Verse of the week

"For whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."- 1 Corinthians 10:31

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thai Roasted Chicken

I make roasted chicken quite a bit.Why?It is cost effective.I usually get 2-3 different meals out of 1 whole chicken.So to keep it interesting,i play around with spices.You will see different take with spices in roasting the chicken.
            This time,i decided to add some Thai spices i have sitting in my refrigerator.I had bought Dijon mustard after long time,i prefer  grainy texture,so i get stone ground.I wanted to be able to use it in the recipe.I mixed it up with Red Thai Curry Paste and Sambal Olek.Sambal is a Thai chili paste.To mellow down the heat little,I added some Guava Jelly i had.Exotic ha !Now you know the reason behind the dish name.This is what i had roughly.I wasn't measuring anything,just eyeballing.
  • 2-2.5 Tbl stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tsp Sambal Olek
  • 1-1.5 Tsp Red Thai Curry Paste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Tsp Guava Jelly
  • 1 Tbl oil
  • Salt to season.
Roasted  Chicken
Mix all the ingredients and lather chicken with it.Inside and out.Poke the chicken,so the spices goes inside.You can marinade the chicken longer like that too.Make sure to season with salt liberally.Bake at 425F for 30 mins.When it has started darkening ,turn the temperature down to 400F,bake for another 30 mins,covered with Aluminum foil.It was the big size chicken,usually i go  with 400F and lowering down to 375F.Let it rest after taking out from the oven,it helps juices to redistribute and settle down.

Gravy :       
Traditionally gravy is made with roux but being as lazy as i get while cooking,I poured down the juices from baked chicken in a pan.In a separate bowl,dissolved 1 Tbl of corn starch in cold water.Poured it in the liquid.Boil it until it thickens.Season to your liking.
             Carve the chicken and drizzle the gravy on top of it before serving.I served  it with the side of homemade honey rolls and green beans.

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet cake is my hubby's one of the favorite cake flavor.I have made it earlier using the store bought mix.On this valentine day  i thought i will give a try to make it from scratch,so i googled around and settled on this  Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
Red Velvet cupcake

 I found mine little bit drier then what i would have liked it to be,not sure if i overbaked it,i followed the instruction verbatim on this one.However cream cheese frosting totally made for that.I am not a fan of  shortening based icing,blob of trans fat and too sweet but this was airy,rich and smooth and i loved every bit of it !
Side Notes:
-I used gel food coloring,pink.I didn't had red.
-Make sure that cakes are completely cooled down before applying frosting.
-Put the leftover cupcakes in refrigerator.It tastes just as good.

Valentine Sugar Cookies

For Valentine class party parents were asked to bring different items for party,when i went to sign up for that,only thing left blank,said 'Homemade Cookies',where 'Homemade' was added later on the printed sheet !With my past experience in helping out at class parties,i have seen couple of  box(es) of store bought cookies.Not that there is anything wrong with that but it is probably too much  when 4 people bring the same thing.Anyway,i happily signed up for that.I was glad because thats what i wanted to bring too.
              I have one trusty recipe for  Sugar Cookies which i cut it out in heart shape,sprinkled with colored sugar and valentine nonpareil and baked .Easy !!!

Heart cookies

Side Notes:
-Icing/Frosting the cookies are most common and probably favorite way to decorate the cookies.I find icing too sweet,not to mention messy,so i prefer sprinkles and colored sugar.Also,cookies needs to be completely cooled down before it can be iced,it adds another time factor,i don't get excited about.

Valentine Treat Bags

We made treat bags for our kids classmates and teachers.It easily added up to around 35 little gifts.It is  very easy to go over board but i wanted to
  • Keep it simple but cute
  • Keep it frugal yet  not cheap looking
  • My kids MUST participate in making it happen
Of course,these days there is pinterest to help Mom like me and  thats where the ideas came from,i customized little bit to suit in my budget.
For teacher

Teacher's valentine gift

For classmates
  • I don't wanted to print the cute labels.My printer is a ink hog or spend money outside printing it,so i made my kids write it.Yes alphabet practice bonus !
  • I love paper crafting(or thats what i think),so i have some crafting supplies.I cut out hearts and my kids scribbled,drew on those white cards and glued heart cut outs,which they handed to their classmates.
Valentine cards for classmates
I probably spent less then 50 cents on each gift.Cheap can you say?Cute,i like to think so !You be the judge.

Valentine Day Party

Valentine day party has come and gone and i know i am little late in posting.To me valentine day is modern day invention,i know the roots run  deep but its popularity is definitely something i wasn't aware of growing up in India,US is another story and i am told it has been certainly popular longer then what i knew of.So much so that there are class Valentine day parties at schools.
Of course my kids school are not any different.Every kid was suppose to bring something for all of their classmates and for teachers(Though it is unwritten communication).Also a food item for the party.
              At the home front,we of course wanted to do something to celebrate it little.So we went out for dinner(Yes,its a big deal to go out for dinner in the weekdays for us.Don't laugh and judge us !!!).So in short that's what we did for Valentine madness.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Superbowl Party

This past Sunday on Feb 5th,we hosted the Super Bowl XLVI party at our home with some dear friends.I am so not a sports person,certainly not the football ,though i am married to one who likes a game of good football !
           Don't ask me the score for the game,i only came to know who is playing who and when, only couple of days because i had to send the email out for the party.The real reason i love  Superbowl is,you get to gobble TONS of wide array of food with friends,lots of laughter sitting across the dinner table  and watch some funny commercials,the only time during the game that  i turn my head towards the TV or may be half time entertainment !
            I just have to say it to those who are not familiar with American Football,Yes i had several instances where i had to explain this.Its quintessentially  'American' Football ,which might have been played in some place outside US too,i am not too familiar with that quiz question. It is to Americans,what Cricket is to Indians.It is played not only at professional level but also at  high school level and college level.Its popularity is SAME across all the levels.Whether its a small town of 900 residents or the big boys making big bucks,stadium is always crowded with fans.
           American football is NOT soccer.Soccer is soccer.Soccer is what is played in India, where you try to kick the ball towards the goal.FIFA world cup is prized possession,if you are into soccer.It  is called 'Football'  in India loosely.Its NOT Rugby,which is popular in England and some other countries.Notice the lack of pads in Rugby player uniform and take a look at Eli Manning  playing 'American' Football.Or take a look at Tom Brady and David Beckham while they are in field.You will know the difference right away !!
          Sorry i got distracted for little bit.Getting back to track now.Our menu had some classic Superbowl food fare.Some non traditional yummies too and something just for kids.Yes it was family affair,so we were mindful of all the sizes of demographics .