Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Indian Butter Chicken

Good morning!I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. I did, but it was busy and I feel like I need a "snow day" to relax. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I will not be having any snow, a little rain and grey days but not much else. How about you? Are you in the path of the the "storm of the century?" If so, do be careful and stay inside with a pile of good books, food and candles.

Although I ate out the majority of the weekend I did have a leisurely afternoon Sunday cooking with my husband.  One to the dished that we made was this easy and scrumptious Indian Butter Chicken. You can serve it with basmati rice, white or brown rice or even over cauliflower rice. 

Indian Butter Chicken
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe


1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1japaleno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cardamon
1 can, 6 0z. tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream or regular half and half
11/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 chunks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon butter

Rice for serving
Chopped cilantro for garnish


In a large skilled, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, ginger and jalapeno and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Make sure to stir ofter. Then add the garam masala, garlic, chili powder, cardamon, and coriander. Stirring constantly for mother minute.

Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor and add the tomato paste and chicken broth. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pan and add the half and half. Stir and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and the salt and pepper and stir. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is slightly thickened.

Add the 3 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted. Serve the chicken over hot rice and garnish with cilantro.

In the interest of blogger honesty, I have made this several times and the first three times I forgot to add the butter, in fact I simply overlooked it in the recipe. I actually said to my husband, "I am not sure why they call this butter chicken, there is no butter in the recipe." I blame that on old age, but in fact I was in a hurry. Whatever the case, I could not tell a difference with or without the butter, so if you want to save a few calories, skip the butter.

I hope that you have a great week. Be safe!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday Favorites from Broma Bakery, Iowa Girl Eats, Pip & Ebby, Well Plated and More

Good morning! I hope you had a great week. Are you ready for the weekend? I am so ready as I mentioned yesterday, to just relax and nest. Throw in some tasty meals and a book and I will be content. 

This week it seems that comfort food was on the mind of many, including myself. Chocolate and cookies are a perennial favorite, typically the dough or the cookies still warm from the oven. This week, Broma Bakery made Copycat Levian Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies. I already whipped up a batch of this dough and it is "marinating" in my fridge as I type this. I will keep you posted on how they taste.

Iowa Girl Eats

In addition to chocolate and cookie dough, pasta, in particular spaghetti is one of my favorite things to eat. In fact for many years as a child it is the only things I would eat. Thankfully I have grown out of that phase and eat spaghetti only occasionally. This week, Iowa Girl Eats made a 30 minute Vegetable Ragu and I can tell you it is FABULOUS! I made it this week and it was a challenge not to eat the entire pan!

Image Pip & Ebby

 While sitting around reading, watching a movie or relaxing this weekend a dip or two would be an excellent snack. Pip & Ebby made Crock Pot Ruben Dip that looks easy and delicious.

Image She Wears Many Hats

And She Wears Many Hats made Baked Bacon Cheese Onion Dip. I have had this dip without the bacon and it is delicious. It would make a fabulous addition to your Super Bowl party.

Image from Well Plated

Last but not least, MY FAVORITE thing in the world! I could literally live on hot chocolate, chocolate chaud, or European drinking chocolate. Whatever you call it, it is thick, rich and delicious. This delectable recipe from Well Plated is based on the famous hot chocolate from Angelina's. So if you are craving a little chocolate, or a reminder of your last trip to Paris you should try this recipe.

I know there are many books, movies, and other interesting things around the web this week that I could have posted about but sometimes it really is all about comfort and food.

If you found something great this week, please share!

Have a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mid Week Musings

Good morning! I am feeling a little discombobulated this week as I was out of town most of last week and over the weekend to celebrate the christening of my grandson, or to be more precise, my step-granson. 

It is always nice to be with family and go away for a bit but there is no place like home. I know this might seem a little strange as I love adventures and travel but I find as I age that I prefer my time at home to traveling.

I have yet to pinpoint the reason. It could be age, it could be because the "golden age" of travel is past and now it seems as if the airlines are simply moving cattle, or it could be that home seems safe and the world seems like it is going to "hell in a hand basket." I don't know but whatever the case it is nice to be back at home in back into my routine.

Do you ever feel like that or are you one of those that prefers to be out and about all the time?

I am looking forward to the weekend, fingers crossed the weather will be nice. Although we have had a mild winter I am sick of it already. The temperature is up and down and up and down, one day you are out in shorts and a t-shirt and the next bundled up like you are going on an arctic expedition.

I am so looking forward to the weekend, a date with my husband, dinner with friends and a good book. What more could I ask for?

What are your plans for the weekend? Will you be heading out on an adventure, staying close to home, or are you as yet undecided?

I want to try a few new recipes as well simply because I love the smell of baking or a pot of simmering something in the house on a winter weekend, it seems more cosy.

Do you do a lot of baking, cooking on the weekends? Or do you prefer to cater in? 

I hope that you have a wonderful day. Relax and get ready for the weekend. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Finding Vivian Maier

Good morning! 

Image Here via Pinterest

I have a list of movies to watch, books to read and place to see which sometimes seems a mile long. Finding Vivian Maier is one of those movies. I had read about this documentary some time ago and in fact wrote about it on my blog but I never got around to watching it until last night. 

I am so excited that I did. Finding Vivian Maier is about a mysterious, French nanny who was born in New York and spent most of her life in Chicago tending to her charges while exploring her passion, photography. 

In her lifetime Vivian took over 100,000 photos in Chicago, France, New York and around the world where she traveled for 8 months. 

What is most interesting about Vivian and her incredible photographs is that they were unknown until after her death. In 2007 John Maloof purchased a box of photographic negatives at a auction in Chicago with the hopes he could use some of the photos in a book he was writing. He never did use her photos in his book but he was so impressed with her work that he tracked down the other buyers of boxes from the auction and began an investigation into her life.

This film explores Vivian, her photos, film and life through John's interviews with people who knew her in her lifetime.

I loved this movie! Vivian's photography is fascinating, and raw but at the same time endearing and magical. Her "eye" captured life on the street as well as in her own life, and those she cared for.

Thanks to John Maloof and his tireless work, Vivian Maier is now considered on of the 20th centuries greatest photographer. Her work has been shown in Germany, London, New York, France, Chicago and in California and is currently being sold at 

Have you watched this movie? Did you find it interesting? Do you have any movie recommendations? Or books? Please share if you do.

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fitbit Flex Recommendation and Review

Good morning! I hope you are having a great week so far. I know that many have made resolutions for the new year to eat better and to get to the gym. I would like to suggest one small change to your life to help you accomplish your goal. A fitness tracker!

Image from Fitbit

Although I love yoga and working out, I have to be honest, I am lazy. I don't like to actually have to get in the car to go to the gym or the studio. I like to workout at home on my own time schedule. In the past I have had weights, an elliptical machine, treadmill and almost every workout tape known to man to try to accomplish this. What I have realized with age is that I like to walk, either on the treadmill or outside, its easy and relaxing. 

It is my preferred method of exercise and how I get the best results for my body and my health, both mental and physical. In fact doctors are now calling walking "the Superfood" of exercise because practically ANYONE and EVERYONE can do it, ANYWHERE! 

Although I have always walked on my treadmill or out with my dogs I was not really working out enough to loose the "last 10 pounds" I gained over the last 10 years. Do you know the ones I am talking about, the ones that creep on with old age? The ones that you continue to tell yourself will magically disappear without having to make any lifestyle changes.

Not only that, my walks with the pups or during the day were the only exercise I was getting for the most part of a day because I work from home. When you are sitting at your desk all day you do not really move, unless it is to the refrigerator or pantry.

As I refuse to stop eating cheese, sugar and all of the other yummy things in life I decided that what I needed to do was work out smarter. So in September of 2013 I got a Fitbit Flex , fitness tracker to get me off my butt and moving, as well as to keep me accountable.

I set my goal at 10,000 steps a day which is roughly 5 miles. In the interest of transparency, the first week, other than my dog walks I was shocked to learn that I was only getting about 800-1100 steps a day moving around the house.

Now all that has changed, I walk a minimum of 12,500 steps a day. My Fitbit "makes" me want to do better and to reach my goal each day. Six days a week, 12 months of the year I am either outside or on the treadmill walking, taking in nature, meditating and just enjoying my exercise. To date have walked 19,500 miles! I have also shed "the last 10 pounds" and I feel so much better!

I know there are many other fitness trackers by Nike, Garmin and several other companies. The Fitbit Flex was the one I picked because it is inconspicuous, it does not have large flashing numbers, and frankly the company has the best customer service ever! Fitbit Flex also tracks your sleep patters and allows you to set silent alarms in case you need an alarm clock. Using the app. you can track your calories, sleep, active and inactive movements as well as weight. They also offers many other fitness trackers each with numerous band options and band colors including a Tory Burch option for the Fitbit Flex.

Do you have a Fitbit, Jawbone, pedometer or any other tracker? If so do you think it has spurred you to exercise more?

What are you doing to reach your fitness goals? What is your favorite workout or fitness tip? Please share because I know we will all be interested!

Have a great day!

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. I purchased my Fitbit and just wanted to share my find with you. My opinions are based on my experiences and are my own.

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