Indian and Sri Lankan Curries

"Curry, Rice, and Curry" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“Curry, Rice, and Curry” Cedar Park, 2019

Today we made two excellent curries: Aloo Matar (potato and pea curry), and Sri Lankan chicken curry. We had planned the Sri Lankan curry before the awful bombings happened, so that gave me several moments of pause while we were preparing the meal. Very sad news…

Before making the curries, I cooked a huge batch of Indian onion masala in our Instant Pot, some of which was used in the potato and pea curry. We froze the rest of the onion masala which will be great for our future curries!

Most of the ingredients can be found in supermarkets or smaller Indian markets nearby so we had most of them in the house. The curry leaves were the hardest to find, Mariko said, and had to be ordered online. I had never seen them before, so those were interesting to use.

I love curry so much, and these two will only satisfy me for a short time. In fact, I’m already thinking about Thai curry! 😄

Instant Pot Aloo Matar (Potato & Pea Curry)

The Best Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

Indian Onion Masala (Instant Pot)

New Barbecue Grill and Steaks

"BBQ Grill" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO640
“BBQ Grill” Cedar Park, 2019

こんにちは。how’s it going?

Today I had the day off from work (Good Friday holiday), so I worked on a little task at home, which was to declutter our deck and replace our old barbecue grill with a new one. We’ve enjoyed using our Char-Broil TRU Infrared grill ever since we bought it, but the hose to the propane tank seems to have developed a leak, and add that to the fact that the electric starter hasn’t worked for a while (and it’s a pain to light manually), we decided to get a new grill.

Grills don’t last too long in the harsh Texas climate so I decided to go with an inexpensive one this time, thinking I’ll replace it in about the same time I would replace a really nice one. That led me to look at the grills at Walmart, where I decided on the Expert Grill 3 Burner Gas Grill. It’s pretty much just a basic grill but has space for 17 burgers, and three burners so you don’t have to heat up the entire surface area. Our old grill had space for only seven burgers, and it was pretty cramped. The new grill, even though it’s not huge, seems so spacious! There’s a model with a small side burner instead of one of the shelves, but when we had a grill with that feature several years ago, I only used it once. As a bonus, the grill was just under $100 and I got a nice 5% cash-back through the excellent Rakuten Ebates program.

"What's This?" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“What’s This?” Cedar Park, 2019

Assembly was pretty straightforward and took about an hour, but I ended up with one extra part that wasn’t in the printed manual. There was a newer manual online, however, that showed where to put that mystery support brace. After that, the grill was finished! I seasoned the grate with oil, then let it smoke for a bit, and it was ready for use.

Mariko bought some really nice steaks for the first meal prepared on the grill, and they came out great! Not perfect, since I overcooked the meat a tiny bit (must make sure to take them off 5 degrees earlier), but the quality of the meat was so good that they were still juicy and tender. Just plenty of salt and pepper was all that was needed for the flavorful steaks.

"Thick Steaks" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Thick Steaks” Cedar Park, 2019

It was a productive day, with many things thrown away from the deck. On my task list for tomorrow is to apply some waterproofing stain to the deck and we’ll be ready for summer!


Kimchee Fried Rice and Gyoza

"Kimchee Fried Rice and Gyoza" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Kimchee Fried Rice and Gyoza” Cedar Park, 2019

It’s hard to beat fried rice! Tonight’s flavor was kimchee and Spam. Delicious! 🍚🥟

Fancy Tacos

"Octopus Taco" Austin, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/120 sec, ISO125
“Octopus Taco” Austin, 2019

Today I got an octopus taco from a new truck that stopped by the office. I was disappointed with it because it tasted quite bland. It looks like it would be bursting with flavor, but it was not so… Oh well, I had to give it a try anyways.

"Taco Truck" Austin, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/550 sec, ISO100
“Taco Truck” Austin, 2019

Noodle Reward for Finishing the Taxes

"Noodles" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1000
“Noodles” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Here in the States, it’s almost tax day, and of course, I waited until the last minute to do ours. However, over the past few years, the process has gotten less-complicated and faster. Just out of curiosity, I timed how long it took this year and I came in just under two hours, at 1:52. Most of our accounts are able to be imported electronically which saves a ton of hassle, and our charitable donations have been automated as well and easy to track.

So why do I wait until the last moment to do our taxes? Well, I think it has to do with some baggage I am carrying from the days when it was a more manual process. Gathering all of our investment information was super-complicated, and that experience has lodged itself deep in my memory. Maybe next year I’ll listen to the rational side of my brain (and my family) and do it earlier. We’ll see!

Anyway, with the taxes done, I decided to treat myself to dinner (since I am fending for myself today) and I was craving some noodles so I went to a Pho Thanh Nhi Vietnamese restaurant and enjoyed a huge bowl of egg noodles. It was so good! A nice end to the day.