Menu Monday: S is for Sweet Potato Casserole

I mentioned last week this weekend...wait.  What day is it again?

We are on DAY 5 of being snowed/iced in, and it continues tomorrow.  (They've already called off finals for Tuesday, too.  We were supposed to open at noon today, but thankfully, they went ahead and closed campus ALL day.)  I know what the day it is; I just have no frame of reference for the past as the days seem to melt into one another quite unlike the snow outside our doors.

(I really do love snow and winter and the magic it brings.  I'm just bummed we didn't get to go see Theatre Squared's production of A Christmas Carol this past weekend.  And we're out of bread and low on eggs.  No more French toast pour moi.)

Anyhooooo, I mentioned sometime recently that Zach and I do a Fall Feast every year.  Usually, we get a rotisserie chicken, I make the sides (green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and Stove Top, which my husband prefers to actual cornbread dressing...weirdo), and we do the dessert up right.  We eat and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Garfield's Thanksgiving.  It's something we started when we were dating: We decided to do our own "Thanksgiving" since we wouldn't be together for the holiday.  (That first year, I don't really remember.  I'm actually now not even sure if we did what we would call a Fall Feast now.  But our second year, when we were married, we actually watched the Halloween specials and had Halloween Funfetti cake...but I don't remember if it was before or after Halloween.  We do things in our own time.)  And it is a glorious tradition!  "The more you eat, the more grateful you're gonna feel..."  That song kinda irks me, and I don't think it's true for commercialized America, but I also find it stuck in my head for days after, so it does what it is supposed to do, I think.

Anyhooooo, this year, we did it much later this year than usual because we've been so busy and traveling on the weekends...and then when I ordered two chickens from my co-worker's son, I knew we just HAD to wait until they came in, so I could roast one for Fall Feast.

They finally were ready the week of Thanksgiving, and so I brought them home for Fall Feast...the first week in December.

It was my first time to roast a chicken, and it was a ROARING success!  The crowds went wild for the citrusy, herby, golden-skinned chicken!  (By crowds, I mean Zach and Amy.)  But I was very proud of my bird.  :)

I realize this is a terrifying angle.  It looks like a fish face.

I made some "Texas Roadhouse" (copycat) rolls along with the usual green bean casserole, but I decided to do more of a sweet potato casserole than just candied "yams."  I combined two recipes, and it was delish!

3 cans of sweet potatoes, drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash of ginger
dash of pepper
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp. melted butter (1/2 stick)
1+ Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
mini marshmallows

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 pan.
-Mash sweet potatoes by hand until mostly smooth.
-Add all ingredients except marshmallows, and combine until well blended.
-Spread half of sweet potato mixture into pan and top with marshmallows as desired.  Spread remaining sweet potato mixture on top.
-Bake for 30 minutes.  Top with marshmallows as desired and bake for 10 additional minutes until marshmallows are brown and bubbly.

I know this is one of those dishes that is more like candy, but we only have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I think we get a pass.  And I forgot to make the Stove Top, so it was one less dish.  :)

For dessert, we had a homemade chocolate cake made by a coworker's husband.  Holy YUM!

What are some traditions you have this time of year?

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Snow Days!

We are on our third day of being snowed/iced in, and if you know me, I am loving it!  I was quite surprised to get out on Thursday; I figured we would have go in for a few hours, and then they would close as the weather got bad.  Imagine my surprise when I woke up to a text from my boss that we were closed!

So I went back to sleep for an hour.  I have a hard time sleeping in when I know we are having winter weather because I want to watch it and measure it and touch it and walk it.  Oh, I so LOVE it.  Once I got up, I started editing photos, cleaning, and catching up on TV shows. The sleet started early but didn't really start accumulating until mid-morning. Once Zach got up, he played video games while I continued my cleaning. We drank lots of hot cocoa and tea, watched the snow begin to fall, and played & snuggled with the kitties. In the evening, Zach built a fire, which was lovely.  Here's how we spent our "snow days:"

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sleet starting to collect on everything

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Yes, we still have pumpkins out.  We didn't carve any this year, so they are still in tact.  I don't have the heart to throw out anything that is still good.

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The cats enjoyed having us home!

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This is probably the coldest it's been in Arkansas since I don't know when!

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It's a tradition for me to drink out of my snowflake mug on snow days.  :)

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night fall, snow fall

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When I got up on Friday, we had EIGHT inches!  It's now over nine.  :)  I wasn't sure if my guess was correct (eight inches), but I was right on the money when this photos as taken!

On Friday, I watched Christmas movies and prepared for our late Fall Feast.  And, of course, watched the snow continue to fall!

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Since we moved up here, I've used these birds to measure the snow.

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They have been quite snuggly with the cold weather.
Yes, I know, we make beautiful children raise beautiful cats.

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dangers of winter weather in AR

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I love our home in this kind of weather.  it reminds me a cabin!  Also, those bows used to hang in our stairwell during Christmas, but Dinah tore them up pretty good last year, so I shortened the tails and decided to use them one last year--outside.

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my (rain)boot prints

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Selfies in the snow are hard, especially when it is well below freezing.

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why we named our home The Owlery

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Our landlord's little lady statue looks like a gnome in the snow!

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It's hard to see here, but there are some animal tracks in the snow.  Deer, maybe?

Last night, we had our Fall Feast, and I invited Amy over since she made it safely back home from her friends' house.  But I'll tell you more about this on Monday!

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Today, I'm going to knit and address Christmas cards.  :)))

Oh, and next weekend, I'll be sharing our Christmas decor courtesy of Kelly's Korner SUYL!

Did you get any winter weather courtesy of Winter Storm Cleon?  How do you spend your snow days?

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