Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yam Casserole and My New Scale

My friend, Ke, got me a scale for my wedding shower so (and I quote) "you don't get fat after you get married." (Love her!)

I am a snacker (they say a picture's worth a thousand words), so it's not a bad idea for me to step on a scale from time to time.

At first, I really enjoyed my new scale. I jumped on and never looked down (I don't like to watch the numbers calculate). After a few seconds, I took a peak at the number and was delighted to see I lost 10 lbs! A-MAZ-ING!

Confession: I later realized that I never inserted the batteries -- who knew you had to?! -- and the number I was looking at was actually a sticker. And just like, that the 10 pounds I magically lost instantly reappeared. C'est la Vie.

But now that it's working properly, my scale has really come in handy. I used it to make sure my luggage was under 50 lbs before Hawaii. It was only 47.5, thank you very much!

And on Sunday, I used it to weigh yams. Yams were on sale at the grocery store, so I bought a couple with no plan in mind. When I got home, I found a yam casserole recipe in my "Better Homes and Gardens" cookbook. It called for 2 lbs of yams. Looking at my bag of yams, I guessed it weighed somewhere between 1 pound and 5. Not much help.

So I went upstairs and stepped on my scale (not wise when you're wearing clothes and boots). I took note of the number and then stepped on the sale again, this time with my yams in hand. Victory! The yams weighed 2.8 lbs. Perfect!

Now on to the recipe.

Note: It's almost like a dessert, but fun for a Sunday night dinner.

  • 6 medium yams or sweet potatoes (2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

  1. Scrub yams or sweet potatoes. Cut off woody portions and ends.
  2. In a 4-quart Dutch oven cook yams, covered, in enough boiling, salted water to cover for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Peel and cup up yams.
  3. Mash yams with a potato masher or with an electric mixer on low speed. Add milk, brown sugar, butter or margarine, egg, vanilla, and salt. Beat until fluffy. Add additional milk, if desired. Turn into a greased 10x6x2-inch baking dish.
  4. In a small saucepan melt butter or margarine over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, flour, and pecans. Mix well. Spoon pecan mixture over casserole.
  5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Serves 8.
The recipe was perfect, since I already had all of the ingredients at home. I set out to make the casserole. Step 1 -- no problem. Step 2 -- Dutch oven? Forgive me, but the only Dutch oven I've ever heard of doesn't cook yams...

After a little Google searching, I realized that I'd have to boil the yams in a pot with a lid since I don't own a Dutch oven. It worked out just fine.

For step 3, I recommend the Kitchen Aid. It took a lot longer to mix than I thought, so I was glad not to have to hold a hand mixer. In the end I still had a lot of chunks, but M. confirmed that actually made the recipe even better.

Do any of you own a Dutch oven? If you do, do you find that you use it a lot?

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