Monday, June 20, 2011

Chicken Curry Pita

I rarely cook chicken. I think it’s kinda icky to prepare and I’m really bad about washing my hands. No, not in that way. You don’t have to worry about the food that I’m cooking for you. I don’t lick my fingers THAT much and I always wash my hands before stepping into the kitchen to cook. Super convincing I know, but what I mean is I don’t like that I need to wash my hands so often when I’m cooking meat.  If I want to turn on the sink to wash my hands after cutting chicken I need to contort my body into some funky yoga pose.  All that work to flip a faucet with my elbow. Tisk tisk. How do I avoid this problem?  I stay pretty much vegetarian in the home.

But as I am posting this recipe, I obviously cook chicken every once and a while. When I do, I’m always rewarded with protein filled goodness. Anyways, cooking meat is a pretty challenging for me and I always need a challenge in the kitchen. I can’t always be cooking cupcakes and casseroles.

I’m really not doing a good job at telling you that you should cook this recipe right away. The dish reminded of me of swimming rama, but without peanut butter. Even though it’s dairy free, the sauce has a very creamy taste and texture and gave me a much needed creamy fix. The best part is that the meal comes together quite quickly. As the chicken is chopped into small pieces, it doesn’t take long to cook.

However, I found that if you stop cooking as soon as the chicken is done, your sauce will be a little thin. If you like it like this, I would recommend serving it with some rice and treating as a curry dish. Keep in mind that I’m difficult and wanted to eat my chicken in a pita dangit!  This meant that I needed to both reduce the sauce (read: cook longer) and add a cornstarch slurry. Even though the recipe didn’t originally didn’t call for a sauce thickener, I found it to be too thin “on its own.”

Did I forget to mention, I am officially 100% cow’s milk free but I CAN eat gluten (praise the kitchen overlords!).  I had a very bad reaction when I tried reintegrating dairy but no such problems eating goat cheese.  This is a prognosis I can live with, I mean, goat cheese/milk/butter is classier anyways.  Keep your eyes peeled for some goats milk ice cream and cookies!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream

Did you know, before today, I hadn't had a cup of coffee in almost a week?  I'm trying to make changes here people and my complete and total dependence on coffee was a good start.  That, and I really hate cleaning my French press.  Today is a different story.  As I type, I am waiting for my friends to show up so we can head into the Cascades to do some hiking.  Guess what time I woke up?  6:30 am.  Without an alarm.  Can someone please tell me why I naturally wake up so early on the weekends yet it is feat of strength for me to even pull the eye-shades off before 7:30 during the week?

Regardless, I had coffee this morning.  A whole French press of coffee.  I haven't done this since college and now I am remembering why I don't do this on a regular basis.  I feel like I'm on magical cocktail of all the mood enhancing drugs in the universe.  I sorted my laundry!  I'm writing a blog post!  I made my lunch!  WEEE!  Let's hope the inevitable crash comes AFTER I'm done hiking for the day. [fact: it didn't]

Now that I've forewarned you to how drugged I am, tally-ho!  Onto the food!

This is a cake I made for my friend Sasha's birthday.  We play kickball & bar trivia together, so she knows about my baked goods.  When her birthday rolled around, she asked for a birthday cake knowing that I willingly make extravagant cakes.  After questioning her about cake flavors (Chocolate?  White?  Yellow?  Neon Green?) and toppings of choice (Rainbow sprinkles? Fruit? Fluffy clouds?) she decided on her favorite flavor combination: chocolate and raspberry.

Easy for me as I've made cakes & cupcakes with this combo countless times! As far as the raspberry buttercream goes, you can use either fresh or frozen raspberries, just make sure you strain the puree before reducing it.  I made this mistake once… I almost lost a friend over a rogue raspberry seed.  Even after adding some preserves to the puree, if the color isn't to your liking, feel free to add a pin prick of rose food coloring.


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