Monday, December 17, 2012

Recipe: Butter Chicken

I have been asked for this recipe numerous times so, at long last, I decided to post it since I made a batch last week. However, because I'm not used to taking pictures for recipes, I forgot to take a photo, so the only picture I have is from the very first time I made this dish. Butter chicken isn't the most appetizing looking dish but it sure does taste good. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken

 Adapted from Trish Magwood's Butter Chicken


  • 1 cup (250 mL) yogurt, fat-free Greek style
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (10 mL) cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons (10 mL) minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) kosher salt
  • 3 pounds (1.5 kg) chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • 3 tablespoons (50mL) butter or ghee
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cashews, ground to a paste
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) cumin seeds, whole
  • 1 serrano chili, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can - 213mL tomato sauce
  • 2 cups (500 mL) heavy (35%) cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped roughly


  1. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, cayenne, garam masala, turmeric, garlic, ginger and salt (to taste) in a medium bowl. In a re-sealable bag, add chicken and cover with yogurt marinade and squeeze juice from half a lime over top. Seal bag and toss to coat chicken. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  2. In a high-sided sauté pan, heat butter or ghee over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic, cumin seeds and minced chili and cook until fragrant. Add tomato purée and cashew paste. Season with salt, stir and lower heat to a simmer. Add cream and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and blend until smooth (an immersion blender is handy here).
  3. Add the chicken and all of the yogurt marinade to the sauce. Stir to coat chicken with sauce and simmer on medium for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with basmasti rice and naan.
  4. You can also cook this in a slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 Days of Christmas challenge

I saw this Christmas challenge on Happy or Hungry and, like Lindsey, thought I would consolidate the questions into one or two posts. I am going to do 1-13 now and hopefully will post the last half next week.

1. Your favourite Christmas movie
I will generally watch pretty much any Christmas movie but my favourites are "Scrooged" (who doesn't love Bill Murray?!) and "Love, Actually". My husband and I have a tradition that we watch "Love, Actually" every year.

2. Your 2012 Christmas wish list
This year my wish list consists mainly of beauty products. Makeup, nail polish, skin care, I'll take it all. :)

3. When/how did you learn that Santa wasn't real?
I don't remember the specifics but I think I was around 8. Nothing traumatic stands out in my mind so it was probably just a general awareness.

4. Favourite Christmas song?
"Silent Night" gives me goosebumps and I love to sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey while dancing around the house.

5. Best gift you've ever received
My husband is a pretty good gift giver - one year he got me tickets to see Serena Ryder in Banff. As a kid, I LOVED my Walkman.

6. Your favourite ornament
We've started a tradition of giving M. a new ornament every year and I think my favourite is the one from her first Christmas. It's a ceramic disk with a painting of a baby girl's head along with her name and the year.

7. Most memorable Christmas
My family is pretty big on getting together at Christmas so all of them are pretty fun and loud. However, one year A. and I stayed in Vancouver by ourselves and had a low key Christmas and that one definitely stands out to me.

8. Post a picture of Christmas decor

 This is from a couple years ago but is generally what is looks like when my family gets together. Over-the-top, I know.

9. Easiest person to buy for
Right now, probably M. because she will love whatever we give her. Oh, to be a kid again.

10. Favourite holiday scent
Mulling spices are a clear winner for me - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, love them all.

11. Favourite Christmas tradition
Stockings, definitely. As a kid we were always allowed to open those as soon as we woke up.

12. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I am, 100%, a brown paper packages tied up with string kind of girl.

13. Favourite Christmas book
Ooooo, tough one. As a kid I loved "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" but "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is also a tradition in our house.

Your turn. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Julep Maven program

As I mentioned in my "what the nail" post, I recently signed up for Julep's Maven program. Julep is a subscription beauty box service with a twist. Instead of 4 or 5 deluxe samples from various brands, Julep sends only their own products; always two nail lacquers, a nail/hand related product (eg. grapefruit body lotion, warming foot scrub, cuticle oil, etc.) and an extra treat (eg. polish remover pads, DIY cabochon ring, etc.). When you first sign up there is a short quiz which will determine your style and then every month, your box will be tailored to your individual style. (I'm an American Beauty and so far, I've loved all of the polishes I've received.)

There are several things that are a little different about the Maven program that I really like and that I think set them apart from other subscription services. 1) You are never stuck with a style you don't like. When you receive your monthly email with the various options, you can either stay with your own style or switch to a different one that you like better. 2) You aren't locked in every month. If you happen not to like anything on offer that month, you can skip! 3) You can send your monthly box to someone else as a gift! Have a friend with a birthday coming up? A Maven box would be a fantastic gift. 4) If you purchase a monthly Maven box, you can add-on 3 additional products at drastically reduced prices. eg. A $14 bottle of polish will only be $4 if you add it on to your Maven box.

Aside from these great options, Mavens also get access to a monthly secret store that offers great deals and, occasionally, Julep sends out mystery boxes to lucky recipients (would include extra items on top of your Maven box).

All in all, I have really enjoyed receiving my Maven box each month and appreciate a company that tries to make their customers feel special. The cost of the monthly box is $19.99 USD and includes free shipping!

Below are some photos of the polishes I have received over the last few months. They are all lovely.

 | Glitter pots - one of the special extras I received |

Interested in becoming a Maven? I'd love if you used my referral link - click here! AND until the end of December you can receive your first box for a PENNY! Use the code COLOR2012.

NOTD: Essie

I'm loving this combo - it's perfect for the holiday season!

For this manicure I used Essie's Mademoiselle and Set In Stones. Mademoiselle is almost my exact nail colour so I used three coats to get a more opaque effect. Then, on top, I used one coat of Set In Stones.

So pretty.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Today would have been my Dad's birthday - his 58th birthday. Instead of celebrating with family, I am remembering and holding my loved ones just a little bit closer.

| My Dad holding M. at her baby shower - August 2009 |

Photo by: Shandie Poitras

Monday, December 10, 2012

TAG: What the Nail?!

I was at home with M. on Friday and, while she was napping, had the time to make a fun video. I decided to do the "what the nail?!" tag since I love to change up my nail colour on a weekly basis. I recently signed up for the Julep Maven program (separate post to come) so my polish collection is rapidly expanding. Could be a problem...

2013 Calendar Round-Up

Can you believe that it's almost Christmas?! I honestly don't know where this year went but, frankly, I'll be glad to ring in the new year.

As usual, I have gathered a selection of calendars that will pretty up your wall for all of 2013.

Here are a few of my favourites:

 | Jonathan Adler can make anyone smile. |

 | Love the food photography from whimsyandspice |

| Such a pretty addition to your home from Mipiacekatedesign |

| Clever take on the zodiac from bialakura |

| This cute Star Wars calendar from loopzart would be a great addition to any office |

| And finally, the winner of my affections, is the Cities calendar from Rifle Paper Co. |

Which one is your favourite? Do you buy the same calendar every year (like my step-dad with his Dilbert desk calendar) or a different one?

Friday, December 07, 2012

GlossyBox Canada November 2012 Unboxing

I was at home with M. today (she's sick) so I finally had time to do an unboxing video for the November edition of GlossyBox. (And I could even shoot it in daylight!!)

Were you happy with this month's GlossyBox? What was your favourite product?