Archive | January, 2012

Tasty vegetarian korma with a kick

24 Jan

After a weekend of over-indulging I decided that the boy and I needed some sustenance. A meal consisting entirely of vegetables was never going to go down well with him, so I decided to disguise it as a curry. Throwing together a few left overs I was pretty pleased with what I came up with: a spicy korma-style curry that was thoroughly enjoyed by us both.

I recently learned that although only 3% of the UK population is vegetarian, another 5% regularly eat meat free meals out of choice. I may be (occasionally!) in that 5%.

I used: 1 x sweet potato, 1 x courgette, 1 x onion, 1 x pepper, 1 x carrot, 1 x butternut squash, a handful of mushrooms, fresh garlic, chillies and ginger, 1 x lemon, dried turmeric, cumin, cardamom pods fresh coriander and a tub of low-fat creme fraiche.

What I did: I made the curry paste in a pestle and mortar, chopping and mixing the herbs and spices, along with the lemon juice and rind (scraping the cardamom seeds out of their pods beforehand.) Then, chopped the vegetables, parboiled the sweet potato, carrot and butternut squash and then added to the wok, along with the remaining vegetables and the curry paste. Once the vegetables were cooked (don’t let them get too squishy!) I added the tomatoes and the whole tub of

low-fat creme fraiche. I finished off with extra fresh coriander and a spoonful of rice.

It was veggielicious!

My first all veggie curry

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Food and four-legged friends

11 Jan

Reading the Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog today compelled me to pen my first post about our new cat, Jasmine. Determined not to become a crazy cat lady I’ll not gush too much about her but it’s safe to say, I love her. She is fab.

Despite Jasmine’s fabulousness and my newfound Dr Dolittle-like talents, I do agree with The Guardian’s comments about the inappropriateness of animals in restaurants. Country pubs, fair enough but restaurants, absolutely not. Granted it’s mainly a phenomenon encountered abroad but nonetheless, three’s a crowd when it comes to a long anticipated romantic meal out, especially when the third has four legs.

My fondness of Jasmine means I forgive her for squeaking up as us whilst we sit at our own dinner table, the cat expecting a feline-sized portion of whatever we may be enjoying. If her dog-like begging goes on for long enough, hell, she usually gets her own way, but if a stranger’s pet does this in a restaurant I am not quite so willing to share.

But, as I read further into the Guardian’s post, I was introduced to a phenomenon far more disturbing than a restaurant owner’s pesky pet…the cat cafes of Japan. Forgive my naivety, but I have never before heard of these freaky places where loners (this is my own opinion and may not be factually correct) go to cuddle a random cat whilst enjoying a cup of coffee. Have a read of this BBC article that makes the cats in these places sound like high-class call girls: “There were seven customers, mostly single men….” err…

This finding has however, put my crazy cat lady worries into perspective.

Jasmine has a bit of a problem with the flash on my phone.

My belated New Year’s resolution…

6 Jan

is to keep my lovely blog updated with suitably appropriate imagery. I was getting ever so bored of the cupcakes. January…healthy fruit.

Foods to try before you die

5 Jan

I’ve just tried out Facebook’s new app The Food List Challenge. It lists 100 foods you must try before you die and boasts that the average user will have tried less than 20 of them. I must admit I was pretty surprised at some of the entries; BBQ ribs…of course, Bellini…a no brainer and Chicken Tikka Massala…err, isn’t that the nation’s favourite dish?

There’s also some dishes on there that brought back some fab memories of faraway travels. Clam Chowder. Tick. Had the lucky experience of tasting this in San Francisco, a city famous for serving the soup inside a bowl made from sourdough bread. Delicious. Goat. Tick. Cooked for the boy and I by a delightful family in their very small and humble home in Mombasa, Kenya. The meat was so tough that the boy had to hide some chunks in his pocket, successfully avoiding offence. We’ve tried it nonetheless.

So, it seems strange that I didn’t score quite as highly as I’d imagined. But to be fair, I don’t think I’ll ever tick off durian or phall, I just don’t have the stomach.

 

San Francisco's famous dish

This Christmas I should have asked for…

1 Jan

Why is it that for weeks and weeks in the run up to the festive period when that dreaded question is asked; “what do you want for Christmas” all I get is a mental block. Brains are racked, websites scoured and friends interrogated, but Santa’s list gets more difficult to compose every year. Then, as soon as the turkey is troughed and tree taken down, a barrage of gift ideas spring to mind with a whole year to wait for them to arrive under the tree.

And today I decided that I should have asked for a waffle iron. These clever gadgets have featured during a number of festive TV shows I’ve watched whilst enjoying a cheeky tipple and have left my mouth-watering! Please remind me that this needs to be at the top of next year’s gift list.

Happy new year all!

My 2012 Christmas present!