Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend cooking: yams & apple casserole, roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes

I am making yam and apple casserole, baked potatoes, roasted broccoli. To warm up the house, and my belly.

Someone gave me the yams, and apples, and also red potatoes.

Using yams is always kind of a struggle. They are a hard vegetable to deal with, literally. They take a long time to cook, they're hard to peel, and so on.

When I receive gifts of food from thoughtful friends, I use them. So when I received apples and yams so of course I googled "apples and yams." Recipes abounded. I am making two casseroles, one for my friend who gave me the ingredients.

The apples had to be cored, peeled and sliced, and the yams boiled, cooled, peeled and then sliced. Yikes, a lot of work. You layer the sliced apples and sliced yams. In a small saucepan mix cornstarch, apple juice, butter, brown sugar and lemon juice. Pour over the apple-yam layers. Bake, like, forever, and baste constantly.

There is only 5 minutes left on the timer and there is a lot of juice left. So much I wonder if I doubled the cornstarch. We will see in the end. I'll take the casseroles out and let them rest, and see how much juice remains.

While the oven was on I roasted broccoli too.

As for the red potatoes...they had been accidentally frozen. My friend gave them to me saying, "See if you can do anything with these. I'm going to throw them out." I love a challenge.

Unfortunately, this was not challenging. LOL. All I did was google "I accidentally froze red potatoes."

The first search result was from a frugal site, which was responding to a question, "what can I do with accidentally frozen potatoes?" I love the internet.

The red potatoes had been frozen whole, in a Ziploc. I squeezed them hard. The starch separates, and a lot of water came out. The skins slipped off easily, too. The meat turned a bit gray, but oh well.

I crumbled the meat into a baking dish and popped them in the oven with the other stuff I was baking. This would continue drying them. I did not add any spices, salt, butter or milk. Just a pile o' potatoes, baking uncovered.

When the edges were getting a bit brown and crusty I took it out and let it cool. I decided to make mashed potatoes out of them. Add milk, salt and butter. I think they came out OK. I like potatoes any way they're served. I am giving half to the friend who gave me the potatoes and she will let me know if they are palatable.

It's a gorgeous day. I am going to add oil to the car, and clean the interior. I'll zip over to the friend's house and deliver the food. Then I plan to vacuum my apartment and then take a nap. I want to read this evening, with tea. It's the weekend and life is good.

Nope, the casseroles are still too juicy. Maybe I did forget to double the cornstarch. Or the recipe makes it this way. I'll never make this again, it's taken hours. My personal favorite-to-try recipe I found this morning is a spicy African yam-peanut soup. I'll do that next time, if I ever get yams again.


Grace to You said...

I bake sweet potatoes and apples together, and it is a lot of prep work, but my method is a little easier...I do boil the sweet potatoes first, cool, peel and slice, but I don't peel the apples, just slice them. Then I layer sweet potato slices in a 9x13 pan, add apples on top, then sliced butter, brown sugar (optional) and cinnamon sprinkled on top. Repeat the layers till the potatoes and apples are gone (I usually have 2 layers). So good!

Grace to You said...

I'd love to hear how the yam-peanut butter soup turns out, if you make it. I have a similarly-unusual recipe for a yam stew which sounds very weird but is actually quite good and cooks in the microwave so it's good for summer.

Sweet Potato Stew with Orange Juice and Black Beans

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 T chili powder
1 c orange juice
1 c water
1 T honey
salt to taste
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
2 t butter, softened
2 t flour
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

Put first 7 ingredients in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high power, stirring once, about 20 minutes or till potatoes are done but still hold their shape. Add beans. Blend butter and flour and add to the mixture. Microwave on high power 5 minutes or till beans are heated through and stew has thickened slightly.

Anonymous said...

Sweet potato tzimmes!!! That's my favorite way to eat sweet potatoes! Maybe you'd like them, too?


Anonymous said...

LOL, I use sweet potatoes and yams interchangeably, even though they are not technically the same.


Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I'm a believer...believe Jesus Christ died for my sin, was buried 3 days, and rose again!

Even so, knowing I will spend eternity with Him, no problems, no fear, pain, no evil world...I'm sad.

Seems life is always burdensome. The news. People hate each other. Hurt and pain in all forms.

I just want to give up. I can't though. My husband, kids, g-kids...they all want me here. You would think that would be enough motivation, right? Nope.

I read about the rapture. I see the world falling apart. Every morning when I wake up...I wish I wouldn't have.

I live a quiet life. I know who I am in Christ. This darkness though it's so thick. So strong.

I know how to smile. I share the gospel whenever I can. I try to make my family believe I'm okay. They know.

Are we all sad right now? Are all true believers sick of what is going on around us enough to not want to be here?

Elizabeth Prata said...

Hello Anonymous Believer,

Yes, a lot of people are longing for our deliverance from the presence of sin, so we can be where only glory abounds.

Even so, James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."

The bible speaks a lot about perseverance. GotQuestions teminds us

biblical exhortations to persevere in the Christian life. In his pastoral epistles to Timothy, the apostle Paul reminds the young pastor to “watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). Timothy’s character was that of a godly man, and his doctrine was sound and scriptural. Paul warned him to watch them both closely and persevere in them because—and this is a warning to all Christians—perseverance in godly living and believing the truth always accompany genuine conversion (John 8:31; Romans 2:7).

Further exhortations to persevere in the Christian life come from James, who warns us to be “doers of the word and not hearers only” because those who hear but do not do are “deceiving themselves.” “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it [perseveres]…this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22-24). The sense here is that the Christian who perseveres in godliness and the spiritual disciplines will be blessed in the very act of persevering. The more we persevere in the Christian life, the more God grants His blessings upon us, thereby enabling us to continue to persevere. The psalmist reminds us that there is great reward in persevering in the Christian life. In keeping God’s commandments, there is “great reward” for our souls (Psalm 19:11), peace of mind, a clear conscience, and a witness to the world more eloquent than many words.

James also exhorts us to persevere “under trials” because those who do will be blessed and will receive the “crown of life” which God has promised (James 1:12). Just as the true believer will be eternally secure in his salvation, his faith will also persevere in affliction, sickness, persecution, and the other trials of life that befall all believers. If we desire to live godly lives in Christ, we will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), but the faithful will persevere, kept by the power of the Holy Spirit who is the guarantee of our salvation and who will keep us “strong to the end,” persevering so we will be “blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8).

Read more:

Here is a good essay about being grateful that the Lord put us here at such a time as this:

Pray frequently for the strength to persevere. We all feel it, but it glorifies God to keep cheerful knowing we have the future inheritance to look forward to.