Monthly Archives: August 2010

Curry in the kitchen

Last night I wanted to use my eggplant and my heirlooms and I went searching for a recipe!
Jon has been talking about wanting Indian food all week and when he heard me talking about trying to find a recipe he beat me to the punch.
He found a recipe in another one of his Indian cookbooks that he wanted me to make.

Although some of the English translation in this book isn’t that good, it’s still a really good cookbook and you can figure out what they mean most of the time.
I started off by microplain grating about a tablespoon of ginger and mincing 3 cloves of garlic. I use my pampered chef slap chop to chop up garlic finely and I am proud of it! You can make fun of me all you want, but this thing makes my garlic go from this…

To this…

In about 4 seconds. Try beating me with a knife, I dare you.
Then finely chop a medium yellow onion and a large tomato (or in my case, an heirloom tomato)
Look how pretty this tomato was on the inside!

Next, I put my 2 medium sized eggplants in a 500 degree oven for 20 minutes.
They started out looking like this

And after 20 minutes in a hot oven, looked like this

I let them cool a little bit, and then peeled off the skin and threw them into a bowl. Take a few paper towels and squish all the liquid out of them until it’s just a semi-dry pulp. Put the pulp onto a cutting board and chop it up. Put the pulp back into the bowl and give it a good stir with a fork and it should look like this

Next, add 9 Tbs of vegetable oil to a pan over medium high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Now dump in your eggplant pulp and cook for 8 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the chopped tomato, half of a cup of frozen peas, season with ground coriander and salt, and cook for another 10 minutes.
While that was working I poured myself a glass of one of my favorite wines

This wine will ALWAYS remind me of wine tasting in the Yakima Valley with the Ellensburg girls and Regan getting super pissed when she asked if she could buy it the minute we walked in the winery and the lady said, “We’ll get to that honey. Just hold on a minute.”
Of course, I had to use my matching glass

OK! Now your curry should be done! I served mine with a side of basmati rice and a piece of frozen (and then cooked) garlic naan from Trader Joe’s.

I plan on keeping my freezer permanently stocked with this garlic naan. It’s super tasty, super cheap, and way easier than making naan.
This curry was easy and really delicious! Indian food is a lot easier to make than you would think, you just need fresh ingredients and the right spices.
Have a happy Monday!


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I’ve got the blues!

The blueBERRIES!
However, first things first. This morning I went to breakfast with Lauren and her friend Brenden. They live in Portland, but they were driving through town after the Keith Urban/John Mayer concert. Keith and John have GOT to be the most random match up I have ever heard of. We went to Antojitos Mexicanos and had delicious Mexican cuisine that I can’t prove to you because I’m an idiot and took not one picture of my sweet friends face OR my delicous huevos rancheros.

Next, Sarah and I drove on over to the Yakima Farmer’s Market. I hadn’t been to our farmer’s market since high school and boy was I surprised at how good it was! Plenty of fresh produce and people every where! I got out of there with eggplants, a huge head of lettuce, white peaches, heirloom tomatoes and the smallest plums I’ve ever seen.

That’s not a cherry tomato, that’s a plum.

See? Pit= plum.
Then we went to a “Pick your own blueberries” farm!

Sarah was a serious trooper pickin’ those lovely blues. She broke her foot and was trucking right along!
I’m so glad she brought me here! I had fun picking berries and listening to a little girl and her Mom talk about how to find the good berries.
I made out like a bandit.

Jon and I will be eating blueberries for weeks!
I got home and immediately made blueberry goodies.

Blueberry scones were what I settled on but blueberry muffins might be in my near future.
Tonight I’m making dinner involving one of my heirlooms and my eggplants.
But that’s a post for tomorrow 🙂

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Dearest Music Videos…

Please stop putting these weird, fleshy colored, odd-shaped puppets in your music videos
They make me want to throw up
Not only are they gross looking, but why do they have to explode and fall apart?

I’ve literally stumbled upon these videos one on top of the other in the past two weeks
And to put it mildly, I hate those fleshy animals
Am I the only one here who thinks these are gross and a bad idea?
And why does Kristen Bell love that blob so much?
Get over it
He’s a gross blob

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An Eventful Monday Evening

This week I am on a healthy eating mission since we ate twice our body weight every day we were at the beach last week. So, naturally, I texted Sarah to see if she wanted to have girl’s night early this week. I made promises of a delicious healthy meal AND an unwatched episode of True Blood on my DVR. She couldn’t resist. I got home and was instantly hungry after work but dinner wasn’t for a couple of hours. I decided to try out something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile; baked kale chips.

Almost every review I read about these chips said they tasted just like potato chips. I am here to tell you they do not. Don’t shoot the messenger! They are pretty tasty but I don’t want you to read a review and see a future of healthy potato-chip-like nirvana and then blame me when they taste like crunchy kale. Still, they were good and I didn’t regret making them. I just wish everyone wouldn’t have told me they taste like potato chips.

For dinner I decided to make a healthier version of shrimp scampi. Instead of pasta I used quinoa, which I’ve been wanting to try for awhile. It was really delicious and super easy to make.
I chopped up a shallot and I think 3 cloves of garlic super tiny.

A tablespoon of butter, two tablespoons of olive oil into a hot pan
Toss in a pound of frozen shrimp until pink
Remove shrimp and add one more tablespoon of butter and a drizzle of olive oil
Add a splash of white wine, salt and pepper
Chop up 1/4 of a bunch of parsley and throw that in there
Put shrimp back into pan

Follow directions on package for quinoa

Put a couple spoon fulls of quinoa into your bowl
Top with shrimp and pour some of that sauce over it
Grate some parm on top and enjoy!

I know, I know…it’s not SUPER healthy because of the butter and parmesan but in comparison to how much food this yields it’s really a very small amount per serving.
We really enjoyed this! Especially while watching True Blood. A big thanks to Lauren to introducing me to True Blood. I am forever indebted to you.

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Tofu Bandwagon

Let me start this post off by making one thing very clear: I DO NOT LIKE TOFU. Every time I’ve had it I have never been all that impressed. I think the only time I’ve ever really enjoyed it was in miso soup or in the vegetarian pad thai from Sugar Thai. And enjoyed is a strong word. It was more like I didn’t really mind it being there. I could take it or leave it. Some of my pals would talk about baked tofu and how delicious it is and I was skeptical. Although I wasn’t a huge tofu fan I wanted to like it! It seemed like something I should like. I like most healthy foods and I try to incorporate things that my body thanks me for later into my every day diet.
So last night I decided to throw caution to the wind and try this way of preparing this food that is pretty foreign to me.

I researched how to bake it extensively until I came upon a method I felt like was fairly trustworthy and easy to execute. Yet another blog I follow KathEats. She seemed to be a professional on the matter so I followed suit. The only thing I did that she said was unnecessary was set weight on top of my tofu. Which means I placed a paper towel on a plate, put my block of tofu on top of that, another paper towel on top of that, and a heavy book on top of THAT! It takes all the excess moisture out of the tofu and makes it extra firm. The ONLY reason I knew to do this was because Alton Brown said to do it and if Alton commands I listen!

After my tofu had a heavy book on it for about 20 minutes I cut my tofu into little bite sized slices. I would say it was about 35 pieces.

Salt and pepper those puppies!
Then I got a little crazy…
I took out some of this

and schmered it ALL over both sides of my baby tofus. (that jarred curry is from Trader Joe’s and I highly recommend trying it.)
Curry baked tofu? Yeah. I went there.
Then I followed that with some cayenne pepper!
I know! Crazy! I like spicy. Don’t judge.
I sprayed a cookie sheet with some non-stick spray and spread them out

Into the oven at 450 degrees, or until you think they look done.

They were crunchy and chewy and delicious! I had to put most of them in the fridge cause I wasn’t all that hungry so I’ll be interested to see how they are as left overs…

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Home Again, Home Again…

We’re home from the beach! It was very relaxing and beautiful in Manzanita. The cabin that Jon’s parents rented was about a block away from the beach and about a mile away from the cute little town. Vacation consisted of a lot of laying around, Monopoly, reading, Mudd Dogs (a cute old man that sold Chicago style hot dogs out of a little stand), walks, beaching and eating.

Jon’s friend Nate came too. And for all of you who are getting confused with these Nates I speak of, we have 4 different friends named Nate, and yes it gets quite confusing. The first day I got there we walked down to the beach to see the sights. And BOY did we see some sights…

See that man out there in the ocean? That man is naked. I don’t know why he was naked, but he was. Luckily he had a nice skin apron that hung down from his belly and covered his “unmentionables” so that I didn’t have to hide my eyes. I also played king of the mountain on a tree stump I found.

I’m king of the mountain!!
The next day was epic, to put it mildly. We went crabbing, which I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing before.
My man was clearly the strongest and best at hauling up the big, heavy baskets filled with delicious crab.

You’re only allowed to take home the male crabs that are over a certain length so we ended up with nine crabs. Which was plenty for the six of us!

Mmm, delicious delicious crab! Jon’s dad is an amazing cook and we ate like kings all week long.
I miss the beach already

Time for a night full of laundry and trashy reality television.
Oh and PS. I suck at flying kites

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The Great Outdoors!

Sometimes random adventures are a much needed necessity. Especially outdoor ones after you’ve taken an office job and haven’t gotten to really hang out with the sun all summer. Brooke and I met at Fred Meyer, almost bought an inflatable whale and lawn golf, got back on track, bought groceries and a six pack of Black Cherry Hard Lemonaide (which is delicious) and headed up towards Rim Rock.

We really wanted to go canoeing and Nate recommended a place called Silver Beach to rent one from. We parked the car, walked in, asked if we could rent a canoe and they looked at us like we had brain damage. Apparently it was “too windy” to rent a canoe (which was laughable after living in Ellensburg for two years). So we bought a $5 day pass to hang out at what they called their “beach”. There were people and kids everywhere and it was super shitty. We instantly decided this wasn’t the place for us, didn’t even try to get our five dollars back because the people in there were extremely rude, and headed into the unknown.

Peace out Silver Beach! You obviously hate people and money!

We then turned down a random little dirt road that wasn’t marked and found this

Hellllooooooooooo Clear Lake!!

There was almost no one down here. It was serene and very relaxing. Perfect weather with just a slight breeze. We listened to some M. Ward and basked in the sun. We hopped in the FREEZING cold water on Brooke’s floaty and took in the scenery. It was absolutely beautiful. I think we both needed a little girl time too so that was an added bonus.

Thanks Clear Lake for giving us a relaxing Saturday afternoon. I owe you one!

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