Thursday, February 28, 2013

Chloe Cooks: Tika Masala & Coconut Rice

I am going to start a segment on my blog called Chloe Cooks. I love to cook and I have been trying lots of new recipes lately. I will be sharing the recipes here.

First up is Tika Masala and coconut rice. There is a place right next to our apartment complex called Bombay House and it has excellent Indian food. The other night I was craving Indian food, but instead of eating out, I wanted to try and make my own. I researched a few different recipes and finally decided to try this one. It turned out amazing and it was so worth the 1 1/2 + hours that it took to make. It will definitely be one of our favorites.

The recipe calls for Garam Masala, which is an Indian spice. I found this at Walmart, but I know that all grocery stores don't carry it. We found that using this made a huge difference. We could taste the exact flavor that the Garam Masala added, so don't skip it. I wish I had taken good photos on my camera of this meal, but by the time it was done I was starving and just wanted to dig in! So here are some photos from my phone.

One other note, we put the chicken on our bbq in a basket griller to cook it. (see the recipe)

This is the chicken marinating in the yogurt/spices mixture

Tikka is a Persian word for "bits and pieces" and a masala refers to any combination of complementary Indian spices.
Chicken and Marinade:

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glen
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


For the chicken and marinade: Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Combine the yogurt with the paprika, coriander, cumin, cayenne, lemon zest, cinnamon, garlic and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix together well then pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken pieces and shake around to coat all the pieces evenly. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.

Heat a grill to high. Wipe down the grates with an oil-blotted paper towel to create a nonstick surface. Remove the chicken from the marinade and wipe off any excess. Grill the chicken pieces until well-marked, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

For the sauce: Set a Dutch oven over medium heat. (Alternatively, you can cook in a pressure cooker. Simply cut the cooking time in half and cook over medium heat with medium pressure.) Coat with the oil and add the butter. Add the garlic and onions. Cook until translucent and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and garam masala. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes to toast the spices and cook the tomato paste. Add the crushed tomatoes, vinegar and grilled chicken pieces. Stir well and simmer until the chicken is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Finish the sauce with the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the cilantro.
- See more at:

Read more at:
  • 2 cups Thai jasmine-scented white rice (for brown coconut rice, see link below)
  • 2 cups good-quality coconut milk
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. dry shredded unsweetened coconut (baking type)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, OR vegetable oil
  • Optional: 1-2 Tbsp. toasted coconut for garnish (see instructions below recipe)


For a step-by-step version of this recipe, see: Easy Thai Coconut Rice Recipe. To Make Brown Coconut Rice, see my: Brown Coconut Rice Recipe.
  1. Rub oil over the bottom of a deep-sided pot. You will also need a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Place rice, coconut milk, water, shredded coconut, and salt in the pot and set over medium-high to high heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  3. Once the coconut-water has begun to gently bubble, stop stirring and reduce heat to low (just above minimum). Cover tightly with a lid and let simmer 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. To check, pull rice aside with a fork. If most of the coconut milk-water is gone, go on to the next step.
  4. Replace the lid and turn off the heat, but leave the covered pot on the burner to steam another 5-10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat. Tip: Your Coconut Rice will stay warm this way for up to 1 hour or more, great for when you're expecting company!
  5. When ready to serve, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork or chopsticks. Taste-test the rice for salt, adding a little more if needed. Serve right out of the pot, or transfer to a serving bowl. This rice is excellent served with a variety of both Thai and Indian dishes, such as curries or seafood recipes. If desired, top your rice with a sprinkling of toasted coconut and ENJOY! (see below for toasted coconut instructions).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Go to the Zoo....A lot

 Living less than five minutes away from the zoo, we go there a lot. We have a season pass so it is an easy and free activity to do whenever we need to get out of the house. Gavin has been sick the past few days, but has been getting bored and restless at home. Today was sunny and beautiful, so I thought it would be good for us to get some fresh air and sunshine. Just my luck, I picked today which happened to be a free day at the zoo for everyone. It was super crowded, but we still had a good time. I finally remembered to bring my camera with my other lens so I could capture some good images of the animals.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Playing in the Snow

As much as we hate the cold and snow now days ( we are desperately wishing for warmer weather), we braved the cold and embraced the snow to play this morning. I got Gavin all bundled up in his snowpants, gloves, hat, jacket, and shoes and out we went. This was Gavin's first time really playing in the snow. He wasn't quite sure what to think. He liked walking on the sidewalk more, since he couldn't really walk on the snow that well. He fell a few times in the snow and got snow on his face which he wasn't too happy about.

 This is when he was cold and done. He looked at me and said "Night night?" So I knew he was ready for his nap

Sunday, February 24, 2013

14 Months

Gavin is now 14 months, I can't believe how fast time is going! Our little toddler is talking so much. His vocabulary has really exploded this month.

His favorite word is still ball. Here are some things that he can say

muh (for milk)

he knows quite a few more words than this, but these are his most popular ones

he has also learned a few 2 word phrases:

"da ball"
"Pooh Bear"
"good job"
"night night"

He understands SO much.  If you ask him to do something he knows what you are asking him. For example, if we are in the family room and I ask him to bring me a book, he goes into his room to his bookcase and picks out a book and brings it back.

We also have a fish. If you ask him to show you the fish he will run over to it and point and show you.

Gavin hates the bath. He usually has to shower with Jayden or take a bath with me, which he likes. He just hates being in the tub by himself.

Gavin has been really good at learning how to communicate. When he is done eating in his highchair, he says "down" to let you know he wants down. When he is tired and wants to nap or go to bed he says "night night". If he is thirsty he goes to the fridge and says "muh".

Gavin is wearing size 5-6 shoes and is wearing mostly 2T clothing.

Gavin LOVES books. He has two books that are his favorite and he brings them to us probably 20
+ times a day to read. He is really sweet and shares his food and tries to feed other people. He also helps me clean and loves to be recognized. He is such a sweetheart and gives lots of kisses. He is starting to want to sit on my lap more, which I love. When we are in nursery or around other people he will come and sit on my lap. He gets jealous of my attention. If I am doing anything other than paying attention to him, he will definitely let you know.

 He was scared to be on the giraffe for a second...but then liked it and gave him a hug
 Giving his giraffe a big hug

 He loves putting his hand in his puppy puppet

 Gavin bringing me a book to read

 Lots of hugs for Pooh Bear

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our Valentines Weekend

We had such a great Valentines Day and weekend. Valentines Day was a great day. Usually we don't get to see Jayden in the mornings before he leaves for school, but he stayed later so we could have breakfast together.

 If you know Jayden, you know that he LOVES cinnamon rolls. So of course we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Valentines.
 I got roses, Jayden got cinnamon rolls, and Gavin got a balloon to play with. Everyone was happy!

 Gavin also got a new plate, a new outfit, and a Sesame Street sticker book
 Gavin eating his cinnamon roll
The view of our Valentines breakfast
 There's a story behind this photo... so we went to Walmart on Valentines night and we saw this cart. We noticed that the weight limit was 250 pounds. Haha. So Gavin and I rode in it together while Jayden pushed us, and we weren't anywhere even close to that weight limit!
The beautiful roses that Jayden gave me


Gavin's Valentine's day cards from us and his grandparents

 On Thursday, my mom was so nice to meet us for lunch and watch Gavin while I had a Dr's appointment. She even brought us Valentines gifts!

We have a tradition that on Valentines my parents give us See's candy. This is Gavin enjoying one of the suckers from See's


On Valentines night we got Red Mango. Gavin fell asleep in the car, which was perfect because we just ate it in the car in peace and quite :)

Now comes the weekend. I surprised Jayden with a little Valentines getaway. On Friday afternoon I drove Gavin down to Alpine so my parents could watch Gavin overnight. I zoomed home and packed an overnight bag for us. When Jayden came home around 4:30, he had no clue what we were doing or where we were going. We drove downtown to the Marriott City Center where I had booked a Valentines Day package. The package included chocolate dipped strawberries and martinellis delivered to your room, your choice of room service breakfast delivered to your room, free valet parking, and a late 2 pm check out. 

After we checked into the hotel we left for dinner. We walked around City Creek for a little over an hour until our reservation at Texas de Brazil. It was amazing! The food is delicious and Rodizio or Tucanos don't even compare to Texas de  Brazil. Thanks to a Groupon we bought a few months back we were able to go.

I got a new dress for our date and I was really excited about it! So I made Jayden take this photo of me...haha. This is at City Creek showing off my dress. 

We had an awesome view from our hotel room. Gallivan center was right below. You walked out of the doors to the hotel in the back and you were right by the ice rink.

 Our breakfast that room service brought us

The late checkout was SO nice. We were able to sleep in and just relax. We then went ice skating at Gavllivan. 

After ice skating we saw Safe Haven. We were skeptical, but we actually loved it! I won't deny that we both teared up a little bit at the end :)
This weekend was one of the best weekends that I can remember. I am thankful for my boys and how I love them so! We were very spoiled this weekend and got some much needed alone time. I am thankful that Jayden could take 24 hours off of his masters thesis that he is busy writing. I am glad to have spent so much time with him!