Thanksgiving Recipes: Sweet Potato Casserole with Ginger

Out of all of the yummy things I'm making for Thanksgiving, I think this is the one I'm most excited for. I'm not a big fan of the marshmallow coated sweet potatoes that you usually find at a T-day feast, but I do love sweet potatoes. Last year, I was asked to bring the sweet potato casserole, so I went hunting for another way to make them. This is what I found. It's been quite the love affair ever since.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Ginger

3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes) peeled, halved lengthwise, and halves cut crosswise into 1/4 in slices
6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. In large pot or Dutch oven of boiling water, parboil sweet potato slices over high heat until they are bright orange and the point of a paring knife easily pierces but does not break apart a few slices, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain potatoes will and turn into buttered 13x9  baking dish.
2. Whisk melted butter, honey, molasses, ginger, salt, and cayenne in small bowl; set aside. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water in small bowl until totally smooth, then whisk into butter mixture; pour over sweet potatoes and toss to coat well.
3. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until liquid is bubbly, about 50 minutes. Remove foil, stir potatoes gently, and bake until liquid thickens to glaze potatoes, about 20 minutes longer. Cool slightly and serve hot or at room temperature.


Thanksgiving for Two

Bummer of all bummers, I have to work on Thanksgiving this year. All day, through lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this means that I don't get to go to dinner in Tooele with Weston or dinner at all on actual Turkey day.

But I do have Wednesday off, so I will be making Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us on Wednesday. This is what's on the menu:

Roasted Turkey Breast
Real Mashed Potatoes with All-Purpose Gravy
Sweet Potato Casserole with Molasses and Ginger
Roasted Green Beans
Oven-Baked Bread Stuffing with Sage and Thyme
Classic Pumpkin Pie

We'll see how this goes. I've never cooked T-day dinner before! Wish me luck!


So excited to go here!

I will be flying to San Francisco this week. Granted, it's for work. But still!

I'm going for a little bit of training since I will be the Remodel Coordinator for my store while they get a new look over the next two months. Consequently, I will be working overnights five days a week and living off Five Hour Energy (which we will sell, btw).

But, I get to go to San Francisco. One of my most beloved places in the world!

While I am there, I will:

Shop at Zara
Eat at the Ferry Building
Schlep around Union Square
Stay at the lovely Westin St. Francis
See my adorable niece and lovely sister
Somehow find the motivation to stuff my brain with all kinds of challenging/new stuff
And all around enjoy myself!


This Is How We 4th of July!

German style, baby!

Happy Birthday, America!

German Potato Salad


Operation Care and Comfort

Hey there, want to support our troops? Make sure you stop in to Old Navy July 1-4 and donate a pair of flip flips, some socks, underwear, tees, or anything else you may want to donate to our troops overseas. It doesn't even have to be from Old Navy. Chapstick, sunscreen, and other basics are appreciated.

Oh, and by the way, you can get 10% off of your purchase. Just sayin'.

So, do something nice for our troops.


Banana Republic is Mad!

Banana Republic is releasing a "Mad Men" line in August. I can't wait! I probably can't afford any of it, but a girl can dream, right? Maybe just one piece?


Our Animals

Three chickens and a German Shepherd...

The first three eggs from said chickens!

This Is What We Call Good Summer Eatin'!

Now that Summer has obliged to show its self just a little (in Logan, we call that snow one night, then a 75-degree high the very next day), I've had the urge to start making more light, veggie-filled dishes for dinner. This is one of our favorites. (Thanks Katie!)

Zucchini Quesodillas

This is a good vegetarian recipe, and I like it like that. But, if your husband is anything like mine, you should probably add a little meat to his. I usually do some shredded chicken breast, but if I had a grill, I would grill some up and slice it.

4 TBSP olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium zucchini, cut in two and sliced
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups pepper jack cheese, divided
4 large whole wheat tortillas
1 recipe cilantro ranch dip

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, heat 3 TBSP of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the garlic is tender and your onion begins to caramelize. Add the zucchini and corn. Cook until the zucchini is soft, then remove from heat. With the remaining olive oil, brush one side of two tortillas and place the oiled side down on a baking sheet. Spread the zucchini mixture evenly on each tortilla, followed by the cheese. Cover with another tortilla and brush the up-side with more olive oil. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until the tortilla is golden and slightly crisp. Serve while warm.

Cilantro Ranch Dip

Weston came up with this all on his own. He certainly knows his way in the kitchen. When he wants to anyway.

1 packet of Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch dressing mix
1-8 oz. container sour cream
1 small can diced green chilies
1 bunch cilantro
1 tsp horse radish
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp red chili paste (sambal oeleck)
Place all in a blender and blend until smooth.



Today, our sweet Petra went to Doggy Heaven. We loved you, Pup. We will miss you tons.


Give and Get is Here!

Give and Get is Here!: "Enjoy 30% off from March 17-20 at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy plus we'll make a 5% donation to a non-profit."


Hearty Beef Stew

Sometimes, cooking in the winter is hard around here. I would eat soup for dinner several times a week, but a couple of times a month is stretching it for Weston. He prefers heavier fair like steak and pork chops. This is a great way for us to compromise. I get soup and bread, he gets his steak and potatoes. (And it's a sneaky way for me to force him to eat his veggies. But don't tell him I told you that.)

I like to serve this with savory rosemary bread or crusty rustic rolls. If you don't go with the rosemary bread, add a dash of rosemary to the stew. It just brightens it up a little more.

1 pound sirloin tip steak, cubed (see note)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil (see note)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 cups beef stock
2 cups water
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen peas

Note: Choose whole sirloin tip steaks over ones that have been cut into small pieces for stir-fries. If sirloin tip steaks are unavailable, substitute blade or flank steak, removing any hard gristle or excess fat. Also, use regular olive oil over evoo when browning the meat. It has a higher smoking point than evoo.

1. Dredge beef in flour and then, in a medium stock pot, brown beef on all sides in oil. Add salt, pepper, water, stock, onion, paprika, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.

2. Add carrots and potatoes and simmer for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

3. Add 1 tablespoon flour and mix to thicken the stew. After mixing, let sit for a few minutes to thicken. If not to desired thickness, add more flour or cornstarch and repeat.

4. Once thickened, add corn and peas to stew. Heat for 5 minutes more and serve.



This may be a little late in coming (I know, I'm bad a posting), but the time has come to announce the latest addition to our little family....

We welcomed this surly little bundle of joy into our homes and our hearts in early October. She has since been named Petra, doubled (tripled, even) in size, perked her ears up straight and tall (except for when she is focused, in which case they cross), been to the pound, and proved herself to be an apt guard dog.

We love her.


Big Fish

Weston and I went fishing for the first time this summer at Vernon Reservoir last weekend. We liked it so much, we went back the next day. I also caught my first fish. And it promptly bit me.



Two years ago, I married the love of my life. In that time, we've lived in three apartments and two cities. We've been on adventures, made new friends, and grown together in love and waist lines. I love you Weston! I'm so glad I get to have you for Eternity.


Taking Up New Projects

I have had the hardest time trying to find a summer dress for myself. While there are plenty of cute ones around, I'm picky. I want something that I can wear without leggings or undershirts or cardigans. Seriously, it's summer. No extra layers please. I guess the designers don't exactly cater well to the Utah market that way. But I would wear dresses all summer long if I could find something that matches my criteria.

So, what else is there to do but make my own? When I was younger, I learned to sew clothing in 4-H, but it's been a good 5 or 6 years since I've even attempted it. Since I've already got the sewing machine and picked a pattern out, I don't really have an excuse not to do this. I'll be curious to see how it turns out.

In order to go easy on myself, I chose one of Vogue's "very easy" patterns. (Very easy? Are they sure about that?) For fabric, I'm thinking a light white linen. We'll see how well I handle this project before I move onto the next. I already have it picked out. :)