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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pinterest and Sweet Potato Pie Dip

2014 was my year of Pinterest!  This pin was the basis for building a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in our house. We now have a shelf behind our sofa in our small living room because I saw this pin.  I brought a cheesy, gooey Jalapeno Popper dip for a Christmas Eve appetizer thanks to this pin. I used the recipe for a tart, sweet, and spicy Jalapeno Cranberry dip on this pin for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and again for New Year's. Last night, I made a creamy Sweet Potato Pie dip because I thankfully pinned this a while back.

I'm blogging about the Sweet Potato Pie dip because it is definitely a keeper, I want to make a minor adjustment to the original recipe, and family members who sampled it last night asked for the recipe AND suggested alternate uses for leftovers, which I want to share here.

1 (8-oz) block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Graham crackers or ginger snaps

Pecan Topping:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. When oven is ready, bake the sweet potatoes until they are fork-tender.
3. Mix together the cream cheese and brown sugar. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. I used a food processor to get the consistency nice and smooth.
4. Mix together all the ingredients of the pecan topping. I added oatmeal to the recipe because when I made it according to the original recipe (without oatmeal), the butter pooled on the top. Adding the oatmeal will give the dip a crisp-like feel and will eliminate butter pooling.
5. Sprinkle the topping on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes and serve with graham crackers and/or ginger snaps.

This dip was so good that by the time I remembered to take a photo for the blog, we had it 1/4 eaten!

For leftovers (if you  have any) or if you just want a twist, this would make a classy dessert served in nice glasses decorated with a cookie dipped onto the top. You could also add a dollop of real whipping cream or ice cream on top.

Pinterest treated me well in 2014. Hoping 2015 brings the same type of success!

A Feast for Our Chickens, 2015

This New Year's Day, we decided to celebrate the lives of our backyard flock chickens. Inspired by Heartland Farm Sanctuary's Feast for the Turkeys event, we made up a meal in which the chickens were the honored guests rather than the main dish.

We halved a few Delicata squashes and filled them with a mix of cranberries, beets, carrots, kale, yogurt, and Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal.

One half squash for each chicken
We spread them throughout the run.
 As you can see in the pictures below, our chickens were delighted. Rocky, the rooster, expressed  his excitement by getting a case of the hiccups.

Our youngest chickens, hatched on August 18th, are a bit more skittish around us than any of our other chickens have been. Surrounded by squash goodness, they hung out around us this morning as they enjoyed their feast. What a treat for all of us!

Happy New Year!