Mar 25, 2010

chicken tikka masala.

this first part has nothing to do with food. i will just rant a bit. you can skip if you only want to know how to make this mouthwatering dish below. these past few weeks have just been absolutely craaaaaazy busy. i am grateful for the bustlingness. i fall asleep before i completely get into bed every night. that hasn't happened in a long time. but like i said, its good busy-ness. i'm just having to re-adjust to it a bit. i was getting used to having an hour or so to just sit and read each day. i loved that. but this is fun too. i'll have a whoooole lot of new things on my photography blog here in the next, oh, several months? at least more frequently than i have been lately. all of that is going great! i feel like i learn new things every time i go out with someone to take pictures. its fun for me. it cures the 'i-need-to-get-out-of-the-house-right-now' bug in a way that walmart never could. and i actually have emails to respond to - which is crazy!

so, kind of back onto the food thing - i haven't been grocery shopping in over two weeks. its felt like two years. BUT, it's not that i've been too lazy or anything. its kind of a sick experiment. we're on a budget after taking this dave ramsey class. we're doing cash for groceries now, aaaaand i ran out. that sounds horrible. im out less than halfway through the month. this is the first time that has happened. so basically, we've been making do with what is in our fridge, and its been kind of fun! and we're still eating yummy. the worst was when i ran out of lunchmeat for daniel's school day lunches - but then we re-discovered good ol' peanut butter and jellies :) yum yum.

this is one of the recipes i made/altered from the pioneer woman this past week. we adore indian food. its kind of a tradition. i don't think we've ate it once at our table. we always push our couches together and watch a movie, or an i love lucy or something. its great.

okay, so without any further adieu, my second attempt at chicken tikka masala (the first was a liiiittle-way-too-much-eye-watering-spicy) :

* 3 whole chicken breasts
* salt
* ground coriander
* cumin
* 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
* 6 tablespoons of butter
* 1 large onion
* 4 cloves of garlic
* 1 piece (2ish inches) of fresh ginger
* garam masala
* 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
* sugar
* 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon of curry

no. 1
you start off by sprinkling a bit of salt over your chicken breasts (both sides) followed by your coriander and cumin. i didn't have coriander - soooo let me know how that turns out for you ;)

no. 2
continue to coat chicken breasts completely (both sides again) with plain yogurt. put chicken on a foil-lined (totally wish i'd done that - it took forever to clean off) baking sheet and place on a rack about 10-12 inches below your broiler for 5-7 minutes per side. you don't want to char your chicken, the edges should be just a liiiittle bit blackened, though.

no. 3
dice your onion whilst you wait, and melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. toss in your onions and saute until they're just a little bit browned.

no. 4
whilst that cooks, mince your garlic, and ginger. my family never used ginger and it was totally intimidating to me at first, by the way. i had no idea what you were supposed to do with it. just cut off the outer skin and mince like you would the garlic. everyone probably knew that though. other than me. sprinkle about 1 tsp of salt in as well.

no. 5
now we add 3 tablespoons of gram masala. you could add jalepaneo peppers too - my mouth isn't a fan of too much spice, so we forego this...i also added 1 teaspoon of curry. for fun. because i love curry.

no. 6
add diced tomatoes to your mix and continue to let it cook - stirring occasionally. after a few minutes, add 1 tablespoon of suger and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

no. 7
add your 1 1/2 cups of cream. i think i only did 1, actually.

no. 8
chop up your chicken breasts into eatable pieces and stir into your tikka masala.

please eat with naan and basmati rice. it is the bomb.

*here's an can substitute tofu in place of the chicken, too. if you're into that kind of thing. i know iiiii am :)

happy thursday!

Mar 20, 2010

this is what i have most in common with 14 year old girls everywhere.

akjshdkjlhfkjlhds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ITS OUT! ITS OUT!

no further words are necessary.

Mar 19, 2010

Rosemary Flatbread Pizza with Brie, Grapes & Honey.

Okay...this is a different kind of recipe. really different. i loved it. it's just food.
Although Daniel liked it and ate nearly the entire pizza. But that is different. I've slowly been weaning him off of all canned and frozen foods. So he's starting to like my cooking preeetty well, in other words. Even things like this. If you have meat and potato kind of men -- save this one for a ladies night ;)

Whenever i try a new recipe, i always am asking him how he likes it -- on a scale of one to ten, what would make it better, etc...
The only thing we mutually agreed with this was that we needed to add mooooooore cheeeeese next time.

You can NEVER have too much cheese. Ever. Ever.
(as you can see...MORE CHEESE!!!)

ALSO: i never ever thought to bake grapes. i mean, we don't make grape pies, so theres gotta be a reason...right? Well, it turned out just fine. Similar to cherry if you ask me. Who knew.

You will need:
*1 envelope of yeast
*2 tablespoons sugar
*2 cups flour (plus a little more for rolling)
*3/4 cup warm water
*2 teaspoons rosemary
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 teaspoon pepper
*1 1/2 cups seedless grapes (i cut them in half. you can do them whole, too)
*3 ounces Brie cheese (i didn't have Brie, we used Gouda. it was yummy still. i think i'll try Brie next time. just for fun. oh, and more than 3 ounces please. i think i rolled out my flatbread too much, thats probably part of my deal too...)
*sea salt for sprinkling
*Chives (i didn't use these, but they were in the original recipe, so try them if you like!)

no. 1
combine yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup flour in a large bowl

no. 2
stir in 1/4 cup warm water and allow to it for 5 minutes

no. 3
add rosemary, pepper, salt, remaining flour (1 and 3/4 cup) and the remaining warm water (1/2 cup). Mix until dough forms. 

no. 4
now plop your dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5ish minutes. 

no. 5
transfer to an oiled bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour

no. 6
preheat oven (whoops! just saw THIS part) -- with baking pan on the bottom rack to 400 F. 

no. 7
roll your dough to about a 13-inch pizza crust shape --i made it rectangular because i like the mushy pieces in the middle with no crust. yuuuuuummm.

no. 8
transfer your dough to the hot baking sheet

no. 9
press grapes into dough and sprinkle with sea salt

no. 10
bake for 12 minutes, until the grapes begin to bleed just a little.

no. 11
sprinkle on cubed Brie [and chives] and bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with honey.

Eat. Enjoy. & tell me all about how much you love it. or not.

Mar 16, 2010

spring cleaning.

daniel is off at school today. and spring is quickly coming.
i have just been itching to do a clean sweep on our little house. going through closets, drawers, etc...
it is so much fun :)

todays major event:
operation ebay

i like shoes. lots. and i have a fair number of shoes -- a lot of that is because my feet have been the same size since 8th grade and you always keep good shoes. they last (obviously) for years and years.

daniel only has four pairs - maybe five? if you include slippers. and really needs some new ones for work, sooo...
i am selling two pairs of my shoes in hopes of then being able to buy him one.

tehehe. this is how things start to work when you're married and in school.
wish me luck.

this is going to be a summer project. love love love.

Mar 15, 2010

apple dumplings from heaven.

Wildly Delicious Apple Dumplings
okay, can i just say...we've made these three times in the past week and a half.
only once for us personally. once for friends. once for garrett's super secret surprise party.
they are heaven in a pan :)

  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 8 oz can of crescent rolls
  • 1/3 stick of Butter
  • 1/4 cup of Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • Cinnamon, To Taste
  • 1/2 cup of hansen's lime soda. or mountain dew.

no. 1
peel and core your apples -- cutting each into 8 slices 

no. 2
roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan or a deep dish pie pan like shown

no. 3
melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. 

no. 4
add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. 

no. 5
pour mountain dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. 

ice cream makes this recipe double good. im just sayin...


Mar 14, 2010

slacker. slacking. slackness.

so, anyways...i missed my thursday recipe day again. but i totally have a good reason.
i know exactly the recipe i want to post. it is delicious buttery, sugary goodness.
but i forgot to take a picture when we made it for the second time in a week this past thursday.

but when i made it for the THIRD time last night -- i remembered. but i'm sitting in my comfy cozy bed reading blogs and not really feeling like finding my camera and uploading things tonight.



hope you all have had a most excellent spring break -- for the college and under age. umm...hope the rest of you had a great work week?

this is our last official spring break, too, by the way. two more months of school, lord willing and daniel will be free of school and on to full time working.

fun fact -- or majorly sad fact. depending on how you look at it:
the battery in this laptop i am on is essentially dead. meaning that my laptop is essentially an invalid. it needs to be plugged in 24/7 .or it dies. thats why we have our Big Mac (haha. get it? daniel is rubbing off on me way too much) now. soooo yes. it sits on the side of our bed - plugged in - all the time.

all that to say. i'm sharing one of our most watched hulu videos instead.
i dont know why i like it so much. it stuck a funny chord?

Mar 5, 2010

friday fuuuuun.

two VERY excitingly fun things happened to me today.

i'm not typically a big fan of candy -- but charlotte got me addicted to these when she bought me a box last year. oh. they are so fun. they're glittery. and say silly things on them.

no. 2
yes. all of these are going to be in caps. its starting to annoy me, even. but thats how its gonna be. 
but seeeee! tiny baby sprouts are popping up. i thought i had killed my cilantro when i left it out the other night in the freezing cold. my seedling are intrepid little things.

no. 3
my kitchen is the prettiest its ever been so far. 
this is not my whole kitchen. duh. but i lost a lens. and only have my 50mm right now. it doesn't like to show my whole kitchen. so yes. this is the prettiest part, anyways. mostly.

no. 4 
panera breakfast with daniel for our six months of marital marriageness celebration. it was the only time today we were able to be together. but we have all of spring break. so that more than makes up for it.

i was going to post a silly video...but its not working right now?

Hope you're all having a happy Friday!

Mar 4, 2010

alfredo, anyone?

okay, its been a week.

well, most recently (like today) iiiii went to work --- i am still doing everyones taxes, except for my own, so far. went to the bank, dropped in on my sweetsie man at work because i just couldn't beaaaar being away from him from 9-6. agghh. and he sold me red spraypaint. way to go, daniel :)

which lead me to painting a picture frame i'm going to use on an engagement shoot soon. and a super cute owl trivet
i got at value village and rearranging my kitchen. and making a nice little goodwill pile.

by then i was tired. i looked at the ironing that needs to be done and thought 'mmmmm...nope!' and read a book instead. Aaand then i primed a few canvases. And looked up delicious recipes to make which leads me to right now :)

Bowtie pasta with deeeelicious creamy alfredo sauce & crab. & broccoli.

HALF of what makes this so mouthwatering is the homemade alfredo sauce. Thats the only way i can eat the stuff. Call me a snob. But canned alfredo leaves a funny taste in my mouth.

get a pot of water boiling for your little bowties :) and add pasta

no. 2
begin work on cutting up your veggies which in this case is:

*and i would have added grape tomatoes if i hadn't used them all for my eggplant pizza the night before...
*imitation crab (not a veggie) but it is so tasty.

no. 3
begin work on your alfredo sauce

Alfredo Sauce
*1/2 cup of butter
*2 garlic cloves -- minced (remember what i said about garlic cloves)
*2 cups of heavy cream
*1/4 teaspoon of white pepper (which i dont have. regular old pepper didn't seem to hurt a thing!)
*1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
*3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese

these measurements make about 6 servings of sauce. you can find the original recipe here and they'll convert the measurements if you like.

no. 4
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium/low heat.

add in your garlic, cream and pepper and let it come to a simmer -- stir often

no. 6
add in your parmesan cheese and let simmer for another 8 minutes or so? or until your sauce has thickened a bit.

add mozzarella and stir frequently until it has melted and is smoooooth.

OH! so thats the sauce. but for this particular recipe -- first off, do you know by now that i don't follow directions precisely? i just kind of add the portions of ingredients that i particularly feel like. or according to what is in my fridge. it works! about 98% of the time...

but for this, once i added the mozzarella, i also added my cut up broccoli and imitation crab too to warm everything up. once your broccoli turns a little greener and bright, you are free too eat!

top off your pasta with your prize alfredo sauce. and make triple helpings for husbands.