Being out here in SoCal, there isn't much to make you think Christmas is literally around the corner. The sun is shining bright, the weather is about 70 degrees and the traffic is still horrific everywhere. And as much as I want to be home with friends and family over the holidays, I can honestly say I am glad I am not traveling. I need a little break.
My friend Nicole (who is ironically traveling back home to Boston today) hosted a FANTASTIC potluck Christmas dinner at her place in Manhattan Beach last night. We had tons of apps/salads, filet mignon, chicken parm, stuffed shells and tons of other sides and desserts. What a spread. I was in charge of making some sweet potatoes, a kielbasa & pineapple appetizer, and a warm spiked Christmas apple cider.
Here are the ingredients I used for everything yesterday -- at this point, the kielbasa was already cooking because I prefer to make that a day in advance so that the flavors all work together. In order to make this simple app, I slice up the kielbasa (choose your meat preference), saute it until its caramelized/brown, and add the slices to a sauce of pineapple chunks/juice, sweet and sour sauce, yellow mustard, honey and a few other things I like to add to make it unique. ;)
I then moved on to the sweet potatoes. I washed, peeled and sliced up about 7-8 sweet potatoes -- and boy were my hands ORANGE and sticky by the end of the day.
I added very minimal sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, cooked for about an hour (covered) at 375 degrees. Then BAM, they are done!! It is so simple and they are so good for you.
Nicole works with SonoSim ultrasound equipment at her work, so I have been having scans done at her office every now and again to assist with their non-profit work (apparently A and B are helping out big time and they don't even know it yet!). It's also beneficial for me to check in on them periodically, too. So I went in yesterday morning while my cider was brewing. Jim and I wanted to make Christmas extra special this year by finding out the genders of both A and B on Christmas morning, so Nicole wrapped up the predictions in this box!! It is taking everything I have not to open it right now! Stay tuned...............