Recipe: Sweet Potato Doughnuts (donuts)

Sweet Potato Donuts with Maple Icing 9/19/2010.

I used to be sort of inlove with Paula Deen.

Not in the way I was (and am) inlove with Anthony Bourdain, of course. No, that would be silly. He doesn’t provide recipes.

No, I was in love with Paula Deen because I was in love with learning how to cook like a southern lady, and few do it better.

Today I’m taking a break from the Great Corn Feast of 2010, to make doughnuts. I saw Miss Deen make these on her TV show and thought, “Now THAT looks good.” I’ve never made doughnuts before, but these don’t seem very hard and look very, very good (if terrible for you).

To cut out the doughnuts I used the mouths of a large canning jar and an empty spice jar for the holes…I tried using the mouth of an old frappuccino bottle but the hole was too big… Make sure to keep the dough at least 1/2 inch thick–otherwise you’ll get sickly, skinny looking doughnuts that still taste OK but just aren’t pretty.



  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (about 1 medium potato)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (for on top of the icing)


In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sour cream, and sweet potato. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring to combine. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Knead in flour with hands as needed (dough will be sticky). Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out dough with a 2 1/4-inch round cutter. Cut out center of doughnuts with a 3/4-inch round cutter. Re-roll dough as needed.

In a Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat to 360 degrees F. Cook doughnuts, in batches, in hot oil, 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned….but…as soon as they float up to the surface, flip them for the first time or they wont flip later. Drain on paper towels. Ice top of doughnuts with Maple Icing, and sprinkle with chopped pecans.



2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon maple extract

In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons milk; stir well. Add additional milk to reach desired consistency. Stir in maple extract.


Recipe: Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters are easy to make and insanely good. Matt can’t stop eating them…

And so continues our week of new corn recipes, thanks to Neighbor Delford and the insane number of ears he has given us. We’ve baked it, we’ve creamed it, we’ve made it in to dessert….tonight we’re going a new route.

Today we’re going to bring out the electric skillet, fill it up with oil, turn it to 325 and fry up some fritters.

This recipe comes from my personal girl-crush, the fabulous, hilarious and very Southern, Miss Paula Deen.

frying up the fritters–you can do it in a French oven, like I did tonight, or use the electric griddle for a more precise frying temp.


  • 1 1/4 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Heat oil to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal mix, flour, sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk and eggs. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture, stirring well. Stir in butter and corn.

Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a Dutch oven, or use a deep-fryer. Drop by tablespoons into hot oil. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe: Creamy Corn Casserole

So this is basically just like Corn Pudding, but with more of a bready texture.

I have a lot of corn to get through (thanks Neighbor Delford!), so I’m trying a lot of new southern recipes with it. This is one of them. And it is actually one of the more exciting ones, I think.

…You know, exciting for a casserole. Made of corn.


BONUS: I am also making the Creamed Corn from scratch too, which will help to use even more of the little pieces of gold up so I might be able to actually see inside my fridge for the first time in weeks, before my neighbor with the prolific produce shows up again.

This recipe originates with (side note: today I unpacked my cookbook collection and thought two things: 1) WTF am I doing with all these books, hauling them from Washington to Idaho to Virginia to Kentucky… when I really only use And 2) where are all my books!? (I have close to 50, but am missing about 20) and 3) Why do I care where my books have gone if I don’t use them anyway?… And there we are, back at Thought No.1.)



  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8.5 ounce) package dry corn bread mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine butter, eggs, corn bread mix, whole and creamed corn and sour cream. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown.

Recipe: Creamed Corn (or Cream-Style Corn)

Yeah, you could just buy a can of this in the store and call it good, but then I’d be bringing EVEN MORE CORN in to this house when I have a huge fridge just stuffed with those yellow kernels already.

Not even a dent in the copious amounts of corn we have in the fridge…oh, and don’t worry, this much corn produces about 10cups of kernels, more than enough for this recipe, plus the corn casserole recipe, plus leftovers. Way more than you need.

Thanks again, Neighbor Delford!

Plus the nearest store is like 10miles away, so…we’re making creamed corn to use in the Corn Pudding recipe.

When I was a kid I went nuts for creamed corn. Nuts. I loved the stuff. Apparently I’ve always been a southern girl at heart.

So it surprised me today, as I made this, to realize that Logan has never, not once, had creamed corn. Not from a can, not from scratch, not on purpose or by accident. The poor kid has never tasted one of my childhood favorites.

Thanks to Neighbor Delford, however, that changed tonight.

I made this recipe so I could make the corn pudding casserole recipe. I’ve never stripped the kernels off corn before so I vastly under estimated the amount of corn that bowl over there would produce.  That green bowl made about 10cups of corn kernels. So in addition to having enough for the creamed corn and the corn pudding recipe, I also have a big bowl full of even more just waiting to be made in to creamed corn tomorrow.

Two days in a row!? you ask? Well, yes. This recipe is that good. The guys each had a bowl of it (since the casserole pudding recipe doesn’t use all this creates) and they loved it. Licked it clean. Wanted more.

So tomorrow they get more. And tomorrow I get more room in the fridge.

Everyone wins.

This recipe comes from…and THANK YOU, Sherry, for  helping me get over my mental block that Creamed Corn had to come in a Can and convincing me that I could, in fact, make this….that there was no magical ingredient the can provided that I couldn’t.  Thank you. 🙂


  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen corn kernels, thawed (or 2 1/2lbs shucked fresh corn)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I usually use 1/2 and 1/2)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (am I the only one who noticed The South puts sugar in EVERYTHING?)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


In a skillet over medium heat, combine the corn, cream, salt, sugar, pepper and butter. Whisk together the milk and flour, and stir into the corn mixture. Cook stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thickened, and corn is cooked through. Remove from heat, and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. Serve hot.

Recipe: Southern Corn Pudding

Matt had this about two weeks ago as a side dish to his dinner at The Whistle Stop. It was a lot like bread pudding, but not as sweet and with, y’know, corn in it. So I’m not sure if it was actually a sweet corn casserole that they called a pudding, or if the terms are interchangeable…I am learning a lot down here in the south!

Regardless, it was good. I was surprised.

Considering Neighbor Delford continues to bring us vast amounts of fresh corn, I figured I had to do something inorder to reclaim my fridge. Even making “Corn on the Cob” every night or so hasn’t seemed to make a dent in the bags and bags of it…plus Neighbor Delford just keeps showing up with more…and more…and more…

The man is unstoppable. And we appreciate it!

…so here it is my attempt at another (new to me) southern dish. I’m actually making the Cream of Corn it calls for, too, also from scratch.

Corn is the basis for a lot of the staples of the south, I’m learning. So I am excited to experiment with several different recipes and post them on the blog…Get ready, it’s about to get very, very corny in here.

This one is from


  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 2 (14.75 ounce) cans cream-style corn


  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add melted butter, sugar, and milk. Whisk in cornstarch. Stir in corn and creamed corn. Blend well. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 1 hour.

Recipe: Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie–or–I hope Caroline still speaks to me after this

My First Meringue! An old-fashioned banana cream pie.

I can already hear my girlfriend, Caroline, shrieking. In horror. Total, utter, horror.

She. Hates. Bananas.

…and I thought I did, too. With the exception of banana splits, banana bread and dried banana chips, I’ve never been a fan of banana-flavored anything…So when Logan ordered a Banana Cream Pie at the Whistle Stop Cafe for our first dinner/dessert in our new town, I kind of gagged.

I was totally grossed out by the idea.

Repulsed, even.

But Logan had been a good kid for the 630 mile ride, so I figured he could order the dessert and I wouldn’t say anything.

But you know what? The Banana Cream Pie was freakin’ amazing.

So amazing, in fact, that *I* ordered it the next time we went.

What sets the Whistle Stop’s pies apart from other pies is that they use all old-fashioned, from-scratch recipes. You know, the kind of recipes I am particularly fond of. Fewer chemicals and preservatives, more flavor and love: Those are my kinds of foods.

So tonight I’m making a Banana Cream Pie, something I’m quite certain I never would have dreamed of a week and a half ago.

Sorry, Caroline.

It tastes better than it looks, promise.

This recipe is from

*I have to confess something; I used a store-bought graham cracker crust because I just didn’t feel like making any more dishes dirty…it works fine and for cream pies, this is a very very easy way to save time without compromising the finished product.



  1. Have baked 9-inch pie shell ready.
  2. In a large saucepan, scald the milk.
  3. In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk.
  4. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened.
  5. Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.
  6. In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready; stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture.
  7. Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla.
  9. Let sit until lukewarm.
  10. When ready to pour, slice bananas and scatter in pie shell; pour warm mixture over bananas
  11. If desired, make a meringue (you’ll have 3 leftover egg whites) to top the pie, or just let the pie cool until serving, or top it with thawed cool whip.


This recipe is the Never-Ever-Fail Meringue from

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Blend cornstarch and cold water in a saucepan. Add boiling water, and cook until thick and clear. Cool completely.
  2. Beat egg whites till foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, beating until stiff and glossy. Add salt and vanilla, and slowly beat in cold cornstarch mixture. Beat quickly for several minutes. Spread meringue on filled, cooled 9 inch pie.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes.

Recipe: Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie from scratch in my new

When Matt
and I were dating I had to fly over the Pacific Ocean just to go
out with him. He lived in Hawaii; I was in Pullman, Washington. One
of the places we’d go eat was this little family diner that had
been around for 65 years or so, and they served Coconut Cream Pie
with their dinners. It. Was. Awesome. Ever since, every time I
have a coconut cream pie (which isn’t too often) I remember being
19, skinny, and head-over-heals inlove. Coconut cream
pie=happiness. I didn’t have a lot of coconut cream pie in Idaho,
or DC…but as soon as we arrived here in Kentucky the first place
we ate at was hawking it. I didn’t have a slice (wish I had!) but
it got me thinking about back when… So tonight I’m making a
coconut cream pie in my new kitchen. Kind of a nice way to bring
our recent move full-circle, and frankly, in this heat, a
refrigerated pie sounds much better than something from the oven.
Also? The whole thing only uses one measuring cup, the large pan
and a 1/4 tsp–minimal dishes–which is important right now that
our well is dead and we don’t have water to do those dishes…:)
..I’m thinking those country boys will appreciate a cold piece of
pie when they’re digging up the yard looking for the well pump this
afternoon…:) UPDATE: last night we
had a slice of coconut cream pie from the local cafe. They are
famous for their pies–and have won all sorts of awards and been
featured in magazines. It was darn good. But this morning, after
whipping up this pie and Logan giving it a taste, the kiddo says
this pie is even better than the one at the local cafe and told me,
“Wow Mommy, you are a better baker than anybody!”–which is exactly
what I needed to hear on a day like today, with no sign of water in
sight, and especially when my culinary confidence had
taken down a few notches recently…

inside of the Coconut Cream Pie of Wonder


  • 1.5 cups half-and-half
  • 1
    can coconut milk (1.5 cups…the half and half and coconut milk
    should = 3cups total)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1
    teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp coconut
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine half-and-half,
    coconut milk, eggs, sugar, corn starch and salt. Bring to a boil
    over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in
    3/4 cup of the coconut and the extracts. Pour into pie shell and
    chill 2 to 4 hours, or until firm.
  2. Top with
    whipped topping, and with remaining 1/4 cup of coconut.
  3. Note: To toast coconut, spread it in an ungreased pan and
    bake in a 350 degree F (175 degrees C) oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or
    until golden brown, stirring occasionally.


  • 1 1/4 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening, chilled
  • 3
    tablespoons ice water


  1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium
    size bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening until
    the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice
    water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more
    water a few drops at a time until the dough comes
  2. Gently gather dough particles
    together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least
    30 minutes before rolling.
  3. Roll out dough, and
    put in a pie plate. Fill with desired filling and bake.