Coconut Curry Chickpea Soup

We really enjoyed this creamy soup. I didn’t have any red bell peppers, but it was fine to leave it out. I also used beef broth instead of chicken broth. I served this soup with brown rice.

You can find the recipe at:

http://www.crumblycookie.net/2011/01/27/curry-coconut-chickpea-soup/

Horses in the yard

Horse the yard by sjzwier
Horse the yard, a photo by sjzwier on Flickr.

A couple weeks ago, we left our front gate open and 3 horses wandered in! Although we live in a rural city, horses are not common. We’ve had cows wander in to eat our grass before, but never horses. I let them stay for a long time just because they were fun to have around.

Monthly Rice Field Photo #5 – April

April Rice Field by sjzwier
April Rice Field, a photo by sjzwier on Flickr.

So, I forgot to take a rice field photo for March, but really March looked a lot like February. You didn’t miss much.

Now it’s pretty exciting because the rains have started. It’s not raining everyday and never all day, but just enough to get a some water into this field. People are starting to plant corn in their upland fields.

Monthly Rice Field Photo #4 – February

This photo was taken on February 16th.

Horchata – Mexican Rice and Almond Drink

Mexico has a great tradition of sweet refreshing drinks. My favorites are horchata, tamarindo, and jamaica “ha-mike-ah”. This was my first time making horchata and it turned out well. I’ll probably do it again, but I might cut back on the almonds because they’re hard to get and this recipe takes a lot of them. I also really didn’t enjoy blanching and peeling almonds by hand. Definitely buy blanched almonds if you have the option.

There’s a wide variety of horchata recipes, but you can find the one I used at the Homesick Texan blog. I liked this recipe because it doesn’t use powdered cinnamon or milk. Powdered cinnamon tends to float on top of liquids and adding milk to horchata just doesn’t seem authentic.

How I Make Yogurt

There are many ways to make yogurt. Some people use yogurt machines, some people don’t. I’ve heard that some Vietnamese people make yogurt out of sweetened condensed milk. The yogurt at my favorite Indian place tastes like they steep onions in it. You can buy a powdered yogurt starter, or you can use plain yogurt as a starter. Greek yogurt is made from high fat milk and then strained.

I prefer to make yogurt with the help of a yogurt maker. The most important thing about making yogurt is getting the temperatures right. You need the milk to be the right temperature when you combine it with the yogurt starter and you need to maintain the right temperature for the 7 hours that the yogurt cultures are growing in the milk. This second part was very difficult for me before I got a yogurt maker. Our house is not insulated, has drafty windows and doesn’t have heating or air conditioning. So the inside of our house can be anywhere from 50F in the winter to 90F in the summer. That’s why I really like having a machine that keeps the yogurt at the right temperature for as many hours as I want. Continue reading

Huevos Rancheros

When I lived in New Mexico, this was one of my favorite things to order. They made it with a sauce of green chilies on top instead of a tomato salsa, but it’s pretty much the same otherwise. This is a really fast meal if you use pre-made salsa and tortillas, but it’s a special meal for us because we make both of those from scratch. I think the next time I make huevos rancheros I’ll double the salsa recipe so that I have leftover salsa to use on other things. Continue reading