Tag Archives: Sweet potato

Roasted Italian Potatoes


If you’re looking for a new way to fix potatoes, this is a good recipe to try! I found this at Kraftrecipes.com and happened to have just the right amount of potatoes to make it. This particular potato side dish calls for both white and sweet potatoes, but if you only have white potatoes on hand, you can make it with just those. The potatoes are cut into spears (you can also cut them into chunks if you prefer) and coated with Italian dressing, which helps keep them moist as they are roasting. The Italian dressing flavor is pretty mild in these potatoes, so if you want a stronger flavor, you can add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. I changed the recipe a little by using more dressing to coat the potatoes and topping the potatoes with freshly grated Parmesan cheese…a great finishing touch!

ROASTED ITALIAN POTATOES by NancyC, adapted from Kraftrecipes.com

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), cut into thin spears (Note: the sweet potatoes can be a little hard to cut into spears; you may want to microwave them a minute or two to soften them…then you can cut them into spears or small chunks)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. white baking potatoes (about 3 medium), cut into thin spears (or small chunks)
  • 2/3 cup Italian dressing (regular or lite)
  • dash or two of salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or you can substitute 2 teaspoons of dried parsley)

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Spray or grease a 10 x 15″ rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss cut potatoes with Italian dressing (and salt and Italian seasoning, if desired), evenly coating the wedges or chunks. Spread potatoes onto the baking sheet and bake at 375˚F for 60 to 70 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when tested with a fork –Note: after the first 30 minutes of baking, turn potatoes over in pan so they bake evenly.

The last five minutes of baking, top potatoes with the Parmesan cheese. Then remove potatoes from oven and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.


I have a pot of parsley growing on my patio area–it’s so convenient to have fresh parsley to snip whenever I need it! Do you grow your own herbs to use in your cooking?

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Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins


I came up with this recipe when I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for anywhere else. I had to make several batches of these muffins before they came out the way I wanted, but it was worth it! These are really yummy muffins made with canned sweet potatoes and “loaded” with dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and finely chopped pecans. They’re a real treat for breakfast, brunch, or snack time.

These Loaded Sweet Potato Muffins are great to make all year round, but I’m going to keep these in mind for Thanksgiving time, too…since I usually make alot of things with sweet potatoes and cranberries that time of year.


You’ll end up with 19-20 muffins when you make this…about 1 1/2 dozen. Here’s the recipe…enjoy!


Makes 19-20 muffins

  • 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potatoes, drained and mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or substitute raisins)
  • 1/2  to 2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners (the second tin will only need 7 or 8 liners).

In large bowl, add mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and softened butter; blend until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, blending well. Add these dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture in the large bowl.

Add milk to sweet potato and flour mixture, stirring until blended (don’t overmix), then fold in the cranberries, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.

Fill the lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Enjoy these muffins loaded with lots of yummy things inside!


Do you like making muffins? What’s your favorite flavor?

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake from 300 Best Potato Recipes


I’m a big fan of potatoes, whether they’re baked, scalloped, fried, roasted, mashed…you name it! That’s why I was interested in reviewing 300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook’s Guide (Softcover). Written by author and food journalist Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh, the book is filled with lots of delicious recipes for fixing potatoes in more ways than you could ever imagine!

At the beginning of the book, there’s a section called The Spud From All Angles where you’ll learn about the history, legend, and lore of potatoes, as well as helpful tips on buying and cooking potatoes, growing your own potatoes, and storing potatoes. Another chapter, A World of Potatoes, tells you about the many different types of potatoes and includes a handy Potato Glossary. I had no idea there were so many kinds of potatoes!

After looking over this information, I browsed through the first recipe chapter called Top Twenty Classics, starting off with Classic Mash Deluxe, Garlic and Chive Mash, and Big Cheese Mash. As you browse through the other chapters, you’ll find many other tasty potato dishes including:

  • Soups (Potato Soup with Pesto Cream, St. Patrick’s Day Potato Chowder)
  • Salads (Baked Potato Salad with Blue Cheese Drizzle, Lemon Potato Salad with Shrimp)
  • Appetizers (Florentine Potato Cakes, Spiced Potato Ribbons)
  • Snacks, Small Plates & Light Meals (Four Cheese & Onion Jacket Potato, Rustic Country Potato Tart)
  • Sensational Spuds on the Side (Danish Sugar-Browned Potatoes, French Potato Galette)
  • Main Courses with Meat, Poultry, Fish & Seafood (Honest-to-Goodness Shepherd’s Pie, Potato Dumplings with Chicken & Tarragon Cream)
  • Vegetarian Mains (World’s Best Vegetable Burger, Sweet Potato & Sage Frittata)
  • Breads, Biscuits, Scones, Griddle Cakes & More (Cheddar & Onion Potato Bread, All-American Potato Pancakes)
  • Desserts & Confections (Carolina Sweet Potato Pie, Dark Chocolate & Orange Potato Cheesecake)

It was hard to decide what to try first, with so many recipes to choose from, but I settled on the Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake with Pineapple & Coconut & Cream Cheese Icing. If you like carrot cake, you’ll enjoy this cake. My friend Susan tasted this and said she actually liked it better than carrot cake! It’s wonderfully moist and the cream cheese icing  is very yummy. The recipe says to frost the top and sides of the cake, but I just decided to frost the top so I could put extra frosting between the layers–I think it looks nice that way. Sprinkling coarsely chopped walnuts on top of the cake would be a nice finishing touch, too–I didn’t think of that until after I took my photos!


You can also make this cake in a 9 x 13″ pan. It’s so yummy it’s hard to stop eating it! Here’s the recipe…

SWEET POTATO CINNAMON CAKE (from 300 Best Potato Recipes)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple, well-drained
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts* (see toasting tips below–I didn’t toast mine, but I’m sure they’re great toasted!)


  • 10 ounces plain cream cheese (not light or whipped), softened
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans or one 13 x 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper also sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (I used my 9-inch round non-stick cake pans and greased and floured them well, instead of using the spray and parchment paper; the cakes came out very easily).

CakeIn a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice until blended. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil until blended. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until blended and no traces of flour are visible. Stir in sweet potatoes, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts.

Evenly divide batter between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto rack. Let cool completely.

Icing: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar about 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until just firm enough to spread. Transfer one cake layer to a cake stand or platter. Spread some of the icing over  top, smoothing to the edges. Top with second cake layer, then ice top and sides of whole cake (as I mentioned earlier, I decided to just frost between the layers and on top–so choose whatever way you like best!).


Tips on toasting walnuts: Toasting the nuts in a dry skillet gives them a nice crispness; just take care not to burn them, as they take very little time to toast. Add the nuts to a skillet placed over medium heat, and cook, stirring for 6 to 8 minutes or until fragrant. You can also oven-toast nuts on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven for just a few minutes, but watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

Enjoy making this cake…you’ll definitely enjoy eating it! 🙂

Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes from Vegan Holiday Kitchen


It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is coming up so soon! And who doesn’t look forward to eating all that special holiday food? It’s always great when you can find delicious and healthy holiday recipes, which is why I was so interested in reviewing the new cookbook, Vegan Holiday Kitchen.

I’m not a vegan myself, but I do like to eat healthy and enjoy making vegan dishes. Author Nava Atlas has put together a collection of more than 200 tasty-sounding recipes you can whip up for different holidays year-round: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Jewish Holidays, Easter, and Independence Day/Summer Entertaining. There’s also a chapter devoted to Brunches, Appetizers, and Potluck Dinners.

This hardcover book is beautifully designed and has lots of great photography. It would make a wonderful holiday gift–or you may want to add it to your own “wish” list! 🙂

There are so many unique, great-sounding recipes in Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Here’s a few to give you an idea:  Coconut Butternut Squash Soup, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Green Chili Cornbread, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole,  Smashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy, Cranberry-Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting…and these are just from the Thanksgiving recipe section! There’s so much more, you’ll have plenty of delicious recipes to choose from and make throughout the year!

I decided to try the Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes, because I love the flavor of pure maple syrup and the maple-sweet potato combination just sounded wonderful to me! You may want to try this yourself at Thanksgiving. It’s a great side dish, both yummy and healthy. I love the natural sweetness of the maple syrup baked into those tender sweet potatoes! The recipe says to make this in a shallow 2-quart casserole, but the closest thing I had on hand was my glass pie plate. That worked fine, although I couldn’t quite fit all the potato slices in.


Here’s the recipe…hope you get a chance to try it over the holidays!

MAPLE-PECAN SWEET POTATOES (Gluten-Free, from Vegan Holiday Kitchen)

  • 4 large or 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Arrange the sweet potato slices in overlapping rows in an oiled shallow 2-quart casserole. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, margarine, juice, cinnamon, and salt. Pour evenly over the potatoes.

3. Cover with lid or foil and bake, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until readily pierced with a fork but still firm.

4. Scatter the pecans and rosemary leaves over the surface of the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, uncovered, or until glazed and golden around the edges. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

What yummy side dishes are you making for Thanksgiving this year?

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

The first time I ever had sweet potato fries was at a restaurant about 8 years ago. They had such a delicious sweet coating…it was kind of like eating a dessert! So I thought I’d try making some baked sweet potato fries, since I don’t eat fried foods much. I looked up some recipes and came up with a few different ways to make this yummy side dish. There are two “versions”–one that’s more spicy and salty and one that’s sweet and slightly spicy. I like them both ways…it just depends if you’re in a sweet or salty mood. 🙂 In my photo up above, the spicy fries are on the plate and the sweet ones are in the small bowl  (my “fries” actually look more like chunks, but you can cut yours into wedges or slices if you want them to look more like fries). They’re both very easy to make and sweet potatoes are so good for you, so you may want to give these two recipes a try!


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, wedges or chunky “French Fry” slices
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

And depending on how spicy you want your fries, you can add these if you like:

  • 1-2 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut up potatoes (an easy way to make wedges is to cut each peeled potato in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 6 wedges). In a plastic ziploc bag, combine the cut sweet potatoes, oil, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper or chili powder, and (optional) taco seasoning and onion powder. Seal the bag and shake until the potatoes are evenly coated with the oil and spices. Spread the  potatoes out in a single layer on a large baking or cookie sheet (if you want easy clean-up, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper).  Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 30 minutes or until the potato edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked through (halfway through baking time, turn the fries over using a large spoon so the potatoes will bake more evenly). The thinner  your chunks, wedges, or slices are, the less baking time you’ll need. These taste great just the way they are, but you can also serve them with honey mustard sauce or ketchup for dipping.


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, wedges or chunky “French Fry” slices
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut up potatoes. In a plastic ziploc bag, combine the cut sweet potatoes, oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper or chili powder. Seal the bag and shake until the potatoes are evenly coated with the oil and spices. Then add 1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup to the bag and coat potatoes evenly. Spread the  potatoes out in a single layer on a large baking or cookie sheet (if you want easy clean-up, line your baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper).  Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for 30 minutes or until the potato edges are crisp and potatoes are cooked through (halfway through baking time, turn the fries over using a large spoon so the potatoes will bake more evenly). When potatoes are done, while still warm, coat the potatoes evenly with an additional 1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup (you can place the potatoes in a bowl and toss them with a large spoon to do this). Then serve immediately.

Here are a few more baked sweet potato recipes I’ve come across if you want to try them out…

OVEN SWEET POTATO FRIES (from EatingWell.com)

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss sweet potato wedges with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the wedges out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until browned and tender, turning once during the baking time. Makes 2 servings.

SIMPLE ROASTED SWEET POTATO FRIES (This is very similar to the above recipe, but it makes a bigger batch. I can’t remember the source–sorry!)

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise. Lay each half flat, then cut the potatoes into wedges, about 1/4″ thick. Cut the wider wedges in half or so they are not more than 1/2″ wide. In large bowl, combine the wedges with oil, salt, and pepper (along with garlic powder and paprika, if you’re using those). Mix well, until wedges are well-coated. Lightly grease a baking sheet and roast the wedges at 420 degrees for 30 minutes, turning the wedges over after 15 minutes.

BAKED SWEET & SPICY SWEET POTATO FRIES (adapted from The Cooking Channel)

  • 3 sweet potatoes, washed & scrubbed
  • 3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • a few grinds of coarse black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar (for garnishing)
  • 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • PAM (olive oil flavor)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together oil, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

Cut the potatoes into strips (french-fry size) and lay them on a baking sheet. Pour oil mixture over potatoes and toss until evenly coated. Spray with some pam and make sure each strip is hitting the baking sheet. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over potatoes.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until darker and crispy, tossing every 10 minutes. Remove and cool. While cooling, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and garnish with chives. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce–honey mustard is good with these. Makes 4 servings.

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