Sunday, August 30, 2015

Spicy Tomato Sausage Pasta


My tomatoes are still doing well in the garden.   Sometimes they need to be used up fast so making a quick tomato and pasta dinner is the answer.  

My husband and son love hot Italian sausage so I added some of it to make this pasta irresistible.  Of course you can add any ground meat you like or no meat at all.  My daughter likes less meat, so I kept the sausage crumbles large enough that I could pick them out of her dish.  

Yes, it try to make everyone happy at the dinner table. :)  What made Mom happy was the fact this spicy pasta came together in less than thirty minutes in one pot.

1 box of any style short cut pasta ( I used penne)
1lb hot Italian Sausage crumbled and browned well
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes cut into half or quarters
1 medium onion chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers sliced
salt and black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
3-4 cloves garlic finely minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 cup pasta water retained after cooking pasta
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Step 1:  Boil pasta in salted water (put at least 1 heaping tablespoon of salt into boiling water before adding pasta).  Retain 1 cup of starchy pasta water before draining pasta.

Step2: Crumble and brown Italian sausage well.

Tip:  I used a potato masher to crumble up the sausage. 
Next add tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes,  garlic powder, basil. Saute for 1 minute then add the starchy cooking water and cook for 5 minutes until tomatoes are completely softened and release their juices. 

 Then add the cooked pasta and Parmesan Cheese.  Toss well and taste for salt and seasoning. 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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Asian Tuna Burgers with Spicy Tartar Sauce #TunaStrong #CG


It's been a very long summer.  My kids have been home with me these last couple of months during their summer vacation and I am happy that the new school year is soon approaching.  It's been hard for me to get any work done these days because I am so busy taking them to the pool, shuttling them to play-dates, refereeing sibling squabbles, and just trying to keep them busy so they don't watch TV or play video games all day long.    

I can't wait for them to get back to school!  Do I sound too enthusiastic about that?  Well, that's because I am!  Back to school is an exciting time for them too.  They get to see who their new teachers will be and they get to buy all those new school supplies and a lunchbox.  Packing school lunches is not my favorite thing to do when I am rushing around getting everyone ready and out the door for school, but it's much easier when I have a set list of favorites to make the kids.  My kids love tuna fish sandwiches so Bumble Bee® Albacore canned tuna is a staple in our house.  I will make them tuna fish sandwiches at least once a week and put it in their lunchbox with an ice pack to keep everything lunch time ready. 

I try to feed my family of four on a budget.  Since I cook almost all our meals at home, it's easy if I take the time to keep a well stocked pantry that keeps me from running to the store all the time. I love to use canned good quality Albacore tuna by Bumble Bee® to help keep things budget friendly.  Bumble Bee® Albacore products are a quick, easy and nutritious way to feed my family for lunch or dinner.  I love that it's a lean protein, with healthy fat, and full of important vitamins and minerals.  

I enjoy creating dishes with canned tuna and I have made tuna pasta dishes, tuna melts, tuna salads, and my kid's favorite Asian Tuna Burgers with my Spicy Tartar Sauce.  These burgers come together in minutes and they have such a punch of flavor. 

So, the next time you are puzzled about what to make for dinner, think tuna.  Bumble Bee® Albacore tuna gets a thumbs up from me.

2 cans Bumble Bee® Solid White or Chunk White Albacore in Water
1/4 cup finely sliced scallions/green onion
1 large egg
red chili flakes to taste (optional)
salt and black pepper to taste (see note)
1 Tbs of soy sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves garlic grated
1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
sesame seeds (as needed)

Note:  salt is optional due to the use of soy sauce

Spicy Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (light is fine, I don't recommend fat free)
1 Tbs pickle relish
1 Tbs sriracha sauce
salt and pepper to taste (optional)


Step 1: Drain canned tuna well. Mix with minced scallions, egg, black pepper, soy sauce, bread crumbs, ginger, garlic and Dijon mustard.  Form 4 burger patties.

Step 2:  Heat a nonstick frying pan with 1 tsp of canola oil.  Fry the burgers on medium heat for 4-5 minutes on side one. Before flipping the tuna burger, apply a little canola oil on each burger and sprinkle sesame seeds so they stick to the patty.  Then flip and cook the other side of the tuna burger for 3-4 minutes.  Toast buns and serve with tartar sauce and garnishes.  Enjoy.

Follow Bumble Bee® on Twitter and Pinterest for more recipe inspiration.

Here are a list of Bumble Bee® products that you can enjoy:
  • Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore in Water (Can)
  • Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore in Oil (Can)
  • Bumble Bee® Chunk White Albacore in Water (Can)
  • Bumble Bee® Chunk White Albacore in Oil (Can)
  • Bumble Bee® Premium Albacore Tuna in Water (Pouch)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all 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.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Peach Iced Tea


Peaches!  I love them.  I love that you can make sweet desserts, savory chutney, spicy glazes for pork chops and loads of different drinks, smoothies and teas.   

Peaches were celebrated yesterday with "Grab a Peach" day.  So, I grabbed a few peaches and made some cool and refreshing Peach Iced Tea.

I actually used peach nectar that is found in the juice aisle of the grocery store. That means this peach tea can be enjoyed all year long.  I  pumped up the peach flavor with fresh sliced peaches to give my tea a really "peachy" flavor. 

So, grab some peaches up before their season is over!

8 regular black tea bags
3 1/2 cups water boiling water
1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
2 cups peach nectar (more to taste)
juice of one lemon
8 cups of ice cubes
2-3 fresh peaches sliced (sliced peaches can be frozen and placed as ice cubes too)

Garnish: mint leaves


Step 1:  Boil 3 1/2 cups water for tea and steep tea bags for 10 minutes.  Once tea is steeped, remove tea bags then add sugar and dissolved well.  Tea should warm now and not boiling hot.

Step 2:  In a large pitcher place ice cubes, peach nectar and lemon juice.   Pour steeped sweetened tea into pitcher slowly to melt some of the ice cubes and cool down. 

Step 3:  Garnish with fresh sliced peaches and mint sprigs.


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, August 20, 2015

Quinoa and Sausage Breakfast Bowl #backtoschoolbreakfast @Johnsonville


I was excited when the folks at The Daily Meal invited me to participate in the Johnsonville® recipe contest.  They wanted creative, versatile and simple recipes for "Back to School Breakfasts".  So, today I bring you my Quinoa and Sausage Breakfast Bowl.
My kids love breakfast sausages and there is something so comforting to wake up to some browned Johnsonville sausages with a plate full of pancakes for breakfast.  Heck, we love to have breakfast for dinner at our house so pancakes and sausages are not just for breakfast around here.

We love Johnsonville Sausages and I also love that this Wisconsin-based company is the No. 1 national brand of brats, Italian sausage, smoked and cooked links, fresh breakfast sausage and meatballs.

As much as my kids love pancakes for breakfast, they also really love a savory breakfast.  I am a savory breakfast person so this is my go to way of eating in the morning.  I also like to try and start the day with as much healthy food as we can eat.   That's why this quinoa breakfast bowl is so great.  It's full of healthy grains, protein and veggies. 

In our house, school day mornings are always a mad rush to get everyone dressed and fed before heading out the door for school.  I need a breakfast that takes no time to make since I'm busy packing lunches for the kids.  So this dish can be made the night before (or days before) and I don't have to think about in the morning madness.  The kids can simply heat up a bowl full and all I do is fry a quick egg to top it off.  It's an easy meal to get the day off to a good and healthy start.

You can actually eat this breakfast bowl any time of day so it's pretty versatile as well.  I hope you give this breakfast bowl a try... it really fuels your day. 

3-4 cups cooked quinoa (See my instructions on how to cook quinoa perfectly here)
1 package of Johnsonville Original Recipe Sausage cut into small bite size pieces
1 medium onion chopped small
1 large carrot peeled and cut into small dice
1 red or green bell pepper chopped small (or you can use sweet peppers)
1 medium zucchini cut into a small dice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp granulated garlic
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1-2 Tbs soy sauce

1.  Cook quinoa (follow directions here)

2.  Cut sausage and brown well on medium high heat in 1-2 Tbs canola oil.  

3.  Add cut onion, carrots, peppers and zucchini to browned sausages and saute until softened. 

4.  Season with thyme, granulated garlic, red pepper flakes.  

5.  Add cooked quinoa to pan and toss well with sausage and veggies.  Season with soy sauce to taste.  

6.  Cook eggs (any style: fried, boiled, scrambled or poached) to top each bowl full of the quinoa and sausage. 

Disclosure:  I was sent a coupon to purchase Johnsonville sausages to participate in the recipe contest sponsored by Johnsonville.  I was not compensated for my time or recipe 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.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Grape and Pineapple Salad


Okay, I have to confess, I have never heard of grape salad before.  I was actually watching Trisha Yearwood on Food Network and she made a grape salad that made me just want to grab a spoon so I could try it out.   Of course I didn't write down the recipe, I just watched her add her ingredients and tried my best to remember it so this is my version of it that also adds pineapple and coconut. 

This version tasted like a grape ambrosia salad and it was amazing!! My entire family finished off the salad in less than a day and then they were asking if can I please make some more.  I love that!! 

My daughter's favorite part was the bits of chopped pecans that added a little crunch to the salad.  I love that part too.  Of course I loved the creamy dressing that comes together so easily.  I am totally a grape salad junkie now and I want to keep playing around with this recipe.  So, don't be surprised if you see another "creamy fruit salad" recipe showing up here soon.


3-4lbs of cleaned and washed grapes (*see note 1)
1 (8oz) brick of cream cheese (low fat is fine) softened at room temperature
1 heaping cup of sour cream
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (*see note 2)
1 can (20oz) pineapple tidbits or chunks drained 
1/2 cup sweetened baker's coconut found in the baking aisle 
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or more for garnish)

Note 1: Any color grapes work, I used a mix of red, black and green grapes.  You want to make sure all the stems are off the grapes

Note 2:  I did not add as much sugar as most of the recipes online recommended because I added the sweetened pineapple and coconut.  If you like things more sweet... add more brown sugar to taste


Step 1:  Wash and de-stem your grapes.  Dry them totally.  I washed my grapes then dried them on paper towels on a baking sheet.

Step 2:  Whip the softened cream cheese, brown sugar and sour cream until smooth.  

Step 3:  Add the drained pineapple chunks or tidbits (if 1-2 Tbs of pineapple juice goes in to the bowl, it's okay.  Stir into the creamy mixture

Step 4:  Add the dried grapes to the creamy mixture.

Step 5:  Add the coconut and chopped pecans.  Garnish with more chopped pecans.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.  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.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sri Lankan Fiery Pork Curry


I have always been a curry lover.  Even when I was just a little girl, spicy curry always made my mouth start to water.  I love to eat it with a rice and curry meal or even simply with some toasted roti or naan.  This is a very spicy version of pork curry. Hence the word "fiery" in the title.  Now of course, the spice level and chili is always to your taste so if you want to hold back on some of that fire... just add some paprika with the chili powder to tame the flames.  
This pork curry is my mother's recipe.  I think she makes the best Sri Lankan curry around, so when I want authentic curry I always trust her recipes and cooking advice.

This time around I made one small change from my mother's recipe. She adds vinegar to her recipe, but I decided to add a can of tomato sauce instead so I could really get a fiery color. Actually, using the tomato sauce is something she does with chicken curry so I thought why not add it to the pork.   Either way, the tomato sauce or the vinegar is used as an acid in the curry and both will give you the same results.  Just use what ingredients you have on hand. 

I am happy to say that I have passed on my love for spicy curry to my two kids.  They dived into this curry with some toasted naan and a fried egg for breakfast... Yup breakfast! 

All I can say is this curry is a must try if you want to eat some spicy Sri Lankan pork curry.  


21/2 pounds pork

Pork marinade
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce (or 2 Tbs cider vinegar)
  • 2 Tbs of Red Chili Powder or to taste **(see note below)
  • 2 Tbs of Roasted Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp of Turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs of grated garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs of grated ginger


  • 2 stalks of lemongrass bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20-30 curry leaves
  • pandan leaves
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies (serrano) chopped
  • 1tsp of fenugreek seeds
  • 6-7 cardamom pods
  • 6-7 cloves 

 Gravy ingredients:
1 cup water (you can add 1/2 cup more water if you want more gravy)
1 cup coconut milk
red chili powder to taste
salt to taste


I used 21/2lbs of lean pork chops for this recipe cut into 1 inch cubes. I cut around the bone of the chop and including the bone in the cooking for great flavor.  You can also use pork loin. 

Step 1:  Cut the pork and marinate it for 30 minutes or up to over-night. 

Step 2:  Heat 3 Tbs of oil in a large pan or pot on medium-high heat.  Once oil is hot, fry the listed aromatics for several minutes with a little bit of salt. 

Step 3: Now add the marinated pork and fry with the aromatics for 3-5 minutes until the pork browns.Keep stirring so nothing burns.
We decide (just by the color) that it did not look spicy enough for us so we added another 1Tbs of red chili powder.  This step is of course optional.  The red chili powder gives you the reddish color to the dish.  If you have a very strong brand of chili powder you can use less chili powder.  You may have a more brown dish, but it all tastes good. : ). 

Step 4:  Add 1 cup water to the pan and allow to simmer on medium heat for 30-45 minutes with a lid on on medium heat.  Stir occasionally.  The pork should produce more liquid, if it does become too dry you can add a little more water.

Once the pork is cooked through and a "reddish-brown" color, add 1 cup of coconut milk or regular cow's milk and stir well.  Taste for seasoning here.  You can adjust the salt if necessary.  You can also add more chili powder.   ** if the dish happens to be too spicy for you, you can add more milk to dilute some of the spiciness.

Simmer for another 5 minutes and give your final taste for salt and seasoning.  If you adjust anything here, simmer for another few minutes.   If not, you can turn off the stove at this point.  Your pork curry is done.   

Serves 6-8 people.  Serve with white/brown rice and mild lentil curry or other vegetable curries.  You can also serve this with fried rice, roti, chapathi, naan etc... 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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Upma (South Indian Breakfast Dish)


This is a very special dish for me because it takes me back to my childhood. My mother would make Upma every now and then and I was always first in line to get seconds because it's one of my absolute favorite dishes.  

It's such a simple dish and for those of you that are not sure what it is, it's like a very fine grain cous-cous pilaf.  Upma is actually made with semolina (called rava or sooji in India).  This dish can be eaten all by itself or with any meat or vegetable curry. I like it both ways and always make a big pan of it so I have it for a breakfast for a week (if it lasts that long).  

My mother and I had a cooking day recently and she helped me make this because I wanted her recipe to be posted. I consider her version of Upma the best out there and everyone that has eaten her version agrees.

2 cups dry semolina or sooji (available in Indian stores)
1 medium onion sliced or chopped
2-3 green chilies sliced
handful of curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
red chili flakes to taste
dried whole chilies (broken) to taste
salt to taste
1 Tbs of canola oil
3-4 cups boiling water (boil water in a kettle and have ready)


The first step is to take the dry semolina/sooji and roast it in a pan.  Set the heat at medium-high and gently stir it until the light cream colored grains turns more tan.  This will take several minutes.  Be careful not to burn the grains.   This is an important and necessary step for a light fluffy dish.  Not doing this step will cause the grains to stick together.  Once the sooji is roasted set aside.  Boil your water at this time and have it ready as well.
Note: there are packages of pre-roasted sooji, but we recommend roasting it yourself because it gives the best result.

In a large pan heat canola oil and add onions, green chilies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, salt and red chili pieces. Fry for 3-4 minutes until onions become soft.  Then add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and red chile pieces. Fry for another 2-3 minutes.

Next add the roasted sooji to the frying pan and mix with all the fried ingredients. Salt as needed (since this is a grain you may need more salt than you think).  Slowly add the boiling water and mix with the upma. Add 2 cups first and then the final cup. The grains will "steam" and become lighter. Taste the grains, if the grains are not soft and fluffy add a little more water.  Stir with a wooden spoon well.  My mother actually recommends taking the wooden spoon and stirring with the thinner handle part in circles around the pan to make sure the grains separate well and become fluffy. Once the grains are almost to the right texture, turn off the stove and cover with a lid for 10 minutes to steam a little more. Stir, taste for seasoning and serve.  Enjoy.
Note:  I recommend you use a pan you can stir aggressively with a wooden spoon.  A stainless steel based pan is best since a non-stick could get scratched.

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.