I like to believe that everyone who plans the meals for the week gets into ruts every once in a while. Ruts are ok, however, you have to prepare yourself for the inevitable: one day you will be sick of it. This has happened with chili chip casserole (which we ate two nights a week every other week for a very long time) and nacho french bread pizza (which we ate every Monday for a very long time.) Right now my rut is the fresh baked chickens in the grocery store (I used to call them rotisserie chickens, but I don't think they are actually cooked on a rotisserie.) I know that it is very easy to roast a chicken. I have done it once before. But I have compared prices and it is actually cheaper to let the grocery store cook it for you, plus you don't have to do anything! The thing that I'm hoping will help sustain this rut is that I can pair it with different side dishes and use the leftovers for various chicken dishes.
This week the accompanying side dish was a family favorite: Sweet Potato Casserole. It is a dish that I eat about once a year on Thanksgiving. I don't understand why we do that to ourselves! If we like it so much, we should make it more often. So I did.
I planned to half the recipe, but I could not find a smaller can of sweet potatoes; apparently 40 oz is standard. Here is the recipe.
1 40 oz can sweet potatoes
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup pet milk (I use regular)
1 tsp vanilla
In a microwave proof bowl, heat the drained sweet potatoes
In a large electric mixing bowl, combine sweet potatoes with butter.
Mix until butter is melted, then add sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla.
Pour into large baking dish. I used a large Corningware, but next time I will use a 9x13 pan because it took much longer than 45 minutes to cook through in the center, plus there will be more marshmallow surface area ;)
Cook in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until center is firm and not liquidy. Top with a layer of miniature marshmallows and continue to cook until marshmallows are lightly browned.
Believe it or not, but this is a picture of the final dish AFTER the marshmallows de-poofed a little bit. They really go nuts after just 5 minutes in the oven so don't forget about them.
This side dish probably should be labeled as a dessert, but it's Halloween week and we're supposed to eat too much sugar right?!
* I was wondering about the difference between sweet potatoes and yams so I thought you might be too. True yams are native to Asia and Africa. A North American variety of sweet potato is orange like a yam and marketed as a yam even though it is not one. I always thought I bought canned yams for this recipe, but the label says both "sweet potatoes" and "yams" on it. Silly marketing people- no wonder we're confused. I love Wikipedia. *