Monday, February 14, 2011

Be My Valentine

"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." - I John 4:9-12

Well, today is Valentine's Day... a day filled with flowers, candy, and lots of pink! But what I love about Valentine's Day isn't the sweet surprises, it's that everyone has a reason to celebrate. Valentine's Day is a celebration of love, and we experience that in so many different relationships - siblings, parents, friends, spouses,  and significant others. However, the most important love that we have to celebrate is the love of God, our Father who in sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins gave us the most precious and sacrificial gift, our salvation. This February 14th, on top of celebrating God's love and my relationships with my family and friends, I have the blessing of celebrating the love I have for my husband. 

I hope each and everyone of you get to celebrate with a loved one... whether that be celebrating with friends, enjoying a date night with the hubs, or just hanging out watching TV. As for Nate and I, we did the fancy Valentine's date Friday night, so you can find us eating $.50 wings at Plucker's tonight... Happy Valentine's Day Nate!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another snow day... really?!

After four "snow days" off work due last week and another one today, I started going a little stir crazy, so here's another cooking recipe/ ideas:

Raisin Bran Muffins.
This is my mom's recipe that I absolutely LOVE! As weird as it sounds, the buttermilk is what makes these so delicious. One batch makes about 36-48 muffins, and you can refrigerate the batter for up to 6 weeks.

15 Oz Box (5 & 1/2 cups) Raisin Bran, All Bran or any bran flakes
3 Cups Sugar (may use half brown sugar)
5 Cups Flour
5 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
1-2 Cups Oil or melted butter or margarine
4 Eggs
1 Qt Buttermilk

Stir together the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet ingredients. Use a small ice cream scoop to fill the paper-lined or well- greased muffin cups. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degreees for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice Day!

Some of the best moments and memories in life are the times we spend enjoying simple and unexpected pleasures. On Tuesday, Nate and I, along with most of the city of Dallas, didn't go to work due to the ice and winter weather conditions.

This isn't anything out of the ordinary for me... I work at a school, and I get at least one snow/ ice day a year. Nate, however, works at Cityplace - a large office building outside of downtown that holds several different businesses - when the building is open, he works. But on Tuesday, even Cityplace shut down!

We were like two kids on summer vacation, receiving the 5:00 am phone call explaining that our offices were shut down, and the rest of the day was every bit as entertaining. We braved the cold and ice and went on a short excursion to Walgreens. What was, in reality, a one hour trip to the pharmacy felt like an exciting little adventure. After we got back I enjoyed playing around in the frigid weather while Nate cooked bratwurst on the grill for lunch.

After de-thawing in front of the fire and enjoying a delicious lunch, we spent the remainder of the afternoon napping and watching a movie.

For people who experience snow and ice on a regular winter basis, you probably think reacting this much to cold weather sounds silly. However, for those of us who live here in Dallas, a simple "ice day" can truly refresh and reinvigorate us by reminding us that some of the best times in life are the spontaneous moments spent with the ones we love. 
Amateur Indian Food. I love how sharing a meal truly brings people together. Different foods conjure up unique stories and memories in each of us: comfort food our mothers made us... recipes that remind us of friends... food and smells that remind us of different events in our lives. Growing up, Indian food was not something we ate often, or ever. However, recently, I've discovered that I really enjoy the bold and unique spices of Indian food (yes, mom, I even like the smell and taste of curry). Nate and I love this little restaurant on Knox Street called "Roti Grill". It's a modern and fresh Indian food restaurant. We even took April there last time she was in town to share in her maiden Indian food voyage.

I'm always trying to be more creative in making meals and cooking (sometimes more than I think Nate would like), and this week I decided to roll up my sleeves and attempt to create an Indian meal. Because I've never made anything like this, I went for the simple... the easy... the "pre-made" as you might call it, and this is why I call it amateur Indian food. Nate and I found a "vindaloo curry paste" in the Indian food section of Kroger, and we decided to start with that:

This paste is the base for the sauce; it's delicious and surprisingly fresh tasting! Vindaloo is the hot paste, but they also have all different heat levels (mild, medium, and hot). Here's the recipe I came up with:

Ingredients (All of these ingredients can be altered depending on the number of people):

1/4 onion, finely chopped
1-2 new potatoes, cubed
2-3 carrots, sliced
2 chicken breasts, cubed
4 tbs curry paste
1/3 c. water
heavy whipping cream and flour, add as desired to thicken


1. Saute onions, potatoes, carrots, and chicken in oil. Cook with lid on until meat is not pink and vegetables are tender.

2. Add curry paste and water. Bring to a boil and stir.

3. Add whipping cream and take off heat to thicken. (If desired, add more whipping cream and flour to make sauce thicker).

I also added a little parsley, cilantro, and lime juice to bring out the freshness. Serve over basmalti rice with shaved carrots on top. ENJOY!

Do any of you have any other Indian food recipes that we should try?