Sunday, January 10, 2016

Chicken Tikka Masala (aka Indian Butter Chicken) with Naan

When something is this good you have to put it someplace you can always find it.  I wish I did that with that recipe for CONGO BARS, the one that's made with four (4) sticks of butter.  Sigh...

Trust.  This recipe is a keeper and can even be made ahead.  My house smells amazing.

1 T. Oil in Crueset over medium heat


1      T. peanut oil
1       Shallot, finely chopped
1       White onion, chopped

Saute until soft and translucent and then stir in:
            2 T. Butter
            2 t. lemon juice
            1 t. minced garlic
            1 t. garam masala
            1 t. chili powder
            1 t. ground cumin
            1 bay leaf
             grated ginger root (the more the better)

Stir for a minute and add:

1          cup tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 


1/4        Cup Greek yogurt
1           Cup half and half

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper and remove from heat and set aside.

Chop one pound of chicken breasts into bite size pieces.  Heat 1 T. oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until lightly browned.  Reduce heat and season with 1 t. garam masala and 1 pinch cayenne pepper.  Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce and simmer until liquid has reduced.  Stir cooked chicken into sauce.  Serve with rice and naan.

I made this a day ahead and served it with homemade naan - so good.  It's in the rotation.  Enjoy.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

The end

Twenty-three (23) pictures were hung this week along with some subway art.  Miscellaneous tasks that needed to be crossed off lists we've been looking at since June.  Oh it feels good.  I thought my Laguna Beach subway art belonged on this wall in my kitchen.  It makes me happy to walk in and see that.

The other wall has a picture of a Boston Bakery - inspiration for goodies from my oven.

Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall and Back Bay scenes in the entryway.

Believe it or not, this shelf in the master bedroom has given me the most angst out of all the decorating decisions.  I'm not satisfied at all.  Tweaking continues, probably with arranging the lanterns.

New England seashore art on this wall with the oar from one of my favorite Laguna Beach stores in the corner.  That oar has been everywhere in this house until it found its final resting spot.

Banjo music is necessary when your house is finally finished.  His Nantucket Reds go with the theme.

Rockport buoys on the walls in the master bedroom with some west coast beach inspiration included.

My cozy family room.  Boston on the walls everywhere with snowy Commonwealth Avenue and Public Garden photos.

Seashells and Wes Anderson coffee table books, Ina Garten and Lilly Pulitzer inspiration, and Black Dog fun from Martha's Vineyard.

In retrospect this was funFun I never want to have again.  But I sure love the finished project.  Life is good.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

my range hood...

I just realized my range hood didn't make the blog.  It's my favorite part of the kitchen.  Wait . . . the fridge.  Wait . . . the oven.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

And we're done... (sort of)

Crown molding over the refrigerator/cabinet wall is installed and so is the hardware.  Unpacking the kitchen commence!  Some of that was accomplished over the weekend, some wasn't.  The dishwasher will be installed tomorrow so those things that need that step before they can make their way into the kitchen is about to happen.  We are getting there.

The good news is that wall of cabinets gives me more space than I had in my house that was twice the size.  Drawer space is more limited, but I chose a basket to put seldom used gadgets.  I love seldom used gadgets.  I am a sucker for gadgets.

We are pleased with the decision not to put cabinets on the wall over the stove and sink.  It's a tiny space and it seems bigger without those. 

I'm always looking at blogs dedicated to living in small spaces.  There are great ideas like shoes in matching baskets under your bed (I love the way it looks) and trays under bathroom sinks.  Sometimes I just need the visual.

I'm in the decorating phase now.  My bedroom has a shelf I finished, I think.  The previous owner put lights on the shelf, high on the vaulted ceilings, so it was the perfect place for some of my lanterns and a few large glass jars for shells.  My process with these things is to take my time and a few days before deciding I don't need to move things.  Next up is hanging my New England pictures all over my walls.

There are a couple of things that will happen as we go.  New glass shower doors in the master bath.  Maybe some concrete resurfacing on the front and back door areas.  Nothing major.  Fun things.
I'm over and out about the renovation.  I didn't think I could forget how bad the place looked when we moved in, but I did.  When I scroll through the blog and see the pictures I can't believe it.  I'm happy we chose this path - I really have everything I wanted.  Who can say that?
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Friday, October 2, 2015

A glimpse inside

Remember that blogging trend 100 years ago when people posted "What's In My Fridge"?

Before blogging was dead?

Here's what's in my fridge.  I never thought I could love a refrigerator.

Project will be completed Tuesday.  TUESDAY!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We moved 75 days ago

You guys . . . it isn't easy blogging from an iPhone.  I'm a winger!  Pictures aren't pretty and who knows where my camera is?  My iron?  No clue.  Here's proof I will know soon enough, because any day now I'm going to be able to unpack my garage!  We are close.  SO CLOSE.

Master bathroom with hexagon tile and pale gray grout.  Hardware on cabinets not installed yet.  No towel bar, just a long Pottery Barn row of hooks that I can't wait to style. 

My floor to ceiling cabinets (without hardware) and an empty space for my refrigerator.

And with the refrigerator!

Guest bathroom with a pivot mirror.  Still not finished but soon.  SOON.

The dumpster that's been out in the front of my house will be gone tomorrow.  I won't miss that thing!  A few details need to be taken care of like cleanup, hardware installation and some touch up paint.  The dishwasher was damaged in transit so it needs to be replaced, and there's a slight electrical setback with the oven.  Do I sound worried?  I'm not.

Tomorrow I will update with more finishing touches.

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Two months later...

Lots to be done, but little by little things are starting to come together.  A sectional fit the bill for this tiny spot in our living room.  Once it was delivered (yesterday) we realized the coffee table we love just isn't going to work.  Learn to let go, I say!  I don't really say that...

I wish I had a better photo of my closet light fixture.  Some of the crystals haven't arrived yet.  Yes, it's out of character for me but I'm crazy about it.

And just because, here's a picture of my unfinished kitchen.  If we live right cabinets will start to be installed in a week.

I'm thinking about a blog post entitled "Conversations Overheard at the Sun City Pool."   Things like, "If there was justice in the world Elvis would be alive and The Pretenders would be dead."  That happened.

More later...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

half in, half out

We are halfway back into our new place, without a kitchen and without bathroom cabinets.  So that utility sink I thought was stupid the day I moved in is now very handy since it's where I brush my teeth and wash my face.

It's another two weeks before the cabinets arrive.  Once they do they will be installed along with the countertops and appliances.  Because there's still dusty work to be done we only moved in our bed and entertainment center and the office desk.  Last night we slept in that bed for the first time in four weeks and it was heaven.  HEAVEN. 

There are things in the rental that still need to be moved, but we'll be out in final form by Thursday.  Since we moved out of our house into that rental I have seen a coyote and more rabbits than I can count.  Cottontail rabbits!  Also, that coyote has been responsible for several bad dreams involving a small dog I'm rather fond of.  I should never have googled "coyote".

I'm still in love with my floor.  Actually, I'm crazy about it.  Can you love baseboards?  Yes.  You can love baseboards.

Mid-October we should be settled in.  And then the baking begins...

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Sunday, September 6, 2015


Baseboards are almost done.  Caulking and painting them comes next.  That oiled bronze is showing up everywhere.  Door handles, hinges, door stops.  I like the contrast with the white paint.

I mostly want to show you the lighting they've installed because I AM CRAZY ABOUT IT.

Above are those schoolhouse lights I've been talking about.  The light over the phantom sink has the oiled bronze and I love the difference in the fixtures.  I think they compliment one another.  

The foyer light has a diffuser on the bottom.

These two zinc lights will reside over the dining table.  The filament bulbs are lovely and I love the cords that hang from the ceiling plates.

Bathroom tile happens next week, that tiny white hexagon tile with a very pale gray grout.  Paint will be touched up.  We are getting there.  When I work up the nerve I will show you my closet "that doesn't look like Patti" light fixture, complete with hanging crystals.  No joke.

We are still pinching ourselves.  Seriously.

Another fixture outside the linen closet.

And the cage light in David's office.

More to follow.

PINCHING myself.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A tease

This happened today.  I keep having to pinch myself.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Paint. Beautiful All White Paint.

Yesterday all the paint happened at our little place.  They climbed up ladders and painted the narrow ceilings up to the skylights, all those yellowed doors and the woodwork.  I've already forgotten how bad it looked in there.  Lighting has been removed, those phone jacks, that sweet cassette player and the medicine cabinets.  Drywall and paint makes it seem as if that stuff never existed.  But I have the pictures to prove it!

I realize pictures of an empty house with only white paint aren't very exciting, but I'm wanting to document it all.

Oil rubbed bronze door handles and hinges are ready to be installed.

That kitchen is going to have three schoolhouse lights in a row with a fun oil rubbed bronze fixture over the sink.  

My beachy wood floors are going in on Monday.  Floors are everything to me, so I can't wait for this next step.

The white shaker cabinets have been delayed, moving the entire project out two full weeks.  That news didn't make for the best Friday night.  Again, first world problems.  We'll find a way.

Unpacking my kitchen is going to feel like Christmas.  I miss baking!

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