Recently I noticed bloggers are writing posts recapping the past year, and since I tend to be a follower, I thought I’d go ahead and do the same, if only to remind myself what a great year it was (full of travel, convivial get-togethers and food discoveries) even if the last couple of months were total merde (full of loss, sorrow and tears, she says without a hint of drama). Time to move on. It’s 2013.
In February, S and I headed to his home state for some good eatin’ and family visiting. What a great time to be in the “Big Easy”-literally the day after Mardi Gras.
Next up, a Spring break girls’ trip to another Frenchie destination, Montréal.
May brought many surprises, including a dear colleague’s birthday weekend on Kelley’s Island, in the middle of Lake Erie. It was a surprise for me because I never knew it was there. And so close to home.
The end of the school year and beginning of summer always means that “Provence” is now open. Beaucoup bites and beverages were consumed on the little patio in A2.
The Fourth of July brings one of my favorite times of year: our annual family pilgrimage north. This year was so hot, the lavender goat cheese almost melted.
And then there was France.
Lyon was brand new for me. Its laid-back gourmet vibe suited me well. I’ll be back.
And Annecy. Also a new destination. Bring on the fondue.
There was the favorite holiday of all, Thanksgiving, in Harbor Springs.
There was Christmas, a white one finally, with plenty of family good will and comforting recipes. None of which I posted. I figure you were all “cranberried” out.
And there are many new cookbooks to start the new year. If you happen to be in need some simple, creative and delicious meals (who isn’t?), you probably need Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story. It’s found a semi-permanent home on my kitchen counter for most of December, and now, a good bit of January as well. Try her Chicken and Apple Curry. I added spinach because I must have green in my winter meals. You could leave it out. Either way, seriously. Make this.
Serves 6. Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story.
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry (preferably Madras)
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil + extra for browning in batches
- plain yogurt
- chopped almonds, cashews or peanuts
- chopped cilantro or mint
- Naan or other flatbread (or heated flour tortillas)
1. Start by thawing your spinach in the microwave. Take off outer wrapping and place in a bowl covered with paper towel. Microwave 5 minutes then check. If it’s still a little frozen microwave on 1 minute intervals. It can sit in the microwave while you make the curry. Before adding to curry, squeeze dry in a kitchen towel (I reserve one for this purpose, because it stains a little).
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté about 2 minutes, until soft.
3. Add garlic, celery, apple and ginger. Sauté for another couple of minutes and stir in curry.
4. Push ingredients to one side of pan, add a little more oil and brown your chicken in batches, about 4 minutes per batch, turning pieces often. (I did this in 4 batches but this could vary depending on the amount of chicken and the size of your pan). Season each batch with salt and pepper. After each batch remove chicken to a plate.
5. After browning, add chicken and juices back to the pan and stir with the curried vegetables. Add broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover to simmer for 10 minutes or so, until chicken is cooked.
6. Add chopped dried spinach.
7. Serve with garnishes and heated naan or other flatbread. Even a tortilla will do.
What will 2013 bring? For me, a Spring Break trip to Brooklyn and the Hamptons is the only sure thing. Next year when I write this recap post, I hope there will have been as much travel, good food and good times as 2012 provided. Without the sorrow and tears, please.