December 10, 2012

Peanut and yam stew | Sunday morning with Miss E


It's that time of year again when the damp chill in the air makes me think of soup and stew. And for some reason, feeling chilly makes me crave peanuts. When I saw a recipe for a yam and peanut stew on Gena's blog, I immediately printed out the recipe because it looked so warming. I love N. African inspired stews, and I have a recipe for a spicy version that I think is perfection, on my blog, but I'm always interested in trying different recipes. Gena's version was a hearty, thick stew that was really delicious. We had to make a couple of substitutions reflecting the ingredients we had on hand, so our stew had cauliflower instead of kale, and toasted sunflower seeds instead of peanuts, but it was still yummy and satisfying. The next day I bought kale and added it to the leftover stew, and it was a great addition that I recommend. In fact, lately I've been adding kale to every soup I make. I stir-fry it quickly and add it just before serving.

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On Sunday morning
Callie is wishing Miss E were still at our house.

My 4-1/2 year old granddaughter came to visit for several hours on Sunday morning, and here's what we did:
  1. Played Chutes and Ladders.
  2. Had a training session with Callie — sit, stay, come, fetch. (Callie was hysterical with joy!)
  3. Snacked on smoothies (banana, pineapple, mango, cranberry, hemp hearts, almond milk) and brownies (Gone Pie coconut)
  4. Playacted three stories — Thumbelina, Rapunzel, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). I got to be a fairy godmother, a mother and a prince. I even got to wear my golden cape.*
  5. Drew masterpieces with colored pencils.
  6. Played hand drums for each other so we could dance.
  7. Had a picnic on a rug with carrot sticks and hummus and olives.

* Last summer at a garage sale, I came upon a shiny, sparkly gold cape that looked like the perfect costume for playing with Miss E. As I was admiring it, the home owner started telling me that she had two of them, blah, blah, blah, and suddenly my fantasizing brain realized the truth. "This is a Christmas tree skirt, isn't it?" I said. "Yes," she confirmed. No matter, I decided; I tried it on and could see it was a perfect fairy godmother cape. And it is. It also is a sumptuous dress for a four-year-old princess. Who knew a Christmas tree skirt could be so useful?


    27 comments:

    1. That stew looks delicious! That Sunday with your granddaughter sounds just perfect. :)

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      1. Getting to play like a 4-year-old is always fun, especially when dress-up and dancing is involved!

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    2. mmmm that looks so tasty! sounds like you had a nice time :)

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      1. I think peanuts and yams just naturally go together. Likewise costumes and dancing.

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    3. Aw, I could use a kid in my life like miss E to keep my imagination fresh and my mind occupied. Sounds like a great time. Gorgeous cape! I had a satin-y and brocaded bedspread that I used when I was young and pretended I was the Princess and the Pea (well, the princess in that story. I didn't pretend to be the pea.)
      Beautiful soup. I've always wanted to try a variation on that spicy African yam-peanut soup. I bet the kale is great in it.

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      1. Miss E's imagination is always on overdrive, and it's great fun to be with her (and a great relief when she leaves). I don't think Miss E knows about the princess and the pea — I'll have to get a copy of that from the library.

        Spicy yam and peanut soup is the best especially with lots of jalapenos!

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    4. "And for some reason, feeling chilly makes me crave peanuts." Now that is something I have never heard before. Peanuts, huh? That is so interesting!
      I love kale in soup--I add it to just about every soup I make. It adds a nice chewy healthy deliciousness :-)

      Your Sunday sounds fabulous. Grandma's are the best!

      Courtney

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      1. I should have been more clear about that. I don't even like peanut butter that much, but when it's made into things like peanut sauce and peanut stew, it seems very warming and comforting and rich. Maybe that's weird, but I crave things like peanut and yam stew in the winter.

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      2. Not weird at all! I crave soups and stews in the winter too. I never thought about peanuts, but I am sure they are lovely as part of a stew.

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    5. We love yam & peanut soups and have three versions of them that we rotate. Just had one of them last week. So good!

      You sound like such a fun grandmother. Sounds like you had a fantastic time! I especially love the skirt cape. ha! So awesome. :)

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      1. Yams (or squash) and peanuts just go together perfectly, don't they?

        Ah, the cape — so glittery and um ... garish. It's perfect!

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    6. I'm going to have to try that soup; it looks fantastic! I'm a big fan of peanuts or cashews in my food.

      So happy Callie is settling in with the entire family. Between the pooch and the cape, Miss E couldn't have asked for a better day.

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      1. Callie and Miss E find each other fascinating! :) Actually, Callie loves everyone she meets.

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    7. I love African-inspired stews, too! It's time I started playing around with recipes to keep up with you. I bet Miss E had a great day with you! I love the story of the cape. Who says we can't redo something old into something new?

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      1. I'll be looking for a N. African stew on your blog. Maybe a N. African stew burger. :D

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    8. Stew looks warming and wonderful. Sounds like you, Callie and Miss E are having a grand old time. Exhausted just reading about all you did :)

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      1. Not as exhausted as I was! Whew.

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    9. Aw, that sounds like a day of pure fun!! I love you putting the tree skirt to such fantastical and creative use! I'm sure it's much more fetching on you and Miss E than around the bottom of a tree!

      The soup looks warming and delicious too! I'm with you on that: it is definitely soup weather!

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      1. It may not be the most flattering cape in the world but it sure is glittery! And fun to wear.

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    10. I just tried a peanutty type of soup for the first time myself, the flavor is so good. I'll have to try the stir-fried kale on top next time. What a fun morning! Sounds like everyone had a great time. :-)

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      1. I never was a fan of peanut butter on bread, but it seems really great in soup and sauces!

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    11. I confess - I'm one of those people that eats peanut butter off a spoon straight from the jar and considers it pretty close to food heaven! I love that it works in soups too!

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      1. My husband eats like that — straight from the jar.

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    12. That picture of Callie pining for Miss E breaks my heart! So sweet!

      What a beautiful bowl of soup! I've always been intrigued by the yam/sweet potato and peanut soups, but I'm afraid I wouldn't like the combo. One of these days I'll have to make a small batch to see how it goes.

      I don't care if it's a Christmas tree skirt, your cape looks very regal! :)

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      1. I can't believe you haven't tried yams and peanut butter — it's so good! I'm not even a big fan of peanut butter and I like it. You should give it a try — I made a beet loaf. :)

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    13. LOL, I didn't see the "punchline" coming on your story of the Golden Cape! I love that the artist in you saw something much more glamorous and magical than a mundane tree skirt. I think it's quite dazzling on you. Sounds like a fun day (poor Callie looks bereft now that it's over and the ingenue has returned to her home in the Hollywood Hills! Such a cutie). I had one grandmother who was fun and creative like you (she just didn't know the right foods to serve at a picnic, unfortunately!) and I loved spending time with her, both as a kid and as an adult. (My other grandmother... well, let's just say if you needed a Wicked Witch or Evil Stepmother for a play acting story, you'd need look no further. She was a natural). ;-)

      We've made a spicy yam and kale soup before and loved it, but have never so much as wafted a peanut over a soup pot. Might have to give it a go. BW loves peanut butter (me, meh) but we both love yams and we both are crazy for soup.

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    14. The "cape" was hanging amid costume-like apparel, so my confusion seems reasonable, kind of. And, it is, after all, a very fine tree skirt! Miss E believes it's a golden cape and that's what matters.

      The truth is I don't really have to be all that creative — just provide the materials — since Miss E makes a fine creative director. I just do as I'm told. :)

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