Brazilian Sweet Potato Bread

“Brazilian Sweet Potato Bread” is a flavorful, rich yeast bread which includes eggs, milk, butter, and of course, sweet potatoes. This combination of ingredients results is a light, airy and slightly sweet bread. A friend, who emigrated here from Brazil, posted a photo of the bread on Facebook. It looked mighty tempting; she agreed to share the recipe. I like to highlight Louisiana sweet potatoes which ripen in the fall. Why not make the bread adapting it to use our variety of this tuber? Plus, sweet potatoes are full of nutritional value adding to the health aspects of this bread. So, I attempted to make “Brazilian Sweet Potato Bread.”

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Pork, Sweet Potato & Tomatillo Stew

Here’s an interesting combination of ingredients – pork, sweet potatoes and tomatillos plus poblano peppers. I had never heard of the vegetable, the tomatillo, until recently and decided to give this ingredient a try. Plus, sweet potatoes are in season in autumn and I always like to feature several recipes with this Louisiana agricultural product on my blog each year. The poblano peppers and tomatillos give just amount of “zing” to flavor the pork and sweet potatoes to make a really tasty stew.

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Oven-Fried Cauliflower Bites with Ranch Dipping Sauce

Cauliflower happens to be one of my most favorite vegetables. Of course, I have many “most favorite vegetables.” But cauliflower has a unique flavor and, when properly prepared, it loses all of the obnoxious sulfur tones. It is a vegetable which grows on you — the more you eat it the more you like it. I learned to like cauliflower when fried cauliflower was served on the cafeteria lime at the hospital where I worked at in Flint, Michigan. That was in the heydays of the auto unions and Flint was the ultimate “auto town.” Autumn and winter are the seasons for cauliflower when you can pick up some really nice ones. I decided to see if I could make an oven-fried variation of the fried cauliflower bites that I used to like so much using this really nice cauliflower which I purchased recently.

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Let’s Cook Lebanese: Baba Ghanoush

“Baba Ghanoush” is a wonderful smoky, eggplant dip of Eastern Mediterranean origin. My favorite Greek & Lebanese Café serves a version of this dip which is just the best one you will ever find. It combines the flavors of smoky eggplant, tahini paste, lemon juice, fresh garlic plus a little salt to make a a creamy and smooth dip. There’s still time to make this dish with the last of summer’s eggplant in fresh produce markets. I decided to try see if I could duplicate Serop’s “Baba Ghanoush.” It is more difficult than you might think to properly marry all the ingredients and flavors. Although still different from Serop’s, my version is tastes great, too!

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Brown Sugar & Walnut Dairy-Free “Ice Cream” a.k.a. Frozen Dessert Delight

Summer and early autumn means that it is time for homemade ice cream. However, if you are lactose-intolerant, then eating lots of ice cream may result in an uncomfortable digestive reaction. Since we’ve started drinking almond milk at our house, I decided to see if I could make a dairy-free and lactose-free “ice cream” variation. I used almond milk, brown sugar and walnuts in the recipe and amaretto liqueur for flavor. To make a “smooth texture” I added xanathan gum. The recipe doesn’t contain eggs making this recipe good one for a vegan diet. For a finishing touch, I topped the frozen dessert with my “Fresh Cherry Topping” and some of the topping even got mixed in with the frozen dessert for a swirled effect. Well, surprise, it turned out to be quite delicious. Let’s enjoy this concoction.

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Eggplant in Spicy Garlic Meat Sauce

This recipe pairs Japanese eggplant with ground pork and oriental spices to make an absolutely delicious “hot and spicy” eggplant dish. While looking through my recipe files for eggplant dishes, I found a strikingly large number of recipes which combined eggplant with pork and occasionally pasta. I’ve never thought of putting these ingredients together and decided to give the recipe a try. Well, we loved the oriental-style concoction and promptly ate it all.

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Alice’s Small English Cottage Pudding with a Gluten-Free Twist

Every now and then my friend, Alice, sends me an idea for a blog post. Her recipe for “English Cottage Pudding,” turned out to make a delightful dessert. As we discovered, it is not a pudding at all. Americans would call this a small 8″ x 8″ cake. When a sauce — in this case cherry sauce — is poured over the cake as a topping, the result is a moist and flavorful cake. Alice practices gluten-free cooking and she substituted gluten-free flour in the recipe. It changes the texture of the cake, but it is still delicious. Since fresh cherries are plentiful in the grocery stores in August, I made a fresh Cherry Sauce for the topping. And I found some antique English china dishes dating from 1875 to photograph my cake.

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Vegetarian Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas

Mention “enchiladas” and I know that I will enjoy the dish. I found a recipe for a healthy vegetarian adaptation of traditional meat enchiladas which uses zucchini, black beans and cheese as the main ingredients. Corn tortillas add flavor, too, making this casserole quite delicious. The recipe lowers the fat content by using canned, drained black beans rather than refried beans and steamed corn tortillas rather than fried tortillas. The recipe also features zucchini and corn which add flavor, low calorie content and nutritional value. I’ve really learned to enjoy Mexican dishes as restaurants featuring Central American cuisine have become more prevalent in our region. Yum, this vegetarian recipe adaption of enchiladas is a keeper and is a good way to enjoy a “plant-based” meal.

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Molded Lime Fascination Salad with Walnuts

“Lime Fascination Salad with Walnuts” is a soothing pineapple and jello salad for the the hot summer months. Bonnie made a small recipe of the “Carrot Salad with Golden Raisins & Pineapple” which I featured in April. She had crushed pineapple left over and asked for suggestions to use it. Of course, I like to think of ideas and remembered that we ate lots of jello salads with fruit when growing up. One of my favorites was lime jello with pineapple. It also contained cottage cheese and heavy whipping cream. I decided to update the recipe for a more healthy version and substituted Greek yogurt in the recipe. The fruit salad is just as delicious as the ones I remember from my youth!

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Shrimp Etouffee with Fried Green Tomatoes

You can’t get more southern than “Shrimp Etouffee with Fried Green Tomatoes.” I’m making this very traditional Creole/Cajun dish — “Shrimp Etouffee” — this week and I am serving it with “Fried Green Tomatoes” using the last of the tomatoes that I picked from my summer garden. Usually etouffee is made with crawfish when served in restaurants and found in cookbooks. However, peeled crawfish tails are priced out of my food budget this spring and summer. Shrimp makes a mighty tasty etouffee, too. And for a variation, I am making a “low-fat roux” or a “dry roux” to cut down on the butter/oil in this rich Louisiana dish.

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