Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Butter Chicken

Ever since our Last Hurrah Trip to NYC where I devoured most delicious butter chicken I have ever had, I've been obsessed with tasting that scrumptiousness again without actually having to travel up to NYC. Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to go up there again, but that butter chicken would come with a hefty price tag. I've sought out butter chicken at a few Indian restaurants around here but they just weren't up to par so I was determined to at least find a recipe that was. After trying several different ones I found online, I was left only disappointed. They didn't even come close.

Well, after over 2 years of searching and experimenting with different recipes, I was so excited when I was finally able to re-create that taste velvety smooth blend of moist chicken and Indian spices. I tested the recipe out 3 times to make sure it was consistently yummy and each time the hubby gave it a big thumbs up. Poor thing's been my guinea pig for 2 years now! It's also been tested out by my fellow vballer and lover of cooking buddy, Glen, who's been on my case for this recipe, so I'd say it's a winner winner butter chicken dinner! :)

The BEST Butter Chicken, made in the slow cooker or skillet!

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Butter Chicken
by happyvballgirl @ My Epicurean Adventures
http://www.myepicureanadventures.com/2016/04/butter-chicken.html

PRINTABLE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp cooking oil (I use grapeseed oil)
5 cloves minced garlic
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick + 2 Tbsp (10 Tbps) butter
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 - 2 lbs of boneless chicken, uncooked, cubed (chicken breasts work fine but I love boneless thighs the best)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat oil in skillet on medium high heat. Saute minced garlic and onions until soft and translucent. Add butter and next 5 ingredients (aka all the spices) and let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, stir well and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Reduce heat to low, stir in heavy cream and mix thoroughly until well blended.

2. If using a SLOW COOKER: Carefully transfer sauce to slow cooker and add in uncooked chicken. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 7-8 hours, MEDIUM for about 5-6 hours or HIGH for about 3-4 hours.

3. For the SKILLET method, in a separate skillet, heat up about 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add cubed chicken, season with a couple dashes of salt, pepper and garam masala and saute until no longer pink in the middle. Stir cooked cooked chicken into sauce. On low heat, simmer mixture for about 5-10 minutes.

4. Variations: on occasion, I also like to add peas or sauteed kale or spinach to the sauce. These can be added in after sauteing the onions and garlic for about 3-4 minutes on their own.

Serve over basmati or jasmine rice with a store-bought or homemade samosa abd naan on the side.
Enjoy! :)

Makes about 6-8 servings.

Note: This is one of those dishes that tastes better the longer it sits. Originally, I made this in a skillet and ate it that night for dinner. While it was good, I noticed that it tasted waaay better as leftovers over the next couple days. That's when I decided to try making it in a slow cooker. Sure enough, letting it simmer together for hours did the trick and tasted delicious right out of the slow cooker.

Here we are enjoying my latest batch while enjoying our new deck and patio. It was extra tasty this night. :)


I made this lunch for myself last year, with that homemade samosa along with cupcake in honor my friend's birthday - Kelly of EasyLunchboxes. Click here to see post.


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And lastly, a picture of dinner as served to Big Sis at 3:15pm. Click here to see the Facebook post explaining why her dinner is so early. :)


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Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

                 

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
What Kids Eat Wednesday
Diana Rambles' Friday Pin Me Party

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28

Well, it's time to play catch up once again. I've been making lunches every day, just not always taking pictures of them nor blogging about them. So it's high time for another round of Lunch Box Fun. This time it includes over a month of mostly varied eats, surprisingly enough! :)

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches

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1. Salami, turkey and cheese sandwich on leftover Italian loaf bread sliced, with carrots and ranch, strawberries, Cheetos and and fruit leather in my EasyLunchboxes and a Pick Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, french bread sandwich

2. Mac and cheese with Wheat Thins and Laughing Cow Cheese, cantaloup, carrots, sugar snap peas with ranch and Pringles in a LunchBots Quad, Thermos and a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, mac and cheese

3. Chicken tenders with honey mustard in the squirt bottle, mini Pretzel Crisps, grapes, grape tomatoes and a Fuji apple in our ThinkBaby bento box, a LunchBots Quad and a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, chicken tenders

4. A hot dog with ketchup and shredded cheese, cantaloupe, Pringles, GoGo Squeez Applesauce, carrots, sugar snap peas with ranch in our Fit & Fresh Bento Kit and a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, hot dog

5. Trader Joe's mini pizza appetizers with GoGo Squeez Applesauce, cantaloupe, Cheetos and Keebler Club & Cheese crackers in our EasyLunchboxes and a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, mini pizzas

6. Cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese with sliced Fuji apples, strawberries, carrots and ranch and mini Pretzel Crisps in our EasyLunchboxes and Blue Avocado reuasable pouch.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, bagel sandwich

7. Big Sis requested this one: Rice, panko chicken leftovers with roasted seaweed (aka nori), Peanut Butter crackers and popcorn in our ThinkBaby bento box.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, rice and chicken

8. Ham and cheese croissant sandwich with Cheetos, carrots and ranch, kiwi, popcorn and a granola bar in our EasyLunchboxes and Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, croissant sandwich

9. This was a dinner-on-the-go on a crazy busy night of rushing around between soccer practices and piano lessons and something else I can't remember. lol. Fish sticks with tartar sauce, mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara sauce, canned carrots and broccoli in our EasyLunchboxes.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, fish sticks and mozzarella sticks

10. DIY Lunchables of the cheese, deli meat and cracker variety with strawberries, carrots, sugar snap peas with ranch, Cheetos and popcorn in our EasyLunchboxesBlue Avocado reuasable pouch and a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, cheese and cracker lunchables

11. Easy homemade mushroom pizza on whole wheat naan bread from Trader Joe's with carrots and ranch, grape tomatoes, peach cup and Little Bites' Crumb Cakes in our EasyLunchboxes with a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, naan pizza

12. Mini pizzas from Trader Joe's with strawberries, carrots and ranch, Cheetos and popcorn in our EasyLunchboxes and Blue Avocado reuasable pouch.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, mini pizzas

13. Turkey and cheese mini sub on hot dog bun with sugar snap peas, carrots and ranch, Cheetos, kiwi and a mandarine oranges cup in EasyLunchboxes.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, mini turkey and cheese sub sandwich

14. Frozen pizza from Trader Joe's with strawberries, Pretzel Crisps and Laughing Cow Cheese, peach cup and popcorn in EasyLunchboxes with a Pick-Ease pick.

My Epicurean Adventures: Lunch Box Fun 2015-16: Weeks #23-28. Lunch box ideas, school lunch ideas, lunches, pizza

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Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

                         

My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.  Just click on the pix to view/purchase now! :)

Japanese Bento Accessories Sauce Container set of 4 Lovely Mayo Cup Japanese Bento Accessories Silicone Colorful Food Cup 6P 

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
Anyonita Nibbles' - Tasty Tuesdays
What Kids Eat Wednesday
The Party Bunch

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day Lunch 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Little Sis is like 0% Irish but she still wanted a lunch to commemorate the day. She knows way more about the day than I do thanks to one of her homework readings last week, so that's good enough for me! Here ya go, girl!

And before I show, ya, a big thanks to Bento Ninja and Creative Food for the inspiration! :)


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In this lunch:
  1. Spinach wrap with ham, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado with Ranch dressing.
  2. Organic vanilla yogurt with sugar sprinkles and chocolate chips
  3. Sugar snap peas with ranch dressing
  4. Sour cream Pringles
  5. Rainbow fruit with strawberries, pineapple, kiwi and blueberries
  6. 2 mini Lofthouse cookies (made in a peanut-free facility!)
And Big Sis gets one, too! Her's just isn't as big. lol.


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In this lunch:
  1. Spinach wrap with turkey, American cheese, lettuce and mayo.
  2. Sugar snap peas with hummus
  3. Veggie Straws
  4. Applesauce
  5. Chocolates!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Here are some items used in this post. To see a full list of my favorite bento gear and such, just visit my "Products I Love" page! :) Any purchases made through these links earns me a little extra cash to support my bento habit, which my hubby would really appreciate. haha! So thank you!!! if you choose to use any of 'em! :)

       

My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.  Just click on the pix to view/purchase now! :)

Japanese Bento Accessories Sauce Container set of 4 Lovely Mayo Cup    

This post has been shared at:
Homemade Mondays
Tuesday's Table
What Kids Eat Wednesday
Diana Rambles' Friday Pin Me Party

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used on this blog. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Oatmeal For the Whole Family

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringYourBestBowl #Walmart #CollectiveBias

For many years, oatmeal has been an important part of how my hubby and I like to start our day. Our two girls were oatmeal lovers, too, when they were wee little babies just learning to eat solids, but as they got older, they fell out of the habit. I've been wanting to re-introduce this great breakfast option to them and Quaker's "Bring Your Best Bowl" promotion was the PERFECT way to do just that. Instead of bringing just one bowl, though, I brought 4 - a bowl for each one of our varied tastes!

I immediately made a trip to my local Walmart. I just love going to this Neighborhood Market Walmart. It's close, the prices are great, they're open 24 hours, it's bright and clean and the employees are nice and friendly. Plus, they always seems to have what I need, whether it be last-minute back-to-school supplies at 11 pm on a Sunday night (yes, I've done that before!) or to load up on Quaker® Oats and lots of toppings to go with it on this gorgeous day in NC.


It didn't take long at all to hone in on Quaker® Oats in the cereal aisle. SO many Quaker products to choose from, but I went with the good ol' Fashioned Quaker® Oats variety.


Here are some of the toppings I brought back with me from my trip to Walmart.


And here are the toppings, all prepped and ready for action! Don't they look scrumptious?


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With the oatmeal nice and hot, cooked according to the packaging directions with plenty of milk, we were ready to "Bring our best bowl!"


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Now on to the bowls!!

LITTLE SIS': Brown sugar, strawberries and a slice of banana.

After years of watching us enjoy our oatmeal, Little Sis' interest in oatmeal was finally piqued once more. In fact, a few mornings ago, she actually asked US if SHE could try some oatmeal and you bet we were eager to let her! That's just the way she's always been, even as a baby. She liked to try new things, but if YOU asked her to try something first, she'd often say no. Now if she watched you really enjoying your food without offering her any, then she just had to have some. So funny, but it worked like a charm, especially when you threw in lots of "Mmmmmm's". :) She loves strawberries, so her oatmeal is topped with a few pinches of brown sugar along with strawberries and a banana.


BIG SIS': A sprinkling of brown sugar, chocolate syrup and chocolate chips.

This girl is a light eater and can be pretty picky at times. And she pretty much dislikes all fresh fruit minus the 3 that she'll tolerate. She especially hates strawberries. SOOOOOO, I had to make hers a little more enticing for her finicky taste buds. Much to my surprise and delight, she actually liked her bowl of oatmeal! But c'mon, what's not to like, right? 


DADDY'S: Walnuts, blueberries, strawberries and bananas.

Daddy is one dedicated soul when it comes to just about anything in life. He is especially dedicated to exercising and healthy eating. Even though I'm the one that started eating oatmeal years before him, he's now the one that eats it almost every day for breakfast, with nothing but fresh fruit, nuts and often wheat germ and ground flax seed. No sugar added, unlike the girls'. He says there's no better way to start his day. His routine is to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch (salads pretty much every day) which allows him to be a bit more indulgent at dinner and particularly during tv snacking. This man LOVES him some tv snacks and it ain't always the healthy kind! Yes, Cheetos are his weakness! There's a reason why one of the first things people often say to us is how great HE looks... never mind his awesome wife standing right there next to him! HMPH!!! Haha!! But I couldn't agree more. ;)


MOMMY'S: Brown sugar, pecans. dried cranberries and diced apples.

Mommy is... not as dedicated as Daddy. Haha. She doesn't eat oatmeal every day nor can she eat it without extra milk and a little/lot of brown sugar. But her oatmeal still packs a punch and is delicious. The pecans and apples make a great combination and add the perfect crunch and flavor. They rock my oatmeal. 


So here we all are, with our "best bowls" of Quaker® Oats.


Which one would YOU prefer?


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If you have your own delicious oatmeal combo, please feel free to share it here with me in the comment section below - I'd love to hear your ideas! And then be sure to share it with Quaker® Oats in their National Sweepstakes! They are on the hunt for America's most delicious bowl of Quaker oatmeal. Create your best bowl with 2-5 ingredients for the chance to win $250,000 and see it inspire their newest oatmeal flavor, plus get one last weekly chance to win $250! Hurry, because contest ends 3/12/16! See Official Rules.

And AFTER you've finished all that wonderful Quaker® Oats, be sure to save that canister and turn it into something fun AND useful! In a family with 2 girls with lots of hair, this headband holder is a necessity! Not only does it keep their handbands in one place, nicely displayed, it can also help you keep brushes and combs handy, while nicely concealed. Plus the kids will have lots of fun decorating it themselves!



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Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)