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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry

This is what my son, Brigham, requests for his birthday dinner.

And also once a week.

It's something the whole family enjoys, and the Instant Pot makes it something that I do end up making twice a month.  The thing is, everyone also wants to eat it with naan.  Sometimes I cheat and just brush flour tortillas with butter and garlic and give them a quick fry on the electric griddle . . . but most of the time I use this naan recipe, and add a little more time to my dinner prep.  

My number one tips for taking this curry to the top?

  • Make jasmine rice, for serving.  It's more expensive than your regular long grain rice, but IT'S STILL CHEAP.  And it's so much tastier, trust me.  If you don't have a rice cooker, it's the appliance that you've been waiting for.
  • I use the red curry powder from the bulk section at Winco, and I love it--but I open to trying new brands if you have suggestions
  • I often use a third can of diced tomatoes in place of the 8-ounce can of tomato sauce, and I actually like it better
  • Fresh cilantro on top
  • I have used powdered ginger in place of grated fresh ginger when I didn't have any on hand, and it was still super yummy
If I am making this meal for my family, I get the naan dough mixed and proving in the oven, THEN I get the jasmine rice going in the rice-cooker, and THEN I start on the curry.  And I can usually have the naan all cooked by the time the curry is ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Best Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe makes five. honkin'. LOAVES.  

I have a Bosch mixer, and I really recommend you don't try to make five loaves unless you also have a heavy-capacity mixer, because kneading bread is tough on those motors.

I originally got this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, which has never given me a bum steer, but I did tweak a couple things.  For starters, I used to use honey in this recipe . . . until my grocery budget went through the roof, because we ONLY eat this bread, and I make five loaves about every eight to ten days.  So I always use 2/3 cups sugar instead.   

After they have cooled, I freeze three loaves and get them out as I need them--since there are no preservatives in this bread, it gets moldy quicker than store bread.  I try to get them out the night before they are needed so they can come to room temperature on the counter, but sometimes most of the time I am sawing through frozen bread and toasting it . . .

Risen and ready.  I find I have good results when I put
them in a COLD oven, then turn the oven on
so they rise a teeny bit more before they bake.

Baked and ready for butter brushed on the top

My mother-in-law gave me two stonewear loaf pans from The Pampered Chef years ago--It was such a great gift!  I love how they bake so well that I have bought three more at thrift stores.  Actually, I have bought FIVE more over the years, but broke two of them . . . I am always on the lookout for more, so I have some ready for the next time I have a baking accident (just like on Into the Woods).  My loaf pans are so seasoned that the bread slides right out every time (but I DON'T recommend stonewear for any sweet bread [pumpkin, zucchini, Amish friendship, etc]--it sticks like crazy).

*Side note- I rarely buy bread unless I am:

  • making French toast
  • pregnant, and therefore too moody to make bread
  • deep in the summer of the COVID pandemic when even baking brought me no joy
I also always add a cup of 5-grain cereal that I buy in the bulk section at Winco.  It has rolled oats, rye, barley, triticale (triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye), and flax seed.  I like to add whole grains because it makes your body digest the bread more slowly--so that the bread is not turning straight into sugar in your bloodstream.  Plus I love the chewy little bits--it's such a good texture.

So here you go, my second recipe card in a lonnnnnng time, and the recipe that I bake the very most.

Bonus photo: Brigham came home from cross-country practice in his shorts that he nicknamed "Minty Magic" and said, "Yes!  I love coming home to bread!  It's my favorite thing to see!" and proceeded to eat half a loaf.