Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Best brownies evah

Look at these brownies we devoured...I'm pretty sure this picture was taken later in the day they were made. Brownies are sooo easy, you can mix them in one bowl, scrape it into a pan and call it a day. This recipe is from, yes, once again, the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to bake. Martha knows from baking, and she has never let me down. Oh, except I did have to bake these brownies for about an hour, versus the recommended 40 min. I love me some chewy brownies, but not liquid brownies. And here is a tip for brownie making: Trader Joes has giant bars of bittersweet chocolate for much less $$ than those other grocery stores. TJ - you my boy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The anti-Atkins diet

I know I have a post about challah already, but this is different. This is challah from Great Harvest Bread Company, so it's a whole different phenomenon. I once ate half a loaf of it just on the way home. It smells great in there, and they will give you big, hearty, samples that you can slather with delicious soft butter. I got a loaf of challah (beware - they only make it on Friday) and a loaf of "extreme cinnamon" which was a whole-wheat-y, fabulously soft, filled-with-cinnamon-and-sugar, carbohydrate dream. We demolished these loaves over two days (plus the sugar cookie pictured at bottom, purchased for Cal as a reward for going into yet another store), along with a stick of butter.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Murgh Makhani, a.k.a Butter Chicken, a.k.a. Awesome

So, after going to two Indian restaurants in a week, I was absolutely craving Indian food. I decided to try to make Chicken Makhani, sometimes called Butter Chicken, because it is delish and because I had Chicken in the freezer and I am trying to use things I already have. However, upon beginning, I realized I didn't have all the spices. So I went to By the Pound, which is a great store on South Main in Ann Arbor. It has all manner of bulk food, but especially cool are the bulk spices. I bought about 15 different spices. Then, I made Garam Masala. For this, I had to spread all these spices on a cookie sheet, toast them, then grind them. Really, it was easy. Cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, & nutmeg were in this Garam Masala, which I got from a nifty little book called Curries without Worries.

Cal and I made Parathas to go with the Chicken. I got the recipe from a cool blog ( with lots of good looking vegetarian Indian recipes. These parathas are flatbreads, stuffed with spiced potatoes, and fried. The picture shows Cal folding the dough around the filling, before rolling it out. She makes a great sous chef.
And here is a picture of our dinner: Murgh Makhani, basmati rice, stuffed parathas, yogurt, and cucumbers. It was DEEELICIOUS!
The recipe I used for the Chicken Makhani was from Since these are not copyrighted, I don't think I'll be breaking any laws by putting the recipe here. If I am wrong, please let me know! I am an upstanding citizen. Don't let the length of the recipe put you off. Just make it on the weekend. Or, marinate the chicken the night before you want to make it.

Makhani Chicken (Indian Butter Chicken)
Submitted by: RKOZELRated: 4 out of 5 by 80 members
Prep Time: 1 Hour Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 5 Hours 15 MinutesYields: 6 servings
"This fragrant, spicy Indian butter chicken recipe is from the owner of the India Cuisine restaurant in Seattle, Washington. Serve with hot Indian bread."
1 3/4 pounds skinless,
boneless chicken breast halves
- cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste

1 cup yogurt
salt to taste
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1/2 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons ginger paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped green
chile pepper
2 cups tomato puree
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek (I could not procure these, so I left them out - no harm done)
1 cup heavy cream
To Marinate: Place chicken in a nonporous glass dish or bowl with lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chili powder and salt. Toss to coat; cover dish and refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour.
Drain yogurt in a cloth for 15 to 20 minutes. Place in a medium bowl; mix in salt, garlic paste, garam masala, butter, chili powder, ginger paste, lemon juice and oil. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken, replace cover and refrigerate to marinate for another 3 to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place chicken on skewers. Place skewers in a 9x13 inch baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until almost cooked through.
To Make Sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garam masala. When masala begins to crackle, mix in ginger paste, chopped garlic and green chile peppers. Saute until tender, then stir in tomato puree, chili powder, salt, garam masala and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring in honey and fenugreek.
Place chicken in sauce mixture. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir in fresh cream.