Crash Sweet Potatoes

I know what you’re thinking. “She’s just copying Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes.”

Nope. I’m merely adapting.

Actually, I think I was inspired. Isn’t that a key element of our passion as food bloggers? We inspire each other everyday. We actually seek inspiration. I have found that I gain inspiration from so many things; but it’s the unconventional that stands out the most to me.

I’m a nurse at a long term care/rehab facility. About a week ago, I was in the room of an 80 year old patient when her breakfast tray was brought in. On her plate, she had a bowl of grits, a boiled egg and crumbled bacon. As if she had done this a million times, she put the bacon on top of her grits along with a pat of butter, then added a packet of sugar. Then she stirred it all up. AND she smeared it on her biscuit.

People add sugar to grits everyday (which is such a slap in the face to grits, I mean really), but the fact that she added the salty bacon along with sugar was intriguing to me.  In other words, she’s going through the motions eating a regular everyday meal, in an unconventional way. I LOVE that.

What inspires you?

Crash Sweet Potatoes

3 sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into thick discs

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp salt

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bring water to a boil in a large pan; add potato discs and boil for about 10-12 minutes, or until soft – NOT all the way done but almost. Mix together the brown sugar through salt.

Drain the potatoes and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Using a potato masher, carefully mash down on each disc.

Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly on the potatoes, then give each one a good drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes.

Easy side dish – and oh, so yummy.

Have a great week!

XOXO

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Salmon Ceviche

Ceviche.

I love you.

I just discovered ceviche recently, a popular South American dish. It’s raw fish marinated in acidic fruit (along with other flavorful ingredients). The acid basically “cooks” the fish but doesn’t really change the raw natural flavor. It’s pronounced “seh-vee-chey”.

Very ethnic and interesting sounding, right? They also say it’s a great cure for hangovers. There you go, a great excuse to try it. Now that I have your attention, please read on.

It’s ah-mazing. If you are a sushi lover, or even a fish lover, you will definitely like this. If you aren’t…won’t you please stick around and just check it out? You never know…it may surprise you.

Salmon Ceviche

1 lb fresh salmon filet

1 hot house cucumber

1/2 white onion

1 mango

1 tsp black sesame seeds

1 tsp white sesame seeds

1 lime, juiced

Drizzle of olive oil

Salt to taste

Dice the salmon through mango. Yes, it’s a little bit of work, but so therapeutic! You know you like to chop.

Throw the rest of the ingredients in and toss to combine, then put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Isn’t it beautiful?

I just grabbed a bag of pita chips and scooped it up.

Such a fantastic appetizer/side/snack. Oh, and apparently hangover cure….but I haven’t tried that out.

Don’t be scared – try it.

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Jalapeno Crab Rangoons

I have been told a few many times that I have a tendency to incorporate jalapenos into my dishes. “You put jalapenos in everything!”.

No I don’t. You don’t see them in my cupcakes, do you???

There is nothing wrong with a little heat. Haven’t you heard that spicy food speeds up your metabolism? Not to mention the fact that they are just so dang tasty – and have a severe affinity for cheese.

These crab rangoons want to be jalapeno poppers so bad. I tried to help them out as much as I could. My favorite part is the sauce that is absolutely divine. It’s officially sacred in this house.

I would like to put it in a wine glass and drink it.

Rangoons

1/2 block cream cheese

2 tbsp sour cream

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/3 cup crab meat

1 tbsp chopped jalapenos

1 pkg wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix ingredients together in a stand up mixer.

Put wonton wrappers in a mini muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray and divide mixture evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edges of wrappers begin to brown.

Now, you have to keep something in mind about this sauce. The Makato ginger dressing is in a glass bottle in the produce section of your grocery store. Please, please, please do not skip this. This is that yummy ginger dressing you get on salads at Japanese restaurants (a version of it), and it is a crucial ingredient to what makes this sauce so stupidly luscious.

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup Makato ginger dressing

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/3 cup honey

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 squirt Srirachra sauce

For the sauce, whisk everything together in a bowl and keep refrigerated until wontons are ready.

xoxo

~Dixie Chik~

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Candied Rose Petals

Not sure what’s gotten into me – I’ve been making more sweets than usual. I’ve often wondered why I lost my love for desserts – I adored them until I hit about 30, then it all changed. I absolutely crave – need – spice, but I could go forever without a piece of cake or candy and be just fine.  Just give me my hot and spicy, cheesy and salty grub and I’m a happy girl.

On the other hand, my family is a bunch sweetaholics, so I guess I do get some satisfaction from making them happy. Plus, they get way more excited when I make a dessert rather than a dinner recipe. They seem a tad more tolerant of my incessant snatching-the-food-away-to-get-to-the-window-before-I-lose-sunlight-for-the-picture moments.

We all win.

I loved red velvet cake when I was a kid, so that’s one of the reasons I wanted to make these, not to mention that I had a vaseful of beautiful roses from my Foodbuzz 24×24 party that were about to wilt away.

Plus, it’s almost V-day.

You need to make these for your sweetheart…

Adapted by Food Network

Cupcakes

Makes 16 servings

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 salt

1 1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

1 3/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp red food coloring

3 eggs

1 1/4 tsp white vinegar

2 tbsp water

1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 pound butter, room temperature

2 pounds confectioner’s sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Rose Petals

Rose Petals

Powdered sugar

1-2 egg whites, depending on how many rose petals you’re making

First make the petals. Soak them in cold water for a few minutes, drain, and soak again. Rinse. Whisk together the egg(s).

Very carefully brush the petals with egg white, then lay flat on parchment paper. Lightly press each side in the sugar and place back on the parchment.

Now, the cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder; set aside.

In a stand mixer combine the oil, buttermilk, and sugar on low until combined. Add food coloring, eggs, vinegar, water and vanilla with the mixer still on low until incorporated.

Add dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time (still on low), stopping the mixer between each addition to scrape theasides down. Mix until just combined. Bake in cupcake liners for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Lastly…the icing.

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer. Slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Add vanilla and mix on low until combined.

Frost the cupcakes, then add a rose petal on top. Store in the refrigerator.

Yes, I did taste them. The cake was very dense and moist, and the cream cheese icing is perfect.

Happy Hump Day!

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Smoked Sausage Dogs with Caramelized Fennel and Onions

I’m so excited that Ingredient Challenge Mondays are back! If you missed Friday’s post, Sunny from And Love It Too! and I are teaming up again for ingredient challenges. This time, we are including our readers with a linky tool so everybody can share in the fun.

The 2nd Monday of every month both of us will be hosting Ingredient Challenge Monday. You will have two weeks to link up your recipe using the chosen ingredient.

Our first challenge is fennel.

Also, we now have an ICM badge for you to use on your blog after linking up – just right click, “save as” and link it to our most recent ingredient challenge.

Remember, at the end of the two weeks Sunny and I will choose our favorite recipe and it will be featured on our blogs. Great exposure opportunity!

 Smoked Sausage Dogs with Caramelized Fennel and Onions

1 large onion, sliced thin

1 fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise in half in 1″ pieces

1 tsp salt

1 lb. smoked sausage, cut to fit the buns and sliced lengthwise

Hot dog buns

Mozzarella cheese

Add onion and fennel to a pan drizzled with olive oil over medium heat; toss to coat. After 5 minutes, sprinkle with salt. Caramelize, turning frequently, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat down to medium low and cook for an hour. Stir them every few minutes, making sure they don’t burn. You may find that you need to add a little water to the pan if they start drying out and sticking. You could also add a little sugar for extra caramelization.

While those are cooking, preheat the oven to low broil. Cook the sausages for 7-10 minutes on each side until done. Remove, but keep the broiler on.

Fill the hot dog buns with sausage, top with onion/fennel mixture and layer cheese on top. Broil for just a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.

Approximately 4 servings.

Make sure to visit Sunny to see her fennel dish.

Link up!

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