I returned to Canada raving about my love for sweet potatoes but sadly my husband and sons couldn’t wrap their heads about the concept, and weren’t keen on any form of sweet potato, baked or mashed, and refused to consider the addition of a casserole to our regular Thanksgiving dinner. My husband however decided he liked sweet potato fries and roasted sweet potatoes, so I had to content myself with that minor victory.
Jump ahead to September of this year – since one of my series involves bodyguards, and I really needed to get into not only the details of the world of law enforcement but the mindset too, I signed up to be part of the Writers’ Police Academy in North Carolina. Since it would be cheaper to drive than fly, and hubby was jonesing for a road trip, we tied the course together with a mini-vacation. We ended up taking the “long route” when we decided to drive down to South Carolina for a short stay in Myrtle Beach. That’s where my husband finally gave in and tried a true southern sweet potato casserole. And, thank heavens, realized what I’d been saying all along—he declared it delicious and asked if they were easy to make and if so, could I make one?
By the time we got back to Canada, our Thanksgiving was only a week away, so I dived into the recipe sites and found several to try. I settled on the one below, and like always, I did a few modifications, including making it a little Canadian by adding a dash of maple syrup to the mix. (You can make it with or without the marshmallows of course, or without the pecans if you have a nut allergy or just don’t like nuts.)
When I brought it out to serve, even my eldest son’s girlfriend (who is by far the best cook of anyone I’ve met) gave it a thumbs up by returning for seconds.
Leah’s Sweet Potato casserole
*1/3 cup evaporated milk
*3/4 cup sugar
*3 tablespoons butter/margarine
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*2 eggs (beaten lightly)
*1 tsp Nutmeg (adjustable to taste)
*1 tsp Cinnamon (adjustable to taste)
*If you want to get creative, add a dash of maple syrup (a couple tablespoons should do it.)
*1 cup pecan pieces (you can mix them into the sweet potato or layer them on top, or ignore them completely, your choice.)
If you don’t want to use pecans or marshmallows as the topping:
*1 cup brown sugar
*3/4 cup flour
*1/4 cup margarine, melted
Boil sweet potatoes until tender. (You don’t have to peel them, you can leave the skins on.) Remove from water and allow to cool slightly. Remove skins.
Mash the sweet potatoes until there are no lumps.
Add the evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla and eggs. (If you want the pecans throughout the sweet potato, you can add them now.)
Mix until smooth.
Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
Spread the sweet potato mix evenly in the pan
* If you prefer the pecans as a topping, layer them on top
* in a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and melted margarine then spread the mixture over the potatoes.
* layer miniature marshmallows
Or you can do what I did, and layer the pecans on top, then layer the marshmallows on top of them. ;)
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. (If you’re using a convection oven, don’t forget to turn it down to 325F.) If you’re using marshmallows, they should turn a lovely shade of golden brown, but not be burnt.
Leah Braemel writes spicy romances that are passionate, provocative and decadent. You can find out more about her books at her website, or follow Leah on Twitter or on Facebook, Goodreads or Google+.
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