Tag Archives: Dinner

Rainy Day Stew

The last few days have been absolutely dreary.  It might be summer, but the wind has been howling, the rain has been falling, and the temperature dropping more than it should during summer.  So it seemed like the perfect time to make a big pot of warm soup.  And man, was I ever right. This is technically vegetarian, although you can add meat in if you want. I top mine with either sour cream or yogurt. I adapted this recipe from the New Zealand Healthy Food Guide Magazine.

 

Curried Vege Stew

Serves: 8 or so

Time to make: 35 minutes

 

  • olive Oil or oil spray
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cubed
  • 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (i used 2 of the new Knorr brand gelled stock things)
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2-1 cup dried fruit (i use dried cranberries and dried apricots)
  • 1 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cumin
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • sour cream or yogurt to serve

 

Spray your heavy based pan with your oil spray, or coat lightly in the olive oil and place over medium high heat.  fry your shallot and carrots until softened.  Add 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Sautee until fragrant.   Add in lentils, stock, and sweet potato mash, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

Add in the kidney beans, chickpeas, dried fruits, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes until lentils are thoroughly cooked. Taste as you stir, and adjust seasoning as you desire.  I prefer mine to have a bit of a hot and sour kick, so I add in more lemon juice.  salt and pepper to taste.

 

serve immediately with sour cream, or yogurt.

 

Last night I topped mine off with a dollop of greek yogurt, some freshly chopped cucumber, and dashes of mint and dill.  For lunch today, I had mixed up a yogurt dip that was a cross between tzatziki and raita and I used that on top of the stew.  Served with rye bread, this is a meal that will leave you feeling full and very warm and toasty.

 

Great for chilly winter/autumn days, or dreary rainy days.  It does not look particularly tasty, but do not let your eyes fool you.

 

 

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

 

peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber

greek yogurt

lemon juice

pinch of salt

2 pinches of sugar

dried dill

dried mint

 

Sadly, last night I did not measure.  But I took about 1/3 of a long hot house/english cucumber, peeled and seeded and chopped*.  I used about 3 large soup spoons of yogurt (let’s say about 1/3 cup), about 1 teaspoon lemon juice, pinch of salt, 2 pinches of sugar (maybe 1/2 tablespoon?), and then a tablespoon each of mint and dill.  Mixed it up well, tasted, adjusted the sugar and salt, and then covered and let sit in the fridge.

 

 

*While the sauce should be slightly runny, you don’t want it too watery.  A good trick is to take the chopped cucumbers, place them in a small strainer (or sifter), and coat them with a little salt. let this sit for at least 30 minutes, and then you can proceed with your recipe.  The salt draws some of the internal water from the cucumber, meaning that your end dip will be less runny.  This method is also used on other water-packed vegetables like eggplant in order to get a nice and crisp result.

 

 

Well there you go!  I hope that since most of my friends are in the northern hemisphere, that you find a use for this recipe soon!  The original in the magazine has half the size of this recipe, but since E loves soup so much, I always double soup recipes.  My additions to the recipe are the cumin, the sweet potato mash (i had some leftover from the other day), the chili powder.  The original calls for sultanas, but I didn’t have those on hand,  The recipe calls for lemon zest, but I only have lemon juice, the original calls for an onion, but I prefer to use shallots.  I also added in the step of toasting the curry powder and chili powder with the shallots, the original just has the spices being put in with the kidney beans and the chickpeas.

 

As Originally written, the authors in the magazine claim that the cost is $2.50 a serving.  That is, of course, in new Zealand Dollars, so it’s closer to approx $1.75 US.  Not bad for a tasty stick it to the ribs meal.

 

 

 

My Daddy

There’s all sorts of stereotypes and caricatures out there of the little Jewish girl and her Daddy.  Stories and tales and jokes made about the olive-skinned girl with the dark curly hair, the slightly prominent nose and those xdark brown eyes putting her hands on her hips, stomping her feet and whining in a tone that would make Fran Drescher shudder, “But Daddy!”  And of course the very next part of that story or joke or comment is that the Daddy in question folds and gives the daughter everything that she is asking for.   While I can’t completely deny that I did everything in my power growing up to get things from my Daddy, I can easily say that I never had to resort to such lengths.

 

My Daddy comes from a fairly small family, made smaller even by the family politics that he wanted to avoid. He married my mother and then promptly did everything he could to take care of her and his new family.  He worked long hours when we were growing up and made the hard choice to move us from Philadelphia to Delaware, away from his own mother, to help us get a better life.  We went to good schools, we never wanted for anything.  We were never hungry or naked (except for bathtime), and we went on vacation of one form or another every year.  A fond memory was when we went to Disneyworld for the first time (yes, the first time), My Daddy had set up a scavenger hunt for my brother and I to follow around the house, ending at the VCR where we pressed play and the information movie on Disneyworld started.    There were other vacations too.  Williamsburg, Boston, Cleveland, Scotland and London.

 

My Daddy made sure that while growing up I was being educated well.  I would bring my homework home and after finishing it, my Daddy would go over it with me.  Vocabulary words were always a favorite, as the usual task was to write the word out and then use it in a sentence.  But that wasn’t advanced enough for my Daddy.  Oh no.  The challenge was to use all of the words that week in as few sentences as possible.  I remember it driving my teachers crazy, but it was the challenge that my Daddy set forth for me.  Daddy had no problems helping me with reports, sometimes going so far as to teach me how to footnote and write in styles that i shouldn’t learn for years to come, just to make it a bit more challenging.  Mathematics were always a struggle for me, but I always knew that I could trust my Daddy to help me through them.  Whether it was a new approach to fractions (using a pizza pie), or just help learning my multiplication tables (A deck of cards), Daddy was always there to help me with schoolwork.  And when school became too intense in other ways, Daddy was always there.  The Principals of my schools knew my father and they knew better than to argue with him.  Daddy only became involved when it was necessary, like making sure the Jewish Holidays didn’t count against my absence records. Daddy and Mommy both volunteered every year when I was in the primary grades, coming in around Hannukah and Purim to give a presentation to the other kids in my school about what the holidays were and what they meant.  Daddy even took off from work one day when I was in the third grade to be our chaperone for the school trip to Washington DC.

 

My Daddy wasn’t just amazing when it came to school, but he was also supportive in everything else.  One of the rules that we learned quickly while growing up was that we could ask our parents anything, and we would get the answer.  There wasn’t a time growing up that I remember being treated ‘like a kid’.  Oh sure, there were moments where I was pretty childish, but then every kid goes through that.  But there was no questions that could be asked that would ever result in “you’re too young” as the answer. We had rousing dinner table discussions about everything, from school, to moving, to the assassination of JFK, there was no topic that was considered too adult.  I don’t ever remember having “the talk” with my Daddy, or my mother for that matter, but sex was not something to be hidden or not talked about.  We just never needed to have the talk, it was understood.  I remember the day that I woke up, I think I was just about to turn thirteen, it was two weeks before my birthday and I woke up and went to the bathroom like normal.  Only this time wasn’t normal.  The first person that I called was my Daddy.  I don’t know why, but it never even crossed my mind that it was unusual to do that.  I wanted to let my daddy know that not only would I be a grown up woman in our religion’s eyes, but in the eyes of nature as well.  Telling my Daddy never seemed weird, until years later some people commented that it was just odd.  Whatever, I say to that.  A girl should be able to tell her Daddy anything and have him understand.

 

My Daddy has been very understanding with me, especially as I got older.  I finished high school and went away to University.  I picked the campus that I liked, the school that I wanted, and my Daddy simply told me that he wanted me to be happy.  And when I failed my first semester so hard that it left scars, I called my Daddy and he understood.  He never once yelled, but simply said that I had to do better and he told me that it took him a few years to figure out what he wanted to do.  As the years went on and school continued and one boyfriend after the other rose and fell my Daddy would voice his displeasure, but he never did anything but that.  And his displeasure and disapproval was often enough.  My Daddy understood that I needed to get out of the wing, out of the house, out of Delaware to fully grow.  And so he let me go.  It hurt him a bit inside, but he let me go, because it was best for me.  My Daddy has always done what he determines is best for me.

 

My Daddy is my hero.  He let me discover life on my own and when it became too much, my Daddy rescued me.  He never once told me that I had to live with the mess that I had made.  My Daddy never once pushed me away into the darkness and left me to flounder.  When I thought my life could not get darker, when I was drowning in the inch of water left at the bottom of the barrel, my Daddy fished me out, dragged me to the surface, and saved my life.  He gave me a firm place to put my feet, a safe place to rest my head, and the rock to lean on while I tried to get myself back together.  Never once in my life have I ever said “Daddy I need help” and My Daddy hasn’t been there for me.

 

There’s a thing, with writers, that we try to find all the words to cover everything, to make it clear and true and ring deep into the hearts of our readers.  That’s a difficult thing to accomplish with emotions.  I could write the words, “I love My Daddy” and they would convey the emotional impact well enough, but not deep enough.  There are some things in this world that have to be felt, that have to be truly experienced to understand, not just read.  I am the woman that I am today because of My Daddy.  He raised me as best he could, did everything in his power to guarantee that I had every possible opportunity that I could have ever wanted.  He sent me to England with university, he took me to see stage shows, the circus, Disney on Ice, and a million other things all because it was good for me to have the culture (and because I asked).  My Daddy has suffered through Thundercats and through WWF.  All because it made me happy.  He has put me through University, helped me buy a car, rescued me from my own stupidity, and he has done it all while providing food, shelter, and security for the entire family.  My Daddy has finished his Doctorate and he takes care of his patients, working ten hour days, if not sometimes longer.  My Daddy has run a side business helping to educate urology nurses across the United States and sometimes Canada.  My Daddy has done all of these things, and still been there for when I needed to talk.

 

I have memories that will never fade, of laying on the couch with my Daddy watching football, or the Three Stooges, and eating pistachios from their shells.  Of my Daddy hugging me after my Bat Mitzvah, and of my Daddy hugging me one April in Maine.   Memories of my Daddy at my high school graduation, and of My Daddy driving us through the Scottish Highlands at night.  Memories of dinners at restaurants where it wasn’t needed to tell me to behave, I already knew how.  Of swimming pools in various hotels across the country, of talks about the craziest things from the time I was old enough to have memories.  I have never wanted for anything in my life that I did not get, eventually.

 

I’m far away from my Daddy now, living on the other side of the globe, a completely different hemisphere and time.  I am happy here, I am finally coming into my own being, coming into the point of being who I am.  I can’t give my Daddy the hugs that I would like to.  I can’t make him dinner and try to get him to work on his blood sugar.  I see my Daddy via skype on the weekends, and sometimes that’s enough.  Other times, I miss my Daddy and would like to give him a hug.  But I have to live my own life, make my own way.

 

Luckily for me, I had My Daddy to show me the way.

 

I love you, Daddy.  Happy Father’s Day.

When it All Goes Down

So there’s really not too much of a point to this post.  I’ve been working on a post in my head for a while now and it still hasn’t quite made its way onto paper, either physical or virtual in any manner.

 

I am at work now and still loving it, although for the moment we are experiencing the calm before the storm.  The email queue is low, the calls are slow and easy, and everything is status quo.  So what else is there to write about.

 

Not much.  Life has been work and not work, sleep and work and life and love.  I guess I could talk about life at work.  It’s fairly good, and a wonderful company to work for, they take care of their employees (like a massage lady every 2 weeks who will give shoulder massages) and they do seem to care about their customers and products.  And there have been no problems with getting along with other people, or running into trouble being only ‘temps’.  Everybody has been helpful, supportive, and even very friendly.  We’re a disparate group, differences abound, but everybody seems to get along just fine.

 

One of the other temps and I get along rather well and when we have quiet time like this, we spend far too much time talking and giggling amongst ourselves than should be considered healthy.

 

So what else have I been up to?  well, making food (we got a new rice cooker!)  It will be the beginning of many more adventures (it came with a recipe booklet that’s actually in english! so i can make cool things!), and working.  Oh, and planning our vacation to Rotorua.

 

For those who are unsure, Rotorua is one of the most, if not the most, geothermally active regions in the world.  Geysers, hot mud pools, sulphur.  Apparently the entire region smells like rotten eggs, but the restorative properties of the muds and hot pools way outweigh the nasty smells.  it is also apparently an active location for maori history.

 

Not entirely sure what all we are going to do while there, but i am hoping to definitely get some amazing pictures of bubbling hot mud pools and geysers erupting with intensity.  I am also looking forward to a trip to something that will help me get a bit more educated on maori culture.  Also, for a hangi.

 

A hangi is the traditional maori feast that is created by digging a big hole in the ground, heating rocks and coals and then lowering the food into the pit and covering it for a few hours.  Sound familiar to something you know about?  Yeah, it’s a polynesian kind of cooking.  But I have also seen video of there being a basket of mussels being steamed/boiled in the hot pools and then being pulled up and eaten happily.

 

The Rotorua region is also home to a once active volcano that erupted in the late 1800s and buried a village, and some land formations that were called the Pink and White flats.  I’m hoping to visit a tourist place called “The Buried Village” and get more information not just on the volcano, but on the eruption and the excavations going on to find out about the people who were victims.

 

There seems to be a lot to do down in Rotorua, and It should be a fun filled report back, complete with pictures.

 

I promise that I’ll start posting a bit more, once life calms back down again.

 

Work is good, life is good.  Love is good, food is good.

Seder

To continue with my educational portion of my blog, I will now expound upon that which was mentioned yesterday and explain what Passover means to me in this modern time.  There are many sides and aspects and thoughts about this, so I promise I will do my best to not confuse or lose you in the thought processes, but I  cannot be certain that I will be successful.

To begin, lets start with the Seder itself.  Seder is the Hebrew word for “Order”, so when you hear somebody invite you to a Seder meal, they are inviting you to not only a Passover dinner, but to an Ordered Meal.  Everything within the Seder has a place, a meaning, and a purpose.  Sadly I do not know these steps and meanings off the top of my head and I did not pack a Hagaddah to bring with me when I moved.  However, if you are curious about the ins and outs of every nuanced step of the Seder, you can find the information on the internet, or purchase a Hagaddah from any bookstore of any reputation.

Most of the Seder is the retelling of the story of the Exodus, please see yesterday’s post.  There are other stories that are told depending upon your family’s traditions.  On every table there is the Seder plate, the matzah plate, and a goblet of wine for Elijah.  More recently, some families have started to add a goblet of Water to honor Miriam, Moses’s sister and a prophetess of her own right.  Some say, but I won’t wade into that argument here.

This is my new Seder plate that my father bought for me and sent me here.  It’s rather lovely, isn’t it.  The squiggly looking letters are Hebrew, and the english translation is just under them.  Starting at the top of the star and moving counter clockwise you have the Bitter Herbs, Egg, Parsley, Horseradish, Haroseth, and the Shank Bone.

This is an unusual plate, I actually believe it’s Sephardic* in origin because it places the Bitter Herbs and the Horseradish separately, whereas the Ashkenazic** Seder Plates usually combine those two together as Bitter herbs and the 6th place belongs to salt water. Each item has a symbolic reason for being on the plate, and each connects back to the story of the Exodus, and of the Jewish people.

  • Bitter Herbs- Usually Horseradish, freshly ground, this recalls to us the bitterness of life in bondage.  It is eaten twice during the Traditional seder, once by itself on Matzah, and then in a sandwich on Matzah with the Haroseth
  • Egg- this is often hard boiled and then roasted in the oven, but that is purely for health safety sake, and also so that if it gets dropped, you don’t have egg yolk oozing everywhere.  In Israel, and most of the world, Passover is a spring holiday, and Eggs symbolize new life, a new year, and a new beginning.
  • Parsley- Or really any greens are acceptable. I have seen some people use lettuce leaves when they could not afford parsley.  This also symbolizes spring, new life and growth.  Parsley and other leafy greens also used to be used in the Temples of Israel to help spread blessings via smoke and water. During the Seder, the Parsley is dipped into the salt water and eaten.
  • Salt Water- This is a vessel that is filled with a mixture of salt and water, enough salt to the point that it tastes of tears and the salt will not dissolve anymore.  It is kept room temperature, or slightly warmer.  The symbolism is clear enough that it is for the tears that the Jewish people have cried over the years.  Not just in bondage and suffering, but also in Joy and Reverence.  A reminder that one Emotion can be different from the other, but the reaction can be the same.  Even in our sorrow, we can find Joy.
  • Haroseth- Now, this is the fun one.  Ashkenazic Jews usually make this mixture with apples, raisins, walnuts, and wine.  Sephardic jews often use the raisins, walnuts, and wine, but instead of apples, they use dates.  The different recipes for Haroseth numbers in the thousands, with every family having at least one of their own.  From chunky to almost paste like.  The symbolism is the mortar with which the Hebrews built the temples and pyramids for the Pharaohs while in bondage.  It is mixed in a sandwich with the horseradish and matzah, once again to remind us of our time in slavery being both bitter, but also a bit sweet, as we who were a scattered people before Joseph led us into Egypt, we left with Moses a nation of people, bound together by suffering and belief.
  • Shank bone- Usually the shank bone of a lamb, roasted in the oven.  Sometimes, in lean times, it is permissible to use any bone you can find. I have admittedly used a chicken bone in the past.  This is to symbolize both the new life that spring has given us in the fluffy little lambs, but also the sacrificial lamb that was killed to provide the blood for marking the lintel and posts of doors so that the Angel of Death may Pass over the houses of the Hebrews while enacting the 10th plague.

Also on the table is the plate of matzah, which is covered and consists of 3 slices or crackers of matzah.  Why 3?  Because according to Jewish Tradition there are currently only 3 Tribes of Israel left, Cohen, Levite, and Israelite.  The Cohen (I know, you have friends with that last name) are the Priests, descendants of Aaron and the other Priests of the temples.  Levites are the shepherds, Descendants of Moses and the other teachers and Rabbis.  The Israelites are everybody else that’s leftover.  After the Diaspora (the Babylonians invading Canaan and doing their typical uprooting the population and scattering them to the winds) it became difficult for most Jews to remember their Familial and Tribal ties, or to even hold to them.  These people are the Israelites, the lost, the Tribeless. They’re not truly treated any differently save for a few ceremonial differences.  Truth holds, the Israelites outnumber the Cohens and the Levites.  By the way, it’s pronounced Coe-Hain, not the way you’re thinking it out in your head.

Goodness I’ve rambled on some more.  Alright, lets see if I can’t wrap this up a bit quickly.

During the course of the night, as the story is being told, 4 glasses of wine (or juice if you’re too young and your parents are sticks in the mud) are drunk.  Except, almost.  During the reading of the 10 plagues, we dip our pinkies into our wine and remove 10 drops of wine from the glass.  Why? Symbolism.  While we hold that the plagues were necessary for our freedom, a lot of innocent Egyptians suffered, those that did not have the power to set us free still suffered because of Pharaoh’s hardened heart.  So, in a show of almost solidarity and sympathy, we remove ten drops of wine from our glasses, signifying that while we are happy to be free, our happiness is not complete, because of the suffering of others.

Deep, huh?

I don’t know if you noticed what I did there, but I moved the story into the present time.  That’s something else about the Passover Seder and the telling of the story, it’s subtle and not a lot of people notice it.  It’s almost second nature, but the story is to be told in the present tense.  As though the Exodus was just the last week and we are retelling it to our new neighbors.  This is just another way of connecting us here in the present to our ancestors in the past.  Another Tradition.  One thing you’ll notice is that the Jewish religion and people are filled and built upon Tradition after Tradition after Tradition.

I digress.

After drinking our wine and feeling sorry for those that suffered in order for us to be free, the youngest child possible at the table asks 4 Questions.  Why is this night different from all other nights? Why do we spend this night reclining, when on other nights we can either recline or sit up straight?  Why do we dip our greens into the salt water? Why do we eat the bitter herbs?

All of this is answered during the story, other than the reclining.  Reclining while eating was a privilege of the rich, of the Masters, not of the slaves.  Slaves ate quickly and sitting up straight, always afraid of punishment.  Now that we are free from our bonds, we have the freedom to eat however we please, but on this night, we recline to show that we do not take this freedom for granted.

Almost done, I promise.

There are a few things left to happen, including dinner.  There is the breaking and hiding of the Afikomen, and the inviting Elijah in.  Now, I do not know and have never really heard any symbolic meaning behind the Afikomen, so I will simply tell it as I know it.  The Afikomen is the center matzah from the stack of 3 that is on the table.  During the meal it is taken out to show the bread of Haste that we eat to remember our flight from egypt, and then it is broken into two pieces.  One piece is placed back into the stack to be broken up and eaten from later, the other piece is, at some point during the meal, hidden.   Why? I have no idea.  But it is a big game for the young children to go and find the afikomen.  There is usually a present for the child who finds it and brings it back to the table.  The Afikomen is then divided up again and is used as the Dessert for the Meal.

Elijah is another deal.  Throughout the night the goblet of wine is filled and waiting for Elijah to visit.  Before dinner the children go to the door and invite in Elijah, and any others who may be outside and be hungry for dinner.  By the time the kids get back to the table, the goblet of wine has been emptied by the Prophet while he stopped in briefly to enjoy the meal.

There are larger implications of Elijah’s visit, namely that if he actually does visit and stay, it will be to announce the coming of the Messiah within the next year.  But that’s a completely different story for a completely different time.

Whew.

You think it was long to read?  A traditional Seder will last about 4 hours, not necessarily including dinner.  Most modern families skip the longer parts by putting The Ten Commandments into the DVD player during the day, asking the 4 questions, singing a few songs, and then inviting in Elijah.  My father and Uncle Brent could do the entire Seder in under 20 minutes.  And then you eat.

Food is traditionally lamb or chicken, with matzah ball soup and other jewish side dishes that I have yet to learn how to make (although tzimmes is fantastic and I really need to perfect it..).

By the end of the night you are full, you are happy, and you are surrounded by family and friends. I am strengthened every year by the thoughts that everywhere in the world, everywhere from Israel, to new Zealand, to The US, to Iran, to Kenya there are Jews everywhere celebrating the holiday with me, singing the same songs, saying the same prayers, and waiting for Elijah.

And that connection to the greater world, the knowledge that no matter where I am, the traditions have been held onto and passed down and are being repeated everywhere makes me feel even more spiritual than insignificant.  But explanations on my religion and my faith are not why you’re here.  I promise, I’ll get back to more fun things like food and travel soon.

I hope you have enjoyed this two part explanation of yet another segment of the complex person that I am.  I am considering making a whole section of this blog about Judaism, or at least My Judaism.  I wonder if anybody would be interested in reading that?  Let me know!

Although I’ll probably do it anyway.

Next Year In Jerusalem!

*Sephardic refers to the Jewish peoples from the Western European countries and the middle east (Iran, Iraq, Spain, morocco, etc)

** Ashkenazic refers to the Jewish peoples from Eastern Europe (poland, Ukraine) and Russia

So Much

Ohman ohman ohmy.  So much to cover.

 

I know, i promised a more thorough thought through the horrors of bullying, but you know what, i’m sure my viewpoint on that is not going to be anything that anybody really wants to hear, so we’ll just let it go.

 

Although if somebody decides they are dying to know my opinion on Bullying, just let me know and I’ll be more than happy to write something more up.

 

However, there are other things.

 

First off, I have a job interview!  Tuesday morning at 10am.

 

I will not jinx this by saying much more than that, but please if you are a believer in finger crossing, I would greatly appreciate the cramped knuckles in my general direction (for most of you this is down).

 

Ok, you can let go now.  No, seriously.  It’s ok. You can let go.  Well I didn’t ask you to get your fingers stuck, now did I?

 

Sheesh.

 

Alright, in other adventures, we haven’t really trekked or tramped anywhere of much lately, been busy meeting the friends, planning my domination of his house (nearly complete), and cooking on the weekends.  Sometimes the food is stellar, other times not so much.

 

Sometimes, we have meals that are halfway there between stellar and average.  Like tonight.  Tonight was store bought chicken skewers with butternut squash.  I tried to season the squash savory, but I really didn’t like the results.  It also cooled far too long.  the skewers, however, were just barely tolerable.  High levels of salt, mostly fat and sinew, and the flavor was eh.  Not a repeat purchase.

 

Today, however, was a successful day in the kitchen.  I took the leftover Challah and turned it into a rather tasty bread pudding (yes a sweet treat that even E will eat), and then tonight, discovering the tomatoes that we bought last week still lingering in our fridge, I decided to try my hand at tomato soup.

 

I peeled, seeded and sliced the tomatoes, I sauteed up some red onion in olive oil and butter, added in garlic, and some spices, and then stewed everything in some vegetable broth.  after the tomatoes had broken down and the liquid had reduced by almost half, I poured it into my new Food Processor (YESSSSSSS) and pureed it up.

 

POOF

 

Tomato soup.  Fascinating.  I was going to let E take it to work tomorrow, but he still has Hot & sour soup leftovers that he has to finish up.  So I get the Tomato soup tomorrow for lunch.

 

Score!

 

I might make myself some rice to put into it.  Shocking!

 

hmm.

 

that’s about it for the moment, but yes.  If you are a thinking, praying, hoping, wishing, finger crossing and uncrossing, kind thoughts type of person, send some of that magic karma my way on Tuesday 10am  (that’s around 5pm EST Monday).

 

I’m gonna need the good vibes.

Foodities

So, I thought for a while that I would make this blog have a section on food that I’ve cooked and the recipes that I used.

 

Which is an awesome idea.

 

Until I realized that for the most part I don’t use recipes.  this could be a challenge.

 

Take for example the dinner from tonight.

 

I just grabbed a few of the things that we had in the house and whipped this up.

 

 

Steamed broccoli, italian herbed potato wedges (they were from a bag), and then the steak and sauce.

 

sauce was started by cutting up some fresh crimini and a red capsicum (bell pepper for my States readers).  These were tossed into the frying pan with a bit of butter, some black pepper, ground cumin, minced garlic, and italian herbs.  I sauteed this up until just about done.  Then transferred it to a bowl to rest.

 

At this point, I took our two steaks and put them right into the hot pan.  while they seared on one side, i spiced the other with pepper, cumin, and then some brown mustard from the squeeze bottle.  flip the steaks.

 

Meanwhile I took our sauteed veggies and added to them a can of mushrooms in pepper sauce.  Which looked like a cream of mushroom soup, but with pepper.  I stirred them together and then added in some more mustard and then some worcestershire sauce.  Stir and tasted, delicious.

 

Since E and I both like steak that’s not well done, I wasn’t worried about killing the steak.  So I pulled it out of the pan with about 10 minutes of time left.  Placing the mushroom sauce into the pan to heat it up.  That took about 5 minutes (at this point, I turned the broccoli on to start to steam).

 

with the last 5 minutes, i put the steak back in the frying pan and covered it with the mushroom and capsicum sauce.

 

And the end results?  Delicious, to say the least.  E finished his plate.  Almost too quickly I think.

 

I doubt I could repeat the success, but it certainly tastes good tonight.

Dinner and a Goal

So, we went out to dinner the other night with E’s friend and her boyfriend.  The food was divine, the company exciting and very enjoyable and the conversation lively.

 

And somewhere in that conversation an event was mentioned, the event being “Round the Bays”.  It’s an annual 8k fun-run that circles the bay in Auckland.  Run/Walk/Crawl.  But no cycling or skating.

 

And I first thought to myself, there’s no way. I can’t do that! Walking 1k around the neighborhood is killing me, let alone 8k!  I’m just not ready!

 

Well, I went to the website for the run, checked out a few things and I have made my decision.

 

I am not yet ready to do this event this year.  However, next year, gods willing, I will be there.  I will enter into Round the Bays and I will finish.  Whether I be running, walking, or some combination of the two, I will do this event.

 

A goal.  I have a goal for myself.  By next March, I will be able to go 8k without wanting to die.

 

Good things come to those who set goals.

 

http://www.roundthebays.co.nz