Sunday, January 27, 2013

Crockpot Butter Chicken

I never had Indian food until grad school. What a loss of time! We now live just blocks from many Indian restaurants and grocery stores. I wouldn't say we're frequent eaters, but we do enjoy Indian food at least every other month. Samosas, chicken tikka masala, naan, fish pakora, dosas, and palak paneer are some of my favorites. We tried dosas once and those were pretty yummy too.

Anyway, I recently came across a couple crockpot butter chicken recipes. I had most of the ingredients... Why not give it a try?  So I did.

The results? Not very pretty but quite yummy! There was a bit of a burnt mess at the bottom of my crockpot. I think it's where the tomato paste met the onions. I think next time, I might just do this on the stovetop. I'll also add the yogurt at the end. I didn't this time because I didn't have yogurt on hand. I'm glad I didn't add any cayenne like the recipe said.  This recipe was already so full of spices, extra heat would have gone along fine but I think it would have burned a hole in my stomach too.

I added a little water to sauce it up and served it on rice with peas and some wilted spinach.  A perfect winter (or maybe any day) meal!

Crockpot Butter Chicken

(adapted from and

2 tablespoons butter
4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t curry powder
2 t garam masala
1 oz can tomato paste
1 14 oz can coconut milk
salt to taste
(1 c plain yogurt)

  1. Butter sides of crockpot. (In retrospect, cooking spray would probably have been better.)
  2. Combine all ingredients, except yogurt, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. In last 15 minutes of cooking, add yogurt. (I omitted this step and it was still very tasty but not very saucy.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yesterday, we had some fantastic treats at work. There was a tasty breakfast casserole, homemade blueberry muffins, and yummy banana chocolate chip muffins. What?! How have I missed this combination in a muffin?!

Then Mr A just happened to ask about pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and muffins this morning. He happily agreed to banana chocolate chip muffins instead.

It was a perfect opportunity to use some frozen bananas I stuck in the freezer a couple months ago. I kept thinking I would make banana ice cream with them. Of course that never happened but they are perfect for baking too.

I defrosted them in the microwave for 3 minutes, then nuked them for 30 seconds. I tasked Mr A with mashing them with a potato masher. He did pretty good! He also helped pour in the ingredients after I measured them into the bowl and used a whisk to gently stir. I scooped the batter and held it over the muffin cups and he pushed the trigger.

This was probably our smoothest baking project to date. Oh and the muffins? Absolutely delish! We will be making these again. I'm proud of my little guy and a little proud that I was patient enough to make it happen.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Adapted from

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
4 bananas, mashed
1/2 c white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c butter, melted
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg, melted butter, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins

What to do with blueberries and buttermilk?  Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins!  I sent 2 dozen mini muffins with Mr A for his preschool staff as a "thank you for all you do".

Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins


2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c canola oil
1 1/2 c blueberries
1 t vanilla

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil.
  4. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in liquid ingredients, mixing quickly.
  5. Fold in blueberries.
  6. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups and bake till golden brown.
  7. Bake for 20 -30 minutes.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Gingerbread Cookies

Mr A has a gingerbread app where you make dough, roll it, bake it, and then decorate a gingerbread cookie. It was just a matter of time before he wanted to make the real thing. He actually directed me to get his game to look for the ingredients.

I came across this recipe at I would have used the 1 egg in the recipe, but we didn't have any egg in the fridge. So I used Art of Dessert's substitution of 8 oz cream cheese for 2 eggs.

Turns out, Mr A liked his Grammy's cookie cutters that had handles on them, so we made bunnies, circles, gingerbread men, hearts, and bats.

  Egg-free Gingerbread Cookies

(adapted from
3 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 T ground ginger
1 1/2 t pumpkin spice
6 T unsalted butter
3/4 c dark brown sugar
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, and pumpkin spice until well blended.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and cream cheese on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Add molasses and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  4. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until hard.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°.  Grease or line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Place 1/4 of the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll dough to a 1/4-inch thick. (Thinner cookies will be crisper.)
  8. Cut out cookies. Space cookies 1 1/2-inches apart on cookie sheet.
  9. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 7-10 minutes (the lower time will give you softer cookies!).
  10. Remove cookie sheet from oven and allow the cookies to stand until the cookies are firm enough to move to a wire rack.
  11. After cookies are cool you may decorate them any way you like..