In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.
Watch out. Sweet potatoes are having a moment. Like a band that suddenly blew up or an ingenue nominated for an Oscar, these rooty tubers have glided into the limelight and, it’s safe to say, the year belongs to them.
What the hell are we talking about? We’re talking about sweet potato soups and snacks and desserts and cocktails, people. We’re talking about the role of side dish, the duty of being a vehicle for marshmallows being over. Everywhere we look, we see sweet potatoes in new weird iterations. Then we eat them.
But the first rule of sweet potatoes is: Don’t get it twisted. Do not call Ipomoea batatas a yam. Here in North America, we fling around the term “yam” like some people say “nucular.” But a yam is actually a larger, lighter-colored, totally different Asian and African root vegetable. In fact, we’re so accustomed to wrongly saying “yams” that here in America, any sweet potato product labeled “yam” must also say “sweet potato.” So, yeah. They’re called sweet potatoes. Unless they’re yams. That’s lesson No. 1.
But that’s enough talk; let’s chow. Here are a few ways you can get hip to sweet potatoes and use these starchy suckers as more than a sad, neglected potluck casserole. Because a yam — er, sweet potato — by any other name would taste as sweet.
Continue Reading All Hail the Sweet Potato
Pumpkin Pie Oreos by Half Baked Harvest
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Behold homemade pumpkin pie Oreos by Half Baked Harvest.
- Brown Eyed Baker shows you how to roast pumpkin seeds with three tasty variations: ginger soy, maple chipotle and brown sugar spice.
- Chai spice makes everything nice, including these sweet potatoes by Tara’s Multicultural Table.
- The Kitchy Kitchen’s rich, fall-off-the-bone tender beer-braised short rib makes for the perfect banh mi.
- A Couple Cooks’ recipe for easy pumpkin hummus may just be the must-make dip of the season.
The last official day of summer is September 21 and fall begins the next day. Sweet potatoes are available most of the year, but the fall season is truly when they shine as that is when the fresh crop comes in. Select potatoes as blemish-free as possible, and store them in a cool, dark place that’s a bit warmer than the refrigerator, where they can last a few months. The ideal temperature for storing sweet potatoes is in the 50s. They’re so versatile that they can be roasted, mashed, grilled, stuffed or fried and still taste amazing.
1. Roasted Sweet Potatoes (pictured above)
You need only five ingredients to get great flavor from this roasted sweet potato side dish. Toast the cumin and Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant, then then grind them. Sprinkle the spices and salt over sweet potatoes, drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until tender.
Continue Reading Summer Fest: 5 Ways to Prepare Sweet Potatoes
Sometimes on Thanksgiving, after taking a bite of that traditional pecan- and marshmallow-studded Sweet Potato Casserole, I wonder, “Is this really a side dish, or a dessert?” If you’d like an excuse to squeeze in another sweet dish but don’t have room on your dessert spread (what with the must-have pumpkin and pecan pies), the flavor profile of sweet potatoes and yams often occupies that liminal space between side dish and dessert. Besides, who wouldn’t want a bit of dessert for dinner?
Here are five side dishes that get the sweet treatment:
Continue Reading Fall Fest: Thanksgiving Yam and Sweet Potato Sides That Are Almost Desserts
Spring: It’s usually a time that reminds us that bathing suit season is just around the corner. Wendy’s is taking a different approach. They recently introduced three new signature sides made with “premium ingredients” that go against the grain: Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Sweet Potatoes and Chili Cheese Fries. We can admit that comfort food is a year-round craving for most people, and to be fair, Wendy’s does offer several side salads, as well as apple slices on their menu.
But it was the calling for an extreme amount of melted cheese and a craving for brown sugar that had us take a field trip to a local Wendy’s to try these new items. Indulging in fast food isn’t something we’d recommend, but if you’re on the road and have to partake in a drive-through outing, we’re going to recommend you order certain items over others. Here’s how everything rated:
Continue Reading Wendy’s New Signature Side Items Reviewed