Sunday, September 30, 2007

sunday night...

i've made this recipe so many times and adjusted it, i feel it's ok to call it my own:
kelly's corn chowder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 small onion, diced
3/4 cups baby carrots, sliced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 medium red potatoes (give or take), diced
3 cups white corn kernels, fresh or frozen (the safeway brand is the best)
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups mixture of milk and half-and-half --the ratio depends on how healthy i want to be and if there will be enough half-and-half left for my coffee in the morning.
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove puppy from your feet and leave on the couch, sleeping after an hour of manic hyperactivity.

Melt 1 stick of butter in a smal saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook until the roux is lightly browned, 3 or 4 mintues; set aside to cool to room temperature.
Check on puppy--he might have woken up and he doesn't seem to understand the concept of heights--find him moved up to your spot on the couch:
Meanwhile, combine the potatoes and chicken stock in a large stockpot, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the corn and simmer for 10 more. Spoon the roux into the boiling stock, whisking briskly so it doesn't lump. Bringto a boil. The mixture should become very thick.
check on puppy again-- he may be chewing on anything from a power cord to the iron leg of a table--find that he has walked across the couch to jake's spot:

In a pyrex measuring cup microwave the half-and-half/milk mixture for two minutes; stir it into the thick corn mixture. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.
try to enjoy the chowder with puppy now completely awake and rarin' to go:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

fresh baked puppy

this little guy is feisty.

he likes to shake up his toys.

he pulled out my earring, unbeknownst to me until i found it in his mouth.

he barks and growls while jumping at his reflection in the mirror. the propsect of seeing himself, or that other puppy he thinks it must be, in the mirror motivated him to go inside through the doggie door on his own for the first time.

he likes to snooze on the floor by the couch. we're pretty sure it's because the name of the fabric on our couch is actually named "puppy velvet." smart dog.

what i like best about him, besides his cuteness, is that he sleeps all night long :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

morning dog

he's here! it's 7 in the morning, and we've been up since 5! he's been soooo good; he slept the whole six hour drive home, slept in his crate all night, only one pee in the house, and only one tiny whine this morning. yay, brophy!

Friday, September 21, 2007

save the turtles

i hate plastic bags. i don't have enough uses for them and every trip to the store results in what seems like dozens of bags. why must they put only 2 or 3 items in each bag? the worst place is target. they'll put a bar of soap in one bag and a candy bar in another. i ALWAYS ask them to put it all in one bag (they protest because they're "trained" not to put food with cleaning products. are they trained to not do what customers ask? clearly, the answer is yes) or not put stuff in bags at all. my car is 300 yards away. i can carry a rubbermaid container just as easily in my hands as in a bag. one time, a checker tried to convince me to put a measuring cup in a bag instead of a basket i was also purchasing. a basket that is designed to HOLD THINGS AND BE PORTABLE. "really? are you sure you don't want a bag?" is asked with the same level of doubt as, "really? are you sure you want to operate that forklift after those sake bombs and benadryl?" the worst thing is, you're pushing so many buttons on the atm machine (yes 25.45 is ok. yes, i authorized 25.45. no i don't want cash back. yes, 25.45 is still ok. i don't have a problem with 25.45. i'm sure.) that they've already practically removed each cheezit from the box and put them in separate bags before you even realize it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

jake's handiwork. subtitled: isn't domestic life thrilling?

in an effort to broaden (but not really) the topics explored thus far, i turn it over to jake. last week before he left for atlanta, the sink clogged up. while jake was checking it out, the faucet broke. now, the faucet sucked and was ugly and had a non-essential piece that kept coming off, but i delayed buying a new one as it was "unnecessary". so i believe the delayed gratification gods blessed me with this event. a new faucet, guilt-free! unfortunately, the homeowner gods frowned upon jake, as he spent almost the whole day taking out the old faucet (welded in?) and placing this one in, and repairing the part of the sink that got damaged by his gargantuan efforts to remove the former. but all's well that ends well, and i have a pretty new faucet that really improves the kitchen (in that it's all i see when i walk in, instead of the the not-so-awesome tile and old dingy dishwasher!) plus, the nozzle detaches and has a shower mode! lots of fun!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

chicka whata?

that's what jake asked when i told him the name of the food simmering on the stove. it smelled delicious, looked, eh, and tasted somewhere in between.
it's called chicken tikka masala, and the story goes like this: the 1970s, a plateful of overcooked chicken tikka--boneless, skinless chicken chunks, skewered and cooked in a tandoor oven--was sent back to the kitchen of a London curry house by a disappointed patron. The Bangladeshi chef acted quickly, heating canned tomato soup with cream, sprinkling Indian spices, and pouring it over the chicken before sending it back....diners worldwide (including India) fell in love with the...chicken. It went on to overtake... fish and chips as the "true national dish" of Great Britain. (from cook's illustrated magazine).
so i made this tonight, and it was a lot more time intensive than the recipes i usually follow (my repetiore consists of mainly rachael ray 30 minute meals, supplemented by martha stewart everyday food.) so much so that i completely forgot you're supposed to serve it over rice! i did have some naan (indian flat bread) from trader's, so that took the place of the starch. turns out, i like the chicken--the tikka, if you will--pre-dunking it in the sauce a LOT. more than the dish as a whole...i think i will use that part of the recipe for other chicken dishes, or just eat it plain. yum!
Chicken Tikka Masala
This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala. The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka
1/2 teaspoon
ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon
table salt
2 pounds
boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Masala Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon
table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup
chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.
pictured with sauteed spinach with garlic and toated, buttered naan, but sans rice! duh!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

my dream is coming true

to the right of this post is a short list of my dreams. one of them, owning a boston terrier has/will come true. that is, i've paid (a lot) for my new puppy, but i won't possess him until i pick him up in coulterville (near modesto) on sept. 22. so if possession is nine tenths of the law...

anyhoo, he is the most adorable guy ever. i had settled on a name, brophy, but then remembered how cute i think the name henry is, and now i have a dilemma. i may wait until i meet him and see how i feel, how he responds. i'm sure i can research what phonemes dogs respond better too, and as i don't make many decisions with out researching them, i may in fact search for this information.

pictures of my gorgeous puppy can be viewed at
his kennel name is "adonis"

books can now be located...


be my friend, if you wish :)