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Super Simple Garnish for Thanksgiving Yam Dish

Sometimes we just don’t have time for vegetable carving. So, here is a super simple way to quickly dress up a dish of yams for Thanksgiving. Just add yam and sweet potato flowers to the top of your marshmallow covered yams.

flower decorated yam dish for Thanksgiving

My family likes both types of yams so I put them side by side in the same dish.

After assembling your favorite sweet potato or yam dish, cover with mini-marshmallows and bake. While the yams are baking:

1. Slice some yams and sweet potatoes about 1/4 inch thick.
2. Steam or microwave them just till they are a bit soft but still firm.
3. Get out a few cookie cutters of varying sizes and shapes and use them to cut the sweet potatoes and yam slices into flowers.
4. Arrange your yam and sweet potato flowers on top of the marshmallows just before serving.

My dish of yams looks this way because some of our family likes the whipped yams topped with marshmallows and some prefer the chunky yams with peaches and cashews with no marshmallows. So, I made both and put them in the same dish, side by side.

Here are the recipes for each:

I’ve been making this one for the last 30 years.
Yam and Cashew Bake

1/2 cup brown sugar (or less)
1/2 cup cashews (or more)
1/2 t. ground ginger (or more to taste)
2 pounds yams, cooked, peeled and cut into thick pieces
1 15- ounce can of peach slices, well drained
3 tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the brown sugar, cashews, ginger and salt. In a 10x6x2 inch baking dish, layer half the yams, half the peach slices and half the brown sugar mixture. Repeat layers. Dot with butter. Bake, covered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Spoon syrup over yams before serving. Garnish with additional cashews. Serves 6-8.

Here is how to make the whipped yams that my mom made when I was a kid.

Moms Marshmallow Covered Whipped Yams

Yam flower carved with corrugated U-cutters


2  29 ounce cans of Yams in syrup, drained.
2-3 tablespoons of butter – melted
1/4 to 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup or so of cream, half and half or milk.

Optional – pecans

With a mixer of food processor, beat the Yams, melted butter, brown sugar, and milk (or cream or half and half) until you have the consitency of smooth whipped potatoes. Stir in pecans if you like.

Spoon into a baking dish, top with mini-marshmallows and bake at 350 degrees until the potatoes are warmed and the marshmallows are toasty and a bit bubbly.

Decorate if you like with cookie cutter yams and serve.

Of course you can decorate your yam dishes with carved yam flowers that are more sophisticated than these made with cutter cutters but this is a super fast and easy way to do it.

Learn to carve like a pro

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3 Responses to Super Simple Garnish for Thanksgiving Yam Dish

  1. Michelle November 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    I have had the pleasure of eating Nita’s Yam & Cashew Bake…..YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe and the beatiful way to easily decorate the dish!

  2. linda November 22, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I will try this recipe of yours. yamlicious


  1. 2 more Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas | Fruit & Vegetable Carving Blog - November 12, 2011

    […] can get more details and my two delicious yam recipes by clicking here. They are very old recipes, much used and much loved by my family. Maybe your family will love […]

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