On today’s premiere episode of “Spice of Life with Bal Arneson,” this episode is titled “Bungee Jumping.” Bal Arneson is a chef, cookbook author, teacher and a mother, who knows how well spice adds to cooking, but she also makes sure to add some spice to her life as well.
As the episode begins, Bal is doing yoga in the morning as her friend Kevin interrupts her tranquility with the sound of power tools. He was supposed to be there yesterday to build a spice cabinet for her many spices and blends. Bal promises to make Kevin lunch if he has the shelf completed before her friends arrive a 5 p.m. He asks for a rib eye with blue cheese, and she asks if she can add spices to it; and gets his approval.
So as Kevin is working, Bal decides she will use smoked paprika to make his steak. When her son Aaron 10, and daughter Anook 20, woke up, from the noise, she decided to make them crepes for breakfast. When she was in Paris last year, she had crepes day and night, but something was missing from them; spices. So she is adding fennel seeds and cardamom powder to the batter. She also added cinnamon and cardamom to the chocolate chips she was melting with a bit of butter. When ready, the crepes were spread with chocolate and fresh fruits like, strawberries, kiwi and raspberries, and topped off with powdered sugar and whipped cream. They loved the breakfast, and it was a change up from just bland crepes.
As Kevin returned, she explained that she had a surprise for her children, but would give them no hint. To avoid the noise at home, she took them to Capilano Suspension Bridge, one of the highlights of Vancouver. As they walked across the bridge and viewed the awesome surroundings, they observed nature at its best. Aaron is the love of Bal’s life, and Anook is like a sister, as Bal had her early in her life. So because the surprise was not enough of a treat for Anook, she decided to give her another surprise.
They first went home to make Kevin’s lunch. She prepared him a dish containing the spices to give him the mojo to get the job done in time. He loves spicy food, so Bal had the green light to give him a real treat. She had him help with the mortar and pestle to crush the spices she was blending for the steak. She grilled the steak and one the edges, dipped it in the spices. She toasted coriander seeds and paprika to mellow out the blue cheese she topped the steak with. Kevin was in his glory, as she added yams and green beans to the dish.
She then took Anook for her surprise. Vancouver is so gorgeous with mountains and ocean view. When Anook saw where they were, she was so surprised, she was speechless. Bal was starting to get paranoid when she looked down at the water below, but she was harnessed to her daughter and they were jumping together. As the guide was counting down for them to jump, the mother and daughter were not ready, but off they went. Bal said her heart was in her mouth as they bounced over the water. This was a real mother-daughter experience that Anook never thought her mother would do.
As they returned home, Kevin was gone and the spice shelves were completed. See what good food will do! When her friends arrived, the shelves were already stocked and looked gorgeous.
For their dinner, Bal started off with spicy champagne cocktails and even dipped the rims of the flutes in paprika for a beautiful drink. For the meal, she made scallops and prawns on top of coconut curry. She made her own garam masala spice mixture, as she used it for the scallops. She dipped one side only in the spices and cooked them on the spice side. She made the coconut curry and prawns, and a minty tomato salsa and her friends just loved it. For the recipes on this episode click here and add some spice to your life!
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