I'm not a confident cook and I often claim to hate cooking but this is not true. I discover this every time I am forced to extend myself in any way in the culinary arena. We have a Gourmet Dinner group as one of our Enrichment groups and I find that I really enjoy the process of making something new and interesting. It occurred to me that I may perhaps become a more keen cook if I were more inspired. I tend to look for recipes with 5 ingredients or less a lot of the time, but constructing a meal this way just feels like drudgery to me, it's really boring. When the recipe is slightly more complex or I'm trying out something completely new, it becomes creative. I have always been fascinated but intimidated by beautiful food and the process of creating it. But life's too short for that (the intimidation part, that is), so I'm over it.

I thought I would keep some momentum for my new culinary quest by posting about it weekly. Maybe a share a successful recipe or the details of a spectacular failure. You're encouraged to chime in with your own. If there's any interest I might add a Mr. Linky so we can check out your culinary delights on your own blog. Anyway..let's see how it goes.

For this my first foodie installment, I actually have 2 recipes and a product endorsement (I like to start with a bang).

First recipe is from the aforementioned Gourmet Dinner Group.Our last gathering was Thai themed, and I chose to make the curry. (I'm a huge curry fan). I had never made Thai food and had limited experience with eating it, but I was pleasantly surprised with this recipe. The one thing I will definitely do differently next time is greatly reduce the amount of fish oil called for, I was not a fan of it and it came dangerously close to spoiling the recipe for me.

Thai Pineapple Chicken Curry

(Click on the photo for the recipe).

I found the reviews helpful and took a few of the suggestions,including that of using only one can of coconut milk and not cooking the veges for too long.

Earlier this week my friend Lisa shared a recipe for Crockpot Indian Chicken. It is from the site of that groovy woman who has committed to cooking in her crockpot every day for a year. Sadly, I could not find the garam masala in time, so I used a nice curry blend we had on hand. You can make your own Garam Masala if you are so inclined but unless you have all these spices on hand it would be more economical just to buy it-if you can find it. (Here is the recipe for Garam Masala)

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds; (without pods)
1 stick cinnamon -- broken

Since Garam Masala is not curry powder, I am sure mine turned out significantly different in taste, but it was still delicious and could not have been easier. My kids loved it (the picky one who technically should not still be alive even tolerated it). We had it over brown rice but Aaron suggested we try it with jasmine rice next time

So there you have it, a taste of Thailand, a taste of India. Both easy peasy and delicious. Who said this cooking thing was hard?

And now for the product endorsement. I have had a very busy week and have found myself on at least two occasions running to TA assignment having not eaten since breakfast. Both times my new on -the- run -lunch- of- champions got me through the grueling afternoon. How do full-time teachers do it? (I think the fact that they are not taken advantage of by their students the way we are, might help)

The OTRLOC consists of

I have to admit peeps, I did not have high hopes when I saw this bar, but I was starving, out of time and looking for something reasonably healthy. My beloved Balance bars are coated in chocolate, and I'm trying to avoid that. What sealed the deal was that these were on sale. I grabbed two.

Both flavours I have tried (apricot goji and coconut acai) are quite delicious and surprisingly substantial, like I said, one bar held me all afternoon and gave me the energy I needed to be sufficiently scary and mean to 6th graders, and patient and kind to kindergartners.

I washed them down with Snapple antioxidant water. I am totally skeptical of any "enhanced" water but I have to say I was really dehydrated and getting a big headache and just half a bottle did the trick for me, where straight water usually doesn't by the time I am at that stage. I am not actually endorsing this product (since I remain skeptical of "enhanced" water) but I have to say that I enjoyed the orange-starfruit flavour, the strawberry-acai was not my fav (it tasted kind of "off" to me) and both helped me to feel better during my mid-day energy crisis.

Bon Appetit!

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Aunt LoLo said...

ooh, your curry sounds lovely! i made sushi tonight for a get together with a neighbor - she'd never tried sushi, or avacado, so i made california rolls and crab rolls. om nom nom!

Kallie said...

for a little while now, I've been trying to post somewhat healthy recipes that I try on kalliesattempt.blogspot.com. No one really knows about it except my mom and my sisters but you're welcome to check it out. (in your non-sugar quest. . .) ps. i'm not promising these things will be ALLLL healthy.