Tuesday, June 11, 2013


While I consider myself a rocker chick, I actually listen to a whole lot more country music now a days.  I found that I’d be singing along with pop music, and then have to go and wash my mouth out with soap.  For the most part country music is more wholesome, and dang it I like wholesome.

Lately the song that sticks in my head is Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here”.  You know the one that goes “Chewdabacca, chewdabacca, chewdabacca”?

I know that’s not how the song goes, but that’s how I thought that it went.  I was singing for weeks, “Chewdabacca, chewdabacca, chewdabacca”!  I finally asked Billy if he knew what chewdabacca meant or what it is.  He started howling at me, the laugh that means that I’m funny and dumb.  He let me know that it’s actually “Chew tobacco”.  I guess the fact that “Chewdabacca” was followed by “spit” should have been a clue!?!  

Silly me for not figuring out that someone would actually sing about chewing tobacco.   I love you Blake Shelton, but I like my version of the song better!

Now that I put that image in your head, I’m sure you’d like to hear about food!

I know that many veggies claim to be the healthiest, but sweet potatoes really are among the healthiest veggies and they’re so yummy!  Sweet potatoes have fiber and protein; they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Because they’re high in vitamin A and beta carotene, sweet potatoes are even good for your skin…love that!

For this recipe, the skins are left on (a great deal of the nutrients are in the skin) and the wedges of sweet potatoes are roasted so that they get a yummy caramel flavor to them.  Blue cheese is tangy and sharp perfect with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.  I like pecans for a little crunch, while I candied my own pecans; you may find candied pecans (or pralines) in the bulk food section at the grocery store.  I finish the dish with just a little balsamic glaze which is both sweet and slightly sour.

I made a double batch of these sweet potatoes for a barbecue that was about a 45 minute drive from home; I knew that they would travel well as this dish can be served hot or at room temperature.  All I can say is that I did not have one wedge of sweet potato, crumble of blue cheese, or crumb of pecans left on my dish at the end of the partaaay!

Here’s what you do.

Start by making the Spicy Candied Pecans so that they can set up nicely.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine some brown sugar with just a little water.

Cook over heat that is between medium and medium high.

Swirl the pan but don't stir it.

When the sugar comes to a boil, let it boil for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Remove the  pan from the heat, add the pecans, salt and cayenne pepper; now you can stir them so that the nuts are completely coated in caramel.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on the sheet pan and allow them to cool completely.

Wash, scrub and cut the sweet potatoes into wedges (don't bother peeling them) , lay them on a sheet pan, drizzle some olive oil, and sprinkle salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and cayenne pepper over them.

Toss them so that the sweet potatoes are completely coated.

Spread the sweet potato wedges out for even cooking.

Roast the potatoes in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Remove the roasted sweet potatoes to a platter and drizzle a little balsamic glaze in an attractive manner over the sweet potatoes; also sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese and the candied pecans over the top.

Put the platter into the oven for just a minute or two.

The object is not to melt the blue cheese completely, but just to soften it so that it adheres to the sweet potatoes.

This dish is great for parties because it tastes great warm or at room temperature!

These are great at a barbecue, but I also like to serve them at Thanksgiving or Christmas!


Serves 4 to 6

2              lbs.         Sweet potatoes
2              Tbsp.      Olive oil
¼             tsp.        each of Salt and pepper
2              pinches   Cayenne pepper
½             tsp.        Italian seasoning
3              oz.          Blue cheese, crumbled
½             Tbsp.       Balsamic glaze
1/3            cup        Candied pecans, roughly chopped; I usually find them in the bulk section at the grocery store; or you can make them yourself.

   1.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
   2.       Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges, peeling is not necessary.
   3.       Lay the potatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle the olive oil over the sweet potatoes and sprinkle the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning.  Toss together so that the potatoes are completely and evenly coated.  Roast for 30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.
   4.       Remove the cooked sweet potatoes to a platter and drizzle the balsamic glaze in an attractive manner over the sweet potatoes, and evenly distribute the blue cheese crumbles and chopped candied pecans.  Return the platter of sweet potatoes to the oven for just a minute or two.  This allows the cheese to soften just enough so that the cheese will adhere to the sweet potatoes, but the cheese doesn’t melt completely.

These roasted sweet potatoes can be served hot or at room temperature.

Note:  If you’re making the candied pecans, do that before you start the sweet potatoes so that they have time to set.

Makes 1 cup

½             cup          Brown sugar
2              Tbsp.        Water
1              cup          Pecans, (I like them roughly chopped for this recipe)
1/8           tsp.          Salt
2              pinches     Cayenne pepper

   1.       Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
   2.       In a small sauce pan combine the brown sugar and water.  Cook over medium to medium high heat.  Swirl the pan, but don’t stir.  Once the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved cook for about 1 ½ minutes. 
   3.       Remove the mixture (caramel) from the heat, stir in the pecans, salt and cayenne pepper. 
   4.       Pour in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan.  Allow the nuts and caramel to cool completely.

You may store Spicy Candied Pecans in an airtight container for up to a couple of weeks.

Foodie Friends Friday


  1. Love roasted root vegetables!! But I can't stomach blue cheese :D

    1. Because it's so distinctive, blue cheese is one of those things that you either love or hate.
      You might try a strong goat cheese instead.

  2. Totally cute story. I am also a closet country fan. And those potatoes are amazing!!!!

    1. There's no shame in liking country music:) Thanks Karen!

  3. What a beautiful combination of flavors.
    Love the recipe for the spicy candied pecans.
    I'll try them together with a mixed lettuce salad and blue cheese.
    Great post, Kari!

  4. I would of licked the plate clean! Haha Love all these flavors together! So funny about the song! I haven't heard that one but I think Blake Shelton has become way more popular since being on the Voice. I even find myself liking his music and I am definitely a rock and roll/pop queen.

    1. Blake Shelton is definitely more popular since the Voice. He's pretty funny and quick witted.

  5. I really wish I had a huge plate of these in front of me right now!! Excellent job!

  6. Gosh...this looks beyond delicious! I would love some right now!

  7. That's party on a plate right there..I can enjoy that all by myself!!

  8. !!!!! This is SOO up my alley! YUM. Very creative! Thanks for linking up at www.happywifey.net! I will try to host every Monday :)

  9. Thank you so much for sharing at FFF! This looks delicious, I love sweet potatoes!

  10. G'day! Love the ease and simplicity, TRUE!
    This would be GREAT at my next entertaining dinner party too!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Foodie Friends Friday Party too!

  11. You're sweets look so good! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday. Hope you can make it to our Fresh Fruit Party this week!

  12. I am going to pin these potatoes immediately after I post this comment! Such a simple and mouthwatering combination of flavors!