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Life’s little pleasures

4 Jun

One of the most annoying things about moving countries is leaving behind electrical appliances which aren’t compatible.  Sounds dramatic but I hated leaving behind my coffee maker.  As far as I’m concerned nothing beats the smell of freshly ground beans and espresso. I got through the first few months here drinking filtered coffee (I use the term loosely) before deciding something had to be done.  We are not here permanently so spending $800 to replace my coffee machine didn’t appeal.  Now, I’ve always steered away from pod coffee machines because I like fresh ground beans. But after trialling my sister-in-laws Nespresso I’m a convert.  After returning from our trip visiting her I marched straight into Macy’s and bought myself one. Now my coffee is my daily treat.  After dropping son number one off at school son number two and I return home for a half hour of down time before the chores and errands and playtime begins.

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Oops- red food dye

1 Jun

Really disappointed tonight.  Last Sunday I did my weekly menu for this week and was excited to come across a recipe for butter chicken using tandoori paste (my kids love the Pataks jars of butter chicken sauce but I’m not a fan and it’s expensive to buy these all the time).  Anyway, I made up my shopping list and was pretty happy to find we already had tandoori paste in the fridge thanks to one of my husband’s previous shopping trips.  But, as I’m ready to put it in the pan tonight I read the ingredients to find that it contains Red 40 color.  Given that we try to avoid all artificial colors I was really disappointed but too far into the meal to change now.

I did a google search for tandoori paste without red food coloring in but couldn’t find anything.  I did find a blogger who was also annoyed to find artificial color in tandoori paste and set about to make her own (I’ll reblog this).  I don’t mind making my own but I’ll be crossing this version of butter chicken off my list as a quick family meal.

Note:  Patak’s butter chicken simmer sauce is free from artificial colors, preservatives and flavors so a much better option.

red food dye? I don’t think so

1 Jun

Here’s another blogger disappointed to find red food dye in tandoori paste who has come up with a pretty good looking alternative.

31 May

Michael Pollan: why the family meal is crucial to civilization

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/25/michael-pollan-family-meal-civilisation#start-of-comments

New kitchen essentials

29 May

One of the benefits of moving countries and not bringing everything (either intentionally or not!) with you is the excuse to go shopping 🙂  I moved house with the intention of buying a new set of pots and pans but after doing lots of internet research I decided the best way to go for our household was to buy a few separate, quality pieces that will make my time in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable.

So here’s what I settled on:

Le Creuset 5 quart enameled dutch oven

All-Clad tri-ply stainless steel 2 quart saucepan

Calphalon non-stick frypans (10 inch and 12 inch)

Lodge cast-iron frypans (1o inch and 12 inch)

I have discovered I still need a 3 quart saucepan so the All Clad one is on my wish list. I’m a big fan of saute pans and although my Cuisinart one is still going strong after 10+ years I think I’ll save for and indulge in the All Clad tri-ply set which comes with the 3 qt saucepan and the saute pan.

Some of these pieces cost a lot but boy do they bring me a lot of enjoyment.  I absolutely LOVE cooking in my beautiful blue Le Creuset dutch oven and it is so well used because these things are perfect for easy family meals.  By far the best buy is the Lodge pans from Walmart.  Solid cast iron for less than $20 each!!!

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