Tuesday, April 26, 2011

police bento and bentos 93-96

Even though it is a Japanese police car, I still have to have one or two of these, don't you think? Love this little bento box. Saw it at Wendolonia. You can buy it here.

Speaking of bentos, I've got a few I haven't posted. I'm still being lazy and stressed!

 Easter Bento: Peanut Butter and honey bunny sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread, mandarin orange, baby carrots, Annie's Bunny Grahams (some inside the egg also).
 This is inside the Laptop Lunchbox. Potato and rosemary pizza cut into pieces, Liberte yogurt, strawberry slices, pistachios, and a brownie for dessert. Utensils and a water bottle fit perfectly on the side.
 World's UGLIEST St. Patrick's Day bento: Yogurt cup with rainbow of fruit surrounding it (strawberries, pineapple, kiwi and a couple of rolos at the end for the pot of gold. Half sandwich on the other side with a super UGLY cheese clover on top. haha! Oh well. Sometimes they are just ugly.
A Spring bento for daddy: Ham and cheese sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread, carrot sticks, pistachios, kiwi slices, and a small handful of chocolate kisses.

Monday, April 25, 2011

MPM: week of April 25th

for more menu ideas or to submit your own go here
pizza night (take-out)

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken in Cream Sauce :: cantaloupe

grilled cheese and tomato soup from Smitten Kitchen

My Brother's Tacos from Pioneer Woman :: minted lemonade (recipe to come)

Cool Italian Pasta :: garlic bread :: watermelon

leftovers day

Breakfast for dinner:  fly off the plate pancakes :: sausage :: fruit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chicken Masala

Hello Food Blogging World. Not up to much, just BUYING A HOUSE. I've been sick the last few days because of the worry and stress of buying a house. I never thought I would see the day and now here I am- a grownup. Our real estate agent made sure there was a garbage bin next to me as we were signing papers because I got really nauseated. It's a funny thing. I don't stress at all about my husband being a police officer, but make me buy a house and face other grownup responsibilities and I need to be given a tranquilizer. It'll be alright. I hope. I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, I knew that on Saturday I was in desperate need of relaxation and comfort food. I don't know how many people would say that Chicken Masala, basmati rice, and naan would bring them comfort, but as I prepped all the food, watched my bread rise, smelled the flavorful rice steaming and smelled the evolving aroma of the simmering spices, all my worries drifted away, and I was smiling. It truly comforted me. That, my friends, is comfort food! What does it for you? I think a number of foods do that for me, but I usually have to go home to my parent's to feel the comfort and nostalgia I long for. I can't always recreate it myself.

This recipe is from a swap. I traded this Indian curry recipe for the one I'm about to share. HF works with another cop that is from England. He loves cooking and especially loves his Indian food. As you are probably aware, England has a huge Indian culture and influence. He gave us his beloved authentic recipe, for our Americanized crockpot recipe, which is still quite tasty. I know you weren't expecting all this yappin', so now I am going to share it with you! Lucky Skunks...

 side by side basmati rice and masala
 dipping some homeade naan
 homemade naan recipe to come!

24 ounces fresh boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed off
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 onion, thinly chopped
1 fresh green chile, seeded and finely sliced
1 fresh green pepper, seeded and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp. ginger powder
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
2 (14 oz.) cans of chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 half pint carton of fresh whipping cream

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy pan (I use enameled cast iron), and fry the cumin seeds for two minutes until they begin to sputter. Cut the chicken into cubes and cook until white. Add onion, green chili, garlic, ginger and green pepper; fry until the onion color is clear, about 6 minutes. Stir in the curry, cumin, coriander and chili powder and cook for another 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, cilantro, and simmer for as long as possible (a minimum of 5 minutes, but the longer, say an hour improves the flavor). Save a little cilantro for garnish.
  3. Just before serving, pour in about half the cream, add more if necessary to change the color from the red of the tomatoes to a creamy pale orange.
  4. Serve on a bed of good quality rice that has been washed several times before being cooked. (Costco premium basmati rice is very good indeed).
  5. Cheers!
**my notes** The process goes much smoother if you prep everything before you begin cooking. Also, if you are wanting a spicy curry, it is not a hot curry powder you want, but the spicy green chile. If you are using a jalapeno, leave some of the seeds in your curry and that will add some heat. Otherwise, you are going to want a serrano or two, or other chile pepper that packs more heat.