October 2012

Just a quick note for people thinking of trying Chantix. I realize that it doesn’t work for everyone, but it really worked for me. I didn’t even want to quit smoking, and figured I never would. I was a hardcore smoker, but after a couple of weeks of taking Chantix and not even trying to quit smoking, I actually started forgetting to smoke. Forgetting! It was huge!

When I went to work without cigarettes for the first time, it was a little scary, but then I realized how FREE I was! I didn’t have to worry about carrying them around, buying them, finding a place to smoke them, finding a way to get rid of the smell of them (nothing works, by the way).

Over three and a half years later, I am thrilled that I grabbed the opportunity to hold onto that freedom by never allowing myself to ever again “just have one.”

I’m so grateful that it worked for me!

I discovered purple yams at my new favorite little Thai grocery store and restaurant. Mostly I just nuke them and eat them as they are, like in this picture, but today I wanted something with coconut milk and curry. I set out to make soup, and landed on mashed sweet potatoes instead!

  • 1 large purple yam (diced, in pan with water to cover)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon panaeng curry paste (canned)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Cook the yams

In a covered saucepan, heat the yams until the water boils, then reduce heat and simmer until softened, but not complete mush (like they’re easy to stick a fork in, but don’t fall apart much). Drain, even though I hate throwing out all of those antioxidants and vitamin A in that purple water! Transfer to a serving bowl that you can mix them in.

Make the sauce

Shake up the coconut milk to mix the cream and the thin milk. This is only important when you use half the can. Pour half into the saucepan, and add a tablespoon (more if you like really hot stuff) of the panaeng curry paste. Bring to a boil, stirring to mix the curry completely with the coconut milk. It turns a pale pinkish peachy color with bits of red chili, and begins to thicken.

Mix and texturize

To the bowl of yams, add the sauce and the coconut. I’m not sure how much I actually used, but you can do it to taste. I might’ve used more than half a cup… Ideally, I’d use a potato masher, but since I don’t have one, I used a mixer, first mashing the potatoes down a bit with the beaters. Mix on medium until the biggest chunks are gone, then turn it up–you might even get a purple-splotched countertop for your troubles! I like them with nice purple chunks of sweet potato and shredded coconut all through to give them a lot of texture, but again, it’s to taste.

Mmm, lightly spicy, lightly sweet, coconutty texture and flavor, and PURPLE!!! What could be better?

I’ll get a picture sometime when the light is right.