Category: minimalist

Dinner, easy and semi quick.

Butter Chicken Comfort Dinner!

This is the way-about for making a delicious Indian comfort food in an electric pressure cooker.  This machine is amazing.  You plug it in, set a time, push a button, and walk away.  That is it. In an hour you have a delicious dinner that was so easy it leaves you guessing at why so many people eat out all the time.

A Marigold style recipe, which is basically a list of ingredients and steps.  How much of everything to add?  Use your intuition, your brain, and most importantly your tongue.  Don’t follow a list of items blinding, taste everything as you go along, and fit the recipe to your desire.

1.5 pounds of chicken thighs, marinated in 1 cup/ two large spoonful of tangy yogurt, a couple squirts of lemon juice, a dash of garam Masala, cumin, turmeric salt, and pepper. Like 2 teaspoons of each. Two cloves of grated garlic and a knob of ginger.

Mix together and marinate at room temperature or overnight.  How long you ask, up to a couple of days, or as quickly as two drinks can allow.  Cooking is about looking forward to the end product, so marinate yourself and get distracted by something inspirational while the chicken does its resting.

We are going to cook the chicken in an electric pressure cooker, which diminishes cooking time so dramatically, that you can take the time for your chicken thighs to tenderize.  You can always opt to braise on the stove, but you are going to added two hours to the process.  If you marinate ahead, or have the whole evening at your leisure, this is definitely an equally viable option.  But if you are like me, and it is already 8 by the time you get back from the store, modern pressure cooking is the way to go for the day.

Two drinks later, or an hour:  Put the chicken and the marinate into the magical machine.  Add a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of coconut milk or cream, 1-2 sweet potatoes, an onion, a large spoonful of nut butter (I prefer cashew, use what you will), and a stick of butter.  Set that timer button for 10 minutes and let the machine do its thing.

Finish with cilantro, and a slash of lime, enjoy thoroughly.

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Say it like it is

All this hype around cell phones and people don’t even use them to talk.  When was the last time you had a conversation on the phone?  These pocket computers are so expensive and advanced and supportive of your career, personal and expressional life, why don’t we call it what it really is?   Honestly, it’s hardly a phone.  I mean the reception sucks consistently, plus nobody wants to hear your conversation, (please kept your eyes glued to the tiny pocket screen at all times) why are we still insistent on calling that pager a cell phone?

Beep beep, now who is making fun of the girl walking around with a pager on her belt.

The World At Large

Within this wide world of wondrous possibilities, I get stressed out by all the options.  The limits are not very limiting, the boundaries are arbitrary and the walls are not well guarded.  The lines are not black and white, it is instead a grey representation, perhaps a shadow.  I want to do it all,  beautifully and precisely.  I want to be striking and bold, yet represent a collection of ideas.  I struggle with simplicity, I over complicate everything.  I have high standards, and when they are met I feel average.  Does this desire to be overwhelmingly complete leave me in solitude?

Why eating in America Sucks #4

Our reliance on disposable product.

Not just disposable, but as an additional insult to our mother earth, non compostable. I know you don’t want to throw away those overcooked eggs left from brunch, but think about the environmental impact of that Styrofoam container that is your to-go bag.  I understand that you didn’t pick that vessel, but that is what exists and that is what you are going to get.

If I do take my divine leftovers, I ask for it to be wrapped in aluminum.  Straight-up.  When the server comes to the table, I say please just wrap it up like a burrito in a sheet of foil.  All restaurants have tin foil and it is the least amount of packaging available that can serve as a doggie bag.  If they won’t do that, then I don’t want the rest of my plate.

Also, to mention, I am pretty sure that you are not supposed to microwave Styrofoam because of toxic chemicals in this lightweight plastic mutant.  I understand that Styrofoam was developed and is so widely used because it is spectacular for thermal insulation, but unfortunately this hexagonal crunchy structure of  probably hydrogenated plastic is not the right answer.

Every Styrofoam container should come with a warning label, like the kind found on cigarette packages.  Warning: this product will certainly add to global warning, pose a hazard to wildlife, contains carcinogens and release some 57 chemicals with the heating of this foam that can lead to cancer.  How would that change the food service industry?

It’s not your fault portion sizes are too big, I know, but maybe try a small plate and split your American meal designed for one.

It’s not your fault, but you are part of the circus.  You didn’t interview for it, but that doesn’t matter.  Styrofoam is not acceptable under any circumstances.  This goes beyond our dependence on plastic, this includes an active role to cut down on waste that will continue to haunt the world for millennia.

Throwing away food is wrong, but so is compromising the environment because we don’t know how to responsibly store food.  Do your part, and do not support this closed cell polystyrene foam system that is so convenient for handling hot foods, being both lightweight and strong.  It is not responsible, especially since you know that this “disposable” product is not biodegradable and there is no recycling practice in place.  If you aren’t swayed by the health risked posed to mother earth, be swayed by the health risk posed to yourself.

I don’t watch movies either

Seriously like never.  For example: I flew to India from Chicago and back, and got delayed by 6 hours on the way there.  I was on an airplane for 47 hours total for the trip.  I managed to watch 1 movie and 1 stand up comedy act (The Grand Budapest Hotel and Hannibal Burgess) over the grueling 47 hour journey.  That is how dedicated I am to avoiding movies.

I don’t have the patience. I get too bored.

Most of the time is it too unbelievable. Seriously though, get a grip and make your story line mildly believable.  Or else I will be drunk, and miss the plot line because I have to pee so often.

Why does there always have to be a love story? Always.  Seriously I will like a movie more even if it sucks royally if there is no fucking fairy tale fall in love non imaginatation story arch.  But all shitty movies, even the few good one, have a love story.  A Hollywood Perfect Woman with great boobs falls for a  maybe? hot man.  He will NEVER take his shirt off.   I have seen one male butt in Hollywood. I love boobs like everyone else but I also love the male nipples.  Why you gotta hold out Hollywood?  Why you got to be so cold?

Everybody has to be good looking all the time.. nobody can be just like normal.  God forbid undesirable.  Ugly is a thing that is left for villains, that’s it.  It is so unrealistic I can’t do it.  Unless it is complete fantasy like aliens, that’s fine.

TV Culture

I don’t watch TV.  Its kinda boring is the thing.  I have hardly ever watched it in my life.  Sometimes I do, and when I do it is a splurge.  The overly dramatic but not too loud or too soft spoken scenario is a grand way to relax after strenuous work week.   To tune out by tuning in.

Other than the over-worked periods of my life, or to rebel against myself being defying my own rules, I don’t ever seek out the television as a constant companion.

What I don’t understand about television is the ads. They are the worst.  Commercials are beyond annoying, they are frustrating with their simplicity and complacency.  They talk to you like you are a child, like you are an idiot, like you can be convinced of anything.  When you watch advertisements that are so very short and so very full of the most eloquently packaged bullshit you have ever conceptualized, you still know that those naysayers are trying to trick you. You know that the footsteps are the fanciful jig of the devil.

We do outsmart the ads, but what I don’t think we realize is that after a while the ads outnumb us.  We forget that after watching so many terribly unbelieving scenarios,  our threshold of believability eventually drops.  We don’t ever buy the dumbest things, but we start to be persuaded by the ‘average to possible’ ideas.  Just because its plausible does not mean it should be attained.

I haven’t watched TV in over 6 months, at least, and oh my are the commercials so bad.  I can’t even do it.  And I am not mad about it.

-Marigold

Grand Central Station Style

Seriously why do so many emails even exist?  It’s not ok, not possible… why?  It’s so much worse than junk mail.  Worse than all those endless bills and reminders of bills that have now gone paperless.  Worse than the stacks of bed, bath, and beyond coupons.  Worse than flyers filled with pages of information about nothing.

Even with spam filter, my inbox is out of control like my curls on a humid day.  Why do I have over 1000 emails? Its ridiculous.  Stop. Sending. Them. It. Is. Not. Working.  Not you, real people, I am talking to auto emails.  Just stop.  Nobody is reading them.  Not today, not ever.

Try Mr. Postman again if you want to get a real message.  The press and send button is not cutting any diamonds my friends.

-Marigold.