Vegetable Coconut Curry and Fiesta Friday!

vegetable coconut curry recipe 6

“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.” – Andy Rooney

I’m bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday #115 at, where I’m  co- hosting along with Julie@Hostess at Heart please click on over to join the party and add your Fiesta Friday links to the linkup!

Do you want to know what my first Indian restaurant experience was like? I dragged my husband, at the time just my boyfriend, almost kicking and screaming to an all you can eat for $9.99 lunch buffet at the newly opened Indian place close to our University. I was determined to have a little culinary adventure. Some friends came along and we all politely took small samples of everything. A little chicken curry, a little fried cauliflower, a single piece of naan (pffft!! Who can eat just one piece of naan?!?).  Let me tell you what- they got me hooked on curry (and naan, ooooh naan!). The selection of vegetarian food is also ahhhmazing!

Honestly? I paused for quite awhile before deciding to share this recipe. It is very simple as far as curries go. On the other hand, this is the first curry that I could make reliably (and I have tried more than a few). Usually I look at the ingredients list for an authentic curry and my eyes glaze over.  So many spices that are not on my pantry shelf… And the short cut recipes? They usually fall well short of my expectations. This recipe is different.

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Beans and rice are nice

beans and rice recipe

Everyone should have one. A household absolutely shouldn’t be asked to run without it. A great beans and rice recipe, that is! Beans and rice are cheap, healthy and a wonderful comfort food.

This beans and rice recipe is simple, consisting of only pantry ingredients. I make it every week for my husbands lunches. Left overs are used as a side to accompany any Tex-mex dishes that are on the dinner menu for the week.

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blood orange salad with honey mustard vinaigrette

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe

One of my “goal” recipes to master for 2016 was a good Vinaigrette. I love this Honey Mustard Vinaigrette recipe, made with red wine vinegar, brown mustard and olive oil goodness. The garlic gives it a nice pungent bite so you don’t need too much dressing to get great flavor on your greens.


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Frugal clean eating four bean chili recipe.

Frugal Healthy Vegetarian Four Bean Chili Recipe: A recipe review

I think my favorite part of this recipe from The Gracious Pantry is the short list of simple, cheap ingredients. Every ingredient in the recipe is available at Aldi, which is a HUGE bonus.

This recipe is nearly bullet proof. I have tried it on the stove top, or in the slow cooker. I have tried the Vegetarian version. I have also tried it with ground turkey in place of some of the beans. I have used dried beans that I precooked as well as canned beans. I have swapped out fire roasted tomatoes for some of the diced tomatoes, or in one case a can of tomato sauce in place of one can of diced tomatoes because of a grocery planning fail. The results were all fantastic.

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Orange Muffins and Earl Grey

I’m excited to get back into the swing of posting recipes! I made these muffins for the first time in the brief period between my oven breaking for the first and second time. Orange muffins are the perfect breakfast accompaniment to Earl Grey tea, which is orange scented as well. I bake these off by the double batch so I can freeze one batch of muffins for later.
orange muffins and earl grey tea


Orange Scented Muffins:

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Granny’s Potato Salad

granny's potato salad

OK. So I should fess up immediately that this is not my granny’s potato salad per se. It is an old fashioned version of potato salad that other people’s grannies seem to make. So lets go with that – it is someone else’s granny’s potato salad.

Also, for the past two Fiesta Fridays I was that person at the party. I just brought a few fun stories but no food! One can only get away with that sort of thing for so long you know!

My rebellion isn’t completely over though. Since I’m officially in denial about summer being unofficially over, I’m bringing a summer cookout favorite to the party. I’ll be over here, eating potato salad while wearing a white outfit, and a big floppy straw hat, pretending labor day has yet to come…

Potato Salad :

6 Medium potatoes cubed and cooked – I prefer not to peel them, if you like them peeled, go for it!

2 Hard boiled eggs – chopped

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Hiking Mackinac Island Michigan and A Pseudo Rant About Tourist Traps

British Landing beach Mackinac Island Michigan

Another Fiesta Friday draws near, so I’m sharing more about hiking in Michigan.

Makinac Island is just north of the fingertips of the Michigan mitten. Long ago, carriage drivers got together and lobbied to ban cars on the island. You can reach the island by plane or by ferry. Once arriving you’ll have to get around on foot, on a bicycle, on horse, or in a carriage. You can rent tandem and single bikes, rent a carriage and drive it yourself, or take a carriage tour. Ferries to Mackinac Island depart from St. Ignace or Mackinaw city. By the way, Mackinac and Mackinaw are pronounced the same way (mak-in-aw).

If you arrive by ferry you’ll be dropped off on the main drag tourist trap area on the south tip of the island. Here you’ll find crowds of confused and irritated people, restaurants, t-shirt shops and too many fudge shops to count. This part of the island is preposterous! Why spend a beautiful day with a plethora of rude grouchy tourists browsing through 300 t-shirt shops when there are pleasant memories to be made elsewhere? I never could understand the tourist shops that pop up in beautiful places. Seriously – there is way more to life than shopping!

Luckily, 80% of the island is covered by Mackinac Island State park and it is easy to seek out peace and quiet on the trail. Our hike started by heading to Fort Mackinaw. There is a foot path that leads up the hill from the ferry landing area. The fort looked interesting, and tours are available for a fee if you have the time and gumption.

Mackinac Island Michigan

Leaving Town


We elected to move on to Arch rock. Smaller crowds of bikers and passengers on carriage tours gather here to view the rock, but it is nowhere near as crowded as in town. Things were looking better. There were still crowds of people but at least no tourist clap trap shops. Lots of horse doo but no clap trap. I think the doo is the lesser of two evils. 🙂

Arch Rock Mackinac Island Michigan

Arch Rock

We continued on to follow the Tranquil Bluffs trail route described in detail in Hiking Michigan by  Roger E. Storm and Susan M. Wedzel. The eastern part of the trail has steep climbs and descents and tracks close to some steep cliffs. The trail is 3.2 miles long point to point and we saw maybe six people along the whole hike. Peace and quiet indeed! There were a few nice peeks of the water from the bluff trail.

Tranquil Bluffs Trail Mackinac Island Michigan

The view from tranquil bluffs trail

The tranquil bluffs trail runs into the British Landing nature trail, which leads shortly to British Landing. Again small crowds of people congregated here for the food stand situated across a busy biking corridor from the beach *.

We ventured onto the beach to take in the views before walking back to the ferry pick up point via a less traveled biking corridor that cuts through the center of the island.

British Landing Mackinca Island Michigan

British Landing Beach

We stopped in Doud’s Market, America’s oldest family owned grocery store to pick up some lunch items which we ate on the lawn in front of the fort before catching a ferry back to the Lower Peninsula. We departed quite satisfied with our day of hard hiking. We got some good photos and great memories.

Much better than a stupid t-shirt. 😀

How do you collect moments and not things? What are your tips for avoiding tourist traps?

If you are planning a visit to northern Michigan also check out the U. P. We loved Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore.

*If you live in Michigan you’ll recognize the Mackinac Bridge in the photo above, which spans 5 miles over the Straights of Mackinac. Will you be walking the bridge on Labor Day?