Thursday, November 23, 2017

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping

  • Five or six nice sweet potatoes
  • Six or eight tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Three to five tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • One tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice from one small orange
  • Plenty of marshmallows

Wash the sweet potatoes, prick them with a sharp knife, and then bake at 375 until they are done -- about an hour, but less if they are smaller and more if they are larger. Stick them with a fork to see if they are done. The fork should slide in with no resistance.

Allow potatoes to cool a bit.

Grease a casserole dish large enough to hold all the potatoes when they're mashed up. Grease it with real butter.

Take the skin off the potatoes, and mash up the potatoes in a large bowl.

Once they're mashed, melt the butter, and add it in. Add everything else, except the marshmallows. Mix well. Taste. Maybe add some rum. Maybe add more salt or more ginger. Maybe a little cream or more butter? A little maple syrup sometimes is also a good choice. (I have literally never made this recipe the same way twice. Though the year I added cayenne pepper was a bad, bad year.)

When the mix tastes lovely, put it in the casserole dish and spread as flat as possible. Cook at 350 for about 15 minutes. Then cover it with the marshmallows and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are brown and toasty.

Eat up!

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Big Spaghetti

This is a red sauce which the kid and I have developed over the past year or so. It's our favorite for pasta at the moment.


One pound of ground beef
Some olive oil
Some Chianti
12 oz tomato paste
One onion
Two stalks of celery
Five or six cloves of garlic
Some oregano (fresh if you can get it)
Salt, pepper

(1) Put a little olive oil in the pan. Start the meat browning over a medium heat in this oil. Stir now and then, breaking up clumps.

(2) Dice the onion, slice the celery, smash and dice the garlic. Dump it all in a bowl as you work. Once the meat is browned, drain out most of the fat. Then mix in the chopped onion/celery/garlic. Add a little more olive oil, stirring well.

(3) Add the tomato paste. Fill the can the tomato paste came in halfway full with hot water, and stir that in too. Add some Chianti -- maybe a quarter cup? We don't actually measure. Stir some more.

(4) Add the oregano, a bit of salt, some pepper. Stir some more. Set to simmer for about half an hour. Taste it now and then -- you might need more Chianti or more salt or more pepper. If so, add those in.

(5) While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta. Whichever kind you like best is fine!

(6) When the sauce and the pasta are done (try to arrange it so they're both done at the same time, but the sauce can simmer longer than 30 minutes if you need it to, so err on the side of the pasta), drain the pasta and serve it with the sauce. Parmesan cheese is also a nice addition.

You can store any leftover sauce and reheat it in a day or two, when you're ready for more pasta. I reheat in the microwave after adding a little more olive oil and maybe a little more Chianti.

Tabouli Two

This recipe is called Tabouli 2 because I already have one tabouli recipe here on the blog (basic tabouli).

This version still isn't traditional Tabouli, which is very heavy on parsley. But it's great for summers in Arkansas, when it's too hot to eat anything except cold food, and when your garden is putting out a ton of tomatoes and cukes.



  • About a cup of cracked wheat and/or one box of Tabouli mix
  • One half of a cucumber (English is best)
  • One stalk celery
  • Two bunches of green onions
  • One big juicy ripe tomato or several plum tomatoes
  • One can black beans (12 oz)
  • One lime
  • About a quarter cup of rice vinegar
  • A little fresh mint, a little parsley
  • Half a cup of excellent olive oil

(1) Put the wheat or the Tabouli mix into a glass bowl or four-cup measuring cup. Pour in a cup of boiling water. Stir. Cover and leave to sit for half an hour.

(2) Cut up all the vegetables into small bits. (About half the size of a standard dice.) Dump in a big glass bowl as you cut them up. Squeeze out the lime, and add its juice and the rice vinegar. Mix well.

(3) Open the can of beans and drain. Maybe rinse them as well. Mix the beans in with the vegetables. Chop the mint and parsley very fine and stir those in as well.

(4) Dump in the grain, and mix again.

(5) Add the olive oil. Mix very well.

(6) Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. (I put the tabouli into a giant Bell canning jar at this point, because that fits well into my fridge. If you do this, you can just put on the lid, instead of the plastic wrap.

(7) Let chill for at least an hour. Then NOM.

Keeps for several days, though mine is always eaten by the second day.