Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes with Marshmallow Sauce

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My grandmother makes the best sweet potato pie casserole. It’s a holiday staple in our family.

What could be better than mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter and sugar?

Oh, that’s right.

Maybe it’s the melted marshmallows on top…

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I woke up this morning craving something sweet and comforting in this cold, yucky weather.  I always love pancakes for brunch on the weekends, but I didn’t want just plain pancakes. You could probably tell from my Cream Cheese and Nutella Pancakes and my Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Fresh Blueberry Sauce that I love rich, decadent pancakes.

 I knew I wanted something rich, sweet and comforting. I just wasn’t sure what exactly.

And then my grandmother texted me.

And then a brilliant idea popped into my head.

Why don’t I make sweet potato pie pancakes?

And sweet potato pancakes wouldn’t be the same without my favorite part, the melted marshmallows on top.

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So I topped the pancakes with marshmallows and placed them under the broiler.

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But naturally I couldn’t stop there. So I made a marshmallow sauce.

 At every holiday dinner my family gets mad at me because I always eat all of the marshmallows off the top of the sweet potatoes.

It’s better than eating them out of the trash can though, right?

Yep, that really happened.

 My stepdad caught me eating stale marshmallows out of the trash can when I was a kid.

Oops.

And so I created this masterpiece (with fresh marshmallows, of course!)

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Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Candied Bacon {and a peanut butter and cream cheese icing}

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I have an obsession with tornadoes.

I don’t know why. I don’t know where it came from. But all I know is they have always been my biggest fear and for some reason lately I just CAN’T STOP watching videos online, reading articles and scientific websites and watching Tornado Road and Storm Chasers on TV. Since I was little I’ve always been deathly afraid of thunderstorms because I somehow convinced myself a thunderstorm would automatically lead to a tornado. I’d be playing softball and it would start to storm and I’d get hit by the ball because I’d be too busy looking at the clouds trying to seek out a funnel cloud. When a severe thunderstorm warning would come on the bottom of the TV screen I’d make my mom go hide in the basement with me. One summer when I was in Virginia with my teen travel camp I hid under the sink because there was a tornado watch. And, the worst of it all, the only nightmares I ever seem to have involve tornadoes, and I’ve been having TONS of nightmares lately.

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Now, if you Google dreams and tornadoes you will find that they sometimes mean you’ve lost control of your life and are feeling overwhelmed. I can’t tell you how accurate this is to my life right now. Sure there has been a lot going on in the country with tornadoes lately and that’s all that has been in the news the past couple of weeks. But I’ve also been in a weird place the past few months. Maybe because I’ve been feeling so stagnant, bored, in need of a challenge, itching to travel and hike up a mountain. Or maybe because my roommate and closest friend in Connecticut moved across the country and it’s taking time to adjust. Or maybe because I’m trying to figure out my next move and make some big life-changing decisions- and that all scares and excites me. I’m not really sure what it is exactly BUT what I am sure of, is out of all this tornado hype something good evolved. Something more than good. Something INCREDIBLE.

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The most delicious tornado went off in my kitchen this weekend. I made a Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Candied Bacon.

Yes, that’s right. Peanut butter, cream cheese and candied bacon, all in one. And, to add to the amazingness? Topped with a peanut butter and cream cheese icing.

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Candied bacon has to be one of the best things I’ve ever had in life. The sweetness and chewiness of the maple syrup and brown sugar when it caramelizes mixed with the spiciness of the cayenne pepper and the saltiness and crispiness of the bacon. All the best textures and flavors in one. So good, I ate half of it before it actually made its way into the batter.

Now I have to say, I’ve been on a major peanut butter and banana kick lately. Which is what inspired me to add the peanut butter to the banana bread. I must go through a jar of peanut butter a week! I know it’s not that good for you (everything in moderation) but I can’t seem to just stop after one spoonful. But who cares, it tastes so good! That’s what the gym is for, right?! Except when you eat peanut butter right before a run…I don’t recommend it. And bananas, I can’t stop baking with them! In pancakes, cookies, breads. But at last, I combined all my loves into one, creating the most delicious, moist and flavorful banana bread yet. And a tornado in my kitchen while doing so. And it was all SO worth it. You must try it!

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Oat and banana flax pancakes

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What better way to start my blog than with a confession. It’s like a therapy session…only there’s no one talking back, or sitting across from me taking notes…and I don’t have to write a check at the end of the session!

But, really. If I’m going to share with the world my passions, my favorite things in life, my thoughts and feelings…I may as well get it all out in the open in the beginning, right?

Ok, anyway. On with the confession.

…Drumroll please….

I have an obsession with pancakes.

No…seriously. It’s a sick obsession. I wake up and think about pancakes. I determine the brunch spot by the pancakes on the menu. When I’m stressed, I make pancakes. When I’ve had a few drinks and it’s 2 am and there’s a pizza joint across the street, I go home and make pancakes. Before I can go on a first date, one of my first questions to him is if he can make pancakes. And on top of it all, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these pancakes I ate one morning before snowboarding at Hunter Mountain in New York. Forget the frostbite, forget the bruises, forget wiping out after getting off the lift and bruising my tailbone, but my goodness. I could never forget those pancakes!

This is the place that changed my outlook on pancakes forever.

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And this is the pancake that changed my life forever.

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My mouth is watering just looking at this picture! Who would have thought, a cafe in the middle of nowhere Tannersville, NY with Krooked floors that makes you feel like you’ve had one too many to drink when walking to the restooms, would have created such a masterpiece. I mean, really. Just look at that beauty! A perfect mixture of oats and toasted grains, bananas, flax. It’s like a mouth-watering dream come true!

I have tried for months and months to re-create these pancakes. I’ve even called there pretending I had a food allergy and asking if they could tell me what’s in them. I’ve tried blowing up the picture and studying it until I thought I needed a new eyeglass prescription! But they refuse to tell me what’s in them. Well, listen here Maggie’s…you don’t want to tell me, fine. YOUR LOSS. I’ll just create my own version!

And so I did.  Continue reading