There is nothing like hanging with the friends with who you have real history. Last week I jumped at the chance to go visit my besties, Kelley and Jake, in Fort Rucker for a quick 36 hour stay. We all went to college together and I remember when they first met. I even sang “Sin Wagon” at their wedding reception like a true friend should. When we get together, laughter ensues. It is like we never miss a beat. This visit was no different.

One thing that Kelley, Jake, and I have always had in common is our love for food. We can pig out like nobody’s business. In honor of the holiday, Christmas Eve Eve (yep, the day before Christmas Eve), we prepared a feast. Jake slapped chicken on their fancy Traeger Smoker, and Kelley and I prepped the sides. I had seen a beautiful post by one of my favorite bloggers, Juli Bauer, of PaleOMG, for her Sweet Potatoes and wanted to give it a go. It was a super easy recipe, and fit the dietary needs of Kelley’s family who try to steer clear of gluten and dairy.

Check out the full recipe here!

First, we thinly sliced the sweet potatoes which probably would have been easier with mandolin.

We arranged them around the cast iron skillet.

Meanwhile, Kelley mixed the maple syrup, sugar, oil, and ghee for the glaze. She also chopped fresh rosemary which offered a wonderful holiday aroma.

She drizzled them on the taters.

And had a little company while she did it!

We placed them in the oven to bake.

I mixed up the pecan yumminess that would be the topping.

We pulled the skillet out and added the pecan topping, and then placed back into the oven to bake. The smell was heavenly!

Rosemary made a beautiful garnish!


This made a lovely dish, both aesthetically and in flavor. The peels left on the sweet potato were a little chewy, so I think made next time I might do a partial peel just to tone it down a bit. That didn’t stop me from devouring a couple servings along with the some of the best smoked chicken I’ve ever eaten.

I hated that I had to eat and run, but right after dinner I had to hit the road back to Tennessee to prepare for Santa. Friends and fabulous food- it was worth the six hour drive!

Check out PaleOMG for thousands of wonderful Paleo and/or gluten-free recipes peppered with a lot of hilarity in Juli’s writing! She also has three wonderful cookbooks available on Amazon. Thanks, Juli, for yet another wonderful treat!

If you try Juli’s recipe, let me know what you think in the comments!

xo Jaime


Written by Jaime Fox