Malabar Shrimp Curry (and hello again!)

Malabar Shrimp This might be an exercise in futility but here I am trying to start a new run at the food blog o’ mine. I have another blog in the works sort of, but that’s still in development and won’t be food-focused, so it would sure be nice to keep this one going, especially since I feel my technique and flavor palate has grown. This is due in large part to some appetizing projects the husband and I are embarking on; I’ll be excited to share those projects with you once they are blossom to a stage that is worth revealing to the world (or the tiny web of the wide world that still looks at this measly blog). At any rate, I can’t seem to escape food—cooking, writing, or even researching it.

So let’s give it a go, shall we? Back to the blog! Continue reading

Meaty Mushroom Pasta

mushroom pastaWarning: the foodstuffs here do not look at all like their components. This is a wonderful little guise for those who rabidly desire meat but venture into a tepidly omnivore household that leans toward herbivoraciousness. It’s an entirely mushroom-based pasta sauce, but with the right ingredients becomes rich, succulent, and fulfilling.

So, Ramadan came and went, and I surprised myself by how enthusiastically my body responded to the call. Like a horse fresh out of the gates, I galloped full stride into the blazing long days of fasting, somehow procuring during my first week alone at least 4 new recipes for dinner meals. Let us not discuss how the subsequent three weeks unfolded, with root canals and illnesses. But that first week was glorious! (and the last week, pretty good too.) For the unfamiliar, breaking fast during Ramadan consists of iftar, followed by the evening prayer, and then dinner. Traditional iftars vary from culture to culture, but are usually filled with much fanfare. I tried to change that for the husband and myself this year, especially since the fasting was so long (15+ hours) and the feasting so short. So we usually broke fast with a few dates and water (or Rooh Afza, a rose-water syrup which is sublime when mixed with water and a generous squeeze of lime). Dinner as such became the exciting mealtime (which typically included some fruit chaat because how can I deny myself the quintessential dish of my Ramadan experience). Continue reading

Jamaican Stir Fried Eggplant

Oh my friends. Where do we begin? I promised myself I would get this out to you within the next hour so I could return to that most beloved of acts, reading. But the word and all its magic has taken quite the toll on me this past week, as I have never been so overwhelmed with such a deluge in recent years! the short of it: grad school is demanding! It dares to challenge my love affair with words (second only to that for my husband though it does fluctuate spots with food. Words or food? Food or words? I love them equally!). Of course, I am thoroughly enjoying myself, but at the same time I have never imbibed so much theoretical text coupled with philosophical writing along with a Thomas Hardy novel in so short a period of time! My brain, she hurts a wee bit.

So I purposely set myself to write this up for you, because my lovely little eggplant dish which I may have raved about at an earlier time has been pouting at me with forlorn eyes, wishing to be shared, desperate for worldwide web attention. I do have a Litereature post brewing in the works (Oh if I had a cauldron! I could actually brew something! Halloween approacheth, and there are plenty of awesome witchy stories…. alas, another lifetime perhaps. Unless you want to buy me a cauldron?). It helps that I am now working, at least for the semester, within the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at school, and will be limitlessly exposed to all sorts of kids/Young Adult books! I dream of all the food/book connections I could come up with… Continue reading

Thai Basil Turkey Kabobs

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Technology, she laughs at me.  In spite of the heavy week I have had, and the ridiculous struggle between  stomach bugs and long fasts, this tempestuous maiden of the modern world prefers to kick me where it hurts and completely erase an entire draft of this post, nearly finished but evidently not backed up.  Alas. I had this brilliant post marveling in the magnificence of human athleticism that is the Olympics, leading to the trials of fasting through Olympics, and if you can believe it I had some kind of delicate turn oh phrase that led quite seamlessly to these kabobs.
Humph.  You don’t get to read that now. But that’s okay, what does it compare to the mind-blowing skills of the amazing US women’s 4×200 m Medley.  Olympic records being broken left and right.  Wow!  I guess you could say my personal Olympic challenge would be in the realm of cooking–that is, trying to make the tastiest kabob out of the medley of ingredients found in my sister-in-law’s kitchen with nary a taste to guide me! (Not quite as seamless, but good enough) Continue reading

Thai Basil Eggplant

Guys! I’m stressed! I have been secretly munching on chocolate all week at work, thanks to the stash displayed on my coworker’s desk. It’s true magic how my hand can reach 3 desks away and come back with limitless sugar and consequential sugar crashes all under a cloak of invisibility. Oh, and the magic happens a lot more when barbaric tons of stress weigh down my mind. Should I feel special? Or just disgusted with my lack of self control?

The fact is we are moving. And BOY what an eventful move it is going to be, considering we don’t actually have a home lined up yet. Heck, not even a clue what area we should move to. Yup, we like to do things backwards out in these parts. In my experience that’s where adventure, excitement, and overwhelming bouts of anxiety can sneak up behind you and knock your knucklebrain around until the fuzzy yellow birdies come dancing gleefully in your vision. Fun for everyone!

In all seriousness, we are cutting out of the apartment a bit early and staying with my sister-in-law for a few weeks. I’m telling you this now because: a) I AM OVERWHELMED and it is likely to come out in my posts, and b) the posts themselves may become few and far between for a tiny portion of the great expanse of time that encompasses the universe’s existence (that’s my way of saying a few weeks isn’t that long, right?). Fortunately, Beena has a brightly-lit, cheerful and spacious kitchen, so hopefully I can settle in there comfortably enough.  I’m not keen on being out of my own space so grant me my adjustment period please. Continue reading

Chili Garlic Noodles

I awoke this morning with the immediate thought that I would not let anything get in the way of an early bed time tonight. The sudden unwelcome arrival of a flaring toothache has kept me up more than I’d like to admit, and has rendered my even my sleep a restive and forlorn experience. Thus, you can imagine I was on a one-way trip to the Benadrylopolis…

And yet here I am. I just can’t stop the thoughts, so I shall let them run rampant on the back burner while I focus on this blog. The past month has not been a happy one for my coworkers, you see, and we unfortunately lost a beautiful, smiling, kind soul to the rabid beast of cancer. In all fairness, I barely knew her. Nevertheless, the loss was a complete shock, a blow to our collective psyche, and an obvious reminder that life is too short to play on the sidelines. Continue reading

Tamarind and Garlic Eggplant Fry

This week was not the most delightful as the kitchen arena was rendered out of commission for nearly the entire length of time. As a result of some stupid pest issues, eating healthy became a trying task as we were forced to eat out while trying not to eat expensively all the time. Food is one of those most beloved subjects that nigh on always has a carte blanche; frugality does not trump healthy and fresh nine times out of ten… unless you are really really reaaaaaaaaally trying to keep all spending down.  No we are not exorbitant spenders. Yes we have very legitimate reasons to want to save some moolah. No I will not be discussing that at the moment. All in good time—trust me, good times are just around the corner—but for now, let’s just leave it at my growing irritation of mounting receipts spent on dining out.

But huzzah! Summon the trumpets and adorn the skies with confetti! We can use our wonderful tiny kitchen once more! And to inaugurate that blissful fact, Mr. G himself decided to cook me up a special treat, incorporating three of my supremely favorite ingredients: Tamarind, Garlic, and Eggplant. Continue reading