Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Recipe.. Indian Chicken Masala....Delicious!!!

How is it almost Thursday? This week had gotten away from me.
I got one of my dollhouse boxes finished. Yeah. Now I just how to figure out stairs, wallpaper, carpets, windows, well alot I suppose. I plan on working on it here and there.

I still need to do some touch-ups and all but, overall its complete to get decorating. I even scored a solid wood table to keep all my minis and dollhouse, and at $25, I couldn't pass it up.

I spent a whole evening cleaning up and clearing out space for my newest addition to our family room.

Okay I tried another new dish. I didn't take pics I was just too hungry and ready to eat.
I made chicken masala or known as "creamy chicken" at most indian restaraunts. I love this dish and have been wanting to find a good recipe for some time. I have found a keeper.
Here's the link
Some minor changes I made, were, the recipe calls for way too much salt. I just added a pinch of salt, all the seasonings add enough flavor.
I only used 1 teaspoon of red pepper, to make this kid friendly, yet still have a bite to it.
I didn't use jalapenos.
I didn't grill my chicken, I just did it on the stove-top.
I served it over Basmati rice once again, with pita and hummus on the side.
The kids loved it! Definilty one to go in the old cookbook.
We have been having some damp, cool, rainy days around here. Where did my sun go?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

One Question? Do you have a cast iron skillet?

I have recently embarked on making my own pizza's, calzones, and now my friends, cast-iron skillet deep dish pizza. Yes. I came across this recipe on "From Scratch" and followed the link to here.
I wish I had taken pics, but I was just too hungry. I made it a deep dish meat lovers pizza, complete with italian sausage and pepperoni's. It says it's a large pizza. It fed my family of five, but if your planning on serving adults you would probably want to make a couple. So you would want to make two doughs, and double the cooking time if you have only one cast iron skillet.
The cooking time says 18 minutes, but I think I would recommend less. Really check it around 15 minutes.
I have had my cast-iron skillet for awhile now, and I am so excited I used it. I can forsee so many more pizza this way. You get a really good crust, which I love

I made my lentil soup the other day, and I'm proud to say, it turned out really tastey. I would like an extra kick though. We used to have a favorite lebanese place that we went to, and there was something in there that gave it a spicey kick. I swear it was a green onion. I may try this next time. This soup really makes good leftovers. With a nice crusty bread, it is perfect.
Here's the recipe.

I added my pic at the top of Danbo enjoying his cigars. I recently bought this set , it is an Orcara. I haven't bought these before, but I thought it was really well made, and the detail is good too.

Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Okay, You So Have To Make This!!!

It seems my meals have gotten into a bit of a rut as of recently. You know how you have few staples you make for dinner, and while their good, they kind of get overused. It's just easy sometimes. Usually every week we have tacos, but in order to make them a bit different I will do a different meat to switch things up. Or do enchiladas. Now that the weather is changing a bit I am trying to come up with ideas to not turn the stove on as well. Okay, enough rambling on, I made the most amazing indian chicken curry dish! I have been wanting to find a good curry for sometime now, but I tryed awhile ago and haven'nt tried again. So as usual I searched them web, read reviews, until I landed on Tyler Florence's recipce. We used to always watch his show when we had cable, and he would make the most amazing meals. This recipe did not dissappoint. Here is the link!
Serve this with some pita bread and over basmati rice, and your wildest dreams of curry with come true. Okay, maybe not. Okay , I did make some minor changes to the way I made this.
I didn't do his whole ghee procedure, I simply melted butter and cooked my onion and garlic, and I added powdered ginger because it was too pricey.

Next thing I changed was I used a store bought curry powder, I didn't make my own.
Next I didnt' use fresh tomatoes, although they would have been just as amazing, I bought a can of whole tomatoes and chopped them myself.

I served mine over Basmati rice. A must. I love the aroma of this rice too.

Another thing I did different is, I cooked a whole chicken, because I seriously love the flavors that come from cooking a chicken rather than the chicken breasts. The chicken seperates better and has a hearty taste. So with that, I didnt' cook my chicken raw in the sauce. This is a time saver if you cook it before hand. All these things simply saved me time. Except for cooking the whole chicken, thats optional. My husband took the leftovers to work today, jealous. There was only enough for one extra serving. Later this week we are supposed to get some cooler weather. I have been really wanting lentil soup, I know why didn't I make this when it was colder, but I really want lentil soup. I found a really good lebanese recipe that I will let you know how it turns out.

Okay, I have some crazy kids to wrangle up. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Enjoying The Open Windows

We have been having some off the hook weather lately. We're talking summer weather. Just what I asked for!! I love having the windows open and hearing the birds, kids playing, and dogs barking. I even got out on my moped this weekend. I have a 1980 Puch maxi, which I love. My husband put a new engine on it so it zips so fast around the neighborhood. Not techinically moped speed which is around 30, mine goes upwards of 42.

One of my flickr friends Snikey! is doing an amazing raffle to raise money for those in need in Japan. She is offering up some amazing Re-ment miniatures for just $3 dollars a ticket. All proceeds got to the Red Cross. She made a beautiful picture for the raffle (featured at the top of my post). It ends on March 27th. You can find the details here on the Re-ment Fan Club blog.

I finished a piece last night. I have been pondering this one for some time and it finally hit me what it needed. This piece really was inspired by thinking about others, whether it be those affected by disaster, or simply family that I can't easily get to and visibly share my love. It shows the love letters that we send from our heart.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Song for You..

I was sketching and doing some piece work when this song came on by "Band of Horses" called "The Ends Not Near." Really good song. Check it out ;)

I have a running list right now of new music I want.
Thought I would share one I liked today ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Toy Exhibit ....

We went to a toy exhibit at our history musuem. I have been wanting to go see this before it ended, so my husband took a day off, and we did a little field trip to the musuem today. Of course I love toys, so this was super exciting. I could stare in those cases for hours. I took some pics too.
We had fun there and then did a bit of shopping for some spring clothes for the kids. Then we went to a really fun toy shop in town that literally has like a ton of Playmobil toys. We love Playmobil. The best part is they sell the indivdual boxes of all diffrent characters for only $4 dollars. So the kids had fun picking out a person. My son found a magician that is pretty awesome.
We are having some amazing weather today. Summer weather.

Lastnight I started watching Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyasaki. It is beautifully done. I have to finish it this weekend. It is over 2 hours long. After a long week, I started to fall asleep. The story line is quite interesting. The forest is warring against the humans that are taking over their land. It is definitly not a kid cartoon, but for adults.

We also rented "Legend of the Guardians" for the kids. It look interesting enough. We like to do a movie night where we sit in front of the t.v. and eat dinner, and then popcorn. The kids love it. I found some plaid t.v. trays at the thriftstore last year, three too, that they can sit with.

I hope to get some more painting done on my dollhouse this weekend, and possibly assembling. I want to do another coat on the outside. I have been really liking the idea of making my own dollhouse furniture. I love small scale things so I thought it would interesting to experiment with. I went looking for books in this arena when I came across "The New Dollshouse Do-It-Yourself book." It sounds like something that will be a really big help. I found it used online, so I can't wait to check it out. I recently came across Lene Dragon on Flickr ,and her amazing creations. Her bachelor pad kitchen is simply amazing. You would never know it is miniature. Seriously check it out!

Have a great Friday!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Hate Digital Scales....

My husband recently decided we needed to update our scale. He has recently lost some weight and he wanted to go digital. I hate digital. You wanna know why. The good ole' fashion one made me weigh less. Stupid Technology! ;)

An awesome blogger Estelle from Curbside Style nominated me for a Leibster Award. It really made my day. The LBA award aims to spread the word about great blogs with less than 300 followers. Made me smile.

I got a mini in the mail today that I have been wanting forever. It's from the
Re-ment Candy shop series. Ring Pop!

It comes with a bunch of other fun pieces, but this one was my fave. And I even happened to have a ring pop in the cabinet.

Recently one of my favorite miniature enthusiast, collector of miniatures, bloggers "Call of the Small". was featured in "Ladies Home Journal"
with her amazing miniatures. They did an article about decluttering your space. It was a great article. The best part was the use of miniatures that they used to represent the real things. I had to have the magazine, so I picked it up at the grocery the other night.

We had sunshine today. What a difference that can make on my attitude. I opened up the back door and got some fresh air in. I had to let all the germs escape.
Tonight I plan on watching "Sketches of Frank Gehry." He is an architectural genius.

Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another Rainy Day... Really?

We are getting quite alot of rain lately. On the plus side, it's looking really green outside. The negative, I need some sun! With having some sicky's around here, and the gloom outside, I'm just really blah lately. When I'm like this, I don't really want to cook or do much at all. Last night I needed to go shopping before dinner, so something quick was in order for dinner when I got home.
Dinner consisted of waffles. Yes waffles, eggos to be exact. With everyone just feeling under the weather, the fastest and probably the only thing they would actually eat while not feeling good, was waffles. I have to say, they were great.
I haven't had waffles in ages.

I need some motivation. I need to get pumped. I feel like compare to last year, my energy level has fallen. I'm not sure why. I used to be able to go a full day, and then craft, or sew into the wee hours of the night. Not so much lately. Maybe 30 really brought down the energy level. I even have coffee sometimes after dinner in hopes it will keep me going. And still it doesn't always work.

Wow, I really sound like "Debbie Downer" over here.

Have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I have been m.i.a lately it seems. We have had some sickys around here. My youngest is sick today. She wasn't herself all day yesterday, which made me think something was coming. Poor thing was up last night with a fever. So I was up most the night, cooling her down. I believe I got a couple of hours of sleep.

We did have a great day yesterday though. We visited with family, had some of our fave pizza (Spinelli's), did some window shopping, talked, played nintendo, laughed, made bacon, and popcorn, ate some carrot cake (my fave recipe again!), and talked some more. It was really a great day! Oh and I even got the most amazing measuring cups I've ever seen and a new Belle and Sebastion cd from my brother and sister-in-law. What have I done to deserve this ;) I like days like that.
Here are the measuring cups. Just awesome!

While we were out I got a new little figure. Her name is Cute To-fu. She is part of the Play To-Fu Alphabeto-fu series. Isn't she cute?

Have a great Monday!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What a Week..

The week started off normal enough, but by the end of it, today, I'm exhausted. I woke up Wednesday to a mess made by my dog around the house. Apparently she snuck out of our bedroom and decided she would relieve herself around the house, yes, and even both. So that was fun to wake up to. Then yesterday, my little buddy woke up and , much to his dismay, couldn't get to the bathroom in enough time, and lost his dinner from the night before. Once that was cleaned off of various places, the girls were up. And another accident occurs. My youngest decided she needed to pee by her bed and on a gift bag. I feel like I've cleaned up every bodily fluid possible this week. I'm feeling quite drained.
I'm glad to report that my son is feeling way better today.
I woke to read as well about the devastation in Japan. I feel so horribly for the lives lost, and those left to clean up from the devastation. Our earth is making some major shifts. It seems we have been having an unnerving amount of earthquakes. I hope this all quiets down soon. I feel so horrible for all those dealing with the aftermath just recently in New Zealand.

I finished a piece earlier in the week that I was excited about.

I believe I will title it "Just Out of Reach." I had fun making this one.

Lastnight my husband and I started on the painting process of my new dollhouse duplex's. He loves painting and sanding. I went with a white paint that already had a primer in it so that it would save on time. It worked out wonderfully. We did two coats of it. A tip that my husband came up with (he always thinks outside the box) was to use the rough wood that was meant for the inside, on the outside, so that we have nice smooth walls where I will be taking the pictures. Brillant I say! I can't wait to work some more this weekend. We are doing one duplex at a time. I hope to get some more painting done tonight, and then possibley glue the pieces together this weekend. I want to find a nice old table to put these on in our family room. I want an old table from the thrift store type.

Movie Recommendation time. We rented from Netflix the movie "It's Kind Of A Funny Story" with Zach Galifinakis (I love his humor). It takes place in a mental ward of a hospital. I thought it was excellent. It had just the right amount of humour and seriousness. It looked at the affects of mental illness on family and how they deal with it, whether good or bad. It had the right amount of humor too, enough to make you feel like the characters were real. It showed to different ways people dealt with the mental illness. I really enjoyed it. As my husband said, it had an eightiesesque feel to it.
They had a song sequence with the cast singing the song "Under Pressure" with Queen and David Bowie. It was great. It totally suited the movie. That song totally fits my week and things going on around the world.

I hope you have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Middle of the Week.. Yay!

We have been having some rainy days around here. Which means , I'm not motivated to do much. I want to get in a nice comfy blanket and read or watch t.v. I think that we need that sometimes. A blanket, a good book, or show, and well, maybe throw in some chocolate or your favorite snack.
I have been doing my dollhouse research as of recently. I just got it in the mail today, and I couldn't be more excited. They are made by Hobby Builders Supply and they are kits to make your own duplex's.

I also got a side by side as well. I can't wait to customize each room. I was thinking recently about why I love dollhouses and miniatures so much, and it came to me. As a little kid I thought for sure I would be an architect. I would plan out houses on paper, drawing everything that would be in each room. I loved it. But then one fateful day I realized that I would have to be somewhat good at math. Waah, waah! Debbie Downer huh? So I went a different route. Doing it for a hobby would be okay. I built my first dollhouse in eighth grade, and have loved them ever since. I can't wait to get to work on these. I am planning out the paint, which I thihk I'll go with white, because it will photograph well, and then I can customize with wall paper and all. Okay, I'm getting a little excited. I will have to share the process. I have already ordered some furnitures, and I can't wait to continue the process. I plan on making some of my own tables and such.

I took a pic of the lawn gnome animals I had bought awhile back.

Have a happy Wednesday. I'm off to play ping pong on the kitchen table ;)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Calzones and Why I Enjoy Cooking at Home

I had a mini pizza parlor going on on Friday night. My husband thought I was crazy, in a good way. I made pizza's and calzones. I just couldn't resist. The last time I made my own pizza I want to try my hand at calzones. The key to a delicious one, is making your own dough. It really is so simple, and just delicious. You can make it thin crust, deep dish, or whatever your fancy. Friday I wanted to try my hand at calzones. I love ricotta cheese, and most calzones have it as their main filling.
I put sausauge, pepperoni, ricotta, parmisan, and a pizza cheese mix. You
really can make it anyway you like it. Even a vegan version would be easy.
This was another of Emeril Lagasse's recipes. I used his method on making the dough, and the rising times, but I pretty much did my own filling combination.
While was on a dough making kick, I even went ahead and made cinnamon rolls for the morning. Once I get going sometimes I can't stop myself.
I have to say I believe I have really gotten into cooking at home for several reasons. Number one, it saves money. With a family of five, its not very cheap to got out. Number two I usually find some of the meals I eat out to be quite lack luster. I never get things quite like I like them, and then I'm bummed that I spent so much. Number three, I have actually enjoyed learning how easy it is to make things myself. As a person who knew absolutely nothing about cooking when I first got married, to making my own calzones, well, I'm quite astonished. Really, some of the stuff my husband ate at first. But he took it with stride and had hopes that it would get better ;)
The one thing that I found quite hard when I first started cooking was timing. How to make things ahead, or what order to cook things so that my chicken wasn't sitting an hour before the sides were done. That was quite hard. But once I figured it out, I ran with it. Having a daughter with alot of food allergies also pushed me to make my own baked goods as well.
With the help of the internet, family, and the faces that enjoy my homeade food, it has been my motivation.
Wow, this post took on a whole different twist than what I expected ;)
Have a great Sunday. If you ever make anything I recommend, seriously I would love to hear about it, or see pics ;)

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Few Friday Things... One Involving Cats

I got my Warby Parkers in the mail, the Colton with whiskey tortoise color. Yes, they are quite amazing!!! I highly recommend this company. They even gave me an extra 10% off because they took a bit longer to get my try-ons to me. Amazing!

Okay this commercial that Elycia blogged about, simply made my day on so many levels. The one cat is even cross-stitching a cat. It can't get any better than this!!

I was checking about Modcloth this morning (I always hear so much about their clothes, yes they are awesome!) when I came across this sweater. Cross-stitch pattern, love!

My husband and son are going to a vintage arcade show this weekend. You pay ten dollars and get to play all the old arcade style games, and even ones from the old systems such as Nintendo. My son is so thrilled. It will be a fun daddy and son day!

Sorry for all the videos, but I have been waiting for someone to post this Travelers insurance commerical with what look like Playmobil people. We love Playmobil around here, and this is just super cute!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Middle of Week..

It's the middle of the week! Yay! It seems I haven't gotten behind this week. My home calls me. There are weeks such as these. I have even gotten a few pics behind on my mini 365. I will have to do something about this tonight.

I as running this morning when a song came on Pandora that made me flash back to junior high. I loved the Smashing Pumpkins so much. I really do love their re-make of Landslide , originally sung by Stevie Nicks. Such a good song. My next fave is
"1979." This song is so junior high for me. Did you like the Smashing Pumpkins?

Have a great Wednesday!!