Thursday, March 6, 2014

Strep Happens

It has been a crazy week and a bit around my house. All three of my boys got strep throat. Then as one got well they would get it again from those who were still stick. It’s been an endless round of me playing nurse and miraculously not getting sick. I am happy to report that everyone is well again and looking forward to life returning to normal. In other news….

Somehow, I have been talked into running the Warrior Dash with some friends at the end of May. The Warrior Dash is a 5k with a twist – there are twelve obstacles and a ton of mud. Given that I am not in the best shape and haven’t run a 5k since A Splash of Color last Spring, I’ve got a lot of work to do. Couch to 5k starts NOW. Given that it’s still freezing here in New England, I’m going to have to adapt the program for the elliptical in my basement until the snow melts. I may do the Splash of Color again in early May as a (non-obstacle) practice run.

In book news, I’m next on the library waiting list for The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. I’ve been looking forward to reading this one. I’m hoping to get it in time to curl up with it this weekend. Review to come!

I gave up wine for Lent. I like to relax with a glass of wine – this is going to be a tough one. But Lent is about sacrifice, right?

The Scotsman gave up red meat. This is obviously going to affect my meal planning.

Last weekend I attended a lovely Southern themed dinner hosted by a friend (solo, as The Scotsman was still spreading his strep germs). The whole meal was wonderful and made me think of warmer times ahead (because the weather is always nice in the South, right?) but my favorite dish was the Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole. Tastes like dessert but served as a side dish because it’s a veggie!

Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Casserole

6 medium sweet potatoes
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 TBS flour
¼ cup butter
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
½ cup flakes coconut (optional)

Cover the sweet potatoes in boiling water and cook for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Peel and mash the sweet potatoes.

Combine the sweet potato, ½ cup brown sugar and the next 4 ingredients. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth (I have found that an immersion blender will work, too.) Spoon into a greased 13x9” baking dish.

Combine the 1 cup brown sugar and the flour. Cut in the ¼ cup of butter until the mixture is crumble. Stir in the pecans and, if desired, the coconut. Sprinkle the mixture over the casserole.

Bake uncovered at 350®F for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbling around the edges.

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