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A Comma or a Semicolon or a Kitchen Center Island?

ImageThrough the magic of Twitter, I recently stumbled up on this article about the use of a comma.The article indicates that it is the fifth part in a series with answers to questions about the comma. “Really!? So many questions about a comma?”, I thought to myself. I read the article and was intrigued with how much there really is. I was especially intrigued by when to use a “;” versus a “,”. I began this blogpost with the main purpose of putting into practice what I had learned from that article.

So I sat at the kitchen center island, laptop on the island and begin tapping away at the keys. Suddenly my pressure cooker in which I was cooking daal exploded on me. Daal and malabaar spinach were everywhere. As I was cleaning the mess, all thoughts of the comma left my mind and my shoulder pain became my main thought. I fell this morning while sledding in the beautiful snow currently covering Saint Louis and hurt my shoulder. Once my husband offered to take over the cleaning though, my pain magically disappeared. Magic! So I sat back and started writing.

Speaking of sledding, I started sledding with my sons three years ago. It is something we enjoy doing together. When we hear that there could be snow in the forecast we get really excited. We look at it as our next sledding opportunity. When my first son woke up this morning and saw the snow outside, who did he come running to wake up first!? Me!! I was so happy he likes sledding with me as much as I like sledding with both of them.

Of course, one of the prerequisites of a cold snowy day is hot chocolate. I had to step away from the laptop again for a few minutes to make hot chocolate. Once they had the hot chocolate, they occupied the other two bar stools at the island I was sitting at and began busily arguing over nothing and everything. As I quietly eavesdropped on their conversation, any previous thoughts left my mind and were now replaced by nothing and everything.

Just as I was going to write about their conversation, my husband stopped by the island to let me know he plans to make dinner tonight. He came to ask me if there is something specific I would like. After a ten minute conversation with him and deciding on dinner, I thought I would write a few kind statements about him as a continuation of this post. Instead, I jumped on Facebook to check in on my friends and their snow day shenanigans. And here I am wondering between writing about aforementioned kindness or about the fact that my seriously dedicated athletic friends decided to run the 5K despite the snow. And I just cannot decide.

So, I think it is time I acknowledged that this post maybe going nowhere. A kitchen is the center of a home and choosing to write at the center island of the center of a home may not be one of my better ideas. But I am so grateful that I have such a warm and cozy home, a kitchen I love and a loving family that I can call mine. Writing deep thoughts and using a comma and/or a semicolon will just have to wait for another day!

Before I sign off though, I would like to announce my 30 day challenge. I am challenging myself to not bite my nails for 30 days. Trust me, that is a HUGE challenge for me. My challenge starts tomorrow, 12/15/2013. I will report back on how I did on 01/16/2014.

Until next time,

Radhika.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in Life size Bytes

 

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A dinner and a marriage.

This evening as I was driving home from work, I was thinking of what to make for dinner, like I usually do. I had some chicken, some turkey and some potatoes at home. I wanted to make an interesting dinner out of it. But my husband is an Indian vegetarian version of a “meat and potatoes kinda guy”. Before I go all top chef on my dinner, I have to pause and think if my baby daddy will like it.
So considering my sparse groceries and my love for my husband, I decided that while I make a dinner I know he will not eat (the entree anyway), I could still make a dinner named for him. I had the meat, I had the potatoes. So I decided to make potato stuffed meatballs. Could it get any more meat and potatoes than that? I was going to make stuffed meatball sandwiches on French bread.
Fortunately for me, I reached home at the same time I arrived at my decision. I eagerly began making the stuffed meatballs once inside. But it turns out stuffed meatballs are much like a marriage. They need patience, love, adjustment, attention and care. Yeah!! That isn’t happening. It’s a week night. I have son#1’s football practice to go. So much like in a marriage, I decided to compromise on my grand plans. Stuffed meatloaf it was!

Masala Potatoes Stuffed Meatloaf


Masala Potatoes stuffed meatloaf
**For the meat:
1 lb ground lean chicken
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
Spices to spice up the meatloaf – to your liking (*see pic below of spice packet I used)
1 tsp salt
**For the potatoes:
3 cups chopped potatoes into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup wine
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil + 2-3 tbsp more
**Topping
Ketchup
chopped carrots (completely optional)

Meat and Potatoes


Spice mix I used for meatballs.


1. Combine ingredients in the “For the meat” section. Set aside.
2. In a saute pan, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the chili powder, cumin, turmeric and salt. Cook for 30 seconds.
3. Add the potatoes. Mix well to coat the potatoes with the spices. After about 3 minutes or so, add the wine to deglaze the pan. Mix well. Let the wine reduce. Then cover the pan and cook the potatoes till the potatoes are done but not mushy. Turn off heat. Seat aside to cool down.

Masala potato sauteing pan - needs deglazing - with wine of course!


Masala Potatoes


4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
5. On a flat surface, place a large rectangular piece of aluminum foil at least 18-20 inches long. Apply a light layer of oil. Pat the meat into a rectangle about 12″ long by 6″ wide and about 1/4″-1/2″ thick on the piece of foil. (In my rush, I did not use a foil. Do not do what I did. Do not forget the foil.)

Rectangular meat layer.


6. Place the potato filling along the the length of the rectangle. Bring each of the 6″ corners to the center. Tightly seal the edges and shape into a loaf. In my eagerness to see if this would work, I forgot to take step by step pictures for the folding part. But it is easy enough. Short edges are brought to the center. Seal tight. Shape like a loaf.

Stuff and fold and seal.


7. Pick up the loaf by the foil and place in to a baking pan. Surround with carrots tossed in some oil and sprinkled with some salt and pepper. Top the loaf with some ketchup. I also topped my meatloaf with the two stuffed meatballs I made before I lost my patience for them.

Meatloaf is ready to be baked


8. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or till the meat is done. Cooking times vary based on the oven. Make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.

Baked Meatloaf


Slice of stuffed meatloaf


9. I served the meatloaf with green beans and rice pilaf.

Meatloaf dinner


9. Enjoy~!

Please let me know what you thought of the recipe if you do try it.

Till next time,
Radhika.

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Dinner

 

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