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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Two Potato Vindaloo- changed

I received the cookbook Plenty for Christmas and was very excited to try some of the recipes. Tonight I made the two potato vindaloo. Of course, I changed somethings, one being I'm cooking for only myself so I halved the recipe (maybe a little more than half). The second, I used half of a sweet potato, half of a small red potato and half of a small yellow potato.
I also added 1/4 of a small pumpkin, cut into one inch cubes. I didn't have any cider vinegar so I used pomegranate vinegar. The most amazing aroma wafted throughout my kitchen, when I added this! Last, I used red pepper flakes instead of chili, again just because I didn't have any in the house, about 2 Tablespoons of curry powder instead of the leaves and about a teaspoon of cardamom powder. Remember, when cooking for one person, use about half of the required measurement. These were the only changes I made. Oh, except I added whole wheat naan, not crazy about white rice. LOL! I mean if you want the starch... go for the Naan! The scent of curry and coriander still linger in my house, BTW. How I love that aroma!

Here is the original recipe:

The longer you let this curry sit, the deeper the flavours will become, so it's well worth making it in a larger quantity and refrigerating any excess for a later date. As always, thick, cool yogurt makes an excellent condiment. Serves four.

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
8 cardamom pods
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large shallots (about 150g each)
½ tsp brown mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek
25 curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 C cider vinegar
1 3/4 C water
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 1/2 cups (net weight) waxy potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
2 small red peppers, cored and cut into 2cm dice
2 1/2 cups (net weight) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
Mint or coriander leaves, to serve

Dry-roast the cumin, coriander and cardamom in a small frying pan until they begin to pop. Transfer to a mortar, add the cloves and work with a pestle to a fine powder, discarding the cardamom skins once the seeds are released. Add the turmeric, paprika and cinnamon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pot. Add the shallots, mustard seeds and fenugreek, and sauté on high heat for eight minutes, or until the shallots brown. Stir in the curry leaves, ginger, chilli and ground spices, and cook for another three minutes.

Add the tomatoes, vinegar, water, sugar and some salt, bring to a boil and leave to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and peppers, and simmer for another 20 minutes. Now add the sweet potatoes, make sure all the vegetables are just immersed in the sauce (add more water if needed) and continue cooking, covered, for about 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove the lid and leave to bubble away for about 10 minutes, to reduce and thicken the sauce.

Serve hot with plain rice and garnished with the herb leaves.

• Yotam Ottolenghi is chef/patron of Ottolenghi in London.

Tuesday Tunes

This is my dedication for the Patriots who are playing in the Superbowl this weekend. Go Pats!!
I wanted the version by Anita O'Day but no such luck on youtube. This is the closest. I do love the vintage photos.

Ok, this video is hilarious. We've come a long way in talk shows... Too bad for the recording numbers across the bottom but on this video it really looks like he's singing and not lip syncing.

Beautiful photography in this video

Monday, January 30, 2012

Butternut Squash Risotto

Right now I'm going to sound like Sally Albright from "When Harry met Sally" because I'm going to tell you some things I did different for this recipe.  First, the recipe I used was for pumpkin risotto but I used butternut squash instead.  Second, it was one I wrote down from who knows where, so I found an easier one (  But that's not all I changed.  Oh, no....   To make the butternut squash really tasty, ROAST it rather than cooking in the saucepan.  I mean, it probably is good but it has more flavor when roasted. (roast at 400 degrees until fork tender (and don't be doing yoga while doing this part).  I also sprinkled the cut-up squash with salt, pepper, thyme and some rosemary.

When it came to cooking the risotto, I seasoned my oil with some more thyme, tarragon and some shallots.  Also I did not add the squash until half-way through cooking the risotto.

Make sure you heat your stock (you can use vegetable stock instead of chicken).  Also when the risotto is at the creamy stage (which is when the risotto is al dente), remove from heat and add 1-2 Tablespoons of butter.  (This is a tip from Jamie Oliver)

Last, I added some cooked pancetta.  YUMMM!

The rest of the steps can be found in the recipe below.  Also I don't add the extra salt, I find the pancetta and parmesan give it enough saltiness.

Rather than adding the squash at the end, we cooked it with the Arborio rice; the squash softens during cooking and makes the dish sweeter.
Everyday Food, October 2004
  • Prep Time1 hour
  • Total Time1 hour
  • YieldServes 4


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth, mixed with 1/2 cup water and heated
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish


  1. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until edges soften, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add rice; stir to coat. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1/2 cup hot broth mixture. Cook, stirring, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding more, 35 to 40 minutes total.
  4. Stir in Parmesan, sage, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve immediately, garnished with more Parmesan and sage, if desired.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seeing Red

My Mum's favorite color has always been red and for as long as I can remember it's been in the home. Red is her passion and she has always followed her heart when it comes to decorating. Against white wainscoting and bits of ink black furniture, the red really pops. Her love of vintage collectibles are found throughout the house. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


tree by skinsbbc
tree, a photo by skinsbbc on Flickr.

It was 80 degrees here today. Not exactly my idea of a January day.

picplz_upload by skinsbbc
picplz_upload, a photo by skinsbbc on Flickr.

Notice the contrast- bare trees

Whole Living -- Whole Living Challenge of the Day

Ok, I'm going to come right out and say it, I have some stomach issues. But I think I may know the reason why but since I'm not a doctor nor do I play one of TV, I'm not going to self-diagnose. Anyway, I have two friends who are vegans. To me the thought of not being able to eat eat the sweets that I love keeps me from going in this direction. But last week, I took a vegan cooking class and boy was I surprised! Not only were the meals Fabulous! But I didn't have one single stomach problem!! So when I came across this article from Whole Living, I just thought I should share it with everyone. Enjoy!

click on the link...
Whole Living -- Whole Living Challenge of the Day

High on Britian

Couldn't wait to post these. Here's a little bit more on the designer:
Claire Campbell

Design, quality and utility are the three core brand values cited by HIGH's British designer, "modern couturier" Claire Campbell, who is recognized as a leading creative talent in contemporary clothing design.

A breath of fresh air in today's fashion scene, HIGH aimes to create contemporary classics over transient fashion and clothing design for everyday use over occasional wear.

As Claire Campbell says "The men's and women clothing and accessory fashion collections designed for HIGH exude a quiet elegance and wealth of tradition that is communicated when clothes work and become part of a person's life".

The starting point of the multi-purpose, functional clothes and accessories is a great respect for tradition and craftsmanship, for beauty born of utility. Looking back to original, hand-stitched, soft-wearing clothing, the HIGH collections turn clothing essentials into contemporary classics for everyday.

Claire Campbell has aimed to create functional yet sophisticated everyday casual couture garments with a human touch; clothing modelled by hand, with attention to detail.

"We use good quality ingredients to make clothes people will want to wear and use", says Campbell, "like bespoke clothing for everyone".

Both the tailored line, HIGH, and the casual line, HIGH USE, embody the brand's guiding principles of high design, high utility and high quality.

"Today, the edges are blurred between casual and formal dressing. There are no longer any rules to limit these two categories from being combined and this is the essence of contemporary dressing", explains Claire Campbell.

HIGH is a brand with a strong identity, that will resis the vagaries of passing fashion.

With its lightness of touch, HIGH is a new and original expression of contemporary Casual chic in designer clothing.

Click twice to watch the videos.

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fashion Friday

‎"Clothes and jewellery should be startling, individual. When you see a woman in my clothes, you want to know more about them. To me, that is what distinguishes good designers from bad designers" - Alexander McQueen.

It was fashion Couture week in Paris this past Monday. Here are some of my fans..

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

Source: via Kerry on Pinterest

The Finale piece... weighed 110 lbs!
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