Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Steak Kabobs & Savory Rice Muffins

Even two days after Sunday (as I publish this post… make that three), the day of baby showers, concerts, and blog events (oh my), I still am at a loss of words to poetically describe what is forever engraved in my mind. I mean, how can one illustrate the love and happiness I saw in that restaurant?  What fun to see children and adults alike as they attempted to trick others into mentioning anything baby-related to get one another’s clothes pins for the coveted prize. How can I efficiently write about the magnificence and the beauty of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and cycles of life, coming together to celebrate a new life coming into this world in August? The aroma of the food was heavy in the air, delicious and spicy and warm. There was rice, tandoori, kabobs, fritters, salad, fruit, rice pudding, and cake. 

Truthfully I only ate some of the rice, a few salad pieces, and a bit of the chicken, but I can happily say that I was not glutened… and it was good. So good, in fact, that Deshi Spice is definitely a restaurant I intend on trying again. Mama Dazz also wants me to dabble in the cuisine, so I’ll have to ask our neighbors how it’s done.

And then, there was the concert.  

The Indigo Girls were just as amazing performing live on stage as I remember Mama Dazz and I singing along to their CD on our many adventures. Their music was our soundtrack in Arizona, in North Carolina, at various beaches and for plenty of day trips. I grew up with their voices influencing how I perceived the world around me, making it a more vibrant and profound place to be in. Their words echoed everywhere I went that it seemed like all my experiences were all just one Indigo Girl’s song. I couldn’t tell you which of their songs are my favorite, because I don’t know them all. The majority of the songs they sang on Sunday were ones I’d never even heard before. But they still affected me like they always have. I stared down from my box seat on the upper level of the pavilion, much of their bodies saturated with the stage lights, very much in awe and entranced with the music that surrounded me. I was so overcome with emotion that my eyes filled with tears more than once, and even now I couldn’t tell you why. 

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. The Indigo Girls. These women are supernatural, with voices singing loud and clear, whose spirits are even larger than Wolf Trap has a capacity to hold. 


Oh, and let us not forget the band that not only introduced them, but is part of their tour: the Shadowboxers.

Like the Indigo Girls, the Shadowboxers also hail from Atlanta. The members seemed to be around my age, as they mentioned having graduated from college in May (I mention this because life after graduation seemed so unreal to me, but seeing these post-graduates eased my mind regarding my own future… mainly because they were clearly doing something they loved). They have quite a unique sound that, much like the Indigo Girls a decade before, immediately had me spellbound. Their voices harmonized wonderfully, the instruments were very well played, and they had this New Band look to them that I hope they never lose. The fun they had simply being at Wolf Trap was apparent the minute they walked on stage. They jumped and they danced. They smiled and they sang. They were having a ball, and it was a pleasure to be part of it. 

And thank you, Dad, for sharing it with me. Happy (early) Father's Day.

I wish these talented individuals all the joy in the world. For those in the United States, be sure the look up where their tour is heading, because it is something that will stay with you forever. I promise you it is worth the travel.

Tonight’s – well, last night’s – dinner was inspired from the cuisine Mama Dazz and I enjoyed last weekend. Leftover rice and raw vegetables are very abundant in this household, and I wanted to find a way to make some room in the fridge but still make the meal interesting and different. Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen specializes in healthy Indian cooking, and my adaptation of her rice muffins was the perfect accompaniment to the kabobs. 

Steak Kabobs and Savory Rice Muffins

For the Kabobs:
16 oz Tri-tip steak
1 Yellow bell pepper
1 Red onion
1 Roma tomato
8 Garlic cloves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

4 Wooden skewers, soaked for six hours
Aluminum foil
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut the steak, pepper, onion, and tomato into manageable pieces, leaving the garlic cloves whole.
Place the pieces onto the skewers, and put the kabobs on a baking sheet lightly greased with the olive oil (there will be leftover onion chunks that can be put around the pan).
Rotate the kabobs so the olive oil is evenly distributed (drizzle more if you prefer), then shake the desired amount of salt and pepper on top.
Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and put it in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes.

Makes 4 kabob skewers. Serves 4 people.

For the rice muffins:
5 oz Brown rice flour
2.5 oz Glutinous rice flour
2.5 oz Potato starch
8 oz Short grain brown rice
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. Sea salt
5 oz. Milk
2 oz. Water
2 oz. Butter, softened
3 lg. Eggs
3.5 oz Ricotta cheese
1 tbsp. Agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
In another mixing bowl, stir in the wet ingredients with the rice.
Add the wet ingredients with the dry until a consistent batter it formed.
Place the batter in a greased muffin tin, filled to the rim.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

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