Beef & Sweet Potato Stir Fry

Beef & Sweet Potato Stir Fry

Ground Beef and Sweet Potatoes sautéed with bok choy and seasoning make a tasty dish!

After all the years of whipping up tasteful, almost-perfect (by my standards) dishes in my kitchen, the stir-fry still alludes me.  Years ago, Apple Crisp and I took a stir-fry cooking class because despite the fact we can make choux pastry and whip up a curdle-less hollandaise,  the art of the cooked-but-still-crispy veggies, perfectly seared meat and soggy-less food was beyond our comprehension.

Despite the schooling, I still can’t get it just right, so while this dish is stir-fry in appearance, it is not really in technique and texture, but I couldn’t think of anything better to call it.  Please excuse my inauthenticity. 

Once you try it, I think you will.

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Lamb Biryani Bowls with Tomato Onion Salad

Lamb Biryani Bowl with Tomato-Onion Salad

Briyani Spiced Ground Lamb Served with Spiced Cauliflower Rice and Topped with a Tomato-Onion Salad

It’s hot. As I’ve said for the millionth time this summer. I’m sorry, but it’s just so all consuming.

During this time of the year, I’m always trying to figure out a way to force myself to eat more well-balanced meals that do not start with ice and end with cream. This isn’t horribly hard because I am a salad girl, but even those can be boring by the time July rolls around. I’ve recently come up with a way to make those salads a bit more bearable by making them a lot of “something else” to balance out a lot of lettuce.

Part of it has been making foods that are tasty eating cold or lukewarm and this Lamb Biryani Bowl with Tomato-Onion Salad is just that. It take my favorite flavors of lamb biryani, a dish that usually involves an oven and layers of rice, and makes into more of a stir fry served on top of spiced cauliflower rice; a total package that can be eaten cold or just slightly warmed on top of a large bed of salad greens.

PicMonkey CollageLamb Biryani Bowl with Tomato-Onion Saladbiryani duo

Cauliflower rice- I know I’m so late to the game, but you know I hate prepping cauliflower. What a mess.  Still, it was a relatively painless process thanks to the tips of the Minimalist Baker, the food processor does all the work and everything from top to bottom is done in about 30 minutes.  Be generous with the spices- spices is nice, and overdoing it will add more flavor but not really any more heat.

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday.

Just when we thought this week might be better than last, Nice and then Turkey had to go and happen.  And of course, this election season is still hanging over all our heads, and being shoved in all of our faces. Make it stop! Make it all stop!

Weekending over here has been pretty busy, but the thunderstorms predicted for my hometown today may have forced a slow down a bit. I hope it clears up; there is BBQ out there with my name on it, waiting to be eaten.

The week got away from me a bit since I was fighting off…something…earlier this week but we all get by with a little help from my friends, and some interesting things they found to read. Here they are:

Can you find this lady’s phone? I cheated and asked Yam, because she’s got more patience than I.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Enter SheepCam.

Why do we in this country make nursing new babies so hard??

Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Why we all marry the wrong person.

#BlackLivesMatter. Another side of that story.

In a time of so much pain, let’s be good to ourselves and allow ourselves to grieve properly and check our expectations.

Genius parents.  #Potterhead4EvR

This land is your land, this land is my land. Remember that, GOP.

Brit-Brit released a new song.  ICYMI.  #1Fan

After so many years of forcing my achy body through killer workouts, this doesn’t surprise me in the least.  Science says, chill out a bit.

Jennifer Aniston, you go girl

All of these summer desserts though…

Fried chicken has been on my radar lately. Someone come make me this? TIA.

And finally, because we should start the week with good feels, Success for Fred.

Let’s all have a great week!

Written afters one rained-out tennis.

 

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Bruléed Goat Cheese S’Mores

Bruléed Goat Cheese S'Mores

Bruléed whipped goat cheese sandwiched between sweet cinnamon graham crackers and creamy Swiss milk chocolate for these grown-up goat cheese s’mores

A few weeks ago when I was home for the 4th, a few of us were standing around waiting for fireworks.  Nearby, on one of those outside fire pits, a group of kids were roasting marshmallows to make s’mores using flat marshmallows. FLAT marshmallows.  I mean, is that even a real marshmallow?  The 35+ crowd that I was with and I took no time at all to comment on this, lamenting in a “what has this world become?!” way about the invention of flat marshmallows. I mean, isn’t half the fun squishing said marshmallow into messiness to fit into one’s mouth (the other half being, playing with fire, obviously)?  It was then that one among us commented that it was truly a sign of the times- kids roasting flat marshmallows around a fake campfire.

It made me sad.

And less than two week after silently berating others for their fake s’mores, I’m going to go ahead and ruin them myself, a more grown up version, blow-torched for the campfire effect that cannot be safely achieved in my 400 ft apartment.

We’re talking Bruléed Goat Cheese S’mores.

IMG_1459

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Thai Iced Coffee

thai iced coffee

Thai-style iced coffee sweetened with condensed milk and flavored with cardamom

Yesterday the thermostat said 99F.  And I died a little inside.

Dire circumstances like that mean cooling from the outside (as in dunking oneself often into a pool, lake or ocean) and the inside (ice cream, ice cubes, iced tea, iced coffee…).

Iced Coffee! Did you know at I accidentally gave up coffee like a month ago? What happened is this: one Friday I got to work hot, sweaty and ugh and the thought of a hot beverage to kick off the day seemed too much to bear.  Then the next day, Saturday, I got up for the gym, grocery, laundry and cooking and before I knew it, I forgot!  Cue the withdrawal headache later that night and since then I decided I didn’t really need the coffee and that I should just go with it when I want the coffee.

thai iced coffee

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday.

There are no funny words about this week, so I won’t even try. Only sad ones, angry ones, hopeless ones.  There are no words that can comfort the breaking heart of this country, but I looked to my favorites to at least try. 

 

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You, ..

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You, ..

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one.

-John Lennon

Let’s dream, shall we?

Written after The Championships.

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Peruvian Causa Limeña

causa limeña

Peruvian Causa Limeña, a terrine of smashed spiced potato, crab salad and avocado

You may recall that I recently binged my way through Anthony Bordain’s Parts Unknown, fangirling on it years behind the curve (par for the course, really). I’ve discovered places that I absolutely do not want to visit, and others that jumped right to the top of a mental list that is already way too long (Burma and Spain, I’m looking at you).

In one of my favorite episodes from early on, he and his famous-chef buddy Eric Ripert* traipsed through Peru, hunting down a pretty unique form of cacao (a worthy journey for sure).  it had me seeing Peru beyond Cusco and the Inca Trail and the food, well, it’s the seafood and citrus of which all of my dreams are made.

causa limeñacause limena

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Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

strawberry buttermilk ice cream

Creamy Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Friends, it’s ice cream season, in case you didn’t realize it.

The heat is on and I’ve been keeping myself cool from within for quite a few months now. Before I went home for the long weekend I had four flavors in my freezer. I’m an addict, but it’s not really that much of a problem.  IMO.

Picking flavors is a fun game, and I recently found myself with buttermilk in the fridge, bought for a reason that my forgetful self could not remember.  Deciding that it should not go to waste, I made ice cream, remembering awesome flavors from years past.

The Caramel Swirled Buttermilk from last season was one of my faves, and while I was so tempted to just let it lie as a simple buttermilk churn, the fresh strawberries in the market were calling my name, and that is how this wonderful strawberry buttermilk ice cream came to be.

strawberry buttermilk ice cream

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the long weekend thus far despite the painful experience that was Crawley’s first road trip. There was crying, tears and no doubt some psychological scarring, but we managed to make it back to Pure Michigan in one whole-ish piece.  #PorchLife is the name of the game in the Buddha household, and it’s just what I ordered.  

I hope your weekend is equally relaxing with friends, family and good food. Stay safe, people. Especially from the fireworks.

This week, I don’t even know. What did I read?  I’m sure I forgot a lot of it, but here are some of the internet’s tidbits.

Oh, wait. But first! For all you country music loving Chicago peeps, why don’t you join me at the upcoming Windy City Smokeout?  So much barbecue (and lobster rolls) and three days of hip shaking country music.  Kettle Corn and I went last year and it was such a good time, I hope to see you there. BONUS- use the coupon code “BUDDHA” and get 3 day General Admission tickets for $75 – that’s a whopping $35 off!  Just  be sure to add the code before you add them to the cart.  Buy them here, but make sure you do so before the code expires at 11:59 pm on Thursday, July 7th.

Now, the tidbits: 

The Brexit fallout continues, and here’s a sad glimpse of what this means for this school orchestra.  

Related. Oh, John Oliver.

Ever wonder why your Chinatown has such cheap produce?  A look behind the scenes.

Science ya’ll.  Fish receive eye transplant to stop from being bullied. Could I even make that up?

Crying sad tears. Pets really are part of the family.

Related: Keep them safe this holiday weekend!

The cost of traveling. One that, in my mind, is 1000% worth it.

People- do not take wild animals home?  Horrible.

You know I love me some no-churn.  Here’s some inspiration for us all!

And finally, need some salad inspiration?  Here’s a favorite of mine, courtesy of Biscuit.

Have a great week!

Written after some warm-up tailgating.

 

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Maple Walnut Fruit Dip

maple walnut fruit dip

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip flavored with real maple syrup and dotted with toasted walnuts.

 

Oh, Canada! I’m sorry I’m a day late with a tribute recipe. I promise, I thought about you all day yesterday, but Friday things went and all got in the way.  Forgive me.

As a half-Canadian, I celebrate July 1st in deepest part of my heart as much as I celebrate July 4th as a half-USA-an.  So many happy, carefree childhood summers were spent on the border town of Fort Erie, Ontario, swimming in creeks, playing in fields, swinging from trees and every year watching fireworks on both national holidays, taking part in the Friendship Festival celebrated every year by both nations.

With maple on the brain, this recipe is perfect for a quick dessert dip and will turn all those healthy summer fruits into something a little more decadent. It’s okay; we’re celebrating this holiday weekend after all.  Canada’s birthday, and the original Brexit of 1776. 

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