The Age of Aquarius

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the Aaaage of Aquariuuuu-uuuuuuuusss . . .

Not really. It’s just the dawning of a new domain name for me:

My darling and valued subscribers: please take note! Come with me to a whole new world (don’t you dare close your eyes) (sorry, feeling musical this morning) . . . where you will really just get more of the same. Recipes. Baby James. Reminiscences of my time as spy warlord/princess of the Appalachian mountain ranges. Probably some more recipes.

Just kidding about the warlord/princess part–but you probably already figured that out.

The format, for now, will look pretty much identical to what it has been, though I really should change my header at some point soon, and I still have some clean-up to do in the sidebar area. Further changes may or may not happen–get ready to be surprised. Or not surprised, as the case may be.

Anyway, don’t get left behind at the old site, wondering why I’ve dropped off the face of the internet. Come join the fun! And if you’re a subscriber, make sure you switch on over to the new address!

Love you guys! Later this week, I continue the Indian food trend with this:

And even later, this:

And maybe even this . . .

. . . but only if you’re good.

Just kidding–you’re always good.


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I’m moving! Whoop-de-doo.

My dearest email subscribers,

It’s the dawning of the Age of Aquarius!

And by that I mean: I’m redirecting my lil’ wordpress blog to a new domain name:

The only glitch in the matrix (so to speak) is that I haven’t figured out how to painlessly transfer your email subscriptions over to the new site. So please come along over and subscribe anew! Your comments and support mean tons to me and I’ve love to have you along for the ride!



a.k.a. “This Train’s Leaving the”

a.k.a. “Don’t fall off my”

a.k.a. “Time to”

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Mooooooom . . . I think we’re out of Pop Tarts

During our Alaska vacation, Heidi and I developed a running joke about the future teenagehood of her lil’ baby, now 8-month old James. We got no end of amusement out of envisioning him tall, lanky, and awkward, with long-ish unkempt boy-hair, sagging pants, and a hilarious long-strided walk.

Heidi was uncannily good at imitating this imaginary future James. She could snap into character at the drop of a hat. Normally her carriage is very elegant–being a ballerina and a certified Pilates instructor, her spine is ramrod straight and she moves with grace and coordination. But as soon as I said the magic words ‘teenage James,’ she would slouch, stick her neck out, and start loping across the living room. With a bored, nonchalant, kind of spacey low voice she would say “Mooooom . . . I think we’re out of Pop Tarts.”

Entire dialogues took place, with Heidi herself switching back and forth and playing the parts of a Napoleon Dynamite-esque teenage James and his imaginary mother, an optimistic, bouncy, practical woman with a high, nasal, and quite cheery voice.

The scenarios were endless, and I couldn’t stop cracking up: his mom trying to get him to clean his room, James responding with “Mooooom, I don’t have time! Jeremy’s already here. I gotta go,” and loping off. His mom signing off on his report card. His mom trying to get him to take out the trash.

I tried to get into both characters as well, but Heidi was so much funnier just handling the entire back-and-forth herself. Heidi, oh Heidi. You are one of the funniest people I know.

I laughed so hard.

Right now he’s a baby . . .

. . . but it won’t be long before he’s lookin’ more like this.

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Chicken Vindaloo

I’ve been following and reading Prerna’s blog “Indian Simmer” for a while. She cooks traditional Indian dishes and takes the most beautiful and artistic pictures of food. After reading about her kitchen and seeing her gorgeous photography for months, I finally got around to making one of her recipes. And oh man, is it good.

Perfectly spiced . . . perfect consistency and texture . . . perfect tenderness of the chicken . . . ‘perfect’ is the operating word here, in case you hadn’t noticed.

And once ‘perfect’ has been thrown out there, well . . . I don’t really have anything left to say.


(Serves 5)

4 red chilies
6 cloves garlic
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 ½ lbs chicken thighs
1 tsp cloves
1 TBS cumin
½ tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
½ TBS whole peppercorns
4 TBS vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion
2 tsp salt
Cilantro, to garnish

De-seed and mince the red chilies.

I was wary of the heat, so I only used 2. BUT! I totally should have used 4. The heat (for me) was barely noticeable with 2.

Mince the garlic . . .

. . . and grate the ginger. After shouldering tons of guilt for letting my ginger shrivel in the fridge due to un-prompt usage, I finally followed someone’s advice and froze it. I keep frozen lumps of ginger, and when I’m ready to use them, I grate them with my microplane zester.

Works like a charm! Seriously. You’d think that grating frozen ginger would be tough–but it practically grates itself as I watch in wonder.

Soak the chilies, ginger, and garlic in the vinegar for half an hour.

Grind them or process them to make a paste.

My mortar and pestle experience wasn’t exactly ideal, since the liquidiness and the bashing together made for a very splashy time. So I recommend using a little food processor. However, the dish didn’t seem to suffer because the garlic and chili were in chunks.

At this point, I happily poured the mixture on the chicken thighs for the hour of marination to begin.

Then I remembered that I was supposed to chop up the chicken.


No harm done, ultimately. Unless you consider the additional pictures of raw chicken harmful.

My thumb. It looks gross. The chicken renders it totally unphotogenic, man.

Anyway, marinate the chicken in the chili paste for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Grind the cloves, cumin, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, and peppercorns in a spice or coffee grinder.

The smells are heavenly, people. This alone is a reason to make Indian food: to experience a world of scented spices.

Once everything is nicely ground up, mix in the salt.

Dice up the onion. I love dicing onions.

I hope you do too, because I certainly do a lot of that on this here blog.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the mustard seeds . . .

. . . and when they start to pop, add the diced onion.

Note: the smell of mustard seeds heating is simply wonderful. And totally not what you’re thinking it might be if you’ve never smelled it before.

Cook the onion for 6-8 minutes, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Add the marinated chicken with any accumulated juices to the pot, and stir fry for 4-5 minutes.

Add the dry spice mix . . .

. . . and stir it around until the chicken is evenly coated.

Cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot about every 7 minutes to avoid burning the sauce.

You may be thinking to yourself: but wait! There’s practically no sauce involved! Where is this ‘curry sauce’ that’s supposed to happen?

Well, the liquid released from the chicken and onion and such will somehow magically make things work. Just believe me. And believe Prerna. She’s an expert.


During this half an hour, the chicken will cook through and the curry sauce will thicken. Use this time to wash and chop up the cilantro:

Once the timer dings, make sure the chicken is cooked, and stir in a nice handful of chopped cilantro.

Serve over rice!

It’s so good. I never would have guessed that such a great sauce could happen with vinegar and some spices.

It’s so good that I kept uncontrollably snapping almost identical pictures.

It may be slightly swamp colored, but once you eat it, you will understand that true beauty lies within.

Seriously. Take a bite!

Guys. Oh guys. Make it.

Click here for printer-friendly version: Chicken Vindaloo

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