Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting excited about SPICE!

I love cooking - when I am stressed I cook, when I am bored I cook, when I am happy I cook and I love cooking for others! Oh, and I love to eat even more :-)

Therefore it is only logical that finding good ingredients make me happy. While I try to grind and put together a lot of spices myself (once you use fresh ground pepper you will never touch that pre-ground stuff again - I use a dedicated coffee mill BTW) - sometimes a good spice bought at a store is great as well.

This week I was going home from work and decided to go through Grand Central market - and came across the spice market "Spices and Tease". As I love all kinds of Curry I decided to give their Garam Massala (Moroccan coriander, cardamom from Tamil Nadu, India, Bay Leaves Tellicherry pepper, cinnamon, caraway, Zanzibar cloves, China #1 ginger and nutmeg) and Massale (coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, hot pepper and fenug) a try.

Yummy - spruced up some veggies I had left over with the Garam Massala which is on spicier side. Next day used the Massale for making curried rice - it added such a nice warmth to the dish and went perfectly with the chicken.

Next on plan for this week marinated chicken using with Garam Massala and a veggie stew with Massale.

I felt that the spices were fresh and like that you can buy them in small units and best of all "Spices and Tease" also have a Website where you can find their offerings online (they also carry tea and sugar... I will be busy this year cooking myself through their options!).

Will report back with recipes using more spices!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Quick and simple Raspberry Jam

I went to Whole Food Market and saw some really yummy Raspberries and also picked up some Raisin-Challah.

So when I got home I felt like making a quick home-made raspberry jam to enjoy with my Challah:

1 Pint of Raspberries

1 Apple peeled and cubed (I used Granny Smith for pectin)

1/2 cup of fine sugar

1/4 cup of water

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup good Orange Liqueur

Combine Raspberries, apple, sugar and water, bring to boil and then reduce to simmer for 10mins. After that time add lemon zest and juice and simmer for another 10 minutes. Take off heat and add orange liqueur.

If desired puree with immersion blender and fill in clean jars and store in refrigerator.

Enjoy with Challah or another bread of your choice!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy 2012

Wishing you all a very Happy & Healthy New Year!

I am not into resolutions as they just make you feel bad as soon as you break them (which is usually on about Jan 02nd).

What I like to try this year though is to send a postcard to a friend or family member each month (birthday cards not included - and yes, I usually still write hand-written cards :-)) and post on my blog once a week.

That's all and take life easy - in the end all will work out in magical ways anyway!