Bobotie Burger

Bobotie Burger

This week is all about the burgers since this weekend is Memorial Day, and the unofficial start to summer and grilling and meat and all those things.

I love a good burger and I think it really is the one food that I crave (like, crave) more than any other. However, rarely do I succumb because is there anything worse than a bad burger? An unseasoned patty, a soggy bun. Lackluster toppings.  Weak cheese.  Add sub-par fries to the mix and I’ve just crushed all my hopes and dreams for nothing.

That was overdramatic (maybe not really) but the point is that I believe in the burger and believe that it can be fantastic. I also think that it can be fun, and that’s what I’m trying to do this week by twisting up recipes you may remember seeing before and making them up in a way that will shake up any summer barbecue.  Sort of the reverse of what I did with the Aussie Burger Chili. Summer food to winter, winter food to summer. It’s a two way street with a little imagination.

I’m not going to waste any time and start with the weirdest one straight away: the Bobotie Burger. No tame burgers here.  Don’t worry, you can handle it.

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Sunday Somethings

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Indeed it is.

Hello, Sunday.

I woke up this morning singing “It’s a Sunshine Day!” (from the Brady Bunch, in case you didn’t know) and I’m going to take it as a good sign (despite whatever feelings you may have about the Brady Bunch).

While my Canadian friends are celebrating a long weekend now, we’re counting down to ours Stateside and I can’t wait. I don’t have any show-stopping plans for Memorial Day, but I’ll be thankful for any chance to not have to put on my work hat.

To celebrate, we’ve got burgers up the wazoo coming at you this week, and they are all worthy of a little excitement.

So are these things, the internet thinks. Here we go:

Back to my Brady comments earlier, we can use music to regulate mood. I think we all knew it, but now it’s official.

The joys of parenthood. Joys, in retrospect.

Does size matter?  Even the ancients seemed to think so.

Hold on to those Facebook rants. They could cost you your security clearance

Crowdfunding divorce?  I’m not sure divorce is something that warrants receiving gifts.

Congrats to General Lori Robinson, who just became the highest ranking woman in U.S. military history!

We throw out so much good food, but here’s a great idea on what to do with it instead.

Last night, I wore heels for the first time in like, four months.  I went to see The King and I, so a trip to the theatre made it worth it, but normally I just don’t do them. And my feet thank me.

Related and maddening:  woman sent home without pay for wearing flats. Yes, it’s real.

Only the good die young, and these golden oldies are proof.

Excuse me while I shake myself. Did I just time warp back fifty years?

And finally, THIS is how you wedding.

Thanks to Yam, now a regular co-curator of The Somethings. 

Written after sleeping in (!).

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Japanese Pork Curry

Japanese Pork Curry

Saturday folks, let’s make it happen.

The chill was still in the air this week here in Chitown, so curry rather than salads seems appropriate and I have just the one: a delicious Japanese Pork Curry.

Japanese Pork Curry

Once a month I get a new cookbook and I love nothing more than coming home, busting it open and bookmarking the heck out of everything I want to make. Sometimes the recipes show up here, but sometimes I want to enjoy it hot, not as leftovers and not perfectly plated for all to see. Yes, selfish.

One of my favorite books of late was The Flavour Principle. You’ve seen it before, in the way of the Easter Lamb that looked not at all like the picture in the book (roast vs. stew was the first issue) and you’re seeing it again today with this Japanese Pork Curry.

Call me naive when I forgot that Japan actually does have a curry, my mind so consumed and distracted by sushi.  Seems I need to spend more time in the Tomato household with the Mama to get schooled, but for now, cookbooks will have to do and this curry, well. So good.

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Caribbean Shrimp Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

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Green, greens-they’re good for your heart. Or something like that. No, that was beans. Anyway, not wrong about the greens either, and as summer slowly but surely makes itself known, I for one need more exciting ways to eat healthy things in warmer weather, lest I resort to my summer standbys of cereal and/or ice cream.

It really is great being an adult, isn’t it?

Anyway, this salad is a loose adaptation from one that I’ve had from our office café. It has surprisingly good food, and the most addictive homemade Parmesan potato chips, but this salad draws our attention today (and now, mentally, do the potato chips).IMG_0671

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I made it interesting in my own crazy way by turning the grilled shrimp into Caribbean grilled shrimp, turning it into my Caribbean Shrimp Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado. Oh yeah.  I took the adobo seasoning* from the ever popular Haitian Mac and sprinkled it over some shrimp, cooking it then with orange juice, fresh-squeezed.  All that goodness is then tossed in a bed of greens, grapefruit segments, avocado bits, fresh herbs and then all is topped with an orange version of the versatile vinaigrette and some candied almonds.

Caribbean Shrimp Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado
Serves 4
Fresh and fruity adobo seasoned shrimp salad
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
  2. 1 tsp garlic salt
  3. 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  4. 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  5. 1 tsp turmeric
  6. 1 TB olive oil
  7. 1 whole orange, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
  8. 1 large grapefruit, peeled and sliced into clean segments, with as little skin as possible
  9. 1 avocado, diced
  10. 2 TB fresh mint, julienne
  11. 2 TB fresh basil, julienne
  12. ¼ cup candied, sliced almonds
  13. 3 TB versatile vinaigrette
  14. 8 cups greens, your favorite
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, black pepper, oregano and turmeric. Sprinkle over the shrimp.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the oil and let heat until it starts to ripple. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring constantly until they are almost pink. Toss in 3 TB orange juice and continue cooking until the shrimp are cooked through and the juice has evaporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the 3 TB vinaigrette and the remaining 2 TB orange juice. Set aside
  4. .
  5. In a large bowl, add the greens, herbs, grapefruit and avocado. Add the dressing and toss until all is well coated.
  6. Serve by laying the greens mixture out on a large serving plate. Place the shrimp on top and sprinkle with the candied almonds. Serve warm or cold. And then have some ice cream.
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/
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All good and healthy because you know I’ll be eating that ice cream anyway.

*Reminder: Adobo seasoning is equal parts garlic salt, coarse black pepper, Mexican oregano and turmeric

Written before sleepy time.

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Brew School: How to Properly Brew a Cup of Coffee

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Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

The battle cry of Lorelei Gilmore and most of us every morning.  I was late to the game, making it through college without a sip of the real stuff (only the worst variety of the sugary-fat-filled-so-called-latte from my friendly neighborhood Reckers).  That is, until I landed myself in NOLA, with their creamy café au laits, made with chicory, full fat milk (or was it cream?), perfectly paired with beignets from Café du Monde, or a sunlit patio on Magazine Street.  Yes, New Orleans coffee would be my downfall, and I grew from the sugary sweet, to the half milk to the almost black through law school, and I’ve never looked back.

As a grown up though on my own, I’ll admit that I’m still of the au lait way every day and have not graduated to black, which is, in my opinion, the true mark of a full-fledged adult. I just…can’t.

I blame this in part to the fact that I just don’t make a good cup of coffee at home. I am loose with the measures, pick whatever coffee is on sale and forever, brewed it on a hand me down coffee pot.  I could never get over the mess of a French Press, nor the bother of an espresso. As such, my daily cup ‘o’ joe enjoyed at my desk with a lake view more often than not tends to be…instant.

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You may all cringe.

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday.

Happy weekending, ya’ll!  I hope it’s been a good one.  Yesterday was low key enough, and Crawley and I continued our getting to know you.  For instance, I now know that this relationship is truly meant to be, since he gobbled up the whipped cream I gave him and he was willing to suffer death for a bite of warm brownie. Don’t worry- he didn’t get any.

My Sunday is full of catching up with the best and oldest friends, the way Sunday should be, really. I hope yours is equally enjoyable.

Let’s read on, shall we?  Big thanks to Yam for most of these enthralling reads.

Teachers really are the unsung heroes of our lives, especially when they do things like this.

Pain has become a real pain. How can we fix it?

Meet George Jetson…are we getting there?  These transportation pods suggest maybe.

You are what you tweet, say the feds, and it may affect your future job.

Lemonade from lemons. This couple did it best.

Yam thinks I should go here on assignment. I think I’ll go with the clothing optional option.  Seems a bit unsanitary, no?

Here’s hope for all my 35+ year old single girlfriends. But, it goes to the question of just because we can do it, should we?

Not for the low-carbed: an edible pizza box.  Again, just because we can do it, should we?

Travel friends are those with whom you can discuss your poop within two days of meeting them. One of the reasons why they are the best.

We are from where we came.  As was Prince.

Science, ya’ll. Survival of the fittest.  This shark loses.

And finally, Kanye at church? I like the sentiment, but would be more drawn in by some Britney, though I’m not sure I’m a Slave 4U sends the right message.

Have a good week!

Written during Call the Midwife. Still watching. Still loving.

 

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Saffron Cream Mussels

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Saturday, thank God.

It was a doozy of a week but thankfully the week ended better than it started, and it’s the weekend and things on my end are footloose and fancy free.  Not completely, chores must be done (adulting, you know), but all is well.

Discussions this week more often than not turned to upcoming summer vacations. Usually I stay close to home during the summer because it’s the time of the year that Chicago shines, and I try to eat up every minute of not-frozen, sun-soaked glory. But listening to others’ travel plans to Spain and Italy and Peru is making me rethink my rule.

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The reality is that summer travel, beyond a trip home to Michigan, won’t be happening, at least not in the grand way that I would like, and therefore the best I can do is recreate good memories of vacations past, and that’s what we’re doing here today.

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Chinese Ginger Chicken Salad

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Ginger Chinese Chicken Salad

There was a lady on the train last night that barged on and she just looked so mean.  Her eyebrows slanted down as if she were an evil villain in a cartoon, and as I kept sneaking glances, I realized the permanence of her expression, her pout, her glare, and I wondered instantly what had happened to her that made her come across as so mean, so wicked old witch. Perhaps it was just bitch resting face, but for one who is often accused of having the same, it was a good reminder to not only be kind, but maybe make more of an effort to look it as well, lest I be stuck with an unsightly grimace forever (though i know that looks aren’t everything blah blah blah).

Maybe this be a good reminder for you all.  To be kind. And to eat more greens.

Ginger Chinese Chicken SaladPicMonkey CollageGinger Chinese Chicken Salad

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See the World, Eat the World: Boston

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Boston, new love of my life. Just kidding, as if London would ever lose that distinction.  While our affair only lasted a mere five days, I fell a little bit in love nonetheless. It had the vibe that was a little bit London, and a little bit Philly, and that I guess means it has a unique personality all its own.  I’m sure some would disagree with my assessment because after all, I was only there for a short time, but I could see very much how I’d fit right in there like a glove. I was even asked for directions, something that, as a tourist, always flatters me.

Before heading out, like any self-respective food blogger, I collected from multiple sources recommendations, and I’m proud to say that I hit at least one thing on everyone’s list. Since these are trusted sources, I will share all their suggestions, and maybe if you head to Boston, you will pick up where I left off.  Despite not hitting everything, the fit of my jeans suggests I was a success nonetheless.

Mom came along for the ride, so we’ll also be sharing some fun see the world things, too. Having more days to play than I, she did a little better.  So here’s what to do, what to eat.

Talk a walk down the Freedom Trail. It’s a short one, but it’s astounding how much history is packed into a mere 2.5 miles.  Though you’ll be easily spotted as a tourist following the brick red line through the city, it’s full of historical fun facts and good food. It does, for instance, traipse through the North End (aka Little Italy) all the way to Bunker Hill, and on that path you’ll find some most excellent food.

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Sunday Somethings

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Hello, Sunday and Happy Mother’s Day!

How are ya’ll this weekend?  Post-travel transition into real life didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, which means my suitcase it still not unpacked, the laundry is still not done and nor is the dishwasher clean. All to-do for  my Sunday.   It has been quite a nice weekend though, with Mother Nature cooperating for all the moms out there in Chicago, and Friday I had a nice treat with a dusk-time boat float down the river. It was a good reminder for me that I do live in a great city because, if you saw what I saw on the evening news, it’s a fact easy to forget.

I hope that you take the time to show a little love to your mom today, because whether or not you get along, I’m sure she did the best she could.

And finally, a shout out to two of my friends who became moms for the second time this week:  Eggplant and Dandelion, I hope you maybe got to sleep in a little bit today.  Maybe just a little.

The internets, whadda ya say?

The fight against hate starts with one.

These Harry Potter fans won the “who’s the  biggest fan” contest. Love.

Related:  Real-life Quidditch! Sort of.

There were never such devoted sisters.

Another example of how racial profiling just makes everyone look stupid.

Related:  The internet responds perfectly to bigoted response to Old Navy’s beautiful ad. I could contribute my own family’s picture to the campaign. 

Second grader is allowed to go home after successfully tricking teacher with fake note.  This is both sad and scary.

Isn’t this delicious? I printed it myself.

And finally, These are the only selfies that should be allowed.

The reading is in a lull, but a new show to get you hooked. It has me.

Have a good week!

Written while getting up every 2 minutes to keep Crawley off the counter. He knows better.

 

 

 

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