And these, my friends, are my terrible downfall

Halloween is a dentist’s worst nightmare — or biggest paycheck. And whenever I begin to wonder why I’ve been cursed with terrible teeth — including one nasty Devil Tooth — and how it is that I am now single-handedly funding my handsome dentist’s Caribbean vacations, I look at things like this wicked holiday.

Things like this.

And this.

And maybe some of these.

And then I grin from ear to ear, because I enjoy (almost) every second of it.

Until disgusting words like “cavity,” “root canal” and “gold crown” spill from the lips of Dr. Bob — and that drill comes a little too close to my mouth. And I’m on a liquid diet for days, hopped up on painkillers and misery.

This is my life.

Sweet potato pie — a worthy (and scrumptious) alternative to pumpkin

Sometimes in life, we have to improvise. Unexpected things pop up; detours must be taken. Our path is blocked. Recipes don’t go according to plan.

Like when you run out of sugar.

And you’re in the middle of baking three pies.

And you’ve already dumped in most of your (not inexpensive) ingredients.

In keeping with our new baking tradition, Spencer and I felt adventurous and decided to try our hand at a sweet potato pie. My friend Sandy, a talented baker, had dropped a sweet potato muffin on my desk earlier that day — and just saying “sweet potato” to Spence was inspirational.

After gathering together what we believed to be all the necessary ingredients, I began to measure the white sugar called for in our recipe. Since we’d decided to really go for the gusto and actually make three pies at once, I was tripling everything.

Unfortunately, there was no tripling that little mound of sugar left in the container.

“Why doesn’t this call for brown sugar?” Spencer scanned the sheet over and over. “Doesn’t it seem like it should have brown sugar?”

Yes, I agreed. It does. So let’s do this.

Taking the total sugar content down by a third, we substituted 1 cup of white sugar for 1/3 cup of white and 1/3 cup of brown — and the end result? Totally delicious. Sweet but not too sweet; warm; cozy; completely fall-like. An awesome addition to any meal this autumn, and possibly a substitute for all diners who find themselves a little pumpkin’ed-out.

No Thanksgiving is complete without a slice of pumpkin pie, I’ll grant you that, but for all those other days? Give sweet potato a whirl. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Megan & Spencer’s Sweet(ie) Sweet Potato Pie

Adapted from Sweet Potato Pie I on


  • 1 (1 pound) sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust


  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.
  2. Mash sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.