Monday, January 28, 2013

Persian Food - Khoreshte Bademjan (Eggplant Stew)

Letting the eggplant 'sweat'.

YUM...onions and turmeric...

I grill the eggplant on my pancake griddle without a drop of oil - the eggplant is perfect and the food isn't greasy - as eggplant can act as a bit of a sponge.

The finished food - delicious.

If you want our recipe, let me know. We probably make it a bit differently as foods can vary by family and city of birth apparently. We make it like Mano's mom. Here is a link to a great Persian food blog, and also a link to a fabulous Persian recipe book that we use a lot! Mooshe jan! (Enjoy!)

Overnight Waffles

This post is for Jen O - we all (Jen, Linda, and I) talked about food a lot in out hotel room and I promised to post this recipe. It is the one we always use - the grandchildren love them, they are creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside:

Overnight Waffles
How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

Start the night before - no more work than other waffles but you have to plan the night before.

1/2 tsp. yeast
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
8 Tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs

Before going to bed, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. the mixture will be loose. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight at room temperature.

Brush waffle iron with oil (I don't do this - my waffle iron doesn't need it), an preheat it.

Separate egg white from yolks. Add yolks to waffle mix; stir. Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Fold them into the waffle batter, gently.

I use a 1 cup ladle to drop the batter onto hot waffle iron - and cook 4 - 4 1/2 minutes - that depends on your iron. I have the Kitchen Aid double waffle iron - it takes about 4 + minutes on mine.


Sunday, January 27, 2013


“Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings; treasure-houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to live in.”
~ John Ruskin

This quote signifies all that is my daughter - she is lovely, talented, intelligent, sweet, and curious...and is so very, very busy raising her little chick-a-dees, paradoxically, yet by no accident, in an environment of learning, adventure, self-discovery, and calm.  Here is her blog if you love all things children, and homeschool. 

She has tons of ideas for children's play and learning, book recommendations, healthy food options, and she is really good at getting across the ideas of education at home - fostering an environment of continuous learning and what that actually looks like when done from home. She's a truly amazing!

You can wish her a happy birthday (tomorrow)!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Not Fancy

So I finally tackled the spice cupboard; threw out all the outdated herbs and spices, and I had an odd habit of not labelling spices so that I had to smell the contents of a jar in order to identify the contents - something I couldn't always assuredly do! So I finally (how did I make it so far with out this!) bought a labeller and believe you me, you need this. They are inexpensive b/c much like printers, the manufacturers make their money on the tape you buy for it. I did own one long ago but they are much easier to use now.

Next I placed an order at the The Silk Road in Calgary for replacement spices and herbs - which has yet to arrive, but I bought only very small amounts as it's easier to replenish on a regular basis and have fresh herbs and spices. If you ever get a chance to stop at  their physical shop, it's well worth it - it's a charming shop with a very kind of bazaar, market kind of feel, and they stock fresh and unusual herbs and spices, spice blends, books, and graters and grinders. Their staff know everything. Here's their link: There are some things that will go in the garbage once the new spices arrive, like the large containers of taco spice and Italian herbs up on the third shelf, but I need those until the fresh is here.

I boxed up for some lucky recipient at Value Village the light pink Tupperware spice rotating thingy I've had since I lived in Wabasca 30 years ago! In comparing the two photos, I'm not sure it looks much better b/c I decided to use what I had for bottles and containers. I spent the money on the labeller and the the new spices, so it's not fancy but is refreshed and streamlined, and labelled!

I'm interested in how you store your spices and herbs!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Works Like a Charm

I apologize about this last post about my refrigerator but I did promise to let you know if the lazy susan's were a waste of space, or an effective way to access items. The conundrum lies in the fact that they take up space so I can't fit as many bottles (or items) on the shelf where they sit, but they allow for total access to all the what's the verdict? They are totally worth it - they do take up space, but if everything is jammed onto the shelf, we don't use what's at the back anyway - I end up storing the bottles til I throw them away for being a ripe old age! Perhaps even growing things!

What I have noticed, however, is that even the items deemed useful enough to go on the lazy susans are not typically high use items. Maybe b/c it's winter - we don't use that much mustard right now for example. They kill two birds with one stone, preventing stuffed shelves and letting you see what you have to use up easily. I purchased these stainless steel lazy susans at Superstore in the housewares department for $9.99.

Ok enough about that! Have I been keeping up with everything? Shelf-by-shelf? Writing? Exercise? Check, Check, Not Check. Still and all, it's never too late. The de-cluttering is going swimmingly - I've been to goodwill several times already. Drawers, shelves are indeed one by one being de-junked. I am also cleaning as I go - so it's a little slow going but worth it. I yet to tackle that spice feels daunting, sort of mainly b/c I don't know if I want to rethink the storage bottles or not.

Lastly, and most unrelated, I asked Jane who has been voraciously reading through all the Harry Potter books, to let me know when she begins the final book. For reasons unexplainable, when I was reading Book 7 some years ago - I couldn't seem to slog through all the time they spent at Sirius Black's house. They were there too long for me. I set it aside and never finished after having read through all 6 previous volumes! It's unfathomable really. Well, Jane and I have begun (and she has probably finished - we have to commiserate on that) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and this time I can't put it down. I'm on page 393 (just so you know Jane) and the minute I type the last word here, I'm going to steal away to read a bit before I go visiting teaching. I'm disapparting....

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Fridge - Just What You Wanted to See

Because I'm a weirdo, I've taken this photo of the inside of my refrigerator. It's clean and organized; it still has a lot of bottles...that is the bane of the tidy fridge. Bottle of sauces, condiments, curries, dressing, jams, and what-nots. I threw out as much as  could, but I am practical and do not like to throw out things I paid for, so I'm going to try to cook from these bottles for the month of January, and at the end of the month, throw out what we couldn't use.

On trial are the lazy susan' the 2nd photo. If you look closely - they take up some space, but they allow for all the bottles in the back to be seen and used more easily. I'll let you know if they are a go or not. They were purchased at SuperStore.

This last picture is of my DISASTER of a spice cupboard. It's on the agenda for this week, so I will post an AFTER photo soon:) Time to throw out old, outdated spices!

On another note:

I visited at Jen's and Eli's tonight and had to laugh so hard with Isabelle - she was so DARLING! She's such a charming little toddler - she was throwing out all kinds of words tonight, as if she learned a hundred words in the last week, and smiling so much! She is so happy. Her mom looks so beautiful with her pregnancy - just so lovely. It was very fun. Then we ate at Tres Carnales in downtown Edmonton, wow, that is good Mexican food! They serve better tacos than I've sampled in Los Cabos. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

So Far, So Good

So far my (not) resolutions are going great...shelf-by-shelf: check. Write every day: check. Exercise daily: ummm, will do today still, I have 10 more hours!

I have cleared out, in the last few days, my bedside table (Mano too, without a single prompt from me - trust me though, he didn't throw much away, I know this without even looking or asking. He's a pack rat.), a kitchen drawer, the refrigerator, and I cleared off my dresser. It feels good; only 999 more shelves, drawers, cubbies, surfaces, to go.

Writing has been easy - I just sit down to do it, and bam, it's done. I'm on a roll. I think to tweak that goal, I'll add a word count. For now 500 words/day. I'll have to use the computer more to know that, right now I write in a notebook, which I do like, but will have to learn how many 'inches' of my handwriting equal 500 words. I can do that, and will let you know.

What else did I say I would do? I'll have to go back and look. Those are the two that stand out....well the exercising stands out, but I really did wait til the actual 1st to do this one. I will, I will! I couldn't do it last night because  had 17 recordings of Coronation Street to get through:)

Oh, think more...yes, I've thought much today! I really have, I had a quiet day, with nary a sound in the house, for much thinking.

Crafting...I mended something yesterday that was in great need of mending, and saved myself $86 on an article that was expensive, but unwearable with out the mending. So that was good; hardly a craft, but it was good. I also got out a book on painting that I've been reading, not exactly like painting, but still I learned a lot, and I was inspired!

I found a great recipe I am going to try on for Moroccan Meatball Carrot and Sweet Potato stew. Here's the link - I'm making it today:

This blog post is (was, before I started writing this sentence!)  344 words. That's going to be too easy - but I'll stick with it for awhile to make sure that's it's doable. Till next time!