So I cooked this past holiday weekend.
I’ve ingested more calories in three days than I have in a month, which forced me to go to spin class almost every day of the weekend to burn 600 calories each spin to get ahead of the game. Luckily, I had no problem with the fuel to get me through it.
However, the sense of accomplishment won the day since I cooked a little outside of the box for me. Instead of reaching for the canned yams and cranberry sauce, I decided to forgo the pre-made stuff in a tin in favor of the real-from-scratch way. And it was incredibly enlightening to know that various side dishes in which we usually cut corners are so damn easy to make.
Here’s what I did:
Cranberry Sauce (recipe found from the back of the bag of cranberries):
Two cups fresh cranberries (you can easily find them in the veggie section)
3/4 brown sugar
1 cup apple juice or cider
1 tsp of All Spice
1 tsp of Cinnamon for a little extra kick
Place everything in a small sauce pot and let those bad boy ingredients simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the cranberries start to pop and develop into the consistency of jam.
Put in fridge to chill a bit, but you can serve warm. It’s up to you.
Then, I went nuts with candied yams. I took some of the ingredients from the cranberry sauce above and applied it to this. The recipe was so insanely good, I could have made pie crust and filled it with this goodness I whipped up. It was incredible. A bit too sweet for some. But once a year? Who cares?
Allspice Candied Yams
2-3 large yams peeled and chopped into squares
1 cup of brown sugar
One bag of mini marshmallows (About two cups, but add according to preference)
1 cup apple juice or cider
1 tbs all spice
1 tbs cinnamon
In a bowl, begin to layer the ingredients
-one handful of yams
-a sprinkle of all spice
-a splash of apple juice
-a sprinkle of brown sugar
-a handful of marshmallows
Do the same as above.
Then top the layers with another handful of marshmallows and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.
Bake at 350 for 45minutes to one hour.
There you go…two delicious dishes you might buy already made that you can do yourself.
And no – this blog is not becoming a recipe site. With the holidays on our radar, food tends to be an important element toward the festivities. Food offers an outlet for creativity that can please others, provide nourishment, warmth and make memories for years to come.
Sometimes food tells stories, sustains traditions and stirs flavors and feelings that come from the heart, the mind and the hands of a loved one who may no longer be alive to create these familiar dishes for you.
Food is a great story teller, and the listed ingredients are the components to that story.
If only telling that kind of story didn’t make me want to live without pants for the weekend.