Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding I Pretty Little PastimesWe are only three days into the new year and we have already seen our first blizzard! With temperatures falling into negative digits today, I decided it was time to share a warm and tasty dessert that will help make you forget about all that snow piling up outside!

Combing through my pantry after the holidays I always seem to find a random can of this and that, that never got used during my holiday baking. Today it was the giant can of pumpkin puree that I skipped over during Thanksgiving. I know the “pumpkin everything” season has ended at our local coffee shops, but that doesn’t mean that I am quite ready to give it up completely. This weather is perfect for a hot pumpkin bread pudding and why not add a Jameson-spiked whiskey sauce? It is a snow day after all.

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (30 oz.) can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 & 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 cup pure granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 loaf of French bread (about 12 oz.)

Pecan-Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cut the French bread into 1 inch pieces and set aside in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin, milk, half & half, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, until well blended. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the bread and stir to coat evenly. Cover will plastic wrap and let chill for 8-12 hours.

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding I Pretty Little Pastimes

Waiting 8 hours might seem like torture once you smell this, but you can do it!

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding I Pretty Little Pastimes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon chilled bread mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes. During the last 15 minutes of baking, prepare the pecan-caramel sauce. 

Heat the pecans in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Cook brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.

Remove bread pudding from oven and drizzle with the Pecan-Caramel Sauce. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer or until sauce is thoroughly heated and begins to bubble.

Now it is time to make the whiskey sauce.

Whiskey Cream Sauce

  • 2 & 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons pure granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons whiskey (I used Jameson Irish Whiskey)

Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the nutmeg. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean add to the milk with the bean. Heat gently until small bubbles appear around the edge of the saucepan. Set aside to cool, then strain the milk and discard the bean.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to allow the mixture to color.

Remove from heat and slowly add the vanilla milk, whisking vigorously to avoid lumps. Return to low heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

In a bowl, stir together the yolks and milk. Pour in a quarter of the, now hot, sauce, stir together to blend and return the mixture to the remaining sauce in the pan. Add the whiskey and stir constantly over medium-low heat until heated through, without allowing the sauce to boil. Finish by straining.

While everything is still hot, spoon a portion of the whiskey sauce onto the bottom of a plate. Layer the bread pudding directly over the sauce and, if desired, top with fresh whipped cream. This recipe might not shovel your driveway, but it will help make this bitter-cold weather a little more bearable. Now, curl up under a big blanket on the couch and enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding I Pretty Little Pastimes



Whiskey Sauce recipe source: Christmas by Le Cordon Bleu


Glammed Up Apple Pie

Glammed Up Apple Pie I Pretty Little Pastimes

I warned you in my last post that you would be seeing more apple recipes coming you way and here you have it! I knew when I went apple picking that I would need to try my hand at baking my very first apple pie. I could have made a hundred different dishes with exotic flavors from complicated recipes, but there is just nothing more comforting than a warm homemade apple pie. The smell of cinnamon and nutmeg coming from the oven was enough to make me a very impatient baker. They say a watched pot never boils, but I will add that a watched pie never browns!

As you probably guessed from the Greek letters, I am a Sigma Kappa Sorority alumnae. Although I graduated college some years ago, I am still very active as both an advisor and alumnae chapter officer. Since my trip to the apple orchards was part of an alumnae chapter event, I decided to glam up my pie with a little sorority flare! I was nervous about freehand cutting hearts from the dough, but I was very pleased with the results and really think it adds a little extra charm to the finished product. I wanted to share it here, because I think (even without the letters) it would make a great fall treat for someone special, or a thoughtful gift for the host of a dinner party. Enjoy!

Traditional Apple Pie

  • 5 and 1/2 cups apples (I used a mix of Courtland, Empire & Gala)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pure granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • favorite homemade (or ready-made) double pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Begin prepping the filling by peeling, coring and slicing your apples. In a large bowl, mix sliced apples, lemon juice, sugars, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Fill bottom pie crust with the apple mix.

Roll out the top pie crust and cut out small hearts using a paring knife or very small cookie cutter. Adhere the cut out pieces of dough by brushing the back of each with a small amount of milk or water, just enough to make it sticky, but not soggy. Carefully lay the top pie crust over the filled pie and crimp the edges, hopefully a little prettier than my attempt!

Place pie in oven and bake for 15 minutes to brown. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown. Once finished, remove the pie and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.

*Baking tip* After 30 minutes of baking, loosely cover the edges of the pie with a thin layer of aluminum foil to avoid over-browning.

Apple Pie Smoothie

Apple Pie Smoothie I Pretty Little PastimesIt took me a few weeks to come to terms with the fact that summer was really over and that fall was here. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fall, beautiful foliage, new boots and pumpkin EVERYTHING, I mean, what’s not to love? It’s just knowing what comes next … ugh, winter! I have survived four winters since leaving California, so you would imagine that I would be beginning to accept it’s existence, but, alas, I am still in denial.

Rather than sulk as I pack away my sundresses and swimsuits, I decided to embrace fall and try my hand at a couple of new adventures. The first was apple picking! A group of friends and I made the trek to Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA for a day of hay rides, cider doughnuts, and wine tasting. I’m sure they could all tell that I was the orchard newbie when I cringed at the idea of taking one bite out of an apple and throwing the rest on the ground. I guess that “don’t be a litter bug” mentality it ingrained deep inside. Once I saw a bunch of bees happily taking care of the discarded apples, I felt much better. By the end of the day, I had a huge bag apples, fresh cider, homemade jam and even a mini pumpkin to take home. Success!

Apple Picking I Pretty Little Pastimes

As I make my way through my stock pile of apples, I will continue to share recipes and photos. I will start with a simple (and tasty) apple pie smoothie. Oh, and if you have any must-try apple recipes for me, please send them my way!

Apple Pie Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 apple, sliced and cored
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or to taste)
  • handful of ice cubes

Add all ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Add additional ice cubes until desired consistency.

For cinnamon sugar rim: Dip glass rim onto a shallow dish of water. Mix 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon onto a flat plate. Dip moistened rim into sugar mixture, shaking off excess. Garnish with an apple slice and enjoy!

Singapore Rice Sticks

Singapore Rice Sticks I Pretty Little Pastimes

I tried Singapore Rice Sticks for the first time at a little Chinese restaurant  we happened to stumble upon in the midwest. We were going to order a curry rice dish and our server told us they had a much better version of the same dish, but that was not on the menu. Feeling like we had just been let in the back door of a speakeasy, we decided to go with the “secret” menu we were let in on. I’m so glad we did, because what came out was a huge bowl of Singapore Rice Sticks. They were full of bold flavors like curry and garlic, but were rounded out with the addition of fresh ginger and bell pepper. They were hot both in temperature and spice and stood out as the favorite of the entire meal … more over kung pao chicken!

When I decided to try to make this dish at home, I shied away a couple of times, because it seemed like a lot of work. But don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you! This dish may seem like a tall order, but keep in mind it is mostly stir frying, meaning that you are cooking things at a high temperature for a very short amount of time. What ends up on your plate is definitely worth a little extra prep time. And, like the best Chinese food does, it tastes even better the next day!

Singapore Rice Sticks

  • 8 ounces rice sticks (fine dried noodles)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons hot curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 ounces raw lean pork, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
  • 4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
  • 3 ounces Chinese barbecue pork or smoked ham, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 hot chili peppers, slivered thinly (or crushed red pepper to taste)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch julienne
  • 12 scallions
  • 1 and 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and boil until tender, 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Let the noodles air dry and firm in a colander for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder and the sesame oil until blended. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a wok (or heavy skillet) over moderately high heat. Pour in the egg mixture and immediately reduce the heat to low. Scramble the eggs until just set, transfer the eggs to a bowl and reserve.

Return the wok to moderately high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry until mostly cooked, about 1 minute. Remove the shrimp and reserve. Repeat the oil and stir fry process for the chicken and lean pork, cooking each for about 1 minute. Transfer each to a bowl and reserve.

Turn up the heat to high and when the the wok is very hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the ginger, garlic, chilies, and remaining curry powder. Stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add Chinese pork or ham, bell peppers and stir fry another 30 seconds. Splash a small amount of water (2 tablespoons or less) and cook until boiled off.

Push the vegetable and pork mixture to the sides of the wok and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the center. Add the scallions, bean sprouts and noodles and toss over high heat until very hot, about 30 seconds.

Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Return the shrimp, pork, and chicken to wok and add soy sauce. Toss well and add reserved egg mixture and salt. Serve hot.

I served our Singapore Rice Sticks over some simple white rice, but it would have been plenty filling on its own. We also decided to make it EXTRA spicy, by using 1/2 of a ghost pepper as our chili pepper. It was my first encounter with the “ghost pepper” and I was very glad I listened to the warning of our friend, who grew it, and only used half. It was hot! Nothing a few extra glasses of water won’t fix. Enjoy!

Immunity Boost Smoothie

Immunity Boost Smoothie I Pretty Little PastimesJust when I thought I was out of the woods, after a long fight with seasonal allergies, a new bug got ahold of me this week. Everyone around me seemed to be catching the virus, so I new it was a matter of time before the scratchy throat and stuffy nose found its way to me. When I am sick, I tend to be very stubborn. I usually refuse any cold medicine and just try to let me body fight the sickness on its own. I find that when I pay closer attention to how my body feels in its natural state, then I can better judge when fevers are coming/breaking, when I am hungry and when I need more rest.

Since I did not have a lot of energy, I whizzed up this simple Immunity Boost Smoothie to give my system a little kick in the right direction. This smoothie is a combination of fresh raspberries (you can also use frozen), yogurt, bananas and orange juice. The Vitamin C, antioxidants and flavonoids found in the ingredients will help boost your immune system … plus it’s delicious!

Immunity Boost Smoothie

  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt – or vanilla soy milk
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • handful of ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender. Cover and blend until smooth.

This cold drink was just what I needed to get me through the rest of my day. When I find myself ill during the winter months, nothing sounds better than warm soup, but during the summertime I always turn to something cold. Try this smoothie next time you are looking for a quick boost or a tasty treat. Cheers to good health!


Maggie’s 3rd Birthday

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake Recipe I Pretty Little Pastimes

Less than a week into July and we have already celebrated two big occasions in our house, the Fourth of July and our pup Maggie May’s 3rd birthday! If you would have told me three years ago that I would be throwing puppy parties and baking dog-friendly cakes today, I would not have believed you. I never had pets growing up, except for the occasional short-lived goldfish, so I never really understood the close relationship you could develop with a four-legged friend. My two pups are a huge part of my family now and I could not imagine life without them! Nothing is better than coming home to those crazy wagging tails! I think it is safe to say that I have become a true dog lover, maybe even one of those “crazy dog ladies”. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I have posted my favorite recipe for Happy Birthday Pupcakes, but wanted to share with you the full cake version that I used for her 3rd birthday. Since I did not have a mini cake pan, I improvised and used a basic tin can (the kind you will find any vegetable in at the grocery store) to create the shape I wanted. Keep in mind, you can use this technique for mini people-friendly cakes as well. Here is the recipe:

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (preferred) or white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 14.5 oz. can, emptied
  • additional peanut butter, sliced carrots, bone shaped dog food and Beggin’ Strip brand dog treats for decorating

Start by emptying the contents of a 14.5 oz. can. Wash, rinse and dry completely. Carefully remove the top lid as well as the lip directly under it (removing the lip helps the cake to easily pop out after baking). Coat the inside of the can liberally with non-stick spray and wrap the bottom with tin foil. Place the can on a baking sheet and set aside.

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake Recipe I Pretty Little Pastimes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey. Blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift flour and baking soda together and fold into batter. Fill the prepared can a little over 3/4 of the way full with the cake batter. As the cake bakes in the oven, it will rise above the top of the can, which you can remove later before decorating. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Once cooled, turn the can upside-down and gently shake until the cake pops out. Trim the top of the cake, if desired, to get an even surface. Adhere carrot-coin polka dots by smearing a small amount of creamy peanut butter on back of each and pressing firmly onto the cake. Use additional peanut butter to frost the top of the cake. Add a Beggin’ Strip brand dog treat, bone shaped dog food pieces and candle on top to finish of the decorations.

Dog-friendly Birthday Cake Recipe I Pretty Little PastimesMaggie loved her birthday cake! Between her and Bogey, they had it gobbled up in no time! Happy Birthday Maggie May!


Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Muffins

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins I Pretty Little Pastimes

Who doesn’t love chocolate-covered strawberries? They are one of those sweet treats that just make you feel like you should be celebrating over a cold glass of champagne. Well, it was a little early in the day for some bubbly, so I decided to try and work these flavors into a more early-afternoon appropriate snack. What could be better than a warm muffin to start my day? I don’t normally eat chocolate this early in the day, but today I made an exception. And after what I tasted when I tried one straight out of the oven, it might just happen more often.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray or line with muffin tins. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until combined. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just combined, being careful not to over-mix (the batter should be thick and slightly lumpy). Carefully fold in the chocolate chips, followed by the strawberries.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins I Pretty Little Pastimes

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cavity to the top. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake the muffins at 425 degrees F for 4 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake for 14 additional minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins come out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins I Pretty Little Pastimes

These muffins will taste best fresh from the oven, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. I have some extras in the kitchen and will definitely serve them warm with some vanilla frozen yogurt or fresh whipped cream for dessert later. Enjoy!

Fresh Cherry Crisp

Fresh Cherry Crisp I Pretty Little Pastimes

Fresh Cherry Crisp

This time of year means a lot of things to me, backyard barbecues, trips to the beach and fresh fruit everywhere! Sometimes I get a little overzealous at the store and end up with more fruit than I know what to do with. If I knew that I only had a couple days left before it went bad, I used to always ask aloud, “What should I do with this?” The immediate response from the BF was, “Something easy, like a crisp”. I used to cringe at this statement, because the “something easy” crisp had eluded me for years. Without fail, it would cook unevenly or I would end up with a mouthful of pure sugar when biting into it, ick. But after multiple failed attempts, I finally ended up with a winning recipe. It is quick and easy (really this time), perfect for a weeknight menu. I have made this twice in the last month, once with fresh strawberries and again with fresh cherries. But this recipe is not just for those warm summer months, with the addition of a little cinnamon and clove to your fresh fruit, it is perfect for Fall! So keep it handy!

Fresh Cherry Crisp I Pretty Little Pastimes

Fresh Fruit Crisp

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups fresh fruit; chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together oatmeal, flour, brown, sugar and walnuts. Cut in butter until crumbly. In a separate bowl, mix fresh fruit with white sugar. Grease an 8″ square pan and spread half of the crumb mixture in an even layer on bottom. Layer the fruit next, followed by the remaining half of the crumb mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Topped with a little vanilla frozen yogurt or fresh whipped cream and this quick and tasty dessert will really hit the spot!

Fresh Strawberry Crisp I Pretty Little Pastimes

Fresh Strawberry Crisp

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts & Pearl Onions I Pretty Little Pastimes

I’ll be honest that Brussels sprouts were on the list of green veggies that I tried my very best to stay away from growing up. My mom didn’t care for them, so I got out easy. That is until a good friend of mine (a James Beard nominated chef that doesn’t take no for an answer) decided I was not going one more day without trying one. She made me a plate and I reluctantly tried the tiny little cabbage-looking vegetable I feared. Like many foods she has proved me wrong about, the Brussels sprouts were more than just eatable, they were tasty! I wanted to share my version of Roasted Brussels Sprouts hoping that it might inspire a few more you to give them a try.

When shopping for Brussels sprouts, look for the smallest, freshest you can find. These tend to be sweeter and more tender than larger ones. Before cooking, trim the stems and discard any damaged or discolored leaves. Next, cut the sprouts in half (lengthwise); this will speed up the cooking time. Blasting the halved sprouts in a hot oven will caramelize the edges and bring out their sweetness. It also significantly shrinks them, so don’t be surprised when you pull them out of the oven!

I decided to add pearl onions to this dish, because I just love their subtly-sweet onion flavor, especially when paired with balsamic. To prepare the onions for roasting, soak them in warm water for 5 minutes. Remove the onions and discard the skin and trim the roots.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts & Pearl Onions

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 pound pearl onions, trimmed
  • 2 ounces hot capicola (or pancetta), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss all ingredients together and spread out in an even layer on a baking pan. I always line my pan with parchment paper for easy clean up, but if you don’t reserve a little warm water to deglaze the pan at the end. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20-25 minutes or until the sprouts are brown on the edges and tender, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven and serve warm.

Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts & Pearl Onions I Pretty Little Pastimes

These roasted Brussels sprouts will make a wonderful sweet and spicy side dish to add to your dinner. I am definitely thankful that I was coaxed forced to try them. Enjoy!

Garlic & Leek Smashed Red Potatoes

Garlic & Leek Mashed Red Potatoes I Pretty Little Pastimes

If you like potato and leek soup, you will love these garlic and leek smashed red potatoes! We have a list of staple starch side dishes in our house which include potatoes, rice and orzo, but I have been experimenting more and more with new variations on old favorites.

We saw these fresh leeks while wandering around the produce section earlier this week and added them to our rapidly filling cart. If you haven’t cooked with leeks, keep in mind that they are in the same family as garlic and onions, but have a sweeter flavor. Unlike garlic and onions, there is no bulb on a leek and everything other than the root and stem base is edible, although most avoid the dark green section. Leeks are a good source of Vitamins A, B6, C and K, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber. They can be eaten raw, steamed, baked or sautéed, but avoid boiling as they will lose a majority of their nutrients.

Before working with leeks, rinse them well; dirt may be stuck between the tight leaves. Then trim the root and stem. I choose to only trim about an inch from the darkest green end of the leek, since most of the nutrients are found in the green section. Now they are ready!

Garlic & Leek Smashed Red Potatoes

  • 1 pound red potatoes
  • 4 strips pancetta (optional), chopped
  • 1 large leek
  • 3 garlic cloves (or to taste)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk (or soymilk)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chives to garnish

Garlic & Leek Smashed Red Potatoes I Pretty Little Pastimes

In a medium saucepan cover potatoes with water and generously season with salt. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.

While the potatoes are cooking slice the rinsed leeks into thin rings. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the leeks are softened, about 7 minutes, adding the pancetta halfway through.

Garlic & Leek Mashed Red Potatoes I Pretty Little Pastimes

Drain the potatoes and place them in a large bowl with half of the milk (1/8 cup) and the 2 tablespoons of butter. Using a potato masher, mash and add the additional milk by the tablespoon, until potatoes reach desired consistency. Fold in the leek mixture and season with salt and pepper. Top with freshly chopped chives and serve warm.

These potatoes are a great twist on a very simple recipe. The addition of the garlic and fresh leeks give these potatoes some new life. They make a great side for countless main dishes, plus they heat up well the next day … if you have any left over! Enjoy!

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