Vote today starting at 3:00 PM until Saturday 3:00 PM for your favorite dressed up cupcake.
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The Teacher Cooks
With this weather it just made me want to make something that would make the kitchen smell like fall.
So that is the reason for the sweet potato bread. At least one of the reasons, the other being that I have an abundance of sweet potatoes from the CSA that I have not used. I pulled out half of them for the bread and will use the rest for a fall root roast.
One year for Christmas a student brought me this bread all wrapped up real pretty for a gift. Now for those of you that aren’t teachers you might not understand this. Teachers have to be real careful when it comes to eating food that students bring you from home. You never know. You could have made Suzie Q real mad cause you called her mama for talking back to you or it just wasn’t fair that you sent her to the office because she was half dressed. Needless to say I am wary of eating anything that I don’t see made right in front of me. This little cute blonde I trusted her. No really I knew her mama real well. So here is the best sweet potato bread that has ever passed your lips. I promise you. Eat hot right out of the oven or freeze and eat later. Whatever you choose you are going to love it!
Coming from the south I have grown up eating sweet potatoes. Not sweet potato souffle. I hate that. Just plain sweet potatoes with butter and salt. There is nothing better. My grandparents grew these in their garden. As a small child I watched my mother with her apron on putting sweet potatoes in a brown paper bag and pushing them in the oven. I would help her peel them when they came out. It was almost like peeling a banana. I could not help myself from putting hot pieces in my mouth as we took the peelings off. They were so good.
You can do the same. Create some childhood memories with your family. Let them help you make this bread and maybe years from now they will be writing about how good it made them feel to be in the kitchen with you.
Sweet Potatoes ready to go in the oven.
You have to bake them in a brown bag. Trust me. It helps to make the sugars caramelize. The taste is unbelievable. Bake at 400 degrees F. Bake until nice and soft for about 1 hr. and 20 minutes. It will make your house smell so good.
Sweet potatoes peeled and ready to whip.
Whip hot potatoes with mixer. Do not add a thing. At this point you can refrigerate until you are ready to make the bread. Bring to room temperature or heat in the microwave for a few minutes.
Creamed butter and sugar . Ready to add the eggs.
Add 3 eggs one at a time. Beat after each one.
Add 1 teaspoon of good vanilla.
Add Flour, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
At this point you can add nuts and/or raisins. I added both. About 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 cup of raisins.
Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes. Check with toothpick that comes out clean. Cool for 10 min. before removing from pan.
I like this picture. It looks lonely. Ready for someone to eat.
Here is the recipe;
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Add 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes. Add dry ingredients. Stir in nuts and raisins. Bake in a Bundt pan at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 min. Check for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick that comes out clean.
The Teacher Cooks
Teaching high school takes a lot of planning, but there are times that I do things on the spur of the moment that really add alot to the class. This is one of them. Today the students took a test and we started a new unit. I thought we needed something a little more interesting. This demo only took about 15 minutes of class time. While they were cooking the students took their test.
I have been making cream puffs since college. As a freshman I worked for the Family and Consumer Science Department Head. I thought I would be typing, grading essays that kind of thing, but that was not always the case. Thank goodness I loved to cook. She was in charge of every event that involved food. Not sit down meals, but everything else.
I left there knowing how to make every kind of cookie, sandwich, cheese straw, punch, and candy recipe. I loved it! It was so much fun and I learned a lot.
Here is one of the recipes that I made.
Cream puffs are very easy to make and will impress all your guests. You can fill them with pudding. I recommend you make it from scratch. It is much better than the instant that I used today, because of lack of time. Sweetened whipped cream would be an excellent choice, too. Let’s don’t leave out ICE CREAM. You could use that as a filling, too.
Since I am not a dessert person filling them with chicken or a seafood salad would be a hit. Or you could go all out and double the recipe and make one savory and one sweet. Whatever way you choose everyone is going to be impressed with your cooking skills.
My students now want to make these in class, but we don’t have time. We have to move on to more healthy choices. FRUITS and VEGETABLES
Here is the basic recipe that is found in every cookbook. Use your imagination and enjoy cooking!
Heat oven to 400 – 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat water and margarine to boiling. Take off heat add flour and salt all at once. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of pan in a smooth compact ball. Let mixture cool slightly. Stirring will help to cool the mixture quicker. Be careful not to add your eggs too soon or you will have scrambled eggs. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make 6 very large cream puffs or use a tablespoon and make 20 snack size. ( In the picture are snack size).
You can pipe these from a pastry tube using a large fluted tip.
Bake small cream puffs for about 30 minutes. Bake large ones for about 40 minutes.
Doneness is important. They will collapse if they are underbaked. ( That question was on our test today) To fill them slice the top third and remove the uncooked dough if there is any. Now you will be able to fill the Cream Puff. When you finish just replace the top.
They should be filled as close to serving time as possible to preserve their crispness.
Unfilled they can be frozen for 3 months.
The Teacher Cooks
When the waitress brought it I thought to myself, ” This is what my Mama called a hot roast beef sandwich.” Au Jus - we won’t even go there!
Here is another quick and easy meal using the crockpot. Very Tasty! It is one of my Southern Living recipes I use regularly. Hope you will, too. This recipe make 12 servings. Half the recipe and you still have leftovers.
French Dip Sandwiches
Place a crockpot liner in the slow cooker. Put roast in. Combine all ingredients except rolls. Add water to cooker until roast is almost covered. Cook on LOW 7 hours. Remove roast, reserving broth: shred roast with a fork. Place roast in rolls and serve with au jus for dipping. Yield 12 servings
The Teacher Cooks
I love teaching!! No, I mean I really LOVE teaching! Today anyway. It makes my day when my students come into the classroom and can’t wait for me to call the roll because they are so eager to get busy with their assignment . There has to be a reason for this other than the fact that they are all starving.
I read something on Monday when I attended the Leonardo DiVinci exhibit that could be the reason for the eagerness . Di Vinci said, ” Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Could it be a spark of passion here that has created this excitement? I hope so.
Cheese biscuits are the last of our quick bread labs and we go out with a perfect 10. As you look at the pictures you can see they did great! One group put the cheese in at the wrong time, but recovered very well. They learned from the first time not to add too much flour and surprisingly they were very good . We had a couple of equipment malfunctions. One oven was turned off by mistake and another did not heat properly.
I now feel as if our lab is a small reproduction of ” Top Chef” , because there is so much competition between the groups to be at the top of the post. It is quite comical. You would think that I am giving out money as an award. Competition is good, but I have to think of a way to tone this down before it ruins some friendships.
How do you prepare these little cheesy morsels? Check out Making Biscuits From Scratch and make one little change. Grate 1 1/2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese and add after cutting in the shortening.
Some information about grating cheese:
You might ask why not save time and use pre-grated cheese? I am not totally against it but, it is dry and not as flavorful. It is more expensive, too.
Okay I have to get to the gym . I ate more than my usual taste of each biscuit today. They were just sooo good that I could not resist. Hopefully I can STEP some of these calories off before they attach to my body as fat.
Enjoy the Bake-off pictures!
The Teacher Cooks
This is the last lab for quick breads. It should be a good one. They are all ready and eager. Tune in tomorrow for the bake off!!!
The Teacher Cooks