So, things that have happened in the real world for me in the past few months, at least food wise...
1) Christmas holidays! In my family this is synonymous with food and booze. It's January 3 and I now weigh the most I ever have in my entire life, which is not awesome because my clothes are way tighter than desired. How does this always happen?! Argh - why do I love food so much?! I need a quick fix, which is why I am kickstarting my weight loss regime with a month a no drinking, starting January 1st. Can this be done? Not sure...it's never been attempted by me before, but we are two days in and so far so good.
But for some context on how I got to this state - for Christmas dinner this year on my family's side,my contribution was dessert. I made two different desserts. I was only going to make one, a White Chocolate Cranberry Cheesecake, but then my mom reminded me that my brother doesn't really like cheesecake ever since that 'bad cheesecake that he tried when he was a kid.' I already had my heart set on the cheesecake, so instead of changing course I decided to add a second dessert, a Mocha Chocolate Roll. I've linked to those recipes here and here in case you are interested.
2) Canning! On an afternoon in early December, I had three girlfriends over and we all decided to try canning for the first time.
|From left: Kristy, me, Ashley, and Kendra: Bean Lovers|
|Ashley and Kendra washing approximately 2.5 million beans, give or take, with a smile on their faces.|
|Beans, beans, the musical fruit!|
|Kristy determining our carrots:jars ratio.|
|Kendra breaking the rules and sneaking too many carrots into the jars.|
|Then we made even neater piles, because the OCD kicked in.|
|Our pretty jars, right before our pickling mixture was added.|
...only, the thing is, that we missed the final water bath step, or really any sort of processing step at all, so there was an extremely high chance of botulism in those jars that you see there. Apparently botulism is bad and causes things like getting really sick and even death, so all of those beans that you see there had to be eaten by the garburator instead of by me and my friends and family. Also we really have no idea how we missed this step since we were going from about three different recipes, and upon closer inspection a week or so later each of those recipes clearly included that step, but things happen (or don't happen, as it were). It was still a really fun day and, hey, at least I now own canning jars. I'm excited to try canning again in the spring when I attempt pickled asparagus, also perfect for Caesars. :) Too bad this experience was more of a "can'ting" episode than "canning." Wah wah.
3) The Gluten-Free Thing! Back in July 2012 I cut out gluten, and kept it out of my diet up until December 2013 when it showed up once, twice, fifty-five times. The jury is still out on whether a gluten-free diet does help with my migraines and stomach problems. I mean, I know that it does, but not all the time, which is frustrating. Sometimes it's worth a migraine to eat that slice or four of pizza, and I then have to deal with the consequences. Sometimes it's not worth it. I definitely do see value in cutting out wheat, but just a heads-up that you may start to see some more wheat-filled recipes on the blog this year if I decide that I want to, and that's why.
4) Meatball Day! I had a meatball making day (yes, a meatball day) with my mom, BFF, BFF's mom (who doubles as my mom's BFF), and my brother's girlfriend.
|From left: My Auntie Glenda (Sheena's mom and my mom's BFF), my mom, |
Sheena (my BFF), Alex (my brother's girlfriend), and moi!
|Not even half of how many meatballs we made. Not even half.|
|Having a 'ball!'|
Technically my mom was the sous chef and my brother's girlfriend Alex was in charge of cooking the Turkey Meatball in Coconut Curry Sauce recipe on Meatball Day, but hey, I reheated it the next night, so I'm stealing at least some of the credit!
Have no fear that your turkey may turn out dry...these meatballs stay super moist even when reheated, and the taste is almost like beef. The Best of Bridge, where this recipe hails from, also deserves a high five! Have I mentioned how much I love these cookbooks? Of course I have. The Hubby even got me the new Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Recipes book for Christmas...squeal!
|My mom as onion slicer girl|
|Alex loading up the freezer bags|
with Turkey Meatballs
|Glenda and Sheena hard at work|
|And this creepy photograph |
is what I was working on.
One Year Ago: Curried Chicken and Rice Soup
Two Years Ago: Caesar Salad
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Turkey Meatballs in Coconut Curry Sauce
Serves: 4 (20 meatballs)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (regular or gluten-free would work here) or cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon granted fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons mild or medium Indian curry paste, divided
- 1 pound lean or extra-lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- Cold water
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 to 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 16 sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
- 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Toasted almonds, for garnish (optional)
Crack your egg into a large bowl, and lightly beat. Add the bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the chopped cilantro, all of the ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of the curry paste. Mix until well combined, and then let sit for about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey, and mix thoroughly with your hands. Form the mixture into 20 meatballs.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Cook meatballs, turning frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until browned all over but still slightly pink inside (you will finish cooking the meatballs once they are added to the sauce). You may need to work in batches of 10 balls at a time, rather than trying to cook all 20 meatballs at once. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium, add the onion to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes or until softened, adding a tablespoon of cold water once or twice if the onions begin to stick to the pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of curry paste to the pan, along with 1 tablespoon of cold water; cook for 1 minute while stirring constantly. Whisk in the coconut milk, 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, and the sugar, and continue whisking until the curry paste has dissolved. Return the meatballs back into the pan with the curry coconut sauce, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and, turning meatballs occasionally, cook for 10 minutes or until the middle of the meatballs is no longer pink and the sauce is starting to thicken. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more chicken broth. Taste your sauce to determine whether more salt is required. Add the peas, the tomatoes, and the rest of the cilantro, then simmer for another 2 minutes. Serve over top of cooked white rice. Garnish with toasted almonds, if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe Adapted From: The Best of Bridge 'Fan Fare!' Cookbook - a tried and true cookbook series