Category Archives: Holiday

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue – A Healthy Thanksgiving Side

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. To me, it means getting together with family and friends to spend quality time together. And of course, sharing some great food.

Growing up, I remember having sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. This Thanksgiving dish is ultra sweet with the sweet potatoes from a big can and mini marshmallows melted on top, delivering dessert during the dinner.

So, can you have your sweet potatoes with marshmallows with a fraction of the sugar and calories? Absolutely. I read a great recipe in Good Housekeeping a few years ago that reformed helped me reform my Thanksgiving sweet potato staple into something healthy and delicious.

These meringue topped sweet potatoes taste so much like toasted marshmallows to me — but rely on the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes for most of the sugar flavor but without the added calories.

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue Recipe

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue for Thanksgiving

5 large sweet potatoes (about five pounds)
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (I use Trader Joe’s)
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
Pinch of salt

Clean the sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork or knife. Microwave the sweet potatoes on a plate or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap until well cooked and soft — about 15-30 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave (it takes about 30 minutes in mine). Let the sweet potatoes cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. I like to slice them in half to let the insides cool a bit faster.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the peels from the sweet potatoes and mash them well. You can run them through a food processor but if they’re soft enough, the sweet potatoes can be mashed with a fork (less clean up!). Mix in pumpkin pie spice (I use 2 tbsp as I like the flavor but use less if it’s too strong or more if you like more flavor) and a pinch of salt. Taste this mixture* and if you like it, spread it evenly across a 9×13 pan (3 quart).

Put the egg whites, cream of tarter and maple syrup into a mixing bowl and beat until you have stiff peaks. Gently, remove the well beaten egg whites from the bowl and spread over the top of the sweet potato mixture. If you’re feeling fancy, put them in a piping bag and pipe onto the top of the potatoes.

Bake at 400 for 5-8 minutes – remove from the oven when the top is golden brown (and likely when you smell it).

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

* Some people might not find these sweet potatoes sweet enough. I swear that the sweetness will be there and but if you need more sweetness, add up to 2 tbsp of brown sugar or maple syrup to the mix after adding in the spice and the salt. I also really like using ginger maple syrup in this recipe because it adds a nice sweet spicy kick. The ginger maple syrup I use is from the Deep Mountain Maple stand at the Union Square Greenmarket but I’ve noticed they’re selling it online too. Have a great holiday everyone!



Recipe: Baked Ginger Cranberry Sauce

I love fresh ginger. That spicy sharp flavor makes me happy. And when I saw a recipe for cranberry ginger sauce in Real Simple, I knew I had to make it for Thanksgiving — especially because it has only three ingredients.


This sauce was a hit with the family too and I’ve made it every year since.

However, I lost the recipe and can’t seem to find it anywhere online so I’m sharing my own version of the recipe here.

Baked Cranberry Ginger Sauce

1 C minced fresh ginger
1/2 C. sugar (I prefer organic)
2 12 oz. bags of fresh cranberries – rinsed and picked over

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and mince the ginger. I like to peel mine running a spoon along the piece. You’ll end up with a good pile of ginger.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mix together all ingredients and spread out in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cranberries get soft and syrupy – as pictured below.

Cool and serve.

Makes about 2.5-3 cups. Fills a pint and a half Ball jar.

20131127-230552.jpgFresh ginger – minced and ready to be mixed with the cranberries.


Baked sauce – fresh from the oven!


Lightly mixed together to spoon into the jar.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Cornbread with Cayenne or Dill

Thanksgiving is almost here and since I joined my CSA, I’ve been looking for great ways to use the lovely flours from Cayuga Pure Organics in unique and delicious ways. I’ve been making versions of this cornbread for three years now and I think it’s finally ready to be shared because it is bonkers good.  Plus, it’s relatively easy to make – no mixer needed!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

ImageCheddar Cheese Cornbread (with Dill or Cayenne)
2C bread flour (or all purpose – mix of white and wheat or all wheat is fine)
2C cornmeal
3T baking powder
1/2tsp kosher salt
1/8C sugar
1/2tsp cayenne pepper (optional) or 1c well chopped fresh dill
1C (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
2C milk (1% or other lowfat is fine – use regular if you wish)
4 large eggs
8oz aged cheddar cheese – grated

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar – plus cayenne if using). In a separate bowl, melt butter and stir in the milk and eggs. Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients until ingredients are mostly combined and lumps are pretty much gone but don’t worry too much about getting them all (and please don’t over mix). Stir in 1/2 the grated aged cheddar (and dill if using). Rest mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Butter a 9x13x2 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees while mixture is resting.

Spoon batter into prepared, smooth the top and evenly distribute the rest of the cheddar on the nicely smoothed top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Mine took about 40 minutes but my oven runs cool. And I do love a little bit of a golden top – yummy!

Cool and cut into 24 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Helpful hints:
— Feel free to make the cornbread the night before – tastes great the next day!
— If your aged cheddar cheese is salty, feel free to eliminate the salt. The original recipe called for 2tsp of kosher salt, which made for a really, really salty batch.
— I hate chopping dill at times and have found that if you pulse it in the food processor a few times, it give you a perfect chop!
— For the cheese, a grate will give you more consistency in the melted cheese on top. I shredded the dill version and the cheese never quite fully melted, which was disappointing. A finder shred (like on a zesting microplane) works perfectly too.


Based on Ina Garten’s Cheddar Dill Cornbread with some modifications for more cornbread taste/texture and other bits. Original recipe can be viewed at this link.

Happy Veteran’s Day Sgt. Davis (and all our men & women in the armed forces/vets)

reserves, originally uploaded by MinorlyObsessed.

Today is Veteran’s Day and we owe at least a few minutes of reflection to our men and women in uniform, past and present, to acknowledge their stellar contributions to our country.

My youngest brother, Paul, is a member of the armed forces. He decided to join the Army shortly after the September 11th attacks and went into basic training in the spring of 2002. A few months later, he joined the Army’s prestigious 82nd Airborne division (hooah!) because he liked the idea of jumping out of planes!

Paul spent a pair of tours in Iraq. Those were nervewracking years for my family. Each time I heard about a soldier being killed or injured on the news, my heart skipped a beat and I’d wait breathlessly for more information – which unit, which division, what happened. I spent loads of time chatting in Internet groups where other family members shared news and information (Rick, Deborah, Jo, Lindsay, Georgie, Bobbie and more were lifesavers during that time).

The hardest days happened when we received the updates about a death. Those updates were heartbreaking. I still remember coming back home from a trade show and hearing that Marc Seiden was killed just weeks before they were supposed to come home. I think I cried for an hour straight. And on the next tour, Michael Duel, who was in Paul’s platoon, was killed mid tour. Just writing this makes me cry a bit because I think so much about their families and how important their contribution is to our freedom. While I’m not one to pray much, I still say prayers for both of these brave soldiers and every time I hear about injuries or deaths because this is someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mom or dad, etc.

I’m very proud to be part of the military family and want to thank all of our soldiers – present and past – for their dedication. Thank you for keeping us safe and for giving your all for our country.

On this Veteran’s Day, please remember our troops and let’s all do all we can to make sure that they come home safe.

Holiday stockings – More than Minorly Obsessed

I know, it’s only October but I’ve been working on this project for months and I’m proud to say, I’m 2/3 of the day done. My obsession (since childhood) are these adorable, old fashioned sockings that my Nonnie (Italian for grandmother) used to make before she lost her vision.

A couple of years ago, I decided to carry on the tradition by making one for myself (still a work in progress), one for each of my very best friends and one for each of my three nieces and my nephew. These are pretty big projects and they take 40-50 hours (if not more than that) to complete but I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I feel after completing a stocking.

Tonight, I finished another stocking for one of my nieces and I’ll give it to her for her birthday next month (shh! don’t tell anyone!).

While they take a significant amount of patience to complete, the great thing about these stocking kits is that they come with everything you need but I had to buy some extra sequins for the tree (notice the extra cool sequins on it – it’s a pretty bad picture but I love the overall look). You can get them at almost any craft store or look online at the collections from Bucilla or Dimensions. I’d love to know where I can buy these in NYC now. I’ve been looking for weeks but they don’t seem to be showing up at any of the stores in my ‘hood.