Monday, March 1, 2021

March Color Challenge

It's March 1st, so we have a new Color Challenge Block


This month we are using 

Red/Orange

and featuring

Yams!


Big question here...
Are we dealing with yams or sweet potatoes? 


The skin of a "real" yam kind of looks like tree bark, while the sweet potato skin is more reddish/orange. Plus, the "meat" of a yam is more starchy and often compared to a russet potato in flavor. 

I'm not going to get into a debate about the differences, because there is sooooo much info out there that it would make your head spin; but this chart from the Mississippi Extension Office provides a quick, down and dirty glance at the differences.


There are botanical differences between the two, with sweet potatoes belonging to the morning glory family of plants. The edible parts of the sweet potato are called roots, while yam edible parts are called tubers. Sweet potatoes are more prolific than yams, producing 4-10 roots per plant, compared to 1-5 for yams.  Generally, I don't see yams in my grocery stores. And, most of the time, the sweet potatoes are labeled "Sweet Potatoes/Yams." 

Both plants are nutritious and provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. Many medical professionals believe that sweet potatoes can help protect again cancer and cardiovascular disease. And, because of its low glycemic index numbers, sweet potatoes can be enjoyed by diabetics. I will give fair warning here though, many people who enjoy a baked sweet potato often slather it with a brown sugar, cinnamon, butter mixture that completely changes that glycemic index number. I also have memories of sweet potato casserole that included lots of sugar, eggs, pecans and mini marshmallows. I was never a fan of that, until I became and adult and found a recipe that made it less sweet. If and when I do make it, which isn't often because I am the only one in the family that likes it, I have adjusted the recipe to be much less sweet and serve it as a dessert - and there are NO marshmallows! 

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I had fun finding the fabric for this month. Who knew that there was sweet potato fabric available? 


As you can see, I used the same green that I've been using the past two months. I love how those pieces just seem to float in this block!


I had the perfect reddish/orange fabric in my stash for my 6" blocks and think it looks great with the light-bright mosaic fabric. 
Again, I love how these pieces just float in the block.

To get your copy of the block instructions, be sure to visit Jen's blog

I think I've mentioned that I have a vision in my head for finished projects, but that I have yet to finalize that vision. I will say that with each month, the vision is becoming more solidified and I am getting quite excited about it. I am not going to spill the beans, but I can tell you that I will not be making two large quilts as I have done in the past. 

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Thank you to the First Quarter Sponsors!
Let's show them our appreciation and check out their products.
Jen has a complete list of the sponsors HERE






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It's recipe time and this one is a bit different. It is best if it can be grilled, but when that's not an option, it can be made in the oven. 

Yam and Pear Kabobs


Ingredients

1 large yam (sweet potato), chopped into 1 - 1 1/2" cubes
2 zucchini, cut into 1" chunks
2 firm pears, chopped into 1 - 1 1/2" cubes (if the pears are too ripe, they will fall apart and not work well)
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce

Instructions

1. Mix the wine and teriyaki sauce in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the yams, zucchini, and pears.
2. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate (longer is better)
3. If grilling - fire up the grill to medium high and let it get hot. If cooking in the oven, pre-heat oven to 300 degrees 
4. Put yams, zucchini, and pears on metal skewers (flat is best, but not necessary).
**If you are making this in the oven and do not want to place on skewers, you don't have to. Just place the yams, zucchini, and pears in a metal cooking sheet, keeping them in a single layer.
5. Grill 30-40 minutes, basting with the marinade as they are cooking. Turn the skewers often until they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. If not using skewers, gently turn the food frequently with a spoon and marinate as they cook.
6. If cooking in the oven rather than grilling, once the yams, zucchini, and pears are tender, broil for one minute to make them crispy.
7. Remove from grill or oven, transfer to serving plate and enjoy!

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Here are my two blocks together. I really enjoy the pictures with both blocks. It is amazing how different they look. 


Check out these other bloggers to see their interpretation of this month's block. 
I'm not going to lie; I'm also looking forward to some new recipes.  :-) 

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