, , , ,

My older son was excited to get to school today.  Not so much to expand his mind, but according to him: “I’m going to get a ton of candy today.”  To which my husband replied: “I can’t wait to eat see everything you get.”

It’s a constant battle between those two.  My older son tries to stash it around the house, so his Dad can’t eat it.  My husband reminds him that he’s not after the {fruity stuff}, just the chocolate.

Don’t all kids just love the holidays and all the little treats that may be associated with them?  My boys got the idea to put “mailboxes” outside their bedroom doors in hopes that a Valentine or two might be delivered.  While they were sleeping I put a cellophane bag of Jelly Bellies into each mailbox.  I am not so crafty, but even I could manage to stamp a heart onto a pre-cut tag and tie them up with red ribbon.  They loved it!

{Loved it}


Since I’m spending Valentine’s Day in this evening, I thought I might share a sweet side dish that would be a nice accompaniment to a steak.   I adapted this recipe from one by famed cookbook author, Nathalie Dupree.  She’s one of my favorites.  You can read more about her here.   This recipe is from her book, Great Meals for Busy Days.  It’s packed with superbly written recipes.

I let these potatoes go a tad longer than they should have.  They really should be eaten within a few days of purchase.

Pierced with a fork and ready to go into the oven. 

Split with a sharp knife after they’ve just slightly cooled.

Whipping butter (and vanilla) into the potatoes.

I plated these onto appetizer plates from Crate and Barrel.

Sweet Potatoes with Vanilla


4 sweet potatoes

2-3 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tsp pure vanilla

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Clean potatoes, pierce with a fork and place on baking sheet.  Roast for 2 hours (that’s right, 2 hours).  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  Split with sharp knife and scoop out flesh into mixing bowl.  Add 2 tbsp butter and vanilla and whip.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top individual servings with remaining butter (as I did in last photo) or blend into potatoes if desired.

Yield: 4 appetizer-sized servings or 2-3 side dish servings

I’m linking to Mom’s Crazy Cooking and This Week’s Cravings…Sweet Potatoes.