Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Yes, I like curry a lot. I found this one to try for Christmas Dinner, because me attempting turkey would surely end in disaster.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (Original recipe calls for breasts)
1 medium onion – thinly sliced
15 oz can chickpeas – drained and rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes – peeled and diced
½ cup coconut milk (Recipe calls for light, but I used the full fat version)
½ cup chicken stock – low sodium
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder – salt-free
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder (Recipe calls for half this amount of cayenne. Could use red chili flakes as well)
1 cup green peas – frozen
2 tablespoons lemon juice
cilantro – optional garnish

 

In the bottom of the slow cooker, whisk together coconut milk, chicken stock, tomato sauce, curry powder, salt and cayenne.

Add chicken breasts, onion, chickpeas and sweet potatoes. Using tongs, gently toss ingredients together to ensure evenly coated.

Cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours.

Stir in peas and lemon juice 5 minutes before serving.

Serve over rice and with plenty of fresh cilantro.

 

Recipe source: http://thelemonbowl.com/2013/05/slow-cooker-chicken-curry.html

Big News!

I have been remiss in posting this here, after blanketing my social media with the news. I’ve signed a contract with Bold Strokes Books to publish my next book, Soul’s Blood (and hopefully, the sequel, Gatecrasher, too) We’re in early days right now, in a bit of a holding pattern, but aiming for publication next fall. The ball is rolling though!

Very excited!

Sweet November

“People must be remembered Charlie, otherwise it’s as if they were never here at all. All we are are the people who remember us. If we go away, and everybody forgets we were ever here, its as if we never were.”

 

Have you ever revisited a movie you saw many, many years before? One that you remember loving, even though decades have passed and you can’t even remember when you saw it the first time? For me, this weekend, I found one of those movies again. Sweet November, starring Sandy Dennis and Anthony Newley. I have such vivid memories of loving it, and they were borne out when I watched it again tonight. The quote above imprinted on me somehow. I’m not sure if I loved it because it resonated with what I already believed, or if it was seeing the film and hearing those words that helped create the belief. Maybe it’s even more resonant now in the aftermath of my own brush with mortality. But it’s a lovely film. And it’s one I’ve taken in, one that has become part of who I am.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_November_(1968_film)

“Hello, you long shots, you dark horse runners
Hairbrush singers, dashboard drummers
Hello, you wild magnolias just waitin to bloom
There’s a little bit of all that inside of me and you
Thank God, even crazy dreams come true

I stood at the bottom of some walls I thought I couldn’t climb
I felt like Cinderella at the ball just runnin out of time
So I know how it feels to be afraid
And think that it’s all gonna slip away
Hold on, hold on

Here’s to you free souls, you firefly chasers
Tree climbers, porch swingers, air guitar players
Here’s to you fearless dancers, shakin walls in your bedrooms
There’s a lot of wonder left inside of me and you
Thank God, even crazy dreams come true

Never let a bad day be enough
To go and talk you into givin up
Sometimes everybody feels like you
Oh, feels like you, just like you
Thank God, even crazy dreams come true
Thank God, even crazy dreams come… true.”

– Carrie Underwood, George Barry Dean, Troy Verges

Recipe: Mattar Paneer

2 cups paneer cheese, cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil or 5 tablespoons ghee
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (I didn’t have cayenne, so I used a ground Indian chili pepper)
1 cup diced tomato, with juice
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

 

Heat 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet and saute the paneer in batches (add more oil if necessary), until lightly browned, and drain on paper toweling.

In a large pan, heat the 3 tbsp oil or ghee and cook the onion, ginger and garlic until the onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Add the coriander, cumin, salt, turmeric, and cayenne, and cook until the spices become fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add the paneer, water, and peas and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Garnish with cilantro before serving.

 

Original Recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/mattar-paneer-indian-peas-with-paneer-cheese-82641

“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.

– Dawna Markova

Enlightenment

As recounted by Tom Robbins in the video 1 Giant Leap

“There was a Bodhisatva who decided he needed to see the Buddha so he set out on foot. And somewhere along his journey, he came upon a man who was seated in the lotus position, meditating, but he had made several mistakes in that he hadn’t chosen a shady spot, so he was out in the sun and he was being absolutely cooked. He was all sunburned and dehydrated and he also had made the mistake of sitting on an anthill, so the ants were crawling all over him and eating his flesh and he was absolutely miserable. And as the Bodhisatva went by, he said “when you see the Buddha, ask him how long it’s going to take for me to become enlightened.” The Bodhisatva promised to do that and continued on his way.

“A few days later, he came across a second man who was dancing and laughing and singing. Just in a state of exhilaration, just bopping around, and as the Bodhisatva went by, this man said, “When you see the Buddha, ask him how long it’ll be before I’m enlightened.” The Bodhisatva promised, so he went on, had his audience with the Buddha, and a few weeks later came back along the way and this time he came upon the first man first and by now the ants had taken most of the flesh off of his body and he was just blistered from the sun and he was practically dead, absolutely miserable and the Bodhisatva said “The Buddha says it will take six more lifetimes for you to become enlightened.” The guy says, “Oh, no, I can’t stand it.”

“The Bodhisatva goes on and come upon the other man, who is still laughing, still dancing, still singing, having his sips of wine and nice food out of the food bowl from time to time. As the Bodhisatva went by, he said, “You see that bush over there? That small tree, the one with all the leaves on it? The Buddha said, ‘for every leaf on that tree, that’s another lifetime you’re going to have to endure before you’re enlightened’” And the man said, “Is that all?” and began dancing and laughing and singing even more exuberantly.

“And at that moment, he became enlightened.”

“You may not see it now, but whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly beats his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you’re sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it’s much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer”

– Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth