Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reading AND Cooking Recommendation!

If you know me, you know how much I love the written word; I majored in English, after all, and fantasize about writing the Great American Novel.  I also love to eat; Mr. W could confirm that I am a bottomless pit (he's a gentleman, though, so he won't).  If you can combine a good book with good food, you have a recipe for success!  I just finished reading English Trifle by Josi S. Kilpack, which is the second installment in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series.  Sadie is an intrepid 50-something sleuth, who solves murders while sharing recipes from her tried-and-true personal collection; fortunately for her readers, Sadie's recipes are included in the book.  In this particular adventure, she finds herself visiting an English country estate, where she swaps recipes with the estate's cook (who only knows how to reheat food), experiments with preparing traditional British cuisine, and investigates an untimely death.  One of the recipes Sadie shares is for Chicken Tikka Masala, a spicy curry-type dish.  Mr. W and I don't eat much Indian food, but I decided to give it a try anyway -- and it was soooo good!  It was easy to fix, too, and we both loved it.  I contacted Josi and received her permission to share the recipe with you.  Give it a try; you'll be glad you did!

Chicken Tikka Masala
Josi S. Kilpack/Sadie Hoffmiller
1 cup plain yogurt
2 T. lemon juice
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. Cayenne pepper (1 tsp. for a milder flavor)
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground ginger (or 1/2 inch piece of ginger root)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces (I used thighs -- they're more tender)

After combining all ingredients in a gallon size Ziploc bag, seal bag and use your hands to knead the mixture together from the outside of the bag. Allow to marinate at least 1 hour in refrigerator. (Can marinate all day or overnight.)  After marinating, remove chicken from bag. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through. Marinade will be thick and will cook off during the cooking process. You do not need to save the drippings.

Thank You Part 2

After my first Thank You post a She Said friend asked a really good question: What do you do with the Thank You cards that you recieve?
This is my oh-so-scientific-method of what I do with Thank You cards:
- If it's a generic one line Thank You or a card that they just signed their name to I smile, feel grateful for the Thank you and then toss it unless it's autographed by Paul McCartney
- If it is very personalized, it's from a dear friend/family member/etc or has any sentimental value I will keep it.
- If it's a really cute hand-crafted card I will keep it for my "Idea Box" (a stash of cards that I've received that I would like to duplicate one day)
- If you get a ton of cards let's say for your wedding  - this is what I did:
     1. Threw out the Hallmark-single-signature-on-the-bottom cards and kept the rest
     2. After a few months purged a few more
     3.  Before moving purged a few more that I didn't feel as sentimental about anymore and found $75
     4. Went through the box again, a few years later, and purged some more....sadly didn't find anymore $$
     Now my wedding card box is filled with the cards that mean the most to me.

In short: Hold on to it for a week and at the end of that week keep it or toss it


Thursday, September 23, 2010

For Your Quizzing Pleasure

Once upon a time in the mid-90s, one of our favorite teen magazines sponsored a write-your-own quiz contest.  The lucky winners would actually have their quiz printed in the magazine.  Since we spent a good portion of our teenage years taking magazine quizzes, we decided to create a quiz with another one of our friends (hi, Merisa!).  Even though we spent an entire French class period working on it, our quiz did not win the contest.  But fortunately for you, our faithful readers (all nine of you!), I saved a copy!  Now you finally can learn whether or not you are "crushing on him too much".  It's a serious problem, people.  Take the quiz and seek help if necessary.

Are You Crushing on Him too Much?
1. If you see him looking at you during class, you think:
a) Is he looking at me? (2 points)
b) Do I look okay? (3 points)
c) He must be looking at the girl behind me (1 point)

2. When you think of him, you think he is:
a) A god (3 points)
b) Average Joe (2 points)
c) Geeky Melvin (1 point)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the BEST chocolate chip cookies

This recipe has never failed me. I have used it so much that I am writing this from's that good. You can take your own spin on this if you want. Chunks of Butterfinger are really good in place of chocolate chips or Reeses Peanutbutter Cups are quite nice too....or all three. Just enjoy it!

1/2 C. Butter
1/2 C. Crisco
1 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 C. Flour
1 TBS. Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
Chocolate Chips or other chopped chocolate candy

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the Butter, Crisco and Sugars together. Add the Eggs and Vanilla and stir together. Put in the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt and mix all together. If the dough seems a bit sticky you can add a bit more flour...sparingly, you can add, but you can't subtract....Then pour in the chocolate chips, chocolate candy or whatever you desire in there.
Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.
It makes 1 cookie to 2 dozen cookies depending on how much dough you ate.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's Getting Better All the Time

We are starting to add new things to the blog. (Ya like those tabs up Posting more posts and introducing ourselves to you (check out our About Us). We are still in the infantcey of this blog, but we are growing everyday and hoping that you are liking what you see and read.
Let us know what you want! Have an etiquette question? Want to swap a blog link? Let us know!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Getting to Know Us...

We have been best friends for almost fifteen years, and a LOT has happened to us along the way.  Starting this blog gives us the perfect chance to take a walk down memory lane...

An early memory of the other person
N: One of my first memories of you is that in middle school you had a blue case for your viola.  You would hold it like a left-handed guitar and pretend to be Paul McCartney.
M: Sitting next to eachother at the spelling bee. We didn't know eachother at all and I asked you if my breath smelled and you said, "No". Looking back on that I feel so lucky that you didn't give me a "you-are-a-weirdo" look and never talk to me again.

Three words to describe the other person
N: Funny, loyal, patient
M: Creative, good listener & dedicated

A little-known fact about the other person
N: Michelle can do an awesome impression of "The Nanny" (aka Fran Drescher)
M: Nan knows how to make a stick of butter look like a pine cone. (It's a family secret)

Remember when we...?
N: Wore those matching middle school band shirts?  They were about 30 years old and stained, but we thought we were so cool to have matching "vintage" outfits!
M: Stealthily got the locker combination to our crushes locker and opened it.
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