Sunday, November 14, 2010


Tikka Masala

With all the plans for the wedding - all the excitement, the planning, the wee bit of stress, and just the overall 'stuff' that is involved - I kind of feel that I have 'forgotten' about the stuff that I have been thinking about for so long when it has come to this day.

When Chris and I started dating and then got 'serious' (not really sure when that happened actually - one day we were 'hanging out' and the next day we were moving in together) I thought about marriage - but it wasn't a priority. It seemed like marriage had always been something that I thought would naturally happen with the course of a serious relationship, and when Chris and I had been together for a few years, I thought about why I wanted to get married and why it wasn't such a huge issue if we didn't. I thought about my dad not being there to walk me down the aisle, and it didn't seem as important. I know that may seem a little strange, but it just was the way it was. And then over a year ago, something changed - and I really wanted to get married. I am so grateful to have my brother walking me down the aisle. He is going to make that part of my day so special, more than I could ever have imagined. I know that my dad will be watching, and be so proud seeing his son in his kilt, and probably saying something like 'J*s*s Ch**st Child, slow down'.

Chris' mom not being there on our special day is heartbreaking for me (and for Chris too, obviously). After we were engaged, Chris' mom would call us regularly and discuss what we were doing for the wedding. She had so many questions - and I know it's because she wanted to be a part of it. She wanted know as much as she could because she lived far away and couldn't be here to help us with the planning. She was excited to host the Rehearsal Dinner, to walk Chris down the aisle, to know what I was wearing, to tell me that the dogs could stay at the hotel, when they would come, where they would stay - she had it all sorted. The last couple of months before she passed, we didn't talk as much about it. It makes me sad to know that she doesn't get to see or be a part of all the little details that we have put together; that she won't be sitting beside her handsome husband watching her 2nd son be married; that she won't have almost all of her kids (missing 1) all together; that she won't get to dance with her son; that she won't sit back at some point during the night and realize that she was happy, full of bliss.

So, since they aren't here with us - and others will be missed as well, I know that we will remember them throughout the day and at some point during the day or evening, we will have a little sign, so we know that they are with us.

Ok, I need to move on so that I don't curl up in a blanket and eat bonbons. Thankfully I don't have any bonbons, but I do have a lot of blankets.

Last night I made my version of Tikka Masala. I was watching a cooking show the other day and got the idea of what it was, and knew that I wanted to make it. The only thing that I really know about Tikka Masala - is that my friend from Kitimat - Linda 'hey Linda!!! See you at our wedding!!! - has a dog named Teeka. She is a lovely pup - and was our Maggie's very best BF. They would play for hours. Literally, hours. Anyways, that's really all that I know about it. In the end, the dish was really good - and I am happy to add it to the 'recipe box'.

Tikka Masala

1 large red onion - cut into thin strips
Time (that's what you will need to caramelize the onion)
1/2 cup white wine
2 small zucchinis - julienned
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp pepper flakes
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground ginger - or fresh
2 tbsp of curry powder
Kosher salt and pepper
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups of plain yogurt
4 chicken breasts - chopped into small cubes

1 1/2 cup of frozen peas

In a large pot or skillet (that will hold all of the above ingredients - minus the rice) drizzle a bit of olive oil and saute the onions over medium heat. Give them a generous sprinkle of kosher salt. This will take some time. Maybe 30 minutes to get them all good and caramelized. When they are brown and delicious and full of flavour (oh how I love caramelized onions) add the white wine and stir so that the wine deglazes the pan to get all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Then add the zucchini and let them simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add in all of the dried spices - add more chili flakes if you like the heat.

Then add the tomatoes and yogurt and stir it all together. Then add the chicken. Let the chicken continue to simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.

When your rice is almost completely cooked, add the frozen peas so that they defrost and slightly cook.

And that's it. Serve a nice spoonful of rice and then top it with the tomatoey goodness.

Chris rated this a 4. We'll talk about this later :)

The thing that I really like about this dish, is that it can be vegetarian so easily. A lot more vegetables could be added and instead of chicken, chick peas or tofu could be used.

If you give this a try - please let me know how it turns out.

Alright, I am curled up watching a little tele with my fiance and my pups. Fiance for only 12 more days! 12 MORE DAYS!



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