Our Favorite Butter Chicken Recipe (Kid Friendly Curry)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

One thing I've really been loving lately is getting back into the habit of making a weekly menu plan and trying new dinners. I've been on a roll lately with making new things that have been a major success and one of those dishes has been this butter chicken recipe. We bought a premade container of chicken curry a few months ago from Trader Joes and it was that "ah-ha" moment for Derek and I that we both actually really like curry. 

I saw this recipe on a tasty video on Facebook a few weeks ago and then decided to try it out, and we experienced major success. I dialed the heat down on it quite a bit so that the kids wouldn't smoke their faces off, but it still has enough that makes it flavorful and exciting for Derek and I. 

2lbs chicken breast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
6 tbsp butter, divided
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, diced
3 tsp curry powder (I used McCormick)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
14oz tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
Cilantro chopped, for garnish

Rub 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp chili powder, and 1/2 tsp turmeric all over the chicken breast and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. 

Dice the chicken into 1 1/2 inch cubes and then brown in a pot over medium heat with two tablespoons of melted butter. When the chicken is browned on all sides, remove it from the pot and add in two more tablespoons of butter and the diced onion. 

Once the onion is softened add in the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and cook until it becomes fragrant. 

Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer, then add the water and heavy cream, and bring to a simmer. Then add the chicken back in and allow it to cook for another 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked all the way through. 

Serve over rice. 

A Big Fat Family Update

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Since it's been about a month since I've talked about anything productive in our lives, I thought I'd hop on over and give one massive life update for everyone in the family. I'm really terrible at writing in a journal so it's nice to be able to have this blog back to it's original purposes to help facilitate all of that. Since this update is going to be really long, I'll try to break it down to each person so that it will maybe all make more sense? Lets see if it works out.

Oh man you guys, I just love this guy so much and am just so impressed with how much he has grown emotionally over the last few weeks. A few months ago I shared about his anxiety and what life is like with him on a daily basis, and those walls have been coming down full force. Yesterday we went on a nature walk for toddlers put on by our local parks and rec center and he was up there with the instructors the whole time leading the way, and only came back to me once when he needed help peeing on a tree. You guys, MY CHILD PEED ON A TREE. Most parents wouldn't be impressed with such behavior, but that's basically the equivalent of a normal non-anxious person running a marathon. It was huge. 

He's also been really, really great at trying new foods. We always joke that Em is our favorite at dinner time because she'll eat anything, but that it evens out at bedtime and Jay is our favorite because he loves sleep. But Jay has been doing fabulous. He's been asking to eat bagels and strawberries, he's tried curry, and all sorts of new things I've made for dinner. He used to not even touch his food at the dinner table, ever, and now he's really open to exploring and trying and it's really been so much fun!

Jay has also had a hacking death cough for the last three weeks. We're told it's allergies and have been prescribed a regimen of allergy medicine, cough medicine, and albuterol treatments every four hours to keep his lungs open. He's actually been doing really great with his breathing treatments and holds the mask to his face all on his own. He used  to scream his face off every time we took the machine out of the closet, and now it's a part of the day he looks forward to... who knew? 

I think his eye patching has been going pretty well. As far as well can tell his eyes look a little straighter again. We don't go back to the eye doctor until the middle of next month, but I'm hoping for a good report. We haven't missed a single day of patching which I kind of consider miraculous. 

There are so many fun things to say about Em right now, and I worry that I'm not going to remember all of them. First and foremost is that her speech is really coming along and it's so stinking cute. Whenever you put food on her highchair tray she says, "cue" for thank you, and I die every time. We're still waiting for me to stop forgetting to call Babies Can't Wait to get her signed up for at home speech and OT. So hopefully I remember to do that by the end of this week because I've been so lazy about it. 

She got her leg braces two weeks ago and the first few days were rough. She hated them so much, and then we got to PT after 5 terrible days and they told us that the orthodic assistant that had fitted her for them had put them on the wrong legs, so then Derek and I kept putting them on the wrong legs... the entire thing was a mess. We have officially been putting them on the right legs since and she's doing much better. She still doesn't love to put weight on them because she's unsure, but for the right toys and motivation she does fabulous. Our PT tells us she should be walking in the next nine months... which is insane to wrap my mind around. I thought my original goal of, "if it happens within a year of getting the braces I'll be happy" was aggressive, but now we just have something really awesome to work toward. She'll be wearing them for about four hours a day everyday and will be working up to full time once she starts crawling on hands and knees.

Which brings me to the next point of, SHE'S GETTING UP ON HER HANDS AND KNEES! When we say, "Knees up!" She slides her knees under her and gets up! She'll hold it for a second or two, and then come back down. She really is such an amazing little girl. 

Since the decline of my blogging career I've just been enjoying not having so many things on my plate. If you take a look at my planner it's chuck full of doctor appointments and various play dates which isn't anything different but it's full and sometimes overwhelming to look at. And then I think about how all those days used to be slathered with additional blogging things that I needed to tend to, and my load just feels much lighter. 

I've read zero books for the month of May so far. I feel a little guilty about it, but not too guilty. I told myself a few weeks ago that I wanted to run a half marathon before my birthday, and so I'm planning on running this one in June. Today I thought about how cool it would be if I actually ran 25 miles on my 25th birthday... and now I'm working to see if I can hit that goal. It's always fun to see how my body can bounce back into running even though  I start and stop with it so frequently. 

On Saturday I did an eight mile run and it felt really good. My pace is pretty slow right now, so I'm working on adding speed workouts into my training to get my times down. Up until last night I hadn't dropped below a 10 minute pace since I ran my 5k last year, but last night I ran three miles at a 9:22 pace and am really hoping I can get it lower and lower. I told myself years ago that I wanted to run the Boston Marathon before I turned 30 and I'm starting to let myself think that it might be possible if I try really hard. At my peak running days I was totally at a Boston pace, so I know if I work hard I can get back there again. 

I also was having a lot of back pain toward the end of blogging and I started seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis and the entire thing has actually been really life changing. I think that for me personally I have to feel like I'm accountable to someone for my health or else it's impossible for me to stay on track with anything (hence why I'm an obliger). We've set some health goals for me like stop sleeping on my stomach, exercise four days a week, drink more than 16 ounces of water in a day, not use my computer in bed (where I'm writing this right now #fail)... It's just nice to have that accountability and knowing that at any random time my chiropractor could ask me how any of those things are going... so it motivates me to always want to be able to give a good answer. I've also been having significantly less back pain... which is obviously the other bonus to seeing a chiropractor. Now if only I can convince Derek I need to see a massage therapist on a three times a week basis, and my life would probably be really fabulous. 

Firstly, Derek has been a huge champ to put up with my current running ambitions and watching the kids without complaint for me. I think he realizes that I'm probably a lot less of a crazy person when I physically remove myself from the children for an hour each day so it's a sacrifice everyone is willing to make. 

One of the generals of the French Air Force were at Lockheed Martin a few weeks ago and since Derek is one of the few people there who speak French, he got to translate for him and the CEOs for a few days. It was really great for Derek to be able to put a face to his name with the upper management and he's had a few people tell him and that they want him to work for them right now... but unfortunately Lockheed Martin is in the middle of laying off 1,000 employees across the Marietta, Dallas, and Palmdale offices (Derek is immune thankfully), but it also means that we have to wait until August or November for any sort of promotion to happen. But we're about 95% positive that it's actually happening. 

Derek is also doing amazing with his MBA. This guy has always worked and done school full time since we've been married and he is still holding onto his 4.0. We're over halfway done with his three year program, and are looking forward to graduation in October of 2017. 

Our Favorite Yogurt + $50 Paypal Cash Giveaway

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When Derek and I first got married he felt very strongly that we should only drink whole milk. This was a big change for me to get used to because in my house growing up we either drank two percent, or skim, and as you know, there is a huge taste difference. I sucked it up for the good of our marriage, and after a month or so, I finally got used to drinking whole milk.

A year or two after that, we read an article that talked about the benefits of only consuming full at dairy products, and a lot of what the article said really resonated with us, and since that day, we've made it a purpose to only consume full fat dairy when possible. 

If you haven't noticed, it's sometimes almost impossible to find full fat yogurt in the stores now-a-days. In a world that is ruled by the demand for low fat, or fat free products, finding a full fat variety is nearly impossible. A couple months ago when I was at Publix (long before this sponsorship was even a possibility), I noticed that Annie's Homegrown had come out with a kid friendly whole milk yogurt, and immediately put two packs in my cart. 

As many of you may know, Em's weight has always been a concern for us and so finding whole milk dairy products make since for her needs as well. She loves eating these Annie's Homegrown yogurts, and as a parent it's nice to know that I can help give her more of the nutrients that she needs as well. 

Right now Annie's Homegrown Whole Milk yogurts are on sale at Publix 2/$5 through their Extra Savings Mother's Day Flyer. To help you expirience the goodness of Annie's Homegrown, I'll be self hosting a $50 Paypal cash giveaway so you can try it out for yourself. Enter using the rafflecopter below. Giveaway will run until 5/30/16 @11:59pm. 


Utah Scones w/ Honey Butter

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I know I said I wasn't doing recipe posts anymore, but then I realized if a recipe doesn't go up on the blog, I don't know where to find it a second time. Not that I should justify every time I write something on here anymore, but I just want to make it clear that I'm not blogging for fame over here. We just really like these scones ok? Don't sue me? Please?

1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
⅓ cup oil
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup sugar
4 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
2 quarts oil, for frying
for serving: honey butter, syrup, honey, powdered sugar

Honey Butter:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix 3 tablespoons of warm water with yeast adding a pinch of sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes (mixture will rise and foam).While yeast is rising, combine hot water, oil, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg to the yeast mixture and mix well. Add the egg/yeast mixture to the oil/sugar mixture. Stir well.

Gradually add flour stirring well after each addition. Knead the dough as it stiffens until you get a doughy, elastic consistency ( about 5 minutes)

Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Let dough rise for about 30 minutes or until double in size.

Frying Directions
Line cooling racks or plates with paper towels. Fill a large sauce pan with 2 inches of oil and heat to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, punch down dough and divide into 12 balls. Roll out a piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into ¼-inch thick circles or squares. Use your fingers to stretch out the balls of dough.

Carefully place two or three balls of dough in the oil and fry until golden brown on each side (about 1-2 mins). Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat until the dough is all fried.
Serve hot with honey butter, butter, syrup, or powdered sugar. Our favorite is honey and powdered sugar!

Honey Butter Directions:
Whip all ingredients with an electric mixture until combined and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. 


6 Books I Read Last Month

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Another month has gone by, and this was my best reading month yet! Quitting blogging I'm sure helped quite a bit. I'm going to be sharing my monthly book posts still, mostly as a way for me to keep track of the books I read. If someone else happens to  read this and get inspired to pick up a new book, all the better. I have officially read 23 books this year so far, which puts me almost at the half way mark for my 50 books this year goal.

The Light Between Oceans: This was the book club book for the month and it was so good. The first few chapters dragged on quite a bit which made me question why I was bothering to read it, but then it got good really fast. It's about a couple after world war one who live on an island all by themselves off the coast of Australia. While in isolation on the island, they experience a few miscarriages and then one day a baby washes up on the shore. They decide to raise the baby and not tell anyone and then things spiral out of control when they realize a grieving mother is looking for her child. 

Frindle: It's been months since I've read a chapter book to Jay. We picked this one up at the library last month and he loved it. I know I read it in elementary school, but I definitely didn't pay attention then, and now I want to go back and read all of Andrew Clement's writing. Jay loved this one and keeps asking to read, "the pen book". 

Because of Mr Terupt: One year in the life of a fifth grade class at Snow Hill School. Told through the eyes of seven students, the class is deeply affected by their new teacher, Mr Terupt, and the tragic accident that touches all of their lives. I thought this book was so well written, and would be an awesome middle grade book for young readers.

Number The Stars: This was another middle grade book that is about the holocaust in Copenhagen. If you know me, you know I love a good WWII book, and this one didn't disappoint. This book is about the German's "relocation" of the Jews during WWII, and how the people of Denmark were able to outsmart them and protect their Jewish neighbors. 

Born to Run: I'm convinced that everyone is one really great motivational book away from becoming a marathoner. My friend actually bought me this book for Christmas 6 years ago, and I just barely read it. I didn't want to originally read it because I thought it was about a crack addict who became a marathon runner. Where I got that from I have no idea because that is not what this book is about. It's about how our bodies were naturally created to run. It also talks a lot about the barefoot running movement, and a lot of interesting studies that were done at The University of Utah. Being a Mormon, that kind of stuff thrills me. While I'm not throwing away my running shoes, this book did get me motivated to run a half marathon next month. 

Food: A Love Story: This book by Jim Gaffigan is hilarious. Sure there is basically nothing educational about it, and it's basically one long stand up routine, but it was hilarious and I loved listening to it all last week before bed. So many funny things about food and how American's eat all wrapped up into one pleasantly fun audio book. 
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