Violet, Violet, and more Violet

We just got a year pass to the children’s museum in Mount Vernon. At $5 a month for unlimited visits, it’s completely worth it considering how fun it is. We went the other day and all I had was my cell phone for pictures, but they’re so cute you have to see them anyway.

Here she is in the sandbox.

The budding artist at her easel…

Crawling around in the toddler barnyard

Here is the link to the children’s museum. The $5 cost is for a family of any size, not per child.

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Still going strong on the Indian food idea…

First off, I know what you’re thinking; Why did you post a picture of regurgitated bat food on your blog? I think it looks more like vomit to me, but to each their own, right? Actually, I shouldn’t have written anything about the appearance, because by now you should know that I value the Ugly Foods for their innate ability to capture flavor, comfort, and delish in every bite. Usually. Indian food is no exception. This is only my second official indian recipe of the month, but I’m already sold. Indian food is amazing. Not only that, it gets better as a leftover the next day. I don’t particularly like having to cook for every meal, so leftovers reign supreme in my fridge.

Speaking of recipes, does anyone have a tried and true restaurant-style naan bread recipe? So far I’ve made three batches and none of them have made naan.

Anyway, the above picture is of Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard. I was seriously unimpressed while I was making it, but the results were amazzzzzzzing. I’m not sure if it’s technically Indian food, but this one is going into my regular rotation.

Here’s the recipe:

Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard
(taken from the amazing Smitten Kitchen blog, here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/curried-lentils-and-sweet-potatoes/)

Yields 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

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