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

Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on http://www.theculinarylife.com

Mmmm sweet potato biscuits… /homerdrool

Here’s an annoying fact: I get music from my parents’ generation stuck in my head. All. The. 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. [Read more...]

On Futility and A Thai Coconut Milk Soup with Sweet Potatoes

On Futility and A Thai Coconut Milk Soup with Sweet Potatoes Recipe on http://www.theculinarylife.com

- Thai Coconut Milk Soup with Sweet Potatoes for when you’re having one of those lives… -

The original tagline for this blog, when I started it all those years ago, was “When all else fails, cook.” I was very, very ill at the time, up to my cheekbones* in an autoimmune disorder that was threatening to take me out once and for all. Back then, I cooked as a form of self preservation. It was a sanity-saving measure that distracted me from everything else that was going on. When things go wonky in life something drags me to the kitchen, even if I have no energy and the lethargy is thick enough to wear like a scratchy, overbearing wool scarf. It’s incredibly satisfying to rewire the badness, shaping whatever dark momentum has swept me away into something positive: creation. Kind of like telling myself that I’m not stressed out, I’m excited! See, brain? That pulse-pulse-pulse in my temples is a good thing.

It might not be perfect, but it’s my coping mechanism of choice. [Read more...]

Winter Sweet Potatoes Gratin Recipe

Winter Sweet Potatoes Gratin Recipe on http://www.theculinarylife.com

I got this idea for sweet potatoes gratin after I made Gratin Dauphinois. I thought, what if I change up the recipe a little bit, using a different starch and a few new spices? I’m all about experimentation, and I was tired of the same old — though delicious — potato gratin recipe. I wanted a new game. And of course, I wanted it sweeter.

I opted to use sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have less starch than their paler tuberous cousins, so the recipe required a little noodling to thicken the sauce up. I had a block of cream cheese in my fridge, so I used that. The texture of this gratin it nice and thick, with a velvety smooth finish from the cream cheese.

The end result is a savory sweet potatoes gratin that curled my toes. Think potatoes au gratin, but just a touch sweeter. I added a few winter spices to the mix, so this warm, comforting dish tastes similar to pumpkin pie; while it’s baking, the scent of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon will drift through your house, beckoning everyone to dinner.

[Read more...]

White Wine Mashed Sweet Potatoes

When I made my t-bone steaks the other night, I was looking for a quick and easy side that would compliment the herbs I used on the meat. Feeling starchy and harboring a wicket sweets craving, I decided to mash a few garnet yams (which aren’t yams at all, but sweet potatoes).

I do love me some mashed sweet potatoes.

Yams and sweet potatoes generally have a nice, mellow flavor, but I wanted mine to pop a little bit more so that the flavor didn’t get lost when paired with the salty steaks. Anything with a little acid will usually take care of that. Sauvignon Blanc and a touch of smoked sea salt make these taters a real treat that even your kids will undoubtedly love. [Read more...]