One Eyed Jack Muffins

One Eyed Jack Muffins- A Stack of Dishes

My Story About One Eyed Jack Muffins

I have a little bit story behind the name of this muffin, but let me first back up a bit.  [Read more…]

Zucchini Spinach Tart- Light, Quick and Easy

 

Zucchini Tart- A Stack of Dishes

If you’ve been following me for awhile (and thank you to those of you who do!), I usually post a one pan dish that you can make for pre-holiday breakfasts. When you love your family, but you just need them pretty much out of the kitchen while you make your magic, this super easy Zucchini Spinach Tart is your friend. It takes just 10 minutes to pull this all together- or you can make this the night before and gently reheat.

Those holiday morning breakfasts can really be tricky. It’s going to be a long day before that Thanksgiving Turkey hits the table, and it’s just torturous to smell all that amazing food with a grumbling tummy. But who wants a big meal? And no one wants pots, pans, and multiple bowls cluttering things up. So it has to be something nourishing, satisfying, and something filling that won’t make you feel like you’re done in so early in the day. [Read more…]

Smokey Sweet Potatoes with Lime Yogurt

I’m pretty sure that if you don’t just love sweet potatoes that we can’t be friends. Who doesn’t love a glorious roasted sweet potato? Though there haven’t been any sweet potatoes that I have not liked, I especially like this version. A little chewy crunch on the edges, soft velvety flesh inside, and a tangy yogurt sauce to balance out the rich flesh. 

I’m coming to an end of a very busy and very good year. I had a few big family projects and some really nice and juicy personal projects. The Spring was spent downsizing my mother’s home of approximately 4000 sf and moving her into a 1400 sf home. There were closets that had not seen the light of day in a dog’s age, eaves that were hidden behind doors, and my mother’s infamous sewing room that was reminiscent of a hoarders’ day-dream. My mother is an amazing and talented quilter to the point of winning quite a few ribbons and awards. Her playground is fabric and her color sense is quite wonderful. So where I collect plates, platters and rogue silver pieces, she collects yardage of fabrics- beautiful fabrics.  An entire wall, floor to ceiling of fabrics. 

I try not to think about it, but I am pretty sure the bulk of my inheritance is realized in stacks and stacks of fabric yardage. On the other hand – sewing brings my mother great joy, and it most definitely keeps her off the streets and out of bars and brothels – so I’m good with it. The house in Greenport was not the home I grew up in. My mother has owned many homes in her lifetime, mostly in the town that I went to high school in. So my heart lies in the area, rather than within four walls.  I am sad that she no longer lives in my “home town” but I was spared the grieving of passing off a legacy to another family. I’m good with that too.

Another family project this year was to pull together two homes that were part of my father’s estate. He passed in 2008 just as the market was crashing, and it’s been impossible to sell the properties at any price. I’ve been renting out the two homes for the better part of 6 years, and as renters do- they both left the homes a bit worse for wear. With no money in the coffers, I spent a couple of days a week in The Berkshires for about a month cleaning, editing, purging…again. I relied on my ample supply of elbow grease, fueled with fierce determination, and enhanced with my own personal joy of taking a mess and making order of it. 

In the end it was all worth it. Mom is happily ensconced in her jewel like home, and the two properties in Massachusetts sold right away.

I tell you all this because this is how life goes. You think you have control over the timeline of your life. You think that you “know” how things will roll out. But-cha don’t. I had planned to use that time working on my cookbook, but that rug was rudely pulled.

As exhausting, and often infuriating as it was to organize my mother’s possessions, the silver lining is we got to spend a lot of time together. Time spent side by side, working on a common goal, and being productive together. There were no earth shattering revelations, nor did I find a box of jewels or pots of gold in the eaves, but it was time well spent. Time just being.

The time in Great Barrington turned out to be extremely beneficial in ways I had not imagined also. The non-thinking acts of cleaning and hauling allowed me to reflect on the last stage of a painful relationship that I had with my Dad. I was given the chance to walk the hallways and say out loud a few choice words that I had been needing to vocalize. (There is something pretty amazing hearing your words reverberate off of walls) You can also put a lot of self expression into a mop, let me tell you. So the cleaning, the purging, the releasing. All so wonderfully cathartic.

So now what about these sweet potatoes? This is pretty much a straight take on a recipe from Gjelina: Cooking from Venice, California.  It has all the goodness that I adore: Slightly spicy with a complimentary tang, healthy groovy deliciousness, and easy to make so I feel like a boss. You should love it for these reasons too. You’ve got all the ingredients in your cupboard pretty much so no great market hunting here. The original recipe calls for espelette, a type of peppercorn- but don’t feel constrained by this. Use that smoked paprika hanging around (as I did), or some of those gourmet peppercorns someone gave you as a gift, or you can stick to red pepper flakes if all else fails. Just find some fun in your spice rack and have at it.

Enjoy my doves. Life is too short- and you can’t go wrong with a sweet potato. xo

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika and Lime Yogurt

Serves 4  5 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to roast.

2 large bulbous sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

3 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt

2 juicy limes, zested and juiced

2 scallions, slice thinly, whites and green parts

salt and pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 425˚ and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Peel the sweet potatoes, and if they were long and large like mine, cut in half, then cut each half into 8 wedges. Trying to keep them as evenly sized as possible. Place into a large bowl.

In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, honey, half the paprika and stir to combine.

Pour honey mixture over the wedges and toss with your hands until all are coated. I know it may seem like there is not enough, but trust me- you’ll be fine.

Spread the wedges evenly on the baking sheet (I turned my on their backs so the ridges stood up and got nice and blackened) and sprinkle with the lime zest, some glorious salt and a hit of pepper. Slip those into the oven and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

Make the yogurt sauce by placing the yogurt, lime juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a bowl and stir into a nice sauce. Set aside.

Once the thickest wedge is done, remove from the oven and shovel onto a serving dish. Splash the yogurt on top, sprinkle with the scallions and then do a final dusting with the remaining smoked paprika. 

Now just try and not eat all of them before they get to the table.