Backyard barbecue and Middle Eastern chicken kebabs

Nothing says summer quite like a backyard barbecue with the aromas of grilling, having friends over and cool ways to beat the heat and fuel summer fun.  Once all the planning and execution is done ahead of time, there shouldn’t be much time in the kitchen, so it’s best to get it all prepped a couple days before the assigned date so that you can spend more time with your guests.  Typically we try to get all the backyard entertaining happen before July 4th.  After that, the weather is just too hot and humid and there’s too many pesky mosquitoes and other bugs that infiltrate the air, so it isn’t quite as fun.

Continue reading “Backyard barbecue and Middle Eastern chicken kebabs”

‘Royal’ Lamb in a creamy almond sauce and a demo lesson on Indian cooking

When it comes to various ethnic cuisines, aromatic and flavorful Indian cuisine is unparalleled, but then you might say I’m biased, which of course I am. 🙂 I believe Indian food is now being appreciated in America, much later than other countries have embraced that particular cuisine. I recall when we first moved to Delaware, there was nary a spice store in sight, and definitely no restaurants unless we drove to Philly.  So much has changed since the early 70’s or 80’s.  Indian cuisine is enjoyed by many now and definitely up there with the other Asian cuisines.  As a blogger, I notice many non-Indian blogs that encompass this cuisine in their repertoire.

Continue reading “‘Royal’ Lamb in a creamy almond sauce and a demo lesson on Indian cooking”

Chilli-rubbed chicken with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Today’s post takes one on a tour of Mexico, no it wasn’t my trip, but a blogger friend Johanne, who blogs at French Gardener Dishes. She recently posted a travelogue of her trip to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende to take in the culture, the art and the stunning architecture.  I enjoyed reading her post and as I often do, I make mental notes of places visited for future reference and this particular part of Mexico intrigued me.  So rest assured, we hope to check it out in the not too distant future. I remember a trip to Mexico when I was single, but it was at a beach town in Puerto Vallarta and you know what happens in beach towns, eat, drink and be merry.  I do hear through my other sources on Trip Advisor that the actual town of Puerto Vallarta (not the beach) is a place where a lot of Americans and Canadians have settled and is definitely another place I’d like to check out. Click on Johanne’s link above to read her post on the area.

Continue reading “Chilli-rubbed chicken with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri”

Cherry and Pistachio tart and a pastry lesson

OK why was my blog space on the back burner for a while?  Why did my readers not receive any new posts for so long? Who has been so busy these past few months that the blog took a backseat?  Sheepishly I raise my hand “moi”.  I apologize readers, it’s been a crazy past few months, from a winter getaway to Jamaica in February (well, I did write up a couple of posts on that trip). Also visitors from abroad.  Then came our trip to New Orleans with a group of friends for JazzFest.  Wow what a trip that was, Rod Stewart and Sting – need I say more?  I’ve got a post coming up on the beautiful Garden District in New Orleans, so be sure to tune in.  Then came the arduous task of getting the garden up and ready from its slumber, needless to say that has kept me occupied for the past 3-4 weeks. But now I’m back.  I have been posting on social media though, so I guess all’s not lost. The lazy, hazy days of summer have started, and that’s the time I usually hibernate, although I must say, it’s been lovely working outside as the humidity has not yet hit the area.  So here I am with a beautiful treat in store for everyone.

Continue reading “Cherry and Pistachio tart and a pastry lesson”

4th Annual Curry Cook-Off

If you’ve been a regular reader on Safari of the Mind, you’ll know that we usually host a Curry Cook-Off during the winter, just so we can get friends together, chase away the winter blahs and get a competition going.  Theme inspired parties are so much fun aren’t they?  We have friends who started a “Chilli Cook-Off” in the Fall, so I guess we thought why not get a Curry Cook-Off going in the winter, and that’s how this theme was born.  The first one was a huge success as were the succeeding ones, so the tradition is here to stay.

Continue reading “4th Annual Curry Cook-Off”

Jamaican Curry Goat

Spring on the East Coast of the USA is sure taking its time making an entrance.  We’ve had a few “warm teaser days” and then a week later, we find ourselves still warming ourselves by the fire?  A few weeks ago we were enjoying the sun, sand and cuisine in Jamaica. I’m sure glad we went when we did, at least we got a taste of that warmth that we hope to experience here any day now (hint, hint).   If you haven’t yet read the post on Jamaica, I urge you to take a look at the previous post and be transported to that beautiful island in the sun.

Continue reading “Jamaican Curry Goat”

Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats

Why oh why is this winter dragging its heels?  We got a taste of spring a couple weeks ago that got me so excited about digging in the dirt again, but then it all changed lickety-split!  Just like that!   I’m so glad Bert and I escaped to Jamaica for 10 days last month to feel the warm sun and luxuriate on that tropical island.  We came back renewed and relaxed hoping that winter would be gone by the time we returned.  Surprise!!  Winter was still here and IS still here.    It’s just wonderful to be able to take a trip to sunny shores when winter is around don’t you?  I think from now on, since these old bones refuse to co-operate, I’ve advised my husband that we need more trips in the winter time.  He’s not a snowbird type, but going away in the winter is a good compromise – 2 weeks is all I need in the throes of winter.  Why go away in the summer when it’s sunny and hot everyday in our little corner of the world?  Well, I suppose being retired has its advantages 🙂  Well stay tuned my friends, the post on Jamaica should be up pretty soon.

Continue reading “Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats”

Goan-Style Mussels

This Goan-style delicacy is my all time favorite seafood dish.  Goa is the smallest state on the west coast of India known for its fresh seafood.  I may have said this before in various posts, but I’ll say it again – I could probably be quite content living on an island enjoying fish and vegetables on a banana leaf for the rest of my life :).

I’ve made this curry in two different ways in the past.  You could either use dry spices in a coconut broth or you could grind up a paste with shredded coconut and other spices to form a paste.  Today’s recipe calls for the first method.  These are without question, finger-lickin’ good!  You ought to have seen me, scooping up the delicious coconut broth with a shell and literally slurping it down.  I’m glad I was able to enjoy it all in the comfort of my own home 🙂

Continue reading “Goan-Style Mussels”

Chicken Biryani Hyderabadi Style

If you were to ask me what my favorite Indian dish is, it would have to be Biryani.  This special one pot dish is a layered rice dish of the Indian subcontinent and it can include any types of meat, fish or vegetables.  India offers so many culinary wonders but most will agree that when it comes to biryanis, Indians unanimously love indulging in this mouth-watering dish. From start to finish, biryanis can be pretty time consuming, so mostly it is served up on special occasions.  Marinated in yogurt and a blend of different spices is key to making this dish moist and beyond flavorful.  On this particular day, there was absolutely no special occasion, just my tastebuds hankering for a good biryani.  So here it is.  Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off.  Since there’s just my husband and myself, we were able to feast on the leftovers for weeks as I had portioned off meals and stored in the freezer.

Continue reading “Chicken Biryani Hyderabadi Style”

North African Fish Stew

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few years, you will know that I love to dabble in all types of cuisines.  I mean gosh it’s all out there now isn’t it?  Even our wee state of Delaware has a lot going for it in the culinary department.  Mind you, when we first moved to Delaware from Texas in 1987, there were no Indian or Asian restaurants around, ethnic cuisine was hard to come by.   It was even hard to get Indian spices, but now they have mushroomed all over the place.   I will boldly take my taste buds where they haven’t ventured before, so what better way to taste test than to try it in your own home?  So with that, let’s just get to this delicious North African fish stew shall we?  Wow, it sure was a winner in our house.  I always tell my husband he is real fortunate to have a food blogger for a wife, I try and feature different recipes on the blog each week, and he gets to be the lucky recipient of it all.  🙂

Continue reading “North African Fish Stew”

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Ziti

Cauliflower is the new ? Help me complete that sentence would you? 🙂  Start out with a blank canvas and the sky’s the limit on the variety of dishes you can cook with cauliflower.  I’ve riced cauliflower, made a pizza base, curried it, steamed it, made many vegetarian dishes with it, but had never cooked it with pasta.  Of course it defeats the purpose of adding pasta to a low-carb dish, but believe me on this one, it was absolutely amazing, probably a ton of calories in it too, but hey, one’s allowed to stray off the path sometimes eh?

One of its high nutritional aspects is the elevated daily value of vitamin C it produces in one sitting.  It’s also a good source of vitamin K, magnesium and fibre to name a few.  I liked roasting the cauliflower and carrots on high heat in the oven before adding it to the dish.  It gives it a nice caramelized finish.  You can use any kind of cheese instead of fontina mentioned in the recipe.  I had a sharp cheddar, but I’m sure fontina would take it up to a whole new level.

Continue reading “Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Ziti”