Tag Archives: Anne of From My Sweet Heart blog

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with Almond & Honey Streusel

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple - Title & Text - Inside NanaBread's Head

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things about fall and one of the first comfort foods I reach for when the temperature drops and leaves start to turn. This year, I’m jumping into fall with a simple but flavorful sweet potato side dish for Eileen of The Joy of Caking and her collaborative Fall Harvest Dinner.

Fall Harvest Dinner Logo

Don’t let the term “simple” fool you – this dish is packed with flavor. It starts with one pound of peeled & cubed sweet potatoes, two cups of fresh pineapple chunks, a simple sauce of pineapple juice, orange juice and vanilla and is topped off with a lovely streusel of almond meal, flour, butter, honey & cinnamon sugar. The result? Sweet potato perfection.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with broiled struesel topping - Inside NanaBread's Head

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple with Almond & Honey Streusel:
1 pound fresh sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1″ cubes
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or 1 can, if needed; juice reserved)
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup reserved pineapple juice
1/4 cup agave nectar or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and drain the pineapple chunks, reserving the pineapple juice for the sauce.

In a large non-stick skillet over high heat, combine the canola oil and butter, and heat until melted. Toss in the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are nicely browned. Add the pineapple and stir to combine, then turn off the heat. In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice, pineapple juice, agave nectar or honey, vanilla extract and cornstarch until smooth. Pour the sauce over the sweet potatoes and pineapple and place the skillet into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and fork tender.

While your sweet potatoes and pineapple are roasting, mix up your streusel topping and set out a ceramic serving dish (or individual dishes).

For the streusel:
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill almond meal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled slightly

In a bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, cinnamon and sugar; blend with a fork until well blended. Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Using your fork, break it up into 1/2″ clumps or crumbles and set it aside.

When the sweet potatoes are fork tender, remove from the oven. Spoon into your ceramic serving dish(es) and evenly spoon the crumbles of streusel mixture across the top. TIP: Place the dishes on a rimmed baking sheet to make them easier to get in and out of the oven. Turn your oven to the “Low Broil” setting, and pop the tray under the broiler just until the streusel turns a light golden brown. (Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.) Serve warm with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar over the top. If there are leftovers, try spooning this over the top of a bowl of oatmeal the next morning. Yum!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Pineapple - Ready to Eat - Inside NanaBread's Head

Please don’t forget to visit our Fall Harvest Dinner bloggers, who’ve contributed everything from a fall tablescape to cocktails, salads to main dishes, and of course – dessert. You don’t want to miss this!

• Eileen (our hostess) from The Joy of Caking – Invitation & Roasted Chicken
• Sandra from Sweet Sensations – Fall Harvest Tablescape
• Terra from Café Terra – Homemade Apple Pie cocktail
• Monet from Anecdotes and Apple Cores – Harvest Goat Cheese appetizer
• Dionne from Try Anything Once – Eggplant Caviar appetizer
• Amy from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes – Roasted Pear Salad with White Balsamic
• Jeanne from Inside NanaBread’s Head (that’s me!) – side dish
• Denise and Sharon from BeBetsy – Onion Rolls
• Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Pumpkin Challah Bread
• Anne of From My Sweet Heart – Cinnamon Applesauce Tart

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Filed under Blogger Collaborations, Food & Recipes

A Week at My Mom’s

That's my niece, capturing the excitement of our road trip to Mom's.

That’s my niece, capturing the excitement of our road trip to Mom’s.

Hello, everybody… I’m back! My week-long visit to Mom’s was most excellent. I picked up Big Sis and her daughter in Dallas and we beat cheeks north to avoid the thunderstorms that chased me from Houston all the way to Mom’s. From my door to Mom’s is about 9 to 10 hours, which made for a long drive, but it allowed us to get an early jump on Saturday morning. To add to our excitement, Sister #4 drove up from Dallas late Friday night to join us for our first weekend because in our family, the more = the merrier.

Saturday morning started with a trip to the farmers market in Fort Smith, which totally blew my mind. The variety and quality we found was shocking and wonderful, and this from someone who visits farmers markets in Houston and Austin. I’m telling you, these folks weren’t messing around. We hit that market like we were preparing for the apocalypse and ate like kings off our bounty for an entire week. We had bags upon bags of field peas, carrots, kale, squash, heirloom tomatoes, okra, Asian eggplants, honey, homemade bread and more. In fact, Big Sis and I ended up bringing some goodies home. She ended up with kale, carrots and assorted other veg. I brought back peaches, blackberries, blueberries and Thai bird chilies. Win/win all the way.

We also hit a vintage flea market at the fairgrounds and picked up a few great pieces for great prices. I bought vintage kitchen utensils and pans for blog props (of course), including an antique cake comb for my friend and fellow blogger Anne of From My Sweet Heart. She should be getting that box any day now. Then it was on to Van Buren for lunch and more antiquing. So fun!

Overall, our week consisted of way too much really good food, including that Blackberry Cake I made for Berry Week. It died a noble death. We also whipped up a few cocktails, got in a few rounds of croquet when the oppressive Oklahoma heat wasn’t trying to kill us, played more than a few board games chased with a few rounds of Mexican Train dominoes, and tackled some crafting. (I tried to crochet but failed miserably.) There were also visits from our Baby Sister and her son as well as a day spent with our oldest niece. Mostly, our week can be summed up as: we spent our week running Mom ragged by dragging her to every antique and quilt shop within a 100 mile radius. And it was glorious.

Here are a few snaps of our week in the country.

Typical sunset over Mom's place in the country.

Typical sunset over Mom’s place in rural eastern Oklahoma.

One of the many cottontail bunnies that live in Mom's yard and terrorize her attempts at gardening.

One of the many cottontail bunnies that live in Mom’s yard and terrorize her attempts at gardening. It’s a good thing they’re cute.

Mom's yard is covered in these bushes - nicknamed Rose of Sharon.

Mom’s yard is covered in althea bushes – nicknamed Rose of Sharon.

Mockingbird eggs - there were four in that nest by the time we left.

Mockingbird eggs – there were four in that nest by the time we left.

A day trip to White Rock Mountain for a picnic lunch.

A day trip to White Rock Mountain for a picnic lunch.

Mom at the overlook gate at White Rock Mountain.  I'm comin', Ma!

Mom at the overlook gate at White Rock Mountain. I’m comin’, Ma!

Mom, Big Sis & my niece checking out the cliffs at White Rock Mountain.

Mom, Big Sis & my niece checking out the cliffs at White Rock Mountain.

34 miles to Fort Smith, Arkansas where I spent my formative years.

34 miles to Fort Smith, Arkansas where we spent our formative years.

Big Sis & my niece check out the treacherous drop at the overlook.

Big Sis & my niece check out the treacherous drop at the overlook.

A perfect peck of peaches from Poteau, Oklahoma. Gorgeous!

A peck of perfect peaches from Poteau, Oklahoma. Gorgeous!

What to do with a peck of perfect peaches - preserve!

What to do with a peck of perfect peaches? Preserve!

There was much, much more to our week – most of which I did not photograph because I was too busy enjoying it. We took a day trip to Eureka Springs, which was lovely and included a stop at an old favorite – Bubba’s Barbeque.

Photo of Bubba's taken by my Big Sister

Nothing says pulled pork like the pink pig at Bubba’s. Photo taken by Big Sis & used with her permission.

In the end, we had a lovely week and were thoroughly exhausted by the time we all got home; I can only imagine how tired Mom must have been. We totally wreaked havoc on her quiet country life for an entire week, but we had such fun doing it. We did it all – from feeding fruit to the cows to playing croquet with the bunnies. Our hearts and stomachs were full, even if our wallets were significantly lighter after all that shopping. Still, it was so worth it.

Since my niece kicked off this story, I’ll let her finish it. Even though she’ll most likely be horrified. Sorry, K. When you pose around a blogger, things happen.

The End.

The End.

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Filed under Family Stuff, Travel Tales

Tropical Cream Cheese Pound Cake

When it comes to dessert, my motto is usually “More is More.” A pan of plain brownies doesn’t cut it in my world. They need to have Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate syrup, dark chocolate chips and a shot of Kahlua thrown in. There are, however, a few things for which I am a purist. Shortbread cookies and pound cake, for example. Some things are just better in their pure, simple forms.

Don’t get me wrong – you can still add stuff, but the key is to keep it simple. To enhance, not overshadow. Sometimes, that’s a thin line to balance. For a girl who trips over her own two feet and walks into walls (this girl), that can be tricky. This week, I tried something that could have pushed ‘simple’ over the edge, but didn’t. It worked beautifully and started with some of my favorite things:

1. Lots & lots of butter, cream cheese and some gorgeous brown eggs

2. A bowl of soft, fluffy, sifted all-purpose flour; I’m a messy sifter

3. Macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and Cream of Coconut

4. A bag of dried tropical fruits – mango, papaya and pineapple

The result was a soft, moist, not-too-dense pound cake with all of the flavors of the islands. I’m not going to lie. My heart melted at the first bite. This, to me, is a perfect cake. No layers. No frosting. Just pure, delicious cake. It was super easy to whip up, and made two large gorgeous loaves. Here’s how I did it.

NanaBread’s Tropical Cream Cheese Pound Cake:
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Cream of Coconut
3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 6-oz. pkg. dried tropical fruit

To start, lay your butter, cream cheese and eggs out in advance. You’ll want them to be at room temperature when you start putting this together.

Preheat your oven to 325F. Spray 2 large non-stick loaf pans with Pam spray for baking (or grease & flour both pans).

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. With the mixer still running, gradually beat in the sugar, then add the salt, vanilla, almond extract and Cream of Coconut. Beat until thoroughly combined. Turning the mixer down a notch, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Remove the bowl from the mixer.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder; whisk to blend well. Roughly chop the dried fruit into 1/2″ pieces, then add the fruit, macadamia nuts and coconut to the bowl of flour; stir until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter/egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold until all of the flour mixture is incorporated. Divide the batter in half and spread evenly into each loaf pan. Tap the pans gently on the counter a few times to help remove air bubbles, then bake at 325F for 60-75 minutes, rotating once half-way through baking. The cakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the top of the cake. You’ll want to keep an eye on it so you don’t over bake these. An over-baked cake is a dry cake.

Remove from the oven and place the pans onto wire racks for at least one hour. After one hour, remove them from the pans and allow them to cool on the racks for another hour. One loaf can be sliced and stored in an airtight container for now; the other loaf can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and zipped into a large freezer bag and stored in the freezer for later. Or you can make a friend’s day and share a loaf. It’s up to you, but I’d taste it first and then decide. You might just decide to hang on to both.

Note: This recipe was adapted from a cream cheese pound cake recipe by my blogging friend & baker Anne, the genius behind the From My Sweet Heart blog. If you haven’t seen Anne’s blog yet, you need to drop in for a visit. She’s a lovely lady and her love of baking shows in all of her recipes and photographs. If you drop in, please tell her I said hello.

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Filed under Food & Recipes