Archive for Travel

Jihva for Chocolate and Winter in Michigan

I must be getting old. I took a few days away at the end of December — came down with a bit of a cold, and now here it’s January 5 and I am still not caught up with the New Year!

Happily, I am able to make it to Jihva for Chocolate by the skin of my teeth. I’m sorry, Deepz, for the very late entry — so glad you extended that deadline :)

When I was a girl, my great-aunt used to make these “cookies” for my sister and me. She always used Nestle butterscotch morsels. I remember this in large part not only because they tasted so good, but because we kids, at such a young age, could help. Nowadays with the microwave, it’s an even better recipe for young ones. They can do most everything themselves with only a watchful eye on the micro to be sure the morsels don’t scorch.

I found chocolate-caramel morsels in the store today, so decided to try those. My daughter took one taste and promptly carried the whole batch off to a gathering of her friends this eve, so I guess the recipe stood the test of time ;)

No-Bake Chocolate-Caramel Krinkles
makes about 16-20 snacks

1 10-12 oz bag Nestle chocolate-caramel morsels
1/3 c peanut butter
3 c corn flakes cereal

choc caramel morsels and pb
choc-caramel morsels and peanut butter ready to microwave

In a large bowl, microwave the morsels and peanut butter on half power, about 2 minutes — check after the first minute as microwaves vary. Stir until smooth. Mix in the corn flakes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper.

Let stand until hardened — about 30-45 min.

Good luck keeping them around with kids in the house :)

Chocolate-Caramel Krinkles
Easy No-Bake Chocolate-Caramel Krinkles

Thanks Deepz, for choosing this yummy ingredient and bringing back some sweet memories :)

~~~

My Michigan trip was far too short this time. Winter beggars can’t be choosers however — I’ll take a couple of days up north, any day. Still homesick :)

pileated woodpecker
pileated woodpecker ~ for perspective, this bird is large as a crow

icy fence at Holland, MI
ice hanging from a fence at Holland, MI

lake michigan sunset
snow-covered sand dunes, under the muted colors of a wintry sunset over Lake Michigan

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A Fond Farewell to 2007

This post comes to you from the beautiful wintertime woods of Northern Michigan, where I am currently enjoying a far-too-brief break complete with bald eagles, woodpeckers galore — and to top it all off — my first-ever sighting of an owl!
The jury is still out on whether it was a barred owl or a great grey ;)

Lovely Nupur of One Hot Stove, a dear friend who is always an inspiration and always ready with an encouraging word, has asked us to search the archives for our “Best of 2007″! Break or no break, I didn’t want to miss it, so here I am in my snowsuit.

I thought this would be a fairly easy task, but in the end it turned into something of a slippery slope. Once I started noting favs, I couldn’t stop!

Here are a just a few of the things I enjoyed about blogging in 2007:

Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables challenged my imagination every week for a spectacular twenty-six weeks.

Lakshmi K’s Regional Cuisines of India took me traveling all over India. A great index page for this ongoing event can be found here.

Bee and Jai, dynamic duo of Jugalbandi, started the popular food photography event Click!; I may have to take a class now!

And of course, there was another fabulous year of Indira’s Jihva For Ingredients, “the original” event, to me, and one which continues to amaze and delight me.

If I had to choose one favorite part of 2007 at Out Of The Garden, I would say without hesitation, it was my long-awaited turn to host Jihva. Toor dal was the theme, and what a party it was! To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. Check out all the fabulous dishes from the bottom of the page here.

More fun that landed on the blog:

amazing agates
amazing agates from Lake Superior

waterline agate
waterline agate close up

black legged kittiwake
black-legged kittiwake over Lake Superior

black tern
black tern at Tuttle Marsh near Oscoda, MI

canning
home canning ~ red tomato chutney, yellow tomato jam, and green tomato pickle

cozy kitties
cozy kitties

redpoll
redpolls mixing with the usual suspects (goldfinches) at the feeder, December 26, 2007 ~ could this be an irruption year!?

Thanks Nupur, for this great opportunity to look back on 2007! It turned into much more than a foodie-journey for me :)

It’s been alot of fun poring over past posts. In doing so, the biggest thing I learned is — at the risk of repeating myself — I have learned so much from all of you!

To each of you who have taken the time to stop and visit, offering encouragement, suggestions, advice, or just a friendly hello, I thank you sincerely.

It is the interaction that makes blogging fun. Without that personal touch, this would be just another site with so many pics of kitties, kids, and khichdi.

I wish you all a wonderful New Year filled with health, happiness and lots of time to go “blog-hopping”!

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Autumn Days

It’s been a beautiful autumn weekend.
You might have to click on the pics for full view…

autumn titmouse
tufted titmouse

squirrel
squirrel enjoying the fallout from birdfeeder

woodpecker
downy woodpecker

sleepy kitties
sleepy kitties on a sunny autumn afternoon

~~~

And a neat article about dal from Little India Magazine ~~
The Magic Broth, for JFI ~ Toor Dal.

It’s not exclusive to toor dal, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

au sable river
and ever summertime dreaming… if you look hard you can see a lone deer taking a drink in this pool on the beautiful Au Sable river, near Oscoda, MI

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! :)

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Garden Subzi a la IndoSunGod

lake superior
forever calling me home… vast and wild… beautiful Lake Superior

long ships passing
an upbound laker (actually a tug-and-barge combination) assisted by a G-tug, and a downbound “saltie” (ocean vessel) pass in the St. Mary’s River, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan (the “Soo”). In the photo, the “saltie” appears larger, but the laker is the longer of the two…

A Michigan trip is always fantastic, but after two weeks of vacation indulgence I was really craving a healthy, tasty veggie dish.

As I expected, I returned to find a very meager selection of goods in the fridge.
For inspiration, I turned to the blogs and the first I visited was ISG’s Daily Musings.
As usual, she read my mind and had a dish ready and waiting for me! She and her aunty cooked up a gorgeous cauliflower subzi using even the leaves! I always use cauliflower stalks, but only this summer did I begin using the green leaves as well. As ISG says — they are tasty!

My crisper yielded half a rather old head of cauliflower, so I couldn’t use the green this time, but I did include the stalks. To make up for the lacking half, I added a giant ichiban eggplant from my own garden, hooray! I also chopped up a garden tomato to use; because it was not quite ripe, I omitted the amchur powder.
No fresh onion to be had meant frozen chopped for a substitute, my curry leaves were past their prime, and the ginger-garlic paste was from a jar. No fresh green chiles either (I really have to go shopping). As tribute to ISG’s spicy recipes, I used two big dried red chiles instead of my usual one ;)

ing
eggplant, tomato and cauliflower with seasonings — ingredients for a quick and tasty subzi

In spite of a few sub-par ingredients, this dish was really delicious.
Thank you ISG, and thanks to your aunty as well!

Garden Subzi a la ISG
this is done backward because I used frozen onion –
if using fresh I would do the tadka first rather than last

1 tsp canola oil
1/3 c frozen chopped onion (or 1/2 small fresh onion)
1 TB ginger-garlic paste (or use fresh)
2 big dried red chiles
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
(use stems and also green leaves if fresh)
1 big eggplant, preferably long asian type, cut in cubes
1 semi-ripe tomato, chopped small

Salt to taste

~~~~~

Heat oil over medium-high flame and add frozen onion — when sizzling and beginning to brown, add ginger-garlic paste and stir 2-3 minutes. Add dried chiles, cumin, mustard and curry leaves. When mustard pops, add chopped tomato and reduce heat to medium. When tomato softens, add cauliflower and eggplant. Cook 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring once or twice. Add about a cup of water, cover, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Add salt to taste, and give all a big stir before serving (or gobbling up straight from the pan — it’s that good!) :)

garden subzi
simply delicious — a garden subzi a la ISG!

~~~~~

While I was away, I was lucky to receive some special thoughts from two very dear and special friends — thank you so much, Supriya and ISG, for thinking of me with these lovely awards! Your kindness truly makes me happy every day. I will be passing these along soon, too :)

schmooze award

thoughtful blogger award

And last but certainly not least, please allow me to wish you all a very happy (albeit belated) Independence Day — from 1947 to 2007 is a wonderful accomplishment and still going strong!

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V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N … in the summertime…

That was a song we knew as kids — or rather, a jingle — to be sung with glee and gusto on the last day of school. I wish I could reproduce the tune here, ’cause that’s how I felt today. Today was the last day of work for two whole weeks; once I see the little gal safely ensconced at camp on Sunday, I am officially vacationing.

Vacation means only one thing — wonderful, wondrous Michigan!
Dear home state, land of myriad treasures and simple beauty.

lake superior waves
wild waves on superior…

lake huron sunrise
serene sunrises reflecting on huron…

da yoopers
tourist traps you can’t pass up…

beach pea
and natural surprises springing up everywhere…

lighthouse
the majestic mystery of a lighthouse, standing steadfast against wind and time…

lake superior vista
and the endless vistas seen from the tower, the lake calling out to my heart…

That call resonates within me all year long… in sleep and in waking hours; now I can heed the call and journey home.

Wishing you all a wonderful, wondrous vacation too –
whenever and wherever it may be!! :)

Comments (15)

Foxtale

Tawas Point is a small peninsula jutting out into Lake Huron.
There you can find a beautiful lighthouse, and for wildlife fanciers, a network of sandy trails leading around the point, teeming with birds and other creatures…

tawas point light
lighthouse at Tawas Point State Park, Lake Huron coast

furry friend
a little fox was hurrying along a path…

furry follower
another fellow came scurrying along behind…

disappearing
they disappeared around the corner…

playing
a little ways off the path they were playing like kittens — the fox on the right is a youngster in a fresh coat, and the fox on the left likely the mama…

young fox coming closer
the young fox was curious and came slowly back out toward the main trail…

foxes scoping out the scene
and waited…

watching their backs
only a little wary…

young fox in a shiny coat
before emerging for a closer look…

sitting in the sun
young fox in the sunshine

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Lake Huron Sunrise

lake huron sunrise
lone duck at sunrise …. lake huron

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