Thanksgiving in July

Thanks to the nature of the fashion industry I am always a season or two ahead. As everyone is enjoying the summer sun this week, I am already focused on buying fall clothes for my store and (starting in August) prom dresses for the spring of 2015!

It’s not my fault that all I can think about right now is fall- especially when I keep hearing the words “Christmas in July” being thrown around this month. That means we are SO close to boots, sweaters and PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!

Since I am dreaming of pumpkin muffins and lattes, I thought I could satisfy my cravings by making a feast of comfort food that incorporated one of my favorite fall dishes.

I have a soft spot for sweet potato casserole– you know, the kind with all that gooey brown sugar and marshmallows? Sure, you could pick up a whole batch of this delicious piece of heaven at Boston Market on your way home, but this homemade version is just so much better! I love this recipe from Rebecca Lang’s Around the Southern Table. In fact, I love her whole book! Download it now or pick it up at your local bookstore and you will instantly see why it will become a go-to in your kitchen.

The one thing that I changed about Lang’s version of sweet potato casserole was the topping. She uses crushed gingersnaps to create a crumbled topping but Chris doesn’t care for them. Instead I made my own crumble (recipe below). It is a generic recipe that I think everyone should know how to make. You can use this topping for tons of things- cobblers, crumb cake, crust-less apple pie. The best part is that it is easy to make and even tastier to eat!

Not sure what else to serve with your sweet potato casserole when it’s not November? I made fried chicken and herbed biscuits to go along with it! All recipes were from Lang’s book.

Stephanie’s Simple Crumb Topping:

1 stick of butter (softened- NOT melted!)

1 cup flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Method:

Mix together flour, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon so that your mixture is a light brown color. You should not see any white spots. Add your butter by mixing it into your dry mixture with your hands. You should eventually see the mixture turn into what looks like crumbs or crumbles. Use this topping for pies, cakes and cobbles . Simply top your dish with it prior to baking.

Variation: Add 1/2 cup oats or honey granola for more texture.

Make your casserole ahead of time! Prepare the base and then make your topping just before you are ready to bake.

Make your casserole ahead of time! Prepare the base and then make your topping just before you are ready to bake.

PS: My casserole dish in the photo above is Temp-Tations from QVC. The whole line consists of stoneware pieces that go in the oven, microwave, dishwasher and are pretty enough to serve from. This color combination was a spring limited edition but this set is the same one I have, just different color options.

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