Wednesday, November 19, 2008

busy busy!

Hey there, strangers! Thanks for all of your lovely comments in recent weeks. I think of you often, but have been too busy in my real life to find time to work on my virtual life. I have done a bit of knitting and pattern tinkering recently--nothing I can share yet. But I can show you some of my pictures from exploring the Southwest and cooking.

Selections from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum:

I especially love this last one. It's from an alligator tree--so beautiful!

I found a new Indian grocery store to frequent in my neighborhood and stocked up on some ingredients:

Then proceeded to make two delicious Indian dishes from Tarla Dalal recipes. First, the rather complicated (but well worth the effort) Kofta Biryani. It was a delicious mixture of rice, falafel (with an Indian twist) and palak paneer, minus the paneer. Give it a try when you have a free afternoon and feel adventurous! I added potatoes, since I was in a potatoy mood.

I also made Shahi Aloo with a friend who wants to learn how to cook--I started him off easy with peeling and chopping. He did an excellent job. Shahi Aloo is a great way to prepare potatoes with a nice level of spices, and the sweetness and crunch of raisins and cashews, respectively:

My very good Chilean friend had a birthday last week. I asked her to describe her favorite cake, which involved layers of pancake, chocolate, marzipan and lucuma (a fruit I doubt is available here). I decided to make my own interpretation: a crepe cake with homemade chocolate frosting and marzipan creme.

I used a combination of three recipes, for the crepes, the frosting, and the marzipan. It came out looking a lot sloppier than I had wanted, but it was quite tasty and my Chilean friends got a kick out of it!

I also made a brief stop in Tombstone, Arizona. Not something I'd go out of my way to see, but it was entertaining for about 20 minutes.


isolada. by design said...

It's always fun to visit your space. I look forward to your explorations, particularly as you live and play in areas that have always fascinated me. I love the Southwest and can't wait to get back there and spend more time one day.

I'm especially delighted with the new recipes. I have been wanting to make my own biryani having read quite a bit of fiction set in the Middle East & India. Thank you so much for the links and references. It's like having an experienced chef as a personal instructor, only via cyberspace! :)

I've been wanting to tell you I made the arancini on Sunday. It was DELICIOUS and I was amazed at how well it reheated that I could enjoy myself a day or two more. Definitely will make that again...and the sweet potato & black bean enchiladas. I'm using several of your sites to put together a Thanksgiving menu that's non-conformist yet with typical ingredients. Yum!

Continued good days from here to there!...Ana

Linda said...

Lovely cooking. Falafel is one of my favourite things so the curried version sounds great.

Hilary said...

Oooh, a secret pattern...exciting! :)

If you were sitting anywhere in my office building right now, you would hear my stomach grumbling loudly from all that delicious food in this post...

jessica said...

looks like yummy fooding adventures!

Unknown said...

I very much enjoy your blog- you make such beautiful things. I especially loved your cactus halloween costume- I sent the photo to my husband, who works for the National Park Service, and all the plant biologists in his office were truly inspired.
I also feel a differently affinity- yes it's odd- but I think you'll understand- my feet are also 10.5 AA!
Keep up the good work!

Meghan said...


I hope you read this, cause I have no other way to get in touch with you (darn blogger!) That's so wonderful that you guys liked my costume! No one around here seemed to have the imagination to 'get it' right away, but I had a lot of fun with it. Also, I'm very impressed to meet another 10.5 AA woman! So far I only know one other. If you would like, perhaps we can exchange emails. Sometimes I end up with shoes that don't quite work for me, and I'd love to have another person to offer them to--I know how hard it can be! [megp47 at yahoo dot com] is one way to reach me.