Sweet Potato Hash

I hope you all enjoyed my blogiversary last week, it was fun to share some more details about me with all of you. This week, is the week of Easter and lucky for me, I won’t be cooking at all this weekend. I just get to attend dinner with my family and enjoy it. I will probably be making a nice breakfast for Eric and I on Saturday and the recipe I have today works great for breakfast or for dinner. This was the first recipe I made from my new Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook and its very simple and delicious. It combines two of my favorite foods, mushrooms and sweet potatoes into a sweet potato hash.

Once your ingredients are prepped, boil the sweet potato for about 10 minutes to cook.

Combine the cooked sweet potato, mushrooms, onions and rest of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Saute over medium high heat until soft and browned.

Serve as a side for dinner, as pictured below, or next to eggs and bacon for breakfast or brunch.

This is such a simple and so tasty dish. The touch of maple syrup really plays well with the flavors and makes it a great accompaniment to breakfast. After the way this turned out, I can’t wait to cook more recipes from Tupelo Honey Cafe.

Here’s the recipe:

Sweet Potato Hash
Author: Tupelo Honey Cafe
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, caps thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tupelo honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the sweet potato and blanch for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are just fork tender. Remove the potatoes and transfer to an ice bath.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and saute the mushrooms for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato, mushrooms, green onions, sage, hot pepper sauce, honey, salt, and pepper. In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat and add the potato mixture. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is caramelized.
  4. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Stout Cake

St. Patrick’s Day is in less than a week and as someone with predominantly Irish heritage, I always enjoy celebrating the holiday with some Irish inspired dishes. This week, I’ll be sharing with you some Irish dishes that you can make to celebrate too!

I spotted this recipe, a chocolate stout cake, on one of my new favorite baking blogs, Sweetapolita, a week or so ago and realized I had all the ingredients on hand to make it. Few things go together better than chocolate and Guinness and then add the fact that you can eat them together in cake form. Brilliant!

Start this cake by measuring and cutting parchment paper to line the bottoms of two round cake pans. Then spray the pans with baking spray.

Heat the Guinness and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.

Remove it from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.

Pour it into a separate bowl and set it aside to cool completely (I put mine in the fridge to speed up the cooling process).

In a medium size bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In an electric mixer, mix together the eggs and sour cream until well combined.

Add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Once cooled, frost with the whipped vanilla bean frosting.

This cake was delicious. It tasted chocolaty but also had another layer of flavor from the Guinness. There is a visible difference between my cake and the one from Sweetapolita, my cake is lighter in color. I think I may have needed a darker cocoa powder but I couldn’t find any at the grocery store. I may have to start ordering some baking ingredients online in order to get what I truly need.

The frosting was sensational! Creamy and light and the addition of the vanilla bean was a great idea, it looked like vanilla bean ice cream covering the cake. The flavor in the icing paired very well with the cake. All in all, a simple and delicious recipe and perfect for your St. Patty’s Day celebration!

The recipes for both cake and frosting can be found at Sweetapolita.com.


12 Days of Cocktails Wrap-up

I’m baaack! I’m sure you were all wondering what happened to me and the 12 days of cocktails. I have no excuses except to say that last week got really busy, really fast and I found myself in the middle of a cooking and baking marathon on top of all the rest of the last minute wrapping and shopping not to mention a work business trip and doing actual work for my steady and paying job. Somehow the blog was pushed back to place #25 in the midst of all that.

For those of you who checked back each day only to be disappointed with the same old blog post, I’m sorry but thanks for checking back! I can’t express how grateful I am for dedicated readers. Today, I’ll give you 3 last cocktail recipes that hopefully you can use this weekend for New Years! And give you a small update on our Christmas party which is scheduled for Friday. Yup, 4 days away and getting less each second.

Let’s start with cocktails. I saw this one in the paper this weekend and thought it sounded great! I have not made this one before but am considering making it for the party. It comes from Sweden and is made annually when they celebrate St. Lucia. It is similar to the German Gluhwein but packs more punch with the addition of stronger spirits, probably because it is so much colder there in the winter. This recipe feeds a lot of people and I found it on Epicurious.com:

Cocktail # 10: Glögg


  • 1 bottle tawny port
  • 1 bottle Madeira
  • 1 bottle medium dry sherry
  • 1/2 bottle dry red wine
  • 15 cloves
  • 15 cardamom seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 pound lump sugar
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup blanched almonds


Combine all ingredients except the sugar, brandy, raisins and nuts in a heavy saucepan and heat slowly. When the wine mixture is hot, place a rack on top of the saucepan so that it covers half of it. Arrange the sugar cubes on the rack, warm the brandy, pour it over the sugar and set it aflame. Ladle the wine mixture over the flaming sugar until sugar is dissolved. Serve in 8-ounce mugs, garnished with the almonds and raisins.

Cocktail number 11 is a nod to all things Mad Men. I’m loving the resurgence of all things from the 1950s & 1960s. Here is a classic Manhattan cocktail recipe from Bon Appetit.com, this recipe makes 1:

Cocktail # 10: Manhattan
Makes 1
  • 6 tablespoons rye whiskey
  • 3 tablespoons sweet vermouth
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry or an orange peel


  • Mix rye, vermouth, and bitters in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 large ice cubes. Stir to blend, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cherry or an orange peel.

The 12th and final cocktail recipe is the punch that I will be making for our party this Friday. I got it from December’s Bon Appetit Magazine, The Long Hello. It looks like great flavors and I’m even going to attempt to make the ice ring that sits in it.

The Long Hello

I hope this will last us all night.

Cocktail #12: The Long Hello


  • 1 3/4 cups Calvados or other apple brandy
  • 1 cup St-Germain (elderflower liqueur)
  • 10 dashes bitters, preferably Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters or Angostura
  • 1 750-ml bottle Champagne, chilled
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Special Equipment:

    One 12-cup Bundt or tube pan; 1 punch bowl


  • Make and freeze ring mold with pears and apples according to our ice mold directions. DO AHEAD: Ring mold can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and keep frozen.
  • Stir Calvados, St-Germain, bitters, and 1 cup water in a punch bowl. Add ice ring, then Champagne. Ladle punch into glasses and grate nutmeg over.

There you have it 12 new cocktail recipes, just in time for New Years! I hope you can find one or two new ones to try. You don’t have to go out to get a good cocktail!

Speaking of going out or…staying in…I’m in full party planning mode. With 4 days till our big bash, I’m feeling the heat. Last night, I was making lists and pulling recipes and trying to eliminate complicated recipes. I tend to bite off more than I can chew with parties so I’m making an effort not to go overboard and kill myself this week.

Here’s my party planning schedule:

Tuesday – Grocery Shop
Make Punch Ice Ring

Wednesday – Make Cream puffs
Make 2 dips

Thursday – Make dough for rolls
Assemble Cream puff tower

Friday – Assemble Veggie plates
Assemble All Appetizers
Bake Ham
Fix Punch

Party, Party, Party!!

Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on my menu choices. Oh and cleaning of the house has to be worked into the schedule, too but I think Eric will be helping a lot with that one. I’m sure he can’t wait.

12 Days of Cocktails – Day 1 German Gluhwein

It’s officially 12 days until Christmas, you better get those halls decked, packages sent, cards stamped and cookies baked. There is no more time to procrastinate. In honor of these last 12 festive days, Red Velvet is going to feature a new cocktail recipe each day.

I hope that these recipes will help to make family time a little more bearable, and keep those cheeks warm and rosy this holiday season. The first cocktail I’m going to highlight is one that Eric and I discovered in Germany a few Christmases ago.

We were enjoying a bustling Christmas market in the town of Speyer which smelled of bratwurst and baked goods.

We noticed that lots of people were holding ceramic mugs filled with something hot. I could see that it was not hot chocolate and immediately wanted to find out what it was. We quickly learned that it was a hot spiced wine called Gluhwein, see the sign below.

We did not get any at the Christmas Market but were able to order some at a restaurant later in the trip. It was served nice and warm and with sugar packets. Eric and I both loved it and upon returning, I set out to find my very own gluhwein recipe.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can use any cheap red wine. The spices you add will contribute more flavor to make the wine taste great. I also love the idea of an alternative to hot cider. Simply combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat on low until just simmering and allow to steep for about an hour before drinking.

Here’s the recipe:

12 Days of Cocktails – Day 1
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 4
  • A 750ml bottle of inexpensive dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup of raw cane sugar or white sugar, or non-artificial sweetener of your choice
  • Juice and peel of one small lemon
  • 2 cardamon pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  1. Combine all in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just simmering, but do not allow to boil.
  2. Steep at that temperature for about an hour.
  3. Serve in small mugs, straining out the ingredients.