Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Leftover Coconut Rice and Watermelon Beer

I had lots of leftover coconut rice, so I figured this would be a perfect time to make a stir fry. I was flipping through a new cookbook I purchased, Urban Vegan, and found an oven-baked Thai curry casserole kind of thing and decided to try it. I made a sauce of almond butter, coconut milk, and red curry paste, and poured it over broccoli, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and chickpeas, then baked it.


Not the prettiest dish, but the sauce was good and could be used on a stove top stir fry, too. I think the oven baked portion of this is simply to make this less labor-intensive, which is what I was looking for last night. I was very frustrated after running an errand in a part of town I’d never been to before. I got terribly lost without my phone or GPS. Anyway, I made it home, supper was good, and I’m still exploring as many new recipes as I can so that I come to understand what works, what doesn’t, what I like, and what I don’t like.

It’s a funny coincidence that I linked back to my post on the Chicago Diner yesterday and I see I talked about baseball – the diner is very close to Wrigley Field, so we ate there before a game – and I mentioned the rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. Well, these days it looks like the rivalry is heating up between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cardinals, who are battling for first place and had an all-out bench-clearing brawl during the game last night. I still giggle whenever people take the Reds too seriously, but Alex is rooting for the home team. They got beaten by the Cards. Badly. Three times.

One of my favorite summer combinations is peanuts, beer, and baseball, even when I’m watching from home. We picked up some roasted peanuts at the farmers’ market, and like everything else there, these roasted peanuts were fresher and tastier than what we’re used to getting at the grocery store.

051 Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer from the 21st Amendment Brewery

I found the watermelon beer Rose mentioned, and I’m glad I did. I wasn’t looking for it, but it caught my eye on the top shelf at my grocery store and I remembered her post about it. This was good, and certainly watermelon juiced, and completely unlike anything I’ve had before.

Thankfully, beer isn’t the only thing I’ve discovered since I’ve been reading more food blogs. I’ve learned a lot about what foods will be fun to try, what cookbooks to try, and learned a little about the people writing about their lives and food online. It’s been fun. I’ve been vegetarian for more than 10 years, but I’m a new vegan. I’ve actually tried being vegan before but failed miserably because I had no idea what I was doing besides getting really hungry. I’ve mentioned this here and there, but I’m in what I like to think of as a discovery or experimentation phase, and that’s why I don’t often post recipes (because I’m using someone else’s!). Thanks for coming along with me and helping me out with some suggestions in my comments, as well as showing the way in your own blogs.

With that said, thanks to Rose from Dandelion for calling me out for a Happy 101 award! I have been working on how I want to do a blogroll and finally added one to my page that is imported straight from the food folder in my Google Reader. About half of my reader is food related. So if you want to see who I would pass this along to, there’s quite a list there.

So, here are 10 things that make me happy, in case you’re interested. I should mention that it took me a long time to come up with this list. I’m not generally a happy person, so this was probably a good exercise. First, Alex, for being a friend and a sweetheart and eating what I cook and keeping meat out of the house. And for letting me introduce him as my friend instead of admitting he’s my husband. Now that the sappy stuff is out of the way, the rest, in the order I thought of them: the wind in the summer when it feels hot like a hair dryer, when my parents call me, beer & fries, the cute way my cats meow and I see their pink mouths against their black faces, bridges, having a good day at work, writing things by hand, having a short but meaningful conversation with a stranger, and laying down at night especially on clean sheets.

Is anyone else a fan of the heat? I know I talk about not turning on the oven in the summer, but I keep my air conditioning set at 80 and I still like the first blast of heat when I step outside. If only that sweet boy and I could agree to move to a warmer climate…


  1. The watermelon beer is interesting isn't it? I'm glad you got a chance to try sounds perfect paired with peanuts and baseball. I'm not a follower of BB myself, but hearing a ball game always reminds me of summer; my dad used to listen to games all summer long on a radio out in the back yard.

    Lof your list! It's sweet that Alex eats vegan with you! And the hot wind sounds exotic. Clean sheets....oh yeah!

  2. Unusual list. You're more about the simple pleasures. Alas, I hate the heat, I also have 'bridge phobia' and turn to a cowering mass of jelly when driving over one and I've never met Alex, so those things didn't make my list.

  3. We all know that I do not fare well in the heat...I melt almost immediately. But, this dinner also has me melting in a totally different way.

  4. Now THIS looks like some good curry! Not like the nasty curry "soups" I've had... Thanks for sharing :]

    I used to think that I just absolutely could not stand hot weather, until winter would come and I'd realize that I don't do well in freezing temps either. I'm always complaining to turn on the AC or heater. I think something's wrong with my body. Or most likely it's because I just like to complain. :D

  5. Thank god someone else loves heat!! Me too! Its been 100 degrees here this week, and I love it! All my friends think I'm crazy. But Memphis heat and humidity is where it's at. Probably my favorite thing about living in the South, actually.

    Watermelon beer? I must try that. Is it overly fruity and sweet? I'll keep my eye out for that for sure.

  6. Diana, you should try this curry if you don't like the soupy sauce. After being baked, it was really thick. I prefer mine soupy (possibly just because it's what I'm used to).

    I knew there had to be another heat lover out there! Yeah. This watermelon beer was really sweet. From what I read on the package, the watermelon juice is added to wheat beer. I enjoyed it, though, and I'm not one to ever drink sweet beers, ciders, or cocktails.

  7. I found this post very funny (in a good way). (And I don't care if vegan bloggers share new recipes or share others'. It's all good to me.) I love that you admit that you're not generally a happy person and that you tried to pull of your husband being your friend. I hope that this exercise helped you get to know your happy inner sap a little bit better. :) And I hate the heat. We keep our thermostat set on 72.

  8. First off....go Cards! :o)
    Second- that Thai Curry Casserole looks so yummy! I used to never care about food until I became you I am enjoying experimenting and discovering new things that I like and don't like. To my amazement, I find that most of the things I try, I really do like! I am finding out that I love Thai!
    Third- I loved your list of 10 things that make you happy. And, you are not alone with the heat. It's been 100 all week here, but I am just like you. I love the feel of the heat when I first walk out the door. My husband freezes me out at home, he sweats while I am covered up under my blanket..ha :o)
    Oh, interesting take on the beer...never heard of watermelon beer!