Thursday, May 17, 2018

tighten your circle, 
she said 
as i stood there, 
my life unraveling, 
from too many yes's 
and not enough no's.
it's time to re establish 
that line in the sand, 
to know what stays in 
and what to keep out, 
she said gently. 
my line had gotten 
quite blurred, 
footsteps trampling 
across it going 
to and fro
some 
i don't even recognize 
but somehow they had
pressed their 
way in. 
what is important to you?
who is important to you?
she asked wisely. 
i will heed her wisdom, 
start over, 
and begin etching that line 
once again. 
when one 
is
alone, 
he can quickly 
possess 
the 
superpower 
of 
becoming 
invisible

the stories i weave.

i saw a young man sitting alone
at the table behind us. 
he was a tall, 
painfully frail man, 
bald. 
he was basking in the sun
as a lizard finds a spot 
on a rock, 
i wondered if he too, 
was regulating his 
temperature.
i imagined he might have been 
very ill 
for a large portion of his life, 
cancer, i presumed,
weaving
my story,
and who knows 
if he hadn't had a chance 
to see the sun in a long time, 
or even wondered 
if he ever would again?
yet here he was. 
legs stretched in front of him, 
his gangly arms wrapped 
loosely around 
himself. 
maybe he was giving himself 
a hug 
relieved that he 
even made it 
outside, 
weak and frail, 
but just strong enough to 
sit in the blessed sun 
once again.
getting to be normal, 
eavesdropping on the bustle of 
humanity once again, 
he looked as though  
he did not want 
to leave 
that spot 
for a 
very long 
time.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Charred Veggie Kebobs with Tangy Chimichurri

this is a simple, delicious, easy to assemble recipe-can i even call vegetables thrown on a grill a recipe?-that is perfect for meatless monday. now that the temperatures are finally rising, the days are stretching that daylight far and wide, it's time to do more grilling, taking in lighter, crisp dishes, and enjoying those long dusky pink evenings after a full belly. 

i really just took what ever vegetables i had on hand, pulled out one of my favorite cheeses, halloumi [it is an amazing grilling cheese that performs beautifully over a hot flame, hailing from Cyprus, it is a wonderful salty cheese] as well as whipped up a powerfully fragrant chimichurri sauce to brush on, and all the elements needed to create a fantastic dish were at the ready. 

my son wandered into the kitchen as i was chopping chunks of red bell pepper and he asked if he could help. i thought this would be very doable for a little sous chef to help out, so i gladly invited him in. I had him soaking the wooden skewers first while i continued to chop and organize, and then together we strung the pieces onto the skewers. i thought he did a beautiful job and it made my work easier as well. 

After we stacked all the skewers-most went on swimmingly, but that bright halloumi did act up a little bit crumbling a little when we would pull it down the stick-it was time to whip up the chimichurri to give added flavor to the kebobs. i had my son help me with this as well, and he did most of the work with my overseeing. if allowing him access to the kitchen and giving him room to chop, season, mash, and toss, my hope is that it awakens a love for cooking and creating in the kitchen for him too. or at least want to be more brave in trying foods he's never had, but might try if he had a hand in making it..it can only be good, right?

we took fresh coriander leaves, a few bulbs of fresh garlic cloves, a bit of this and that and pulsed it in my little mini blender. it worked beautifully, creating a rich, vibrant emerald chimichurri that smelled strongly of garlic, lime, and a subtle nutty fragrance. delicious. 

After my husband came back from his run, he fired up the grill and took our little labors of love and color and put them on the grill. i loved the blackened char he created on the edges of the vegetables..some of the halloumi fell off the skewers because of their cracks, but he did not fret, he placed the skewers on foil on top of the rack and finished grilling them all. 

we ate them with some parathas i fried up, subtle spicy rice, the left over chimichurri, and some plain yogurt to bring in some coolness. all the kebobs were gobbled up, as was the chimichurri! i hope you enjoy this meal as much as our family did! 

for kebobs:
wooden skewers, soaked in water ahead of time 
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 whole purple onion
1 package of halloumi

for chimichurri:
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled
salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons oil 
1 freshly squeezed lime 
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 
splash of water as needed 

assemble skewers using the chopped vegetables and halloumi.

put all chimichurri ingredients in a small Cuisinart or what ever small blending contraption you have-if you don't have any machinery, you could use a mortar and pestle to smash into a fine sauce.
pulse to what ever consistency you prefer. add water or extra oil to your liking.

brush or drizzle sauce on kebobs. 

grill for about 10-12 minutes on each side..keep watch on that mischievous halloumi. 

serve with parathas, rice, and yogurt..oh, and if there's left over sauce. 
enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

these days, 
i am moving slowly,
cooking slowly,
writing slowly-
and most importantly, 
thinking slowly.

-shayma, 
from spicespoon