Category Archives: healthy

Sweet Potato Bread

With whipped creamI love this time of year.  Cool crisp mornings,  the color of the autumn leaves in the sunshine, pumpkins,  sitting by the fire, football , hayrides, hot chocolate, the smell of cinnamon,  and nutmeg. 

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

Sweet Potatoes ready to go in the oven.

Put in a paper bag on a baking sheet.

Put in a paper bag on a baking sheet.

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.

Cooked Sweet PotatoesHere they are right out of the oven. Soft skins and ready to peel.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes peeled and ready to whip.

Whipped potatoes

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.

My Kitchenaide mixerCream 1 cup butter with 3 cups of sugar.  That’s alot isn’t it.  It will be allright. 

Creamed butter and sugar

 Creamed butter and sugar . Ready to add the eggs.

Adding eggs

Add 3 eggs one at a time.  Beat after each one.

Good Vanilla

Add 1 teaspoon of good vanilla.

DSCN0207 Add 2 cups of whipped sweet potatoes.


3 cups flour, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t soda, 1 1/2 cinnamon, 1 t cloves, 1/2 t nutmet

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.

Baked and ready to serve





I like this picture.  It looks lonely.  Ready for someone to eat. 

Here is the recipe;

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t soda
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  •  raisins and pecans to taste

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.

Happy Cooking, 

The Teacher Cooks


Filed under Bread, Cooking, easy, healthy, Recipes, Sweet Potato

Fruit Pizza – Top Chef Lab

You are Top Chef

You are Top Chef

Today was an amazing lab.  It was as if every group was competing for Top Chef.  First block you could hear a pin drop as they were hovered over their fruit precisely cutting  to make an intricate design.  Most all of the groups worked to their full potential . You can see this when viewing  the photos.  FANTASTIC!!!

 I think this recipe or one close to it  is posted everywhere.  In class yesterday we were trying  to find ideas for putting the pizza together and there were hundreds of them.  Some good and some very bad.  I am still trying to wrap my brain around the “Kitty Litter Cake”!  To each his own.

Here are the instructions for putting the work of art together.

Crust –  Slice 1 roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough into 1/4 in. slices.  Use all the dough.  Place into a well greased pizza pan.  DO NOT mash to cover the pan.  As the dough rises in the oven it will cover the pan.  Bake at 350- 375 degrees for 15 – 20 min. or until golden brown.  It will be puffy when you take it out.  Don’t worry it will flatten quickly. Cool completely.  ( We put ours in the freezer to chill)

Frosting –  Mix 8 oz. of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Frost the cookie dough leaving about 1/2 of cookie around the edge.

Place your favorite fruits of the top .  Refer to the photos.  Some fruits make a better choice than others.  A good combination is strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and peaches.  Be careful to choose colors that will pop on the frosting.

Slice and enjoy.    

Here is the Second Place winner.  Congratulations to you both.  Great job!!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

Beautiful Work!

Beautiful Work!


Filed under Cookies, Cooking, cream cheese, Dessert, easy, fruits, healthy, quick, sugar cookies

Fruit Pizza Coming Up! Please Vote Here for the BEST!


Here's what we are cooking in our lab.


I need your help.  The pizza at the top is the one I made.  OK, my students have trumped mine.  That is a good thing, though. 

Please view the photos that follow and pick the best Fruit Pizza. 

 Write your choice in the comment section along with why it is your choice.  

Please only 1 vote per person. 

The winner will be have their photo at the top of the post.  The top two will get extra credit on our test next week on NUTRIENTS, which is pretty hard.

Have a great weekend,

The Teacher Cooks


Filed under Bar Cookies, Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, healthy, quick, Recipes

SOUP Day—Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup --yummy

Chicken Tortilla Soup --yummy

I am on a mission for the next couple of weeks!  That is nothing unusual though.  Having a mission in life is a good thing.  I have to present four twenty minute talks to about two hundred freshmen parents.  The topic is feeding hungry teenagers with good healthy food and doing it quickly.  What popped  in my mind first was the crockpot.  You have to use this if you walk through the door at 6:00 PM and the teens are demanding food at 6:01PM.  This is a recipe that I have used many many times .  The name says soup, but to me it is more like a stew.  To make it more of a soup add more tomato sauce.  Try it when you are in a time crunch it will be a hit!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Stew)

  • 4 chicken breast
  • 2 15 oz. cans of black beans                                                                 

    Here is what you need

    Here is what you need

  • 2 15 oz. cans of Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa ( I used the whole jar)
  • 4 oz. chopped green chilies
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • Tortilla chips
  • Monterey Jack cheese


 Put all the ingredients except tortilla chips and cheese into the crockpot.  Cook on low for about 8 hours. Just before serving take out the chicken and shred with a fork.  Place back in the crockpot.  In a bowl place chips with cheese and ladle soup on top.  This makes about 10 servings.  You can easily half the recipe.  The shredded chicken is great in chicken quesadillas . 


Using a liner saves on clean up

Using a liner saves on clean up










Remove chicken from the crockpot

Remove chicken from the crockpot


Shred with a fork

Shred with a fork and add back to crock pot

Cube or shred cheese

Cube or shred cheese

Add chips and cheese .  Then ladle in the soup!

Add chips and cheese . Then ladle soup!



The Teacher Cooks


Filed under Cheese, Chicken, Crock Pot, easy, healthy, quick, Soup, Tortilla Soup