Who’s excited about Thanksgiving? Can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?
I hear Criss Cross pumped UP in the background of this post!
That’s right. Thanksgiving make ya wanna, “JUMP JUMP!”
And it’s so NOT “wiggly wiggly wack.” It’s where it’s AT!!
Ok, I will stop. But it’s not that I want to!!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for many reasons; one, it’s like Christmas without all of the gifting pressure; two, it involves CRANBERRY SAUCE SLICES, and three, you get to eat lots of carbohydrates with the ones you love. #signmeup
This week’s recipe is an easy way to eat the rest of that leftover turkey AND the sweet potato that didn’t make it into the casserole. Actually, come to think of it, if you tried really hard I bet you could smash up the mashed sweet potato and instead make a patty/bread slice of sorts. However, this way is much easier if you are like me and plan to binge-watch the new season of Gilmore Girls in your pajamas with your sister the day after Thanksgiving. So this way definitely appeals.
In case you missed it, Luv Cooks Sweet Potato Sammiches! (me making these tasty treats). You can always tune into Luv Cooks on Facebook Live to check out the week’s recipe; right now, my goal is post videos Tuesday afternoons.
Alright my friends! Happy almost Turkey Day and mad PROPs to you for doing your leftovers planning already. #winning
Sweet Potato “Bread” Sandwiches with Roasted Turkey and Cranberry Sauce
These roasted sweet potato slices act like bread in a delicious, post-Thanksgiving treat.
For some reason I felt I needed to shout that OUT. In my mind, I also equate “Paleo” with the Geico Caveman at the Country Club.
Not sure where that correlation began, but Paleo eating (in my mind) equals Cross Fit equals foraging for grass-fed meat in my neighbor’s yard (they built a Cross Fit gym in their tool shed).
WOW have I been wrong!! But let’s be real- nutrition has never been my strong suit.
However, I also realize that lots of the people I love, and love to cook for, are eating like cave people these days. No bread, no cheese, no cheese puffs, no Pumpkin Spice Oreos. Alas, they are all eating how we are probably supposed to eat- like our ancestors did- but our ancestors also did not have access to Tootsie Rolls or The Best Nachos in the World List. I rest my case.
Anyway, because I want to ALWAYS make my table about bringing people in, making them feel comfortable and always welcoming anything food-wise that makes them happy, I decided to pursue this paleo business and learn more about it. I found Against all Grain (listed below). I bought it. The rest, as they say, is in the books.
I adore Danielle Walker, a Paleo recipe pioneer, for many reasons. One- she took her health seriously enough to make changes in her life that blessed her body. Two, her recipes are legit, and three- actually taste good. Four- ok one more- her Thai peanut dressing is life-changing and you must buy her cookbook if not for that recipe and the cookie recipe ALONE.
Ok, so for some of you this may be a slight stretch- including those of us that ahem, may live below the Mason Dixon line. The highs are still in the 90’s, but hope springs eternal with 60 degree lows once the sun sets. We’ll take what we can get.
There is something about cooler temperatures that makes me crave warm chocolate. This is not a new phenomenon-note ALL of my previous chocolate dessert posts-but a less-humid climate opens up all kinds of possibilities for the Southern sweet tooth. Turn on the oven and blast fudge-y batter at high heat? Why yes, I DO have the mental capacity to consider that idea. Gently simmer coconut milk on the stove and whisk in dark cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt? Yes, I’ll take that warm beverage, thank you very much.
So, today’s post is a fantastic combination of oh-so-easy Southern dessert, fudge brownie-esque goodness, and the perfect vehicle for fresh whipped cream. It takes only a few ingredients and you are on your way to fudge pie glory.
Also, side note- which you will see in the video- the possible reason why this fudge pie is called Edelweiss Fudge Pie is because in the 70’s Methodists took to singing the The Benediction (one of my favorite songs) to the tune of Edelweiss (from the Sound of Music, one of my favorite movies as child).
For your viewing pleasure:
My theory is that so many Methodists were having pot luck dinners on Sundays that the fudge pie served after the Benediction (at the end of service) became known as Edelweiss Fudge Pie. Just my theory, but I think it’s a good one.
Alright y’all. Time to get out there, enjoy the fresh air, and bake up a pie to share with the people you love. Who knows, maybe it will inspire a round of “The Hills are alive…” karaoke.
Edelweiss Fudge Pie from The Nashville Cookbook
With only six ingredients, this is one of the easiest Southern desserts to whip up. It’s, excuse the pun, “easy as pie!”
What you will need
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) butter
2 ounces sweet german chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 farm fresh local eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon quality vanilla extract
freshly whipped cream, for topping, if desired
What you will do
1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a 9-inch pie pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow to cool.
3. Beat eggs in a stand mixer on medium speed until foamy (this should take a few minutes). Beat sugar in gradually, on low speed, until well combined.
4. Add flour slowly to mixer, stirring continually on low speed, and using a rubber spatula to wipe down sides occasionally to make sure it is evenly distributed in the batter. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Add cooled chocolate mixture slowly to batter, stirring continually, until evenly distributed.
6. Pour into lightly greased pie pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes (checking at about the 28 minute mark for doneness; toothpick inserted in should come out clean).
7. Let pie cool for about an hour and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!
Today’s post is short and sweet. Think lean ground beef, lots of veggies, and flashbacks to my seventh-grade self in hot rollers.
The video below is maybe the most fun I’ve ever had making chili. For me, chili brings back great memories- warm fall nights, the smell of cumin wafting from a slow cooker, football tailgating, salty Frito’s- but the most hilarious of all involves the hunting camp, staking out turkeys, and ensuing get-togethers with freshly caught wild game at the center of the chili pot.
And now, living in Nashville, I had the joy of NOT trampling through the woods, avoiding ticks and carefully tiptoeing around leaves in my 1990 Timberlands. Instead, I took a leisurely trip to the farmer’s market in my flip-flops to purchase Walnut Hills dry-aged lean ground beef and Smiley Farms produce.
So, check out this version of “dieter’s chili” from The Nashville Cookbook. For me, chili=happy place, and I am wishing you a bowl full of beefy joy today.
I also dare you to find the Randy “Macho Man” savage cutaway in the mix.
I love local food. I always have; it’s how I grew up in the South.
I remember the hot Alabama sun streaming down my back as I ran through my Aunt Nelle and Uncle Honey’s Jackson, Alabama back yard, sweat dripping down my little knees as I scavenged for blueberries (which my favorite babysitter at the time, Karen, would carefully save for me and send me home with freezer bags full).
I kindly repayed the favor by being the *star* flower girl in her wedding (and by that I mean I braved layers of white polyester and got to sport a flower crown in her sister Kim’s wedding).
My husband Jake and I recently had the chance to attend a Spring dinner at one of our favorite Germantown spots, Butchertown Hall. His great friend Dan King reigns supreme over the beer selection at the restaurant and regularly blows us away with his beer knowledge (and ability with a wok).
Jake took photos; I had the luxury of simply eating and enjoying the company of those around us. I’m constantly amazed at the kindness and warm hospitality of food lovers in Nashville. One precious dinner guest even invited us over to tour her garden and learn what made their kale grow so brilliantly. Love. That.
Each of the dinner courses was paired with a complimentary beer. Here’s where the magic happened: To be frank, I’m not much of a drinker. It takes me about an hour to down a glass of wine, and I don’t have enough experience to qualify what’s great and what’s not. I am moved more by the way the alcohol pairs with food, the way it affects flavor and heightens or softens the aftertaste of grilled meat or cheese.
But beer. Y’all, beer. Beer does wonders for food. Mainly because my limited beer knowledge stems from red Solo cup parties and outdoor barbecues, I didn’t know the depth to which it affected the sweetness of peaches a plancha and goat’s milk yogurt. But my favorite beer on the menu- Hecht Schlenkerla Oak Smoked Doppelbock- tasted like smoky bacon.
I may need to repeat myself. IT TASTED LIKE SMOKY BACON.
Oak Smoked Doppelbock is what happens when earthy barbecue, sweetness, bold richness, bitter notes and aged oak wood smoke form a happy dance train around your brain.
And that’s really what I remember most about the night. Smoked pork beer, food-loving comrades; genteel Southern conversation; gardening tips; and clinking glasses with people who like beer as much, as I am now discovering, as I do.
Shout outs for this project are absolutely due to my incredible husband. He not only wrote the musical score for this whole series, he edited these videos late into the night, and arranged the clips just perfectly (he shows me love and grace in countless ways). Also shout out to friends of ours for lending invaluable opinions to the reviewing process! We couldn’t be prouder. I hope this first video will be a launching point for many, many more to come!
So, take this Wednesday, and be reminded of the fact that dreams DO come true. That things happen in our lives that are beyond our imagination or understanding. And for that, we take marshmallows, roll them sweet potatoes, pecans, and cornflakes, and bake their happy selves until they are lightly toasted. Let’s raise a gooey treat to the fact that life is good- and dreams are worth pursuing.
Sweet Potato Puffs by Faye House from The Nashville Cookbook
These easy sweet potato treats will be the hit of your next get-together! They take only a few minutes to throw together after you boil the sweet potatoes, and you get to use an immersion blender.
What You Will Need
4 large sweet potatoes (I like Plano Farms in Nashville; about 2.6 lbs)
4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons heavy cream (I like JD Country Milk– their chocolate milk is LEGIT)
1 cup chopped pecans
5 cups cornflakes
Jumbo marshmallows (the big daddy kind- absolute biggest you can buy)
What You Will Do
Boil the sweet potatoes until they are tender. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 9X13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Drain potatoes, then pour into a large bowl. Add the butter, sugar, heavy cream. Whip with an immersion blender until smooth. Wear large apron to guard against sweet potato splatters. Consider wearing a hair net because if, like me, you have long hair, it might end up on your ends.
Stir in pecans to the potatoes.
Pour cornflakes into a large bowl, then crush with your hands (#fun).
Dip jumbo marshmallows into the potato mixture, covering evenly. Now, roll the marshmallows in the cornflakes, then place into 9X13 baking pan.
Once the pan is full, bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops are toasty brown and the marshmallows have melted a bit. Enjoy immediately! (This is a now tater, not a later-tater!)
Hi all my amazing Luv Cooks readers! Have I told you lately HOW MUCH it means to me that you read these posts? You are cooking rock stars and to that I say, rock on friends, rock on.
Also, EXCITING news to share with you! As many of you know, I have been wanting to incorporate Luv Cooks video content for eons now. Pretty much what feels like a half century of my lifetime, which means I probably felt this way in about the time period Brooklyn was being filmed. Ok, back to the task at hand….
The official FIRST EPISODE of our Luv Cooks series is about to be arrive. That’s right- Southern recipes, straight from The Nashville Cookbook, live and on Luv Cooks You Tube!. Which means any time you are craving a dose of Luv Cooks kitchen shenanigans, you can tune in. Night or day. You get the picture.
So, here is our teaser video, getting you primed for this month’s recipe- which, if you like sweet potatoes, pecans, butter, and marshmallows, you are going to be over-the-moon about.
So check out the video, and I’d love to hear what else you’d like to see me cook! Luv y’all!
There are a host of reasons I feel this way. It’s a fresh start to the year, my schedule seems to become slow enough to give time for some goal setting- but most of all, it’s this:
Jake strums on his guitar next to me. My desk is leans against a large window; I turn my head to the right and look out at the city where I’ve always dreamed of living. Cars rush past outside and their rhythm beats sweetly alongside the guitar riffs. This is the start of Nashville for me.
And the beginning of 2016 has been a sweet one. The start of life in a new space; living in a tiny one (#loftlivin’); and new friendships forming that I feel will be lifelong. Up until this moment, I have yet to experience feeling so at peace, so in that “right where I am supposed to be” position. Life is good.
And it’s funny how I feel already that I owe something to Nashville. The smiling faces, the creativity, and the overwhelming support to people pursuing their dreams; there’s something here that I want to jump into, be a part of, bless people with. And, fortunately for me, my sister gave me just the way to do it.
Cue video intro here!
The Nashville Cookbook: Recipes of the Cumberland Region is where this year begins. This book is a treasure trove of history, Southern tradition, recipes yet to be explored, all from a city I long to know more about. Written by the Nashville Area Home Economics Association in 1976, one of my favorite quotes in the book’s forward is “Food is essential for the nourishment of the body, and books are essential for the nourishment of the mind and the imagination. A good cookbook can meet both these essentials, and that is what the Nashville home economists have provided here.” It is a collection of the history of places- there are beautiful prints and historical pieces on the Maxwell House Hotel, the Parthenon, Fort Nashborough and places in the Cumberland Region. It is my introduction to Nashville as a city, as a food culture, from the point of it’s history and its fascinating, “zany”, carefully crafted recipes. As the opening pages state, “We wish the book to be a joy to read, to use, to savor, and to treasure!”
So this is where Luv Cooks lands. I will cook from these recipes, aiming to make them as authentically as I can. I will include local product, produce, meat, cheese- when I can and where I can- and hope that through this process I have the pleasure of meeting the people who are bringing these fantastic foods to our table.
I will also most likely offer my variations on the tried-and-true. This week’s recipe- such a warm, comforting start to a below freezing week in Nashville- already involves some tweaks, based off of cooking methods I have learned in styling. But I hope that each of these changes will bring something new, and helpful, to your table.
So, saddle up this year for a fantastic, fun, wild ride through a cookbook, written in 1976, full of Southern flair, ingredients, spice, and the joy of life that is wonderfully unique to Tennessee. Let’s eat!
This week’s purveyors:
Meat: Delicious, lean stew meat by KLD Farm (Their beef is 100% chemical free; grass fed and grain finished; contains no antibiotics or growth hormones; and is dry-aged for 14-18 days . In other words, deliciousness.)
Weekly tip: Quality Stew Meat + Relax with Some Soup
Gourmet Stew from The Nashville Cookbook
This beef stew is perfect for a cold winter night, and so simple to make. The hardest part is probably waiting for the meat to tenderize, which for me took a about 2 1/2 hours. The recipe in total takes about 3 1/2 hours, but I made mine on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and it was perfect.
What You Will Need:
2 lbs lean boneless stewing meat, cubed, and patted dry
Y’all- today is the day. The day I turn 30. The day to celebrate all things fun, sparkly, sugary, and swirled with peanut butter. I have a precious German friend with the best accent ever staying with us for the next three days while she is in the States; I get to spend the day tomorrow with another beautiful friend in Nashville. I mean, these are the rock-stars of long-distance friendships- so creative, inspiring, and lovely. I can’t wait. Life just seems to be humming, humming, humming by…
Yet, I woke up at 2:00 this morning in a panic. My husband spent the night, whooping-cough style, planted in the center of our bed, his lungs echoing reverberations to the top of our ceiling. I couldn’t sleep, so I moved to the sofa, only to be waken by throat pain that felt like the inside of a burlap bag. And, to be honest- the tiredness, and throat pangs, have gotten worse as they day has progressed.
So here we are, the day of all days, the golden birthday, and I feel like I got hit by a small moped then lightly tethered to a rusty Ford pick up and hung out to dry.
But- you know what? I couldn’t stop thinking about this blog post. How the last thing I want to do right now is type; how I want to lay in my bed and lament and have a pity party until I have to pick my friend up in a bit.
But, here is the deal- Luv Cooks means a lot to me. You, my readers, mean a lot to me. Yesterday as I drove home from a shoot I was thanking God for you, for your love of food and fun and for watching these videos and being a part of life with me. I was grateful for my husband, and my friendships, and all of the inspiring people that I encounter every day. For 30 years of laughter, tears, dancing (see below, what!), dreaming, and the moments that stir up such joy a knot forms in your throat. For every bit of thirty years lived in awe of the power of love and life and hope. For joy in the morning and dancing in the evening. For life, and breath, and food. Glorious food.
If there ever were consistent loves in my life- outside of the obvious- coffee is one of them. And this latte, this pumpkin spice latte, is the ultimate birthday indulgence. I adore espresso, but my budget, and time, don’t allow for the daily routine of a fancy green lady version you can purchase with an iPhone app.
This latte reminds me of bullet proof coffee- coffee blended with butter- but much tastier. The whole thing can be made dairy-free (just omit the whipped cream and substitute coconut oil for butter), and low sugar (substitute stevia for the maple syrup). The entire coconut milk mixture can be blended together on its own and used as coffee creamer. It’s healthy, has real pumpkin, coconut milk and cinnamon. Deliciousness.
So, ladies and gentleman, as I leave to pursue the rest of my 30th day on this planet, I once again want to say thank you. Thank you for being you, for making Luv Cooks happen, and even cooking a recipe or two. Thank you for making my birthday, and the years moving forward, so special.
I invite you to join me, pumpkin spice latte in hand, to a toast- to life, to luv, to food. Glorious food.
Sometimes, as a food stylist, you make things for a shoot, praise the Lord it’s been shot, and throw the lukewarm leftovers in the trash. This is normally accompanied by a vow that you never want to see, or taste, or smell the ——- (pot roast, pot pie, slow cooker chicken casserole, etc.) again. Because frankly, you’ve worked with it for so many hours, bent over it with tweezers, and the dish made your hair greasy because you had to fry the chicken with metal pins in order for it to look good. Your back hurts… you’re just done.
Butter you up because you’re toast.
Stick a fork in you, you’re done.
I could go on, but you get the picture.
It’s rare that I actually crave anything I make for a shoot. Except for the things I make for the blog. Luv Cooks is special to me, and you are special to me because you read these posts (thank you, thank you, thank you….) And you know what else is really special? Besides Julie Andrews? Five-minute strawberry yogurt.
On my way back from making prop returns this afternoon, the late-summer heat was getting to my psyche. New bangs plastered to my forehead and dying of thirst (well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration), the air conditioner in my hybrid car was about as cold as dog breath and all I could think about was how I was sweating through my pants.
It was at that moment that I direly, passionately, wished I had some leftover strawberry yogurt in my freezer.
Too bad the hubs and I had already eaten it. Quickly after it was shot. Hopes=dashed.
But, I will say, this dire feeling gave way to an extra motivation to share this recipe with you. In the dire straits of early September in the South, when the vice grip of humid heat refuses to let go and make way for cooler breezes- everybody, I do mean evvrryybodddy, needs to eat something frozen. And refreshing. It does wonders for your mood; and ensuing hair styles.
So this Labor Day, bust out your food processor, whip up some fro-yo, and celebrate the end of summer, strawberries, and the sweet relief of an easy dessert. Cheers!
Easy Five Minute Frozen Yogurt (recipe by Just a Taste. Her site and recipes are so pretty and inspiring!)
This recipe is super simple and requires very little prep aside from squeezing fresh lemon juice. A tip for easy lemon squeezing- just roll you lemon around on your countertop before you slice it in half. The liquid comes out easier that way!
What You Will Need
4 cups frozen strawberries
3 tablespoons honey (I like orange blossom honey for this)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used soy yogurt)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
What You Will Do
1. Add the frozen strawberries, honey, yogurt, and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor.
2. Process until the mixture becomes creamy, which should take about 5 minutes.
3. Serve the frozen yogurt immediately or, if you can wait this long, you can transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for about a month.