sweet potato

Sweet Potato Pie

I love this simplicity of this dessert. Ok, I love the simplicity and the taste. It’s like an anytime pie, but it’s seasonal so it’s unique. And not to toot my own horn, but I really think I’ve cracked the code on graham cracker crusts. The word candy comes to mind. (I really shouldn’t write blog posts when I’ve had so little sleep… However, my soon to be one year old has yet to sleep through the night. So I’m surprised I have any posts at all.) The original recipe has been adapted from one by Tyler Florence; which is to say, that in spite of exhaustion, the recipe is solid. 😉

As organic as possible:


2 Sweet potatoes (orange)

1/2 cup Brown sugar

2 Eggs, lightly beaten.

3 tsp Flour

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt


9 whole sheets Graham crackers

1/2 cup Cinnamon Crunch cereal (I like Cascadian Farms)

1 stick Butter

1/4 cup Brown sugar

1/4 tsp Salt


Preheat oven to 375°. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, pierce all over with a fork and double wrap (2 times) with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour.

For the crust: Crush graham crackers and cereal in a sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin. (At least thats how I do it, you can turn them into crumbs any way you”d like. I like them to have some texture for this recipe.) By the way, I just have to tell you that the little bit of crunchy cinnamon-sugary cereal does a really great thing for the world of graham crackers. You are going to be happy. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add crumbs, salt and sugar. Stir until all is coated. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of crumb mixture (optional for topping). Press evenly and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate.

When potatoes come out of the oven, turn heat down to 350° and bake the pie crust for about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven back up to 375°.

For the filling: Carefully (using a towel or something to hold the potatoes, because they will be very hot!) slice the skin of the sweet potato and scoop out the insides into a bowl. (Discard the skins.) If the insides are tender enough, mash with a fork. If necessary use a masher, until they are soft and pliable. Stir in 1/2 cup of brown sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon and salt. (Tyler Florence adds a pinch of nutmeg too, but I don’t prefer it here because it ends up tasting more like a pumpkin pie to me. However, I will leave that up to your discretion.) Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, top with remaining crust mixture and bake 15 to 20 minutes more (until crust is browned).

Then enjoy your life because sweet potato pie is delicious.



Harvest Chili

This is the ultimate harvest chili. It’s loaded with autumn vegetables and goodness such as sweet potatoes, onions, apples, and turkey. It looks like the prettiest fall tree color-changing picture (in abstract food form) ever! It’s really healthy, so some of you are going to love that. For the rest of you, don’t let that hold you back because it’s also delicious. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet, a bountiful treat. And if I may, I think the ground turkey could easily be substituted with leftover Thanksgiving turkey… which would be awesome. Just sayin’.

As organic as possible:

2 large Orange sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

2-3 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped

4 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped

2 pounds ground turkey

1 large Onion

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground Black pepper

1 Tbsp Chili powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1/2 tsp Oregano

1 – 15 oz can Pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 – 14.5 oz cans Red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 14.5 oz can diced Tomatoes

4 cups Chicken broth

1 Tbsp sugar* (I think this adds balance, but if you prefer healthier leave it out)

2 Sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 medium tart Apples (such as Granny Smith)

*Spicy Chipotle seasoned Pine nuts (Recipe follows), Optional

Place orange peppers, chipotle peppers, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven brown turkey with onion, salt and pepper. Drain excess fat (but a little left is okay). Add pepper-garlic mix, stir and cook about 5 minutes. Then add tomatoes, pinto and kidney beans, and chicken broth. (Side note: This much can be made ahead and allowed to simmer as long as needed until about 35 minutes before serving.)

Stir in sweet potatoes and apples. Bring to boiling and reduce to simmer, about 25-30 minutes until sweet potato is tender. Taste for seasonings. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with Spicy Chipotle Seasoned Pine Nuts (Optional), or corn chips. Enjoy!

Spicy Chipotle Pine Nuts

2 Tbsp Butter

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Water

1 tsp ground Chipotle chili pepper

1 tsp snipped fresh Rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)

1/2 tsp Celery salt

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1 1/2 cups Pine nuts

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside. In a small saucepan melt butter, add Worcestershire sauce, water, chipotle pepper, rosemary, celery salt, and garlic powder. Simmer over low heat for about 2 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and remove from heat.  When well coated, spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake about 10-15 minutes (shaking pan a couple times in-between), until lightly toasted. Sprinkle with salt while warm. (Side note: Nuts can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They are delicious on their own, and would be a nice addition on top of a salad too!)

This recipe has been adapted, tweaked, and changed from a Chipotle Harvest Chili recipe I found a few years ago in a Midwest Living Magazine. I think it’s perfection.

If you were going to use leftover turkey, I would sauté onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for a couple minutes. Add pepper-garlic mixture and let cook 5 minutes more. Then add turkey with the tomatoes, broth, etc., and follow the remaining instructions.



Sweet Potato Muffins

I love the smell of sweet potatoes in the morning. Actually there is something about this time of year that makes me want to bake with them all day long. I am also an advocate of muffins; for breakfast, with lunch, after dinner… Just one of life’s simple pleasures. These are a beautiful orange color and great to serve this time of year with soup or salad. See how coordinated I am?

Makes 18 muffins

As organic as possible:

2 cups Flour

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp grated Nutmeg

2 1/2 tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Salt

15 oz canned sweet potatoes (about 2 large, peeled, boiled until tender, and mashed)

2 Eggs, beaten

1/2 cup Sugar

1/4 cup Brown sugar

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 cup Walnut oil

Zest of 1 Orange

1 cup chopped Pecans


2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease or spray a 1 1/2 muffin tins, set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. In a medium sized bowl, add sweet potato, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, milk, and orange zest. Mix. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until incorporated. Gently fold in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, almost filling the cups. (Should make approximately 18 full sized muffins.) Fill remaining empty cups 3/4 full with water to prevent warping. In a small bowl stir sugar and cinnamon topping mixture and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake for 20-25 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to serving dish. I  use a butter knife in gently assisting the muffins out of the tin. Muffins are moist and flavorful, enjoy!