Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Saag Paneer

I actually made this meal in the middle of the summer. But, somehow, it didn't feel like the right time to post it. For me, this meal is a cool weather kind of thing. It comes in handy though...having some posts on the back burner...for times like this week.
I spent the past weekend in NYC at a Photoshop workshop for bloggers, called Blogshop. It was the best! I learned so much, and want to tell you all about it...I will soon. For now, I am playing catch up. Not being home for 2 days felt like a week...or, I should say it looked like I had been gone a week when I got home.

Today, while I was working on this post, I wished I was having it tonight. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love Indian food. Specifically, Saag Paneer, also known as Palak Paneer. It's a stew-like dish, made with spinach {the saag, or palak} and paneer...which is a firm Indian cheese that has a very mild flavor. The two are cooked with aromatic spices, onions and cream. How much cream depends on the Indian restaurant, or chef who happens to be preparing it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumn!

This is the second time I've posted on the Autumnal Equinox. I don't think I've ever posted about the start of any other season...and the reason is, I love Fall. It's my most favorite time of the year.
For some of you, who may not live in an area with defined seasons, Fall may not make as big of an impression. But, here in New England, it makes the best impression. I love the changing leaves, the pumpkins, Halloween, fires in the backyard, the crisp air, and sweaters.
Life has been very busy, as usual...but, I hope to sit back and enjoy some of the wonderful changes around me.

I have many great things coming your way this Fall. They will be surprises, but I think you'll really enjoy them...at least, I hope you will! I'm really excited to start cooking cool weather foods...digging out the cast iron, and cooking the kinds of meals that take all day, filling the house with amazing smells.
I have several things on the burner, just about ready to post. This weekend I'm attending a Photoshop blogging workshop in NYC, called Blogshop. I'm super duper excited about it, and hope to learn some cool new tricks! I will tell you all about it this week, I promise. In the meantime, check out this video from one of their past workshops. Looks so fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bozo Picture of the Week...

Yesterday, the Bozos played hooky. I pulled them out of school for the day so we could go to a Yankee game! Shhh...don't tell anyone.
I couldn't pass up the opportunity, as the tickets were free {a gift from my Dad} and this was our first trip to the ballpark this season. We've had many opportunities in past years to go because my Pops has season tickets, and we inevitably end up getting some of the games he can't attend. But, one common problem is that his tickets are for two seats. So, I always end up having to choose which kid to take with me...a decision that usually ends in tears, along with various other displays of hysterics. Typically, we "take turns" with who gets to go. But, this time we didn't have to because we got three tickets!
It was such a fun day! The weather couldn't have been any more perfect...a gorgeous, sunny, Fall day. We stuffed ourselves silly on stadium food...including cheesesteak, hot dogs, cheese fries, garlic fries, cracker jacks, ice cream, fresh squeezed lemonades...and beer for Mommy. Let me tell you, it was a good thing the tickets were free!
I love spending days like this, alone with my boys. No to-do lists, no emails, no household chores. Just hanging and enjoying each others company. On the train ride home, they told me it was the best day ever. I thought so too. {Thanks Pops!}
[Some other Yankees fun here, here, and here.]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roasted Corn & Edamame Succotash

Here in Connecticut, the temperature is dropping into the 60s over the next few days. Fall is in the air, and September life as I know it is in full swing. Lazy days have been replaced with a busy Fall schedule of school, homework, and afternoon sports.
This salad is dedicated to the last glimpse of Summer. It's a salad I've eaten many, many times...but, have never made until now. A very similar version is sold at the deli, in a local market I frequent quite often. When it's available, I always buy a quart, and when I do have it in the fridge, it never lasts long. All I need is that plastic tub and a fork and I'm happy.
I find this salad to be very addictive. I'm a huge fan of edamame {roasted corn is pretty tasty too} and there's something about this crunchy veggie mixture with a creamy, yet light, mayonnaise dressing that I can't get enough of. Because I love it so much, I had to share it with you here.
A quick Internet search turned up this recipe, which from what I can gather is a fairly exact copy of the one I've been enjoying for months. I changed a few things here and there based on what I had available at the time...and, that's the beauty of recipes like this one...it's very adaptable. You can easily turn this into an Autumn succotash by using frozen corn kernels. It will still be fantastic. Plus, using frozen corn will cut way back on the time needed to make it...a good thing on busy weeknights.
One of the creative liberties I took was making a pretty large batch of it. I considered halving it for this post, but decided to leave it as is, as I'm confident you'll be happy to have it hanging around the fridge for a few days. Have your kids try some too...it was given a big thumbs up from my Bozos. They even requested it be included in their school lunch the following day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fire Roasted Heirloom Salsa

One of the things I did, just prior to getting hit with the recent hurricane, was go food shopping. Just like every person within 100 miles of me. I was hoping the storm wouldn't be as bad as everyone was predicting, that we wouldn't lose power, and that the weekend would be spent being stuck inside, playing board games, watching movies, cooking yummy food and eating!
So, rather stupidly, I stocked the fridge to the max. It wasn't the brightest thing to do because we did indeed lose power. At first it flickered on and off, about every hour or so. Then, it finally went kaput for good the morning the storm hit. After that, the next 48 hours had me in a panic. Not because we couldn't watch TV, or use the computer, or because it's very hard to get used to doing everything in the dark...but, because of the food! Why, oh why, did I spend all that money on food? Much of which would end up getting thrown away. Especially when there are people all over this planet starving?
To relieve some of the anxiety I was having over the situation, I made it my mission to use up as much of it as I could. Luckily, we had the foresight to fill the propane tank for the grill, and anything that could be cooked on it, did. The need to empty the contents of our crisper drawer, combined with a massive amount of tomatoes I had on hand from our garden, inspired this recipe.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bozo Picture of the Week...

It seems like forever since I posted last! Things around our house have been in upheaval since Hurricane Irene rolled through. For starters we lost power for two days. Then, because of all the damage it caused, and resulting power outages in our town, the first day of school was postponed for six days.
Now, for all of you mothers out there who consider having your children home with you all day a blessing...and, I know there's plenty of you out there...this was probably an occasion to rejoice over. But, for me? Not so much.
Now, don't get me wrong. There are things about Summer vacation I really love. Things like not having to pack lunches and generally having lazy mornings. No homework to talk my kids into doing, or sports to shuttle around to. Instead, there's trips to the pool, or beach...and having a tan on my typically pale body. I could go on...
All those lovely things aside, there's the constant refereeing...the endless whining...the yelling {theirs and mine}...the "he hit me", "he's not giving me a turn", and "do I have to?". Then, there's the fact that I can't get a thing done. My life has piled up around me, and getting around to tackling all that needs to be tackled is just something that hasn't been happening.
The thing is, it's been that way because we have been enjoying our Summer. Things that need to get done haven't in favor of having a fun day...and, that's okay. It's okay, because eventually school does start. And, finally, as of today, it has...and, I am very happy about it!
Will it take me some time to get used to this quiet house? No.
{Photos: My boys on their first day of 2nd and 4th grade!}