Friday, November 30, 2012

Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce

What do you do when you have some leftover sweet potatoes that really need to get eaten, but you really wanted pasta for dinner? Make sweet potato pasta sauce, of course. After seeing a few recipes where people used butternut squash to make a creamy sauce, I figured, why couldn't you do something similar with sweet potato? This recipe isn't an exact science, and can be adjusted to your liking. We ate it with potato gnocchi, and it was delicious with just a bit of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Sweet potato pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 - 1 cup milk
1/2 Tablespoon butter
1/8 cup diced onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 - 1 cup pasta water*

1. In a blender, combine sweet potato and about 1/2 cup milk. Blend until smooth, adding more milk if needed to make a thick sauce consistency.
2. In a skillet, melt butter over medium-medium high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add sweet potato mixture to skillet. Slowly add reserved pasta water until sauce if of the desired consistency.

*If you are not cooking pasta, you could just add more milk.

That’s it! An easy, different sauce to go with your pasta and add a few more nutrients(sweet potatoes contain lots of beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium).

Monday, November 26, 2012

A big mess...

Later this week I will have a nice post about the pumpkin theme baby shower we held for my sister-in-law, but for today, I will just share one project from the day. I would like to start off by saying, I have never claimed to be a baker. I have made some basics, and am generally decent at following recipes, but for some reason, I always have a lot of trouble baking. Because of this, I enlisted the help of my cousin. We decided we wanted to make a pumpkin cake, and we saw on pinterest, you could do so by using a Bundt pan. Easy enough, right? Wow were we wrong.

To start off with, we enlisted more help, because high schoolers need to always be with other high schoolers (or my cousins just really like to hang out together). 4 people in a fairly tight kitchen make cake baking a bit tough. After getting our bearings, we got started, separating eggs, sifting flour, and all the other extremely messy parts of baking. 45 minutes later, cake number 1 is in the oven, and all seemed well. The cake came out, looking pretty normal, though a bit cracked, and we assume everything is fine, and move on to cake two.

Cake two was made much quicker, because now we know what we are doing. In the oven within 20 minutes, cooled and ready to put together in a bit over an hour. This is when we realized we had a problem. The cake was way too moist and fluffy, and was just falling to pieces. We made some frosting, and cooled the cake, hoping we could just frost it in place and all would be well. Moral number 1 of the story, frosting does not fix everything. The cake ended up being a huge mess, and just had to get tossed (after we each ate a few spoonfuls, of course).

After we cleaned up disaster, one high schooler left, and we decided to try to make a simple sheet cake, using the same delicious cake recipe. This is when we realized that our error before had not been impatience. As I measured out butter for the cake, a remembered that 3/4 cup of butter is 1 and 1/2 sticks. For the first two cakes, we had used 3 sticks of butter in each, twice the amount we were supposed to use. Moral number 2 of the story, make sure you are measuring your ingredients correctly.

In the end, we ended up with a super cute sheet cake, decorated by my super talented cousin, which I will share a picture of as soon as I upload the shower pictures from my camera. Not only that, but the four of us had tons of fun and have a great story to look back on, and we will never know who messed up in the beginning and said that 3/4 cup of butter was 3 sticks of butter.