Bobby’s moms Butter Chicken

Bobby's moms Butter Chicken

I’m super excited today!!! There’s a couple of reasons why. The first reason is that by this time tomorrow I’ll be on a plane to Mexico!!!! Whoot whoot! We planned this vacation almost 10 months ago and it’s finally arrived. I’ve never been to Mexico and I’m really looking forward to spending several days beaching and pooling.

The second reason I’m super excited is that I get to share this incredible recipe with you all. In my circle of friends and family, Bobby’s moms Butter Chicken is legendary. I mentioned last week that my good friend (not Bobby) was teaching me how to properly cook Indian food. He prefers I not mention his name, but he is an incredible cook. One recipe that has always stumped him though, is his best friend’s (Bobby’s) moms butter chicken. Until now she would never give him the recipe, but he’s always experimented and tried to figure it out. Over the years, he’s come pretty close to the real deal and lucky for me I’ve often been the beneficiary of some of his attempts.

After several years of asking, a couple weeks ago Bobby’s mom finally gave him the recipe. Well……… mostly. She gave him the cooking method and the ingredients, but she didn’t give him any exact measurements. He had to figure that out on his own, by tasting as he went. As such, the measurements below aren’t exact, they’re more of a guideline. When you start adding the spices, start with the smaller amount and as the dish cooks, add more if you think you need to. You’ll also have to use your sense of smell to help you determine when it’s time to move from one step to the next.

Now, just because it’s called butter chicken, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with other options. If you wanted to make a vegetarian dish, you could use tofu or a mix of vegetables. Another idea to try is adding prawns. I would cook them first and then just stir them into the dish right before serving.

When it’s cold and wintery out, there’s something to be said for spending an afternoon stirring a pot of delicious, warm, comfort food. Though this recipe does take a few hours to get to completion, I promise you that it’s entirely worth it. Happy cooking!

Extra virgin olive oil

3 – 156mL cans of tomato paste

4 small onions finely chopped

2″ piece of ginger, minced

8 cloves of garlic, minced

2 green peppers, finely chopped

2 – 3 green chilis, minced (the quantity depends on how spicy you want it to be)

2 -3 tbsp tumeric

2-3 tbsp garam masala

4 lbs chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and quartered

1 1/2 litres half and half cream

500 mL heavy cream

salt

cayenne (optional)

  1. Before you being cooking, get the veggies and chicken ready to go into the pot. The first few steps require a bit of attention and you’ll want to be prepared
  2. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and add the tomato paste. Cook for about 10 mins over medium heat, adding a little more oil if the tomato paste starts to stick to the bottom. After about 10 minutes, the tomato paste will start to become really fragrant. This is how you’ll know you’re ready to move on to the next step.
  3. Add the green peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the onions and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring often to prevent sticking and burning. You can add a small amount of water if needed.
  4. Add in the ginger and cook until fragrant. 2 – 3 minutes. Then add in the chilis and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute or two before adding in the spices. You’ll cook the spices just long enough for them to become fragrant (1-2 minutes) before adding the chicken.
  6. Cook the chicken until the outside of the pieces look cooked (are white), then add all the cream.
  7. Slowly continue to cook the whole mess over low heat for about 3 hours. While it’s cooking make sure to stir and taste occasionally, salting and adding a little more of the spices if needed. If you fell like you want it to be spicier, you can add a little cayenne at this point.
  8. Serve with basmati rice, naan bread, roti or just eat it straight from the pot. Totally our call, I won’t judge 😉
  9. This recipe serves about 8 – 10 people.

Every week I share my recipe at a couple of blog parties. It’s a great way to see a ton of delicious looking recipes. This week I’ll be sharing at Fiesta Friday and Fabulous Foodie Fridays.

 

 

 

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Fieldhouse Brewing comes to Abbotsford

 

As you may have guessed from the title of my blog, I’m a bit of a wine lover. Mostly red, but I dabble in white occasionally, too. Over the past several months, though, I’ve found a new appreciation for craft beer. While there are several craft breweries in Vancouver, out my way there’s only three. Luckily for me and everyone else out in the Fraser Valley, that’s about to change when Fieldhouse Brewing opens their doors this December.

Fieldhouse Brewing promises to bring a new and exciting craft beer experience to the Fraser Valley. With only a few weeks to go until opening, they’ve launched a kickstarter campaign to help finish building their brewery. Whether you’re able to donate $10 or $1000, there are some pretty amazing rewards being offered. Some of my favourites include the long table dinner, the craft beer tour and a day of brewing with Parker, their brewmaster. You can read more about their campaign below or click on the link to their Kickstarter to find out more about the rewards offered.

Fieldhouse Brewing Kickstarter

Hey awesome people of Abbotsford and Fraser Valley!  Field House Brewing needs your support!

Field House Brewing Co. is set to open in Abbotsford, BC this December. We can’t wait to show you what we have been working on for the last year. We are looking to create not only a place to enjoy a quality craft beverage, but also, a gathering place for the community to come and share new unique experiences. 

We’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign (Check it out http://kck.st/1OrOAR9) to help open our doors, we are 5-6 weeks from opening and budgets are getting really tight, so we could use your help for a couple key things:

 

1) Finish our Awesome Tap Room – We need some extra funds to create an amazing little tasting room where we are proud to host you. It will be a place you want to stay for a while – featuring a nice warm fireplace, 10 beers on tap, a growler station and lots of seats to meet up with friends and drink some Field House liquid gold.
 
2) Make the Best Darn (Licensed) Picnic Area in BC – We’ve got 3000 sq.ft of outdoor space that we’re hoping to convert to an awesome little grassy knoll where the beers will be flowing when the weather is nice. We need to landscape, build some fences, plant some trees and finish the parking lot so we can get some food trucks down there to keep your bellies full while sampling our craft beer line up. We’ve got big plans for this space including outdoor concerts and bocce ball tournaments in the sunshine… but we need your help to make our dreams of a magical beer-lawn happen.
 
 
If you could help show us some BC Craft Beer love… we’ll find a way to repay the favour. So, How can you help?  2 easy ways…
1. Support our Kickstarter – whether it’s $10 for a high five OR $100 to get a unique ceramic growler, we have lots of great craft beer swag to reward you for your kind donations… heck, who can’t use another awesome Growler or Beer T-shirt?
  Fieldhouse Brewing Kickstarter
 
2. Spread the word… we’ve created a fun video that’s worth checking out and hopefully sharing with a few friends… but we need your help to spread the word whether it’s a quick post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram… or an email to friends.
 
If you can help us get to our goal and we’ll promise you a great beer experience that this City can be proud of! We love this community and are so excited to host you at our Tasting Room.
 
 – Thanks from the Field House team: Josh, Parker, Ashley and Kendra

Chana Masala

Chana Masala

For a long time now, my good friend and I have been planning on having a cooking day where he would show me how to make some of his amazing authentic Indian recipes. When I say a long time, I mean we’ve been talking about this for close to 2 years now, but haven’t set aside a day to make it happen…..until now. This past week we finally got together and cooked up an incredible Indian feast. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the recipes we used, starting with this one for Chana Masala.

Before I really delve into the recipe, it’s important to point out that a lot of the measurements give you a range to work with and a lot of the instructions give you an estimate of time. This is because with authentic dishes like this, there really is no recipe. There’s only a general idea of the steps involved and the ingredients used. From there you create your own dish.

The term masala refers to the base of the cooking method, which is onions, ginger and garlic, cooked beyond the caramelization point until it almost becomes a paste. This method forms the base of many Indian dishes. If you’re familiar with French or Italian cooking, masala could be considered India’s answer to mirepoix and sofritto, respectively.

This dish is incredibly healthy, full of flavour and at this time of year, it makes for some serious comfort food. Enjoy!

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 onions, finely chopped

2″ piece of ginger, minced

8 – 10 cloves of garlic, minced

2 –  3 tbsp tumeric

4 tbsp coriander

4 tbsp garam masala

4 – 398mL cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

water to cover

2 bay leaves

salt to taste

cayenne to add some heat (optional)

Start by heating the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and begin to saute, adding a splash of water when the onions start to stick. Keep cooking and deglazing with water until the onions are very soft and brown, at least 15 – 20 minutes. It’s important during this phase to keep an eye on the pot to prevent the onions from drying out and to be stirring fairly often.

Once the onions are ready, add the ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, again, adding a little splash of water if it gets to dry. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, before adding the tumeric, coriander and garam masala. Stir the spices into the onion mixture and allow to cook for another minute, until fragrant.

Stir in the chickpeas and add enough water to cover by at least 1 inch. Add the bay leaves and a little salt. If you’re adding cayenne, you can add that now, as well. Stir and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally until the water is reduced to a “stew”like consistancy. This is a great time to taste the dish and add more salt if necessary.

Using the back of a spoon, mash up some of the chickpeas in the pot to help thicken the dish. Continue simmering for another 10 – 15 minutes, until thickened. Serve with rice or naan.

Serves 4 – 6

I’ll be sharing this dish at the Fiesta Friday blog party. Pop by if you’re interested in finding other delicious recipes.

Beef and veggie chili

 

beef and veggie chili

So, here we are on the eve of Halloween. My kids have been crazy excited ever since our annual family pumpkin carving last weekend. It’s one of my favourite traditions, although I’m going to be honest, I don’t really love carving pumpkins. It’s messy and kind of gross digging the guts out of the pumpkin. Also, I’m a horrible artist. Seriously horrible, unless you want me to draw hearts or flowers, which I can usually manage. I don’t think hearts and flowers will win a pumpkin carving contest, though. Typically, I am the carver and my husband is the gutter/scooper and draws the outline. It seems fair 😉 The kids, though being very enthusiastic about choosing the perfect pumpkins, are typically bored within roughly 10 minutes and disappear to play with their cousins. This year, my son drew his own outline and my daughter requested an Olaf jack-o-lantern. No, we didn’t win, but we did get to gut 4 pumpkins (I did help a little, there were 4 of them!!); 1 for my son and 3 for Olaf. Did I mention that I don’t like gutting pumpkins? Yeeck!

pumpkin carving contest

This years submissions

 

You can never really expect great weather on Halloween, but this year it’s promising to be extra rainy…buckets being dumped from the sky kind of rainy. There’s nothing to be done, we will march on through the rain, but I figure the best defense, is a great offence. My plan of attack is to fill our bellies with healthy, stick to your ribs comfort food and I think this beef and veggie chili will be just the thing to keep us warm through it all. Enjoy and I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup celery, diced

1 Cup carrot, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 lbs lean ground beef

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp cinnamon

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 – 398mL tomatoe sauce

1/4 Cup water

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to sweat and become aromatic. Toss in the ground beef, breaking it up while it cooks. After about 5 minutes, once the beef is mostly cooked through, add in the tomatoes, chili powder and cinnamon. Stir together for about 1 minute, then add in the tomato sauce, water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and allow it to continue cooking for another 20 – 30 minutes, adding a little extra water if necessary. With about 5 minutes left, stir in the bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4 – 6

This week I’ll be sharing this recipe at the Fiesta Friday blog party and at Fabulous Foodie Fridays. If you’re looking for some great recipe ideas, you should check them out.

 

 

Apple Sangria

Apple Sangria

This fall, I’ve been obsessed with apples and have been enjoying them more than I ever have before. I’ve found myself trying to incorporate them into as many different recipes as possible, but this recipe for Apple Sangria might just be the best idea I’ve had yet. I created this recipe two weeks ago for Thanksgiving dinner at my sister-in-laws house. Most guests would typically show up with dessert or an appy to share, but not me. I’m the family member that shows up with three jugs of sangria. Some would argue that that might make me the favourite 😉 I brought a tomato zucchini casserole to share, as well, but the sangria was the star for sure.

Typically from Spain or Portugal, sangria is usually made with red wine, a sweetener, cut up fruit and finished with a splash of brandy. For this recipe, I decided to use the same basic method, but used white wine instead. I also added a couple little extras to change things up a bit. When you go to make this (and I promise, you’ll want to) you don’t need to spend a lot on the bottle of wine. You’re going to be playing around with it, so just choose something that’s inexpensive, but that you still enjoy the taste of. Also, sangria takes time to allow the flavours to blend together. I like to leave it for at least 24 hours, but 48 hours is even better. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

2 apples, sliced

1 handful of fresh sage

1 bottle of white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)

1 Cup apple juice

1 oz brandy

1 Cup sparkling wine

In a large pitcher, toss in the apples and sage. Add the white wine and apple juice and gently stir it all together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Just before serving, gently stir in the brandy and sparkling wine.

This week I’ll be sharing this recipe at the Fiesta Friday blog party and Fabulous Foodie Fridays. Join me in checking out some truly delicious recipes.

 

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