Quality time.

 I find myself asking a lot of questions regarding time.  With a full time job, starting a business, and planning a wedding, it is easy to get lost in my days and emerge in time for bed.  My mind is a constant stream of to-do list and scheduling, which is good- I get stuff done.

The problem becomes I loose quality time with both myself and the ones I love.   I loose the separation that it is okay to spend time not rushing around, checking things off my to-do list, and mentally preparing for what I am doing next.

 I need time to slow down, I need the quality time.  I need to have time where I can hike, camp, and share a good meal, just living in the moment.  There needs to be time for deep interactions, thoughts, and ideas.  I find M and I have the best conversations when we slow down and enjoy our time.

I gravitate towards food because of the quality time it provides.  When I’m harvesting at the CSA, I’m not thinking about all the work I need to do.  When I’m cooking dinner, I’m not thinking about the to-do list that is still a mile long.  And certainly when I’m dining, I’m not thinking about how many emails may have come in that I need to answer (this one is a bit harder, but I’ve made a huge effort towards this).  I think this is why I love Kinfolk so much- pages and pages of quality time being shared.

For me, it is time to step away from the “go go go” mentality 100% of the time.  The value of quality time exceeds getting one more thing done on my to-do list.

While this meal isn’t directly related to what is written above, it is a good way to get into the kitchen and slow down.  It’s a great meal to have a few friends over, pour some wine, and enjoy.  The roasting of the tomatoes and cooking of the rice is fairly hand-off, leaving only the paneer to fry.  The aroma fills the house, creating the perfect atmosphere.

(If you are unfamiliar with paneer, it is commonly found in South East Asia and is a simple, low-flavor cheese- perfect for adding a bit of protein to a vegetarian meal.  I also make a delicious rice dish with paneer in my eCookbook!)


Roasted Curried Tomatoes with Fried Paneer and Rice

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Yield: 2


  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1/2 medium red pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons good quality curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8-10 1/2″ paneer cubes
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • Parsley, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 375˚.
  2. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and roughly chop the onion and red pepper. Toss with 1-2 tablespoons curry powder and 1 tablespoons olive oil. Place on a covered baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes. Tomatoes should be soft and beginning to brown.
  3. In a medium pot, cover rice with water (like you were boiling pasta). Bring to a boil and continue to cook until rice is tender, 30-35 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, add olive oil. Toss in paneer cubes and roughly cook on each side until lightly brown.
  5. To serve, toss together rice, tomatoes, and paneer. Sprinkle with parsley.

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