Livin' in the Kitchen

Chicago Gourmet Food Festival and Sweet Potato Bread

In Bread, Culinary Experiences on September 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Life was nuts at the Chicago Gourmet Food Festival. Gale did a demo on the millenium stage with Tim Allen…. and I got to help!

Every time I looked up I saw Michelle, Sue, and Marco from Elawa farms- where we work- in the stands smiling down at us. To me the best accomplishment is being able to do what I love with people I love… and who doesn’t like to eat well along the way?

(above photo credit: the really nice guy backstage that I kept handing my camera to.)

More good news is that we ate so well that I wore my stretchy and all-glorious yoga pants the next day.

This dish was my favorite of the day. The Chicago Gourmet Food Festival really made me kick myself for not knowing more about savory food. Now not only do I not know what restaurant this came from (I forgot to take a picture of the sign) but I don’t even have a basis of an idea how to create this bite-sized deliciousness.

Last but not least is the cannoli. I say the cannoli because it is the best I have ever tasted. It is the only cannoli that has left me wanting more. Some may argue that it’s because of its size. Honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but if this were a big cannoli I’m fairly certain I could polish off 2 1/2 before regret started kicking in. The best cannoli ever from: Lezza Spumoni & Desserts Inc. in Chicago.

Among all the extravagant food and all the extravagant people there is some level of simplicity that every person identifies with. Which is why I think sharing Sweet Potato Bread today is perfect. It’s simple but it can be spiced up. You can have it for breakfast with a thin coating of butter or you could have a slice with carmalized pecans, creme fresh and a sprinkle of cinnamon over the top. Wa-la! Here’s what I did:

In a large bowl mix the sugar, oil, sweet potatoes, egg, and vanilla.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, then add to the wet and stir until just combined.

Pour into (both greased and floured) one large pan and one mini-loaf pan. Bake for 75 minutes.

Wa-la! And choose what you want to do with it. Breakfasts that aren’t cereal are scare in my house while we have a surplus of desserts, so this was our on-the-go breakfast for school the next morning. Next time I make it, I think I’ll set aside half the large loaf to make a dessert, though! So delicious!

Sweet Potato Bread
Slightly adapted from Recipezaar’s Karen
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 325F
Mix the wet ingredients together in a large bowl by hand. In a separate bowl, whisk the dry together. Slowly stir the dry (by hand) into the wet until just combined.
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Flavor will develop over night, so if you can hold out, wait.
Enjoy!

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