There are those moments where food makes such a deep impact on your life that you will never be the same again.  Oh, it’s true; it can happen. 

sarah

For me, one of those moments was an autumn trip to visit my friend Sarah.  We met while I lived in Washington, D.C. and formed a friendship that will last a lifetime.  Well, as I was saying, I went for a visit and we traveled down to Savannah, Georgia for a day trip.  (Pause with me for a moment of silence for all that is southern and good and beautiful in Savannah, Georgia.)  Ok, back to food.  There is a restaurant there called The Lady and Sons, aaaand who is that lady?  Why, Paula Deen, of course!  Do you want to die and go to southern cooking heaven?  Buy a plane ticket JUST to visit this place.

ladyvia

I tried her sweet potato casserole.  It changed my life.  

Always and ever before, I had only known sweet potatoes as the once a year Thanksgiving mash of orange on Grandma’s counter.  Don’t get me wrong, Grandma was a good cook, but this mashed orange substance would attempt to lure us into eating it with a layer of marshmallows on top.  I was not fooled.  

Sorry, Grandma, but Paula Deen’s sweet potato casserole?  It ain’t no marshmallow-y, orange casserole.  It’s pure dessert heaven.  It is now “my dish” that I bring to our family’s Thanksgiving Day celebration.  It will be passed on for generations.  It alone will be responsible for several pounds added around…well, we won’t say around where.  All I can say is that It.Is.Worth.It.

sweet potatoevia

SWEET POTATO BAKE by Paula Deen

Cook Time: 30 min
Difficulty: Easy
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream, half and half, or whole milk
Topping:
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for cream. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add cream;mix well. Pour into greased casserole dish ( 1 1/2 quarts). Add topping. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
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