Monday, April 30, 2012

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Look what I have for you today...ANOTHER "stuffed" recipe!  You'd think I have a slight obsession but oddly enough, I had this recipe chosen for our Cinco de Mayo themed Dinner Club well before any of the other stuffed recipes were planned for my blog postings.

I've seen this recipe called several things: Healthy Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Mexican-Inspired Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, and Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.  It's a mouthful to type or say.  So, let's just put aside our differences and as in the age old potAYto versus potAHto argument we'll just call them "delicious".

You will have leftover filling.  That is, unless you're like me and start eating it by the spoonful.  But, if you do happen to have some left, I hear they make an awesome quesadilla filling!

Look for my other Cinco de Mayo Dinner Club dish later this week!

One Year Ago: Guacamole
Two Years Ago: Summer Corn and Vegetable Soup

Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Photo Credit: Emily H.

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can corn, or 1.5 cups frozen corn, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1 oz cream cheese (light is fine)
  • 1/4 c sour cream (light is fine), plus more for serving
  • 1 to 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced or pureed (adjust to your spice tolerance)
  • 6 Tbsp shredded Mexican cheese (or other preferred flavor)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to set until cool enough to handle.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are cooling, saute the corn in a dry heavy skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt, cumin, chili powder and Mexican oregano. Cook until the corn is roasted and browned (about 7 to 10 minutes). Transfer to a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Wipe the skillet clean and heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cook until just translucent and tender. Transfer to the bowl with the corn. Add the black beans and cilantro to the onion and corn. Gently stir to mix.
  4. Cut the cooled sweet potatoes in half, lengthwise. Scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl, leaving the skins intact (leaving a thin layer of potato helps to hold the skin together.) Add the cream cheese, sour cream, chipotle pepper(s) and salt to the mixing bowl with the sweet potatoes. Mash with a potato masher or blender to desired texture. Gently stir in the roasted corn, onions, black beans and cilantro mix.
  5. Preheat the broiler. Fill each potato skin with the mashed potato mixture, topping each with 1 Tablespoon of cheese. Broil for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and hot. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Source: As seen on and adapted by Pennies on a Platter from Pinch of Yum

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Okay.  I decided that after sharing the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls earlier this week I might as well stay with the stuffed theme...and am on a roll...*ba dum dump*.  Okay.  Enough bad puns already.

But really, who can say no to pizza with gooey, melted cheese?  How about having some of that cheesy goodness in the crust in addition to on top of the rest of the pie?  I remember when stuffed crust pizza came out at Pizza Hut.  It seemed like the greatest invention ever at the time.  The commercials featured people diving into their pizza slices crust first.  Suddenly,  the crust became a desirable part of the pizza and so many crusts were spared from ending up in the trash.  Because let's face it.  Before stuffed crust pizza, generally speaking unless you had some yummy Papa John's garlic butter or equally delicious dipping sauce the crust was really just filler.

When I saw this recipe in the cookbook that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas I knew it was a "must make".  The answer to execute to make this "dressed up" pizza at home was so simple: string cheese!  Let's just say that this recipe didn't disappoint and came together surprisingly quickly and easily.  Though there's yeast in the dough you don't need to let it rise or anything before baking.  It'll be on our menu again for sure!

One Year Ago: Churro Bites 
Two Years Ago: Slow Cooker Carnitas

Stuffed Crust Pizza

Prep Time: 25 Minutes; Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Yields: 8 slices

Stuffed Crust Pizza

  • 2 to 2-1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (0.25 oz) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c water
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 8 pieces string cheese
  • 1 c tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of cracked red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 c (6 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings of choice
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and salt.  In a saucepan, heat water and oil to 120-130 degrees F.  Add to dry ingredients and beat until just moistened.  Stir in enough remaining flour until it forms a soft dough.  Let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle.  Transfer to greased 12-inch pizza pan, letting dough drape 2 inches over the edge.  Place string cheese around the edge of the pan.  Fold the dough over the cheese and pinch to seal (obviously make sure you get a good seal or your cheese will all melt out of the crust and that would be sad!).  Prick the dough pizza bottom thoroughly with a fork.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce and spices.  Spread sauce over pre-baked crust.  Sprinkle with mozzarella and add desired toppings.  Lightly brush pizza crust edge with olive oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Source: Barely modified from The Taste of Home Cookbook, pg 145

Monday, April 23, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cinnamon Buns

Hi friends!  I have exciting news to share.  You may have noticed that I've been rather absent from my blog this year.  I've been busy, to say the least.  And so to help me get back to regularly blogging, I was accepted to and joined the Secret Recipe Club.  The idea is simple.  Each month, you are assigned a random blog and then you get to choose a recipe that you'd like to make from it.  On a prescribed day and time, everybody reveals what they've made!

I'm part of Angela's Group.  She's the hostess of Group C and the blogger behind Big Bear's Wife.  This month I was assigned Melissa's Cuisine and boy did things look tasty!  At first, I considered making Grilled Pizza since it's always something I've wanted to try but then I decided I'd use this opportunity to make something sweet instead.  Melissa's blog is FILLED with cinnamon rolls and so I knew that I'd have to try one out.  But the question was....Funfetti Cinnamon Rolls or Cookie Dough and Chocolate Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls?  I went with the latter, knowing one of my husband's absolute favorite desserts are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles that he often begs me to make.

I think that I was not supposed to have chocolate chips in my cookie dough stuffed cinnamon rolls now that I look back at Melissa's pictures so what I ended up with was a hybrid roll.  I don't buy margarine so I used something better...BUTTER!  Yum!  Also, lately in my cooking I've been trying to swap out some of the white flour with whole wheat.  Nutritionally I don't think it makes too much of a difference but psychologically it makes me feel better haha.  I also didn't reserve any cookie dough for the frosting (I was a bit overzealous in stuffing my rolls!) so I winged my own frosting by adding a bit of butter for well...buttery flavor.

Now, I knew that these cinnamon rolls would be rich but I had no idea of the sheer decadence that would explode in my mouth.  They were ADDICTING!  Chocolate chip cookie + cinnamon roll?  This is dessert for breakfast!  What's not to love?  I'm embarrassed to say that my husband and I each ate 3 in a single sitting.  Yup, good thing I added some whole wheat flour to the mix, huh? ;).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls


For the Ready to Eat Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
For the Cinnamon Rolls:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 packet yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4-1/2 cups flour (I used 1-1/2 cups whole wheat and 3 cups all purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) butter
  • cinnamon
  • sugar
  • 1 batch ready to eat cookie dough
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
For the Icing:
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  1. Make the Cookie Dough:  In a small bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Add in flour. Stir in chocolate chips.  Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
  2. Mix the milk, oil, and sugar in a large pot. Scald milk mixture (heat until not quite boiling) and then let it cool to room temperature.  The cooling step is important because if the liquid is too hot, you will kill your yeast and your rolls will not rise!
  3. Sprinkle yeast over milk mixture and let it sit for a couple minutes.  Stir in 4 cups of flour to form a sticky dough. Cover pan and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  4. After dough has risen, stir in remaining 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, and baking soda until well combined. Divide dough in half. On a flour covered workplace (I use my counter), roll the dough out until it's about 1/8" thick and in a rectangular shape about 18 inches long and 12 inches wide.
  5. Melt butter in a glass measuring cup or a small bowl. Pour half of the melted butter over the dough and spread using a brush. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon (the amount is up to you). Now top with spoonfuls of prepared chocolate chip cookie dough.
  6. Roll dough toward you, keeping the spiral as tight as possible. Cut into 3/4 inch slices. Place in a greased pan. 
  7. Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. 
  8. Let the cinnamon rolls rise for 30 minutes. Then bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
  9. While rolls are in the oven, mix together ingredients for icing.  Add more powdered sugar if the consistency is too thin.  If the mixture is too thick, add more milk or cream.  You want it to be the consistency of a spreadable frosting.  
  10. Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes before icing.  To really put these over the top and/or for the chocoholics in your life, drizzle with melted chocolate.  Eat them warm right out of the pan...and don't say I didn't warn you!
Make Ahead Tips: Once you have cut your rolls and placed them into the greased pan, you can cover then put them in the refrigerator or freezer to bake later.  To bake straight from the fridge, bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.  Fresh cinnamon rolls hot out of the oven in the morning!  You're welcome!

Source: Slightly modified from Melissa's Cuisine