21 January 2011

Sweet Potato Heaven

If Virginia is for lovers, then North Carolina is for sweet potato lovers. In the fall, the local farmers leave behind tons of sweet potatoes and let complete strangers wander through the fields and pick them up. My parents have taken Daniel "sweet potato-picking" the last couple of years; so needless to say, we have enough to last the winter! (It kind of reminds me of the story of Boaz and Ruth; except I've never heard of a marriage taking place because of harvesting leftover sweet potatoes.) Anyways, I love them; my husband, not so much. But since we've been married, I'd like to think I've coaxed him into broadening his vegetable horizons. He will now eat asparagus (when its drenched in lemon butter); I even got him to admit that he liked the spinach-stuffed Southwestern eggrolls at Chili's. I considered that a major victory (despite the fact that his excuse was, "I can't taste anything but the Mexican spice!") So getting him to eat sweet potatoes has been a bit of a challenge. When we were first married, he proclaimed that he DID NOT eat sweet potatoes. If I loaded them down with cinnamon and brown sugar, he tolerated them. Now, he will also eat them at Thanksgiving and Christmas in a sweet potato casserole (again, with lots of sugar, spice, and butter). Well, this week, I discovered another way that he'll eat them. And this way (thanks to the suggestion of Valerie M.) can be made healthier than the Paula Deen-like casseroles.

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

Peel 5 medium sweet potatoes and cut into wedges. Rinse in water. Dredge them in a mixture of 1 cup flour, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 1 tsp. garlic salt. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place the wedges in the dish. Unhealthy, but good variation: Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over tops and sprinkle a little salt over them. Healthy variation: Drizzle some olive oil over the tops and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 350 for at 1 hr - 1hr. 20 min. You could even broil them the last few minutes to make the outsides a little crispy.

These are also a great side dish because I can easily freeze them to put away as finger foods for Addie.

And because I'm trying to do a better job of building my grocery list around what I already have, the boys and I tried this recipe last night. It's a spin-off of a recipe I saw here. But since I already had the sugar cookie mix, we did this instead.
Sweet Surprise Cookies

Mix Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix according to package directions. Then form dough into small balls (no bigger than 1/2 in.). Break hershey bar(s) into individual squares. Sandwich one square between two balls of dough. Seal edges around chocolate. Bake according to package directions (maybe 1-2 minutes longer).

Thomas and Daniel had fun making these last night. The entertaining part was watching Daniel act surprised every time he bit into the "surprise" chocolate middle. It really does not take much to make those kids happy.... :)

1 comment: