Why hello!

I’ve been thinking orange lately. My hometown team, the San Francisco Giants are playing some amazing baseball and electrifying the Bay Area with Giants fever! So, I’ve been busting out every orange and black item in my wardrobe, pulling on my panda hat (yes I really own one!), and eating everything orange I can! Yesterday it was kabocha squash soup (recipe to come). Today it’s sweet potatoes!

But not just sweet potatoes. Maple pecan sweet potatoes.

I’ve been obsessed with trying to recreate these sweet potatoes ever since my trip to Austin when I had them at Stubbs BBQ. Even with all the amazing BBQ meat piled up (literally) in front of me, I kept coming back to these sweet potatoes. They were amazing. Since then, I have made it my goal to re-create them.

This version was a step in the right direction, but I think I realized what I need to do in the next batch. Add butter. Lots and lots of butter.

This version has none. Zip. Ziltch. Nada. So, you can feel great about piling ‘em up on your plate – which I did – but I think to get it closer to the Stubbs version I need to spend a few extra minutes on the spin bike and throw butter measuring caution to the wind.

But I gotta say, this version is pretty darn good.

You start by roasting the potatoes.

After letting them cool is a very important step I neglected, and my hand paid for it! Scoop the flesh out and grab your hand mixer. Whip the potatoes up with the milk until they are light and fluffy.

Then add the maple syrup and nutmeg and whip a little more.

While you’re whippin’, toast up your pecans in the oven. Then sprinkle them on top of the potatoes. You can chop them if you want, but I just kind of smashed them in my hand. At Stubbs they had big pieces of pecans on top of theirs. It was great when you got a bite with a big huge piece of pecan-like winning the lottery! It’s the simple things in life people. J I may or may not have picked more than my share of pecans out of the bowl for my portion. Shhhh, don’t tell on me!

If you like spice, a touch of cayenne would be great in here too, but if you don’t, the maple syrup adds just enough sweetness to make these sweet potatoes something special.

Grab some sweet potatoes and make these this weekend. And GO GIANTS!! Enjoy!

Mashed Maple Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pecans

• 4 large sweet potatoes
• ¼ cup milk
• ¼ cup maple syrup
• ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
• salt and pepper
• 1 ½ cups pecans
• olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork. Rub skins with olive oil. Roast for 40-45 minutes. Remove and let cool. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

2. Scoop flesh of sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Heat milk in the microwave for 30 seconds and add to the potatoes. Whip with a hand blender until fluffy.

3. Add maple syrup and nutmeg. Whip to mix.

4. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, shaking to turn once.

5. Top sweet potatoes with pecans before serving.

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