Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sunday Chatter

Yet another reason why I LOVE this group. So I truly didn't mean for the initial conversation on Sunday to be about my dating life, no really, I am starting a blog Talk To Me Raleigh about how people meet, where they go etc..., but being the kind friends that you are I learned that I am desperate, need to introduce myself to more people, quit thinking about it so much and just go about my daily life and let it happen on its own. All of which I have been consumed with over-thinking about since leaving dinner on Sunday. 

Seeing how you are ALL coupled up (Marc, I needed you there to back me up as the only other single in the group), I am certain it is easy to point out what I am doing wrong or should be doing in the world of dating, all of which are probably true, yes I am admitting to it.  Yet again as the lonely resident single, I am secretly blaming this on Tim seeing how my newest single friend is no longer single due to him coming along. Thanks Tim!

I do have to share since Sunday, Scott has set me up with someone, thanks Scott! I guess you can meet people through friends if you live somewhere long enough to make friends. Note to self, quit moving around so often.

And, today I received a card in the mail from Cynthia and Penny. I am still laughing! This card was so perfect. Had to share!

Card Front: "Annual Meeting of Single, Straight, Emotionally-Stable, Financially -Secure, Intelligent Men Looking for a Long-Term Commitment"

Inside: "Need I say more?"

"Why you haven't found the right guy?" Cynthia & Penny

For the next supper club I want to bring some table cards that I have. Could be fun to read them and learn more about each other, you pull a card and it has a random question on it that each person has to answer. Actually, the more I think about it, with this group they would be quite fun and the answers I am certain very entertaining. Don't let me forget!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



1 large piece of Cucumber (about 10.5 Oz).
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups yogurt
1/2 teaspoon yogurt
pinch of ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or mint.
chili powder (garnish).

Method -

Lay a clean dish towel flat on the counter.
Wash the cucumber and coarsely grate the unpeeled cucumber directly
onto the dish towel.
Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of the salt, gather up the dish towel
and squeeze until all the excess moisture is removed from the
Pour the yogurt into a bowl and beat in the remaining salt, together
with the salt and cumin.
Stir in the grated cucumber.
Taste and add extra seasoning, if necessary.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, stir in the chopped cilantro (or mint) and
transfer to a serving bowl.
Sprinkle with chili powder and serve.

Rice Pilaf

Rice Pilaf

1.5 tablespoon of Oil
One Onion
2 cups long grain rice (Basmati)
3 Cardamons, 3 cloves and 1" Cinnamon( or use 1 teaspoon of "Garam
Masala" available in stores)
1/2 tomato
Salt to taste

Method -
Heat Oil on medium.
Add the cardamons, cloves and cinnamon and fry for a few minutes.
Add the sliced onion.
Brown the onion, do not burn it.
Add the chopped half tomato.
Wash the rice separately (Wash and drain the rice several times,
stirring rice with your fingers until the water no longer clouds up)
and add it to the vessel.
Throw in some water so the water is 1/2" above the rice in the dish.
If you are using a pressure cooker, one whistle will do.
Else, you will have to check it after about fifteen minutes. Stir
gently to avoid breaking the grains.

Minced Lamb

Minced meat with Vindaloo paste

1 lb ground lamb (or beef)
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 onions
1 teaspoon salt
2 potatoes
1/2 lb green peas.
Some cilantro

Grind to a paste -
6 red chillies (or 1.5 teaspoon chilly powder)
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (or 3/4 teaspoon cumin powdered)
1/2 inch turmeric (1.5 teaspoon turmeric powder)
1/2 pod garlic

Method -
Grind the paste with the above mentioned ingredients and keep aside.
Fry the sliced onions in 2 tablespoons oil. Add the ground curry paste.
When fried, add mince with salt.
Keep stirring every couple of minutes and let the water dry out.
Add potatoes and peas with 1/2 cup water.
Simmer on medium-low heat till the vegetables are cooked.
Add vinegar and remove from fire after five minutes.
Garnish with fresh Cilantro and serve.

Chicken Curry

1 medium Red Onion
1/2 lb Chicken cut into bite-sized pieces (I used breast meat)
1/2 inch Ginger and 1/2 pod Garlic chopped up fine (alternatively 1
tablespoon of ginger garlic paste)
1 tablespoon of Bottle Masala.

Method - Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of Oil and brown the onions. Do not
burn the onions. Add 1 tablespoon of Ginger Garlic paste OR chopped up
1/2 inch ginger and 1/2 pod garlic. Heat for a few minutes. Add 3/4
tablespoon of Bottle Masala and fry for another five/seven minutes.

Add the cut up chicken. Add salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon).

Cook on medium heat for about 18 minutes. Midway, check the gravy and
add a little 1/4 water if desired.

Curried Lentils

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 4 (as a main dish, more if used as a side)

1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 3/4 oz ghee
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large green chili, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk

1. Rinse the lentils and drain well. Place the lentils, stock and turmeric in a large heavy-based pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, or until just tender. Stir occasionally and check the mixture is not catching on the bottom of the pan.

2. Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a small frying pan and add the onion. Cook until soft and golden and add the garlic, chili, cumin and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir the onion and spices into the lentil mixture and then add the tomato. Simmer over very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Season to taste and add the coconut milk. Stir until heated through. Serve with naan bread or rice.

I usually serve these as a side dish with lamb saagh. So good!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dinner at Ashlyn's

What a wonderful evening filled with really good Indian food. The only request we had was that next time you cook, make sure the meal is being prepared while we are arriving so we can smell the spices wafting from your home as we enter, making our taste-buds anticipate what is to come. 

Another fantastic Sunday dinner with good food and great friends. Being the over-thinker that I am I tend to reflect back on things, more than I should, and try to make sense or connections to whatever it is that I am thinking about. 

As I Reflect back on the evenings we have spent together enjoying yummy food, I wonder how often you can mesh a group of individuals together from such different backgrounds and upbringings that all get along and truly enjoy each others company. I feel that this is a rarity, isn't there always someone who tolerates someone else or just flat out does not get along with the group? Not in our case! Our group has a connectedness, the right mixture of personalities and differences that makes it unique and interesting.

Thank you Ashlyn for hosting last nights Sunday Dinner! I know that everyone is looking forward to dinner at Jennifer's in August followed by Melissa and Josh's in September.

The menu for our second dinner consisted of;

Appetizer - Variety of olives, Spinach Hummus and Flat Bread, compliments of Penny

Side Dish -  Coconut Curried Lentils, compliments of Jolene

Main Course - Chicken Curry with Rice, Raitha and Minced Lamb with Peas and Potatoes, compliments of Ashlyn

Dessert - Pound Cake with Blueberries and Peaches, compliments of Jennifer

After Dinner Port - Proto Morgado, Ruby

In addition to great food we had several fantastic bottles of wine. The selection consisted of; Bogle Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Cusumano Nero D'avola 2007, Aquila D'oro Toscana 2007, Unique Pinot Gris 2007, Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Alsace Domaines Schlumberger Riesling 2006, Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling 2008.

I am already looking forward to and anticipating our next dinner together.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Peach Squid Salad

Peach Squid Salad

Blanch French beans
Grill Yellow Squash, then cut to small pieces.
Kohlrabi pealed and cut to small strips.
White Peaches diced.

For the Peach vinaigrette: Peach puree, peach vinegar, grape seed oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Squid tubes: cut clean and square on one side.
Grill the Squid with olive oil salt and pepper about two minutes on each side.
Mix all the veggies and fruit with the vinaigrette and arrange the Squid stacks on top.

So fantastic!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Pasta

Olive Oil – good quality
Mozzarella Cheese
Cherry Tomatoes
Black Olives
Fresh Basil
Fresh Garlic

Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place in medium size bowl.
Mince fresh garlic and add to the tomatoes.
Chop olives and add to the garlic and tomatoes.
Chop fresh basil and add to above.
Pour olive oil over the top of above mixture until covered.

Let this sit for at least 3 hours at room temperature.

Boil pasta according to instructions on bag.

Grate Mozzarella cheese.

When pasta is ready place in a large bowl and pour mixture over the top, stir until thoroughly coated. Add cheese and stir in.

Serve warm!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Zabaione with Strawberry

Zabaione with Strawberry (4 Pers.)


Wash 500g strawberry, cut them in small pieces and add 70g sugar, a glass of red wine and 2 spoons of coarsely grounded green peppercorns. Mix well and marinate all together for at least 1h. Warm carefully 2 yolks and 10g sugar in a pot. Add 1 glass of white wine and mix it quickly until the zabaione gets solid. Make a layer of strawberries, then the zabaione and on top another layer of strawberries. Delicious!

Thanks Tobi - this was fantastic!

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Kalamata Olive Tapenade
1 large container of pitted Kalamata Olives (aprox 2 cups)
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Blue cheese crumbles (good w/ Feta also)
Good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Combine olives, garlic & pine nuts in a food processor and process (adding the Olive oil) until the tapenade is thick but still has texture.  Fold in the blue/feta cheese.
Melissa - This was so yummy and addictive. I think I ate most of it :)

Sunday Supper Club - Inaugural

One of my fondest childhood memories was Sunday dinner. Growing up at my house it was a big deal and all were welcome to join. As I moved into adulthood and out of my parents home I found myself missing the ritual of our Sunday dinners where we gathered for good food surrounded by family and friends. 

Settling into my new home in Raleigh, something seemed to be missing. That something was Sunday dinner. The ritual of cooking a good meal, not just for myself but for others as well. So, with a good group of friends we started our first Sunday Supper Club.

As we gathered at the table new friends and old friends became instant family. My dining room has never looked so good and I am certain my mother would have loved the site of a full table with great food being enjoyed by all.

I am very much looking forward to many more Sunday dinners with this fantastic group of people.

The menu for this first dinner consisted of;

Appetizer - Olive Tapenade, compliments of Melissa & Josh

Salad - Grill Squid Steaks, Grilled Veggies over a bed of mixed greens and topped with a peach vinaigrette, compliments of Chef Sarig

Main Course - Summer Pasta loaded with fresh basil, olives, garlic, olive oil and cheese, compliments of Jolene

Dessert - Strawberry Sabaione, compliments of Tobi

In addition to great food we had several fantastic bottles of wine. The selection consisted of; Ecco Domani 2007 Pinot Grigio, Condesa 2007 Garnacha, Hess Select 2004 Syrah, Sea Glass 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Milton Park 2007 Shiraz and Mirassou 2008 Pinot Noir.