Friday, June 12, 2015

Creamy Vanilla Sweet Potato Mash

So, a few months back, I was sitting at a charity luncheon and the menu said "Vanilla Scented Sweet Potato Mash" and I was intrigued.  Now, I am not normally a fan of sweet potato.  I really only like it at Thanksgiving and Christmas when we make Candied Sweet Potatoes which, lets be honest, don't really taste like sweet potatoes but more taste like dessert.  Back to the luncheon day - when they brought me my plate I was like OMG THOSE SMELL FANTASTIC!! They were.  They were freaking delicious! I studied them whilst I ate my teeny tiny portion (stupid fancy luncheons) and decided that I MUST figure out how to make these.  I searched the internet for a recipe but couldn't find anything that was an exact match to what I ate.  What's a girl to do? I wanted Vanilla Scented Sweet Potato Mash and I wanted it right then!  So, I took about 4 recipes I found online and what I remembered from eating it at my delicious luncheon and created my own recipe. 

On my first try it turned out freaking fantastic!! I have tweaked the recipe here and there as sometimes requires slightly more brown sugar than other days (depending on the sweetness of the potatoes) but overall I have it pretty down pat.  You can boil the potatoes instead of baking them (which I did last night as I was in a hurry) but the mash turned out more watery and not as sweet since I would guess I boiled out a lot of the sweetness.

Below is my recipe, let me know how it turns out if you make it! Also, tweet me or Facebook me pictures. #cookingwithHD  Be careful though, this recipe has become quite a favorite around the house.  It will change the minds of people who say "but I don't like sweet potatoes".....yah, well, I didn't either....until I ate this.

Creamy Vanilla Sweet Potato Mash


  • 4 lbs Sweet Potatoes (scrubbed and patted dry)
  • 8oz (1 cup) heavy cream
  • ½ Vanilla Bean (split and seeds scraped)
  • 4 T butter or less if desired (1 Tablespoon per lb of sweet potatoes)
  • 4 T brown sugar (1 Tablespoon per lb of sweet potatoes)

Additional items needed

  • Food processor or blender
  • Baking sheet lined with Aluminum Foil (preferably nonstick foil)
  • Small saucepan
  • Large spoon for scooping


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Scrub potatoes with veggie brush under water and pat dry.
  3. If potatoes are large, cut in ½ lengthwise.  Poke all potatoes generously with fork.
  4. *Bake on aluminum foil lined baking sheet (cut side up as we do not want to brown them) for 40 minutes (or more, depending on size) or until fork tender.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream, scraped vanilla bean seeds and pod to a simmer.  Once simmer is reached, remove from heat.  Be careful not to scald milk.  Stir frequently to prevent ‘skin’ from forming on top of cream.
  6. Scoop potatoes out of skins using a large spoon and place into food processor (you only want the insides of the potatoes.
  7. Pulse potatoes a few times until semi-smooth.
  8. Add butter to sweet potatoes.
  9. Remove vanilla bean pod from cream and discard.
  10.  Stream vanilla cream mixture through feed in food processor and blend until smooth.
  11. Add brown sugar and pulse a few more times just to combine.
  12. Serve warm and enjoy!
If you don't have a food processor I am fairly certain that you could just use a mixer to beat them up and combine the other ingredients.  You might not get them completely smooth but it will be close. :)

A Little About Myself....

Who am I?  Well, I am the youngest of 6 children (yup 6).  My parents have been married for nearly 50 years which is so rare these days.  I grew up in Orrville Ohio.  Never heard of it? Bet you have actually! Orrville is a very small town (about 8k people when I left) in about the middle of Ohio.  Orrville is the home of the J.M. Smucker Company.  Yah, the people who make the awesome Jelly, JIF Peanut Butter, Crisco, Martha White..... I could go on and on.  Take a look on the back of your peanut butter jar the next time.  J.M. Smucker Co. Orrville Ohio... That's where I am from.  I lived there my entire youth and even went to college in that town.  In 2005, I moved to Alabama for work (that's about age 20), after finishing college for Business and not being able to find a job in Ohio.

Growing up in a small town was amazing.  Everyone knew everyone.....seriously, it took you an hour to go to the grocery store to get bread because so many people would stop to talk to you.  It didn't help that my Mom drove school bus in the town and my Dad was the Superintendent of the city's Street Department. It was impossible to go to the grocery store without getting stopped by someone.

Now, all of the immediate family has moved to Alabama.  We slowly trickled down, one by one. Its just me and my 2 guinea pigs (Ollie and Watson) at home, and the stray cat I feed outside my apartment.  However, my parents live in the next subdivision over from me so I go over there every night and have dinner with them and hang out, its quite convenient.  Most people get annoyed by their parents.  I love mine and CHOOSE to hang out with them everyday.  I like to spend as much time as I can with them while I can.  They have 3 dogs (Cullen, Spike and Rocky) and a cat (Lila).  We really like animals. Can you tell?  My oldest sibling, a sister, lives 1 street over from my parents (we can literally see her back yard from my parents back yard), another sister lives in town and the rest are spread about 20 minutes to an hour away (in Birmingham traffic that is) but its relatively close. 

Lila, the cat 🐱 aka "Cat Cow"

Spike, the Olde English Bulldogge who wants to help with everything 🐶

I mean, LOOK at that face!!

Rocky, mini dachshund 🐶  He is an old boy but he comes running if you have cereal!

Cullen, the Bassett Hound 🐶

Starting at a young age I began standing on a chair at the stove, helping my mother cook.  I remember stirring the béchamel for her famous lasagna was always my job.  I was always the one in the kitchen baking and cooking with her. We have always been the "make dinner at home every night" sort of family.  When I was a senior in High School I worked a half day and went to school a half day (took business classes). This worked out perfectly for me as the days I didn't have to work, my mom and her bus driver friend would come home for lunch and I would have made something for them.  They were my test subjects. 

So that is how I got started in the kitchen.  I hate following recipes, always have.  I even used to sneak different seasonings in my moms cooking while she wasn't looking.  I may use them as a general outline but always end up changing them and adding my own bit of something.  I have been doing this for years and have gotten to the point where people always ask me for my recipes so that is how and why this blog came to be.  I needed somewhere that I could put my recipes and pictures and crafty bits where people can go see them and get access to them at their leisure.  Facebook just doesn't give me what I need to be able to post full recipes on there and then trying to find something you have posted at a later date for reference? Good Luck! Its like a needle in a haystack!  Hopefully this will work out much better for you and me.

Please leave me comments on my recipes, especially if you have tried them and how they turned out.  Also, feel free to leave any questions you have and I will answer them.  Be sure to let me know if there is something you want me to make (or try to make) and I'll probably have a go at it!

Thanks for visiting!!