Thursday, January 11, 2007

Butter Chicken

This is more of a food review than a recipe. We had butter chicken for dinner. I have yet to tackle actual butter chicken. I can't find a recipe yet I want to try, they all have about forty million ingredients. I know I could whip it up with things I have in the spice cupboard, but I am still a little intimidated (and for those who know me, the thought of me being intimidated in the kitchen is alien)

Still, just because I am afraid of butter chicken doesn't mean I am not going to enjoy the yummiest of all Indian dishes. So we use (drum roll) President's Choice Butter Chicken Sauce In A Jar. Just cook the chicken, add the sauce, and dump over rice. Dee-licious. Possibly not the healthiest choice, but quick and tasty, and as it is not terribly spicy, it is a good entry-level Indian dish. We got the Our Complements sauce from Sobeys this time. (No link unfortunately. Internet-wise, it is as though it doesn't exit) Pretty much the same, I'd say. It was a little tangier with slightly less curry taste, but it would have been well served if we had just toasted a little garam masala and stirred it in. Ian's mostly ended up on the floor. But he doesn't seem to be eating as much at supper time lately as a rule, so I don't know if I can entirely chalk that up to the dinner.

Altogether, I prefer the PC version. They are both around the same price. We prefer it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and of course Basmati rice which has a sweet smell and aroma. Although we didn't have them this time, PC also makes a great Naan bread that goes really well with this dinner. It's soft and buttery. The package says not to microwave it but 30 seconds or so in the microwave is quicker than grilling it.

While I am on the subject of Indian food, here is some advice for fellow Haligonians: the Curry Village makes terrible butter chicken. It was like chicken in gravy. It didn't have much flavour, and it was a sorry greyish brown colour. They had fresh Naan bread, though, which hooked me for good. If you want to go out for a bite of curry in Halifax, the best Indian food I have had is the Dude Who Sells Curry at the Brewery Market on Saturdays. $5 will get you curried chicken, Basmati rice with vegetables, and a meat samosa. And it's about the best I've had anywhere.

So if anybody has a relatively simple butter chicken recipe they have tried I would love to hear about it. Please feel free to comment!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lasagna, Part Deux

Well last night was leftovers. And as promised, here's Trav's recipe for 4 Cheese Lasagna:

whole wheat lasagna noodles (enough to make 4 layers when cooked)
1.5 lb lean ground beef


1 can or jar of your favourite sauce (I just use whatever's on sale)
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp oregano
salt & pepper to taste


500g mozzarella cheese
150g cheddar cheese
500g cottage cheese
100g fresh parmesan cheese

In dutch oven (large pot) brown lean ground beef, add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for about an hour or until veggies are soft. You can use whatever veg you like, these are just what I prefer. While sauce is simmering, grate mozza and cheddar into one bowl and then grate parmesan into cottage cheese into another bowl. When sauce has about 20min remaining, boil large stockpot of water for noodles. The water should be well salted and some oil will help keep the noodles from sticking together. When the water comes to a boil add noodles. About 12min will cook a lasagna noodle al dente. When noodles and sauce are done layer everything in this order: sauce, noodles, sauce, noodles, cottage/parmesan mix, noodles, sauce, noodles, mozza/cheddar mix. Bake in 375F oven for approx 40min. Enjoy! By Trav

Tonight was pretty easy dinner, I just whipped up a Lazy Chicky Noodle Soup, with some chicken stock, sauteed chicken, veggies and noodles. We have chicken out of the freezer for tomorrow. I don't know what it will be yet, though. Stay posted!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Kind of a lazy day today. Well, food wise, anyway. I was a little more focused on getting the house clean than on cooking. Not that I was successful at that either. We made Lasagne, Caesar Salad, and Garlic Toast. It was great. Trav made the lasagne, he's not here right now otherwise I would write out what he put in it, but sadly I wasn't paying attention. I was in charge of the salad and I must confess, we used Renee's Caesar salad dressing. I liked it the first time I bought it but ever since then I have never enjoyed it as much. It's too tangy or something. I made my own last time but it was a first go and relatively unsuccessful, that, plus the fact that I was super lazy today both contributed to the jarred dressing. I did, however, make the croutons myself.

Krispy Krunchy Kroutons: Bread, cubed. Salt and pepper to taste, season to taste (I used Oregano today) toss with olive oil, bake until crispy.

Ok. So Trav's recipes are a little more specific. I prefer to throw it all together. Anyhoo, I will have him write out the lasagne for tomorrow. Here's a pic of what's left of the lasagne:

Ok, so it looks bad in the picture but I am a good cook and a bad photographer. Get over it.

PS: Ian Rating: Eleven. Ok, that means nothing. Lets just say the tummy/floor/face percentages were about 85/10/5, just about right for pasta. He even ate some salad. Ok, he sucked the dressing off the lettuce, but hey, he's only 19 months old!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Howdy folks and welcome to Leoal and Travis's Online Dinner Diary. Why, you ask, would someone create an entire blog around what they had to eat? Well, it's just so good we felt we should share. So this blog will involve recipes we have created, links to other recipes we have tried and how they have turned out, and possibly a critique of any dinners out we have. We will talk about our kitchen tools, and we will also provide a kid rating for our dinners based on how well Ian likes them. He's not that picky, though.

So to begin. For dinner tonight we had boiled potatoes and frozen peas. Not too glamourous, I know, but we didn't want anything to interfere with Travis's Sweet and Spicy Back Ribs :

2-3 lbs pork back ribs
salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp tabasco
1 tsp dried chilies
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Chop ribs into 2-3 rib sections. Place in med roasting pan, fatty side up. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the roasting pan, cover, and place in oven for 45 mins.

Meanwhile, in bowl mix remaining ingredients to a sauce. After the ribs have been in the oven for the allotted time, remove pan from oven, lower heat to 275F, Pour out the water and melted fat, add sauce, and place back in oven for 90 mins. Increase heat to 350F, for 30 mins. These babies will fall off the bone and melt in your mouth.

By Travis

Normally we would put a pic in here as well but we didn't think of it until after we ate it all, hahahaha. Ian really liked it, he gobbled it all right up. We poured the extra sauce on the potatoes. Yum! It has quite a zing, you can leave the spicy stuff out if you want to make it a bit milder. If anybody tries this and it turns out for you too, please leave a comment!