Archive for the ‘Sides’ Category

Um… this one is pretty easy to do, but it’s also the only one I have left, so… yea. As something to play with, though, you could try taking this idea and sweetening them. I bought mini-muffin trays and did a cinnamon/sugar bit with them that actually came out well (I didn’t write down how I did it though, but it took some tweaking to get them to puff with the smaller size and not burn, but it worked once I got it). I tried whole-wheat versions before (not because I’m a “whole wheat fan”, but some people around me are), and I have not figured out how to get them light enough to actually puff at all—they just come out more like biscuits.

Over all, these are my go-to thing to make when I’m requested to bring something, but I’m also pressed for time. They’re quick to throw together; the bake time is only half-an-hour.

Needed Tools:

  • Popover pan(s) or aluminum muffin pan(s) (I normally use muffin pans because I had trouble finding a popover pan anywhere and by the time I finally found a place that had them, I was already used to using the muffin pan and didn’t care—seems silly to have a pan with only one use anyway).
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Sifter
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Needed Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons melted butter/margarine
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk (2% is the happy-middle of milk in baking, it’s not too heavy, and it’s not too light) at room temperature

What to do:

  • Preheat oven to 425 (it’s also commonly suggested that you allow your pans to preheat also for about 2 minutes, but if you’re doing multiple batches and can’t really do that too easily, then it can be skipped, but it does help).
  • Sift the flour and whisk together the salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth.
  • Fill the greased pans less than half full and bake for 30 minutes.

This should make about 12 or so.

First off, you’ll have to bare with me on this one, although it is a good recipe, I haven’t really played with it enough to fully work out all the ingredient portions, so some of it you’ll have to just try playing by ear.

This should serve about 4 to 6 as it is, but increase things as you feel you need to within relatively these standards.


Needed Tools:

  • Vegetable peeler
  • Large pot
  • Saucepan
  • Knife
  • Bowls
  • Masher or electric mixer (masher might be exhausting, but I believe it gets the job done better)
  • Strainer


Needed Ingredients:

  • ¼ pound Parsnips (about 1 for every 4 potatoes, give or take—mostly, we want the slight hinted flavor of the parsnips, with the main texture coming from the potatoes)
  • Salt
  • About 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 head garlic, cut in ½
  • About 4 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


What to Do:

On Burner 1:

  • Peal potatoes and parsnips, and chop into manageable portions.
  • Place both the potatoes and parsnips into a large pot, season with salt, and cover with water.
  • Place pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook until tender, for about 15 minutes or so (the tip of a knife should easily go through both potatoes and parsnips).

On Burner 2:

  • In the saucepan, place the cream, the thyme sprigs, and the garlic cloves over low heat and bring to a simmer.


  • Drain the large pot and reserve the cooking liquid.
  • Begin mashing with olive oil and a couple tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid.
  • Strain heavy cream mixture into the pot, season with salt and pepper, and continue mashing to desired consistency.

CAM00029After many years of having holidays with a dish of sweet potato casseroles that were more tiny marshmallows than anything else, and most people never eating it because it was an overly sweet, gross mess, I set out to repair this tragedy of culinary arts. In most recipes I have created, they are a combination of at least 3 or so different chefs plus my own details. I actually do a lot of research to the extent of “Good Eats” level of understanding of not just how things taste, but why. The end result of all this research brought me to this recipe, Sweet Potato Mash. It made all the sweet potato haters in my family, including myself, into sweet potato lovers, and I ended up officially replacing the person who originally made the sweet potatoes (she now brings store-bought pies). You’ll notice the key detail would be the topping is not a bunch of tiny marshmallows… that’s important—all ingredients should work with each other; none of them should dominate so much you can’t taste anything else.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

And, I normally do cookies for Christmas, so that’s probably where I’ll be going for the next food post (I’m not sure which cookies I’ll post on though).


Needed Tools:

  • Baking sheet
  • Knife
  • Bowls
  • Skillet or frying pan
  • Pot big enough for about 4 pounds of potatoes
  • Masher or electric mixer
  • Tongs and/or spoon (or whatever works better for you with frying)
  • Baking dish

Needed Ingredients for Potatoes:

  • About 4 pounds sweet potatoes (I normally use about a ¼ ratio of red and white sweet potatoes—the white has a bit more subtlety to it and creates a better contrast)
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (home-style of the jug works too)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • about 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • about ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground or coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 cups chicken broth (preferably low sodium, or sodium free)

What to Do:

Part 1:

  • Preheat the oven to 375-degrees
  • Prick the potatoes several times with a knife and bake for about 1 hour or until the tip of the knife can go through easily.
  • Take the potatoes out and allow to cool just long enough to be able to handle, then cut in halves and scoop out the insides

Part 2:

  • Place the pot onto the stove on a medium heat
  • Add butter, and add the orange juice, allow the juice to cook out for about 1 minute.
  • Add the potatoes and the broth, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, pepper.
  • Begin to mash to desire consistency, while gradually mixing in the cream.
  • Pour into a baking dish

Needed Ingredients for the Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
  • 3 to 6 northern apples (Michigan, McIntosh, etc), peeled, cored, and cut into eighths (because that’s what the apple slicer cuts it into)
  • 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar

What to Do:

  • Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat
  • Add the apple wedges and brown sugar
  • Cook and thoroughly coat for about 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned on both sides.
  • Place on top of sweet potatoes
  • Bake the potatoes and apples for about 20 to 30 minutes until heated through.

As a warning, in researching sweet potato recipes that brought me to this one, I came across tips on how to store the potatoes which mentioned that they should never be refrigerated because it will cause them to loose their flavor. I have come to realize that this rule is important to take note of even with left-over concoctions, as I discovered this recipe is fine to be refrigerated for only about a day or two before it goes from a big plate of joy, to a big plate of disappointment.