Mac + Cheese Stuffed Brown Sugar Balsamic Portobellos

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This time last year: Homemade Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (2013)

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I think one of my favorite foods, in extremely close competition with sweet potatoes, are mushrooms.  Mushrooms are not only incredibly flavorful (I mean, have you seen those Garlic Parmesan Mushrooms?!?!), but they also are so very good for you- low in fat, high in iron, and a good source of protein.  What’s not to love?

After you sauté these bad boys in a little balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, you could eat them straight. Stuffing them with mac and cheese, makes them literally irresistible!

So, if a healthier take on comfort food sounds like your dream, then look no further!

If you’re looking for a good vegetarian entree, then look no further!

If mac and cheese is your jam, or you happen to have a left over tub in your fridge, then look no further!

This dish is a winner, love at first bite.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups (leftover) macaroni and cheese
  • 2 ounces freshly grated cheese (your favorite kind!)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs

Breadcrumb Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/3 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Prepare the mushrooms: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once warm, add the mushrooms, stem side up, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Flip once more and add the vinegar and brown sugar, evenly coating the mushrooms.  Cook for one more minute and then remove from the heat.
  3. Assemble: Scoop heaping spoonfuls of mac and cheese (at least 1/2 cup) into each mushroom. (The mac and cheese can be straight from the fridge!). Place in the oven, until the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Prepare the breadcrumbs: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk until it bubbles.  The minute the brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds.  Let the butter stand for 2 minutes, then whisk in the garlic and bread crumbs.
  5. Top: As soon as the mushrooms are done cooking, cover them with the breadcrumbs, herbs, and green onions, and serve immediately!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Source: How Sweet It Is
  • Like this recipe? Check out these other winner from A Rented Kitchen (recipe links below):

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple Butter

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Wow! Hello internet! Several weeks have passed since the last time I wrote, which means, I am officially back in the good ole’ United States, after six crazy and beautiful weeks trekking through Peru.

I have so much to be grateful for.

While I really miss Peru, and absolutely loved my trip with the program Operation Groundswell (I highly suggest this organization for any of you out there that love to travel!), I am very grateful to be back in a position where I can cook again and share some yummy recipes with you all! Thanks for all the views in my absence! You guys are amazing.

Because very few things seem more American and comfort food-ish than sweet potatoes and biscuits, I thought I’d share this yummy biscuits recipe I made  just before my Peru trip.

Fun fact- it turns out Peru has nearly 3,000 native potatoes that grow in the country (Whaaaaaat?), and while I feel like I tasted all 3,000 (slight exaggeration), I never tasted one that rivaled the sweet potato I am used to in the states. Go figure. I think some comfort foods just may never change.

Therefore, despite my recent expansive potato diet, I still find myself craving these delicious muffins.  Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I did- warm with a little maple butter.

Get excited for more fun recipes coming your way this summer!

The girl is back. Let’s get cookin’!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium – large sweet potato
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and shaping
  • 2 Tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk

Maple Butter Ingredients:

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Cook the sweet potato by either baking for 45 minutes at 450˚ F, wrapped in aluminum foil, or by peeling and dicing the sweet potato and boiling in a covered saucepan with water until tender.
  2. Once cooked, drain the sweet potato and mash into a puree (you should have about ¾- 1 cup of filling).
  3. Place the sweet potato in the refrigerator for an hour, or until chilled.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425˚ F and lightly flour a clean cooking surface.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  6. Using a fork, press the butter into the mixture and kneed until the batter resembles coarse meal (there may be some small pea-sized lumps of butter remaining).
  7. Gather the scraps, reroll the dough, and repeat in cutting as many additional biscuits as possible.
  8. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sweet potato and buttermilk. Stir into the flour mixture until just combined.
  9. Place the dough on the lightly floured surface and kneed gently until the dough holds together, but is still slightly lumpy. If the dough is too sticky, add additional flour.
  10. Roll the dough into 1- inch of thickness and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking glass.
  11. Arrange the biscuits snuggly on a greased baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter.
  12. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the maple butter, melt the butter and stir together the ingredients until completely mixed. Top warm biscuits with butter, eat, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Cozy Kitchen
  • Additional delicious toppings, other than the maple butter, include a drizzle of honey or apple butter! You seriously cannot go wrong with sweet potato biscuits.
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!):

Sweet Potato Casserole

With November fast approaching, it seems only appropriate for Thanksgiving to be our minds. However, with the tragedies of hurricane Sandy continuing to impact thousands of lives, I know being thankful may be more difficult now than ever.

I live on the east coast, however just last Wednesday I flew home to the Midwest to visit my family. Halfway through my trip I learned of Hurricane Sandy as I watched the news show Sandy’s devastating energy headed directly for the eastern shore.  Needless to say, my flight back to school was canceled, and my trip in the Midwest was significantly extended.

I decided there was no better way to spend those extra few days home, than cooking up some classic comfort foods. This casserole in particular, is hands down, my favorite food in the world. My mom has made it for me for every thanksgiving, sick day, and birthday that I can remember.  I wanted to share it with you all, because this dish, more than any other dish, reminds me of home. It reminds me of family, of being gathered around the table, and of the incredible list of things I have to be thankful for in my life. With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy lingering on our hearts, I think we could all use a little more home.

Casserole Ingredients:

  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter or margarine

Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potatoes.  In a large pot, cook the sweet potatoes in boiling water for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender.
  3. Allow time for the potatoes to cool, and peel.
  4. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash.
  5. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, 1/2 cup butter, and milk to the mashed potatoes. Using an electric mixer, cream together until smooth.
  6. Transfer the potato mixture to the prepared baking dish and smooth with a spatula.
  7. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, oatmeal, flour, and 2 Tablespoons butter. Crumble and mix together until well combined.
  8. Sprinkle the brown sugar and oats mixture evenly over the sweet potatoes and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!: