Curried Cauliflower Salad

My mom was here for a visit all this past week and we had a wonderful time tooling around the city, eating out at some lovely restaurants and just generally enjoying each other’s company. Mom proved invaluable at trivia, answering lanolin and others correctly, though let it be known that she was unable to produce Princess Diana’s maiden name. She fell in love with Game of Thrones, bought two pairs of shoes, and bought us a lovely bouquet of tulips. Mom seemed content to sleep on our ancient couch but was very troubled by our loose toilet seat. I have also been troubled by the loose toilet seat but found it was easier to strategically sit than to try to figure out the best way to go about fixing it. After work on Friday, after mom had left for Whitehorse, I set about tightening the toilet seat bolts.

It should be known that the toilet is already kind of strange. It is a low-flow toilet that has two buttons, one for the little stuff and one for the big. It is all one piece, the tank is part of the whole. And the frigging seat is a slow-close miracle that is unlike all the diagrams that I have looked at online (yes, I researched proper toilet seat tightening protocol). So, Friday after work I set about tightening the darn seat. I had studied the diagrams and understood the mission. Find the caps near the hinges, pry them off, use my pliers to tighten the bolts, replace the caps, and voila, a sturdy sitting experience. No such luck. I stared at the seat, perplexed by the lack of caps that EVERY toilet seat tutorial made mention of. OK, new strategy, pry the seat off the obviously hidden caps, right? No. Some desperate tugging, prodding, crying, and excessive (or not) hand washing later, I was back at the computer trying to figure out how to solve this mystery. I Googled, “slow close toilet seat fixing no caps” and many variations of that general combination of words but all the tutorials suggested that there should either be caps or an easy-release button somewhere in the general vicinity of the hinges. But our toilet seat is smooth with no visible access points. I squeezed the sides in an attempt to release it, I gently and not-so-gently tugged at it, I peaked into the bowl to see if the bolts were accessible from there, I started to cry. I was so frustrated at the seemingly impossible task of tightening the frigging toilet seat that I sat at my computer, staring at pictures that did not look like my toilet seat, and just cried. Then, an hour or so after starting this ridiculous journey, I marched into the bathroom, slapped my hand on the side of the bowl and felt a frigging bolt. Reaching around the other side I found the matching bolt and realized that I had not looked in the most obvious place, the outside of the bowl. A quick couple of turns on the plastic nuts and the seat was secure. I washed my hands and forearms (I felt too close to the toilet not to) and schlumped on the couch, totally embarrassed that I let a toilet seat bring me to tears.

It’s hard to segue from a toilet story to a recipe, but it must be done.

This salad is pretty amazing. (Smooth transition, right?)


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WARNING: MONSTER POST—Steamed Mussels three ways: Butter & Garlic, Curry, Spicy Coconut

My husband brought home a big box of live mussels on Thursday and I started planning the best way to cook them up this weekend. When I went to open them I noticed that their expiry date was the same day that Gen had bought them, two days before. Well, in an ignorant and hopeful moment, I opened the container and tested the mussels for liveliness. Unsuccessful. Time of confirmed death, 5:00pm. Gen immediately called Costco about the possibility of an exchange for mussels that haven’t already expired and they agreed! Problem: they close at 6:00pm. So, my wonderful husband who was desperate for some mussely goodness hustled his butt down to Costco, they took in our dead mussels and gave us a brand new batch and I went to work preparing them three ways! This was a delicious treat for us and we happily have some leftovers to munch on today (pluck the leftover mussels out of their shells, seal in a tupperware and eat cold, or just warmed the next day. They can get quite hard if you heat them too much the next day). The Butter & Garlic batch has a little kick from some apple cider vinegar, Gen went WILD for these, possibly because they were the first batch. He slurped back the sauce from his bowl, my bowl, and the pot. The Curry & Kale mussels are simple and tasty. The kale soaks up the curry flavours wonderfully. The Spicy Coconut version was the big winner. Coconut milk enhances the sweetness of the mussels while the chili flakes and chilis add a kick to balance it out. Winner, winner, mussel dinner. 

I’ve put the recipes and a special mussel eating tip behind the jump so that my front page is manageable to scroll!

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Easy Curry Chicken Thighs

Here’s the background to the creation of this dish. I asked my wonderful husband to take out two chicken breasts in the morning because I had forgotten to when I went to work. He smartly took out three because they looked small and they were defrosted by the time I got home. Awesome. The only problem was that they were bone-in skin-on chicken thighs and they were really small. So I took out three more, defrosted them quickly and got to pan searing them before baking in a delicious curry and coconut milk bath. They turned out most excellently and would be great served over steamed veggies and rice. This recipe takes just 15 minutes to whip up and spends about 40 minutes in the oven, so you have lots of time to do other things, like enjoy a glass of wine.

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Spice mix in a jar

So I just posted one of my delicious curry recipes. Here is the spice mix made bulk (though I will go through this jar in no time).



How much of each for the big batch:

  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 1.5 tbsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tbsp ground ginger
  • 3/4tbsp ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tbsp chili powder

If you don’t have hot peppers on hand when cooking with the spices you can use cayenne pepper to taste.