Saturday Curried Rice @ A Cold, Gray Day of Spring Organizing

The cat just came and sat down next to me on a pile of jackets that are sorted into degrees of warmth / protection / heaviness. David and I just had lunch on the Adirondack chairs outside – him taking a break from organizing the trailer and shed, me taking a break from the hall closet / laundry room sorting going on (ya know – the kind of sorting that makes you decide where your vases are going to go).

I fixed us a little lunch of what we had in the fridge; playing with some of the Asian flavors I brought into the mix this week.

All in all, it was a lunch of yellow curry rice mixed into a hearty blend of bite-sized green beans, apple, onion, mushrooms and sautéed’ bok choy. I added the tiniest bit of broth after the veggies were cooked (done in oil, soy sauce and 1 tsp of red pepper flakes) and stirred in about a spoonful or two of coconut milk.

For the first time in my cooking (at least that I am making mental note of), I paid special attention to the color of the dish. My decision to mix the rice into the veggie mix was because of the fact the yellow curry was put into the water when I made the rice. So the rice was this vibrant yellow color and the veggie mix was a dull but happy brown.

Paying attention to color.

If that can matter in cooking, where else could that matter?

Deep thoughts for you. Here’s a picture of lunch. Back to my beach blankets, outing bags, and picnic / outdoor play equipment. Spring / Summer, I am ready for you. You inspire even my rice. :)

Saturday Curried Rice named not just for the day I made it but for the notion that it is made from what veggies you have left from the week before shopping day :)

Southerner Approved Red Beans and Rice Recipe

One of the articles I read about teens and chores and making sure you are turning out respectable human beings into the world mentioned having “your teen make dinner for the family”. This makes a lot of sense to me. It is helpful but also practical in that there is a high likelihood of willingness and them being able to cook for themselves.

Mulling this over, my marriage to a southern boy has inherently come with a wifely mandate of monthly red beans and rice. Red beans and rice legit never goes bad in this house. It is consumed and consumed again until it is gone and – who loves it the most? Aria.

So, Aria – our 14 year old, who is virtual on Wednesdays – agreed to learn how to make red beans and rice. And not just any red beans and rice. I am teaching Aria how to make the red beans and rice recipe we have been iterating on. (Yes, we have agile recipe development in this house.)

This is the current version I have captured for our household red beans and rice. Try it out :)

Oh – and here’s our playlist she made from our roadtrip this summer you are welcome to enjoy while you cook up some red beans! We did.

Prep

Chop 1 yellow onion, 1 green pepper, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 celery stalks and set aside in a bowl

Chop up a package of andouille sausage and set aside in a bowl

Get out Worcesterhire sauce, 2 quarts of broth, your spices and your mustard (we use spicy brown or stone ground)

  1. Heat 2 – 3 T olive oil on medium high in a pot
  2. Add chopped veggies to pot
  3. Stir chopped veggies up so they are covered in oil
  4. Add as least two shakes of liquid smoke to the veggies – more if you want it smokier. Stir it up.
  5. Lower heat to medium and cover while you do the next step
  6. Add 1 T Worcestershire sauce and 1 T fancy mustard to the sausage and loosely mix
  7. Add sausage mix from step 6 to translucent veggies and give it a good mix
  8. Add 3 T taco seasoning, 1 tsp celery salt, 1 tsp salt and give it another good mix
  9. With the base of veggies and sausage mix all working well together, add 4 cans of drained red beans
  10. Add 2 quarts of chicken or veggie stock
  11. Taste the broth and see if you want to add a little bit of sugar. Not proud of this move, but we like it with a twist of sweet
  12. Bring to a boil, pray over it ya know and then lower to simmer for 30 – 45 minutes

Make your rice to complete the dish. Enjoy. :)

I like a little bit of shredded cheese in mine :)

Butternut Squash Soup @ Tuesday Mornings in My Office – Webster, MO

I took Tuesday mornings off through Thanksgiving to give myself a little buffer and a mild taste of freedom. I have all sorts of interesting things to write about these days… There is this towel mystery going on in my house (a real page turner) and I continue on my journey of transforming little random pieces of resentment that pop up into compassion. That actually is really an interesting bit.

We are working on a new allowance plan to roll out to the kids that will focus less on them being helpful and more on them being human. Ya know, with screen time goals and bonuses for how they spend their leisure time.

But, for now, I want to share with you a little recipe I put together yesterday. I didn’t take any pictures so you’ll have to use your imagination.

I really love how the soup turned out and it is pretty great for your immune system per my expert nutritional analysis. I am especially thinking about this because a couple of my readers have little babies and this is totally something I would imagine they would absolutely love cool or warm or even in a little frozen treat if they are teething.

Here you go:

Ingredients: Butternut Squash, Carrots, Apples, Celery, Onion, Yellow Curry Spice, Garlic, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger or Ginger Tea, Chicken Boullion, Honey, Coconut Milk, Simply Nutritious Mega Antioxidant Juice or Lime Juice and Peaches, Pumpkin Seeds.

  1. Half a butternut squash and put it in the oven to roast. I had it at 375 maybe for 40 minutes. I also used a well seasonsed cast iron skillet. Do the whole bit where you scoop the seeds and prick with a fork over the skin that should be facing up when the halves are laid down.
  2. Peel and roughly cut up 4 or 5 carrots, roughly cut up 4 apples (honeycrips, medium -ish), cut up 2 or 3 celery stalks, cut up a medium or large yellow onion. Put all that in one giant bowl and toss with some oil, 1 T yellow curry spice, 1 T minced garlic, 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg. I happened to be fortunate enough to have left over oil from when my oldest daughter made donut holes over the weekend so I used that to toss it but anything works. Roast the fruits and veggies until they are smelling good and a little brown.
  3. In a large pot, put 4 cups of water, 2 ginger tea bags (or some minced ginger – I was out so I used ginger tea and just taped the tea bags to the outside so they would not slip) and a little chicken boullion (optional) and 1 T of honey and bring that to a boil then turn off the heat. This should smell like something you want to drink / soothing / comforting. Take the tea bags out.
  4. When the squash is done, pull that out and spoon the squash out and add to your ginger chicken broth. Use an immersion blender to get that going first.
  5. Add 1 cup of Simply Nutritious Mega Antioxidant juice. It’s apples, carrots, peach and lime – I suppose in theory you could always add peaches to your fruit roast and some lime juice.
  6. Put all your roasted fruits and veggies in and use the immersion blender to get it smooth.
  7. Add yellow curry, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg , more juice to taste. I drank about two glasses of this from a wine glass while I was cooking. This soup is truly a labor of love and this antioxidant juice is a little treat while you are giving.
  8. Add a can of coconut milk and blend
  9. Garnish with pumpkin seeds

David and I are doing a little bit of reclaiming our health this fall. There are so many different ways we are considering changing things up in our life. I have been finding a lot of joy in my morning routine and eager to spend some energy on some writing and yoga stuff I have on my mind.

I am also starting to think through our ofrenda and how I want to celebrate Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) coming up. We have lost some really lovely people in our lives, whose energy and vibrations are still very much a force in our day to day. I am thinking of putting a little emphasis on the celebration of them this year.

Plus we have Maddox’s 8th birthday hot on Halloween’s heels. The kids start phasing back into in person learning this fall which I am hopeful is not only healthy and safe but also gives them a little taste of normalcy and community.

Okay – time for the weekly BYOD (Buy your own drink / donut) Dunkin run. If only there were a way to make me feel better about the single use plastics…. maybe containers for water for painting the ofrenda…..

:)