Category Archives: Seasonal

Cream Cheese Mints

cream-cheese-mints-nancycI love the scent of pine during the holidays. And the taste of peppermint and mint–flavored sweets! This holiday season, I’m enjoying both.

Right now, I’m using the new limited-edition winter scent of ECOS™ Dishmate™ Hypoallergenic ecoswinterpineDish Soap–they have a special holiday scent called Winterpine that they sent me to try, and it smells so fresh and clean!  It’s a great way to add the scent of pine to your kitchen. If you’re not familiar with ECOS™ products, they are earth-friendly and made with plant-derived cleaning agents that clean well and are gentle and safe to use.

And I’m also eating some wonderful minty sweets! These Cream Cheese Mints are kind of addicting. They have a rich, creamy, minty flavor. I like them more than I thought I would, which makes them dangerous for me to have around. So I’ve been sharing them with friends and everyone really likes them. You can make these yummy mints for any special occasion–birthday celebrations, wedding and baby showers, wedding receptions, and, of course, the holidays! I tinted mine red (or I guess you could say pink) and green for Christmas, but you can tint them any color you want. Or don’t use any food coloring and leave them a soft creamy white. This recipe makes about 175 small mints, which is a lot, but you’ll need a lot if you’re making them for holiday parties or any other event!

CREAM CHEESE MINTS by NancyC, adapted from BettyCrocker.com

Makes about 175 small mints

  • 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (or use 6 ounces from an 8-ounce block)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon mint or peppermint extract
  • Red and green food coloring, optional

In large bowl, cream the softened butter and cream cheese together, then add the confectioner’s sugar, 3 cups at a time, and blend until smooth. Mix in mint extract. The mixture gets pretty thick, so you may need to work everything in with your hands. Or, you can mix all the ingredients with a food processor (use on-and-off pulses until mixture comes together in a ball).

If you’re wanting to tint your dough red and green (or any 2 other colors), divide dough into 2 equal portions and place on wax paper or parchment paper; add a few drops of red food coloring to 1 mound of dough and a few drops of green food coloring to the other mound of dough; work in or “knead” food coloring into each mound until the coloring is evenly tinted to your desired shade. If you’re just making one color, you won’t need to divide the dough, and if you want your mints to be creamy white, you can skip this whole step–just leave out the food coloring.

Roll dough mixture into small balls (I rolled mine into balls that were between 1/2″ and 5/8″ in diameter-I wouldn’t go any larger than that or they will take forever to set–smaller is better!). Place on waxed paper or parchment paper–lined cookie sheets and flatten each ball with a fork. Let stand about 2 hours or until dry (If the mints are still a little soft after a few hours, go ahead and put them in the refrigerator to finish drying). When mints are set and dry, cover with another sheet of wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

These mints are perfect for parties or sweet little food gifts! And this recipe makes plenty of them, so you’ll have extra for yourself!🙂  Besides pine and mint, what other flavors and scents do you enjoy around the holidays?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday.

Gifts that Change a Life from World Vision and a Giveaway!

ncworldvision2016

The Christmas shopping season has begun once again and gift-giving is on everyone’s mind…the perfect time to tell you about some gifts that help improve the quality of life for struggling children and families living in extreme poverty in the U.S. and around the world. The 2016 World Vision Gift Catalog invites you to Share Big Dreams this Christmas by not only giving a gift, but changing a life. And, World Vision is sponsoring a very special giveaway of beautiful handcrafted items made by artisans from around the world, which I’ll tell you about in a minute!

worldvisioncatalogBut first, in case you’re not familiar with World Vision, here’s some information about World Vision and their gift catalog:

  • The 2016 World Vision catalog is the 21st annual edition, and offers more than 100 meaningful gifts. Plus, there are more than 250 items available for giving online at www.worldvisiongift.org.
  • Popular items being given from the catalog to those in need include a goat and two chickens, clothing for children, ducks, and medicine.
  • Over 30 gifts in the catalog are $35 or less, including gifts like chickens, job training, or school supplies.
  • 84% of World Vision’s operating expenses are used for programs that benefit children, families, and communities in need, and they provide assistance to people in almost 100 countries.

Here are some ways you can support World Vision:

  • Choose a gift to donate…give a gift to help a child or family, from farm animals to farming tools, by going to www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 1-855-WV-GIFTS. Hard copies of the catalog are also available upon request.
  • Gifts can be given in honor of a loved one. Cards can also be printed or emailed from the website at any time to let an honoree know that something special has been given in their name this Christmas.
  • You can give a general donation to be used Where Most Needed…a one-time gift that will go towards needs that might otherwise go unmet.
  • You can donate and receive a handcrafted gift for yourself or for someone else–this donation will go to Where Most Needed. Choose from a variety of items like the beautiful Vietnamese Silk Scarf, Upcycled Artisanal Bowl, Thai Patchwork Tote, Drops of Turquoise Earrings, and much more. There are so many beautiful, unique handcrafted gifts online at the World Vision site!

I hope you’ll take some time to visit the WorldVison.org and learn more about how they are helping people worldwide and how you can be a part of that! You can also follow World Vision on social media: Facebook: /wordvision; Twitter and Instagram: @WorldVisionUSA

Now for the giveaway! The Giveaway is now Closed! The winning comment was #1, made by Pam!

worldvisiongiveawayThis giveaway, compliments of World Vision, includes 6 items worth $530. They’re pictured in the top photo and in the photo to the left: an Upcycled Artisanal Bowl, a package of Organic Coffee with a coffee scoop, a beautiful Vietnamese Silk Scarf, a Tree of Life Votive Holder, a Turquoise Medallion Necklace, and a Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet.

If you’d like to enter to win this giveaway from World Vision, leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite gift item is from the World Vision site. Leave your comment on this blog post between now and Thursday evening, December 1, at 8 p.m. (CST). The random drawing will be made from comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and the winner will be notified via email later  Thursday evening or Friday. If winner does not respond within 48 hours, I will do another drawing. This  Giveaway is limited to readers in the Continental U.S.

First entry:  Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite gift item is from the World Vision site.

Bonus entry (one per person): Follow my blog by email or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram–If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.

Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, don’t worry–it just means I haven’t had the chance to click on it to approve it before it becomes visible!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

cranberry-sauce-nancyc

It doesn’t seem possible that Thanksgiving was yesterday! The big meal we all look forward to has come and gone. The turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and countless side dishes and desserts shared with family and friends…it’s all a pleasant memory now, unless you’re still enjoying the leftovers.

in_winters_kitchen_150dpi_rgb_1Most likely, you probably had cranberry sauce as one of the side items on your table or buffet. I was never much of a fan of cranberry sauce as a kid, but I like it now, especially if it’s homemade. As I was reading a review copy of the book In Winter’s Kitchen, by Beth Dooley, I found a recipe for cranberry sauce which I decided I had to try, since I’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce.

In Winter’s Kitchen is not actually a cookbook, although there is a small recipe section at the back of the book. It’s part memoir–the author shares stories of her family’s past Thanksgiving meals and winter meal traditions–and part informational guide to the local food movement Dooley discovered when she relocated years ago from New Jersey to Minnesota. She provides lots of information and insight on the benefits of eating locally–grown, fresh, organic, in-season foods. The book is well-written and very informational if you are wanting to learn more about farm-to-table foods.

I really liked the flavors in this cranberry sauce recipe–it’s sweet, but not too sweet and has a slight cranberry tartness. It’s much, much better than the sauce you buy in a can and it’s so easy to make–so hopefully you’ll get a chance to try it out sometime during the holiday season.

CRANBERRY SAUCE from In Winter’s Kitchen 

Makes about 2 cups

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed and sorted
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or orange juice (I used apple cider)
  • 1/2 cup sugar, honey, or maple syrup (I used 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 maple syrup)

In a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries and cider or orange juice to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the berries have popped open, about three to five minutes. Stir in sugar, honey, or maple syrup.

NOTE: The original recipe doesn’t say to do this, but after stirring in the honey and maple syrup, I continued to simmer the mixture an additional 5 minutes, then let it cool. The mixture will thicken as it cools, and then you can transfer the sauce into a small serving bowl.

Not only does this cranberry sauce taste great, it adds a nice touch of tradition to winter meals. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and are having a nice holiday weekend!

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding

pumpkin-maple-bread-pudding-nancyc

This fall, I knew one recipe I wanted to try was pumpkin bread pudding. I had made it a few years ago, and thought it was okay, but I really wanted to see if I could improve upon it. I do like this new version so much better! It’s dense and moist, with lots of pumpkin and spice flavor. I really like this bread pudding with additional maple syrup drizzled over it, but you could also top it with caramel sauce or whipped cream.

bfreeI made this pumpkin bread pudding with some wonderful bread that I received from BFree. BFree offers a great selection of bread products that are gluten free. BFree products are actually wheat, dairy, egg, nut, and soy free, which makes them free of all major allergens–and suitable for vegans, too. They are high fiber, low in fat, and low in calories. And they taste really, really good. I was able to try samples of their whole product line–their Brown Seeded Sandwich and Soft White Sandwich loavesBrown Seeded and Soft White Rolls and Hot Dog Buns, Multiseed and Plain Bagels, Multigrain and Quinoa and Chia Seed Wraps, and Pita Bread. I loved all of their products, and if I hadn’t already known they were gluten free, I probably would have thought they were made with wheat. I think my favorite were the rolls–they were so soft and fresh and tasted like homemade!

bfreeproducts

So I decided to use some of the BFree Soft White Sandwich Loaf in this bread pudding, and it was really tasty! This makes a wonderful fall dessert. Some of my friends said it tasted like pumpkin pie–they didn’t realize it was bread pudding! Hope you get a chance to try it out!

PUMPKIN MAPLE BREAD PUDDING by NancyC

Makes a 9×9″ pan

  • 6 cups cubed white or wheat bread, cut into 1″ squares (I used BFree Soft White Bread)
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 2 cups Half & Half (light cream)
  • 1 (15-ounce) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • maple syrup for drizzling on top, about 3 to 4 Tablespoons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside.

Combine cubed bread and dried cranberries in large bowl; set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine Half & Half, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar, spices, and salt; blend everything well. Pour mixture over bread/cranberry mixture and stir, coating all the bread cubes. Spoon this mixture into your greased baking pan and let stand for 10 minutes.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle chopped pecans over mixture during the last 10-15 minutes of baking time.

When bread pudding is done, remove from oven and drizzle the top with maple syrup. Let cool 10 minutes and cut into squares. Serve warm with more maple syrup drizzled very lightly over each piece if desired.

Are you a fan of bread pudding? If you are, I think you’ll really like this Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding! What other kinds of desserts do you like making with pumpkin?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

Whole Wheat Honey Apple Muffins

Whole Wheat Honey Apple Muffins @ NancyC

I promised you an apple recipe and here it is! I have apples on my mind now that it’s October, and this is a great apple muffin recipe! It’s pretty healthy, too, with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, honey, and olive oil as some of the ingredients.

I don’t use whole wheat flour in my baking very often–I’ve found it hard to substitute in many recipes because the flavor comes out a little too wheaty for my taste. But I think it’s perfect in this muffin recipe! I don’t really notice the wheatiness that much–maybe it’s because the spices and chopped apples give this muffin such a good flavor. I like to chop my apples into small chunks for these muffins, too–that way, there’s lots of apple taste in every bite!

The streusel topping does have a lot of brown sugar in it, but you can substitute raw or organic sugar if you like. Also, when you mix the topping, it will seem like a lot of topping, but you’ll be putting about a Tablespoon of it on top of each muffin. You’ll have extra, but it’s better to have too much topping than not enough, right? You can always save it for other muffins or a coffee cake. If you don’t want to put so much streusel topping on these muffins, cut the streusel ingredients in half, and you should have more than enough to lightly top each muffin!

WHOLE WHEAT HONEY APPLE MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes about 19 muffins

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled and chopped apples (if you use organic apples, peeling is optional–I like to use organic Gala apples)
  • Streusel Topping: 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 2 Tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two muffin tins with 19 paper muffin cups.

In a medium size bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground spices; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, then add the honey, olive oil, and vanilla extract, blending everything well. Stir in the Greek yogurt.

Add the flour mixture to the egg/honey mixture and stir just until combined, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the chopped apples.

Fill muffin cups with batter, filling about 3/4 full.

Mix streusel topping ingredients together in a medium size bowl, then top muffins with streusel topping–use a heaping 1/2 Tablespoon per muffin (or less, if you prefer).

Bake at 350˚F for 14 to 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (be careful not to overbake, or muffins will be a little dry).

Let muffins cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

I really like the flavor the ground spices give these muffins–and all the tasty chunks of apples in them!

What kind of recipes do you like to make with whole wheat flour?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie

Banana Mango Ginger Orange Smoothie @ NancyC

Yes, that’s quite a long name but it sounds good, doesn’t it? This smoothie recipe comes from a cookbook called Eating Clean in Costa Rica (softcover). As I looked through my review copy, I found lots of easy, healthy foods that the book describes as 616-fPC8brL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_“farm-to-table” recipes and there are 108 to choose from for breakfast and brunch, main dishes, veggies and sides, salads, soups, and desserts. The instructions for most of the recipes include amounts measured in grams, milliliters, etc., so if you’re used to cups and ounces like I am, you’ll have to convert the amounts.

I thought I’d try the Banana, Mango, Ginger, Orange Smoothie. It sounds kind of summery, but the day I made this it was almost 70 degrees. So a tropical-sounding smoothie was in order to celebrate this warm sunny day! It was so smooth and creamy, and had a great lightly-sweet taste. Normally I like to sweeten smoothies with honey, but this recipe does not need any additional sweetener.

BANANA, MANGO, GINGER, ORANGE SMOOTHIE from Eating Clean in Costa Rica

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 mango
  • 1 to 2 bananas (I used 2 bananas)
  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 200 ml plain yogurt (I used 1 cup–it’s not an exact conversion, but it’s very close!)
  • A pinch of ground ginger (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 2 slices of lime

Cut mango into cubes, removing the pit and skin. Chop the bananas. Juice the oranges.

Combine these ingredients into a blender, including the ginger and yogurt. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little water if needed.

Add ice cubes and blend once more. Serve in tall glasses decorated with a slice of lime.

I love smoothies and I’m sure I’ll be making this quite often during the warm weather. Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Show and ShareFull Plate Thursday, Create It Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.

Easter Egg Bark

Easter Egg Bark @ NancyCI can’t believe Easter is almost here! If you haven’t had a chance to make any Easter treats yet, here’s a really easy recipe you can put together quickly–and no baking required! It’s so fun and colorful, too. I based this Easter Egg Bark on my Candy Corn Bark recipe I had posted a few years ago. It’s really yummy, packed with those super-good Cadbury candy-coated mini milk chocolate eggs and Easter M&M’s, along with a colorful dash of sprinkles!

This is a thicker bark, compared to some others I’ve made; if you like thinner barks, you could spread the melted white chocolate base in a thinner layer on a 10 x 15″ baking sheet instead of a 9 x 13″ pan. One important tip: It helps if you have the mini eggs and M&M’s pre-measured so you can sprinkle them on quickly before the white chocolate starts to set!

EASTER EGG BARK by NancyC

Makes a 9 x 13″ pan

  • 2 (12-ounce) packages white chocolate (vanilla) baking chips
  • 1 cup Cadbury milk chocolate Mini Eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk chocolate Easter M&M’s
  • Colorful Sprinkles

Line a 9 x 13 ” pan with parchment paper, going up the sides and leaving 2 extra inches of paper on each side (so you can lift the bark out of the pan later); set aside.

In a medium microwaveable bowl or container, microwave the white chocolate chips for one minute, then stop and stir. Continue melting the chocolate in the microwave, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds, until all the chips are melted and smooth, for a total of about 2  to 2 1/2 minutes (be careful not to overheat, or the white chocolate will become clumpy!).

Spread the melted white chocolate evenly in a thin layer in the parchment-lined pan with a large spoon or spatula. Sprinkle the Cadbury mini eggs over the melted chocolate, pressing eggs about halfway into the chocolate as you’re placing them. Then do the same with the Easter M&M’s (it helps if you have all these ingredients pre-measured so you can sprinkle them on quickly before the chocolate starts to set). Last of all, top with colorful sprinkles, pressing lightly into the white chocolate if necessary. Note: Make sure all ingredients are pressed into the melted chocolate, or they will just fall off when you are breaking up the bark later.

Let bark set about 1 hour, or until completely firm (you can chill the bark in the refrigerator to help it set quicker). Lift bark from the pan (with the sides of the parchment paper) and place on kitchen counter. Peel parchment paper from bottom side of bark, breaking bark into pieces as you peel. Serve on a platter or in a bowl, or package into treat bags. Store any extra bark covered in an airtight container at room temperature.

That’s all there is to it! What fun sweets and treats are you making for Easter?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck.

Red Velvet Valentine Bars

Red Velvet Valentine Bars @ NancyC

You’ve probably heard of cookie exchanges…they happen quite a bit around Christmastime. We’ll, this year at work some of us had a little Valentine cookie exchange. I was kind of short on time, so I needed to make something fairly easy, but still wanted it to be very yummy. I’ve seen lots of recipes for cake mix bars and cookies lately, so I thought I’d come up with my own version of Red Velvet bars made with cake mix. After all, any Red Velvet recipe seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day and using cake mix makes it really easy!

These bars are actually more like brownies than cookies–with lots of M&M’s and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips added in! If you’re looking for a simple Valentine treat to make, with lots of yummy chocolate flavor, you still have a little time to try these out!

RED VELVET VALENTINE BARS by NancyC

Makes a 9×13″ pan 

  • 1 (16.5-ounce) box of Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines®) Signature Red Velvet Cake Mix)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (11.4-ounce) bag Valentine M&M’s (about 1 2/3 cups), divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix cake mix, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract until blended–your batter will be fairly thick, but still stirable. Fold in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of the M&M’s, stirring to distribute evenly in batter (save the rest of the M&M’s for sprinkling on top).

Press batter evenly into your prepared 9×13″ pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M’s, pressing them into the batter. Bake at 350˚F for 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (the toothpick may have a red tint to it when you pull it out). Cool completely, then cut into bars (if you lined your pan with parchment paper, lift the bars out of your pan with the parchment paper edges, and cut into bars).

These are very rich and chocolatey with all those M&M candies and chocolate chips in there! What kinds of goodies are you making for Valentine’s Day?

Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread Granola @ NancyC

It was time for me to make granola again and I love trying out different flavors! I had thought about making Gingerbread Granola during the holidays, but didn’t get around to it. I still wanted to try it this winter season, though, and I thought adding some dried cranberries into the mix, a little touch of red, would make it a wonderful granola not only for the holidays, but for Valentine’s day, too. So this is a perfect granola for all winter long…for breakfast, brunch, or a healthy sweet snack. And people love receiving treat bags filled with granola–it makes a great homemade food gift!

As you might be able to tell from my photo, I mixed in both dried cranberries and golden raisins into my granola.  I really like the sweetness and color they add.  I also like the rich molasses flavor blended with the other spices in this!

GINGERBREAD GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 6 cups

  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2/3 cup raw shelled sunflower kernels (if using roasted and salted kernels, add them to the mixture after baking)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries or golden raisins (or 3/4 cup of each)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 15″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, flaxseed or wheat germ, sunflower kernels, chopped pecans, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. In small microwaveable bowl, heat molasses for about 15 to 20 seconds to make consistency thinner and easier to stir. Then in a medium size bowl, blend molasses, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, stirring everything well (the oil may separate from the other ingredients, but blend it as well as you can). Add this syrup mixture to the dry oat mixture, mixing until everything is thoroughly coated.

Spread granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring every 15 minutes so granola bakes evenly. Remove from oven; stir in dried cranberries and/or raisins, if using, and then let the granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks (or you can store a little longer in the refrigerator).

I have a good-sized jar of organic ground ginger, and I used some of that for this. I still have quite a bit of ground ginger, so I may be making more gingery recipes! Are you a fan of gingerbread-flavored treats?

Linked to Fiesta Friday.

Marshmallow-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole

Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Casserole @ NancyC

I made this sweet potatoes casserole this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I was kind of craving it again, even though you normally don’t think of having sweet potato casserole in January! But it’s one of those classic comfort food recipes and we had some cold winter days last week, so I thought, why not? Why not make a sweet potato casserole in January? Besides, it’s such an easy side dish to put together!

I used a little more sweet potatoes and made this casserole in a 9 x 9″ pan, slightly smaller than the 12 x 8″ pan the original recipe from Pillsbury said to use. I don’t have a 12 x 8″ pan, and a 13 x 9″ pan is too big for this. So that’s why I used 9 x 9.” It work out fine, although I’d probably use a 12 x 8″ pan for this casserole if I had one. Using two 29-ounce cans of sweet potatoes might seem like a lot, but it’s really not that much when you drain and empty them out of the can. They fill up a 9 x 9″ pan quite nicely, and in a 12 x 8″ pan, you have a little more room to spare to nicely tuck in all those marshmallows!

MARSHMALLOW-TOPPED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE by NancyC, adapted from Pillsbury

Makes a 9 x 9″  or 12 x 8″ pan

  • 2 (29-ounce) cans sweet potatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 15 to 16 large marshmallows (or use an equivalent amount of miniature marshmallows)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or spray a 9 x 9″ pan or baking dish (or use a 12 x 8″ size) with nonstick cooking spray.

Spoon sweet potatoes into your greased baking dish. Pour melted butter over potatoes. Sprinkle with brown sugar and salt, then top with marshmallows.

Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are completely heated and marshmallows are lightly browned.

I think my marshmallows got a little more browned than they should have. Next time I make these, I need to remember to lower my oven rack a notch below the middle and see if that helps keep them from browning so much–or maybe I could cover the casserole with foil the last ten minutes of baking. Any other ideas?

I really love the way the butter and brown sugar blend and give the sweet potatoes an almost caramely coating! And of course the melty marshmallows are the perfect topping! If you are a sweet potato casserole fan, then you may have already made something similar to this recipe. But if you haven’t, you’ll want to try it! Don’t feel like you need to wait till next Thanksgiving!🙂

So are you a sweet potato fan?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Wow Me Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Create It Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things.