Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Rachael Ray Nutrish: Zero Grain Cat Food #NutrishZeroGrain


Feeding my family good quality food is very important to me.  I always have my fridge and fruit bowl stocked with fruits and vegetables so my kids and my husband can eat sensibly.   I also feel my fur-kids, my dog and cat, deserve to eat quality food as well. So, this is not my typical recipe post, but it's a post about feeding a beloved member of my family... my sweet cat named Sienna. 

I first became aware of Rachael Ray Nutrish pet food a few months after we adopted our dog over three years ago.  He was still a puppy then and really disliked the food that the adoption group was feeding him.  I wanted to do the best for him so I went to a holistic upscale dog store and bought a brand of dog food that they highly recommended.  He did not go near the stuff as we tried to integrate the new dog food with his old dog food.  I was so disappointed, now I had two bags of dog food that he was not willing to eat. 

One day while grocery shopping for my family, I decided to walk down the pet food aisle. That was the first I time I saw Rachael Ray Nutrish on the shelves.  I remember watching Rachael Ray on her talk show and she mentions how her cooking for her dog, Isaboo, inspired Nutrish.  

I bought a bag and was thrilled when I brought it home and Scout, our dog, started smelling the bag and wagging his tail.  That was definitely a good sign.  I happily integrated him from his old dog food to 100% Rachael Ray Nutrish in a week and have not looked back in the last three years. 

I was very excited when I heard Rachael Ray mention last year that she was starting a line of cat food because we could finally get our cat eating Nutrish too. 

Our cat's name is Sienna. She is a Maine Coon cat that I adopted 12 years ago at the age of 6 months from a cat rescue group.  She ended up at the rescue group because her breeder dumped her there for some reason.  I look at that sweet face and think how could anyone think she was not perfect. 

 A few weeks ago, I was sent a bag of Rachael Ray Nutrish: Zero Grain Cat Food to try.  We could not even get it out of the box before Sienna was sniffing the bag to see what smelled so good.

Here are some facts about why I love Zero Grain Whitefish cat food:

    • Real whitefish is the #1 ingredient: “Cats love Nutrish Zero Grain Whitefish & Potato Recipe. It is made with real white fish — a tasty and highly digestible protein that helps to maintain strong muscles and helps minimize litter box odors.”
    • Zero grains, glutens or fillers
    • Zero meat or poultry by-product meal

    • Zero artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
    • First zero grain dry cat formula from Rachael Ray Nutrish

If you are interested in reading more about Zero Grain Whitefish check out this link:

I also feel good supporting Rachael Ray's pet food line because Rachael’s personal proceeds go to Rachael’s Rescue, created to help shelter pets. As of today, over $9 million has gone toward food, medical supplies and treatments for animals in need.  Now I know feeding my own pets by buying the Nutrish products also helps a lot of other animals in need.
    Longing to eat her Nutrish

    Changing your pet's food is not hard, but it does need to be thought out.  You don't want to just throw out the old brand of cat food and serve up a big helping of new cat food. 

    I followed the recommendations on the Nutrish website ( to slowly mix Nutrish Zero Grain with my cat's old food over a 10 day period to integrate her over to eating Nutrish 100%. 
    **I made the chart above to show how I did it.   Sienna simply loved the Zero Grain Whitefish cat food.  It was so funny because I saw her picking out the Nutrish kibble first as she ate both cat foods.  I think she was ecstatic when we were fully integrated into 100% Nutrish cat food and she no longer had to eat the old cat food.  

    Sienna maybe an older cat, but she is not beyond change and she loved making the change over to Nutrish.  By day 10 she was standing by the bowl when I scooped out her new favorite cat food.  

    Enjoying her Nutrish: Zero Grain Cat Food

    Smacking her lips after enjoying a bowl of Nutrish

    Another reason I love Nutrish is because it's the only premium brand pet food that available in your local grocery store, as well as mass retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon.  I don't need to make a special trip to a pet store just to buy my fur-kids food anymore.  Now when I go to the grocery store, I can buy our entire family's groceries at one place. That is so convenient and time saving. 

    I am so happy that I got to try Rachael Ray's new cat food.  Now our entire family eats something that comes from Rachael Ray.  My family loves Rachael's stock in a box and EVOO.  My dog, Scout, loves his Nutrish Chicken and Veggie Dog Food and now Sienna has joined us by loving her Nutrish Zero Grain Cat Food.

    Remember you can follow Rachael Ray Nutrish at:

    Disclosure:  I was given a bag of Rachael Ray Nutrish: Zero Grain Cat Food to try and compensated to write this post.  I personally love Rachael Ray's Nutrish pet food and all opinions are my own.

    Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Masoor Dhal Masala Vadai (Lentil Fritter)


    Last week my mother came over and we made three different vadai (Lentil Fritter) recipes.  This vadai is made with masoor dhal/lentil.  Masoor dhal is a small orange lentil that cooks easily.  Since they cook so easily it is the kind of lentil that I cook with at home regularly.  

    It's also my children's favorite variety of lentil. I am a pretty big vadai fanatic, but if I had to pick a favorite of all the varieties that we made that day, this is it.  I think it's because masoor dhal is so tender.  It doesn't hurt that we made these extra spicy too.  Masala vadai needs to have a good "kick" in my opinion.  Of course you can use as much spice as you like and make these wonderful fritters to your taste.

     2 cups of Masoor Dhal soaked for 4 hours
    1 medium size onion finely chopped
    1 Tbs of dried red chili pieces (or to taste)
    1 tsp of red chili powder (or to taste)
    20-30 curry leaves torn into pieces
    2-4 green chilies (Serranos) chopped finely
    2-3 garlic cloves grated (optional)
    1 inch of ginger grated (optional)
    Salt (to taste)
    1-2 Tbs of chickpea flour (besan) to help form the vadai.


    The first step to making your Masala Vadai is to soak your lentils.  You will want to soak them for 3-4 hours.   Then drain your Masoor Dhal well and put 2/3 of the dhal/lentils in a food processor and grind/pulse the lentils into a semi-course  paste. You want some of it well pulverized yet some pieces still intact so you can see it's dahl.

    Mix the lentils with all the other ingredients, including the remaining  1/3 cup of whole masoor dhal. You want the mixture to hold together like a meatball so add chickpea flour a tablespoon at a time to get that texture. Taste for salt and seasoning.   Now form the flat patty shapes.

    My mother's hand forming vadia

    Form the Masala Vadai about the size of a large walnut or a little smaller than a golf ball size and shaped into a patty.  I placed them on a microwave safe plate because the next step is to pre-cook them in the microwave.  **I got this tip from another recipe and it works great.  You will microwave about a dozen vadai for about 1-2 minutes (depending on your microwave).  They will become firmer to the touch (but not hard).  This also cuts down on the frying time.  Heat canola oil on med-high heat and when hot start frying vadai a few at a time until fully cooked.  I cooked them for about 2 minutes in the hot oil.  You don't want your oil too hot so not to burn the vadai.  Test out the first batch and adjust the heat of the oil accordingly.  Drain on a paper towel and continue frying.  Eat hot or at room temperature.  This recipe should make about 30-40 vadai. Enjoy. 

    Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

    Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Curry and Comfort's Weekly Sunday Summary 3/23/15 thru 3/29/15


     Happy Sunday Everyone!

    Excuse me while I bundle up and pout.  I am annoyed because we are technically in spring, but winter is not letting go of it's freezing cold grip.   Yesterday was almost below freezing all day and I was totally bummed out. 

    We are a week away from Easter and it should be mild and beautiful outside in my opinion.  I look forward to the spring months all year long and I hope April will show us some fairer weather.

    My week in food was a mix of comfort food that gets you through the cold of winter and light and delicious in the hopes of spring.  So enjoy my week in review....

    Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

    Friday, March 27, 2015

    Asian Shrimp and Spinach Stir Fry

    Last night, I really was in no mood to cook.  So, I looked around for something I could throw together quickly with minimum effort.  A stir fry is always quick, but they usually have a ton of chopping and prep work.  
    Then I saw a bag of ready to use cleaned spinach.  I don't usually add spinach to a stir fry, but why not give it a try.  I also turned to some cleaned frozen shrimp.  I love using frozen shrimp as a quick and easy protein because it defrosts in a flash simply under some cold running water.    
    I finished off the dish with some cans of Chinese water chestnuts and straw mushrooms to help make this stir fry substantial.  Opening a few cans was just my speed last night too. : )  I was so happy how quick, easy, light, healthy and delicious it turned out.  This is what I call a perfect busy weeknight meal or at least the perfect "I'm in no mood to cook" meal.

    1lb cleaned shrimp (See Note)
    1 medium onion sliced
    1 can of water chestnuts (sliced or diced)
    1 can of straw mushrooms (or fresh button mushrooms)
    1 bell pepper, or some sweet chilies sliced into strips
    1-2 green chilies (jalapenos or serranos) sliced
    2-3 large handfuls of cleaned spinach leaves
    1-2 Tbs of ginger-garlic-paste or 2 cloves of garlic and 1 inch of ginger
    1Tbs of cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs of cold water

    Note:  To make this shrimp stir fry come together even faster, use shelled and cleaned shrimp.   I used frozen shrimp and the best way to defrost them quickly is to put them in a colander under cold running water for a few minutes.  

    The Stir Fry Sauce:
    1/2 cup of chicken stock or water/bullion equivalent
    2-3 Tbs of soy sauce
    1 Tbs of oyster sauce
    1 Tbs of Chinese Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
    1 tsp of sesame oil
    1 tsp of brown sugar
    red chili flake to taste

    Note:  Prep all your food first and make the sauce.  You want everything ready to go because the stir fry takes about 5 minutes and it goes quickly.

    Heat 1Tbs of canola oil in a large wok pan on high heat.  Then add sliced onions and cook for 1 minute.  Next add your ginger/garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.  
    Then add the peppers and chiles and stir fry for another 30-45 seconds.

    Add your drained cans of water chestnuts and straw mushrooms now and stir fry for another 30-45 seconds. 
     Now add your cleaned shrimp and stir fry for 1 minute. 
    Then add your prepared stir fry sauce and stir fry for another minute.
     Add your cornstarch and water slurry (that's the two mixed together into a water paste).   
    Allow the gravy to boil and thicken for 1 minute. Your shrimp should be cooked now.  
    Finally add your fresh spinach and toss with the hot stir fry for a few seconds to wilt.  Turn stove off.  
    Serve over steam brown or white rice.  Enjoy.  Serves 4.

    Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

    Thursday, March 26, 2015

    Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Slushy

    Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KidsChoiceDrink #CollectiveBias 

    My family and I are very excited about the upcoming Kids' Choice Awards being held on March 28th at 8pm ET.    The show maybe called "Kids' Choice", but it's definitely not just for the kids to watch.  My husband and I are reserving our seats on the couch next to the kids so we can join in on the fun and watch the show.  Capri Sun Roarin' Waters is the official drink sponsor of the Kids' Choice Awards so I headed on over to Walmart to stock up for our party.

    You will find a great selection of Capri Sun Roarin' Waters flavors at your local Walmart.  They have many refreshing flavors to choose from like Berry, Tropical Fruit, Wild Cherry, Fruit Punch and Strawberry Kiwi.  The boxes can be found in the boxed juice aisle or even on special displays throughout the store. 


    My kids were really excited when I said I bought Capri Sun Roarin' Waters because they were eager to try them.  They already take the other brands of Capri Sun juice pouches in their lunchbox to school.  Now they are excited to take a Capri Sun Roarin' Waters in their lunchbox.  We all gave the pouches a taste and the kids really loved that it was a lightly fruit-flavored water beverage.  I love that they have no artificial colors or flavors, are low calorie with only 30 calories, and a fun way for my kids to stay hydrated* *Consume a variety of beverages every day.

    So now that we had the drinks all squared away, my daughter asked me to make sure I had the DVR set to record the Kids' Choice Awards this Saturday at 8pm ET.   She insists that we record the show as well as watch it live.  Last year she loved going back to watch her favorite performances and parts of the show several did I. 

    I know the Kids' Choice Awards will be really great this year because we love many of the shows, actors, songs and games nominated.    We even went online to vote for our favorites.  There were some major discussions and debates between my son and daughter before we hit the vote button for many of the categories.  I even had an opinion since some of my favorite shows like The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon A Time and Modern Family are also nominated.

    What I love about the Kids' Choice Awards is that it's a perfect event to bring the family together while we can root for our favorite shows and celebrities.  I even printed out the list of nominations so my daughter and son can highlight the winners throughout the show and see if our favorites won.

    Of course, a party is just not a party without some delicious munchies and drinks to enjoy while we sit back and cheer on the winners.   I decided to make a few kid friendly nibbles to enjoy while we watched the show.  The beverage of choice is definitely Capri Sun Roarin' Waters.  I also decided to make a specialty drink with the Strawberry Kiwi flavored Capri Sun Roarin' Water pouches called a Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Slushy. This slushy is refreshing and delicious.  I know it will be a big hit at our party.

    Ingredients for Strawberry Kiwi Lemonade Slushy:

    3 pouches Capri Sun Roarin' Waters Strawberry and Kiwi flavor
    1 tsp Crystal Light Lemonade (concentrated powder mix)
    2 cups frozen cleaned strawberries
    2-3 cups ice 

    1. Carefully cut corner of drink pouch with a pair of scissors and pour Capri Sun Roarin' Waters Strawberry and Kiwi flavor  into blender.  Then add frozen strawberries and Crystal Light Lemonade powder.  Blend until smooth.  
    2.  Next add ice and blend again until slushy drink texture forms.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy.

    I also made some quick and easy snacks to enjoy while we watch the Kids' Choice Awards.  Check out these fun kid friendly recipes: 

    Our Menu:

    Grilled Cheese Bites
    • Kraft Cheese Singles
    • Bread
    • Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
    • Grape tomatoes (optional)
    Directions: Take two slices of Kraft Cheese Singles and place between two slices of bread to form a sandwich.  Then spread Miracle Whip Salad Dressing on the outside slices of bread.  Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-low heat and place sandwich in the skillet. Grill until bread toasts on both sides and cheese melts.  Then cut into four pieces and skewer together with a grape tomato.

    Bologna and Lettuce Roll-ups
    • Slices of Oscar Mayer Beef Bologna
    • Small flour tortillas
    • shredded lettuce
    • Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
    • Grape tomatoes (optional)
     Directions:  Apply Miracle Whip Salad Dressing to one side of the tortilla.  Place bologna in center and top with shredded lettuce.  Roll up tightly and cut into three even roll- ups.  This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. 

    Veggies with Dip
    • Sliced cucumbers
    • Sticks of baby carrot
    • Bottle of Kraft Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing

     Directions:  Wash and prep vegetables.  Pour dressing into bowl and serve together.  This can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.

    Strawberries with Marshmallow Skewers
    • Strawberries
    • Kraft Jet-Puff Large Marshmallows
     Directions:  Wash and Hull strawberries.  Skewer together the strawberry with a large Jett-Puff Marshmallow on a toothpick. The kids can help with the assembly of the skewers.

     Now that I have shared our excitement about Capri Sun Roarin' Waters and the Kids' Choice Awards. I'd love to hear about your plans for the perfect watch party! Leave a comment letting me know what you're looking forward to during this year's Kids' Choice Awards.

    Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Thai Cream of Leek Soup


    The calendar says we are well into the season of spring, but it's still cold and windy outside.  I wanted something comforting to warm me up so when I saw the leeks I had bought all I could do was daydream about making a big pot of creamy soup today.  
    I also wanted to give the soup a big flavor punch so I decided to add some Thai ingredients to make it lip-smacking good.  Now if I can just get Mother Nature to cooperate and bring on the warm spring weather, I can finally put my soup pot away for a while.

    2 large bunches of fresh leeks cut and clean
    6 cups chicken stock or water and bullion equivalent
    2 cups water
    1 (15oz) can coconut milk
    2-5 Tbs fish sauce ( to taste)
    1 large onion chopped
    1 Tbs fresh ginger grated
    1 Tbs fresh garlic grated
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp dried thyme
    red chili powder (cayenne) to taste
    salt and black pepper to taste
    1-2tsp fresh lemon juice
    Thai red chilies slices (optional)

    Tip about washing Leeks: 
    Since leeks grow through the dirt, a lot of grit is in between the layers.  The best way to wash leeks is to chop it first and loosen the layers.  Then put it into a bowl of cool water and swish them around to let the grit fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Then scoop up the clean leeks that are floating on the top and leave the grit and dirt at the bottom of the bowl.

    Saute ginger, garlic and onion with 1 Tbs canola oil. When onions begin to soften add leeks and some salt.  Saute for 2-3 minutes. 

    Next add dried herbs, red chili 
    powder and saute for a minute.  Then add the chicken stock, water and fish sauce and simmer on high for 25 minutes.

    Cream with an immersion blender or in a food processor.  Next add coconut milk and cook for 3-5 minutes. Finish with lemon juice.  Taste for seasoning.  If more salt flavor is desired add fish sauce to taste.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.

    Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.