Sweet Potato Casserole

Inspirations in life and in the kitchen…“Sweet Potato Casserole and Carla”

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Sweet Potato Casserole and Carla

I first tried this recipe 28 years ago when I lived in Shreveport, Louisiana.  I moved there with my husband the first year of our marriage.  We visited a church one Sunday and  that is where I met Carla.  We became instant friends and she is still a dear friend to me today.

We took turns each week eating together. There I learned the value of friendship over sharing a table, laughter and recipes.  I was not a great cook and reluctant to try new things.  In fact, I had always stated that I did not like sweet potatoes and certainly not a casserole made with them. Then Carla invited us over for dinner one evening.  I could not believe what I had been missing out on all those years.

Needless to say, this recipe has been a favorite of mine during the holidays ever since.  It is not for the faint of heart…lots of butter and brown sugar in this one!

Even though we have not lived in the same city for over 24 years, I think of her often and miss her dearly.  Carla inspired me in the kitchen by encouraging me to try ALL the ingredients in a recipe first and not leave out the ones I don’t like. She is the ultimate hostess with the mostest and always inspired love and conversation in others around her table.

She inspires me in life to be “all ears”.  She never interrupts, listens as if she truly cares (and she does) and has a heart for others.  This is something I never forgot and I think of her often when listening skills are required.

God blessed me with a friendship like hers and I also have this wonderful recipe and many others to share around my own table. Make this and I think you will fall in love with it also!

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SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (can)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup milk

INSTRUCTIONS:
Beat eggs well then add milk and mix.
Add to this sweet potatoes, sugar, salt and butter or margarine
Mix and put in greased baking dish

TOPPING:
Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup flour
Pour over potatoes, then cover with 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Melt 1 stick of butter and pour over all.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until brown on top

Drinks and a Movie

It may not be cold in December in Texas, but January usually does not disappoint. So whenever we finally get a “cold front”, I crave something warm.   I love this recipe from Sallys Baking Addiction for apple cider.   (http://sallysbakingaddiction.com) I also have it listed under recipes if you want to try it.

Since our temps turned below 50, I wanted to curl up with a good book or movie as I drank my warm apple cider.  My daughter, Claire, opted for a movie.   She asked to watch Les Miserables.
I have never turned down the chance to watch this wonderful movie, and watching it with my daughter makes the time even more enjoyable!  Great way to spend time together before she heads back to college!  IMG_1818[1]

A few of my favorite things….

 

…holiday baking with my girls

…Christmas work parties and celebrations with family

…decorating our Christmas tree together while watching White Christmas

…all of us in the kitchen together preparing our Christmas lunch

…reading the Christmas story before opening gifts

…because Jesus is the Reason for the Season…

For Unto Us A Savior Is Born!

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There’s no place like Home for the Holidays

...cause no matter how far away you roam
when you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze
for the holidays you can’t beat Home Sweet Home!

We are celebrating Christmas with both sides of our family this weekend…so the countdown has begun!  I have 2 days to get all gifts purchased, Christmas desserts made and my contribution for dinner ready!

Chocolate covered peanuts are always on my list of baked goods.  First..because they are really tasty, and so hard to stop eating!  Second…because they are so easy to make!  I am all about that when I am trying to bake all day!!

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I also always make Peanut Butter Balls.  My father-in-law loves these, so I
make sure and bring to any family function during the holidays.

If you want your Chocolate to have a pretty shine, you can always temper the chocolate.  I have not tried that yet, so I am not sure how easy it is.  Or you can add paraffin wax, just a small amount.  And it is safe to eat! 🙂  I just put a tiny amount in and it gives the chocolate a nice shine!IMG_1208[1]IMG_1388[1]

I had some errands to run and asked my daughter, Claire to shape the peanut butter mixture into balls for me.  She said she could not make them into perfect round shapes.  I told her to practice, practice, practice as I walked out the door. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Time is here…

It is always a treat to be able to pick up your sister, do  a little shopping, then grab a bite to eat in Austin.  We ended the evening at Book People on Lamar and had the chance to meet Sally McKenney and purchase her new Candy Addiction Cookbook!  Not a bad way to spend a Friday night!

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My IMG_1293[1]mother-in-law, Phillis Rhine, saw that I made one of Sally’s recipes for White Chocolate Chip Molasses cookies.  She has a great Molasses recipe herself, but has never added the white chocolate chips.  She loved how they looked, so she made a batch for her Cookie Exchange!

Her hubby, (my wonderful father-in-law) told her she better bake some more…so I think they were a hit!

I am not sure her kitchen looks like mine after baking!  But I am thankful my daughter will help me clean up!

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Yummy Peanut Brittle

One of the things I love making at Christmastime is Peanut Brittle.  I have been using the same recipe for the last 25 years.   I lost it this year and thankfully my dear friend who gave me the recipe so long ago still had it! She just took a quick pic and texted it right to me. Thankful for technology…and Alyssa!   I also love that it is made in the microwave and I don’t have to use my candy thermometer! If you like to give away candy at Christmas, this makes a nice gift.

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Sometimes it takes me a couple of batches to get it just right.  I always forget that my microwave cooks high, so I need to adjust the power before cooking.  It only takes 10 minutes, so if you don’t love your first batch…the second one is usually perfect!  Enjoy!

It’s the Holiday Season…


The hardest part about a Cookie Exchange is deciding which cookies to bake.  Do I go for the tried and true traditional cookies or venture out and try a new recipe?

This year I tried a new recipe I found on one of my favorite blogger’s website, as well as a couple of my traditional favorites.  I have included her recipe here for you to try. http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/12/15/soft-baked-white-chocolate-chip-molasses-cookies/print/

I really loved this Soft-Baked White Chocolate Chip Molasses Cookie. It has a little crunch on the outside, but moist on the inside.  This was my first time to try this recipe, but it turned out just perfect!  Thanks in part to my helpful daughter in the kitchen.

This cookie pairs well with milk!  🙂

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