An Unfortunate Affinity to 70s Soft Rock, and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on

Mmmm sweet potato biscuits… /homerdrool

Here’s an annoying fact: I get music from my parents’ generation stuck in my head. All. The. Damn. Time. Perhaps it’s because my mom listened to music constantly when I was small, but regardless of the cause, the end result is the vast majority of the 70s soft rock genre has wormed its way into my subconscious like an earwig on a coke bender. Air Supply, Chicago, Bread, the Carpenters, the entirety of the Yacht Rock canon. It’s all very good music, to be sure, but it’s little out of context in the land that is Steph’s Brain… And it’s become one hell of a distraction.

Here’s an example. For the past month, I’ve had Jim Croce stuck on repeat through every waking moment of my life. My days look (sound?) something like this.

At my desk, typing an email to a colleague:

Operator, won’t you help me place this call? You see the number on the matchbook is old and faded…

“Hey there Ms Writer, I never received the documents you mentioned last week. Can you please help me make this call?” DAMMIT! Backspace, backspace, backspace…

Later in the day, walking to pick up my lunch. I’m waiting for my sandwich:

She’s living in LA,with my best old ex-friend ray, a guy she said she knew well and sometimes hated

“Ma’am? Hello? You with the short hair? Is this your sandwich? I’ve been waving at you for like three minutes now.”

In the evening, standing over boiling pasta water:

Isn’t that the way they say it goes? But let’s forget all that, and give me the number if you can find it, so i can call just to tell them I’m fine and to show…

“Crap, where did all the water go? How long has this thing been boiling for? Fraaaack!”

Going to bed:

I’ve overcome the blow, I’ve learned to take it well. I only wish my words could just convince myself that it just wasn’t real… But that’s not the way it feels………

To which I end up dreaming of phone booths and That 70s Show.


Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on


It’s worth mentioning that this song came out in 1972, almost six year before I was born. Croce even died before I made an appearance on this planet. It’s also an unfortunate testament to my verbal memory skills that I know every god damn lyric to every f**king adult contemporary song released between 1970 and 1982. Those lyrics up there? Yup, typed completely from memory. What I wouldn’t give to put that sizable portion of my brain to better use. Sigh.

I listened to a lot of music in high school, music that others my age were listening to, but none of it seems to have stuck. Why don’t I ever develop Nirvana ear worms? Or Beck? R.E.M.? Michael Jackson? Hell, I’d even take early, cheesy Guns & Roses or some soupy remix of The Verve’s The Drugs Don’t Work. Anything from my generation.

I don’t know why I’m telling you this story, other than the fact that I’ve never mentioned it to anyone and it feels good to say it out loud (as it were). Just please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ever mention The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald within earshot, or you’ll curse me to weeks of Gordon Lightfoot crawling over my shoulder when I’m in the shower, murmuring Superior, they said, never gives up her dead, when the gales of November come early. Creepy.

Thanks, mom.

And special thanks to my coworker, Rich, who occasionally peeks his head over the cube wall to warble, “Operrrraaaatorrr” every time he’s sure I’ve finally freed myself from the torment of this song.


Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on
Few things will distract you from a clingy ear worm better than warm biscuits. Especially these sweet potato biscuits, which are so easy to make and glow with such a nuclear shade of orange that you may very well miss the second coming, should it arrive within ten minutes of sliding these guys out of the oven.

I’d never had a sweet potato biscuit before making these, and I have to credit the recipe to Scott Hocker, author of the Sweet Potatoes edition of my favorite little cookbooks, Short Stacks. These books are pretty awesome as far as creativity goes, each filled with a unique set of recipes that I find really exciting. (Which is more than I can say for most cookbooks these days.)

Once you’ve roasted the sweet potatoes, this biscuit recipe comes together in a flash, with very little drama. There’s no cold butter to mess with, and with the exception beating the dough too much, you’d actually have to try really hard to screw these up. So for those that consider yourself challenged in the kitchen, Merry Christmas.

Thank you for your dime. You’ve been so much more than kind.



Spring 2014 Le Creuset Giveaway

Win Le Creuset Cookware on

As a break from what seems to have become my regular emo drudgery these days, I’ve got something fun to post today. One of my favorite topics: cookware.

When Garrett and I were writing Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, we both made crazy use of our huge collections of Le Creuset cookware. We each have a ton of it, for many reasons. First, this stuff is bulletproof. We’ve both abused the hell out of our cookware – especially through developing and testing 75 recipes – and it all still looks brand new. Second, it’s gorgeous. I mean, he-llo beautiful gorgeous. Just look at that image up there. ^^ If I wasn’t genetically predisposed to have a whistling disability, I’d catcall that fine-ass cookware.

Le Creuset knows about our obsession with their stuff, so they’ve generously offered Garrett and I some goodies to give away to our readers: a 3-quart casserole dish with lid and four 6-ounce Au Gratin dishes, both in Cherry Red. Deadline is Friday, April 25th at Midnight. A winner will be announced on Tuesday, April 29th. You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget thingie below. For the Rafflecopter-challenged, you can click this link right here and then leave a comment on this post to let us know that you entered.

Click here to tweet automatically: Hey! @sstiavetti & @garrettmccord are giving away free @LeCreuset cookware! Time to do a happy dance.

Also, we’ll be touring and doing cooking demos of dishes from Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese at Le Creuset stores near the Bay Area. We’ll also be giving away more cookware – huzzah! Be sure to come visit if you’re nearby:

  • Saturday, April 19 at 1pm: Le Creuset at Vacaville Premium Outlets (Stephanie and Garrett)
  • Saturday, May 3 at 1pm: Le Creuset at Livermore Premium Outlets (Stephanie and Garrett)
  • Saturday, June 7 at 1pm: Le Creuset at Gilroy Premium Outlets (Stephanie)

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