Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sweet Potato Chile Mac

Sweet Potato Chile Mac Recipe

Made this for dinner tonight, from the February issue of Cooking Light. All the Crawfords gave it two thumbs way up! Even Ellie!! As with most CL recipes, it turned out just as expected and took the exact amount of time indicated. (This might be a weekend meal for you work-away-from-homers as it does take an hour to bake the sweet potatoes, but everything else can be prepared while the taters bake.) I made it with wagon wheel pasta, and only used one chopped chipotle in adobo sauce. Pete and I have been burned before with chipotles in adobo so I usually halve whatever is called for in a recipe, plus the baby girl was dining with us and I didn't want smoke to come out of her ears. If you don't like heat, I'm certain this would be just as delicious sans chipotles.

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup packed)
  • 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat macaroni or penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly; peel and mash in a large bowl. Stir in milk and next 4 ingredients (through cheese).
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Add pasta to sweet potato mixture; set aside.
  4. Preheat broiler to high.
  5. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chorizo to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Place chorizo in a small bowl. Wipe pan clean. Spoon sweet potato mixture into pan; sprinkle evenly with chorizo. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp. Sprinkle with onions and cilantro.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

An Eye Toward Spring

This recipe has been on Pinterest for a few weeks - over and over again - so I decided to make it yesterday on one of our balmy 67-degree February afternoons.

image via Pinterest

The recipe was easy - straightforward - turned out like the pictures. (Except I am so clearly not a photographer.)

I just don't know if I like it. I think it is because I tend to prefer chocolate/cream cheese/vanilla kinda of desserts over fruity ones. Pete loves Key lime pie, so I make it once a year, and eat one piece, and leave the rest for him. Truth be told, I don't even like lemonade, so I'm not sure why I was so excited about strawberry lemonade cake. It just looked so pretty in the picture that I couldn't resist. Pete really likes it (UPDATE: Pete is devouring it! on his third piece of the day)- so if you're a lemonade/key lime kind of person, make it! It's so easy! If you're more like me and prefer more decadent desserts, adapt the recipe to use chocolate cake, and instant coffee instead of lemonade mix in the cream cheese/cool whip/marshmallow fluf filling. I'll share the results when I do!

Monday, February 27, 2012

10 months old.

I feel like I did a pretty good job this month in posting all the fun things Ellie has been doing lately - if you read regularly, you've seen that in her 10th month Ellie learned to clap and climb the stairs. Other than that, there haven't been many HUGE developments. She cruises along sides of chairs, the sofa, piano bench, etc. This week I taught her to 'gimme five' and she learned how to drink from a straw. She also loves to play the piano :) Friday one of her friends came over to play and ellie wasted no time in showing her how it's done.

We also feel like Ellie is getting It's not very long, but seems to be getting thicker by the day.

We got Ellie her own table and chairs.

Look at that miniature Pete Crawford - Every day I get to read to her, and sing songs with her, and have little dance parties, and go on walks, and push her in her swing - aren't I lucky?!?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fastnacht Day

Happy Shrove Tuesday!! Growing up this meant fastnachts at our house - we would get so excited to fill our tummies with warm, sugar-covered, potato doughnuts. Mom would spend most of the day making them and as they came out of the deep fryer (fastnachts being the sole reason we owned a deep-fryer), I would get to shake them in paper bags filled with either powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. By the time I was in high school mom was working again so I made fastnachts a few times myself. In college I even got my own fry daddy so that I could make them in my apartment - and share them with all my friends. Once you've had a fastnacht, you'll know the day is approaching and hope they are being made.

In the past, I always made them with regular yeast. So you mix your wet ingredients, let it sit for 5 min, then add the dry ingredients, knead it out, let it rise for 30 min, then roll it out, let it rise again, yada, yada, yada..... took FOREVER! The whole day was always gone. Well not this year. I had some double fast-acting yeast in the cupboard. Let it sit for 10 min (this acts as the 1st rise in the 2-rise recipe) then roll it out, cut the fastnachts, and they only have to rise ONCE!! This has changed my world, people. I had the treats made and my mess cleaned up by the time ellie woke from her morning nap. All I had to do was fry them and shake them in the sugar - a perfect afternoon nap activity. But enough with all the talking - you want some pictures, right?

Of course, we had to offer ellie a taste.

Not sure if she liked it or not - it was after dinner and everyone knows fastnachts are really a breakfast treat!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Hearts Day!

Valentine's is winding down here at our house and it was a pretty sweet day for everyone. We gave Ellie a mylar balloon and a homemade card in the morning.

She really liked it!

Pete was in Cincinnati until this evening, while he was gone I made these for him :)

and Ellie and I went to Starbucks for a coffee treat.

Shortly after 5:00pm, there was a knock on the front door. Not only did I get a bouquet of flowers from Pete, but he sent Ellie her very own flowers as well! She is so lucky to have such a thoughtful daddy!!

(clearly ellie just wants her dinner at this point)

Pete loved the photo book and framed footprint Ellie gave him. I was so touched watching them reading it together that I forgot to take any pictures.

LOVELOVELOVE - it's all around at our house!! Hope you felt it at yours today too :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Uh, Houston....

We have a problem.

We have a little climber and are out of gates! Trip to IKEA needed - STAT!!

Here's video in case you think I put her up there:

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Monday, February 06, 2012

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Night and the Lights are Lo-ow....

Lookin' out for a place to go-o....

She is the Dancing Queen!

fear not, we are all over the plague at our house and no longer sound like we have Reinke's edema