Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Everything's Coming Up Milhouse

On one hand, it sucks that no one else is here at work with me today, on the other, I arrived 20 minutes early AND had time to stop for a soy pumpkin spice latte on my way, yay no traffic! I also got an email from our wedding photographer that she will be comping our Save the Dates because I referred my friend Marie to her (Marie saw our engagement photos and they pretty much spoke for themselves) so we get some free stuff! Yay! Finally something for this wedding is not costing an arm and a leg! I also got an email response from the Texas Geology Board saying they're mailing out our test results today. Meaning I will know if I passed the Fundamentals of Geology upon my return from Thanksgiving. On one hand, I really want to know if I passed. Ont the other, I really would rather not know if I didn't. Ugh. I failed last time by 5 points. Not too shameful considering the test only has a 58% passing rate. My main concern is somehow doing worse. Even though I feel like I studied my behind off and graduated from one of the top geology programs in the country, that seems to have not helped last time. Anyways, the point of this rant is, that I will know soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I am looking forward to driving to Houston (though I am tempted to stay in Austin and camp out by my mailbox, I would totally commission someone who is staying in town to do it for me, but they send the results via registered mail so you have to go to the post office, show ID, etc) to see the family and relax for a few days. I am making smoked chile scalloped sweet potatoes this year with some sweet potatoes I bought at a road side stand in Tyler. I loathe sweet potatoes so every year, usually for my office Thanksgiving party (cancelled this year because of all the layoffs) I make something with sweet potatoes in the hopes of finding some way of cooking them that I find palatable. I've tried scalloping them before but I used half and half rather than heavy cream and the sauce curdled, but everyone still liked them, even sweet potato haters like myself. Another year I made sweet potato pie and added a little orange zest to it. It was a major hit. It tastes a lot like pumpkin pie but people went nuts for it, I should know, my cube is right by the kitchen and I witnessed the the frenzy over the leftovers.

While I think I've worked out a solution to the curdling issue, I could be majorly handicapped by my lack of a mandolin to make the nice thin potato slices. My mom offered to go get one, but it's on our registry. Until then, I will just have to make do with trying to slice them really thin with a knife. Here is the recipe, courtesy of Bobby Flay of the Food Network:

2 cups heavy cream
1 heaping tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth.
In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.

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