All’s Quiet on the Home Front

Last night was an unusual occurrence. Mike was working in the city for most of the weekend while the kids and I were busy keeping busy. Then yesterday evening the kids went to visit Mike’s grandma with their Nana and Papa and I escaped to a yoga class. When I came home it was just Mike and I for dinner – and at a normal dinner hour!

Now it’s not unusual for us to put the kids to bed and have an at home cooking date night, or to even drop the kids off at Nana and Papa’s for a night on the town, but to find ourselves at home, alone, at the dinner hour – unheard of. So we decided to launch our next international adventure alone, with a recipe we knew we’d enjoy, and eat it in our dining room. (I don’t know that we’ve ever sat down to eat in there aside from Christmas Eve or a random dinner party.)

So where are we venturing off to now? We’ll get to that in a minute, first we bring you “Bloggers Unplugged,” a fun little game of questions in which we were tagged by Charles of Five Euro Food. Charles as you may remember is the creator of this delicious baba ghanoush that we made for Christmas and have enjoyed for lunch over and over again.Β Thanks for the recipe and the tag Charles. Here are the questions fielded by both Mike and I.

1. What, or Who, inspired you to start a blog?
Mr. N was our inspiration. We had talked for a long time about exposing the kids to different cuisines from around the world. Mr. N, who was really excited about our “experiment” thought we should write a book about the experience. Well, it’s not exactly a book, but I think he approves. πŸ˜‰

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
Well, first and foremost, Mike expanded my horizons with food exponentially very early on in our relationship. Many of our early dates revolved around fantastic restaurants or cooking at his apartment. One of our favorite dishes to this day came from those early dating years. We may get around to sharing that one of these days. Other foodie inspiration – well the many food blogs we read. They’re always inspiring us. And of course Chopped. πŸ™‚

3. Your greasiest, batter-splattered food/drink book is?
I’d have to agree with Charles on this one, either my phone or my computer. They’re nearly always nearby when I’m cooking. But if I have to name a book – the messiest by far is our Classic 1000 Italian Recipes. Italian is hands-down my favorite cuisine.

4. Tell us about the best thing that you have eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?
Oh my gosh. Really? Just one thing?! Well, the first thing that comes to mind is an escargot we had on our honeymoon in Tahiti. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant or the dish. I only remember that I ordered the appetizer again for dessert and ate it all myself. I will NEED to have that dish again someday. For Mike (and a close second for me), pacific lobsters from a now closed restaurant in Rosarito, Mexico. The food and view were both to die for. And would you believe we both guessed each other’s favorite dishes even though they were more than a decade ago now? Cue the “awww’s.” How romantic. πŸ˜‰

5. Another food blogger’s table that we’d like to eat at?
Ack! Again how do we name just one? I mean seriously?! Well, if you put a gun to our heads’ and we had to pick just one…Greg and Katherine’s table. Mike’s all about Greg’s smoking and I still can’t get this out of my head. And what can we say about Katherine? I’d eat one of her recipes any day of the week, plus I think she’d be great fun to toss a cocktail back with. πŸ™‚ (Although after Joshua’s birthday celebration…see I can’t just pick one!)

6. What is the one kitchen gadget that you would ask for this year?
Easy – a pasta attachment for my stand mixer. I’m dying to make homemade ravioli.

7. Who taught you how to cook?
Mike touts that he took foods class in college. Please…a group of senior guys and a bunch of freshman girls. Yeah, that was about learning to cook. πŸ˜‰ I’d say mostly we’re self-taught. Although we have been taking a few cooking classes as of late.

8. I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?
Hmmm. I don’t think we have a signature dish (other than banana bread), but you can bet it will be an Italian meal.

9. What is your guilty food pleasure?
Sushi. We both can put away the sushi like nobody’s business. The wait staff is always amazed that we keep ordering more rolls (often looking at us like we’re nuts).

10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
I love boxing. Not watching boxing, but actually boxing. A few years ago Mike bought me a heavy bag and I love wrapping up, putting on the gloves, blasting the music and kicking the tar out of the bag. It’s great for stress relief, not to mention a fantastic cardio workout. And Mike gets a kick out of telling people that it’s not his heavy bag, it’s his wife’s. πŸ˜‰

Now for my five tags:
Eva from KitchenInspirations
Kay from Pure Complex
Geni from Sweet & Crumby
Caroline from Sweet Caroline’s Cooking
Karen from Back Road Journal

And finally, on to our new international destination. Well, since Charles thought he’d be able to try some Nicaraguan cuisine if he ate at our table, here you go Charles. We’re off to Nicaragua. You and your wife have an open invitation to dine with us. πŸ˜‰

This first recipe, Curry Seafood Stew, stood out because it’s healthy, fast and made in one pot. Done deal. We started with a pound of shrimp and a pound of bay scallops.

We first sautΓ©ed the seafood in a bit of butter.

We then gathered the rest of the ingredients: spinach, cilantro, coconut milk, lemon juice, curry, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of cloves.

These were all tossed in after about two minutes of sautΓ©ing the seafood in butter. We mixed everything together, covered the pot and let it simmer for five minutes.

You can either serve this stew on its own, or over some white rice. We opted for a bit of white rice because it just felt naked without a starch.

Mike and I both really enjoyed this dish – especially alone in our dining room (although it took a few minutes to get over the silence in the house). It was light and flavorful; although I would opt for adding some cayenne next time, or just upping the amount of curry we used. I felt it could use a bit more of a kick.

The shrimp and scallops were delicious with the coconut milk and the cilantro gave it a lovely fresh bite. Mike gave the seafood stew 3 spoons, but thought it could use a bit more spinach (We only had 1 cup of fresh spinach due to a three-year old meltdown at the grocery store that weekend – long story.).

I was torn between a 2-1/2 and 3 spoon vote. It was good, but I really wanted some heat with this one. That said, I think we’ll make it again and adjust accordingly. It’s just too easy of a meal not to make again; and for our first taste of Nicaragua, I’m quite pleased. I’m looking forward to our stint in the cuisine of the largest country in the Central American isthmus.

Print this recipe: Curry Seafood Stew

48 thoughts on “All’s Quiet on the Home Front

  1. Karen says:

    Hi Kristy, The recipe sounds really good. We used to live in Miami and had many dishes from Latin America at the local restaurants. Most are not spicy at all. Not what most of us would think. I thank you for the tag…it will be fun. When I’m back in town, you will learn a little more about me.

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  2. Eva kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says:

    How lovely, thank you for tagging me, Kristy! I so enjoy your blog and am always so flattered when you comment on mine! It’s so lovely that your family loves food as much as you do (learned to love?) and that you enjoy preparing food as well. There are so many kids these days that don’t eat this or that and it’s downright annoyingβ€”your kids will grow up to have a well rounded palate and a variety of likes! That dish, even though you only gave it 2 1/2-3 spoons is right up our alley, so once again, I will have to try this recipe of your’s! Thank you!

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    • Kristy says:

      You’re welcome Eva! And thank you as well. πŸ™‚ Too funny that we posted our unplugged’s on the same day. I’ve certainly always loved food…it’s the learned to love cooking that’s a more recent development. I hope you enjoy the recipe – I love how easy it is!

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    • Kristy says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely worth a try. We’ve had a few seafood curry dishes now and we’ve enjoyed them all – especially with the coconut milk. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    I am so glad you did this and I got to know more about you. You know what, in my very happy dream world, you and Mike, Greg and Katherine and My husband and I, would have dinner all together. I think it would be great fun. My husband doesn’t cook though, BUT he’s a huge Star Wars fan and so is Greg so I think we’d be ok. Thanks for tagging me. I’ll have to give those questions some thought. You dish looks beautiful and I think Joshua was right on the money. Maybe just a hit or two of Sriracha.

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  4. Charles says:

    “Please…a group of senior guys and a bunch of freshman girls. Yeah, that was about learning to cook.”

    Haha, awesome – yeah, I could totally have seen myself signing up for a class of that too πŸ˜‰

    Awesome – Nicaragua! I didn’t think you’d actually go for it πŸ™‚ I had no idea what Nicaraguan cuisine might actually be like, but judging by this dish I’d freaking love it. Spinach, cilantro, coconut milk, yummy spices and shrimps! All of my favourite things! This will be something I’m trying soon – pinning this πŸ™‚

    Thanks Kristy – and thanks for playing along. Nice to find out some things about you guys πŸ™‚

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    • ChefDad says:

      Truthfully, it wasn’t even a group of senior guys, it was me and my roommate and 28 freshman girls. We honestly didn’t know that going in–we signed up because we were looking for a blowoff class for our last semester of college, then in the schedule we saw that on Wednesday and Friday we had “lab” which was basically cooking and we figured that would be an easy way to save a few bucks on lunch a couple times a week.

      We had a blast–at the end of lab, you’d go around and taste everyone’s food and my buddy and I would come out with our weekly “top stove” rankings–the teacher didn’t like us much for doing that, but I think she kinda liked us keeping things loose.

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    • Kristy says:

      I was actually thinking of picking a place in Central America and when you threw Nicaragua out there, made the decision an easy one. πŸ™‚ Thanks for tagging me Charles. It was a lot of fun to do and I know I always enjoy learning more about my blogging friends. And don’t think for a minute that Mike didn’t know the class was packed with girls…regardless of what he says. πŸ˜‰ LOL.

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  5. Stefanie says:

    I keep meaning to comment on your posts lately, but haven’t had a chance. Sorry! The chopped stuff was awesome to follow, and was such a fun idea πŸ™‚ You two came up with some really amazing dishes, and it sounds like you had a wonderful new years day! It was so fun to learn more about you and Mike, especially when you share some unexpected things like the boxing! How cool! And this soup looks awesome… I’m adding it to my list of things to try, and I’ll try some of your suggestions to kick up the spice a little πŸ™‚

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  6. Mama Lisa says:

    I love your answers, especially number five. As one who has dined at Greg and Katherine’s house more than once, I have to say that I am a huge fan. And YES, Katherine is a whole lot of fun with a cocktail in her hand.

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  7. Courtney says:

    A dinner. At your house. Without kids?!? You have just described one of my dream evenings! And it looks like quite the meal. Also so fun to learn some more about you both.

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  8. A_Boleyn says:

    Seafood dishes are always a hit with me, especially things with scallops in them which I don’t see too often. One of my favourite sushi dishes is tempura scallops. I’d pour if over white rice too. Or over linguine or spaghettini.

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  9. spicegirlfla says:

    Boxing? really, how cool! I wanted to join a gym here; it’s definitely a good workout! I figured you had to work out to stay in shape you do!! I do hope you post your first favorite dishes as a dating couple! That would be a very sweet Valtines day post πŸ™‚
    The coconut milk in this dish reminds me of the Caribbean cooking down here; looks really delicious!

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    • Kristy says:

      With as much cooking/baking as we do around here these days – you bet I workout. πŸ˜‰ LOL. Actually I started a few years ago and made it a lifestyle change. Now I can’t imagine not working out in some capacity…running, boxing, weights, hot yoga – love it! Helps keep me sane too. πŸ˜‰ We’ve talked about joining a gym, but it’s just easier to do our own thing with the kids at these ages. And maybe that will be our Valentine’s post! Thanks for the idea Linda. πŸ™‚

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  10. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide says:

    Thanks for the shout out. But after Joshua’s birthday meal, we’re throwing in the towel! Mike can use my smoker anytime, of course that means in the bitter Arkansas cold. Oh wait…You know smoking in the summer is worse. I love your answers, especially that he and Mr. N inspired you. I like the recipe too, but it does seem like more heat is in order.

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  11. smartfoodandfit says:

    Great to gey to know you guys a bit more! Aww, so wonderful you guys got some quiet time, I’m sure it was much needed. Now who did the dishes after dinner? I’d say heck with the dishes! lol
    This fish dish look pretty fantastic, looking forwared to your Nicarauan adventure!

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  12. ChgoJohn says:

    Great set of answers and love the opportunity to get to know you both a little better. That shrimp dish looks fantastic and is a great way to start your Nicaraguan culinary adventure.

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  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Boxing? Really? You’re right, I would have never expected that from our sweet Kristy… πŸ˜‰ love it! I adore Caribbean coast inspired cuisine and its emphasis on seafood and coconut… this dish looks wonderfully fragrant – the spices are magnifico! How nice to have some alone time in the comfort of your dining room at the supper hour… I agree, unheard of – you’ll have to share the meltdown story at some point πŸ˜‰

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  14. Deborah says:

    I wouldn’t even have a clue about Nicaraguan food – so I’m so excited to see what you make! This does look delicious, and I’m curious to see how much more you like it with your changes next time!

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    • Kristy says:

      I think I’ll like it much better next time. It was good this time, but I think some heat will take it to the next level for me. Mike likes spicy things too, so I don’t think he’ll complain even though he liked it as-is. πŸ™‚

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  15. joshuafagans says:

    I am humbled to even be considered next to the amazing Greg and Katherine. Seriously though, you guys are definitely welcome if you are ever in town! The dish looks amazing, sorry it didn’t have quite enough heat. This is why Siracha is always in my fridge. Seems to be the best way to spice things up.

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    • Kristy says:

      Your birthday dinner was amazing! Out of this world kind delicious looking. And I’d be humbled to ever have a seat at your table. πŸ™‚ Now siracha is a great suggestion! I didn’t even think of that – and we always have it on hand too. Next time!

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  16. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I love a great shrimp dish.. and I certainly can’t wait to try this dish. I would add a bit more curry for spice or maybe some of my own spice rub I create (whatever is on hand at my home) lol. And when you said you and Mike were alone.. I thought “Hrm.. romantic dinner, a little mushy time, yup Kristy had a HUGE grin on her face the next morning” LOL.

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