Sweet Potato Fritters with Minty Lime Sauce

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Have you realized how much I love orange foods yet? I didn’t realize it until I started seeing all my posts together. Pumpkin, gingerbread, and now more sweet potatoes. Hopefully all these orange foods are good for my body. If not, at least they are delicious.

Sweet Potato Fritters
Makes about 16 fritters

3 large sweet potatoes, baked
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
Olive oil for cooking

Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they become light and fluffy. Peel the skin from the sweet potatoes and place them in the bowl with the eggs. Mix them together. In another bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and baking powder. Fold the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture until combined.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Once the olive oil becomes hot, spoon dollops of the sweet potato mixture into the pan and press them down to become thinner. Cook each side until the outside becomes crispy and brown, about 5-7 minutes per side.

Minty Lime Sauce
1 jalapeno
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh mint sprigs

Chop and seed the jalapeno. Place jalapeno, lime juice, and mint sprigs in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over fritters right before serving.

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Apple, Pear, and Mascarpone Burritos

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Today I had some mascarpone screaming my name from the refrigerator. I tried to get it out of my head and just keep going on about my day, but it wouldn’t stop. I considered making a pasta sauce with it, but it wasn’t yet dinner time and it needed to get used right at that very minute. Needed to.

Enter the Apple, Pear, and Mascarpone burritos. Somewhat akin to these Apple Enchiladas, but better. Yep. Remember how I said I wanted to change some things in that recipe? Well, not this one. I loved this one. And funny thing, I just reread that post and at the end I said I wanted to use pears next time. I completely forgot I said that. Good to know I’m on the same page as myself!

Apple, Pear, and Mascarpone Burritos
Makes 3 burritos

3 whole wheat tortillas
2 apples, cut into chunks
1 pear, cut into chunks
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the chopped apples and pear in a saucepan with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Simmer on medium heat until fruit becomes tender and a sauce begins to form.

While fruit is simmering, in a small bowl mix mascarpone, remaining cinnamon, and honey. Mix well. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place tortillas on it. Spread mascarpone mixture onto tortillas. Fill the inside of tortillas with fruit mixture, roll up with the fold on the bottom, and drizzle some of the sauce left over from the fruit mixture onto the top. Bake just for a few minutes, to get tortillas warm. I left mine in for about 7 minutes. If there is any fruit mixture left over, sprinkle on the top.

Blackberry Cheesecake

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Are you the cheesecake person who likes toppings on your cheesecake or a flavored cheesecake with no toppings? I really had to think hard about that before I made this cheesecake so I would know how I wanted to make it. I prefer toppings only if they are chocolate. If they are fruity…I’d rather have the cheesecake be flavored.

What’s your preference? I hope you like flavored cheesecake. Because this is yummy. You won’t be able to resist it. Even if you are a cheesecake topping lover.

It looks messy, but that’s what makes it good, right? Yeah. I’ll just tell myself that. It’s better than telling myself I cut pie like a 4 year old.

Blackberry Cheesecake

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup softened butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all crust ingredients in a bowl and mix until it becomes moist and crumbly. Coat a springform pan with spray oil. Pour crust into pan and press down. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and set aside.

For the Filling:
24 oz. cream cheese (3- 8 oz. packages)
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus another 1/8 cup
4 eggs
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups blackberries2 tablespoons water

Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. Combine the blackberries, 1/8 cup of sugar, and water in a saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until blackberries begin to juice. Remove blackberry mixture from heat and drain with a mesh drainer into a cup to get all the juice out. Discard leftover blackberries.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Blend well. Once blended, begin adding eggs one at a time, blending well between each addition. Add the sour cream and blackberry juice and combine. Pour over top of the pie crust and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn off oven and open oven door, and let cheesecake sit in oven for another 15 minutes.

Refrigerate for 8 hours.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Now there’s no hiding the fact that I cut pie like a 4 year old. But I’ll share that little tidbit with you, if you don’t tell. But look at that pretty lilac color! Tastes good AND a pretty color? Doesn’t get much better.

Red and White Chili

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It’s been a dreary couple of days here. Perfect comfort food weather. One of my favorite comfort foods is a hot, spicy chili. I know I’ll get plenty of that this coming winter (my husband makes an amazing chili…I’ll see if I can persuade him to share the recipe with all of you this year), so I decided to do a different take on it for our first chili of the season.
Perfectly good for comfort food and dreary weather.

Red and White Chili

1.5 lbs chicken breast
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno
3 15 oz. cans Great Northern beans (could also replace one can with kidney beans)
1 15 oz. can pinto beans1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne
4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Pour olive oil in a large pan and turn on low to heat. Chop up the onion and jalapeno and add to the olive oil. Cut the chicken into small chunks and add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked all the way through. Rinse and drain all the beans and pour them in a large pot. Add chicken broth, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once chicken is cooked, add chicken and onion mixture, and all the juice from the cooked chicken, to the pot of beans. Simmer on medium heat for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours. Add minced garlic and let sit on very low heat for about 30 more minutes. If it becomes too thick, you can add a tiny bit more chicken broth or water.

Restaurant Review: Zengo, Washington, DC

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This past weekend my husband, stepson, and I went on an overnight trip to Washington, DC. Being the food lovers we are (and both of us are willing to try just about anything….ask me about our experience in Spain if you’re interested!), one of our favorite things to do when we travel is experience new restaurants, particularly when we can get small portions so we can try more things. So, walking around Chinatown Saturday evening, we were particularly intrigued by Zengo and the amazing menu they had. Tapas, sushi, ceviche, and mojitos? Yes, please.

I think it was the first time we took more than a few minutes to decide what we wanted to order from the menu. We honestly could not decide. We started off with their signature mojito that has cucumber in it and was the third best mojito I’ve ever had (first being in Spain, second being my husband’s). And I love mojitos. I’ll be commissioning my husband to try out this cucumber mojito recipe for you and have it posted soon!

We tried the xo style edamame, salt and pepper soft shell crab tacos, charred tuna wonton tacos, angry zengo roll, and lobster roll. All were absolutely amazing, so there’s no way for me to tell you what my favorite was. If you’re in the DC area (and I think they have some locations in California, too) you should definitely make a point to stop by here!

It’s probably a good thing there isn’t one here at home because I would be going every. single. night.

Oh, and by the way. I had planned on taking all sorts of yummy photos for you. But I dug in and completely forgot. Guess I need to go back to get some photos soon?

Image courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Muffins

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Remember how I told you here how I’m obsessed with gingerbread? And here how I am obsessed with pumpkin, and basically you will be getting a lot of gingerbread and pumpkin recipes this Fall?

Well, I tried to think of something different to make for you today. I really did. But I couldn’t get the thought of gingerbread muffins out of my head. And then I was thinking they would be really good mixed with raisins. Remember the little raisin eyes on gingerbread men? Yeah. That’s what I couldn’t get out of my head. And then I wanted to eat it.

So I made them. And now I can’t get enough. I am a gingerbread addict.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3 1/2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl, sift together the two flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Add brown sugar and combine. In a larger bowl beat the eggs until they begin to get fluffy. Add milk and molasses. Slowly begin adding the dry flour mixture to the liquid mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in raisins. Fill liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes. 

I think they are pretty darn yummy all by themselves, but you could also add a glaze on top if you prefer that kind of thing. Maybe a lemon glaze? Or a cream cheese glaze? Unfortunately, they didn’t last long enough for me to try that.