Thursday, March 15, 2007

it tickles the cockles in me heart. . .

I was once at a church where an Irish lady got up and said tearfully, "It tickles the cockles in me 'eart to have me family here." We've been saying "it tickles the cockles in me heart" ever since.

In honor of St. Patty's day, this is our menu for that day:

From Simply Recipes, Corned Beef and Cabbage (or New England Boiled Dinner as the site says) which may or may not have Irish roots.

Irish Soda Bread from Food Network. Simply Recipes also has a good recipe, except I think we will leave any currants out of ours.

Strawberry and Apple Crumble from Food Network or I may just go with something more kid-like, like a shamrock shaped somethin'-or-other.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

things to try

Check this out from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. I'll be adding this thing to my "things to eat that taste like snickers" list.

Also, from Simply Recipes, Seville Orangeade. This looks so good, especially with the warm weather finally making its way here.

Wanting avocado egg rolls. This is a copy cat recipe from The Cheesecake Factory. I haven't tried those. What I really want is California Pizza Kitchen's Avocado Club egg rolls. Those are to die for. But there isn't a recipe for them anywhere. I do know what's inside them, so I may be attempting to make them this week. It's avocado, chicken, bacon, monterey jack cheese, tomatoes, and that's about it. We'll see how it goes. I need a deep fryer. We don't fry stuff very often, but when we do, I'm always thinking how convenient that would be.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

some cool finds

wrist pin chushions at My Little Mochi. I'm not a crafter, and I don't even know how to sew on a button really, but I want to and I try! These don't look hard to make. Maybe I'll give it a try sometime. I'm not not really a save the world earth girl type either, but I get excited about finding uses for trash and other things.

swatch portraits from the purl bee. I just bought a couple of items from this online store for a gift and they have some cool stuff once again if you are a person who sews, which I would like to be! (i need to get a sewing machine. i think jake actually wants one more than i do however). I like the idea of doing something like this for either a craft room or a child's room. This is what Soule Mama's turned out like (you'll have to scroll down a bit).

I want to make a space boy and robot from wee wonderfuls. She sells the patterns/tutorials. I'm wondering if this takes some advanced sewing skills. Like maybe i need to start with learning to sew on a button and work my way up. Aren't those cool stuffed toys though?!

souffles at culinary concoctions by peabody. I would probably prefer a sweet souffle. This one has an interesting ingredient list and is a savory souffle, but it turned out beautiful and looks very tasty just as well. And holy cow, look at what she made with girl scout cookies. I would like to eat that right now.

People do some cool things.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Indian food

We seem to go in waves of wanting and making Indian food all the time to wanting nothing to do with it at all. I guess we get our fix and then we are good for quite a while. When I was 12, my parents bought a house that was previously owned by an Indian family. I remember when we were unpacking the kitchen, there was this odor that made me want to gag. We had no idea what it was. We would try to pinpoint it. "It's like honey mixed with soy sauce and spices". It was a distinct smell. In the last several years as my tastebuds have changed, I discovered the joys of cooking my own Indian food. We have a tasty Indian restaurant here called Bombay House. Anyway, I went to an International market to get Indian ingredients and I smelled this scent from this house we had lived in so long ago. I was sniffing like a dog on all the packaging until I found it. It was fenugreek seeds. They have quite an odor, except this time, I found it sweet, exotic and it was cool to experience the whole "the smell took me back in time to another place". That house will probably always smell of fenugreek seeds and other Indian spices no matter who lives there. Amazing stuff.

We tried Chicken in a Cashew Nut Sauce with some friends before they moved away to Arizona. I think we were all quite pleased. This recipe is from one of those Barnes and Noble or Borders $5.00 cookbooks. They are actually really good books. We have Indian, Healthy Indian Cooking, and Best-Ever Curry Cookbook.

Chicken in a Cashew Nut Sauce
2 medium onions
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/3 cup cashew nuts
1½ tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. garlic pulp
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. natural (plain) low-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp. corn oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 Tbsp. sultanas (golden raisins)
3¼ cups chicken, skinned, boned and cubed
2½ cups button mushrooms (we leave these out)
1¼ cups water
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

Cut onions into quarters and place in a blender or food processor. Process for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, nuts, garam masala, garlic, chili powder, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and yogurt to the processed onions. Process all the ingredients for a further 1-1½ minutes. In a saucepan, heat the oil, lower the heat to medium and pour in the spice mixture from the food processor. Fry for about 2 minutes, lowering the heat if necessary. Add the fresh cilantro, raisins, and chicken and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, pour in the water and bring to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes. After this time, check to see that the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick. Cook for a little longer if necessary. Serve garnished with chopped fresh cilantro.

We tried this recipe once with the mushrooms and once without. We definitely like it without. I like mushrooms, but for some reason, the mushrooms just tasted really bad to us in this recipe.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

revolting recipes

much to our delight, we found these three cookbooks at the library a couple of days ago. Daisy can't stop looking through them. The first thing she wants to make is Strawberry-Flavored Chocolate-Coated Fudge from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the description it says, "Makes enough for 10 greedy children". She adores Roald Dahl stories just like her mother.

Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook. Includes recipes such as Yots in Pots, Schlottz's Knots, Who-Roast-Beast, Moose Juice and Goose Juice and much much more.

Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes. This book features recipes based on the names given food from many of his books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the BFG and many others. For example, from James and the Giant Peach, he included the recipe for Crispy Wasp Stings on a Piece of Buttered Toast, which is basically carmelized shredded coconut piled on top of buttered cinnamon-sprinkled toast.

Roald Dahl's Even More Revolting Recipes. Pretty much disgusting. I love Quentin Blake's illustrations. Quentin Blake authored a few cute books himself. My favorite is Zagazoo. It's out of print now. We have it at our library, otherwise you have to buy it of Amazon or something. Which I might do.