Monday, February 28, 2011

true that

this about sums it up for me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

what we cook: indian food

i'm a fool for some yummy indian food! plus, i wanted to learn how to butcher a whole chicken. perfect opportunity if you ask me.

the menu with recipes:

palak dal (spinach and lentils)
1/2 cup lentils
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
salt, to taste
1 pound spinach, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

cook lentils. remove from heat and drain. set aside. heat the oil in a wide-based pan over med. heat. add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and saute for 2 min. or till onion is translucent. add all the spices, salt, the spinach, and lemon juice. mix well. cook, uncovered until spinach is wilted down (we used frozen spinach. worked great) stir in lentils (we added green peas too - yum).

murgi ka tikka (chicken tikka)
14 ounces boneless chicken, cubed
1 tablespoon veg. oil, for basting
marinade -
3/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot chili powder, or to taste
salt, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons tandoori masala (recipe to follow)
1 teaspoon garam masala (recipe to follow)

make the marinade by mixing together all the ingredients in a bowl. add the chicken cubes, coat thoroughly. cover and marinade for 5-6 hours or preferably overnight.
bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking. heat a few tablespoons oil in saute pan. once the pan is very hot, add chicken. turn to brown on each side. you can finish it in the pan or in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes.

tandoori masala
1 cup cumin seeds
1/2 cup coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon carum seeds
8 green cardamom seeds, removed from pods
10 whole cloves
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 bay leaves
3/4 inch piece cinnamon stick

combine in a spice grinder, grind to powder. store in an airtight container and refrigerate. it will stay for months.

garam masala
1 1/2 cups cumin seeds
3/4 cup coriander seeds
2 teaspoons green cardamom seeds
2 teaspoons black cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon whole cloves
two 1 1/4 inch pieces cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, or to taste
4-5 bay leaves
1/8 nutmeg kernel

combine in a grinder. grind to powder. store in airtight container and refrigerate. it will stay for months.

basmati rice

raita (yogurt sauce)
2 cups plain, low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
half english cucumber, finely chopped
chopped cilantro, to taste

and yes, the kids all loved it! it was one of the most amazing dinners we have enjoyed in quite some time. high fives were definitely exchanged!

what we cook: donuts

i'm starting a new segment on my blog titled "what we cook". it's something i have thought about for awhile, and contemplated having a separate blog for it. but at the end of the day, it makes more sense to just combine it into this one!
i have asked stephan to teach me how to cook. i'm not a bad cook, i do fairly well. but having a chef as a husband (a good one too) and not learning techniques seems wasteful. it's a surprisingly wonderful bonding activity for us that usually ends in high fives at the dinner table.

the other night we were invited to our friends house for family home evening. i asked me talented husband to 'whip up' some homemade donuts. they were fantastic. the only drawback was the dough didn't have proper time to rise, so the donuts weren't as fluffy as they could be. delicious nonetheless.

dipped in chocolate ganache. sinfully decadent.

Friday, February 18, 2011

inspiration: italy part 2

as promised, part 2 of my italy. art and fashion. i've included just a few (very few) of my favorite pieces of art, as well as some iconic and a few of my favorite italian fashion designers.

iconic advertisements by: Leonetto Cappiello

DaVinci's Mona Lisa

DaVinci's Last Supper

Michelangelo's David

Michelangelo's The Fall of Adam

Fresco by Melozzo da Forli








Monday, February 14, 2011

lovely pink holiday

how could anyone not be a fan of such a delightful, love-ly, pink holiday?? it's beyond me.
okay, okay, i'll admit, there were some bad years. some lonely years. some bitter years when the constant reminder of lack of love was unbearable. even then i still loved the pinkness of it all. and the chocolate.

this year a special ice carving was one of my special valentines:

and i baked some yummy heart-shaped cupcakes:

for dinner we dined on pink, heart-shaped pancakes (i convinced my family that most things taste better pink!):

i made valentines for my special boys... everyone became illustrated. this was stephan's card (on the side it says "you are my happy thought".

i hope your valentines day was wonderful!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

inspiration: italy part 1

i am hopelessly in love with italy. have i ever been there? no. but i will. i ABSOLUTELY will.
this obsession began at a young age.

i'll take the pink one, please!

image source on first three: unknown (pictures i collected from i can't remember where!)

then came a few movies that really sealed the deal. the first being the talented mr. ripley. of course it didn't hurt that the movie is set in the 1950's. fabulous. the costuming was brilliant and dreamy. i immediately put san remo on my italy travel tour.

under the tuscan sun. tuscany goes on the list.

so let's continue with the food of it all. we'll start with gelato. i am not much of an ice cream lover. i had my first taste of gelato when i was very young and my palette just hasn't been satisfied with anything less since.


pasta. it is perfection. hands down my favorite thing to eat. i never tire of it. ever. i bet i could get some dang good pasta in italy!

pizza. who doesn't love a good slice? i am sure one can have amazing pizza all over italy, but i have a craving for a slice (or whole pie, who am i kidding??) from pizzeria da michele.

and yes, i will wait in that line.
the history enthusiast in me can't turn a blind eye to the breath-taking architecture italy has to offer. it is endless.


i didn't touch on art or fashion. they really deserve their own post, so stayed tuned.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

pink perfection

anyone who knows me, knows that pink is my FAVorite color. it has been for as long as i can remember. which is great because i am the girliest girl around. of course, i am also a mother of four boys. the wife of one manly-man husband, and mommy to two big boy dogs. all of this equals absolutely NO pink in my home. i asked stephan if he would mind if we painted our master bathroom the palest shade of pink. subtle. classic. elegant. his response (my polite version of it) was no way, no how.
so, for now (because i haven't given up yet), my blog will be plastered with the pinkiest of pink gorgeous eye-candy! enjoy.

pantone's color of the year, a marvelous shade of pink:

can't you just see me jetting around town on this:

while wearing these:
Old Gringo Boots

Giovanni Boldini

love the pink union jack rug. such a dreamy dressing room.

i absolutely NEED this copy. i have scoured the internet looking for one, but to no avail.

and this, another necessary object:

my sister lives within walking distance to this dreamy tea shoppe. how heavenly would that be??

a pink diamond ring from Tiffany's? yes, please!