Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala!!

Chicken Tikka Masala

3 chicken breasts
2 cans tomato sauce
1 quart heavy whipping cream
5 tsp cumin
2 ½ tsp paprika
½ - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry
½ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic, minced
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
5 cups, uncooked basmati or jasmine rice

Cut chicken into bite size pieces, season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, and cook using the method of your choice (I find baking the chicken while the sauce is simmering to be the easiest).

Mix tomato sauce, cream, and spices in a large saucepan. If desired, adjust seasonings to taste. Simmer on low for an hour to an hour and a half, until the sauce thickens. Add cooked chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve over prepared rice and garnish with cilantro. Naan is also typically served with this Indian dish (the recipe for naan is below).


1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
¼ cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 ½ cups bread flour
¼ cup butter, melted

Proof the yeast in a large bowl with the cup of water (and however much sugar the back says that you need to use to proof it). Wait about ten minutes until it is nice and frothy. Add everything else except the butter and make into a dough. Knead it on a floured surface until it is smooth. Place it in a well oiled bowl, cover with a wet cloth, and let it rise somewhere warm. It is done when it has doubled in size--about an hour.

Punch it down, tear off small sections and roll into golf ball-sized balls. Place on a greased tray, cover with a towel and let rise again until doubled in size--about half an hour.

Preheat grill to a medium/medium-low temp (I use an oven rack, if you want the nice lines on it. You could also use a skillet). Oil lightly. Roll out/use your hands to smash and flatten a ball of dough into a thin circle. Cook for a couple minutes until puffy/lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter. Flip. Brush cooked side with butter. Cook another few minutes until nicely browned. Remove from grill. Repeat.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Miss Meganeee's Catering

Today's post includes pictures from Lydia's wedding of all the food I made. Enjoy!

The Bride!!

The Wedding Cake - the bottom layer and part of the top was styrofoam. Only a portion of the top was a real cake.

Banana Bread with chocolate chips. Lemon Bread was also served.

Mini Cheesecakes with optional garnish.

Stuffed Jalapenos

Wrapped Asparagus

Mini Kebabs

Turkey Wraps

Lydia found a ton of goblets at D.I. and provided them for her guests to use as part of her tea party/garden party theme.

Also found at D.I. were a collection of colored glass serving dishes and bowls. Instead of arranging the usual fruit platters, I decided to utilize this glassware to serve the fruit.

None of this would have been possible without my wonderful crew! A huge thank you to all of you for your patience and hard work!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Dear Friend

I was sitting on my bed this evening when it started to rain. But this wasn’t just any rain. It was a down pour - my favorite kind. Lightning split the sky, followed by the explosion of thunder. I smelled it first. I love the smell of rain. Do you know the smell I mean? That scent that tells you rain is coming. Next I heard it: a million tiny drops colliding with the pavement. I grabbed my book and hurried outside. I sat in the stairwell, shielding myself from the deluge only because of the fragile pages of my book. How I love the rain. It reminds me of home. Washington. Seattle. The mountains. How green and lush everything is. I didn’t get to my book. My thoughts wandered. And settled. They settled on you. So many things have changed. How I miss you. I miss your smile. I miss talking to you. I think about you often. I’m glad I know you. I’m glad we are friends. You are a wonderful child of God and I know He is proud of the person you’ve become. I hope I know you forever.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pure Exhaustion

Two weekends ago I was able to make a short trip to Seattle for my best friend, Lydia's, wedding, which I catered! It was so much fun!! And was the first wedding that I catered, so there was a lot to plan and prepare for. But I think we ended up being a little over prepared and everything went quite smoothly, which was nice. Posted at the end are all the recipes I used.

A wedding can be stressful enough, but added to the stress of the wedding plans was the fact that it was at the end of finals week! Wednesday night/Thursday morning I went to bed at 4:30am and had to wake up at 6:30am for a final...I did not do very well. And then I finished my last final on the 10-hour drive from Rexburg to Moses Lake, WA. We had to stop briefly at a hotel just before midnight so I could submit that last final. Then we arrived in Moses Lake shortly after and I passed out pretty quickly.

I spent the entire next day cooking and prepping the food for the reception at 6pm, along with my wonderful team of helpers - they were so great! Some of the items on the menu were requests of the groom, Tyrell, including stuffed jalapeños. He provided the recipe and even spent several hours in the kitchen helping prepare the jalapeños! The groom helping in the kitchen on his wedding awesome is that?! I also made a fake cake, which I think was awful, but the bride was satisfied so all was well. We bought styrofoam layers to build it up and then just the top was real. I covered the styrofoam in cream cheese frosting and decorated it with pearls and pink roses.

The next morning we drove the three hours to the Seattle Temple for their Sealing. I was just Endowed two weeks ago, so I was very happy to be able to attend their Sealing! It was so wonderful!! Right after we met at a nearby park for a small open house. I served cupcakes for refreshments and we had a few activities including a costume/dress-up chest and tug-o-war!! We played boys against girls and the girls won the first two times and the boys the third time. After the open house, a small group met at the pier in Seattle to eat dinner at Ivar's. While everyone was waiting for a table and then ordering and waiting for food, two of my friends, Lydia's oldest sister, and I decorated their car!

It was such a fun weekend...I was able to spend that night with my dear friends Melina and Jenessa! And I got to see my cat!! Jenessa and I stayed up WAY too late talking nonsense and giggling. Then my friends (Bonnie, Cassandra, and Jessica) left to head back home at 5 Bonnie's car without a/c! We had a spray bottle to keep us semi-cool. I was so exhausted from finals week and the whole weekend - I slept most of the 8-hour drive to Boise, where I stopped to stay with my friend Julean. We stopped in Pendleton for church - that's pretty much the only time I was awake, except we stayed to listen to one speaker and I don't remember what she said because I was so out of it. Then I slept for 12 hours at Julean's! And Julean drove me the rest of the way to Rexburg. We had lunch at Craigo's and then she headed back to Boise.

Now school is over for seven weeks (six weeks now...) and I am definitely enjoying some down time. It is boring at times, but for the most part I am loving the me time!


Zucchini Bread -

2 eggs
½ C oil
1½ C sugar
2 C grated, peeled zucchini
1 tsp vanilla
3 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking powder
Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease generously and flour 5 mini loaf pans. Beat eggs until light and foamy. Add oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla. Mix lightly but well. Add flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and baking powder sifted together. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into pans. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Bread -

2 cups flour
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 container lemon yogurt, room temp
2 lg. eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter and flour 4 mini loaf pans.
To prepare bread: In a medium-sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, vanilla, and lemon peel, until blended. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until blended. One at a time, add eggs, beating well after each addition. In three additions each, alternately beat in flour mixture and yogurt mixture, beating just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove pan to wire rack. Completely cool.

Mini Cheesecakes -

1 package Royal Cheesecake mix
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup margarine or butter, melted

Combine crumbs, sugar and margarine; press equal portions onto bottoms of 24 lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups. In large bowl, follow directions for making Royal Cheesecake. Spoon equal amounts of mixture (about 3 tablespoons) into prepared cups. Refrigerate until set. Garnish as desired.

Stuffed Jalapeños -

24 jalapeños
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, cooked

Cut the jalapeños in half and gut them. Mix cheeses and sausage together to make stuffing. Stuff the jalapeños and bake at 450 degrees for 15 min or until the cheese melts and browns on top.

Asparagus Wraps -

1 bunch of asparagus, boiled
8 oz cream cheese
1 pk sliced ham

After the asparagus is cooked and cooled, spread cream cheese over the ham and then wrap around asparagus.

Mini Kebabs -

Sharp Cheddar Cheese, half-inch cubes
Black olives
Sliced turkey

Stab an olive, a slice of turkey, and a cube of cheddar onto a toothpick

Turkey Wraps -

1 pk large tortillas
8 oz cream cheese
1 pk sliced turkey

Spread the cream cheese over the tortillas and then the turkey. Roll and slice.

Fruit Platters - Pineapple, Grapes, Watermelon, Strawberries, Orange wedges

***E-mail me with any questions about these recipes - Enjoy!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yeah, I flipped out...

It's technically Monday, but I haven't gone to bed yet so I still consider it to be Sunday. Today has been quite the interesting Sunday. Because it is 4th of July weekend most of my ward is out of town, so we just had a small testimony meeting. After church I spent my time reading scriptures and writing to a missionary, and later I took a nap...the standard Sunday activities. Around midnight, my only roommate that stayed in town this weekend went to bed. I was tired and would have gone to bed as well, but I have been craving homemade chocolate chip cookies for awhile now, so I decided to stay up and make a quick batch (yes Lisa, I cheated AGAIN). I put "The Best Two Years" on while I baked and kept the door open to let in some cool air because it's been quite warm lately. It's about 2am as I finish baking the cookies, and I sit down in the near-darkness to finish my movie, which has about half an hour left. I am enjoying the cool air coming in through the open front door. The only light comes from the TV and the porch light right outside my front door. Throughout the evening several moths have found their way inside, but now the lights are off and all is still. So I am surprised when another one flies in...annoying. Wait, this one is bigger than the others. That's right, it wasn't a moth that flew in; it was a BAT!!! I'm sitting on the couch freaking out as it flies from the kitchen to the opposite corner in the living room and back again. Where I sit is halfway between the two corners of the front room and each time it makes a pass it flies a little lower. I hide as best I can under a throw pillow. I slide to the floor and make it to the hallway, which is cut off from the front room by a door. I wake my roommate up and we slowly open the door back to the front room...but the bat is gone! We hurry to close the front door. We eat cookies and laugh as we cautiously look around at the dark corners, half-expecting a bat to burst from the folds of the jackets hanging up. People...if you leave your doors open, something unexpected just might fly in. I found this out the hard way.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It has been brought to my attention that I have not updated my blog in quite some time. I'm sure you are all very curious as to the recent events in my life. The short version is that I have been attending school at BYU-Idaho to earn my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education. My roommates are wonderful! I am currently spending a lot of my free time helping my best friend with her wedding. For the long version, I will post updates and photos soon...hopefully starting tomorrow. Love you all!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fun Times in the CITY

Ok yes, I am aware that a new post is needed already, so here we go...

I am back in Seattle and it has been so much fun! But it has also been a very strange experience. I went to my old ward and I knew maybe 25% of the people there. I have realized more and more how much things have changed here in Seattle. Not that change is a bad thing; look at me and all that has changed in the last year. It's just weird. I don't like change. My life would suggest otherwise.

Spending my days with my old roomies, the Markland's, has been so wonderful! I have missed these girlies so much. When I flew in last weekend, we spent Sunday listening to General Conference at the Stake Center. They were all wonderfully inspiring talks and I look forward to reading them again in next month's Ensign.

Tuesday morning I got to see my massage therapist for a 90 minute massage and it was absolutely AMAZING!!! I love her and I wish I could take her with me to Rexburg. Also on Tuesday, I went to dinner with my cousin Amy. She picked me up after work and we drove to West Seattle to eat at my very favorite Mexican restaurant, Puerto Vallarta! And then we had ice cream at Husky Deli I think...I got a scoop of blackberry cheesecake and it was oh so delicious! On Wednesday evening I took a bus downtown to meet Amy again. It was a very interesting bus ride...I have never been through the bus tunnels downtown. In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't know they existed. Whenever people referred to tunnels and buses, I always assumed they were talking about the viaduct...anyway...I met Amy downtown and then we took an express bus to Federal Way to spend the evening with our Grandma! And then Amy drove me back to Seattle...she's awesome like that.

Thursday was mostly a lazy morning, but the afternoon was packed full of fun: I was able to see my chiropractor and I have definitely decided that I need to find an amazing chiropractor in Rexburg. It is worth the money people. I am going back Monday morning and I cannot wait! I haven't had a good adjustment since I left Seattle 7 months ago, so there was some serious popping going on in my body and it felt wonderful. After my adjustment I was able to see the girls I nannied, Jia and Hannah! Their mom, Alison, came and picked me up for dinner at China Harbor and then we went to the lower area of that building for their swimming lessons. It was so good to see them all! The night finished with a visit from another dear friend of mine (and the Markland's): Whitney Thompson! She is an amazing woman and I really wish I could see her more often.

Friday afternoon was quite delightful. Jenessa and I walked around the U-District to Goodwill in an attempt to find dresses for a photo shoot we were hoping to do. Then we were unsuccessful in finding somewhere to eat lunch...sad story there. So we went home, looked up a bus route downtown and decided to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. So delicious and so bad. Then we walked across the street to see the movie "Beastly" which is based off a book of the same name by Alex Flinn. I was worried because the movie has received a lot of bad reviews...however I really enjoyed it and wouldn't mind seeing it again. Friday ended on a cold note. Jenessa and I took the bus back home and then decided that we needed to take a dip in the Ship Canal. This is a fun pastime of ours...we did not have such a fun time this night. We knew it would be cold. I did not think it would steal the breath from my lungs, but that is exactly what happened. We were hoping we'd be able to swim for a bit, but that was not possible. We pretty much stripped, got in, dunked, got right back out and had to walk back up the hill dripping and freezing. We were applauded by the pot-smoking and alcohol-drinking persons who were also hanging out at the park. My first week back in Seattle has been quite fun and I am excited for next week: more fun times with my Markland's!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

I have nothing interesting to post about right now, so how about a yummy recipe. This is a recipe for baked macaroni and cheese, which I got from one of my wonderful nanny families back in Seattle. I love it because it's really simple and so delicious! You don't even have to pre-cook the noodles!! It's the perfect comfort food...

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

yield: 4-6 servings


  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 cup cottage cheese

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1 tsp dry mustard

  • pinch cayenne pepper

  • pinch nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 lb grated cheddar cheese (or any other kind)

  • 1/2 lb elbow pasta, uncooked


Heat oven to 375 F. Spread butter all over the insides of a 2-quart dish (do not melt butter in oven). Puree cottage cheese, milk and spices together. In large bowl combine cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover pan and stir gently. Bake uncovered 30 more minutes or until the top is browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"If I should Have a Daughter..."

I saw this on a couple facebook pages and then I watched a bunch of her stuff on youtube. I have fallen in love with spoken word poetry! Check it out:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cozy in the Closet

Today's packing consisted of cleaning out my closet and sorting through my clothes. So now my closet is completely empty, other than the shelf on top. My niece Aubrie had been helping me sort through everything, so when we finished I wanted to do something special with her. We picked a movie (Curious George), and then made a very cozy bed inside the closet out of all my pillows and blankets! We squished inside and closed the door and then spent the next hour before bedtime watching a movie together. It was a very fun way to end a lazy day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The time I totalled the van.

Ok so I already missed posting for a day, but honestly, who really wants to hear from me EVERY day?? I had to work last night and the night before, so yesterday was a very tired day. I only slept for three hours during the day, which is typical when I'm sleeping during the day. I hate it...I am so excited to be done with this work schedule! Sleeping; eating; my whole schedule is really messed up. Annoying.

About a week ago I was driving to town at night and hit my first deer. It was awful. I was driving Jeff and Lisa's van down the highway near home and it was pitch black, so I didn't see the deer until they were right in front of me. They ran right onto the road and there was nothing I could do to avoid them; there were three, but I only hit the one in front. The van immediately shut down and I had to coast to the side of the road. Just looking at the outside, the damage didn't look too extensive. The driver's side headlight was hanging out, the front end was dented a bit, as well as the driver's door. My brother, Jeff, came and picked me up and they called the insurance to have it towed to a shop in town. We heard the next day that the van was totalled!!! The impact pushed the radiator into the computer system, and there were other problems too. The good news is that Jeff and Lisa don't mind so much because now they don't have a van payment. The bad news is that I am now terrified to drive at night.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back to school

Here is the answer to the big question of what I am doing next: I am going back to school...again! In January I submitted an application to BYU-Idaho and was accepted to start for the Spring semester. In the meantime, I have been working in Missouri at a nursing home: Parkdale Manor Care Center. They pay for a CNA class and all testing while you work there and I finished the class and state test about a month ago. I work overnights and it has been such a difficult schedule to get used to; I hate sleeping during the day, especially now when the days are getting longer and warmer. My last day of work is the 29th! The plan is to fly to Seattle April 2nd and spend about two weeks there with my Seattle buddies, including the gorgeous Markland sisters! I am way excited to be back in Seattle for awhile and start another new and exciting path. Classes start at BYU on April 19th. I will be majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Special Education. I think that's most of the big updates for now. I am working tonight, so I'm going to take a few hours hopefully to sleep...we'll see how that works out.

Setting Goals!

Lately I have started reading a lot of different blogs and really enjoy them. I love seeing life from other people's perspectives. You can learn so much. Today my sister-in-law (Lisa-she will be mentioned a lot in my blog, so remember her) challenged me to write a blog post every night. But there are a lot of days when I do nothing of importance...what would I do then?? Lisa suggested on those nights to google blog prompts. So I will try that. Along with blogging on a regular basis, I am setting a goal to be more consistent with prayer and scripture study, and I thought that this blog would be a great way to discuss new insights I receive from the scriptures. I am currently reading the Book of Mormon in the book of Jacob. I keep setting a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon, but it hasn't happened yet. I will do it this time! In other news, I am much too sleepy to catch up on everything that's happened since my last post THREE MONTHS ago, so I will get to that on tomorrow's post. Be excited, because I've answered "the big question" lol...well mostly!