Saturday, March 17, 2012

T-Shirt Dress

It was almost St. Patrick's Day, and I realized my little girl had nothing green to wear. I didn't want to buy something new for just one day, so I got resourceful. I found one of my old t-shirts and googled "little girl t-shirt dress." After weeding out the ones that were really ugly and/or difficult, I found the perfect tutorial HERE. I had to make some adjustments since I had no elastic on hand, so I just used some strips of extra t-shirt fabric and made a drawstring. I also had to change the sleeves because my t-shirt sleeves didn't give me enough fabric. I wish I could have done the sleeves the way they were supposed to be though, because I had issues getting mine to work right. (Measuring/pinning on an 18 month old is very difficult).
Here are the before and after shots:
All in all, I'm pleased with how it turned out. It definitely has flaws, but it's a fun summer dress to run around the house in. The blog also had a tutorial for a t-shirt skirt that I want to try next. It would be easier than the dress (since there are no sleeves involved) and it would work with my drawstring modification. I loved these tutorials becuase both are so easy, yet very cute. They got me excited to clean out my closet and put some good use to all those old t-shirts I never wear!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan

When my friend called to ask us over for dinner and wanted to know what our thoughts were on Indian food, I'll be honest, I was a little hesitant. The only time I'd eaten Indian food was at a little restaurant in Logan, UT and I was less than impressed. This was definitely not the case this time though. Chicken Tikka Masala has to be the best meal I've ever had, hands down. I really don't know how I've gone my whole life without it. You have got to try it at least once!

{Recipe found at}

The original recipe was super heavy on the salt and we didn't use a barbecue, so I've kind of tailored this recipe to what we did:


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat.
  3. Pour the marinated chicken {marinade and all} in the frying pan and cook the chicken until no longer pink inside.
  4. Transfer chicken to a strainer and drain all marinade; set aside.
  5. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt.
  6. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  7. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Now for the naan. Naan is and Indian flatbread and goes perfectly with Chicken Tikka Masala. The recipe we used is from as well. Again, we didn't use a grill, so I've changed it to what we did:


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. During the second rising, preheat griddle to medium high heat.
  4. Roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly grease griddle. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
When all is said and done, we like to dip the naan in the chicken tikka sauce, but you can eat it however you want. Hope you enjoy it!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Pasta Salad

A while ago while trying to figure out how to make a homemade pasta salad, I stumbled upon a really neat article titled "Five Steps to a Perfect Pasta Salad."  I was intrigued, 5 steps and completely adaptable; like a good "choose-your-own-ending" book.  I followed the steps, and my salad turned out awesome! Then I completely forgot about it, until today. I had a huge craving for pasta salad (thank you pregnancy for finally giving me a craving that includes lots of veggies and no chocolate), so I pulled out the article again and for a second time, I was not let down. The results looked and tasted great!
Things I love about this article:
The author, Pam Anderson, teaches cooking classes across the country--sounds like a pretty legit source to me.
The directions are simple, yet very clear.
There are lots of suggestions for things to put in.
And it works!

Here's the salad I made today (with the corresponding steps from the article):
Step 1- Rainbow pasta
Step 2- Broccoli, carrots, and cucumber
Step 3- I didn't have any of the suggestions ready on hand, so I used little cubes of Colby Jack cheese. It worked really well.
Step 4- I left out green onions (my husband is not a fan), and for the herbs I used 1 T. dill, 1 1/2 T. parsley, and the last 1/2 T. rosemary. (The rosemary flavor wasn't very strong, so I think next time I'll do 1 T. of each).
Step 5- I used the link for Creamy Buttermilk Dressing. For the optional rice vinegar or lemon juice, I did half and half. The vinegar taste was a little too strong, so I think next time I'll do all lemon juice or just leave it out. For this salad however, I balanced out the flavors a bit more by adding some extra mayo. Despite some of the negative reviews, my dressing was not overly thick (although with the nature of the salad, that wouldn't have been too bad) or bland (since herbs were already added to the salad).

So next time you need a pasta salad, you can unleash your creativity and easily build one from scratch. Enjoy!