Archive for 2010

star light, star bright...

Every year for Christmas my siblings and I all draw a couple name for gift giving. This year we got Elden and Rebecca, so we're donating to their daughter's Therapy Dog.

Go forth, donate to it too if you have a few extra dollars! She could really use a helpful canine companion. ^_^

But enough about us and our givings, this year we received a gift from Sarah and Jared...and it's quite awesome, if I may say so. They gave us a star!! The star's named after Cody and me! And as if that weren't enough, they wrote a poem to go along with it! I'm going to post it here for you:

a star in the sky that rings out your name
actually it doesn't the notions insane
but named for you it will stay in the sky
till the good lord tells it not to and it falls by and by

from movies past we had seen this done
as a prize from a contest but someone else won
so when we drew you for christmas this year
and wondered what would offer you some long lasting cheer
we thought of the night at the movie so long ago
when we chose to kiss and not to watch the show
you stared in the sky
and averted your eyes
like a brother and sister
appalled at the picture

but now in the future when you look up so high
you will have much more to look for with your star in the sky


Jared and Sarah

PS - my poem is awesome and has no punctuation as an artistic representation of my disgust for school.

We love it. ^_^ Thank you, and Merry Christmas to everybody!

inexpensive but effective homemade cleaner!

Because I'm annoyed at the cost of cutesy trendy cleaners, I'm gonna post a recipe I found somewhere for an easy custom scented all-purpose cleaner that I've been using on everything from windows to floors (I'd site the source if I remembered...but I do not. Sorry, Source.)

1 cup white vinegar
10-20 drops essential oil, your choice (I like half lemon, half lime or lavender, personally)
1 tablespoon dishsoap
5-10 drops grapefruit seed extract
+ enough water to make the total recipe equal 4 cups

Easy, right? I usually put some in a spray bottle and use at will, and keep some in an old quart-sized vinegar bottle to use for floors etc.


Cody loves curry. LOVES it. He would marry it if it weren't illegal and if I didn't exist.

Well, Cody probably wouldn't marry it. But I bet he'd consider the idea once or twice.

Anyway, Cody loves curry, and so I've found a few recipes he really likes, and I thought I'd share them today. :3 The first one's Thai, and the other two are kinda Indian. I dunno how authentic any of them are, but does that matter when they're delicious? Since the Indian ones go well with chapati, I shared that recipe I've been using. Chapati're basically tortillas, according to Wiki and my mouth, so I've used them in Cafe Rio-esque salads, too.

Evil Jungle Princess with Tofu
from Thaifoon, it's Cody's favorite dish.

1 tablespoon red curry paste
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
1 13-oz can coconut milk
fresh Thai chilies (to taste, optional)
1/2 cup green beans
1/4 of a red bell pepper
1/2 cup asparagus spears cut into 2" pieces
1 teaspoon lime juice (pfft, just use a whole lime!)
1 tablespoon dry basil (or 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, cut up with some chiffonade bidness)
1/4 cup fresh mint (or a couple drops of mint essential oil, or 1 tablespoon dried mint)
1 tablespoon roasted, salted, chopped peanuts
1/2 block tofu, rinsed, drained, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces

Combine the coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, peanut butter, chili sauce in a skillet over medium low heat with a whisk until all the clumpies are gone. Add in the veggies and cook 5-10 minutes. Add in tofu and just heat long enough to warm through. Serve over rice.

Potato Curry
This delicious Potato Curry recipe's from ^_^

4 scrubbed potatoes, cubed (I prefer red potatoes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced/shredded
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (this is a LOT, I usually use 1/2 teaspoon. Last time I decided to try 1 teaspoon and our brains burned deliciously.)
4 teaspoons curry powder
4 teaspoons garam masala (or 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cayenne, and cloves, and one bay leaf)
2 teaspoons salt
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen peas
1 15-oz can coconut milk

Boil potatoes in salted water until just tender, drain and allow to dry for 5-10 minutes. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil, then saute the onions until nearly translucent, or about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes. Throw all those spices in there, and then the tomatoes, beans, peas, potatoes, and coconut milk. Simmer until it's all warm and bubbly and delicious, and eat over rice or with chapati or warmed tortillas (or with rice and chapati!) with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

I tend to add in however many potatoes as I feel like. I guess I just try for around a pound to pound and a half-ish. This makes a ton of curry--probably around 6-8 adult servings, so if you're not sure you'll like it, just make half for starters.

Lazy Anda Curry
Willa's mom made something like this for Willa's birthday while I was out visiting in Arkansas last September, and I liked it so much that I tried to recreate a lazy version after looking up a few recipes online.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
4 eggs
chapati or rice
plain yogurt or sour cream

Heat a medium saucepan (one that has a lid that fits) over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the onion. Cook until the onion's translucent. Add in the spices, stir around for a minute or two, then dump in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Make a little pocket in the tomatoes with a spoon and crack each egg into its own little area, and poach with the lid on until the egg is cooked through. I usually cook it for another 10-20 minutes. Serve with chapati, or over rice, with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top.

Whole Wheat Chapati

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup hot tap water

Mix the flour and salt together. Measure the olive oil into the flour, then add the water in all at once, and stir to incorporate all the flour. Split the dough into 8 pieces and let rest for 10 minutes. While the dough's resting, heat up a skillet over medium heat and let it preheat the whole time. Roll out each ball on an oiled surface into about 8" round and throw it in the ungreased skillet for 30-60 seconds, until it bubbles up and there are brown spots on the dough on the bottom. Flip and repeat. If the dough takes longer than 60 seconds, it's gonna be too tough to enjoy for very long, so turn the heat up a bit and wait before trying the next.

Also, none of these pictures are mine, I stole them from the internets. ALL OF THEM.

so much food, so little time

I bet you didn't realize that you'd just be getting food updates and recipes when I said I'd try and post more on my blog...heh. Well. You are. I don't even have a picture today, because laziness prevails, my friends. Watch out, it's coming for you next.

Anyway, Cody's doing this health challenge for work. It's been an adventure, since he's technically not supposed to have added sugar in almost anything except yeast-raised breads. You might be surprised by how much food has sugar as an ingredient (or high fructose corn syrup--same deal, he can't have it.)

Regular condensed tomato soup has high fructose corn syrup, and even the fancy brands like Pacific Organics' Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Tomato soup has cane juice in we went to do our standard throw-together grilled cheese 'n tomato soup tonight, I had to come up with something else to serve with it.


What indeed...

Are you sufficiently suspensified?

I hope so.

*dramatic fanfare*

I made tomato soup from scratch tonight, and it rocked.

Here's what I dun-did:

2 14-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
garlic powder
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

Turn on le olde broiler on the ceiling-of-the-oven setting. High? Whatever it's called. Throw those tomatoes, the juice, onion, oil, and spices into a 9x13" pan. Broil for 10 minutes, stir, then broil an additional 10 minutes and remove from oven.

During the last 10 minutes of broilage, make a white sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, whisking in the flour until it gets nice 'n bubbly and golden, then add the milk all at once and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. When you get the tomato mixture outta the oven, throw that into the saucepan, stir, and serve.

Next time I think I'm gonna blend it, 'cause it was a little thick as-is. Well, or add some broth? I'm not sure. I shared the recipe anyway, so do with it what you will. :P


Finally, I finished le book, and it was cute. Not super cute, just... cute. I cried towards the end, though. I didn't like it enough to pursue the movie, if that tells you anything, but I don't really love movies that much anyway.

Does anybody else wanna read it? I'll mail/hand it to the first person who says they want it in a comment. I might even send cookies with it!

Now, to start The Secret Life of Bees. Today's nice and snowy, a perfect day for reading. ^_^

Edit: Marley and Me has been requested by Rachel! Yay.

the thing that destroyed cream cheesia (totally a country)

I'm eating some hash browns (slathered with Tapatio and pepper) as I type. ^_^

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
from Sarah

2 C Sugar
2 C Butter (at room temperature)
8 oz. Cream Cheese (again, at room temperature)
1 t Salt (freezing cold!! Just kidding...>_>)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder (I added this because I was afraid of the density, with all that butter and cheese)
1 t Almond Extract
1 t Vanilla
1/4 cup milk (or 2 egg yolks, or 1 egg)
5 C Flour

In a large bow, combine sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt, almond extract vanilla and egg yolk; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level off. Stir in Flour until well blended. Chill dough 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375˚F. On lightly floured surface roll out dough, one fourth at a time. to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shape with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1" apart on un-greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 7-10 (I did 13, but my oven's funny) minutes or until light golden brown. Cool Completely. Frost and Decorate if desired. (They are actually really good plain I think)

Makes 5-6 Dozen cookies.

And I frosted them with:

Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from BHG New Cookbook, the 1996 edition

8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2-3/4 cups powdered sugar

Beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together until there are no lumps remaining. Add in 2 cups of the powdered sugar, and beat in enough of the remaining sugar to get your frosting to the desired consistency.

I also added in 1/4 cup milk, just because...well, I don't remember why. I just wanted to. >_<>

a new challenger approaches!

Yeah, I know. It's been a while...

I'm working on posting more schtuff! Like, "I have my phone hooked up to the computer to get all the pictures off of it 'n everything!" working on it.

So...look forward to that, I guess?