Sunday, September 23, 2012

Chicken Makhani (& How to Make Ghee)


Chicken makhani, aka murgh makhani, aka butter chicken, just might be my favorite food ever.  It's also surprisingly (and dangerously) easy to make at home.  Since discovering this, I've been consuming a lot more butter a lot more frequently than I should.  Be warned: with the power to create this delicious Indian dish comes the responsibility to not eat it every week, for your heart's sake!

That being said, I did cut almost half the butter from the recipes I based my version on.  You're welcome!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy almost Equinox! Spiced Squash Harvest Soup

Tomorrow it will finally be fall for real! I'm posting this recipe a day early in case you want to make it part of your celebration.  It's a sweet and savory spiced soup with butternut squash, carnival squash, acorn squash, Macintosh apples, yellow onions, fennel and apple cider. Yummm.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simple Herby Chicken Soup

Fall may be a wonderful season in nearly every way, but unfortunately it's also cold and flu season, and I finally caught what the mister got.  I've been good for nothing more than sleeping 12 hours a day, shuffling from room to room in my PJs and repeatedly watching the new episode of Downton Abbey.

A brew made from a ginger cube and cinnamon stick, boiled til nice and golden, strained and sweetened with honey, does wonders for my sore throat and sinuses, temporarily.  It's also very tasty cut with apple cider.  Today I decided to get off the couch long enough to cook up something else, a simple chicken soup that's easy to throw together from scratch with just a little chopping and tossing things in the pot.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The List of Awesome Things: Fall Edition, Part 1

I compartmentalize my life by season.  It's not something I started doing intentionally, it just sort of happened over the years.  To a certain extent, everyone does this: we eat different foods at different times based on what's being harvested, and also based on tradition.  The fashion industry changes its colors, Starbucks changes its flavors.  However little we may notice it, the cycles of nature are reflected in many aspects of modern culture and our everyday lives.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Healthier Whole Wheat Spiced Oatmeal Cookies Two Ways (& Ginger Cubes)





I had a whole long thing planned out with a very large sequential illustration in progress that I was totally going to post tonight.  Then I got up (to make ginger cubes) and heard the most horrible of sounds from the couch - my computer booting up after restarting itself for updates.  No, I did not save.

So then, my fitness nut husband asked me to figure out a way to make him our favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with less fat.  I really wanted to have something to post and baking cookies is pretty therapeutic, and I had just bought the first couple Macintoshes of the season, so that ended up being just the thing to substitute for butter.  It smells like Thanksgiving in here now and I've eaten my dinner's worth in cookies.  Cause you know, I had to make sure the recipe turned out.  For science.  Thanks for the idea, honey!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

From-scratch Masala Chai

Edit: Hey, readers!  You can now buy jars of my masala chai spice blends on Etsy! Click the "Hippy Elf Chick Etsy Shop" tab below the banner to see what's in stock!

Yesterday something wonderful happened.  The morning after I posted my love letter to fall, Mother Nature was feeling generous, and we suddenly went from 80s day and night to highs in the low 70s and nights and mornings in the 50s!  It is glorious.  And I am so ready for my first hot cup of masala chai.  (I've been drinking it all year, naturally, but chilled!)

how cool are star anise? nature makes the best stuff!
 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Melitzanes Tiganites a la Symeon's with Tzatsiki


Friends, let me tell you about the greatest restaurant in the world.  If you live near Yorkville, NY, you may not know how lucky you are, because Yorkville is home to a family-owned Greek restaurant called Symeon's.  I grew up going to eat there every time we visited my grandparents, and there developed at an early age my love for feta cheese, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita, and that baked chicken dish with all the cheese and spinach and lemon and pilaf - having a foodie fit now just thinking about it.  I don't know if every other Greek restaurant I've been to just can't match the real thing, or if Symeon's is actually better than the Greek food in Greece, but I would drive 5 hours just to eat there if I could.  On our way home from last year's Adirondack vacation we took a detour there for lunch and ate EVERYTHING.  Years of missing it and building it up did not diminish the deliciousness.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Intro to Hippy Elf Chick 1: a Love Letter to Fall

I love fall.  I mean really, really love fall.  I love it like it's a friend I desperately miss, or a childhood fantasy I always hoped would come true.  I love it like it's Disney World, like a magical place where everything is festive and beautiful, and only opens once a year.  Strike that - I love it like it's the Ren Faire.  That's way better.  Fall is that mystical time of year when the world is so perfect to me that it's easier to live the way I want to always live, in a state of celebration of life and nature's awesomeness.

at the Ren Faire, squash grows from lamp posts! MAGIC!

"eyeball"




Saturday, September 8, 2012