Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend Recap and Mmmm Lentils

Sunday my in-laws invited us to lunch at the lodge where we got married. On such a gorgeous weekend how could we resist?
Almost five years ago, in front of this enormous fireplace we promised our lives to each other :)

Intricate tapestries hang from the rafters above the great room.

I remember when we were at the lodge planning our wedding they were setting up for another wedding. They were covering the great room with a zillion yards of tulle draped from white columns.  A fabric covered board was inserted in front of the Lewis & Clark painting above the fireplace. They even wanted the tapestries taken down (the lodge refused.)  I couldn't help but wonder why choose the lodge if you want to change everything about it.

We loved the look and feel for our wedding day. Gratuitous wedding picture ahead :)
I got a good laugh that we ended up being there on the day of the Mushroom Festival. My husband is a mushroom hater (I know it is a strong word, but it is true).  The actual mushroominess of the festival was a little lame. They had a bunch of vendors selling handmade items that had nothing to do with mushrooms. I did get the mushroom burger for lunch though. My father-in-law almost did too, but was thankful the waitress pointed out there was no "burger" just a giant mushroom cap...he quickly changed his mind :)
I wanted to take home these metal deer sculptures. My father-in-law and grandma quickly noticed that the legs were made from old hay forks - farm life.
After lunch my husband and I drove up to the top of the ridge above the lodge and river.

On the way home I talked him into heading up the bluffs again. It was a little nerve-wrecking coming back down. No way would I want to deal with that in the winter!
Back into town. It is always such a pretty drive I hate to see it end. However, I love this view of the bluffs, trains, flour mill and river coming together always makes the end of the river road drive a little easier.
We spent some time in the garden Sunday afternoon. My herb bed is filling up - so far I have chives, basil, rosemary and oregano. I am still on the hunt for my new favorite - tarragon. FYI - cilantro gets its own row in another bed :)
I am hopeful this is actually broccoli. Last year the "broccoli" plants I bought turned out to be Brussels sprouts that never fully matured - major disappointment.
I planted a few beans (purple and yellow). I need some more green bean seeds though because I can't remember if the ones I have are pole beans which I did not like.
It isn't much to look at now, but we planted the potatoes here. I planted peas on top of the potatoes. I am curious to see how this will work out. The potato bushes should be pretty low and the peas can climb the fence above. I still need to pick up a bale of straw to cover this bed.
My lettuce, radishes, spinach and chard are coming along. We haven't had much rain, but that is supposed to change this week. And yes, I leave the garden tools across the tops of the beds. It is my attempt to slow down a certain puppy - she likes to walk through the freshly planted beds.
I confess this didn't really happen on Sunday, but garden makes me think of healthy foods. A few days ago, I made  Slow Cooker Indian Spiced Lentils.

My niece is a big fan of Indian food - it is kind of our thing to meet for lunch at the local Indian place. We have talked about trying to create more of it at home. Since I am a recent convert to lentils and I am trying to use my slow cooker more this recipe seemed to be a perfect fit.

Red lentils might be better named orange lentils but either way they are so pretty.
Curry is not a spice in itself, but instead of a combination of spices. Pretty much every curry is different depending on national or regional cultural traditions and family preferences. This particular recipe called for cumin, coriander, mustard seeds and cayenne.
It also called for addtional curry powder or paste. This is where I jumped of the Indian wagon and went with a Thai red curry paste. I like red curry, but next time I think I will try to find a more Indian curry. Curry paste has dry spices mixed with ginger and garlic (and many other ingredients).
The recipe also called for fresh minced garlic and ginger. I think you are getting the idea there are a ton of flavors and spices in this dish.
Everything is just dumped in the crock pot. The spinach almost made it overflow, but it wilted quickly.
A couple of times during the cooking I mixed everything together just to be sure the flavors were blending together. In about three hours in the crock pot had this.
Sadly, Indian food is not always the most visually appealing, but for me the taste makes up for that :)  I will definitely make this (or a version) again. The recipe made quite a potful, I've eaten it a couple times, gave my niece a portion and put two portions in the freezer for a super quick meal another day.

Sometimes, I still can't believe...I eat lentils. I had such bad experiences with them when I was younger I thought I would hate them forever.

I found another crock pot Indian recipe that I will be trying soon. It has potato dumplings in it. It sounds a little more labor intensive before the crock pot phase, but some days I don't mind that.


  1. Love the wedding picture and love the location!! What a neat opportunity to go back and visit the area. :-)

  2. OHHH I love the wedding pic! And what a view! Those trees are so interesting! I've never tried lentils. Or Indian food for that matter! I'm not very adventurous when it comes to eating I suppose!

  3. Love getting to see your wedding picture! We love lentils - I've got a lentil sloppy joe recipe I've been meaning to try. I'll let you know when we do!