Blending Cultures

curry chicken salad

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I tend to get on ethnic food kicks.

I think this can also be encouraged by the presence of so many delicious, unique food options around me.

For a month or two, I had to have a Guasaca fix every week or two. If you’re not from around here, you won’t know about these amazing pork (and a variety of other) arepas filled with black eyed peas, cheese and pico served with chips and guasaca aka fresh guacamole.

Then, my husband and I were on (and kind of still are) on an Indian kick, spending our weekend eating out budget on Swad and eating all of the tikka masala we can from the buffet.

And recently, it’s been Neomonde, which is dangerously right by where I work. This is some of my favorite Mediterranean food with awesome falafels and a huge case of salads and other goodies. The freshly made pita is also to die for.

Isn’t it so fun to bring other food cultures and meld them with our own roots? I love that food has no cultural boundaries.

curry chicken salad

Today’s recipe is for something both familiar and unexpected. It’s a tasty, creamy chicken salad with a bit of a twist: lots of curry powder, sweet grapes and toasted almonds.

I learned this recipe from my mom, and it’s the perfect mix of spicy and sweet that is anything but boring in between two slices of bread or on a bed of lettuce.

It might even be a great new picnic offering for Memorial Day!

curry-chicken-salad recipe*Click on recipe card to enlarge or right click to save.

 

Summer Sippin’

summer-drinks

“Summertime when the livin’ is easy.”

Even summer is a good time to listen to Ella Fitzgerald.

Now I know that summer may not be “easy ” for all of us. A lot of us, although we would like to be on a private island, are working away in our cubicles and looking forward to grilling out and swimming on the weekend.

Whether you’re enjoying a summer off or not, it’s a great time to sip on some cool and tasty drinks.

Here on think fruitful, I’ve shared quite a few of my favorite libations over the past few years, and I thought it might be nice to share a some of them together to wet your summer palette. I’ve got a few non-alcoholic and a few boozy to share.

Also, you may notice that there’s a pattern of mint, gin and lime, so I hope you like that combo because I’m into it and it’s perfect for the season!

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BBQ Favorites

BBQ

This warm weather, green grass and smell of the occasional grill in the air has got me thinking about BBQ/grilling.

In fact, I whipped up some pulled pork just this last weekend. In addition to that, I was recently introduced to Man Crates, a gift box service for dudes, which is a great gift idea for BBQ season.

And, in a few weeks, we’ll be moving to a home with a backyard that will be perfect for grilling and outdoor entertaining (once I learn how to grill).

With all of that in mind, it seems like a great time to talk about BBQ sauce. Isn’t it neat about how our BBQ sauce and meat preference says so much about where we’re from. Here’s a little bit about my BBQ roots and what I’m eating these days.

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Cookie Memories

no bake cookies

Chocolate chip cookies remind me of the bakery I worked at in high school. They make the absolute best cookie with a crunchy outside and gooey, chocolate-filled inside.

Sugar cookies remind me of celebrating holidays and special occasions, indulging in bright colors and wild sprinkles creating cookies that were more for looks than eating.

Peanut butter cookies remind me of growing up and getting super excited when I saw my mom pressing the tines of a fork into a pan lined with light brown small circles of dough.

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Colorful Creation

Chicken Pad Thai

You know that your meal is going to be good when it’s got a rainbow of colors.

I really love that so many Asian dishes have a variety of colors, textures and flavors. It’s like getting a taste of everything in a few bites. It’s the epitome of sampling, enjoying the sweet and savory, crunchy and soft, and finding new combinations in every bite.

I’ve been a lover of Chicken Pad Thai for quite awhile, but after being burned a few times at Thai restaurants (and honestly loving curry to much to order anything else), I haven’t been ordering it.

Chicken Pad Thai

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What’s on My Mind: Food TV

What's On My Mind

Today’s What’s on My Mind is solely dedicated to food TV.

I’m talking about the best shows about food, chefs and cooking that you should definitely be watching! Each of these series are educational and interesting, teaching you more about many aspects of the food you love.

1. Mind of a Chef

From David Chang to Sean Brock and April Bloomfield, there are some amazing chefs featured on this creative series. I love learning more about the chefs’ passion for food and their roots.

Watch this on: PBS

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Fruitful Travels: Charleston, SC

image (3)

I love the fact that there are so many fun and foodie-friendly cities within easy driving distance of us in NC.

From the beach to the mountains, we’ve got plenty to choose from. And, oh the Southern food and seafood that abounds. One place that encapsulates all of that is Charleston, SC.

My husband and I trekked to this Southern destination last weekend to celebrate our third wedding anniversary.

From the sites and eats and architecture, we loved exploring this city. Even better was the fact that we found the most amazing airbnb nearby in Mount Pleasant. If you’re looking for a modern renovated home with beautiful decor and a large screened-in porch looking out on a peaceful lake view, check it out!

Here’s what else we explored in Charleston:

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Simple Saturday: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

chocolate covered strawberries

Who’s excited about all of the spring produce that’s popping up?

I hope you are!

I just love this time of the year when the dormant earth becomes suddenly covered with growing things (that we can eat). Hopefully, this time next year, I’ll be able to tell signs of this in my own backyard as I’m hoping to build a little garden when we move into our new home.

Even ruby red strawberries are showing up at the grocery store and farmers market!

If you’ve already had some strawberry desserts (sliced with sugar and mint or on top of ice cream), then you might want to try something a bit different like these Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

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Ingredient of the Month: Cabbage

Cabbage

I love using this blog to introduce you (and myself) to new ingredients or forgotten ones that are in season and ready to make it into your meal plan.

Our Ingredient of the Month for April will hopefully also do that.

No more sticking our nose up at cabbage (get that image of stinky boiled cabbage in old London from your favorite Dickens novel out of your mind). It’s time to give this cruciferous veg some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Cabbage

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