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Friday, February 21, 2014

sweet potato coconut pie with marshmallow meringue


Over the holidays, I did what I always do - I got out all of my favorite holiday cookbooks and magazines to get ideas for what recipes to try.  This year, we went to visit my sister, so I got busy looking through all of her holiday cookbooks and magazines.  There was one recipe in particular that caught my eye.


My dear husband just loves anything sweet potato.  He would much rather have sweet potato pie than pumpkin (although if you ask me, they taste pretty much the same).  I've never made him a sweet potato pie because they just don't appeal to me all that much...until I saw this recipe, that is.


What won me over were the words marshmallow meringue.  I love marshmallows!  I really love marshmallow creme.  And I love the concept of adding it to meringue.

This pie surpassed my expectations.  I'll be adding marshmallow meringue to all of my pie recipes from here on out.  Way to go Taste of Home - another win for you!


Here's how you make this delicious dessert...

Wrap your sweet potatoes in foil and bake at 400 until they are fully cooked.  I always squeeze mine to check - if they are squishy, they are done!


Meanwhile, make the crust!  Combine flour, salt, and ginger in a food processor.  Add butter and shortening and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.


While you are processing, add water just until moist crumbs form.  See my crumbs?  They are beautiful, if I do say so myself.


Take those crumbs and shape them into a flattened ball of dough.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to make it easier to handle.


Roll out your pastry to fit a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.  You MUST use a deep dish pie plate...you're going to have a lot of goodness to fit in there!

And another note - your pie crust edges don't have to look pretty for this pie to taste good.  Take a look at mine...they are hideous!  I've never been good at pie crusts, so I've pretty much given up.  Once the pie is covered with meringue, nobody cares anyway. :)


Cover your crust with a double-thickness of foil and fill with a pie weight.  I used dried beans.  Bake it at 425 for 8 minutes.  Remove the foil and weights and bake it for an additional 5 minutes.  Voila - your pie crust is ready!

Be sure to reduce your oven heat to 325 degrees at this point.


For the filling, combine coconut milk, brown sugar, and cream cheese - cook and stir these until smooth.  Then, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.


Whisk in the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.  Pour it into your prepared crust.  Bake it at 325 for about an hour or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  I used foil to protect the edges towards the end to keep them from overbrowning.


And now, the very best part!  Meringue! 

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form.  See my soft peaks?


Then, gradually beat in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff glossy peaks form.  See the difference?  I love the look of those stiff, glossy peaks.  I also put my meringue through an extra test - I rub a bit in between my fingers.  If I can still feel sugar granules, it's not done.  Keep beating until it's completely smooth.


Now here's what separates this meringue from traditional meringue.  Place marshmallow creme in a separate bowl and fold a third of the meringue in.  Once that's combined, fold the rest of the meringue in.  Spread that mixture over the hot filling, being sure to seal it at the edges of the crust.  Sprinkle with marshmallows and coconut for a fun touch.


Bake an additional 12-15 minutes or until the top is golden.  Cool it on a wire rack for 1 hour, and then refrigerate for an additional few hours before serving.  This is a pie to eat cold.








Sweet Potato Coconut Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
Taste of Home Holiday Baking
Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ginger
  • 6 T. cold butter
  • 2 T. shortening
  • 3-4 T. cold water
Filling:
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese,s oftened
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
Meringue:
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 oz. marshmallow cream
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut
In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and ginger; cover and pulse to blend.  Add the butter and shortening; cover and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  While processing, gradually add water just until moist crumbs form.  Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
Roll out pastry to fit a 9-in deep dish pie plate.  Transfer pastry to pie plate.  Trim pastry to ½ in beyond edge of plate; flute edges or decorate with pastry cutouts as desired.  Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.  Fill with dried beans, uncooked rice, or pie weights.  Bake at 425 for 8 minutes.  Remove foil and weights; bake 5 minutes longer.  Cool on wire rack.  Reduce heat to 325.
For the filling, in a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar, and cream cheese.  Cook and stir until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl; cool 5 minutes.  Whisk in the sweet potatoes, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.  Pour into crust.
Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cover edges with foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent overbrowning if necessary.
For meringue, in a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in sugar, 1 T. at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved.
Place the marshmallow crème in a separate large bowl; fold in a third of the egg white mixture, then fold in the remaining mixture.  Spread evenly over hot filling, sealing edges to crust.  Sprinkle with marshmallows and coconut
Bake 12-15 minutes longer or until top is golden.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

power goop



This recipe has the oddest name, but that's cause I named it myself, and I'm a bit odd sometimes.  It happens.

But, let me tell you, this recipe is my new secret weapon!  Here's the scoop...


Like most people, I decided that January 1 was a great time to start eating better and get off the few (okay, a bit more than a few) pounds that I gained over the holidays.  I teamed up with some friends on facebook as part of an accountability group - we cheer each other on, encourage one another to NOT eat that chocolate bar...you get the picture.

Well, one woman in the group said that she eats the same thing for breakfast every morning and is never hungry.  I was skeptical...I'm always hungry, no matter what I do.  In fact, I'm hungry right now.  I hate diets!


But I digress.  I decided to give her little breakfast a try since I had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  I was surprised that I didn't hate it.  It's not a cinnamon roll or anything, but my taste buds were happy.  I was even more surprised to find out that she was right...I wasn't hungry!  And not only was I not hungry, I wasn't even munchy!  I didn't think about food all morning long.  I ate that breakfast at 7:30, and I seriously made it until lunch at noon before feeling the need to eat again.

And now I'm hooked!  I don't eat it every morning, but if I do have a day where I know I'm going to need a bit more energy, I whip up this little bowl of happiness.  Time and again, it has never failed to hold me.  The fiber keeps you full, and the cinnamon prevents your blood sugar from dropping.  It's pretty awesome!



Power Goop
  • 1 small banana, or 1/2 large banana, mashed
  • 2 T. peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 T. ground flax seed (or chia seeds)
  • 1 t. cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Add additional water or milk to soften if needed.  I highly recommend topping with chocolate syrup! :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

alphabet party | cheese tidbits


Miss Pebbles turned two!  Can you believe it?  I remember when I first announced that I was expecting and then later when I announced that she was born.  Time just flies.


We had an alphabet party for our sweet baby girl.  I placed alphabet blocks around the house and on the food table, and we strung up alphabet wall art around the living room.  It was so cute!


For food, I whipped up some cheese tidbits for the adults (recipe below) and some alphabet cereal marshmallow balls for the kids.  I added sprinkles to make them extra fun!


And for dessert...cupcakes!


I made this delicious vanilla cupcake recipe and added sprinkles to the batter to make them funfetti cupcakes.


Miss Pebbles loved them!


Ahhh...it's so fun to look at those pictures.  I just love that little girl!  Thanks for letting me share...now on to the recipe. :)

These cheese tidbits are a recipe I got from my college roommate, Lauren.  I remember that she would get packages of these and never share!  I finally wheedled one out of her - I had to find out what all the fuss was about.  They are buttery, cheesy, and peppery - a great and addictive combo.


Cheese Tidbits
2 sticks margarine or butter (1 cup)
2 cups flour
8 oz. package Cracker Barrel sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups rice crispies
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne pepper

Soften butter and mix with softened grated cheese.  Add flour, salt, and cayenne.  When well-mixed, fold in rice crispies.  Roll into balls.  Place on greased cookie sheet and press down with a fork.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

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