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I’m not sure why, but I’ve definitely had a hankering for some autumn-type foods lately. I started thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and deviated from there!

All recipes are my own improvisation, so please do give credit if you swipe ’em 😉

Sweet Potato Casserole

makes one 9×13 pan

Scrub, peel, and cube the sweet potatoes. Drop them straight into a pot of water as you cube them so that they don’t oxidize. Black sweet potato casserole is not lovely.

Boil until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Drain and return to pot or mixer bowl.

Beat potatoes with a hand or stand mixer, adding milk or heavy cream until potatoes reach desired consistency. You can sweeten the potatoes if you wish, but I think this recipe is sinful enough without adding more sugar to the potatoes! It was plenty sweet without extra sugar. If you want a custard-like casserole, add an egg at this point (I didn’t).

Spread potato mixture in a 9×13 pan.

Now for the streusel.

My mother-in-law has a wonderful streusel recipe that uses nuts (almonds, I think?) and is absolutely delicious. However, I didn’t have the recipe or any almonds, so I improvised. Mix flour, sugar, oatmeal, spices, and a cold stick of cubed butter. Trust me, soft butter won’t work. at all.

Cut ingredients together until there are no chunks larger than peas. I used two butter knives. I suppose a food processor would work well for this, but I don’t have one.

Sprinkle the streusel over the warm potatoes, then pop the whole thing into a 350° oven for 30-45 minutes or until streusel is slightly browned and crispy. When it’s done it should look like this:

..or maybe even a little bit browner. It was delicious anyway. Here’s a picture of a scoop of the deliciousness:

Serve it up, and bask in your own glory as your children/spouse/friends happily gobble it up and ask for seconds. And thirds.

Herb Butter Chicken

Now for the chicken.. I regret to inform you that I was SO excited to sit down and eat this meal that I forgot to take a picture of the chicken when it was done. Sorry. This was inspired by the herbed butter rubs that turkeys usually get on Thanksgiving. We’re not big turkey fans, so I applied the same idea to chicken.

Start with some clean but VERY DRY chicken pieces. I used boneless thighs. If they’re wet AT ALL the butter won’t stick.

In a bowl, mix softened butter, about 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning.

Smear the butter all over the chicken on both sides. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Don’t worry, most of the butter melts off. It will serve to grease the pan and keep the chicken moist.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes to an hour. Boneless pieces will cook more quickly than bone-in pieces. My boneless thighs were done in about 45 minutes. I turned the oven up to 425 for the last 15 minutes to crisp the cheese up. Without a picture, you’ll just have to take my word: this chicken was absolutely wonderful.

Recipes:

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 large sweet potatoes

1/4 cup milk, cream, or half and half.

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

dash of cloves

1 stick chilled butter, cubed

1 cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

3/4 cup brown sugar

1. Scrub, cube, and boil potatoes until knife tender.

2. Drain, beat with hand or stand mixer, adding milk or cream until desired consistency is reached.

3. Spread potatoes in 9×13 pan.

4.Mix flour, oatmeal, sugar, and spices. Add cubed butter and cut in until mixture had pea-sized lumps.

5. Sprinkle streusel mixture over potatoes, bake at 350 30-45 minutes  or until streusel is golden brown.

Herb Butter Chicken

1/2 stick butter

1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

4-6 pieces of chicken, skinned

Parmesan cheese for sprinkling

1. Cream butter and spices.

2. Rub chicken with butter mixture.

3. Liberally sprinkle with cheese.

4. Bake at 350 for 30-60 minutes or until juices run clear.

Enjoy!

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