Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's for Dinner?

My daughter is a very picky eater.  If you remember the movie, "When Harry Met Sally" and the scene where Meg Ryan is ordering her salad, but everything is done just so, and things are "on the side" - well, that's my daughter.  Everything must be done just the way she wants it, and she WON'T eat vegetables.  Except for broccoli and corn, which is another story.

So, mealtimes at our house are accompanied by grumbling and whining.  Usually.  Except for days like yesterday.  I made one of the girl's favorites - curried chicken and rice.  Yum.  With peas.  (ha - I had to get a veggie in there somehow)

I've been making a variation of this dish for years, since I lived across the street from a very sweet woman who introduced me to the power of curry.  I like to use sweet curry powder from Penzey's, because it's good and fresh, with a bit of a citrusy bite.  Not hot, and the kids love it.

How to:
Make a pot of rice (1 1/2 cups rice, 1/2 tsp butter or olive oil, 3 cups water.  Bring to a boil, turn on low, cover and cook for 20 minutes - don't open the pot until it's done)

Cut up 3 chicken breasts (small package, about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs) into cubes.
Add 2 tbsp butter (real butter) into a pan (I use a wok-style pan) , turn on medium heat and melt butter.
Add 1/2 tsp cumin
Add 2 tsp (plus a little, depending upon how much chicken you have) Sweet Curry powder.
Let the spices cook in the butter for a minute or two to bring out the flavor.
Add the chicken cubes.  Cook, stirring occasionally until all pieces are done through, aobut 5-10 minutes.
Add 1-2 tsp soy sauce to a half cup of water.  Stir 2 tsp cornstarch into this.  Pour into pan, stirring to keep the sauce from becoming lumpy.
Serve over the rice.
With peas.  (ha)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Boy's Birthday Bash

Dinosaurs and cake and Lego's, OH MY!!!  My little boy is growing up fast.  He has never had a birthday party, can you believe that?  Well, I decided to remedy that situation, and we asked him what kind of a birthday party he wanted.  His answer:  dinosaurs.  Okey dokey. 

I have a Cricut and 60-some cartridges for it.  Each cartridge has about 700 images on it.  Do you think that I'd have a few dinosaurs to choose from for his invitations?  I had 4, actually.  None of which struck his fancy, but they would have to do.

We put a party hat on them so they'd be festive:

The dino image is from Paper Doll Dress Up, the phrase is from Zooballoo (always a favorite!) and the party hat is from Paper Pups.  I used the Icicle border punch from Martha Stewart (I think - it's her style of punch, white with folding wings) to make the grass from brown paper.

I made cupcake wrappers for his cupcake "cake."  First, the I made cupcakes using a mix (oh, for shame!)  Then I made homemade buttercream frosting and piped the frosting onto the cupcakes using a star tip. 

I cut the cupcake wrappers using Design Studio.  I had read that the cupcake wrappers should be cut at about 8" using the Fit to Length feature key.  I actually tried them first using the keypad in my Expression, without Design Studio.  I needed the wrapper cut to 9" in order for it to fit over the wrapper.   I set my size to 9" length in Design Studio, and adjusted the images to fit two wrappers onto one sheet of cardstock.  When I cut the images, they were MUCH smaller than what I'd previously cut using just the cartridge.  Oops.  I resized the DS images to cut at the same size.  I think they ended up at 10 1/2" to fit a standard cupcake wrapper.  I like the Cupcake Wrapper cartridge, I just need to remember to make sure I do plenty of test cuts before I cut out a dozen of them at the wrong size!!!

I have to remember to take BETTER photos.  Ha.  Anyway, we cut out each of the 4 dino's on PPDU and made picks for the cupcakes with them.  Voila!!  The kids loved the cupcakes and fought over who got the pteradactyl.  Have to remember that - make extra pteradactyls for the kids and send it in their Thank You cards. 

Now, I can get on with the Christmas cards and holiday decorating!!