CooKing – Crazy for Curry

It’s been too long since I made an Indian curry. curry3Now that I have I won’t leave it so long until the next time.  Kind of crazy because curries are one of my favourite foods.

This recipe from scratch comes courtesy (sort of) from a friend’s grandmother who was from England and lived in India for many years.  When I used to visit her she always fed me this amazing curry and I always wanted her recipe.  Only thing was she didn’t have one.  So I asked her to invite me over the next time she made it and I sat and watched and copied down everything she put into it.  This is the way I work sometimes.

A lot of the spices you might already have.  If not, buy them and you’ll be using them over and over again.  Plus these are so beneficial (especially turmeric) for you health wise.

Chicken Currycurry4Chicken (either 1 medium chicken, disjointed with the skin removed, or boneless chicken pieces).

3 Tbsp. organic coconut oil

3 medium onions (finely sliced – they boil down)

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1 tsp. powdered ginger

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. allspice

½ tsp. dried mustard

After:

Juice from ½ squeezed lemon

3 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. ketchup

  • Season dry chicken with dry spices (mix of lemon pepper, masala curry powder & everyday seasoning). Rub all over chicken.
  • Brown chicken with a bit of oil in an oven-proof skillet. Sauté on all sides until nicely browned & remove from pan.
  • Next, in the same skillet heat the 3 Tbsp. of oil & sauté the onions until slightly brown.
  • Mix all ingredients (omitting the lemon juice, yogurt & ketchup) with half vinegar & half cold water to form a paste. About 4 tsp. of each (not too thick but not watery).
  • Drop paste into skillet with onions & fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring over medium heat.
  • Place cut up chicken pieces in skillet & cook on both sides – stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Add 1 cup of hot water or *chicken stock (I prefer using stock) and simmer with lid on and cook until tender. At least 30 minutes. Do not let liquid dry out – if so then add more water.
  • When cooked through add the lemon juice, plain yogurt & ketchup to skillet and stir well until mixed thoroughly.
  • Serve with plain white *basmati rice (well rinsed) or savoury rice. Don’t forget to get your add-ons like lime pickle & mango chutney.  Also Tandoori Naan bread. Some of the breads now you can put right into the toaster. Garnish with cilantro.

    sweet mango chutney, lime pickle & mango/coconut sauce.

    sweet mango chutney, lime pickle & mango/coconut sauce.

*For this recipe I prefer using plain basmati and mix a bit of raisins or currants, a little peas & carrots and sliced almonds into the pot at the end. Top with saffron.

For savoury just add a bit of curry powder & turmeric.  Use bouillon in hot water for the liquid.

Enjoy!

 

ART Specific: See Sawing around New York Art Galleries

Have you heard about this new ART App, called *See Saw Map that started in New York?

Kiss by Judith Henry

Kiss by Judith Henry

It makes perfect sense since NYC has so many great galleries.

Besides the big ones (MoMa, Guggenheim,The Met) there are tons of smaller galleries that are spread across lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Since it’s one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in New York, many people have already fallen for this new app which shows you all of the exhibitions taking place.install_right_wall_180_dpi_lYou can search by locality or artist — and it will also bring up all of the information on each plus flag any exhibits that might be closing soon (so you don’t miss a thing). It covers all of the art happening in New York City and Brooklyn with plans to soon expand to other cities like Los Angeles. What a great idea!

Here is a current showing I find interesting observing the roles people play (similar to the fly on the wall).

ART/Mixed-Media: THE MASKS WE WEAR

Red Nails

Red Nails

Explosion

Explosion

Judith Henry April 9-May 16, 2015
Conceptual Artist Judith Henry brings her fascination with humankind closer to home – casting herself as the protagonist of powerful mixed-media compositions that explore the various roles we play.
Judith Henry has spent her career bringing the proverbial “faces in the crowd” into focus, incorporating snippets of overhead conversation or a snapshot of a passerby into her artworks.
**Bravinlee programs is pleased to present two new series of work by Judith Henry; Me as Her and The Artist is Hiding,
For over 40 years, Judith Henry has created evocative multimedia artworks that explore the friction between our interior lives and public selves. Henry’s projects often re-purpose documentary materials like newspapers, telephone books and film clips in poignant explorations of identity and loss.
In a series of black and white photographs, Me As Her, Henry continues her long-standing practice of remaining hidden/masked within her work. She re-imagines herself behind masks of significant and accomplished women who have died.

Henry as Lucille Ball

Henry as Lucille Ball

The photo-masks themselves reveal very little about the personality they depict, underlining the truth that there is little any of us can know about who we see and who sees us. The photographs are shot in available light, on location near her home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The appearance of Henry’s hands is itself a reflection of her own aging process and an important signature of each piece.

Henry as Josephine Baker

Henry as Josephine Baker

Sometimes the mask informs the painting; sometimes the reverse is true. Once again, Henry’s hands are the only part of her that is visible and thus the only clue to her identity.

For over three decades, Henry traversed the streets of New York City secretly photographing and eavesdropping (so be careful what you say) on the people she encountered, resulting in her Overheard Book Series published by Universe/Rizzoli (2000-2002). The series consists of four books: Overheard at the Museum, Overheard at the Bookstore, Overheard While Shopping and Overheard in Love. In 2006 Atria published Overheard in America; New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. images

*ART App: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/see-sawmap/id791643418?mt=8
**BravinLee programs is a contemporary art gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.  Address: 526 West 26th Street #211, New York, NY
Source: Introspective Magazine on the website 1stdibs.com (luxury re-sale website):
http://www.1stdibs.com/introspective-magazine/judith-henry-at-bravin-lee/

Contemplating Impressions

Leave a positive footmark on people’s lives by not stepping on their toes.smile-first-impressions

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Be aware of people’s patterns. People tend to keep the same patterns.  Some make lovely patterns and some make dreadful ones.

The scariest thing about distance is that you don’t know whether they’ll miss you or forget you.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook (I loved this movie).

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. – Maya Angelou

Relationships are a Merry-go-Round

Right Person, Wrong Time

Right Time, Wrong Person,

Right Time, Right Person, Wrong Ending

And life goes on…

Health MATTERS: I’ve found my Perfect MATCHA

I’ve gone back to steeping green tea in the afternoon. 20150417_140601I know this trend has been brewing (ha, ha) for years now and I don’t mind taking on a trend that I know (if all the consensus is correct) will benefit me in a healthy way.20150416_191549I’ve been putting matcha green tea powder into smoothies for ages and even add it to melted white chocolate (which turns it a pretty green colour as opposed to when you add it to dark chocolate).
Pouring hot water over the tea leaf itself and/or the bright green matcha powder (I like to mix both) rather than steeping a tea bag delivers more of the signature *antioxidants that have powerful effects on the body.

Why GO GREEN?greentea1The antioxidants (it’s loaded with*metabolism boosting and hard to pronounce names like polyphenols which contain **flavonoids and catechins) found in green tea battle the free radicals that can alter and even kill cells. Green tea has been shown to help fight a number of diseases, from cancer to diabetes. It is unfermented, whereas black or oolong teas are at least partially fermented. This allows green tea to retain its natural antioxidant levels better than the other types.
One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate ( a type of catechin), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.
As an added health benefit, theanine (an amino acid found in particular plant species) in green tea can help you manage stress and stay relaxed. These relaxing effects, which are usually experienced within 40 minutes after drinking green tea, are caused by the ability of theanine to stimulate the generation of alpha brain waves. The generation of alpha brain waves has been directly linked to mental relaxation.

This is good to know as for the last several weeks I’ve been experiencing what can best be described (by me, not a doctor) as tiny and sometimes not so tiny anxiety attacks.  I’ve never had this before and I believe they’re due to a few contributing factors beyond my control that have taken place, that I’m sure over time will come to pass.  I don’t believe in taking pills for every little thing (this goes for even taking common aspirin) unless really needed which is extremely rare.  So tea time is “me time” in the meantime to help reduce unwanted stress.

To double my free radical fighting strategies I am now adding sliced ginger to the pot. Green Tea & Ginger – any reason not to?

*When your metabolism is cranked into high gear, your body will burn more energy, which in turn can help you lose excess body weight (another benefit we don’t mind).

**Antioxidants, as you may already know, are health-benefiting molecules that slow down aging and guard against disease. According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the antioxidant capacity of foods and drinks, green tea is superior to black tea in terms of antioxidant capacity. It appears that the enzymatic oxidation process (fermentation) used in the preparation of black tea leaves is responsible for the weaker antioxidant activity of black tea.

Now I just need to add meditation to the mix.istock
What do you do to help yourself relax?

Feel-good Friday: the Simple Life

Here I am leaving my cozy chateau to get into my car to go for a little spin.  Do you like my outfit?

mercedes1In my Dreams.  But part of this is not so far fetched, because dreams really do come true.images

Am I really that selfish, shallow maybe a teeny bit and self-absorbed? There’s more to life than castles, cars and clothes! Really?

Have a Fabulous Friday!

beauty: J’aime JOUER

Meet JOUER Luminizing Moisture Tint

Jouer or to play in French is the playful name of a beauty line created by beautiful and busy mother of two, Christina Zilber.luminizing-moisture-tint_0_2

I sampled the Jouer golden & pearl tinted moisturizers recently and loved the texture and sheer hint of colour.  Infact, these are more hydrating than the one I previously used from Laura Mercier which is surprising since so many people swear by Laura Mercier.

JOUER has formulas filled with serious skincare ingredients like Ginseng and Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract.  Christina likes to say it is “beauty with skincare included.”  And as a busy mother of two, she wanted her products to do double duty.  And I think many people are looking for this effortless approach to beauty while still maintaining consistency.christina2PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

This lightweight moisturizing tint evens out imperfections and fades the appearance of fine lines with its light-diffusing multi-mineral formula. SPF 20 protects from UVA and UVB rays while natural ingredients deliver antioxidants to skin, promoting a healthy complexion. Light to Medium coverage.  50 mL / 1.7 fl oz

Oil Free. Hypoallergenic. Non comedogenic. Fragrance Free. Perfect for all skin types.

CHRISTINA’S TIPS

Apply to clean skin to even out skin tone. Layer for additional coverage.

Spotted at Wish List Boutique – 2811 West Broadway, Vancouver. Price: $40.00

Style – Gladiator Game

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

I’m not so Glad and I’m not so Game for these Spring 2015 lace-ups which are beginning to reign and growing taller in flat and heeled versions.

Chloe

Chloe

I’m fascinated by their bondage-like sexiness  but I don’t find them practical.  Not that practicality has ever come into play with shoe styles (in the past) but they look like too much work. Plus they’re seasonal and it rains a lot here.

Michael Kors - these are simple and cute

Michael Kors – these are simple and cute

Stella McCartney - I like these

Stella McCartney – I like these too

What if it’s a sunny day and when you take them off you’re left with a crazy leg tan?

Some of the heels look challenging – like the pair by Alexander McQueen.

Mind you, the more I look at them the more I like them.  This is what always happens.

Simply Rodarte

Simply Rodarte

Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss

What do you think?  Like or not?

Valentino

Valentino

Givenchy - now these I would wear!

Givenchy – now these I would wear! They remind me of a pair I already have.

Source:  HarpersBazaar.com

p.s. – if you’re receiving these posts via e-mail and they’re not displaying properly please click on the “blue” title at the very top which will take you to the original website.

Food: Quality, Taste & Presentation

There are so many factors that go into a good food item like the three things mentioned above.

Roasted Tomato, Goat Cheese, Olive & Basil Tart. $6.99 slice

Roasted Tomato, Goat Cheese, Olive & Basil Tart. $6.99 slice

Besides dinner… there’s breakfast, lunch & snack time.  What appeals to you at one time might not at another.

20150401_120823Like when you crave a simple but well made grilled cheese sandwich or clubhouse and another time something totally different like chicken pot pie (which I personally never crave but some people do).

Soups

TEAS

20150401_120836

Sometimes you come across something you see regularly in almost every restaurant or coffee shop but something looks different about it.  It somehow looks fresher, more appealing and makes you want to bite right into it.  I had that experience recently at Coco et Olive on Main street.  20150401_121036I was going for a simple latte and mid-afternoon snack but looking at all the goodies at the counter made it a challenging situation to choose only one thing.  At times like this you have to make a difficult decision.  You order something, take another thing home and decide to come back again and again to try everything you never thought you wanted.  See what I mean?

Best lemon bar & great latte.

Best lemon bar & a great vanilla latte


cocoCoco et Olive Cafe
–  3707 Main St.

Across the street you’ll find Liberty Bakery – 3699 Main Street

20150401_11032120150401_110328These pastries look so yummy.  Liberty used to be in my neighbourhood (it was called Elsie’s then).  They moved away and I couldn’t find them for ages until I came across the bakery by accident on Main Street.  I spotted the buttercream & mocha petit fours I love and used to buy regularly in their window.

What do you usually crave for snacking?

Photos: d. king

Travel/Culture – City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights

in the 1940’s and ’50s – PRIME time.

Mordecai Richler at Wilensky

Mordecai Richler at Wilensky’s.  Order a “special” with cheese, pickles and a soda.  It’s still the same.

The original book would grab anyone’s attention.  It was bright red and had infamous burlesque stripteaser Lily St. Cyr on the cover.  Inside was filled with information relived from the good old days of a wide open city that I heard about from my parents who recollected them.  My dad wasn’t from Montreal originally (he was born in Russia and moved to Manhattan before settling in Montreal) and my mother’s parents were from Ireland although she grew up in Montreal.  My dad especially had a lot of stories – I’ll just leave it at that.

Original

Original

Replacement

Replacement

City Unique was written by William Weintraub (who began his career as a reporter for the Montreal Gazette in the 1950’s) and who was a friend of an uncle of mine (who used to write a business column for the Montreal Gazette).  Weintraub looks at all aspects of life in Montreal in what Mordecai Richler called “an engaging, evocative book about Montreal’s prime-time.” 

Leonard Cohen looking like Al Pacino here.

Leonard Cohen looking like Al Pacino here.

After reading this intriguing book I mailed it to my mother’s friend in Montreal who I was sure would appreciate and relate to all the insider innuendos.  Unfortunately when I phoned about a year later to retrieve the book (which was an original signed copy) she had no recollection of ever having received it.  It was on loan from my cousin.  When I phoned to reluctantly tell my cousin the news (that she wasn’t getting her book back) I joyfully received another copy in the mail.  Maybe not an original signed version with the same cover but, thoughtful and cherished nonetheless.

montreal5About City Unique: Review from Amazon.com

Lily St. Cyr

Lily St. Cyr

Montreal in the 1940s and ’50s was Canada’s largest, most vibrant and colourful city. It was even more pulsating than New York.  No one could foresee that political and economic factors would cripple the city and send it into a long decline. William Weintraub, writing with insight and affection, brings the Montreal of his youth vividly, entertainingly and wittily to life in this remarkable book. The Montreal he describes was a city with two communities, English and French, who lived separate lives. They met along the dividing line that was “The Main” – St. Lawrence Boulevard and the nearby streets, where gambling joints, bordellos and night clubs prospered, and where striptease artiste Lili St. Cyr became the toast of the town and gangsters raked in profits while the police looked the other way.  It was the Montreal of the colourful, charismatic mayor Camillien Houde within the repressive and corrupt Quebec of premier Maurice Duplessis.montreal6

I think this book speaks to anyone who grew up in Montreal especially those with adventurous parents who were involved and active within the community.  You might not have personally known everyone mentioned but you have heard their names.  To me, it was extremely provocative and noteworthy.  And things have settled down since…but it will never be the same!montreal7

This is what a real "smoked meat" sandwich looks like.

This is what a real “smoked meat” sandwich looks like.

Available on Amazon.com

Wilensky’s, Bens, Ruby Foo’s, Schwartz’s – are Montreal Institutions.

 

What makes this city the most unique in Canada:

1) Montreal is an Island.

2) Montreal is built on a Mountain.

3) Home to the largest Jazz, Fireworks & “Francofolie” (French Music) Festival.

4) Habitat 67 – created by Israeli-Canadian Architect Moshe Safdie, is a structure unlike any other in the world.  I didn’t say it was nice looking, just unusual.

5) Montreal has one of the largest underground networks in the world.  You could literally live underground.

6) The Metro system is one of the best and definitely Canada’s busiest.

7) Enormous Art & Graffiti Culture.

8) Great Shopping and still has the most Stylish Women in all of Canada (maybe North America and possibly the world).

More at…http://www.mtlblog.com/2013/10/things-that-make-montreal-the-most-unique-city-in-canada/2/#slides

Photos: from images

 

 

Contemplating the ART of a PERFECT BREAKUP

  Where were all the *red flags?  breakup5

Spoiler Alert: there is no such thing as the “perfect breakup.” There is however a better, nicer and more diplomatic way to deal with someone you plan to break up with. It’s all in the handling of the situation.  First and foremost, Compassion is key.breakup1 First you’ve got to let the person down easy (you never know if they’ll throw a tantrum, get violent, or worse, start crying uncontrollably). You never know these things so it’s best for the “breakor” to let the “breakee” know how terrific they are, even though you’ve just met someone more terrific and moved on at the blink of an eye.  It’s also a good idea to let the “breakee” know that you’ve been going through your own difficulties…because you don’t want to make yourself look good at this point.  Make the person you want to leave feel that they’re better off without you which could end things faster… even though that’s messed up.

Now; a more sensitive way would be to sit the person down and tell them the news face to face, but failing that, there’s always e-mail or texts. Worst case scenario, a simple post-it-note will do the trick (but get the 4×4 size). Remember, the goal is to try to end it ASAP. And don’t forget to make a closing remark in the order of “we should get together sometime.” Yeah; sooner or later the truth comes out.

REALITY BITS.  Trying to keep it real…

In spite of disconcerting situations such as a friend who suddenly and unexpectedly turns their back on you with no explanation,

Or worse, someone you thought could turn out to be a life partner decides to dump you for someone else….although you didn’t realize it because they were so good at making it look like they were doing it for your best interests. Then you finally woke up to the realization that they weren’t being considerate of your situation at all, only trying to end it as quickly as possible (with no opportunity to discuss possibilities) in order to begin again with someone they apparently just met.  It hurts to know you were not only  dispensable but not so special to them after all. And you held this person in such high regard. If they tell you it’s important that you know that they met someone else then yes, it is important that they tell you, especially if you think you’re still in the relationship. Maybe they were faithful while they were with you, keeping in mind they were intimate with you as recently as a week before they were with someone else.  To you intimacy is meaningful. You might have been intending to make a lifetime decision and they saved you from doing so just in the nick of time.  You thought you were a perfect match? But there’s a damn good chance they would have broken up with you later on anyway.breakup4

So look out for those who project onto you what they themselves will ultimately do.

A wise woman I know once said of someone who openly flirted with her husband “if she can catch him, she can keep him.”  Which translates into something like: why worry about someone taking away something that is so easily transferable?

And that girlfriend; is keeping it real!breakup6

WAIT…I have to share the all-time “Best in Breakup” story.  A friend of mine was on a date with her boyfriend at a restaurant.  Said boyfriend went to the bar to order a drink and met someone while at the bar that he was very interested in getting to know.  When he returned to the table he told my friend he remembered meeting this woman years ago at a party and was interested then, so now he didn’t want to ruin his chance….even though he was already on a date.  Without a word of a lie he told my friend this strange woman was the “woman of his dreams”. Let’s give him credit for at least sitting down in person to tell her. But as it turns out this dream woman was happily married. Craazzy right? He spoke too soon without knowing anything about her while ruining his present relationship.  Some guys!!!

Do you have a breakup story to top this?  I didn’t think so.

 *indicates a warning signal that something is wrong.  You may have overlooked something or chosen to ignore it.  example: nice to you one minute, very cool the next. You chalk it up to a bad day……you know what I’m talking about.