By Janice Taylor, Weight Loss Expert (www.OurLadyofWeightLoss.com)
It wasn't until I permanently removed over 50 pounds and developed a taste for baked sweet potatoes plain and simple that I questioned the wisdom of creating a casserole that was topped with toasted white lumps of melted gooeyness.
Seriously, why would you want to mess up something so naturally sweet as the sweet potato with mini-marshmallows?
Marshmallows date back to the ancient Egyptians. Back in the day, around 2,000 B.C., the Egyptians combined the sweet sap of the root of the Marsh-Mallow plant with honey creating a candy fit for their gods and the Pharaohs.
In the 1920's and 30's, once available only to the wealthy, marshmallows became a mass produced item. Recipe booklets from Jell-O and Knox Gelatin reflected this happening. Marshmallows were included in recipes on just about every page: Banana Fluff, Lime Mallow Sponge, Cocoa Tutti Fruit and Paradise Pudding. (Source: How Products are Made Volume 3). By the time1955 rolled around, there were about 35 manufacturers of marshmallows in the United States, and Alex Doumak, of Doumak, Inc., patented "the extrusion process," a manufacturing method that changed the history of marshmallow production.
Which leads us straight to my mother's circa 1960's kitchen and her GLAZED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE topped with MINI-MARSHMALLOWS, and to the answer of the above question, "why would anyone want to mess up something so naturally sweet as the sweet potato with mini-marshmallows?"
With each mini-marshmallow, I give a nod to the ancient Egyptians, their Gods and Pharaohs, I warmly remember my mother in her circa 60's kitchen, and I indulge my sweet tooth, which apparently remains alive, well and yet manageable.
Today, I share with you two classic Holiday Sweet Potato Recipes. The first, my mother's famous 60's style Sweet Potato Casserole, and my 2010 soon to be a classic, Sweet, Sassy and Sexy - Honey Glazed Sweet Potato Chips, which was met with heartfelt cheers last Thanksgiving and hopefully will be again this year!
1960's CANDIED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE DELUXE (topped with Mini-Marshmallows)
1 (29 oz.) can sweet potatoes or yams, drained
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
dash of salt
1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350F. In small bowl, slightly beat your eggs. Set aside.
In medium-sized bowl, mash the sweet potatoes.
Add the rest of the ingredients with the exception of 3/4 of a cup of marshmallows.
Mix thoroughly! Coat casserole dish with non-stick spray. Place mixture in dish. Add the rest of the marshmallows to the top of the casserole. If you need more than 3/4 of a cup to make it 'right,' go for it!!! Bake at 350F for approx. 20 minutes, until the marshmallows are the right shade of burnt for you!
Sweet, Sassy and Sexy - Honey Glazed Sweet Potato Chips
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons local honey (My niece has a bee farm in her backyard, can't get any more local than that, can you?!)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large sweet potatoes, sliced thin, thin, thin!
Rosemary, chopped - to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper - to taste
Kosher salt - to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Lightly coat a 9-by-13 inch baking pan with olive oil spray (you can find it in the 'spray' aisle or make your own in one of those spray containers)
In a small bowl, whisk together the water, brown sugar, honey and olive oil - until smooth!
Place a single layer of sweet potatoes in the baking pan.
Brush the sauce over the sweet potatoes. Turn to coat the other side.
Bake until tender, or until crispy. Entirely up to you. The trick is to coat them every 15 minutes or so. One side and then the other (yes, even though you've already coated both sides).
When you get them to where you want them, transfer to serving dish and top with the Rosemary, salt n' pepper.
PHOTO (cc): Flickr / inju
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