No, I haven’t lost my mind, and I didn’t forget to change my calendar for five months. I do know that it’s Easter week.
But I’m just preparing you for a recipe that tastes like Thanksgiving. It’s the side dish that was served alongside the Chicken and Peppers entree (check out my blog of March 18) during our visit with former Worthingtonians Grace and Fred Ehlers at their winter home in Bonita Springs, Fla. Even though it was 80 degrees on that warm Florida evening in early March, this sweet potato casserole hit the spot, adding a holiday air to our gathering. Grace shared that it has become a family favorite.
For dessert, Grace dished up a bread pudding made in the slow cooker, ending the meal on another homey and delicious note.
Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes, placed in 9×13 pan
Mix following ingredients together, then spread over sweet potatoes:
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons butter
For crunch topping:
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
¼ cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Place sweet potatoes in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Mix together brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt, then spread over sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the dried cranberries over top and dot with butter. Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Stir sweet potato mixture. Combine topping ingredients, except for pecans. Sprinkle topping over the top of the potatoes, then add pecans. Return to oven and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes uncovered.
Slow Cooker Bread Pudding
1 cup brown sugar (divided)
16-ounce loaf raisin and cinnamon swirl bread, torn in pieces
1 quart milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Spray interior of slow cooker with cooking spray. Spread ¾ cup brown sugar in bottom of slow cooker. Add torn bread– do not stir together with bread.
Beat eggs until smooth in large mixing bowl, beat in butter, and vanilla and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar. Pour mixture over bread.
Cover and cook on HIGH 3 hours or until pudding is set and not soupy –do not stir.
Let pudding stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with caramel sauce. Serves 10-12.