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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jenny's Sweet Potato Casserole

Jenny's Sweet Potato Casserole may look simple, but the flavor is amazing!
Plus, read further along for a book that may just be what you or a friend needs.

jenny's sweet potato casserole (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

As a food blogger I tend to get a LOT of requests.  Can you review this product?  Want to try out our new food item?  Any chance you can visit our grand opening?  Not a day goes by without something coming through my inbox.  Some are good, some are bad, some I share and some I don't.

When my friend Olivia {or Liv} approached me awhile back regarding her book launch and a casserole that helped somewhat "shape" the book, I agreed quickly.

You see Olivia has been through a LOT as a mom.  Much more than many, but I resonated with some of it and I have a feeling many of you do as well, so that is why I wanted to share her story today, plus this delicious casserole.

Everyone goes through hard seasons in life and as moms, although it may sound trivial, having meals delivered to you during those moments is quite possibly the best present given. Forget diamonds or luxury trips, just give me a damn meal that I do not have to make, right?

You know I'm a huge proponent of sharing a meal to those who need it.  I often refer to my Fun Food Care Package for New Moms, whether they've had a baby recently or not.  Sharing a meal is a great pick-me-up for anyone.

jenny's sweet potato casserole (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Take a moment to listen to Olivia's story and do me a favor, if it pulls on a string with you, your sister, your mom, your cousin or your friend, buy her book.  Read it for yourself or give it to someone {along with a meal!} as a great gift.  I have no doubt, they will love it.


Liv is a Midwest native who lives to inspire women to bear and share hope with the world. She is a writer, speaker, wifey, mommy, and lover of all things coffee. Hands down her favorite activity is Tuesday night date night, but tickling her three miracle babies is a close second. She heavily relies on her people, the written Word, and foodie food to keep her sane. She survived the desert of waiting once upon a thirsty time, and lives to tell you that you will too! She sneaks away to write at livryan.com

August 1st is the first day you can get your hands on her new book “Bearing Hope: Navigating the Desert of Waiting for a Child.” Or start with a free chapter!

When you’re in a hard season of life, even the easiest things can become impossible. For me, it was the season of waiting for a child. In three years, my husband and I lost six children through miscarriage and one through failed adoption. It was devastating.

Looking back on that time, what stands out to me is the outpouring of love from friends and family. One of the most tangible ways they loved on us was by delivering hot dinners when I hardly had the energy to walk.

Now I’m on a mission to deliver “love meals” as often as I can to people in need because I know how much it meant to us.

Delivering homemade meals is counter cultural! People are busy; convenience is king. But it will mean more to your friends than they could ever say.

Who do you know that is facing illness, surgery, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, or even the transition of welcoming a new baby or elderly parent into their home?

They could be perfect first recipient of a “love meal.”  And you don’t even have to be a great cook (I’m definitely not)!

A few practical tips:

  • Ask if they have any food allergies or preferences (Meal train is a great way to set up a chain of meals for a family/friend in need)
  • Include the recipe/s so they can remake it
  • Include a little handwritten note (it will mean so much)
  • Throw in some fresh fruit or a kid friendly snack if they have little ones
  • Ask if they would rather leave a cooler outside so you can drop and go (some people don’t even have the energy to chat at the door, depending on the circumstances)

As little as I remember from that time hazy grief-stricken time, one thing I couldn’t forget was a casserole from my friend Jenny. It was so delicious and healthy, and we have incorporated it into our meal routine ever since!

Jenny's Sweet Potato Casserole

*I halved this recipe in an 8x8 baking dish and it worked awesome! This recipe does have a bit of a KICK, so if you want to tone down the heat a bit I would recommend using half of the seasoning packet.

5 sweet potatoes
2 c. frozen veggies
1/3 bottle of Wishbone Chipotle Ranch dressing
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 McCormick Grillers Chipotle Pepper seasoning packet

1. Place the chicken in a crock pot with a cup of water and the seasoning packet. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours until tender. When cooked shred with a fork.
2. Wash sweet potatoes, prick with a fork and cook in the microwave in two minute intervals until soft. Remove, split in half and allow to cool.
3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. When sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the potato, place in the bottom of the dish and mash with a fork, spreading to cover the bottom of the pan.
4. Layer half of the dressing, the frozen veggies, the shredded chicken and the remainder of the dressing.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve warm.

jenny's sweet potato casserole (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Olivia is awesome, isn't she?

I'm not sure how she has been given such grace when she was handed such hardships, but she has truly come through shining.

Take a moment to thank all the mamas out there.  Ones that have lost, ones that are still hoping and go ahead and thank yourself while you're at it...being a mom is fantastic and draining and hard and blissful and wonderful all at the same time.  We've all been on a special journey getting here and let's be proud of that!

And how about this dish?  We absolutely loved it.  So simple, so tasty and kinda fun really. Make this dish and enjoy it.  Take it to a friend in need.

And if you are feeling extra generous today, share this post with some of those friends.  If you do purchase Olivia's book and love it, make sure to leave a review on Amazon, it would be much appreciated!

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