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

Versatile Cauliflower Roast

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Another quick and easy for you. I decided to experiment with my venture to do as little in the kitchen as possible and still procure a decent if not delectable dish. What’s the easiest way? The oven. What’s the easiest no hassle food? A vegetable that doesn’t require any chopping, peeling, burning. Hmmmm… How about a whole cauliflower head? Yeah I know I’ve been on a vegetarian kick lately, and I promise to bring something sweet and decadent and super unhealthy soon! But I had to share my laziness simple trick with you.

Simply take a whole cauliflower, rub it generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and dried basil. Lastly, take your favorite hot sauce (I used Nandos garlic sauce) and drizzle all over. Then just wrap in foil and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.

I left it in for about 35-40 minutes… And then removed it and voila! A delicious appetizer for sure. Are you wondering how to eat it? Well, some options:

1. Chop in quarters, serve as a soft side with a squeeze of lemon
2. Serve whole and let friends dig in with a fork, with a dip on the side
3. Dice it up and toss with some light pasta…
4. Or stir fry with other veggies and/or chicken or shrimp for a nice contrast of succulent and crunchy

Or do your own thing! As for me, next time I’m marinating it for a long while in some intense spices just to see what happens.

Penchant for Peppered Pasta

**Happy birthday to the best mom!  Thank you for instilling and nurturing my culinary passions among so many other things!  Have a beautiful day**

Ok, I won’t say that life has thrust itself into a fiery pit of doom and despair the past two weeks, but things have been a bit awry of late; certainly has felt like a hot poker keeps stabbing its way into my business, burning holes and inflaming everyday routine with stress and worry. The blame falls squarely on a little known problem called cluster headaches, and the fact that my poor husband is dealing with them right now. As such, everything takes a back seat while we try to ensure they don’t hinder his daily livelihood. Thankfully the cycle should pass soon but until then my cooking has turned uber simple, uber healthy, and uber repetitive. I only want to make things I know won’t instigate the headaches, and since my mind can’t focus on conjuring up new things, I tend to hit the repeat button.

The first week, the kitchen wasn’t enthralling for me at all, but I did make one very simple dish that the husband really loved and I fancy as well, spicy Italian pepper pasta. (Evidently bell peppers are supposed to help alleviate the magnitude of the headaches… doesn’t hurt to try!) A quick and basic pasta dish with alya-flare, this recipe includes lots of easy herb and spice resources I have spread out in the cabinet and freezer alike. Continue reading

Tofu Coconut Curry

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Ah me, where is the serenity, the unfathomable lightness, the sense of accomplishing and participating in the wild frenzied breath of the universe without pain, only bliss?

No clue.  All I know is sometimes you just have to pull together the shards and remnants of all prior existences, the amorphous blobs of unforetold dreams, and the strands of countless prayers, combine them into a large casserole dish and bake until you’ve come up with a savory significance completely your own and completely worthwhile.  No simple task, but your only other recourse is to throw in the towel and let life lead you.  I’ll have none of that, so I’m going to rally my determination and find a way to make the ingredients in my cabinet froth into something grand.  For my sake, for the husband’s sake.  Life is too precious to let stupid obstacles crush you. (I speak in riddles mayhaps, but I’m in an incoherent mood, so play along!) Continue reading

Basil and Orange-kissed Fig Crepes

Basil Mascarpone and fig in harmonyAs I sit to write this, my mouth bites into the sweet velvety richness of a dried fig.  I came home with an unseemly desire to feast upon the fabulous figs, inevitably pulling out Fig Heaven, a recipe cornucopia featuring the luscious fruit.  Recently I have been treating myself to these newfound edible delights.  Yup, figs.  Ever since I was young I actually was always drawn to Fig Newtons if you recall (fruit and cake! Fruit. And. Cake!), and last year the aunty responsible for dressing me so exquisitely on my wedding introduced my mom and I to the succulence of fresh figs.  So now, having found them in the grocery store, I couldn’t help but indulge… and truly, I feel nothing but pity for my former self that never dabbled in the fine art of fig feasting. Continue reading

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

A few weeks ago G ad I went bowling with his sister and her friend Ron. As the husband and I arrived at the lanes first, we took the liberty of posting everyone’s name on the board… In hindsight, I’m sure Beena will tell you not to let us arrive earlier than anyone who bowls with us again, else suffer the consequences <insert sinister chuckle here>. Oh it wasn’t that bad, we have silly minds more than anything else, but G did come up with a gem for Ron. Just the night before he had been raving about a particular dish we had made, so it seemed quite apt that when his turn came up, instead of “Ron” the board read “Parmesan Chicken”.

It’s too bad those boards are limited in space, because Ron really deserved to be titled Parmesan Crusted Chicken, considering the rapturous praises he virtually sang. All he really needed was a heavenly choir floating down from the beaming skies. Am I being over dramatic? Perhaps. But this chicken was ridiculously tasty and simple. Also slightly unhealthy because of the butter, but that can be substituted with olive oil, Smart Balance, or whatever else. Of course the husband is very adamant about his daily butter intake, a habit I am TRYING so desperately to curb. So we did this the first time with butter, but after that the husband need not know I’ve since made the necessary substitutions. But the best thing, we baked!

Regardless, prepare your palette for parmesan-crusted pleasure! Continue reading