Saturday, June 26, 2021


 Our writing word for a long time has been challenge. Well, I have been accepting the "take on a daily challenge" idea for a while now - maybe not everyday, but enough of them to throw out an ankle, a knee, an elbow and a shoulder - need I say more.  Since April, I have - 

1. Assembled 6 Ikea purchases - 2 narrow bookcases, 1 small chest of drawers, 1 desk and two head boards - oops the headboards were from Lowes.

2. Transplanted 4 rosebushes from the back of the house to the front - all have survived.

2a. Extended a soaker hose system to water the replanted rose bushes.

3. Put in 2 vegetable gardens - back and front.

4. Potted up 25 pots of various sizes with both flowers and vegetables. Did you know that Chives can look a lot like Dracaena, with some imagination - OK a lot of imagination.

5. Sanded and spray painted 12 wooden lawn ornaments - all black cats, which I designed years ago as part of an art project.

6. Installed a string of 24 outdoor lights to fancy up the deck. My apologies to the Lilac.

7. Got the bike rack on the car - with help and have had several short bike rides - well, it's been a year since I last rode.

8. Added dozens of indoor house plants to the few we had. All had to be re-potted several times, watered a lot and repositioned on a regular basis - not sure why.

I have tried to slow down with some needlework projects, but that required rummaging through boxes of old fabric, embroidery floss and other miscellany. Still I managed to -

1. Add 13 dome fasteners to 3 duvet covers to keep the duvets from falling out - just another 13 fasteners to go.

2. Repair one very worn duvet cover, which I just couldn't throw out.

3. Begin embroidery work on 2 tea towels that were screen printed, years ago, with a drawing of mine, plus a poem, that was not mine. Pictures to come.

Happy to report that two of my self-inflicted injuries have healed and the other two are on the mend. Now to tackle one remaining Ikea dresser and finish those knitting projects.

Have an awesome day!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Butter Chicken

 I promised a while back, actually a long while back, to give you my version of Butter Chicken from J's World Kitchen. I loved J's recipe for Naan so much that I decided to make his version of butter chicken. I did, however, take a look at a few other videos, just to see what was out there. Well, by far J's was the easiest. Some used fresh tomatoes - OK, when you have too many tomatoes in August, but this is June. J used a store bought tomato puree (as did a few others). He also did not add cashews - expensive and then you had to puree them, with the fresh tomatoes, using a hand held blender. No, this recipe is very easy. Please check out the link above for recipe amounts for two chicken breasts. I used just one chicken breast.

To start -

I chopped the chicken breast and marinated it in 

1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Garam Masala (You can substitute Allspice.)
Cayenne and salt to taste

Then I prepared the following:

1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon each of garlic paste and ginger paste

I created my own garlic paste and ginger paste in a small blender, using 2 garlic cloves and about 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled, plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. J used store bought paste for both ginger & garlic, but I got the idea to make my own from Madhur Jaffray.

I sautéed the onion in a large skillet over medium heat. J uses vegetable oil, but I used butter. Either one works well. To the onion, I added the garlic and ginger paste, plus the following spices:

1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 Bay Leaf 
Salt to taste

I then added the chicken and fried (sautéed) everything for about 5 mins.

Next, I added 1/4 cup of yogurt. Well, I had to get creative here, because the yogurt had gone off. Fortunately, I did have sour cream. I substituted and it worked.

I also added 1 cup of cream and 1 cup of tomato paste (actually a whole tin of tomato paste - one of the small ones.) J also adds a can of tomato sauce, but I was doing just 1 chicken breast and the sauce, as it was, tasted great! I let it all simmer, while I boiled the rice.

Finally, I poured spoonfuls of the butter chicken over the cooked rice and enjoyed it all immensely.

Oh, yes and I did add some fresh Coriander from the garden and a large dollop of Major Grey chutney. It was at this point in my life, that I finally realized Major Grey chutney is not Mango chutney. Well, they all look the same in those small jars. I guess I didn't read the fine print - the story of my life.

Have an enjoyable day!