Sunday, June 24, 2012

Simple & Tasty: English Muffin Bread

What's that you say? You love homemade bread but don't like all the mixing of dry ingredients, then wet ingredients, then everything all together, then waiting for all the rising action, then... well, you get the point. There are often a lot of steps.

Ohhh and you love English muffins???

Weeellllll then aren't you lucky, because here's the recipe for you: English Muffin Bread

Why is it so easy? Because:
- It's only FIVE ingredients (water, yeast, salt, sugar, & flour)
- It involves only ONE bowl, for mixing everything AND for the first rise
- Mix all 5 ingredients, let rise once, put in loaf pan, let rise a second time, and bake.

See? Easy!! And the results are really tasty. It has the telltale English muffin bread air pockets, it's very light, toasts great, and is super yummy coated in jam.

Find the recipe over at, including freezing instructions! Yep, just bake, cool, slice, and freeze!

The second rise happens right in the loaf pan!
Finished product!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Magical Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Most inconsistent blogger, yes, yes, I know!!!!!! I'll get the hang of this. Some day. Maybe.


Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I have to share a most fantastic way to prepare sweet potatoes. The hubs & I lurve us some sweet potato, and we used to eat it pretty often. We were on a sweet potato hiatus for a good long while, but thanks to the new frugal life style, they're back in our lives.

Sweet potatoes were $.79/lb the other day which seemed like a good deal, so I bought just over 2 lbs. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try out a recipe I'd seen on America's Test Kitchen.

Ever watch America's Test Kitchen? It's on public TV, and is a cooking show that walks you through recipes using techniques that they've chosen after a long testing and comparison process. They're like chef scientists, with tasty experiments to share with us. And they're usually pretty simple to make. The other day they made mashed sweet potatoes using such a simple method, that I knew I had to try it!

Aaaanyway, I did. Tonight. And here's what you do! (Note: Unfortunately their recipe is visible only if you are a paying member, but I'll share what I learned from watching the show.)

Peel sweet potatoes, and cut them into approx 1/4" wide strips. You want the pieces to be thin and small, so they layer well. I cut each potato lengthwise once, then a second time. Then I cut the long strips every 1/4" (pieces end up triangle-shaped), and thew the resulting pieces in a medium-sized saucepan.

Apparently the key to making delicious, non-gluey, non-watery mashed sweet potatoes is the liquid! Sweet potatoes contain a lot of water, so you should not add much liquid. They end up steaming themselves to a perfect softness thanks to their own water! Who knew? Thanks, chef scientists!! Scientist chefs? Err...

Aaaanyway again, to the sweet potatoes (I had about 2 lb worth) I added about 4 T butter (I went with salted), 2 T heavy cream, 1 t sugar, 1/4 - 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper. I mixed them a bit, turned the temp to low (between 2-4 on my stove top), put the lid on, then let them cook, mixing every 10 mins or so. After about 35-40 minutes, I had very soft and mashable sweet potatoes.

Remove them from the heat, add one more T of heavy cream, and mash away with a hand-masher. I did this right in the sauce pan. Piece o cake! Only took a bit of smashing, because they were so perfectly soft.

And the results: Delicious, pillowy, soft, perfect-tasting, mashed sweet potatoes. Nom.

So if you need a new way of presenting sweet potatoes, give this a try! Saves time, money, is healthy, and most of all, super delicious. I paired mine with a super simple roast pork loin, and it was a dynamic duo of delicious. Yep.

PS - Sorry for no photos. I got all excited about making them, then eating them. Then they were gone. Oops.

Magical Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
- 2 lb sweet potatoes
- 4 T butter
- 3 T heavy cream (divided into two portions: 2 T and 1 T)
- 1 t sugar
- 1/4 - 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper

1 - To sweet potatoes: Peel, then quarter lengthwise and cut into 1/4" wide pieces
2 - Add sweet potatoes, butter, 2 T heavy cream, sugar, salt, and pepper to a medium-sized saucepan
3 - Set saucepan to low, with lid on
4 - Cook for 35 - 40 mins, mixing every 10 mins
5 - Remove from heat
6 - Add 1 T heavy cream
7 - Mash away!
8 - Eat, and enjoy