Mama's Best Sweet Potato Pie

The perfect sweet potato pie for your Holiday meals!

sweet potato pie


8 cups sweet potatoes (about 5 medium sweet potatoes), cut into 2" pieces
12 cups water

1 stick butter
1 -1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 - 15 oz . package Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (2 crusts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pot, boil potatoes in water until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Drain. Pour sweet potatoes into electric mixing bowl. Add butter to sweet potatoes and mix on high speed until creamy.

Reduce mixer to medium speed. Add sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and lemon extracts, cinnamon and salt. Increase mixer to high speed. Mix until creamy and smooth. Unroll pie crust onto 2 pie plates. Pour 1/2 mixture into each pie shell.

Bake 50 - 60 minutes or until firm in center and crust is golden brown.

Makes 2 pies; Serves 16-20.

"Whats Cooking" is a special little film about four families during Thanksgiving. Each one has their own set of family drama and laughs. I waited for months to spotlight this film. With an ensemble cast of fascinating characters, this film is perfect for Thanksgiving.

This "Mama's Best Sweet Potato Pie" is my Mother's recipe. She made the best sweet potato pie I have ever tasted (and I have tasted quite a few). My Mom put lots of love into her cooking, and of all her recipes, this is one of my favorites. The sweet potato is the star of this pie, with just a hint of vanilla, lemon and cinnamon flavors. "Whats Cooking" at its heart is a movie about love in families, and Mama's sweet potato pie is all goodness and love!


Holiday Fresh Greens with Smoked Turkey

2 pounds fresh Mustard Greens (Collards or Kale can be used) - washed and rinsed twice, stems removed

1 to 1 -1/2 pounds Smoked Turkey (legs, necks or wings)

1 Tablespoon sugar

Place smoked turkey in 5 cups water in a large pot. Turn heat up to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour. Remove smoked turkey and cut into slices or chucks. Place 1 cup of the smoked turkey back into the pot.
Turn up heat to a boil, add greens and sugar. After boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Drain, retaining 4 tablespoons of greens liquid (pot liquor) for saute pan.
In a saute pan add:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon jalapeno pepper, chopped (from jar)
2 Tablespoons jalapeno pepper juice (from jar)
1 green onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons red bell pepper, chopped

Dashes of salt and black pepper

Saute for 3 minutes. Add drained greens, smoked turkey and 4 tablespoons of pot liquor to saute pan. Stir well. Turn off heat.

Optional, chop cooked Greens before serving.

Serves 6.


"Planes, Trains and Automobiles" is one of my favorite Thanksgiving films, starring the late and great John Candy as Del, and Steve Martin as Neal. These "wild and crazy" guys are trying to get home for Thanksgiving, but a Midwest snow storm puts them on a route to detour hell. This film is usually run during Thanksgiving, so please do yourself a huge favor and check it out. We have provided the film trailer, which will give you a taste of the fun!

Holiday Fresh Greens is a soulful and delicious version of the vegetables I grew up with. Greens are vitamin enriched with 0 Fat. This vegetable will be a holiday favorite sidedish for everyone. "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" last scene shows Del finally making it home for a beautiful holiday dinner with his family. This reminded me of my family's Thanksgiving dinners. My mom always made everything taste so good, even the vegetables!


Holiday Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten, room temperature
3/4 cup sweet potatoes, well mashed
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Walnuts for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10" Bundt pan. Set aside.

In an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugars for 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1/3rd at a time, mixing well between additions.

Reduce mixer to medium speed. Add sweet potatoes and mix until well combined.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Reduce mixer to low speed. Add flour mixture and milk in thirds, mixing well between additions. Add vanilla extract.

Pour cake batter into Bundt pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before inverting.

To make the glaze: In a medium sized bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. After cake has cooled completely, drizzle glaze over cake. Garnish with walnuts, if desired.

Serves 12.


Happy Thanksgiving! Reel Good Recipes is excited to bring you holiday recipes and films during this joyous season. We are kicking off the holiday season with the film "Home for the Holidays." It's a must-see for those of us who like to see other people's family drama on Thanksgiving. Holly Hunter stars as Claudia, a woman having a string of bad luck who is making her way home for Thanksgiving to see her dysfunctional family (are there any other kind?). Robert Downey Jr. plays Tommy, Claudia's gay brother. There's also a host of other fun and crazy family members. Check out this film. It's worth every crazy minute.

Our recipe for Holiday Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze is perfect for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This moist, buttery, pound cake is all about the subtle flavors of sweet potatoes, cinnamon and vanilla. The "Home for the Holidays" dinner table would have been a lot happier if they had served our Holiday Sweet Pound Cake with Vanilla Glaze. I'm sure it would have cut down on the family fighting because their mouths would have been busy enjoying our pound cake!


Spicy Cajun Fish Fillets

Spicy Cajun Fish Fillets

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped, seeds removed
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Dash of salt
2 Cod fish fillets (4 to 6 ounces each)
Optional, 1 teaspoon capers

In a saute pan over medium high heat, add oil, Cajun seasoning, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, lemon pepper, parsley, garlic and salt. Stir until hot, about 2 minutes.

Add fish to pan, turning to coat with spices on both sides. Cover and cook 5 minutes.

Remove cover and add capers, if desired. Cover and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Serves 2.


The movie, "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" is in limited release now and opens in theatres Nationwide this Friday. Nicholas Cage stars as drug addicted police lieutenant Terence McDonagh. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he is a deeply intuitive and fearless detective reigning over New Orleans. The prostitute he loves is Frankie (Eva Mende), and New Orleans is the back-drop of their complicated, tumultuous life together.

Spicy Cajun Fish Fillets is so easy to make. It's light, healthy, and full of spicy New Orleans flavor. Our featured film "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" is set in this amazing city full of colorful people and legendary food dishes. We have served up a spicy (not hot) Cod Fish Fillet that will make your taste buds sing. Enjoy a taste of New Orleans without leaving your home.


Blondies Deluxe with Chocolate Chips Toffee and Nuts

blondies chocolate chip toffee nuts

1 stick butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 -1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 - 8oz. package Heath milk chocolate toffee baking bits
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 9" X 9" baking pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Mix melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Reduce mixer to slow speed. Add flour, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add toffee chips and nuts. Pour into pan and top with chocolate chips. Bake 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.

Great with vanilla ice cream!

Serves 12.


Don't try those old "dumb blonde" jokes here, because Reese Witherspoon as Elle in "Legally Blonde" will show you "the reel deal." Elle is a blonde sorority queen who was dumped by her jackass boyfriend, because he is going to Harvard and she is "too blonde." This film is a two "blonde ponytails up" for all the golden haired Divas who have been disrespected. Now, Elle has evened out the score!

The brown sugar in blondies gives them a distinctive molasses flavor. They're a chewy, rich and indulgent dessert. Our recipe for Blondies Deluxe with Chocolate Chips, Toffee and Nuts was inspired by "Legally Blonde" because our blondie bars and Elle are blonde on the outside and full of goodness on the inside. These blondies are so good, they should be illegal, but lucky for us, they're not!


Vegetable Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowl

vegetable soup in sourdough bread bowl

1 cup red potatoes, diced into small cubes

3/4 cup Leeks, thinly sliced (cut off top, use white and middle portion of green leaves)

1/2 cup carrots (Sweet Petites or Baby carrots)

2 garlic cloves, mined

1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped

6 cups chicken stock or broth

Dashes of black pepper

4 small to medium Sourdough Bread rounds

Cut a round hole into top of bread. Remove and hollow out inside of bread bowl, leaving a generous amount of bread on bottom and sides. Set aside.

Bring potatoes, leeks, carrots, garlic, jalapeno peppers, chicken broth and black pepper to a boil in a medium sized pot. Lower heat and let simmer 20 minutes.

Fill bread bowls with soup. Serve immediately.

Optional: For an even lighter dish, you can serve without bread in a soup bowl.


Yabadabadoo! "The Flintstones" was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid, and I was thrilled when it was made into a non-animated movie. John Goodman and Rick Moranis were perfectly casts as Fred and Barney. Also starring Elizabeth Perkins, Rosie O'Donnell, Elizabeth Taylor and the super hot diva Halle Barry. I really enjoyed the look of their prehistoric town of Bedrock. Stone houses, dinosaurs as pets, big food, you name it, everything in Bedrock was larger than life. I still remember the cartoon's theme song, do you?

Our recipe for Vegetable Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl is all about good food with full flavors. The Sourdough bread reminded me of the food in the Flintstones; big, bold, impressive and its' the perfect way to serve our vegetable soup. Make some for your next dinner party and your guest will love you for it.


Best Slow Cooker Chicken Ever!


1 whole 3 pound chicken, cleaned with excess fat removed

1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base mixed with 1 cup water

1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Season All

1 teaspoon spice blend (I like Trader Joe's 21 Season Salute)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Add Better than Bouillon and water to slow cooker. Cover both sides of chicken with remaining ingredients. Place chicken in slow cooker and cook on high speed for 4 hours.
Remove from slow cooker and serve on serving place with (optional) red potatoes
Optional, add 6 red potato halves to chicken.

Serves 5 to 6


The Academy Awarding winning film "The Matrix"stars Keanu Reeves as "Neo" and Laurence Fishburne as "Morpheus". "The Matrix" is the story of a computer hacker who searches for the truth behind the world known as the Matrix. If you like action films, and I do, "The Matrix" is the top of the line. The slow motion sequences alone are priceless.

Our recipe for the Best Slow Cooker Chicken Ever is super easy, super moist, and super delicious. The slow cooker does all the work. "The Matrix'" has several breathtaking slow motion scenes that inspired our chicken recipe. It showed us that slow is sometimes the only way to go.


Courtesy of Chef Estella (Curley) Johnson


Sparkling White Grape and Pomegranate Party Punch

Sparkling White Grape Juice and Pomegranate Punch

12 ounces Pomegranate (POM) Wonderful 100 % Juice. Fill a standard ice tray with juice and freeze.

2 - 25.4 fl. oz. Welch's Sparkling White Grape Juice (non-alcoholic) bottles - chilled

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

1/2 lime, thinly sliced

Add sparkling white grape juice, lemon and lime slices to punch bowl. Add POM ice cubes. Stir.

Serves 10.


The movie, "House Party", starring the super rap duo, "Kid 'N Play" is all about teenagers having a good time. This movie brought us the dance move "the Kid and Play" and Kid's signature high-top fade haircut. Christopher "Kid" Reid and Christopher "Play" Martin starred in this film and the three sequels that followed. The House Party films also feature future movie and TV stars Martin Lawrence, Tisha Campbell, Queen Latifa, and Bernie Mac.

Our recipe for Sparking White Grape and Pomegranate Party Punch is just in time for all your holiday parties. Its totally delicious and refreshing, plus all the health benefits of Pomegranate juice. Please visit the POM Wonderful website for more information.


Taco Pie Extremo

Taco Pie

In a large skillet, cook the following 10 ingredients over medium high heat for 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Drain and set aside.
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 pound ground beef
1/4 pound ground spicy sausage
6 small white mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Taco seasoning
Dashes black pepper

1 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust (1/2 package)
1 -14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 -16 oz. can refried beans
1 cup Mexi-Style Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Unfold pie crust and press into 9" pie pan, leaving edges up (do not press down edges). Prick bottom and sides with a folk (to vent). Bake 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Layer in pie crust: meat mixture, refried beans and tomatoes. Sprinkle top with cheese and parsley.

Bake 25 minutes on cookie sheet at 350 degrees until lightly golden.

Optional, serve with sour cream, lettuce, black olives and/or jalapeno peppers.

Serves 10.

While on vacation in Mexico, a cute little pampered chihuahua named Chloe (voice of Drew Barrymore) finds herself in the adventure of a lifetime. Our feature film, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" is a must-see for animal lovers. Their antics take us on a beautiful tour through Mexico with lovable and not so lovable animals along the way.

Our recipe for Taco Pie Extremo was inspired by the Mexican restaurants along Chloe's travels. Just the right amount of spices, meat, vegetables and cheese, all baked up in a flaky delicious pie crust. Our Taco Pie is "the Extremo"!


Carrot Flax Healthy Muffins

carrot flax muffins

1 -1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 -1/2 cups ground flax seed
2/3 cup finely packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 -1/2 cups carrots, finely shredded
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line muffin tin with baking cups, if desired. Spray muffin tin or liners with non-stick spray.

Mix flour, flax seed, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in carrots, raisins, white chocolate chips and nuts. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, soy milk and vanilla extract.

Pour wet ingredients into dry. Mix until moistened (do not over mix).

Fill muffin cups 3/4 cup full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes.
Makes 15 to 18 muffins.

Bugs Bunny, That Wacky Wabbit (2005)

Bugs Bunny is a classic cartoon character who has promoted eating healthy carrots for years. Our Recipe for Carrot Flax Healthy Muffins include fresh carrots and Flax Seed. Please visit http://www.healthcastle.com/flax.shtml for information about the health benefits of Flax Seed.

Our muffins are full flavored and super moist. Served with a sliced apple, it's the perfect way to start your day.


Cheesecake Supreme with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Sauce

Graham Cracker Crust
16 Nabisco Honey Graham Crackers (1 package), crushed
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
Dash of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine all ingredients above in a bowl. Press firmly into a 9" round springform pan.

Bake crust for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling
Using an electric mixer, mix the following ingredients on high speed about 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy:
2 - 8 oz. packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, 1/3 rd Less Fat, softened
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pour cream cheese mixture into graham cracker crust. Even out and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Sauce
Place the following ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed for 30 seconds:
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoons premium peanut butter
1/4th of a banana

After blending, pour chocolate mixture into a sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir constantly until well blended, about 3 minutes.

Immediately pour chocolate and peanut butter sauce over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (longer if time permits).

Optional: Top with about 12 fresh strawberries (halved, sweetened with 1 Tablespoon sugar)or/and dust with powdered sugar.

Serves 10 to 12


The film, "Chocolat" is set in 1960 in France. Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter move to a little town and open a chocolate shop. Oh yes, the magic of chocolate, especially in the hands of a woman so talented. Not everyone is happy about the chocolate shop, or Vianne for that matter. "Chocolat" was nominated for 5 Academy Awards and 3 Golden Globes. This film is visually beautiful and so fulfilling to the spirit.

Our recipe for Cheesecake Supreme with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Sauce was inspired by Vianne's delectable chocolates that lifted the town folk's spirits. This creamy and delicious cheesecake is topped with a chocolate sauce that is second to none. Thanks for visiting and please enjoy the clip of "Chocolat."