Brought to you by Archer Farms only at Target
“We are moving to Japan in a few months.” With those words a little piece of my heart broke. My sister Janice and her family had been waiting for her husband’s work to approve an international move so they can pastor a church in Tokyo. On one hand I support them and their decision to follow their hearts, but on the other hand I selfishly and secretly hoped they would remain here in Seattle. I mean why ruin a good thing after 30 plus years?
Janice and I have always lived very close to one another and we see each other several times a week. Our sons know each other first as best-friends and second as cousins. The impact of their pending move hasn’t quite hit us yet but I know that day is coming. When they announced their move a couple weeks ago, Janice went into turbo-mode purging their belongings and getting their house ready to either rent or sell. Between language lessons and the normal busyness of life for parents of young kids, my sister and brother-in-law have done a remarkable job doing what they need to do before they set out for their new adventure. For me, I feel the need to do what I can do to help them in as many ways as possible.
Since cooking for crowds is my strength, one of the most helpful ways I can support Janice is by inviting her and her family over for dinner to feed them so they can focus on their long list of items they need to get done before they’re gone. There is no formal invitation I extend to them. Instead, dinner invites usually are communicated over an exchange of last minute texts.
“Hey, hungry? Want to come over for dinner?”
“Yes, what time?”
“OK, see you later.”
This is a very typical conversation between Janice and I. And tonight was no different. I realized tonight that after they move there will be no more text conversations like this.
Because my schedule is currently completely crazy (softball and t-ball season will do this to a parent) I don’t have as much time as I would like to make a more involved dinner. Instead, I opted for family-style dishes that can be prepared in a flash and with a general sense of ease. I have found when I keep certain store-bought food items in the pantry, hosting last minute dinners can be pulled off easily, reducing my stress.
I am very much for preparing homemade food from scratch, but when time is limited, and having certain prepared ingredients just makes my life easier. A newly discovered food my family loves is Archer Farm’s Indian-Inspired Samosas.
Typically I am not a fan of frozen foods, but these were absolutely delicious. I plan on buying a few more boxes next time I’m at Target. And they will make awesome appetizers next time I have friends over. Our family loves their potato vegetable filled triangles. Although they do have a noticeable amount of spice and heat to them, they were still surprisingly good.
Along with the Samosas, I recently purchased several Archer Farms items (exclusively available at Target) to keep on hand. Some of these items included other Indian-type food products like basmati rice, a Mango Curry grilling sauce, and a jarred Vindaloo sauce.
I ended up using all of these ingredients to prepare a very quick dinner for not only my family but for my mother and Janice’s family. As we sat around an old picnic table outside I just observed everyone’s interactions with one another. Bite after bite, joke after joke, our family was together enjoying the fellowship and each others presence as much as the wonderful food we were eating.
The beauty in family gatherings at the table isn’t so much about anything except for being present in the moment. Elevated by delicious bites and hilarious conversations, I am left thankful for family that doesn’t give it a second thought about what I’m wearing and appreciates being well fed.
Because I want you to be able to serve some of the same dishes we had tonight here is a rundown of some of the Archer Farms products we used for our casual Indian-inspired dinner.
Archer Farms Organic Basmati Rice: We don’t usually eat Basmati rice but when we occasionally do cook Indian food, I am very glad to have it on hand.
Mango Curry Grilling Sauce: I liked this sauce a lot for basting the salmon as it was grilling. However, I liked it even more after doctoring it up a little bit for my mango-cucumber relish that I spooned over the salmon (recipe below).
The Indian-Inspired Vindaloo Simmering Sauce is great on its own but I liked mixing it with plain Greek yogurt at a 3 to 1 ratio. I used it as a dipping sauce for the samosa and spooned small amounts of it over grilled tofu.
The other boxed appetizer-type food I purchased was the bacon wrapped scallops. Other Archer Farms items included the Coconut Lime Cashews and Chai (tea). Both complimented our dinner so well. The evening was made complete when I served the Pistachio Gelato, also made by Archer Farms and imported from Italy.
If you enjoy Indian food, I would highly recommend the items I included in this post to have on hand. You just never know who may show up to your door and sit down with you at the family table.
If you’re on Pinterest, I created a Family Gatherings board where I’ll be adding more pins weekly for family gatherings inspiration. If you have ideas, please share them in the comment section below!
- ⅓ cup Archer Farms Mango Curry Grilling Sauce
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek Yogurt
- 1.5 tablespoons honey
- 12 large mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 English cucumber, chopped into ⅓-inch cubes
- 2 fresh and ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped into ⅓-inch cubes
- In a medium bowl, whisk the curry sauce, yogurt, honey, and mint together. Add the cucumber and mangoes.
- Gently mix all the ingredients until the cucumber and mangoes are coated.
- Serve the relish over grilled seafood or your favorite meats.