my latest and greatest favorite breakfast!


1/3 cup Bob's Red Mill Spice N' Nice Hot Cereal

1 cup milk

1 tbsp butter

2-3 tbsp packed brown sugar


Heat milk in saucepan until just starting to bubble.  Add hot cereal and butter, cooking until absorbed to your liking (for me, after about 6-7 minutes I'm happy with it).  Stir in brown sugar, and eat!




crockpot chicken tikka masala - yum


My roommate and I have an absolute love of Indian food.  Now, to start off this post, let me say that I am aware that chicken tikka masala isn't technically an Indian dish.  Anyway, there are a few pretty good Indian restaurants in the area - Shalimar in Troy, and the Curry House in Albany.  Both of these places have awesome lunch buffet deals.  The chicken tikka masala is excellent at Curry House, and Heather and I both had a craving for some awhile ago - she had the chicken, I had the crockpot and culinary skills.  Yum!

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This was a fairly easy dish to make, made even easier by the fact that I made it in the crock pot, and then took a nap while it cooked.  Awesome multi-tasking!  After the chicken was done cooking, all I had to do was set the setting to "Keep Warm", and cook up some jasmine rice.  Enjoy!


Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

recipe adapted from Supah Weblog

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast diced into large cubes

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 small can tomato paste, thinned out with water

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients except for chicken in crock pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add in diced chicken. 

Turn the crockpot on high and cook for 3-4 hours, until chicken is cooked throughout.  You may also put crockpot on low to prolong the cooking time.  Serve over jasmine rice.  This recipe also freezes well!

merry christmas a bit early from the apartment!

So we put up our tree in the apartment back in the second weekend of November.  Our semester ends the week after Thanksgiving (next week in fact!  Uuugh crunch time...), so we figured we may as well decorate early.  And we did!






Oh hi there!

the essentials for food blogging!

Or what I use, anyway!



My camera: Sony DSC-S700 7.2MP Digital Camera.  It works pretty well once I figured out how to get the most out of it - it's fussy but takes great close-ups.



Windows LiveWriter.  I never thought I'd say this about anything from Microsoft but...I love it!!  It works offline, then syncs to Blogger when I want to make the post, so I can create posts when I'm out of wireless range or am in the car.  It's a lot easier to add photos and edit layouts for posts here than in Blogger, as well, which is great!



ACDSee Photo Manager 10.0.  I learned about this program from work this summer while editing documents for a conference my boss was going to.  I really love the interface and software - it basically organizes all of your photos according to a number of possible methods (ratings, tags (like on Facebook!), auto categories (like aperture, ISO setting, etc)).  However, it also is able to auto-correct exposure and contrast, allows rollover previews (my favorite feature), and many other features I haven't fully explored yet.

happy birthday mom!



I recently went home for my mom's birthday, to spend time with her and, most importantly, to make her a cake!  Ever since I can remember, my mom would make my sister and I any kind of cake we wanted for our birthdays, and we always reciprocated.  When I first met my boyfriend, I was shocked that his family didn't do the same...I just assumed that's how the world worked :-P.

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My mom's only request this year was for a cake with lemon in it, and my chocolate frosting (I use Peabody's recipe here, with an addition of 1 tsp instant espresso powder).  I decided to make her my own variation on Magnolia Bakery's yellow cake recipe: Lemon Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl.  Yum!



Frosting making - well, bowl licking.  Yum!

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The cake was pretty simple to make, but time consuming in its separate components.  In hindsight, next time I will actually "swirl" in the raspberry cream cheese layer instead of letting it sit on top (I thought maybe it would sink in).  Other than that, I thought the flavors were well balanced and not too overpowering!


Now I have to decide what I'm going to want for my birthday ;).  (P.S. Chris - you still owe me a cake from last year!)


Lemon Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl

cake recipe adapted from the Magnolia Vanilla Cupcakes recipe

2  3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

zest of one lemon

juice from half of a lemon

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease three 8" cake pans.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon zest and juice, mixing well to incorporate.  Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Spoon the batter into the cake pans.  Add in Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl (recipe below) and swirl with a butter knife in each pan.  Be careful not to mix too much.  Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Place cake tins on wire racks and cool the cakes completely. Remove the cakes carefully when cool, and frost!  (I used the chocolate frosting recipe, above).


Raspberry Cream Cheese Swirl

12 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 large egg whites, room temperature

4 tbsp sour cream, room temperature

1/3 cup raspberry preserves

In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth.  Add in sour cream, beating well.  Add in sugar and salt, beating well to incorporate.

Beat in egg whites and raspberry preserves until incorporated.


omelette omelette omelette

I've been attempting to write this post about omelettes for about two weeks, but something's just not clicking.  So without further ado, I give you...omelettes for dinner!


Saute some onions in butter until they are almost caramelized, then throw in tomatoes, ham, and spinach leaves.  Then sprinkle the cooking eggs with cheese and fold over the filling mixture.



This one was made with feta cheese, ham, and arugula leftover from a Trader Joe's trip when visiting my sister.  I wasn't as much of a fan of the arugula in this omelette - I found it tasted much better in a whole wheat pita with feta cheese, maple champagne mustard, and ham.


Basic Omelette Recipe

makes one omelette

Heat up a small skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter on medium heat.

Once the butter is melted, crack 2 eggs into the pan and beat with a fork until smooth.  At this point, to make a fluffier omelette, add about 2 tsp of milk to the eggs.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

When the eggs begin to bubble on the surface, and the edges of the omelette are dry, flip with a spatula.  Add desired omelette ingredients on top of the omelette.  Cook for a few minutes more, then fold the omelette in half with the spatula and let cheese melt.  Enjoy!


to try: marshmallow recipes

I think these could make great Christmas gifts...I'm going to have some free time (ha, "free time") this week and after classes, so I'm earmarking some recipes:


sanity, please?

In the midst of all this.....



This is how I cope...

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I love when I'm getting ready to make breakfast, and accidentally put together something really delicious.  This time it was Archer Farms Organic Flax Seed Waffles (picked up at Target a few weeks ago on clearance!), with Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter, All Natural Peanut Butter, a banana, and (not so good) day old coffee.


I wish I had a picture!  But it all disappeared too fast..oops!


on the topic of pumpkins


Oh, this stuff is SO. GOOD.  We don't have any Trader Joe's in my area (so sad!), but my sister is going to college in Boston so every time we've visited her I load up while I have the chance.  I love fall!


I've been trying to find pumpkins to make some toasted pumpkin seeds, but I can't find any at the local grocery store!  I'll make a trip out to an orchard or something at some point before Thanksgiving, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to make a special trip out...sucks!


On my fall to-try recipe list: