Monday, December 26, 2016

Deviled Chicken and A Quiet Christmas Eve

This year we didn’t keep anything on Christmas Eve. Long before we decided to stay at home only. Though, once we decided to Tahoe, but we abandoned our plan. So, almost we did nothing. We went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. Then we did some shopping. I bought a bagful of goodies from Bath and Bodyworks. Then after coming back I remembered that We need some gloves and hats for our forthcoming vacations. So, again we rushed back to Sports Basement. Anyway, rest of the day we decided to stay at home only. So, the Christmas Eve was almost uneventful. Actually, we did want to make it simple, just staying at home, and relaxing. I cooked a little different for the dinner, though I was not in the mood to cook anything. Though, Mr. Man suggested having dinner outside, I only denied that. We already ate out lunch. Anyway, I just cook one chicken dish, and with had chicken with fried rice.

Salmon at California Pizza Kitchen

Here I’m giving the recipe of the chicken. I got the recipe from a recipe book, though I changed many of the ingredients, still I’m keeping the same name of the dish.
Chicken breast two pieces
One small onion
One tsp. dry thyme
Half tsp. nutmeg
Half tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
One fourth cup of flour
Two tbsp butter
One tbsp oil
One fourth cup almond 
Half cup milk (I used 2% reduced fat)
One cup green grapes(I didn’t have green grapes, so, I used black grapes.)

Deviled Chicken

Clean the chicken , pat it dry. Cut the chicken into medium sized cube.  Soak the almonds in hot water. Slice the onion thinly. In a big bowl, take flour, thyme, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well. Put the chicken in the bowl. Mix well, to coat every pieces with flour mixture. Heat butter in a pan, in low medium, fry the chicken pieces. Take out the chicken in a bowl. In the same pan, add oil. Keep the heat in medium. Fry the onion, covering the pan until onion becomes mushy, stirring occasionally. Return the chicken pieces in the pan. Mix well with onion, let it cook, until chicken is tender. It will take about 15-20 minutes. If the curry starts sticking on bottom, add one-fourth cup of water. Do not add more water. Add the remaining flour mixture into the pan. Mix well. Peel the almonds. In a mixer, make a paste of almond with milk. Add the almond-milk mixture. Cook in low-medium heat. Season with salt. Do not raise the heat, otherwise, the milk will curdle. Cut the grapes into halves. Add the grapes in the chicken. Mix well. Switch of the stove. Serve hot with rice. We had it with fried rice.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Spanish Chicken with shrimp

Last few days before Christmas are going a little bit hectic. From cooking something different dishes to keeping kiddie’s demand is becoming overwhelming. I’m not complaining at all, I love to be busy, I love to cook different dishes for family and friends, I love to give handmade gifts . Last Friday I invited my friends for a little lunch before going to pick up our kids from school. That was a beautiful time.  We moms, spent together without any interruptions. One of my friends came with a Mason Jar full of Holiday potpourri , that was so nice. Monday evening I was not at home. I took my son to dentist’s office. At that time one of friends, Bella and her two little ones came to give a box full of homemade delicious cookies. My husband was at home, he saw them from inside that, younger one had been jumping in excitement, and the older one smiling with a cookie box in her hand. However, as soon as Mr. Man opened the door, little one became standstill, and the older one stopped smiling. They almost drop the box in my husband’s hand and quickly ran towards their car. They were expecting me and my son, instead of that when they saw a totally different person, they just scared. That was a very funny incident. Still I cannot stop laughing, whenever it comes into my mind. December 21st was the last day of school, we all exchanged gifts. I gave my friends cakes and breads. That very day I baked three cakes, and four breads! On the top of that my son wanted to make crispy rice train from the kit which he bought from Costco few days back. I was so busy, I forgot to take the pictures of the cakes and breads. After giving all to my friends I realized I didn’t take the photos to show my blogger friends. Anyway, next time I must take photos for you. I don’t want to write the details of the gifts what my friends have given us for Christmas. We will open them in the morning of Christmas, and I’ll write in details with the pictures for you. Now I want to share a chicken recipe which I cooked last week.

One pound boneless chicken breasts
One tbsp. oil (I used olive oil)
One bell pepper ( I used a green one)
One medium onion
Two garlic cloves (or one tbsp garlic powder)
One big tomato
One cup dry white wine
Two tbsp. dry oregano (fresh is better)
One small peeled shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash the chicken, and pat it dry. Cut it into medium sized cube. Thinly slice the bell pepper, and the onion. If you are using garlic cloves, mince the cloves. Finely chop the tomato. 
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the onion, and sauté. Add the chicken slices, and fry. Cover the pan, and let it cook, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and tomato. Mix well, and cook , about ten minutes. Add the shrimp, cover the pan, and cook until the chicken is tender.  Add white wine. Add the bell pepper, mix well. Season with salt, and pepper, and let it cook until everything is tender. Serve with hot steaming rice.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas crafts

I think I'm not managing my time properly. I won't tell that, I'm not getting enough time . I've enough time, but I'm not utilizing in smart way. I thought of uploading a new post on Friday, but till Sunday evening I'm unable to do that. Anyway, the weekend is going pretty busy. Friday I had a small lunch party with at my home with few of my close friend. We had a nice time , tough we spent only one hour together, but everyone enjoyed my cooking. On Saturday we visited one museum, that was very interesting. Hopefully I'll write about that on Monday. In the mean time I did some little crafts, some just for myself, some with my kid, some for my kid, and some for my husband. Here I'm giving the picture all those pictures.

I had a small wreath base (about 2 inch wide)

sitting on my craft shelf,

at least for few years.

Suddenly few days back I decided to make a little wreath,

which I can hang on my Christmas tree.

A little fake tree bunch ,

and few little pine cones 

was also there in my collection.

I glued them together, 

and I have gotten this little tree ornaments.

After making the small wreath ornaments,

I still had few pinecones left.

I made bows with thick ribbons, 

glued the  pinecones in front of the bow,

and to decorate more I found out a little bell, 

which also sitting in my craft shelf to be utilized. 

And here is another little ornaments.

Mr. Man had white elephant game at his office. He wanted a really different gift box. I made this fit box from five cardboard pieces.

When the kiddie in the last moment demanded a gift for his teacher's birthday, then what the mom can do? Mom did this. Mom again searched in her collection, and took out some unusable gift paper,some small scrap papers,some thick advertisement paper, and made this tine little gift box.Then mom put two pairs of little handmade earrings inside the box.

When kiddie wanted to do some Christmas craft

These are the few crafts I made in past few days. Hope you'll enjoy them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Turkey stuffed chicken breasts

Saturday was a real busy day. On the top of that to was just down pouring. That was a perfect day for hot cocoa and snuggle under blanket. However, we had a loads of things to since morning. In the morning first ,our son has his first violin recital. so, we had to go, as there was no question of missing the first ever recital in life. And that was not the end. We had our first Christmas dinner party of 2016 that very Saturday evening. Mr. Man wanted to make a snacks party. So, I couldn’t make anything night before.  Anyway, the recital went well. 

I was scared that , might be he wouldn’t do well. However, he did  very great job, even his teacher was very much impressed on him. He is picking up violin really quickly. Anyway, atet coming home from recital, I started preparing for the party. Apart from I had clean the house. The part went very well, we had a great time. When every one left, and the house was cleaned that clock was ticking one o’clock. I really took two days to recover from that. Anyway, many of the items I cooked for the party, I’m giving recipe of one of them. 

Two cups of ground turkey
Five chicken breast pieces
One cup pesto sauce
Four tsp. garlic powder
Salt to taste
One tbsp. olive oil
One bunch of green bean
One-two zucchini
Few cherry tomatoes
A bunch of tooth picks
Freshly ground black pepper

Before going into the oven

Wash the chicken breasts , and pat them dry. Marinate them with salt and two tsp of garlic powder for two hours. In the mean time, in a big bowl put the ground turkey, pour water into it. wash with hand. Then take a big strainer, and slowly pour the ground turkey in it, in batches. Stir slowly with a spatula, to drain out the water, and transfer the turkey in another bowl. I alway use this method to wash ground meat. If you have any other way to wash ground meat,you can use that. Now heat one tsp of oil in a deep pan in medium. Pour the turkey, add salt, and one tsp of garlic powder. Let it cook covering the pan. Stir the turkey occasionally. It will take maximum ten minutes to cook.  If you find that excessive water is oozing out, don’t let it cook until the water dried up. Strain the broth, and keep it. You can use the broth anytime. Now, take one breast piece at a time. Take an enough large piece of clear plastic wrap to cover loosely the chicken piece. Take a rolling pin, and pound the chicken to make it flat, so that you can roll it. Take our the chicken from the wrap. Take one tbsp. and  little more pesto sauce, smear on the chicken. Add two tbsp. or more turkey on it. Roll the chicken and tuck few toothpicks to secure it. 

After baking

Cut the vegetable into long pieces. Preheat the oven at F. 350. Take an oven proof baking dish, lined with aluminum foil inside. Spray oil inside the pan. Arrange the chicken inside. Arrange the vegetable by the side. Bake for half and hour or more, until the chicken are tender. Take the dish put. Set it for 10 minutes. So that, you can hold the chicken. Take out the chicken pieces. Pull out all the toothpicks. With a sharp knife cut into pieces. Arrange the pieces and the vegetables. Sprinkle the sauce which was left in the baking dish. Serve hot, with steaming rice or pasta.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pear sandwich

The Holiday season is going on well. We are doing some little fun thing everyday. One day we went to the Christmas lighting event in our town. Then, one day we went around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lighting on the houses. In the mean time all of us were down with bad cold. While father and son has almost recovered, I’m still down with cold.
We also made some Christmas crafts. First my son demanded a Christmas train from boxes. Actually two years ago I made one Christmas train from boxes. Somehow, that didn’t turn out good. Last year I tried to alter it, but the result was not satisfactory. This year I had been thinking  of making one train. So, when my son put a little pressure on me to make another train, I readily agreed. However, the problem was, to finding right size of boxes. I rummaged over my stored cartons, but I didn’t find any right sized box. Then, suddenly I remembered some same sized tea leaves boxes in my pantry. I took out the tea pouches, and used them to make the cars of the train, and an empty toilet paper served as the engine. And here is my train.
Then my son wanted to make a Santa’s sleigh with me.  In making of the train he couldn’t take part much, as it was not so easy to make. So, in making of sleigh, he was determined to take active part. So, I found out some soft cardboards, which he could cut. He cut out the side of the sleigh, then to make them sturdy I used Modge Podge and old new paper. I cut the news papers into small pieces and stuck on the cardboard cut outs. Anyway, the whole process became a little lengthy, and he lost interest in making it. However, he found a foam-Santa from his treasures, and we put that in front of the sleigh, which solved the problem of unavailability of Santa. Here is our Santa Sleigh. 

Anyway, apart from making crafts , I’m trying feed my family some different dishes during the holiday season. Here is one recipe from our breakfast table.
One ripe pear
Six slices of sandwich bread
Apple butter (you can use maple syrup also)
Butter to fry the bread
Heat a shallow frying pan in low-medium. Take a butter stick and rub on the pan. Butter usually get burned very quickly. So, you need to be fast. Put one slice, put in the pan. Swirl it with hand pressing in the pan. So that, one side can get fried. Then flip the beard, and fry in the same manner pressing down it into the pan.  In same way fry all the bread slices. If you think that you cannot be fast. Then, first rub butter in pan, then heat the pan in low-medium. Meanwhile cut the pear into halves. Core it. Then thinly slice the pear. Take one slice of bread, arrange 4-5 pear slices on it. Spread one tbsp. of apple butter over the pear slices. Cover with another slice of bread. Cut the sandwich diagonally, and serve. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chicken Soup

The day was not at all a good today. Though, I started very early, and I was very much optimistic that I could do a lot of things. Before going swimming, I thought I could finish all the household chores, including cooking. However, the clock didn’t show any sympathy to me. Very quickly, it started ticking 9:30. I stopped everything, and I rushed to swimming class. I thought I could cross one level, but I couldn’t. Rushing back home, I set my target to finish every possible home related job within eleven, but again I failed. My to-do list was pretty long, and on the other hand kid’s school was going to dismissed early.  I had cake baking in my list. Instead of baking a big cake, I thought of baking cup cakes. I was simultaneously  preparing some crafts for my kid. In that hodgepodge, I forgot to put baking powder in the cup cake batter. So, it became flat cup cake, another failure. I didn’t get time to make cookie dough, but going to kid’s school. He was grumpy. After rushing back from school, I made cookie dough. At the end of the day at least I got success in baking cookie. 
Anyway, my son is down with bad cold. So. I cooked this simple chicken soup for him. Here is the recipe.

Serving size 3

Boneless four chicken leg pieces (You can use boneless chicken breast)
One cup of frozen peas (You can use fresh green peas.)
One medium sized onion
One small carrot
One big sprig of rosemary
One tsp. ginger paste
One tsp. garlic powder
Two bay leaves
One fourth cup fresh tomato paste
One tbsp of olive oil
Salt to taste
Dash of freshly ground black pepper corn

Cut the chicken into small piece. Cut the onion into cubes. Peel the carrot, cut into small cubes.  Heat one tbsp. of olive oil on a heavy bottom deep pan in medium.  Add ginger paste. Stir it lightly. Add chicken pieces, and onion into it. Lightly stir, then cover the pan, and let it cook. Stir it occasionally, about 5 minutes let it cook.
Scrape the bottom, to avoid scorching. Add green peas, carrot, tomato paste, give a good stir, cover the pan and let it cook, about 8-10 minutes. Uncover the pan, pour 3-4 cups of water. Add bay leaves, and rosemary sprig. Cover the pan and let it cook in medium heat. After 10 minute, uncover the pan scoop out the bay leaves, and let it cook. About 5 minutes, scoop out the rosemary sprig. Few of the leaves may go into the soup. Don’t worry about that. Let them stay in the soup. Check the chicken pieces, and carrots. If they are tender, then don’t cover the pan. Raise the heat, and cook until desired consistency of the soup reached. Sprinkle pepper powder, before serving. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Advent Calendar at last

At last I made my Advent Calendar. I made it very fast. My target was to hang the calendar on 1st December before my son came back from school. I started it on November 30th. I decided to make some white pockets. Suddenly in remembered some blank invitation cards I bought from OfficeMax in heavy discounted price. I bought them mainly for those envelops came in the packets, which I needed at that time. Those cards were not attractive , at least to me. So, I cut the border out. The size of the white parts came out was perfect for the pockets.  

I was in a hurry, and I couldn’t think about how to make all those pockets. Then, I told myself to cool down , so that, I can think. Though it is too late to give the idea, how I made it, still I’m sharing step by step of me Advent Calendar.
Step 1: Take some white card stocks. If you don’t want to make big calendar, then keep the size of each pocket in mind. Otherwise, when you attach them together, the calendar will be huge. Unfortunately, I didn’t measure the size of the card stocks before making the pockets.
Approximately each card stock was 7” x 4”.

Step 2: Fold each white card stock in the middle just like a small greeting card. One side of the card cut a half circle using a circular punch.

Step 3: Take a ruler. On the folded side, measure 1/2 inch from both ends. You can see in the picture, I put two pencil dots, on the both ends (you can see in the previous picture). You can draw squares on the ends, or just cut out  to approximate squares from both end.

Step 4: Take one card stock at a time. Take ruler, and bone folder. I don’t have any bone folder, so, I used my nail file(ha ha ha). On both end of the card, put the ruler just covering the cut out part. Then score. According to the score, fold the parts of the card. If you have scoreboard, and bone folder, the task will be easier than mine.

Step 5: On the thin folds put glue according to your choice. I used Tacky Glue. Fold the card, and stick. The pocket is ready. Take few pockets together, and clip them. I used some cloth pins. Let them dry.

Step 6: Decorate each pocket as you like. I cut some scrapbook papers and decorated them.

Step 7: This part was very time consuming and tough to me. You need some chipboards. Don’t use any corrugated chipboards, they will make the calendar bulky. The thin chipboards from cartons will do the best job. I had one long big carton from my kid’s toy. I cut that into thin long strips.

Step8: Arrange the pockets with front down on the floor, or on a table.  Cut the chipboard strips, according to your need, and glue them down on the back side of the pocked to stick them together.

Step 9: Take a ribbon of your choice, glue on the top to make a loop. Which will help you to hang the calendar.
Step 10: Make some small cards, and write some fun activities on it. Put those card with chocolates in each pocket.  Hang it on the wall.