delicious things

every now and then i hit a good cooking/baking streak... it's usually because the weather has changed or because there's some event going on. both have hit in the past week with the seasons (ever. so.) slowly changing to fall and the advent of ezri's seventh (yep) ladies' day - this one at our new home congregation. so, for you few who requested some recipes, here you go... three recent favorites.

sweet potato mash/sweet potato cakes

4 medium scrubbed sweet potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh basil (the kind in a tube, you'll find it in the produce section)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c butter

basically, if you know how to make mashed potatoes you can take it from here... dice the sweet potatoes into relatively small chunks, throw them in a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. once it's at a boil, add the garlic. it should take about ten minutes to get them mash-worthy, then drain and add the rest of the ingredients above and mash away with a potato masher ... they do not have to be smooth, in fact i think they're better if they're not!

i like to serve this with things like sausage and mushroom or to the side of a really yummy piece of steak of some curried lentils.

to turn them into sweet potato cakes, take the leftovers and add:

1 to 2 eggs, depending on how much you have leftover
1 c cornmeal or flour
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 c chopped green onion
a splash of milk

mix it up, heat a pan or griddle to med/high heat with about 2 to 3 tbsp of oil or butter and spoon em out.... takes about 8 minutes or so for them to be perfect, maybe less ;) yum.

so, i'm lucky enough to be in a church that does "ladies' inspiration day"... in other words a good get together and spiritual boost for women in our faith family. growing up, i attended loads of these and heard my grandma donna and mom speak frequently... mom still does, and is an excellent speaker if you're looking for one (i know, shameless plug ;)

thomaston road's ladies put together a lovely day. we were encouraged by good talks, wonderful singing and prayer and a delicious tea organized by a very talented group of women and served by some handsome gentlemen from our church.

i got to make scones.

now, you can only makes them if you say them right... say it with me: it's "SCAWN" not "SCOWN" ;) i know, i'm picky... no matter how you say it, these are pretty delicious and you know they have to be easy if i bake them.

ham and cheese scones

2 c all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 ground red pepper
3 tbsp chilled butter, cut in small pieces
3/4 c shredded white cheddar (cabot's seriously sharp white - amazing!)
3/4 c finely chopped ham
3/4 c buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine the first five ingredients then cut in the butter. It really helps to have it chilled - straight from the fridge - and doesn't take much to blend it in with either a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the cheese and ham. Whisk up the eggs and buttermilk - I just break the egg into the Pyrex measuring cup with the buttermilk and whisk, one less dish to wash you know? Add to flour mixture and stir til moist.

Turn the mixture out onto a floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times. Pat it into an 8 inch circle on a buttered baking sheet (if you double this, you can fit two rounds onto one large baking sheet) I like to cut the dough into wedges, not cutting all the way through, just an indentation.

Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned - your house will smell delicious. 8 servings or so.

gingersnap scones

1 3/4 c flour
1/4 c gingersnap cookies (about 6)
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c buttermilk
1 large egg

espresso glaze
1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules (nescafe!)
3/4 c powdered sugar
walnut halves, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 F. See above for mixing method... Pat into 10 inch round etc. and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

To make the glaze, combine the water and coffee granules then add the powdered sugar. Drizzle over your scones and let set for at least 15 minutes. This should serve about 10.

- note: to be honest, this recipe was yummy but not gingery enough. next time i am considering adding crystallized ginger to the dough and doing a citrus/ginger glaze. i'll keep you posted!

it's been one of those weeks where i excel at keeping busy, almost too busy. to be honest, i've been on a roll the last few weeks ever since i decided it would be fall in my mind whether the state of georgia agreed or not. good things are all around us. eric is doing wonderfully with the school and we are enjoying the church connection. i'm finding an assortment of breastfeeding, natural parenting hippie type friends from farmer's market and support groups and the like... and ezri took her first steps yesterday while i was doing the dishes... melts my heart.

it's good. enjoy the eats ya'll.