November 2012

I’ve been all about purple sweet potatoes since I saw them in a bin at the Westgate Import Market this summer. They’re so beautiful, but I think I forgot to take a picture of them in candied form! Ah, there they are, in the purplish pink bowl. They’re not as brilliant of a purple candied as they are when you just nuke them and eat them plain, but they are so yummy! As my niece said, “I don’t like sweet potatoes, but these taste like Christmas should smell!”


  • 2 pounds of purple sweet potatoes
    (or regular, if you can’t find purple at an Asian market)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of pecans
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla


  1. Without peeling, cover whole sweet potatoes in water in a big pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are softening, but still firm.
  3. Cool, peel, and cut into chunks or slices into a baking dish.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. In a saucepan, add all other ingredients and bring to a boil, then pour over sweet potatoes.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Serve in a bowl, spooning sauce over any dry sweet potatoes.


I adapted this recipe from one for regular sweet potatoes that called for maple syrup (yick!) for which I substituted orange juice and honey, and then added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. I haven’t done a test drive on the amounts above for several reasons:

  1. I have no idea how many pounds of purple sweet potatoes I had. There were two big ones shaped like a human heart (with swirly patterns of purple and pale purple inside) and two long skinny ones (that looked like a purple tree trunk inside).
  2. I first made it with half the sauce ingredients, then realized that I’d forgotten the pecans and that it didn’t look like much sauce, so I made more sauce with the pecans without really measuring. it might not have been quite double the original amount.

Next time I make this, I’ll measure and update if necessary. I might even put the whole bag of pecans in. Yum!

Another cool thing: the sauce takes on this lovely berry color from the sweet potatoes. They look very dark in the picture, but you can definitely still tell that they’re purple!

Yay! Thanks to this Graham Mayor guy on a PCReview forum, even though the features are missing from Office 2007 onward, I can still make my MS Word text really, really obnoxious! Just like in the old days, when I centered everything on my web page and tried to use loudly patterned background images, many animated gifs, and blinking text for highlight!

Yay! In case you too want to relive the joys of multicolored, flashing, blinking, sparkling, shimmering, mummafummin’ marching text, here’s how you can do it!

  1. In Word, at the top left corner, click the Office button, and at the bottom of the menu that appears, click Word Options.
  2. In the dialog that appears, on the Popular tab, select the checkbox to Show Developer tab in the Ribbon, and click OK.
  3. Click the Developer ribbon, and in the Code section, click the Record Macro button.
  4. In the Record Macro dialog that appears, enter the Macro name: animatedFonts, and select Assign macro to Button.
  5. In the Word options dialog that appears, double-click the macro Normal.NewMacros.animatedFonts to add it to the Quick Access toolbar to the right, and click OK.
  6. Enter any text on the page, and in the Developer toolbar Code section, click Stop Recording.
  7. In the toolbar Code section click Macros, and in the dialog that appears, select animatedFonts and click Edit.
  8. In the Microsoft Visual Basic window that appears, delete all of the code in the Normal window and paste in the following:
    Sub animatedFonts()
        ' animatedFonts Macro
        Dim sAnimation As String
        If Len(Selection.Range) = 0 Then
            MsgBox "Select text first!", vbCritical, "No Text Selected"
            Exit Sub
        End If
        sAnimation = InputBox("Which animation? Enter the number: " & vbCr & _
        " 1. Blinking Background" & vbCr & _
        " 2. Las Vegas Lights" & vbCr & _
        " 3. Marching Black Ants" & vbCr & _
        " 4. Marching Red Ants" & vbCr & _
        " 5. Shimmer" & vbCr & _
        " 6. Sparkle Text" & vbCr & _
        " 0. None", "Font animation")
        Select Case sAnimation
            Case 1: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationBlinkingBackground
            Case 2: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationLasVegasLights
            Case 3: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationMarchingBlackAnts
            Case 4: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationMarchingRedAnts
            Case 5: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationShimmer
            Case 6: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationSparkleText
            Case 0: Selection.Font.Animation = wdAnimationNone
            Case Else:
        End Select
    End Sub
  9. Save and close the Microsoft Visual Studio window, and a new button is added to your Quick Start in Word (top left).
  10. Now highlight some text and click the new button. Enter a number from 1 to 6 and click OK!

Woo hoo!!!