Monday, November 10, 2014

Cover Reveal, Flying Penguins,

Our Ninja captain Alex J. Cavenaugh, has written three successful books and is soon to launch his third. This is not connected to the other stories but is still set in space. Last week, he revealed the cover for his new book which I have pleasure sharing here.

Dragon of the Stars by Alex J Cavanaugh

Isn’t it a magnificent cover. I know Alex is thrilled and we are all thrilled for him. I’m afraid we have to wait a bit longer for the book though, January I think. Alex’s inspiration for this story was a song Dragon on the Sea by Ayreon


There’s a lovely story from World Wildlife Fun about a camera man trying to capture a Flying Penguin – not really flying but jumping high in the air out of the water. He had great difficulty capturing a shot and sometimes the penguins landed on his cameras and even knocked them into the water. As he says, try telling that to the insurance company. This is one of the pictures he got and there are two or three more good ones on the page. The picture is even better there too.

Flying Penguin

We actually had some snow on Saturday night, not much, but considering we are in Canada and in the States some places got a foot of the white stuff, we should be grateful for small mercies.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a big favourite in England these days. Indian food of any kind is very popular. I wish it would become as popular here, difficult finding a good Indian restaurant anywhere near where I live. This recipe came from the Food Network.

Chicken in Creamy Tomato Curry: Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Marinade: Chicken in Creamy Tomato Curry: Chicken Tikka Masala
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
  • 3 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger and 3 cloves garlic put through a garlic press or finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, poked with a fork, and cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • Sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup Ginger-Garlic Paste, recipe follows (or 6 cloves garlic and 2-inch thumb ginger minced)
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if you don't want it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • Oil, for grilling
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Cooked rice, naan, or crusty piece of bread, for serving
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste:
  • 1/2 cup cloves garlic, whole
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
For the marinade: In a large bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate at least 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator up to overnight.
For the sauce: When you're ready to make the curry, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the Ginger-Garlic Paste and serrano peppers. Sauté until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and sauté for about 1 minute to draw out their flavours.
Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need more water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.
Meanwhile, fire up your grill. When it is nice and hot, lightly brush it with oil. Place the chicken on the grill, shaking off some of the excess marinade. Cook until it's charred, about 2 minutes on each side. (Don't worry that the chicken will still be a little uncooked, it finishes cooking in the sauce).
Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the chicken and fenugreek leaves, if using. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cream and stir through. Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread!
Ginger-Garlic Paste:
Throw the garlic, ginger, and canola oil in a mini-food processor and let it go until it forms a semi-smooth paste. There will still be tiny little pieces in there, but overall, it should resemble a paste.
Save what you don't use in a small glass jar. It should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. It's a delicious addition to marinades, pasta sauces, stir fry sauces, slow-cooker recipes, gravy etc. We always had a jar of this stuff in our fridge growing up.

Have a great day


  1. I'm looking forward to Alex's book. The song's female harmonies remind me of 'Heart'; quite a beautiful blend.
    Poor cameras but some cute shots of the Penguins just the same.
    We have a couple of Indian Restaurants but I've never visited. Thanks Jo.

    1. Me too. I enjoyed the song too.

      Funny about the cameras really. I love Indian food

  2. Alex's book is going to be great!

    Don't forget to post Ruth in your sidebar for the week.

    1. I agree.

      You didn't send me anything.

  3. Cool book cover! And love the penguin shot. They are so adorable!

    1. It is cool isn't it?

      I love the penguins.

  4. CONGRATS to Alex! That book cover looks great.

  5. We have a few good Indian restaurants locally since we have more than few Indian residents here. There are two Indian families on my short street. I took a class in Indian cooking at the local college and really enjoy some of the dishes.

    1. Lucky you Denise, I wish we did. We have lots of Indians here, but not much in the way of restaurants.

      Never took a class but used to do a lot of Indian cooking at one time.

  6. Thanks for sharing the cover, Jo! Hope you like it as much as the others.
    That penguin does look like he's flying.

    1. You are welcome Alex. I am sure I will. The premise sounds great.

      Yup he does.

  7. I do love that cover and am looking forward to checking it out. And I have a tikka masala recipe that I love to make. Looks very similar to this one, but I always use greek yogurt over plain. Just a preference.

    1. Me too. I like Greek Yogurt as well.

  8. Best of luck to Alex and what a cute penguin!!!

    1. Definitely. Did you look at the other pix, they were good.

  9. Congrats to the Captain! I love penguins! What a shot!

    Snow flurries in the weather for here this weekend.

    1. Isn't it a great picture. Do look at the others.

      Not sure if we have flurries forecast or not.

  10. I must show Scotto those photographs of the penguins. You'd have to not mind the cold to get those snaps. It's extremely hot and muggy here Jo. I envy you your snow even if it was just a little bit.

    1. Yes, he would enjoy them. Maybe he will head off to the Arctic (or is it Antarctic) to try for his own.

      When we get lots of snow, which won't be too far off, I will ship some over to you.

  11. We had snow this weekend and I loved it. Was hoping for more on Sunday but no luck. Great cover for Alex and happy new week, to you.

    1. We only had a powdering and it didn't last.

      Thanks, same to you.