Well, hello there! I made a red curry with haddock for dinner… (version of @RealSimple recipe)

I won’t bore you with the myriad of reasons/excuses I have for not posting for months (hint: engagement, work, general life…), but I’ve been feeling rather guilty about it as of late…

I’m making more of a conscious effort to cook at home, rather than eat out at restaurants (see earlier mention of upcoming wedding to understand the need to fit into a wedding dress and save some cash). Now, I love to cook, but I’m the first to admit that I can get stuck in a culinary rut. So, I’ve resolved to try at least one new recipe each week, to try and keep things interesting!

This week, I was inspired by a recipe featured in the June issue of Real Simple magazine: Green curry with halibut and corn.

Real Simple Green Curry recipe

One slight problem: there was no green curry paste at my local grocery store. Just red. Rather than scrap the whole recipe, I decided to just substitute… I also opted for haddock rather than halibut (it was on special).

This was actually a really easy recipe to pull together: minimal prep work and cook time. I also cut the fat a bit by substituting the coconut milk with light coconut milk… The red curry added some heat to the dish, but that was balanced out nicely by the natural sweetness of the coconut milk and the corn. It also looked pretty appetizing:

IMG_20150614_172322I found it needed a bit more salt added (and I’m not someone who tends to add salt to my food), but once it’d sprinkled on a bit of extra seasoning, it was perfect! Kevin also really enjoyed it, so based on the ease of prep, I’ll definitely be adding this one to the recipe collection. 🙂

We also had plenty left over for lunch (bonus!)

OH, and for anyone out there who has dietary restrictions, this recipe is also gluten-free.

 

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Watch out: I now have a slowcooker! @cameraguykurt

Our kitchen features an oddball assortment of small appliances. I never really think about it until someone comes over and wants to brew a pot of coffee, and I stare at them with a blank expression on my face. “Mr. Coffee? No, sorry, we have the espresso maker or the french press.” We also haven’t owned a microwave in almost 4 years. I never used it, it just took up valuable space. And a toaster? I get far more mileage out of my panini press, thanks.

My motley crew of kitchen appliances can be attributed to the fact that I have limited counter/storage space. I have to be pretty selective when it comes to adding weapons to my cooking arsenal.

Last year, I finally cleared enough space to make room for a food processor, and after many bowls of soup, dips and salsas, I haven’t looked back.

After some convincing from my brother, I recently took the plunge and bought a slowcooker. Frankly, I had been inundated with one too many fabulous-looking slowcooker recipes on Pinterest. Fucking Pinterest…

I snagged a big 7-quart Crock Pot from Costco for $50 (how could I resist?!)

But I bought it right before heading out of town for a work conference, and didn’t have a chance to test it out until last week, when I made pulled pork.

But this wasn’t just any pulled pork (I’ve made pulled pork in the oven before, and it actually turned out beautifully, too).

No, this pulled pork recipe involves ROOT BEER.

In my post-slowcooker-purchase excitement, I took to Twitter to announce to the world (well, my followers) that they were about to be inundated with slowcooker recipes/food porn. In response, my friend Kurt did me a solid and shared a recipe he and his lovely wife have made in their slowcooker… (I really hope he doesn’t mind me posting it here, too!)

I finally got around to trying it out last week, and we were not disappointed. The root beer adds an element of sweetness to the pork, while my spicy/homemade BBQ sauce gave the dish a kick.

Once the meat was pulled and dressed, I layered it on soft, fluffy buns with creamy coleslaw, sharp old cheddar cheese, and a bit of mayonnaise.

Amazing! (& thanks for sharing, Kurt!)

Seafood Cioppino (aka fancy stew) to warm your soul

I get meal inspirations from the strangest places — ads on TV, from magazines, conversations with friends, and other blogs (of course). But often, my adventures in the kitchen are triggered by 2 things: an ingredient that I love to cook happens to be on sale at the grocery store (hey, frugal feasts are delicious, too!), and the weather outside.

It has been yucky-cold (that ranks highest on the scale of winter weather warnings in my household) for what feels like WEEKS in Halifax. In reality, we’ve gotten off pretty easy compared with other parts of the country. So I will try and keep  my whinging to a minimum. BUT, I will point out that I had to crawl into the front seat of my car this morning and KICK OPEN the driver side door, because my vehicle was completely encapsulated in ice. A girl just shouldn’t have to do that. It’s a cruel way to start the day.

Last week, on a similarly miserable winter day, I decided we needed something hearty and warm to fill our bellies. A quick visit to my local grocery store’s online flyer told me that mussels were on sale (and I absolutely love those little mollusks!) But what could I make with them? Seafood linguine crossed my mind, but we’ve been eating a lot of pasta lately… Then, I remember Seafood Cioppino (essentially, a hearty seafood stew). I’ve never attempted to make it myself, but I’ve indulged in a dish or two at restaurants. I figured I could try my hand at it… A quick trip to AllRecipes yielded this recipe, which I ended up following pretty closely (I always make some slight changes)

I was pretty pleased with the end result: the broth was savory but not overwhelming, seasoned with onion, garlic and loads of fresh parsley, and each bowl was laden with a generous amount of cod, crab meat, scallop, shrimp and, most importantly, the mussels. It was also surprisingly easy to prepare, with minimal prep and more simmer time than anything else! We had generous helpings for dinner, and plenty of leftovers for the following day, as well.

One tip: You absolutely must remember to serve this with fresh bread — the meal simply wouldn’t be the same without it.

Looks like I have another recipe to add to the “Cure my winter blues” list!