy Pumpkin Pasta by A Bird and a Bean, but it reduces the fat content, ups the pumpkin and reduces the amount of meat without sacrificing flavor. Think of this as a foodie version of a cozy fleece jacket–warm, comforting and satisfying. We used a wonderful, smoked, lean Canadian bacon from Mae Farm, and this added a tremendous amount of flavor with very little meat (saving fat and $$$). If you don’t have Swiss chard, you can easily replace it with chopped, fresh spinach or another mild green.

Embrace pumpkins and fall greens this fall!

Pumpkin Pasta (makes 4 servings)

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 small, sweet onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 ounces smoked Canadian bacon, chopped
  • 1 can organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups homemade chicken broth (or 1 can)
  • 1/4 cup plain almond milk
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground, black pepper
  • 4-6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1/2 lb. ceccerece pasta (or similar shaped pasta like macaroni)
  1. Heat water for pasta in a large stock pot.
  2. While water is heating, warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook 2 minutes or until onion softens. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  3. Add the chopped Canadian bacon and cook until warmed through–about 2 minutes.
  4. Remove vegetables and meat from the pan.
  5. Add the stock and whisk to deglaze the pan, bringing up all the brown bits (they have lots of flavor).
  6. Whisk in the almond milk, pumpkin, sour cream, nutmeg, pepper and sage, and whisk well.
  7. Add the onion mixture back to the sauce and the chard, and keep warm over low heat.
  8. Cook the pasta according to directions and drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
  9. Add the cooked pasta and cheese to the sauce, tossing to coat the pasta well with sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the pasta water to thin. Pasta sauce should coat and stick to the pasta.
  10. Serve immediately.

Grilled Cheese and Sticky Fig Jam

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Who doesn’t like a gooey grilled cheese sandwich? These late winter days are teasing us with warmer daytime temperatures, but reminding us it’s still winter at night. Perfect weather for grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade tomato soup! We still have some of our sticky fig jam in the pantry, so I have taken to experimenting a bit. This combination of melty sharp cheddar and sweet figs was really good.

I’m not going to post a recipe for grilled cheese sandwiches–everyone has their own special technique 🙂 I added about 2 tbsp. sticky fig jam (you can use fig preserves) to the sandwich before cooking. The heat made the jam and cheese melty and delicious! Try it!

An Award!

I’m typically not the kind of person who needs pats on the back. At work, I’m very self-directed and I get a lot of joy in doing things, regardless of whether anyone else is paying attention. So it’s doubly nice (and somewhat surprising) when some kind person  swoops in out of nowhere and gives me some very nice feedback!

Thank you to Our Little Family Adventure for bestowing the Liebster Award on Sole Food Kitchen! What a nice way to start a Monday!

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The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

So here are the Liebster Award rules:

  • Post 11 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the tagger/nominator has posted for you.
  • Create 11 questions and choose (nominate) 11 up and coming blogs and link them in the post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.

11 Things About Me

  1. My family is the most important thing in my life. They are awesome.
  2. Cooking is therapeutic for me. Cleaning up? Not so much.
  3. I hate clowns. Don’t try to convince me–it is the way it is.
  4. I am totally jealous of moms who get to parent full time.
  5. I often belt out the soundtrack from Wicked when driving alone.
  6. I need a car with better sound insulation to protect others from my singing.
  7. Bossy. I am very bossy when I need to be.
  8. Babies, puppies and sappy Hallmark commercials make me cry.
  9. My will stipulates that my ashes be spread in Corniglia, Italy. I hope they don’t mind.
  10. The most common phrase I utter at work right now is “Are you kidding me???” Usually, they are not.
  11. Truth is stranger than fiction. See remarks above.

Here are the questions posed to me:

  1. What’s your favorite quote? “It is what it is, but it will become what you make of it.” Pat Summit
  2. If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?                     Italy–specifically hiking in the Cinque Terre
  3. What is one food you would like to learn to cook? Artichokes
  4. How would you answer, “I wish I knew how to….”? Sing well
  5. How do you pamper yourself? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question.
  6. What is the best piece of advice you ever received? Honor your word.
  7. What is your favorite color? Green–the color of new plants!
  8. What is your favorite time of year and why? I love spring because it is full of possibilities. And the bunnies haven’t eaten my garden yet.
  9. Why did you decide to start a blog? I was excited about our family journey and wanted to share what we were learning.
  10. If you could have anything for dinner tonight, what would it be? Pasta and a glass of wine, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
  11. What is one thing you’d like to learn to do this year? Illustrate the children’s book that is sitting on my laptop.

I’ll be sending this award on to others in the coming week. Watch for it!

Thanks again to Our Little Family Adventure! Check out their blog!

 

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