Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in sweet potatoes (5)


Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

I'm recovering today from a wonderful surprise baby shower yesterday. I cannot wait to recap for you as soon as it all soaks in and I can go through all of the photos. I am overwhelmed by how many friends & family came to celebrate and am so lucky to have the best mom, dad, sisters, in-laws (mom, dad, brother & sister-in-law!) and husband ever who put together this amazing party.

While I'm still floating on cloud 9, I'm also excited for a shortened week in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. I have grand plans for cooking and baking for multiple Thanksgiving celebrations, but we'll see how long my feet and back hold up :) 

Meanwhile, after doing extensive research on what to make for Thanksgiving, I'm so glad that I found Thrifty Veggie Mama's maple glazed sweet potatoes as part of this month's Secret Recipe Club since it's a simple, healthy yet seemingly decadent side dish that's worthy of this year's Thanksgiving table.

I really loved searching around Jamie's blog for a recipe to make. One looked better than the next! Jamie has a beautiful family and made the decision for them to go vegetarian two years ago. I promise you, her recipes are all so gorgeous that you won't even give meat a second thought.

I truly loved this recipe. It was so simple and SO.DELICIOUS. I'm notorious for loving my sweet potatoes to be sweet...despite Shaun's best efforts to convince me otherwise. This recipe is fantastic because it's healthier yet feels like a real treat! The result of roasting these taters in maple syrup, cider vinegar and cinnamon was a soft sweet potato with a light gooey glaze...could they look any prettier?!


Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

*Adapted from Thrifty Veggie Mama

**Note: I halved Jamie's recipe since it was just for Shaun and me! For a bigger portion, double this recipe, or head over to her site for the original recipe!

1/3 C maple syrup

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut bite size chunks

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk together the syrup, vinegar, oil, water and cinnamon. Pour over the sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Spread into 9-inch square pan and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 30-35 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the syrup mixture is gooey and bubbly, stirring occasionally.

Serve immediately and try not to consumer entire pan in one sitting.

Easier said than done, in my opinion.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and consider it for your Thanksgiving tables! I'll be eating some for lunch today as a nice little treat :)



Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Hi friends!

It's Monday!

How do you feel about that today?

I had such a nice weekend. I did a whole lotta cooking and baking on Saturday, followed by hanging around a fire pit at our friends place, followed by football Sunday with my family. I love.

As my love affair with fall continues, I devised a new smoothie to get my taste buds in the spirit. I had leftover sweet potatoes one Saturday morning and thought, hey, why not put them in a smoothie?

It's a natural thought process, no?

Don't think I'm weird.

Ok, I'm it's a little weird. But look how pretty it is! Shaun shuddered at the idea. But it tastes like fall in a cup. In a cold, frosty, cinnamony, nutmeggy cup. What's so bad about that?

A word of warning. If you don't like sweet potatoes, don't touch this with a 10 foot pole. Because it tastes like sweet potatoes, so don't expect something different, like it will taste like pumpkin or something. I like this smoothie because it gets breakfast done a little bit better than a pumpkin pie smoothie (though I love those even more because I have a weird pumpkin obsession. obviously). The potato makes this a super filling breakfast or lunch. Combined with fall spices, I'd happily drink this anytime :)

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
1 C unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 small sweet potato, cooked & mashed
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
1 packet Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)
dash cinnamon
dash nutmeg

Combine all ingredients. Blend together until smooth (I used my immersion blender). Serve over ice.

Drink up!

I'm off to make one of these now...here's to a great week!!

Questions of the Day:

Do you like sweet potatoes? Do you prefer sweet potatoes or white potatoes? If it's mashed, I say yesss x 100 to white potatoes, but if it's baked, I'm all about the sweet!

What was your favorite part of the weekend?


Carmelized Potato Parsnip Tart

A few weeks ago, I found something fantastic.

Something that is destined to change a lot of things in my avid kitchen. Like how I make Ina's goat cheese & tomato tart or cinnamon buns, for instance.

That is, if I ever decide to go ahead and try making them.

I've heard so many good things about puff pastry, though I had never worked with before. When I offered to make a vegetable tart for Christmas Eve after seeing it in Food Network Magazine, I had to give it a test drive before serving it on the big day. And since puff pastry plays a major role in this star dish, I figured it was time.

Not only was the intimidating pastry super easy to work with, it baked up into a flaky delicious base for the sweet and savory tart. Topped with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, onions and a light caramel sauce, this tart was a perfect weeknight dinner as well as a delicious hot appetizer cut into small pieces for our Christmas Eve celebration.

Carmelized Potato Parsnip Tart
*Adapted from Food Network Magazine
2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
1/2 C sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
All purpose flour, for rolling out the pastry

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut up the potatoes, parsnips and sweet potatoes.  Toss with olive oil, onion, salt and pepper, spread onto a {foil-lined} baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

In a sauce pan, mix 2 tbsp water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir frequently so as not to burn. Cook for about 7 minutes until the sauce is amber. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar.

Pour and spread {very quickly before it hardens} into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish (Note: The first time I used an aluminum baking dish, but the second time I used glass. Since the caramel hardens very quickly, I found the glass dish to work a bit better). Layer the vegetables on top, sprinkling with a bit of salt, the sage and oregano.


Sprinkle on the mozzarella. Next, roll out the thawed puff pastry using a rolling pin and a bit of flour. Once it's rolled out to the size to cover the vegetables, prick the entire thing with a fork (This is very important! Prick it allllll over. See below image). Cover the cheese and vegetables, folding the ends of the pastry in if it's too big.

Put it in the oven. And be careful of who's holding the camera while putting said tart in oven. Sometimes the photos turn out semi-inappropriately.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce the temperature to 350, baking for 15-20 minutes move until finished. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Here's where it gets tricky. Since this is essentially an upside down tart, it requires a little skill to get it out of the pan. Run a knife around the edges of the tart. Place a cutting board face down over the top of the pan and very quickly (with potholders on - it's still hot!), turn the entire pan over onto the cutting board. The tart should come right out, but some banging on the top and light shaking might be in order. If any pieces stick to the pan, just replace them on top of the tart.

Don't worry, I've made it twice and didn't have a problem getting it out of the pan either time!


Doesn't it look delicious? The carmelization on top of the savory vegetables over the flaky crust is simply mouth-watering. Even the blackened bits were to die for. Oh and I have to admit that I had also not working with parsnips before this endeavor and always felt they fell into that 'obscure ingredient' category. I'm so happy that I finally jumped on the parsnip train! It's a great, carrot-like vegetable that was a simply wonderful addition to the potato duo.

So there you have it. A yummy, easy tart that's perfect for a weeknight dinner or for an elegant party. Have you ever worked with puff pastry? How about parsnips, or another obscure ingredient?