Monday, November 30, 2009

Skillet Thai Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Tofu | ATK

Sometimes the best dishes just do not translate into images, or at least not into my images, this is one of those dishes, absolutely delicious, the picture just does not do it justice. I even screwed up the recipe a little and it still came out great.
So, tis the season for RUM CAKES. Last year I asked for your recipes and you didn't dissapoint, (remember this tasty gem, and this thanks to Brenna and AM) this year I ask again, "Give me your alcohol laden cake recipes", it doesn't have to be rum, it can be any alcohol...bring em on and I'll pick one and make it for my upcoming parties and blog all about it.

Skillet Thai Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Tofu
serves 4 to 6
14 ounces extra firm tofu
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp red curry paste
1 (14oz) can coconut milk 
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 pound snow peas, strings removed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp lime juice

1. Slice the tofu into 1/4-inch planks. Lay the planks on a clean kitchen towel. Lightly press the tofu until its surface is dry. Unwrap and cut it into 3/4 inch cubes.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until simmering. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes. Gently stir the tofu and cook until a second side is olden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Add the remaining tbsp oil to the skillet and return to medium heat until simmering. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly until very fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in the coconut milk fish sauce, light brown sugar, and water. Add the sweet potatoes and tofu; bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Add the red bell pepper and snow peas, increase the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, covered until the peas are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the basil and lime juice. Serve with salt to taste. I served over white rice.

Rating = So Damn Good

Friday, November 27, 2009

Autumn Cranberry Pear Jam

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade has really gone down hill. That's all I'm saying about that.

I slept in this morning, until 8:15, which was very late considering I'm usually up at 5. I came downstairs and exclaimed to Chris that I was ready to "bust some doors". However off this statement may sound, it's not wrong considering that the door buster hours at Kohls were from 4-1 and then from 3-close, so the only hours that were not technically "door busters" were from 1-3. I think they should have come up with a better name than door buster.

I really do hope that this years black friday proves to be busier than last year...I hope that there is glimmers that this holiday will be easier and merrier for more families than it was last year. I plan on a little cyber Monday action too, I hope that proves more fruitful for the economy, I'm so sick and tired of the doom and gloom of the economy and think we "need a little Christmas, right this very minute." We're getting our tree on Sunday, I can't wait.

The big work craft fair is this Thursday and I'm just about ready. This is one of the jams that I will be selling, delicious Autumn Cranberry Pear Jam. This one is one of Chris' favorites of all the stuff that I have made. 

Autumn Cranberry Pear Jam
makes about six 8 oz jars

3 cups crushed cored peeled pears
2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pouch (3 oz) liquid pectin

1. Prepare canner jars and lids

2.  In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan combine pears, cranberries, apple juice, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. 

3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot jam. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Rating = So Damn Good

Monday, November 23, 2009

Can You Can Can?

So..I've been doing a little canning. Something you may or may not know about me is that when I get stressed, I sometimes get a little obsessive with things in order to take my mind off of whatever is stressing me out. So, through my fathers hospice stay and passing, I canned. To date, this is what I have made

Autumn Glory Compote (Sugar Pumpkin, Pineapple, Golden Raisins)

Jalepeno Gold Jelly (Jalapeno, Red Onion, Red Pepper, Green Pepper)

Kiwi Jam (Kiwi, Lime Juice)

White Wine and Rosemary 

Carrot Cake Jam (Carrot, Pear, Pineapple, Clove, Nutmeg, Cinnamon) OH MY! 

Zucchini Relish

Apricot and Jalapeno Jam (So Damn Good)

Pear and Cranberry (seems to be the crowd favorite)

Apricot and Date Chutney (very very very very good)

Wednesday morning I will also be making Cranberry Chutney for Thanksgiving.

The good thing about all this is my company is having a craft fair next Thursday and I can sell all this stuff. Hopefully people like it and buy it and I can get the seven hundred jars of jelly off of my kitchen counter top.

I'll post the pear and cranberry jelly recipe tomorrow. Its a great fall Jelly, CB had it with peanut butter for his lunch today.

If you are interested in buying any of these as hostess gifts before they go on sale at my company craft fair next week let me know. I assume that I will probably sell out that day.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Walnut Pesto

I know...I take my sweet ass time getting back to you and all you get is condiment for crying out loud. I'm working on it people. And, I won't lie, this pesto is pretty damn good. Just before the first frost my basil plant finally decided to show up in the garden. I got enough basil leaves to make 16 ounces of pesto, 8 ounces of regular pesto and then 8 oz of this more hearty earthy walnut pesto. I got this recipe from another blogger, that I hadn't read before and I absolutely love the name of her blog...Kiss My Spatula. Here is a link to the recipe on her website.

I've got a confession. I've been listening to Christmas music on Pandora all week. Yes, I'm one of those people who will go into a department store in October and cry foul over all the Christmas trees, decorations, etc., and then get in the car and blast my Swinging Christmas cd all the way home. I'm even going to make gingerbread biscotti this weekend, so take that.

Tis the season...

Monday, November 02, 2009

I'm Back Bitches!

There is nothing the body suffers that the soul may not profit by.
--- George Meredith.

These past two weeks have been confusing and heart breaking and amazingly beautiful all at the same time. I don't know why life takes the turns that it does and how invisible hands lead you down paths that you never knew existed. But what I do know is that there is a lesson in all of this...there has to be, and I know that it will not reveal itself all at once, it will unfold little by little over time. But what I do know is this; tomorrow is not promised to you, do not take for granted that you will have the chance to tell people you are sorry or that you love them or that more bluntly put, that you fucked up.

I watched as a disease that my father fully brought upon himself robbed him of his ability to speak, his ability to move, his ability to verbalize his final thoughts, his eyes had to speak for him...I'll never know if I read them correctly. He thought he had more time, but the disease moved so rapidly through his body, systematically shutting down his faculties, rendering him mute and unable to move, trapped with all his unsaid final thoughts. This is the heart breaking part, the part that will forever cause an ache at the bottom of my heart. He had more to say...yes, it shouldn't have taken him 33 years to say it, but he had more to say damn it.

Do yourself a favor...

Tomorrow set your alarm for a few minutes earlier than normal, take two minutes to wrap your arms around your husband or wife, put your head on their chest, listen to their heart, be grateful for what you have, tell them you love them.

Be a good friend. I can't thank my friends enough for all their kinds words, for sending me letters, for checking in on me, for coming to my fathers wake, for sending me wine. Thank You.

Realize that you can't change the past, but damn it you have a hand in the future. Make a better future for yourself.

Help someone who needs it. A lot of people just need a little help.

Be Good.