Tag Archives: Christmas Dinner

Candied Yams for Recipe Friday

Today I want to share a recipe that is new for me, something I made for Christmas dinner that I’ve never made before – Candied Yams. I don’t know why I decided to make them. My husband was actually not too thrilled when I told him we were having yams with our spiral ham on Christmas Day. “I don’t think I like yams,” he said. I made them anyway, but made sure we also had mashed potatoes and gravy as well as a vegetable that I know he likes to round out the meal.

Since I had never made Candied Yams before, I had a little research to do. I started by asking the produce guy at my local Safeway whether I should use yams or sweet potatoes for the dish that has little marshmallows on top. He said to use yams, so I bought three big ones. I ended up only using two of them.

Next, I searched the Internet for various recipes for Candied Yams (many of which called for sweet potatoes). I found a variety of recipes and eventually created my own based on a conglomeration of the ideas I’d gleaned from the recipes I read. This recipe is the result. I think it turned out pretty good, and my husband even ate some and said they were good. My son liked them, too.

Candied Yams

There are only three of us so there were lots of leftovers. A big family dinner would be a better time to make these Candied Yams.

Candied Yams


2 large yams
1 small (6 oz) can pineapple tidbits
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ to ½ cup pecans
½ tsp nutmeg
little marshmallows


Peel yams and cut into cubes. Boil in enough water to cover, with a little salt, until yams are tender. Drain and return to pan. Add pineapple tidbits and juice, brown sugar, pecans, nutmeg, and salt. Mash and combine with a potato masher.

Turn yam mixture out into an 8″ square baking dish. Bake for 1 hour in 275° oven (if also baking a spiral ham) or for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350° oven (if also cooking a roast or turkey). Remove from oven and cover the top with little marshmallows. (If you want to, you can line them up all nice and neat, but I didn’t have the patience for that, so I just poured a bunch out and made sure the top was covered). Return to the oven and broil on center rack on low broil heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until marshmallows are browned and a little bubbly.

Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before serving. Note that this dish really holds its heat – we all almost burned our tongues on it.


Filed under Faith, Family, Life, postaday2011, Recipe

A God of Surprises

Christmas Day is more than half over. The presents are all opened and some have been tried out already. We’ve eaten our Christmas “dinner” of glazed spiral ham, garlic mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, and rosemary cauliflower and carrots. There’s still pecan pie for dessert, but I’m still too full.

Last night we attended a wonderful Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. It is my favorite service of the year. We always close by singing Silent Night as each person lights their candle from the candle of the person beside or in front of them. All the other lights are dimmed and by the end of the song the place is lit mostly by candlelight. It always amazes me how all of those small flames can add up to such a bright light. It is a wonderful reminder of how we each carry the light of Christ in our hearts and together we can light the world with His love.

We had a guest speaker, Steve Halliday, who shared a message of the surprise of Christmas. Even though God foretold the coming of the Messiah, with at least 100 Old Testament prophecies regarding His birth alone, when it actually happened Jesus’ birth was full of surprises. Instead of the King coming to earth into a rich and well-connected family, He was born to a young peasant girl and a carpenter. Instead of being born in a posh hospital, He was born in a lowly stable. Instead of announcing His birth to royalty and aristocrats, the angels brought news of the Messiah’s birth to lowly shepherds. Nothing was what you would expect; it was all full of surprises.

Steve shared a story of how when he was a child his older sister always tried to guess what her Christmas presents were. She would shake, squeeze, and hold presents up to the light trying to figure what was in the box. She didn’t like to wait and wanted to know what the surprise was. His story reminded me of the time, when I was 9 or 10, that I really wanted to know what was in my presents. One day before Christmas, when no one was home, I carefully peeled the tape and opened every one of my presents, discovering what each one was. Christmas was not the same that year. There was no surprise on Christmas morning (though I had to feign surprise so as not to be found out!).

The rest of the Christmas Eve message was that God still has surprises for us today. We might have some idea what He is going to do because He has told us in His Word. He will give us wisdom if we ask. James 1:5. He will answer our prayers if we pray in His name. John 14:13-14. He will take care of all our needs. Matthew 6:31-33. The real question is how will He fulfill these promises. Therein lies the surprise. And if the incarnation is any indication, all of God’s surprises will be wonderful, indeed.

I often complain that I wish God would let me in on His plan. Seems my tendency to want to know what my presents are ahead of time is still there. But I think I’ve learned my lesson. As I thought about the promise of God’s surprises and the disappointment I felt that Christmas morning when I knew what all my presents were going to be, I realized that it is best not to know ahead of time what God has planned. It is better to have faith that the fulfillment of His promises will be better than I can ever imagine. Then when His surprises come I’ll be delighted by the wonder of His glorious gifts.

On this Christmas Day, I wish you all the wonder and joy of the surprises God has in store for you!


Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music