Lazyness and Curry

The last 10 days have been incredibly stressful and generally not so fun.  My roommate hopes were dashed when the guy who was all set to move in never showed up to pay his damage deposit and refused to answer his phone or emails.  Since then I’ve had people email me about the room, but 75% of the people who make an appointment to come see it never show up.  I’ve stopped attempting to contact them when they don’t simply because I’m not going to chase after people anymore!  This has left me rather strapped for cash and stressed out to the point where I’m having migraines and haven’t felt like doing anything, including the exercise I started two weeks ago and anything remotely resembling cooking or baking. 

This weekend was different tho.  I felt an urge to create something.  I’ve never really cooked Indian food, but wanted to try something different…something spicy and warming.  I searched through allrecipes.com and found a lamb curry, which was perfect as I have so much lamb in my freezer and don’t really know what to do with it.  I also went to chapters and found an indian recipe book in the bargain section and so I decided to try the lamb curry from there.  It is Indian Food Made Easy by Anjum Anand.  I also don’t have the recipe in front of me and I made changes to the recipe so I will do it from memory for now.

Lamb and Chickpea Curry

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

4 cardamom pods (2 green, 2 black (I only had green))

1 large onion, minced

1lb Lamb stewing meat (bone in if you can, mine wasn’t)

1tbsp ground coriander

1tbsp garam marsala (I made my own using this recipe)

1tsp tumeric

2 dried whole red chili’s

salt to taste (I didn’t add any)

1 can stewed tomatoes

1 can chickpeas ( or 2 cups cooked)

2 cups water

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet (I used my wok).  Add the cardamom pods and bay leaf, cook for about 10-15 seconds.  Add the onion and cook till brown and soft.

2. Add the lamb and spices, stirfry for about 2-3 minutes or untill it’s dry.  Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Let it boil for 10 minutes or untill the marsala has released the oil.  Add the chickpeas and water.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 35-45 minutes or untill lamb is tender.  Serve over rice or with roti. 

What I like about curry is that it only gets better as it sits.  The 2nd day it was spicier and we’ll see how it is today!

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Sinful Deliciousness

While I was at my parents house this weekend I decided to do some baking as always.  (Free ingredients and a clean kitchen without the possiblity of mice, how could I resist??)  Since it was my dad’s birthday everything was chocolate.  For his birthday supper dessert it was molten chocolate cakes with fresh raspberries and icing sugar.  They were perfectly gooey and rich and chocolately.  The raspberries were the perfect counterpart to the sweet and richness of the cake.  I’m not going to post the recipe because I found it on the inside of the Bakers 70% chocolate squares box! 

The highlight of the weekend baking, for me, was this delicious, rich, fudgey, peanut-buttery concoction.  It tastes like reese peanut butter cups.  Honest.  Unfortunatly I left most of it at my parents place.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t make my own once my pieces are gone!!

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

2 Cups All Purpose Flour (I used half whole wheat)

2 Cups White Sugar

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Cup Butter or Margarine

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Buttermilk (I used plain soymilk)

2 Eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter

1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine

1/4 Cup Cocoa

1/3 Cup Buttermilk (I used soymilk again!)

2 Cups-ish Icing Sugar

1 tsp vanilla

  • Combine flour, white sugar, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
  • Melt 1 cup butter or margarine in a heavy saucepan; stir in 1/2 cup cocoa. Stir in buttermilk, and eggs until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Mix into flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
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  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted wooden pick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully spread peanut butter over warm cake. Cool completely.
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  • To Make Frosting: Combine 1/4 cup butter or margarine, 1/4 cup cocoa, and buttermilk in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour over confectioners’ sugar, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread chocolate frosting over peanut butter on cake. Cut into squares.
  • 30 day shred…

    Is definitly shredding.  I’m talking about this.  The dvd contains 3 20 minute workouts.  One for beginners, intermediate and advanced.  I decided to pick it up after reading a lot about it from oh she glows.  I’ve now done the beginner workout twice, once on Tuesday and last night.  My muscles could definitly feel it yesterday and I’m fairly sore this morning, especially my shoulders and calves. 

    I’ve finally decided to start getting off my butt and do something besides changing my diet to try and lose weight.  Because I’m fairly sore today I think I’m going to go for a walk after work and then do some yoga.  This weekend I’m going to my parents place and am hoping to spend some time on their treadmill and with the weights my mom got for christmas.  The boy is being surprisingly encouraging.  He’s never made any comments about my weight besides crying when I mention that the first place I lose weight is in my booty.  Hopefully I can keep it up!

    News, News, News!

    This weekend was surprisingly busy and dull at the same time.  I’m SO happy my previous roommates moved out this weekend, no more having to use draino on the tub every two weeks and no more having to worry about smoking in the bedroom!  Saturday morning was spent cleaning out the now empty bedroom and the bathroom.  The floors in the whole apartment were also cleaned as well as some of the walls in the kitchen where the garbage cans stand.  I’ve been advertising for a new roommate since January, and so far nobody has signed a lease or anything which has been frustrating and confusing.  It’s a great apartment in a really good area and the price I’ve been asking is pretty standard.  I had someone email me last week and he came to look yesterday.  He’s coming to sign papers and give the damage deposit on Tuesday!  It’s also kind of nice that he’s not moving in till April 1st, gives me some time by myself and for the room to finish airing out.  I can still smell cigarette smoke in there, but he said it was pretty faint.  This is such a big relief, I’ve been so worried about it.  While I can technically afford the apartment on my own, it’s a financial strain that I’d rather not have right now. 

    This upcoming weekend is going to be fairly busy.  It’s my dad’s birthday on Sunday so I’m going out to Altona for most of the weekend.  I also need to purchase a bread machine as my hand-me-down from my Mom has stopped working, which makes me sad.  Granted it was about 12 years old and I was kind of surprised it was still working, it stopped baking loaves all the way through and wasn’t kneading enough anymore.  I haven’t really decided yet which brand/model I’ll be going for and am open for suggestions if anyone has any!  I make mostly whole wheat or whole grain loaves so a machine with a strong motor is a must.

    The last bit of news that I have is that I’ve decided that it’s best for me to bite the bullet and go back to school.  I’ve been kind of wanting to go to Red River Community College for a number of years for web design or IT, but I can’t afford to go to school during the hours they do their schedule.  My choices really are to go to University of Winnipeg and take either morning classes and work 2pm-10pm at IG or take evening classes and work a 7:30-3:30 at IG.  This way I continue to have full time employment and can take the classes I want.  U of W doesn’t have a web design or programming degree, which is ok.  I’ve decided to do a 4- year business degree  with a focus in Human Resources as I figure that will get me a job later on and will also be something that IG can support if I ever become a perminent IG employee.  It’s gotten to the point where I NEED to go to school if I ever want a job I enjoy.  Nobody in Winnipeg, except Shaw, is hiring technical support right now, and I really don’t want to stay on the phones for the rest of forever.  This gives me options later on and I need to just buckle down and do it.  I’ve emailed a recruiter and am just waiting for a response!  Fingers crossed I will be accepted and be able to get a student loan.

    Taking the Plunge

    I’ve decided to go 100% vegetarian starting now. I’m not going to go completely vegan yet, but might someday. The only bad part of deciding this is that I just bought ground turkey and steaks at costco on Saturday. I think what I’m going to do is finish off the meat that is in the freezer, probably saving most of it for when Cos comes out to visit again since he’s not vegetarian and just not buy any new meat. I will also continue to eat eggs, cheese and yogurt for now, but I haven’t bought regular milk in months. While I have been eating mostly vegetarian for awhile now, I have still been buying meat and that will stop. If you don’t like my decision, that’s ok. It’s a financially sound decision as far as I’m concerned since I already paid for the items and can’t return them. I refuse to throw money away, which is what it would end up being if I threw out all the meat currently in my freezer. I’m comfortable with it, and so should you.