Traveling in Seoul and Japan
No new recipes until May 7th, after I return from S. Korea and Japan, but you can follow along with my trip on instagram! ( @spontaneoustomato )
I may not be morning person but I am definitely a breakfast person, as in, I make a mean breakfast.
I make nearly everything: pancakes, chilaquiles, baguette french toast, huevos rancheros, overnight oats, frittatas. (I say nearly everything because while Allison has designated me the breakfast-maker in the house, she refuses to allow me to scramble eggs; they need to be handled a certain way to be delicately fluffy and apparently I stir them too often.)
I took these photos a week or two before Thanksgiving, but I’m craving this dish again as I write this, and hatching a plan to make it again sometime soon.
I don’t think I’d ever eaten polenta up until a few years ago, but it’s become one of my favorite staples to whip up as a weeknight dinner back-up plan. When everything else seems like it would require too much energy, or — even worse — another trip to the grocery store, I know I’ll at least have some polenta and a can of tomatoes around to turn into a meal. And since I always have at least a little butter and an onion in the fridge, I just have to hope to find a little Parmesan in there too, to turn it into a decadent feast.
I swear, those ingredients combined are even more appealing to me than pasta. (Not counting gnocchi, though, because I LOVE gnocchi.) But I know nearly everyone loves pasta and maybe can’t see the appeal of polenta in comparison, so just hear me out…
Last winter I posted a recipe for Easy Thai Peanut Curry. It’s not some labor-intensive DIY-curry-paste masterpiece, but I’m proud of it because it’s a fast, simple way to make delicious Thai curry from ingredients I keep on hand, like coconut milk and ground spices. (Bonus for some: it’s vegan!)
I got a few comments after that post about how reminiscent the method was of those used in Indian curries. In fact, I had come up with the recipe when paging through an Indian cookbook. Many north Indian curries start with a blended paste of garlic and ginger — often with water added for easier blending — so instead of using water in the paste, I used some of the coconut milk that I would later add to the curry anyway.
Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to post a recipe for an easy, under-an-hour Indian curry, using a similar method…
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, then you’ve heard me whining — since all the way back in July — about my tendinitis/RSI injury from too much computering.
It felt like a long summer of going to physical therapy, not-so-patiently resting my hands, wrists, and arms, and taking lots of forced time off from the laptop and the internet.
Even now that I’m back to doing a little typing, I’m limiting myself to about 3 hours per day of using my new ergonomic keyboard and taking frequent, regular breaks (using free RSI break reminder apps). And believe me, 3 hours feels like nothing, especially when you’ve been a graduate student/food blogger. I don’t think I’ve ever been so behind on responding to emails in my life.
But back to this summer: I didn’t cook; I didn’t wash dishes. (Well, I tried, but then my hands were in so much pain that Paula forbid me from doing anything in the kitchen…) So it all fell on Paula’s shoulders — all the cooking and cleaning for two, on top of her full-time job.
And yet, we still survived the summer! (And we only ate 1 or 2 frozen dinners from Trader Joe’s a week!) How did we do it? This salad.
Two sweet recipes in a row! It must be THAT time of year…
Actually, I am thrilled that it’s October and that the weather’s gotten cooler. For one thing, I can now use my oven again without dire, sweaty consequences. I’m excited about chilly mornings and cool evenings: needing a hot cup of coffee to warm up my fingers when I sit down at my computer each day, and needing a blanket to curl up under at night.
I know there are some who would consider Santa Barbara to be a place that never quite gets hot enough, but for me it’s gotten plenty hot, especially since this drought hit. So I treasure every single one of the cool, misty days when the marine layer floats in over the mountains, and I can briefly pretend that we have seasons here, and that it’s fall.
Paula and I got married!
So I’m interrupting my not-so-regular recipe-posting schedule [although finally the tendinitis/RSI pain is subsiding a little] to bring you these photos of our tamale-centered wedding feast!
Next time I’ll be back with a recipe, though… I promise.
Unlike all of my other blog posts, these are not my photos, but those of our fabulous wedding photographer, Debbie Gardner. And the food wasn’t made by me or Paula (although we thought about doing it ourselves — for about 5 seconds!), but by Pure Joy Catering. We were very happy with both!