It was at a Christmastime potluck where I tasted a little bite of holiday heaven! This party-sized casserole came out of the oven and the entire room was engulfed with the incredible aroma of the season—a rich, tasting soufflé-like casserole of sweet and fresh yams, covered and smothered with a glazy brown sugar and pecan topping. Instantly, we all dove in and devoured. You know me. It took all of one bite and ten seconds for me to track down the owner of the casserole and beg for the recipe. This fantastic party-worthy dish is exactly the reason I think it’s unfortunate that we relegate a yam or sweet potato casserole only to holiday dinners. This dish should be made and enjoyed all winter long! It can be made with either yams or sweet potatoes—choose whichever are the sweetest in season. I’m certain that you’ll enjoy this casserole…. who knows? It may be one of your most requested dishes at your holiday feasts!
Next week we’ll be celebrating Ireland’s patron saint by the wearing of the green, the drinking of the green beer and in this case, the eating of the green! I wonder if St. Patrick would love this incredible spinach dip which is, in itself, a celebration of flavors! This recipe, with its ring of bread rolls around the edges and a yummy dip in the middle is made easy by buying frozen dinner rolls rather than making the bread from scratch. Once baked, the bread easily pulls part to be dipped and dunked into a delectable blend of spinach, cheeses and spices. No Irish luck needed here. Just a straight -forward recipe that will most certainly get your St. Patty’s Day Irish on!
It’s one of the most colorful traditions we have, and it all starts on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany celebrating the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Three Kings Cake, with its colorful adornment of beads, a plastic baby hidden inside and topped with a king’s crown also kicks off the Carnival season with Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras. With this treat, you’ll be feasting your eyes on fun!
Watch my How To Video here!
This one is personal! I’ve been making my special wreath bread for the holidays ever since I was in high school. I love making it, I love cutting into it (as pretty as it is) and I absolutely love giving it away as a holiday gift from my kitchen. I think I cut the recipe out of a Women’s Day Magazine many, many years ago, and eventually the clipping just disintegrated from overuse. By the time that happened however, I had the recipe embedded in my cooking DNA. The inside of this gorgeous bread wreath is filled with delicious surprises like brown sugar, walnuts, soaked raisins and spices. The outside is a thing of beauty and in my opinion, the perfect holiday wreath to share! Enjoy it as a breakfast bread or a sweet snack anytime!
Uh Oh. Maybe that’s what I should re-name this dessert… because it’s a bit dangerous.
Or maybe irresistible is a better word. If you love Samoa Girl Scout Cookies, or the combination of caramel, toasted coconut and chocolate, you’re going to love Samoa Dessert Lasagne! I’m not sure how the “lasagna” got in there, but this treat does have layer upon layer of flavor starting with the crispy cookie crust to the drizzle of caramel on top! That cook crust has an American classic cookie as a base, Nilla Wafers! The Nilla’s get ground up and combined with melted butter and toasted coconut to create the perfect firm base for this delicious treat.
A word about the coconut flakes. When you toast the flakes in a hot, dry skillet, keep stirring or the flakes can burn. You’ll want to toast them just to a golden brown, and that’s when the real flavor of coconut comes through!
There are plenty of store-bought caramel sauces on the market. I chose Smucker’s for this recipe, and of course, you can make your own homemade caramel sauce pretty easily with sugar (brown or white), butter and milk or cream.
Finally for the chocolate drizzle on top, melted chocolate chips or a chocolate coating gives this decadent dessert a final touch. Once you try this treat, you’ll know why it’s called Gimme Samoa!