Friday, April 29, 2016

Inspiration and living life

Here are some of my favourite sayings:

"Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. Its about who walked into your life, said 'I'm here for you' and proved it."

"Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."

"A healthy relationship will never required to you sacrifice your friends, your dreams, or your dignity" (unless its in the name of being silly and having fun!)

"Take a chance because you'll never know how absolutely perfect something could turn out to be."

"What do I fear? I fear stagnation and lack of progress. I fear never reaching my potential and being average. I fear being forgotten...The past...Yesterday's news. I fear giving up and being passed by, going softly into that good night. I fear letting those I love down,letting myself down. I fear settling, giving in to the "that's just the way it is" mindset. I fear dying without leaving my mark. I fear not feeling these fears anymore and just floating along. These fears feed me, they nourish my drive. I love my fear."

"Life isn't meant to be easy, it's meant to be LIVED. Sometimes happy, other times rough.. But with every up and down you learn lessons that make you STRONG."

I have written about my life before and the things that have brought me to where I am today.  I have a tattoo on my back that says "Yesterday is a history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift" to try and remind myself to live every day, to challenge myself, to grow.

Today I took the opportunity to seize the day and enjoy life and I did it in the simplest way possible.  I went for a lunch hour walk with my best friend and when we came across a play ground we took advantage and swung on the swings for a while!  Enjoy life, take every opportunity that life presents to you!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Curry

Top Left - Roasted Butternut Squash and Tomato Curry
Top Right - Chicken Tikka
Bottom - Spiced Potato Tikki and Date and Tamarind Chutney
Now I will say at the outset - the husband HATES like really HATES squash in almost every single form known to man, to clarify further when I say almost every single form I limit myself only because I haven't asked him about every variety yet - but butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, baby squash - I have canvased with him.  He doesn't mind butternut squash soup but that is about where the tolerance limit is at.

So needless to say when I saw this recipe I thought I had a good chance of pulling out a winner because it was a curry dish and he loves almost all things curry (being that he is English and all) and I like butternut squash.

Now I would love to tell you that like every other recipe I have tried from "Made in India" it did not disappoint but sadly and very reluctantly I must say I hated the dish just about as much as a monkey and a husband.

We each suffered through a littler portion of a it and then quit suffering.  I'm not sure what made me dislike the dish so much but I have to say I wasn't a huge fan.  I was originally hoping that in roasting the squash it would become a littler tougher but it really didn't and I cooked it longer than the recipe called for trying to get a little bit of a different texture.

The dish was served with Garlic Ritta which helped a bit.  But overall I didn't like the sweetness of the squash for the dish especially with the texture of the squash.

Roasted Butternut Squash Curry with Garlic and Tomatoes
1 large butternut squash (around 2 1/4 lbs) unpeeled, halved, seeded and cut into 3/4" think lives
4 tbsp canola oil
Ground black pepper
1 1/4" piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 fresh green chile, roughly chopped
1 large onion, finely diced
14-ounce can of god quality plum tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line two roasting trays with foil.
  2. Throw the squash pieces onto both roasting trays. Tricked over 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil and seasons generously with salt and black pepper. Toss together and bake for 30 minutes, or until they are soft and browning, turning halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic, green chili, and a pinch o fast into a mortar and pestle and bash to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  4. Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a frying pan on a medium heat. When it's hot fry the onion for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden, and add the ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Cook for around 2 to 3 minutes, then tip in the can of tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon.
  5. Cook for around 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is rich and thick. Add the sugar, coriander, cumin, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, and season with salt. Leave to cook for another 5 minutes, adding a little bit of water to get a good saucy consistency. Take the butternut squash out of the oven when ready and fold into the sauce. Serve with the golden garlic raita and some fresh naan.