Warm Summer days are gone… and Fall is threatening to turn to Winter faster than this wee lady might like so spending time in my nice warm kitchen is definitely something I look forward to these days.
As most of my Gentle Visitors might have noticed, I kinda “spaced out” this whole last month and let all of October… Halloween included… slip completely right on by without sharing any new posts or any of my usual fun and hijinks. For that I’m sorry… seems I’m still continuing my wrestling with lethargy and my nasty “blaaaaah” feelings more than I’d like to admit. D’ohhh…. 😦
Yep. My poor lil’ noggin’ is still fighting the blues. But… if there’s one thing that can get me excited through all this, it’s yummy curry. Sweet, spicy, freakishly hot curry. Thanks to that wonderful stuff, at least my taste buds are lively these days….
Recently I even had one of my “midnight epiphanies” that led to a brand new culinary experiment. Wanna hear all about it? Why of course you do…. after all, who can pass up the wonderous miracle that is curry? 😉
Psst! This way for more!
I know it’s been a while since this wee Catgirl invited all you Gentle Visitors into her kitchen for a peek over my shoulder as I work my kitchen magic to whip up something tasty, but… as I’ve promised myself that I should try to post more often here at the Litterbox… and… since I’ve finally managed to combine my love of fruity, spicy curry with something taken from the culinary traditions of my ancestral homeland, it seemed fitting to take an evening to tell all you Gentle Visitors all about it. 😉
Psst! This way for more!
It’s a dreary rainy Autumn day here at my lil’ apartment today and I’m in no particular mood to go a’wandering out in that clammy chill, so you lucky visitors here at the ol’ Litterbox get another chance to share some of my recent culinary adventures with me and get a sort of mini-Diary experience all at the same time.
A “Diary/ Recipe” post? Is that even possible? Heck… why not? This wee Catgirl’s mind just works that way…. better just roll with it. 😉
Anyway…. the topic this time out is my recent attempt at re-creating an old Eastern European recipe for “Pickle Soup”. Pickle Soup?….. I can see you all sort of giving me “that look”, but I’m serious. Although usually not eaten that way here in the US, in other parts of the world pickled cucumbers are used in some surprisingly interesting (and yummy) ways in recipes that leave most Americans shaking their heads in disbelief and horror. This particular idea has been known to me for some while…. and although I’ve been intrigued to give it a whirl and see how it would actually taste, Ive never had the occasion (or perhaps the nerve) to give it a try.
Wanna know why it’s finally time? And…. more importantly how it tastes… and just maybe how to make some for your very own? Then let’s get on with things…. so tie on an apron, tip-toe with me to the kitchen, and we’ll see what we can do!! 😉
There’s snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air as we move closer to yet another Christmas and so it’s time to make that chilly weather a bit more tolerable…. with something spicy and yummy from the kitchen to warm Carolyn and I up from the inside out.
This time out… a twist on an old “South-of-the-Border” favorite, “Chili Con Carne”…. but done with a North Indian Punjabi styling known there as “Rajma Chawal” (राजमा), or “Red Bean Curry with Rice”. Mmmmm!! Spicy fruity curry…. how this wee Catgirl loves you!!
Now my sweetie, Carolyn… she likes a good chunky chili… and eating out at a Mexican restaurant is definitely something she always enjoys. However, despite my best efforts, I’ve yet to convince her that partaking of a good spicy curry is as close to heaven as you are likely to ever get at mealtime. That changed forever last week when I remembered this particular dish while rummaging through our cupboard looking for some ingredients for a dinner surprise. On my shelf… hidden behind some cans of corn and green beans was a big lonely #5 can of red kidney beans… sitting right next to a big ol’ can of diced tomatoes. It was a clear and unmistakable omen from the Kitchen Fairies… and Neko would never disregard such a clear mandate from them…. 😉
Wanna know how you, too, can unleash the wondrous power of this familiar and yet sooooo exotic tasting curry for yourself and those special people you love? Why then you are gonna have to “Read On” then aren’t you?
It’s a crisp Fall day… not Summer, no definitely not that anymore. The days are getting that cool crisp edge to them that no amount of warm sunlight can completely banish. I expect the leaves to start to turn in the next few weeks, but for now…. if you really want, you can still pretend that Summer will never end…. Sigh.
Given that I’ve another day off by myself…. and a pantry and refrigerator full of goodies… I’ve been inspired to spend the day cooking up something new and yummy for a delightful dinner surprise. This time out? How about an African inspired twist on pasta? All thanks to a wee bit of luck I had finding some spicy Tunisian Harissa paste.
Harissa paste? What’s that, you ask? Well, harissa is a type of hot chili paste common to North African cuisine and most closely associated with the countries of Tunisia and Algeria. It’s primary ingredients are hot bird’s eye chili peppers, Serrano peppers or other sorts of hot chillies and normally also contains a mix of other spices such as garlic, coriander, caraway seed, cumin, as well as some vegetable or olive oil as a preservative. I’ve had it before, but never actually found any to play with myself. Till now….. 😉
So just what sort of tasty mischief can a lil’ Asian Catgirl get up to with a big ol’ jar of African Hot Chili paste? Guess you’ll just have to “Read On” if you want to find out…..
Another Monday off from work and what better way to spend it than giving all my wonderful Regular Visitors yet another intimate peek inside this quirky lil’ Catgirl’s kitchen to see what yummy things I’ve been up to lately.
This time out I thought I might share my recipe for Argentinian Chimichurri…. the perfect marinade and condiment for a spicy summer BBQ meal. For my special contribution to the food at last week’s 4th of July picnic cookout with Carolyn’s co-workers, I combined this exotic yummy concoction with thinly sliced strips of flank steak on skewers to make a selection of tasty “finger food” servings perfect for a warm lazy Summer afternoon’s party with friends.
Tasty… exotic…. and also super, super easy to make, this lil’ Catgirl is hoping you all will find it as delightful and flavorful as they did!
Want in on the mouth watering spicy goodness? Then all you have to do is “Read On!!”
Time once again for me to tie on an apron, peek in my cupboards and fridge, and play about in the kitchen… this time continuing my endless personal quest to perfect the ultimate in a taste tantalizing spicy peanut sauce. “Endless quest”, you ask? Why certainly!!
Now… for me anyway, there are always some recipes… that no matter just how successful and yummy they may be that first time out…. just beg for this goofy Catgirl to keep playing and “tweaking” them… always certain that somehow they can be made just that much better. Curry is one of those…. and it’s led this lady on many a wild chase as fruity goodness meets hot and spicy and does that magical dance that always seems to end up someplace different every darn time, but always somewhere soooo, soooo, tasty and good. Well…. Peanut sauce is just like that too. Seriously…. Would this lil’ Catgirl kid you?
I make it all the time… Using both real peanuts as well as peanut butter on occasion, depending on what I have available on hand and the time I can spend on it, even throwing in other different types of nuts to change things up when I’m feeling particularly daring. Some of these versions end up becoming staples…. working well as a simple noodle sauce, others as marinades or dipping sauces, and some others that end up so chunky and thick that they absolutely beg to be slathered on meat like BBQ sauce for grilling. In all their forms, Peanut Sauces are another of my favorite things to eat….. and luckily, over the years, I’ve been able to convince most of my friends that they, too, need that wonderful taste in their life as well.
With a “Movie Nite” last week to share with not only Carolyn, but also with Sam and her latest “steady guy”, it was only natural that I’d want to get a little more creative than just bagged chips and popcorn and actually whip us up something nice to snack on during the show, so what better than yet another version of this old favorite tailored for an American finger food like chicken wings? Sounds good to this lil’ Catgirl, and I was sure it would go over big with both Carolyn and our guests.
Wanna know how it came out… maybe even make some for yourself? Then by all means… “Read On” o’ Gentle Visitor!!
Mmmmm!! Another day off… another chance to play in the kitchen and whip up something yummy for me and my sweetie to share for a romantic dinner surprise!!
Well… not all that much of a surprise…. As of late, your Favorite Catgirl has taken to shifting things about a bit with stuff at work to guarantee a day off on Mondays. Doing my inventory at the restaurant on Sunday gives me the opportunity to do all my ordering for food and supplies by phone right here at home, saving me a trip in to work. Occasionally I’ll spend it with Carolyn if she’s got some Personal Time saved aside…. but lately it’s just been me and lil’ Ting-ting here at the apartment.
Still…. even though she has to work and can’t be here with us… it makes my sweetie feel better to think that I’m here, doing my magic in the kitchen to assure a yummy welcome home for her when she’s finished her workday. So…. what’s on the menu this time out?
Why… with the warm breezes of Spring giving their promise of a delightful Summer to come, I’ve been inspired to throw together a wonderful roast chicken seasoned with the exotic caress of Malaysia’s spicy Sambal Oelek…
But… to find out how to make it for yourself, you just know Neko’s gonna insist you “Read On”…..
Well….. Another week or so has passed for your Favorite Catgirl… and surprisingly, with the arrival of March, the weather has started shifting…. tentatively… teasingly…. ever.. so.. cautiously… towards a warmer and more spring-like feeling. This Monday, on my day off, I could stand it no longer and opened up the kitchen window over my sink (After first making very certain my screen was intact and in place…. No crazy Spring escape for Ting-ting!! No way, no how….) and reveled in that amazing smell that Spring, (or at least almost Spring) has.
While taking that all in, it struck me just how much time lately I’ve been spending in the kitchen at home. As a cook, I spend all day in a kitchen at work, mind you, but most people are amazed that I usually don’t do all that much cooking at home. Or at least that’s how it’s been for a long, long time….
Wanna know why? Then naturally, you’ll want to “Read On”….. (and just maybe find a yummy surprise!!)