French Onion Eggplant

Does this happen to you? Do you stare into the fridge thinking you’ll make some simply fun dish—Spanish rice maybe, or shrimp curry, maybe a sweet and spicy dressing for salad even—only to discover one key ingredient is missing? Just one! Not even two or three, but the one single item that means everything. You figure, Ok fine! I’ll just run to the store get that single item (and maybe a few other things, since of course I’m making the trip). And just as it happened before and will happen for the rest of time, you walk into the market with 4 things in mind and walk out with 40. There must be some law of physics for this type of phenomenon. You may happily name it after me, if you so choose, as I’ve lived it for years now.

I’m trying to rein in my spending habits, though I’m no frenzied shopper to be sure. I don’t care about shoes, I don’t get carried away with clothes, I have a decent amount of self discipline with accessories. I’m working on the books addiction I have, but aside from that I’m a good girl. Except for food. New spices, fresh veggies, yummy breads breads breads galore! I love food! But like I said, trying to quell the spending. We needs to be savin’ some money yo, we gots plans, big plans! If such plans come to fruition, then you get to hear about it. For now, we continue to dream our illustrious dreams (I mean, this is Coriander Dreams, so that’s fitting). Continue reading

East By Southwest: A Chicken Burger Experience

Ahh the incomprehensible has occurred—employment rates have skyrocketed in Alyaville, and I am actually working now. If you must know, I work just a short walk down from the husband, and I do mean that literally. I was recently offered a short term position in his department (the details of which are inconsequential; we need only know that while it is not an ideal position for the fruity artsy writer/food-experimenter with her head in the clouds that I am, nevertheless I am grateful for the position and thankfully surrounded by good folks).

I just started, so my initial fear was What will this do to my blog?!??! Trust me, G has heard soooo much about my fears and whininess on this part it’s a wonder he hasn’t tried to get me fired just to appease the foodie inside me. But we are managing, just finding a pace which enables us to get work done, relax a bit, and find time to cook most days. I think in a way this will challenge me as well, to concoct a more diverse array of dishes that aren’t always so time consuming and simply by using just about whatever the heck is in the pantry considering I won’t be running to the store at the drop of a hat.

On the other hand, when I do run to the store, I tend to stock up. This blog entry: case in point. I don’t usually have avocados and wheat buns all the time, but I had a vision a while back so I decided to load on them. Plus the avocados were supposed to be for a literEature post which I haven’t had an opportunity to do yet, so more will have to be bought now. Alas. 🙂

Anyway, this burger turned out to be absolutely scrumptious (despite forgetting salt in my chicken marinade!!! Who does that??!?). A bit high maintenance but cooking is also my way of finding peace and sanity, even when the kitchen is a chaotic whirlwind of fright. Besides, homemade guacamole is a million times better (especially with green chillies chopped in!) and roasted peppers become so sweet and melty, the perfect complement to asian fusion chicken… but enough talk, let’s cook! Continue reading

Festive Chicken and Paneer

I recently stumbled entirely by chance on a writing competition—a short story challenge—held by a creative writing organization called NYC Midnight.  A tiny spark of excitement flashed in my tired little brain but I let it runs its course because who am I kidding, right? I couldn’t possibly compete against practicing, aspiring, more well prepared and well-versed writers from across the globe (the competition is open to the world, to the universe even, I bet!).  I wrote it off, pun intended, as a nice dream seriously what’s the point of trying? Continue reading

Chilly Day Turkey Chili

Old Man Winter came knocking on my door, my friends, and his fierce chilly breath has blown out all the colors (if there were any) of drab lifeless winter and blanketed us with the most awe-inspiring, cuddle-inducing, heart-palpitating, toe-curling flurry of snow, snow, snow!  It has snowed a few times since I moved to Maryland, but tonight is the first truly mesmerizing descent of snowflakes I have as yet seen here.  So captivating that all I have been chanting to myself is “snow snow snow snow snow” which oddly led me to the nursery rhyme about it raining and pouring which then left me pondering over the strange lyrics (how exactly does one bump his head WHILST in bed, pray tell?).  Suffice it to say, Alya was befuddled.

But she was not so bewildered over what to make for dinner, thankfully.  It was rather quick a decision, to be honest.  Shall we refer to our checklist?  Cold night? Check.  Warm food a must? Check.  Black beans in pantry? Check.  Tomatoes? Check.  Ground meat (turkey)? Check.  Cheese?  Check.  A desire for a one-pot meal? Check.  Ready to jump at the chance to make a silly pun out of food choice?  Always check!

Ah, the answer is simple, is it not?  What could be more fitting than a dish that wallops you with warmth, satisfaction, and a zillion other forms of goodliness?  And so, let us journey, you and I, through frosted trees and snow-stung skies, into the caverns of my pantry, only to emerge with Turkey Chili!  For what could be more befitting of a frostbit night, than a “chilly” feast for our famished appetites! Continue reading