Vegetarian Korma and a spider story
{Yikes!}

Man..... has it really been 11 days since I updated my everyday/foodie/life blog? Guess so.  It's been bookish posts lately and reading and cooking.  And bread making. Coming off such a nice time at the bayside has me dreaming about sitting by the water.....and not updating my online journal.

Well, to get back into a routine let me share this easy peasy Indian meal.  Yes, I did use a jarred sauce but sometimes a good quality jarred product is just the ticket.  More on that in a minute.

Let me tell you how I almost drove off the road last week. :-)

I am not a fan of spiders. Not at all. Last week we were heading to the park, I pulled down the sun visor and surprise! This fairly large brown spider drops on to the steering wheel. A scant 7 inches between me and scary brown spider.  If I see a spider on the ceiling or floor or counter I am prepared. Quick intake of breath, then a solid object is applied to extinguish said spider.

No time for all that!  I see it land (plummet actually), involuntary screech as my hands leave the wheel. Scared Doug, and probably Aja too, but fortunately I recovered enough to pull on to a dirt driveway. I'm out of the car in a flash looking for this thing everywhere. It probably went into a gap in the steering column. Let's hope it doesn't crawl out one day and go up a leg of my jeans.  You'll hear me screaming on the moon if that happens.

Ahem....so, here is the Korma.  So creamy with the coconut and spices.


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This is what I call a workday Korma because of the jarred sauce.  Sometimes you need a hot delicious meal on the table pronto.  There is still some chopping to do but I can get this served up in a half hour if I get right to it.  The key to convenience foods is using quality products.  Patak's is excellent, I love their sauces.


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Vegetarian Korma

2 medium potatoes, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
4 cups chopped vegetables (I used onions, garlic, cauliflower, carrots, red bell pepper and peas)
1 can chick peas (garbanzos), drained
1/2 cup cashews, optional
Korma sauce


INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cashews, and 1/2 cup plain yogurt. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Toss in cashews now if you are adding them.
  1. Stir in peas, bell pepper, and sauce into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.  Serve with warm naan.


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I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay............
{a pictorial post of our few days at the bay}

This photo below could sum up so much of our few days at the bay on St. George Island.

Relaxation.  I'm fairly sure we could live there. This was our dock at the rental and let me tell you, the water, sights and sounds were amazingly relaxing.

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We had several good photo opportunities from this dock.

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Each evening we were rewarded with beautiful sunsets. v3

The inside of the cottage was well appointed.  Nothing cheap here.  The furniture was in good shape, the mattress was fabulous, appliances in good condition...we wanted for nothing.  Not all rentals are this well kept up.  Wish we could buy it.

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 This hearth was raised up, just enough for me to catch my foot several times when passing by.  For Aja it was a taste of home as we have brick floors throughout our downstairs living area. Aja wasn't a fan of the wooden floors but she slowly got used to it.


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I loved the kitchen.

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 Whiskey Creek boat landing.

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Love them both!

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 Our old girl was ready to go home.  You can see the Apalachicola national forest through the window.  This is a quiet drive home, hardly any traffic.

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If we are lucky we can spend next Thanksgiving there but we will have to see how our annual leave situation works out.  We are also planning a trip to the mountains so....it's all about balance.

That's all I have for today.  Happy it's Friday and looking forward to this evening. 

Tell me about one of your favorite mini vacations, I like getting ideas from other folks!

Homemade Potato Soup and Croutons

Slowly but surely I will get a few photos uploaded of our time at the bay side.  But today, I wanted to share a homemade potato soup and croutons. Perfect for cool weather, I highly recommend it.

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I made homemade croutons and these were smashing in the soup.

There was a bit of leftover French loaf I made two days ago so I slather up two pieces with butter, crammed a bit of cheese in and made a rustic grilled cheese sandwich.

The ticket to success is letting this cool before cutting it into croutons. We were too hungry to wait :-)

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Potato Soup 

14 ounces of Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
1 TB butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Simply boil the potatoes for 15 minutes until soft.  Drain and mash with a large spoon.  You will want some chunks in there.

Melt butter then add the onion, garlic and celery.  10 minutes should make then soft but not browned.  Add potatoes, milk and broth.  Add seasonings.  Simmer until it's the thickness you'd like.

I made this from a recipe in the Cottage Cookbook, one I had just received in the mail. Of course I adapted it a bit, I always do.   It's a lovely book.  I reviewed it Novel Meals.

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I am linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series.  Linkup may be found  HERE.  Join in, it's fun to share!

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Rogan Josh And vacation

Hello to a short little vacation.  Much needed.  I don't have very much time to take off as I cashed in my leave when I went on DROP (retired ...kinda...in May).  But even a few days out of the office is special and needed.

We are spending a few days at St George Island but on the bay side this time. It's only a 2 hour ride and that makes it easier while traveling with Aja. Next year we want to head north to the Carolinas so that will require extra planning. Scoping out a place to retire and we like the mountains so that's a winning plan for us.

Vacation photos will be posted later in the week & I think I will start an album for them on iTunes as well. Not too familiar with how to do that but I may get a new phone and I don’t want to risk losing photos.

So, I Heart Cooking Club has a Potluck going on this week and I will link up with a Jamie Oliver version of Rogan Josh. As always I took liberties by adjusting ingredients to our taste.


Rogan Josh


Rogan Josh



Ingredients
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (100g) rogan josh curry paste
  • ½ cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 15 ounce (400g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce (400g) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • ⅓ cup chopped coriander
  • 3 cups steamed rice 
  • ½ cup (150g) low-fat Greek-style yogurt, to serve
Method
Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium. Cook onion, stirring, for 3-4 mins, until softened. Add Rogan Josh curry paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute
Add cauliflower and zucchini and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, coating well. Add crushed tomato, chickpeas and ½ cup water. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Now reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 mins, until vegetables are tender. Stir in coriander.
Serve curry with rice and yogurt.


Pop over to I Heart Cooking Club and see what folks brought to Potluck. Click HERE.

By the way, I am doing this on a tablet and it’s not going smoothly, I guess some features are best to update on a real computer. Photos will be posted of the bay side accommodations later in the week.



Lime and Ginger Salmon with Coconut Rice

The word stalker tends to bring up alarming images so it's probably good not describe yourself as such.  But I have to say, stalking a great website gives it a positive spin.  We all have our favorite author sites, cooking sites, books and more, right?

I will confess to be a stalker of the retired site The Pie Patch.  Lucy is the owner of this site and she shared simple and tasty recipes.  I've not been disappointed with any of those I have tried so far.  She makes, in her words, " inexpensive, hearty food; non-faff and preferably with as little washing up as possible."  Now who could ask for more? 

Easy dinner prep is exactly what we need after working all day, picking up children from school, keeping the laundry baskets from overflowing and.....well, you get the idea.  My son is 28 so I'm not dealing with childcare any longer but there are those days when you are beyond tired on the way home from work.  This demands a meal that's simple to prepare.  

Here is one of those meals.  Lime and Ginger Salmon with Coconut Rice.

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You use foil to bake/steam the salmon so it's an easy cleanup.  The rice cooks while the salmon is in the oven.  Next time I am going to add more corn and peas to the rice. Definitely a keeper and will be on the meal rotations.

Here is a snap of the prep portion. Pretty, don't you think?

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Lime and Ginger Salmon & Coconut Rice
Salmon fillets
1 lime, sliced
Fresh ginger
4  green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
Coconut Rice

1 1/2 cups of long grain rice  
3 cups water 
1/2 cup coconut cream (I used Goya brand)
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
handful of peas and corn ( I probably used an overflowing half cup of each)

Directions
 Heat oven to 350 degrees F.   On a sheet pan lay out a large sheet of foil.  Place salmon fillets on the foil and top with green onions, sliced ginger, salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. Place a slice of lime on top.  Fold the foil and seal but leave a vent hole for steaming.  Place in oven and bake 20 minutes.

Start the rice now.  Add water, corn and peas to the pot and heat to a boil.   Now add rice, salt, sugar and coconut cream. Stir it well and put on simmer, cover the pot.

My stove cooks on a higher heat so I had to watch it and give it a stir here and there.
Original recipe may be found at The Pie Patch HERE.  Thanks, Lucy!




Sharing with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series


Zuppa di Pesce
{Fish Stew}

A few weeks ago Doug found this recipe for a fish stew. It looked good so we saved our leftover fish from other dinners (froze it) and used that along with a fresh fillet of Tripletail.

Tripletail is a new fish for us.  We saw it at Southern Seafood and decided to try it - happy we did because it's a mild fish with great texture for grilling.  The last time we bought way more than we needed so we kept some aside for this stew.



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The recipe calls for wine and since we are this close (fingers pinched together) to payday, plus for once we didn't have a bottle of white in the wine cooler, I thought I would just leave it out.  As the prep was in progress we decided the wine may indeed be necessary for flavor.  Sometimes you need that bump or that one particular ingredient that makes a difference.

It's raining and the stew is in progress.  Publix is too far away and we don't want to drive that far in the rain anyway so.....we limped on down to the Dollar General where they have Dark Horse Chardonnay for a very reasonable price.  I know, I know, you are supposed to cook with a wine you would drink but that was close by, reasonably priced, and in the rural redneck part of the state we are in now......that's what was available.  No Trader Joe's near us, no liquor stores that I'd go in without carrying a firearm (in the evenings anyway) so yeah..........Dollar General Chardonnay.
That's my story.

Zuppa di Pesce

A few tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 (28 oz. can) Italian style plum tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TB cut basil
2 pounds of fish (such as cod, red snapper, orange roughy) cut into chunks
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions
Heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic until tender.  Add tomatoes with juice and white wine.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add fish and cook until it flakes, about 10 minutes.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.


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I will be joining Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series and Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

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Linguine Swiss Tart and what's happening here

Cool weather would fetch a pretty penny around here if it could be purchased.  I gaze longingly at my long sleeve tops and sweaters but it's so sweltering hot I don't know when I will have a chance to wear them.  When we move away.  North.  That's the answer!

Anyway......here is a quick update.

Books -Recently I have read:
The Last Policeman and Countdown City, both by Ben Winters (pre-apocalyptic lit)
Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson (#24 in the Inspector Banks series)

Also, I recently joined up with the Kindle British Mystery Book Club and have found some new authors to read. It's been a pleasure looking over the extensive list of British authors as well as those with a setting in Great Britain.   The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer was my first and I'm currently reading The Devil's Work by Mark Edwards.

Facts of Life last police SleepingintheGround

Movies
We watched Ocean's 11 last night, an oldie but we enjoyed it.  We will try the original with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr in the future, see how it compares.
The Missing with Tommy Lee Jones, another oldie, and we are both champing to get season three of Broadchurch.  Happy to see David Tennant is still in the series.

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Food
Carby meal or not, it's hard to say no to a slab of this rich, saucy pasta pie.

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Straight out of the oven.  It's very difficult to let this sit five minutes before slicing, but you can, and if you do then you may as well have used a scoop.  Not that it matters a whit to the taste.

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Ingredients..........

½ cup butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
Thinly sliced French bread
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
Dash if nutmeg
2 ½ cups milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
8 ounces linguine, cooked and drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 plum tomatoes, each cut lengthwise into eigths

Directions


Melt ¼ cup butter in saucepan and then add garlic. Cook a few minutes and then brush half your garlic butter in a 10-inch pie pan. Line your buttered pan with the French bread slices to form a crust. Now brush the rest of the garlic butter on the bread. Make sure you have the bread slices lined up so you have a 1 inch overhang.

Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 5 minutes. Take it out. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F.

Melt remaining ¼ cup butter in saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk, cooking and stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Now stir some of the mixture into the beaten eggs and add that egg mix right back into the sauce.

See how it thickens up – looks delicious!

Take the sauce off the heat and set aside.

Now – take your cooked linguine and combine it in a large bowl with 1 ¼ cups Swiss cheese, green onions and basil.

Pour sauce over the linguine mixture. Toss to coat.

Pour this fabulously cheesing pasta mixture directly on to the French bread. Arrange tomatoes on top and top with remaining Swiss cheese.

I've shared this before but it's so good that it deserves to be highlighted again.
Hope everyone's week is going well!


Panko Crusted Salmon and King Arthur English Toasting Bread


Here we are, the first week of October.  Already.  Before you know it Christmas will be nipping at our heels - I say that because there are Christmas decorations set up in World Market and Costco.  What's up with that?  It's not even Halloween yet!  They could at least let us get through Thanksgiving before being bombarded. 

Our weekend was fairly uneventful.  I made English Muffin bread, a recipe from King Arthur flours, and it came out very well.  It's perfect for toasting bread; just light enough and texturally perfect for a good browned piece of toast that holds up to a slab of butter or jam.  

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On Sunday the temperatures were a pleasant 70 degrees so we planned to ride to Panacea on the coast.  The goal was Mad Anthony's restaurant for a grouper sandwich and cheese grits.  By the time we geared up and had jackets on, helmets in tow, the rain started.  Very light spitting rain at first and then it picked up.  We never made it for the ride as we don't like heading out in rain, not purposely.


What else is new?  Over at I Heart Cooking Club they are featuring Ina Garten for the next six months so, I thought I would join in with her Panko Crusted Salmon recipe. Recipe follows.  


Panko

 Panko Crusted Salmon

·        2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
·        2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
·        1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
·        Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
·        2 tablespoons good olive oil
·        4 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on
·        2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
·        2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the Panko, parsley, lemon zest, 
½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. 
Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated. Set aside. 

Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a board. Generously brush the top of the fillets with mustard and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Press the Panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each salmon fillet. The mustard will help the Panko adhere. 

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or large heavy, ovenproof pan. When the oil is very hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin. Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked and the Panko is browned. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. 

This is from the Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? cookbook.

If  you'd link to join in check out IHCC and link up. It's an informal and fun group and you will always find good recipes.

That's about it for me today.  Trying to survive Monday is my only goal for now.

Veggie Tikka Masala
{Hope you are hungry!}

I tried a new recipe....and it's a keeper.  It's healthy and can feed a family of four.  At least....maybe more.

This is one of those recipes that makes a large quantity and it's so delicious but there seemed to be a little something missing.  I tried adding red pepper but that didn't give it the desired....bump.  Turns out a dollop or two of this chili sauce with garlic is just the ticket. Perfect.

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We had this for a couple of meals, lunch included, serving it over broth cooked rice. So. Good.  Finally we decided to freeze the rest and that's a win for one of those weeknights when you get home from work and you are dead tired.

Just thaw a little and heat in the oven at a low heat.  Could be served over noodles but I really enjoyed the rice.  Add some naan and you can sop up the sauce. #slurp  And remember....this makes a huge amount but I don't think you can half the recipe as you need a 15 oz. can of coconut milk.  Hard to use half.


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Veggie Tikka Masala

Ingredients
  • Large yellow onion (1/2 goes in sauce in blitzed sauce, 1/2 is finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 16 oz plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 small container of coconut yogurt, roughly 5 ounces 
  • 1 15 oz can of full fat coconut cream or milk**
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Optional for serving: chopped cilantro, extra yogurt, rice 

Instructions
1.    In a food processor, combine half of the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Blitz until fully combined about 1 minute.  Set aside.
2.    In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and spices, stir to combine and cook gently for 10 minutes.
3.    Into the skillet, add the plum tomatoes, tomato sauce, yogurt, HALF of the can of coconut milk and the blitzed onion and cilantro sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat.
4.    Add in the cauliflower and carrots and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
5.    Once the veggies are tender, add in chickpeas, frozen peas and the remaining coconut milk. Stir to combine and let cook for 5 more minutes or until peas are fully heated through.
6.    Serve with rice and (optional) a bit more cilantro leaves and yogurt.
Credit where credit is due – This recipe comes from B.Brittnell at Life. One Meal At a Time .



I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Vegetarian Korma and a spider story<br>{Yikes!}</br>

Man ..... has it really been 11 days since I updated my everyday/foodie/life blog? Guess so.  It's been bookish posts lately and readin...