Sweet potatoes were never a part of my childhood Thanksgiving spread because my family just didn’t like them. When I married Chad, I learned how beloved sweet potato dishes are in some families, especially around holiday time. I have just never been able to get my mind around cloyingly sweet yams covered in marshmallows and cinnamon-sugar topping. Yucky! So, I decided the perfect entry for the GTU competition would be to create a sweet potato dish that was savory, smoky, and cheesy.
I have to say I think I hit the nail on the head with it, because these sweet potatoes were so decadent, creamy, and flavorful, that even I enjoyed them. They tasted purely indulgent and satisfying, like any good Thanksgiving dish absolutely should!
I think you can bank on the fact that adding tons of butter, cream, cheese, and/or bacon to a dish is going to elevate it to ultimate deliciousness! Put a little onion in that mix and you have a winner every time. Just a little ace in the hole cooking advice there for ya.
So when the producer from Good Things Utah called me to tell me the news of my win, I was so thrilled I about fell off my chair. I’m pretty sure I did fall off my chair when she asked me if I could cook on the show again the next day. I am always thrilled to cook on TV and will never pass that opportunity up, so I was grateful, but apprehensive! I had one night to come up with what I was going to cook, prepare one recipe for the show, and get together all the ingredients for the cooking segment itself. I had to have the recipe turned in by 5:00 AM the next morning. What really put me under pressure is that I was speaking at my niece’s school the next day and I had to prep 60 homemade treats for that along with my presentation! It’s a good thing I work really well under pressure.
That’s what I love about TV though, it’s so fast-paced. I always laugh about the fact that they just trust you to show up and do a good job. There is no rehearsal, no briefing, no prep at all. You just go out there and do your thing and hope you don’t fall down or something. Luckily five minutes on TV seems like 30 seconds, so it’s over before you can freak yourself out too much.
I ended up making my Almond Cherry Bars for the show yesterday. You’ll have to wait for an upcoming post for the recipe for those. They are worth the wait!
I can’t say enough good things about the GTU staff. They are the nicest people you will ever meet and they treat their guests so well. I also can’t say enough about all the Harmon’s Cooking School Chef’s, especially Lesli and Aaron. Thank you for the wonderful honor!
The presentation at the school went great too, and I’ll share that in a future post. What a fun thing to talk about cooking opportunities with kids.
I hope you let my super-easy, super-cheesy, Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole be a part of your awesome Thanksgiving spread this year! But whatever you may chose to serve, may you be close to those you love. May you be blessed with unconditional love and acceptance too.