Iowa New Year’s Eve + Curried Pea & Potato Croquettes

The Christmas trip to Iowa wound down too soon this year.  We did make time to take a trip to the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines, with Greta, Eric, and my in-laws.  

She was mesmerized by this spiral ball contraption.  Her newest word is, “ball!”  

She wasn’t as into the fishing, but Grandma and Grandpa tried.  

Eric strikes a pose with his profile. 

The bubbles were a hit!

Such a hit that she even stuck her hands in and got messy!

This photos captures Greta’s on-the-go attitude this particular afternoon. 

Dad and Grandpa were more interested in the water table than Greta was.  She was too busy eying the nearby ball racer.  

Tennis balls!  

Greta crashed and we were able to enjoy another nice Iowa winter walk with Brownie.  


We also fit in time to go ice skating at the downtown skating rink.  Greta and my mom watched as we skated.  


Eric made time to play around with some fun double exposures on the DSLR.  Diana pictures coming at a later date. 

Greta and Brownie made time to beg for cookies.  

All of this fun wound down, we packed, and then had one last Iowa dinner on New Year’s Eve.  I got a hold of one of my mom’s numerous magazines and found a new recipe to try out on everyone.  This was perfect, since my resolution this year is to eat more vegetables every day.  See below for Curried Pea & Potato Croquettes from Eating Well.    


Pierce 2-12 oz. potatoes all over with a fork. Wrap in parchment or wax paper and microwave on High until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.  My potatoes were small, so I used more than two. 

Any recipe with curry is a winner, in my book. 
Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 small chopped onion1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1-14 oz can stewed tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 10 minutes. 

Stir in 1/2 cup frozen peas, cover; remove from heat.  

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and transfer to a large bowl. 

Add 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and 1 teaspoon curry powder2 cloves minced garlic1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper.  

Mash with a potato masher to the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes.

Form into 8 croquettes (scant 1/2 cup each), 2 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long.  My croquettes are not at all pretty, hopefully you are less hungry than I was when you make this. 

Beat 2 large eggs in a shallow dish. Place 1 cup coarse breadcrumbs in another dish. Dip each croquette in the egg and then coat with the breadcrumbs.


Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the croquettes until browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently flip, drizzle 1 tablespoon oil around the sides and shake the pan to distribute the oil. Cook until the second side is browned, about 4 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

I transferred them to a glass baking dish as I cooked, placing them in the oven to keep them warm.  

My mom set a pretty table for New Year’s Eve – using the Heart and Pine china.  We had a side salad of fruit and yogurt and Iowa beer.  

My mom made salmon cakes to go along with the croquettes.  Don’t make the mistake I did and allow the sauce to cook too long – otherwise your peas will be overcooked.  I am not a fan of overcooked brownish peas!

During this entire time, Greta was dragging her blanket around and practicing standing and sitting on the bottom step.  

Dinner was wonderful – Greta even enjoyed her milk with us.  My mom taught her how to do cheers – she insists on the entire table doing cheers with her now.  

After dinner we played a game of Scrabble 

and enjoyed cookies Greta had decorated earlier in the day.  

Hope your New Year’s was as happy as ours and 2013 is off to a fantastic start!  What resolution did you make?  

Curried Pea & Potato Croquettes – from Eating Well
  1. Pierce 2-12 oz. potatoes all over with a fork. Wrap in parchment or wax paper and microwave on High until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon mustard seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1-14 oz can stewed tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup frozen peas, cover; remove from heat.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and 1 teaspoon curry powder, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper; mash with a potato masher to the consistency of chunky mashed potatoes. Form into 8 croquettes (scant 1/2 cup each), 2 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long.
  4. Beat 2 large eggs in a shallow dish. Place 1 cup coarse breadcrumbs in another dish. Dip each croquette in the egg and then coat with the breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the croquettes until browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently flip, drizzle 1 tablespoon oil around the sides and shake the pan to distribute the oil. Cook until the second side is browned, about 4 minutes. Serve with the sauce.

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