January 31, 2012

Channa butter chicken


This was so totally delicious. It was my first time making butter chicken from scratch last week and it was very well received! My dad suggested I make this every week...to which my brother and I responded that although it's tasty, we'd probably get super tired of it. My mother who has convinced herself that she's lactose intolerant, ate this with ease. She's actually not lactose intolerant...apparently just intolerant of anything "creamy". Westernized soy milk? Creamy, yet eating hummus is fine. lol It's kind of hilarious.

Anyway, the recipe I used was based on one from allrecipes.com. It has 636 reviews, averaging at 4.5 out of 5 and the photos taken by others looked good enough. I did, however modify it to suit my likings. First was doubling the gravy recipe, because it's the sauce that makes it and I also added a large can of chickpeas. It adds bulk and protein, who's to complain?!

Here's the recipe I used (more or less)

Chana Butter Chicken
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons butter, salted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste*
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 2  teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1/cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups tomato puree
  • A squirt of ketchup (about 2 teaspoons, trust me on this.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt or to taste
  • *Don't have garlic ginger paste? Just mash up equal amounts of each. I used my Magic Bullet and it worked like a charm!
  • 1/4 cup of almonds, roasted and ground (add 1/4 cup of water to help it process if need be)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Large can of chickpeas

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Saute onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 tablespoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaves. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add almond mixture and stir to thicken. Season with salt, taste and adjust. Remove from heat, pick out the bay leaves and set aside. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 tablespoon garam masala and cayenne. Set aside on a clean plate. Turn the heat to low and let cool for a few minutes.
  3. When the gravy has cooled down a bit, use a hand blender or a stand up blender and puree the sauce until silky smooth.
  4. Using the same pot that the chicken was just cooked in, add the sauce. Heat it up and add the chicken pieces back in along with any of the juices that may have escaped, as well as the chickpeas. Cook for another 10 minutes until the chicken is done. If it's too thick, add water until you have the consistency you want.
  5. Serve with rice, naan, roti, potatoes..anything. Just eat it as is...ugh now I want some! Your house will smell divine!

January 30, 2012

Neutrals & faint corals







Thanks to Denise, who gifted these MAC gems to me a week or so ago. I'm a huge fan of nude/neutral lips as I wear my eye make up rather smokey, so it's perfect. I love the colours! On the other hand, my cat has been clinging to me lots lately. It's usually at night too, which I find totally cute...but it's super hard to do internet things, like typing when I've got a fur ball laying over my shoulder. But I can't complain...it's like having a fuzzy, purring little heater on my lap keeping me warm.

January 20, 2012

Odd dreams

I had a dream yesterday, that Angelina Jolie was my mother and she was tickling me like a child.
I vividly remember how her face super close to mine and I could see all her smile lines and lashes.

What the hell.

January 18, 2012

Julep Maven, 1¢









Julep.com to do their style quiz and for more information about their subscription service! The 1¢ promo is over for now. I'm glad I signed up, because I'm very happy with what I received. The nail varnishes are highly pigmented, apply smoothly and come with great brushes. I think the little pot of chrome flakes is a fab bonus!

January 09, 2012

Velvet


Dessert: Affogato.
So, damn good! Super rich and creamy vanilla ice cream with hot espresso, er, double brewed coffee poured on top. Totally made my night! It probably might have been better with actual espresso, but I haven't got any! Double brewed will just have to do. (& it did!) The foam is my favourite part! Try it, you will love it.

Microwaved potato chips

What the eff?! I know, right?
It's not the fact that they're made in the microwave..it's the fact that I actually decided to make them instead of shelling out a buck or two for a whole bag! Haha. But what can I say.. it was super cold outside last week and I had time on my hands along with a handful of baby potatoes that I had a feeling were about to sprout. I put them to good use!

This snack is relatively low in fat, considering the only fat you end up using is a spurt or two of cooking spray. This, I like. :)

Get your potatoes and give them a good scrub down. We're not peeling them, so wash them well!


If you have a mandoline, slice them up as thin as you can. If you don't, work those knife skills!


Place the taters on some paper towel to dry off a bit, get yourself a microwave safe dish (Pyrex) and a sheet of parchment. Lightly oil (Pam) it and place the potato slices on to it. Season with salt, pepper, herbs, garlic etc.


Set your microwave on high, in 3 minute intervals. It may take more or less time depending on the power/potato/thickness. Not before long, you'll see the potatoes slowly morphing into chips before your eyes! As soon as they're as gold as you like them to be, stop and BAM. Done. I like them dipped in ketchup. Yumm!

January 04, 2012

Chanukah with the Shore's


BeyBlade dreidel style


I look forward to eating matzo ball soup...all the time!!

My plate with everything on it, clockwise from the top: string beans, roasted garlic potatoes, brisket, meatballs in a sweet 'n tangy tomato sauce, chicken wings and a baked potato latke (from The Pickle Barrel)!


Country blueberry pie for dessert, so good.


Richard's party plate: vanilla "ice cream" with mixed berries

Yum <3

Smart Shopping


First things first.
I finally got my new camera, the Canon T2i!
Okay, so...this past summer, my T1i had an accident. I plunged it in the pool and it died. It was horrifying and I was super sad. I felt so guilty and so bad about it, since Richard had bought it for me Christmas 2009 that I didn't allow myself to get another DSLR until this past Christmas. (Did I mention I also broke my even older but super amazing Canon Pro1, which is discontinued.. a couple months later when I went camping and used it as a DSLR replacement??! I DROPPED IT.) SO GUILTY. I ended up surviving by using my Nikon point & shoot and borrowing Rich's Rebel.

Fortunately, Best buy had a pretty awesome deal on the T2i. $599 for the body, a kit lens, extra battery and a camera bag. I don't really care for the bag or the lens, but seeing as the body alone was $599 at some places on Boxing Day...I was sold. The extra battery alone is worth about $90! I wanted to pick up the 50mm 1.8 lens but it was sold out. No wonder, because it was on sale for $89! Crazy. I'll probably sell the bag and whatever else I can from the old camera.
Hopefully this new one will last me more than a year! I promise to be a good camera momma.



Loblaws had an awesome Christmas clear out. These ornaments were only 44¢ a box!

About

Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and make big messes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's super cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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