Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Way back in November.....

As a mother of three young sons, I love reading about fun, family-friendly activities. One of my go to magazines is Metro Family Magazine. Reading through the October 2011 edition, I noticed a recipe contest. The contest asked readers to submit a favorite, traditional holiday recipe with a twist. I had the perfect recipe! I quickly submitted my recipe for Sweet Potato and Banana Puree and crossed my fingers for a win! The prize was a good one. Not only would my recipe be published in the upcoming edition, but a Latin inspired cookbook and a $100 gift certificate from the Cooking Girl to spend on premade meals or (what I really wanted, cooking classes)!

About a week later I was contacted by the magazine. I HAD WON!!! I was beyond excited! I made plans to pick up my cookbook and began to research what cooking classes I wanted to attend. When the edition came out, I hurried to the library to snag a copy or two. I won't lie, it was pretty cool to see my name in print.

A couple months later, and I am finally planning on going to the cooking classes. It's been a little difficult trying to find a time that my husband would be home to watch the boys.

Below is the "prize winning" recipe. :) I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does. Thanks again, MetroFamily and Cooking Girl!

Sweet Potato and Banana Puree

3 pounds sweet potatoes
1 ripe banana (skin on)
2 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup maple syrup
1 TBSP ground cinnamon .
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp salt
½ pound pecan, chopped
3 TBSP butte
r 1 tsp salt
1 TBSP brown sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Poke sweet potatoes several times with fork. Bake on cookie sheet for 45 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven, and place the entire banana on the cookie sheet. Return sweet potatoes and banana to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool. At that time, peel the sweet potatoes and banana and place in food processor or mixing bowl. Mix until the potatoes are chunky. Add the softened butter and syrup, and puree until smooth. Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt, and mix to combine. Pour mixture to a baking dish and smooth out. While the potatoes and banana are baking, melt the remaining butter in a skillet over low heat. Add pecans and salt, and sauté for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently. Drain pecans on paper towels. Layer the nuts on top of the sweet potato mixture and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees.

*This recipe can also be made ahead and refrigerated. After putting the potato mixture in the casserole dish, it can be covered and refrigerated one day ahead of serving. On the day of serving, remove from refrigerator and sauté pecans. Increase baking time to 30 minutes to insure it is warmed through. I have actually used a couple bananas too.

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