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Sunday, December 29

SIMPLE CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA



Curry is one of my husband's favorite meals to eat. I'm always excited when I can find a new way of changing it up for him. For awhile now, I've been wanting to make tikka masala (aka creamy tomato curry) and recently found this simple recipe that didn't involve grilling or 10 different spices. With a few minor alterations, I was absolutely pleased with the results! 

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. chicken thighs (bite-sized)
1 T honey
2 T ketchup
4 T Greek yogurt

2 T salted butter
1/2 medium-sized white onion (thinly sliced)

1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes (undrained and split into two parts)
3/4 C water
1 tsp salt

2 cubes of curry sauce (S&B Golden Curry-Medium Hot)
1/2 C whipping cream
2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
salt to taste

*optional: hand blender 

DIRECTIONS
Marinate the chicken thighs in ketchup, honey and Greek yogurt. Set aside.

Using a blender, combine one part of the diced tomatoes, water and salt until fully liquefied. Set aside. 

In a large saute pan, melt the butter on medium high heat. Toss in the onions and cook until soft and lightly browned.  Add in the chicken with the yogurt mixture and stir well.  

Once the chicken starts to turn color, add in the tomato mixture along with the remaining tomatoes. Add in the curry cubes and stir until fully dispersed. Simmer for about 5 minutes. 

*If you're not a huge fan of biting into onions like my husband, remove the chicken at this point and set it aside. With a hand blender, puree the sauce directly in the pan until smooth and then put the chicken back in.  

Slowly pour in the cream and then the soy sauce. Stir well and cook until it comes back to a boil. Remove from heat and serve over rice or naan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 10

SPICED ALMOND HOT CHOCOLATE


Sipping on a large mug of hot chocolate is one of my favorite things about winter. E loves it so much that he has a cup every night after dinner (we may or may not use it to bribe him into finishing his dinners). Lately, I've been trying something different than our usual Swiss Miss mix that we've been drinking for years.  A good friend recently gave me a few cartons of chocolate almond milk and I've been heating that up with some regular milk and cinnamon sticks. Not only has it been a healthier alternative, we found ourselves loving it more! It's much lighter and smoother. The richness is still there, but you don't feel like your hips and rear just gained 5 pounds after a cup. ;) 


The above picture includes all the ingredients I had planned to use. The only item not shown is the cardamom that I decided to add at the very last minute. 



* This recipe makes enough for two!

INGREDIENTS
2 C chocolate almond milk
1 C 2% milk
2 cinnamon sticks
a pinch of cardamom
marshmallows

1/3 C semi-sweet chocolate or your favorite dark chocolate (optional)
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder (optional)

DIRECTIONS
In a large saucepan, mix together the almond milk, regular milk, cardamom and cinnamon sticks on medium high heat.  Right before it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium low and let it slowly simmer for another 5 minutes.  If you like your drink richer/sweeter, melt some semi-sweet chocolate morsels or your favorite dark chocolate (yummm) on a double broiler and add it into the milk mixture as well. Once the cinnamon becomes fragrant, remove from heat and pour the drink into your mugs. Serve with some toasted marshmallows!



I decided to try making marshmallows this week. My first effort was a total and utter FAIL. Went out and got a candy thermometer this time and tried again tonight. Will find out tomorrow to see how they turned out! 

Monday, December 9

WINTER UPDATE



It's been surprisingly cold for us already here in Texas. We went from a week of being in the beautiful 70s to an icy cold 24 degrees all in one night. Most of us spent the last few days being iced-in; luckily we didn't lose power. Although we've been stuck inside, it's been nice to slow down for a change and the boys are LOVING having daddy at home. :) 



Homemade chili and cornbread with cardamom honey butter... perfect comfort food for this kind of weather.



Spiced almond hot chocolate with marshmallows... E's daily request ;)



This is a repeat, but still enjoying this hymn as much as ever...

My God, my Portion, and my Love,
My everlasting All,
I’ve none but Thee in heav’n above,
Or on this earthly ball.
What empty things are all the skies,
And this inferior clod!
There’s nothing here deserves my joys,
There’s nothing like my God.


Be back tomorrow to share the recipe for the hot chocolate. Stay warm, everyone!

Monday, November 25

QUICK AND TASTY STEAK SALAD

I never could have imagined how tiring different it'd be going from one child to two. For those of you who have two or more kids - major hats off to you! :) Before the days of little brother, I use to get excited about looking for new recipes and prepping for meals. These days, I'm just happy if there's something edible and healthy on the table when my husband gets home. 

Lately I've been adding a lot of salads into our rotation. I forget how simple and delicious they can be. They're super versatile and can be made with so many combinations. Last week I made this yummy steak salad with a side of Trader Joe's organic tomato and roasted red pepper soup.  I don't really have a recipe to share, since it was pretty much thrown together with whatever was in our fridge.  But basically I use one source of protein (shredded rotisserie chicken, steak, beans, etc) and then add nuts (almonds, pecans, cashews), fruits (mandarin oranges, apples, craisins, tomato, etc.) and cheese (cheddar, parmesan, blue cheese, etc.) to the lettuce. Here's the combination I used that night in case you're curious...



INGREDIENTS
skirt steak
romaine lettuce, chopped
Roma tomatoes, sliced
honey roasted pecans
mandarin oranges
some type of sharp cheese (I used Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar), crumbled or shaved
green onions, sliced (optional)

Sauce for Steak Marinade
1/4 C reduced sodium soy sauce
1/3 C grapeseed oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove of minced garlic
1/2 tsp minced ginger

***Set aside about 3 T of the sauce to drizzle on the salad (this can vary due to how much dressing you like on your salads).  

DIRECTIONS
Combine and whisk together all your sauce ingredients into a small bowl. Set aside some sauce to dress the salad. Toss the marinade and the steak into a ziplock bag and let it sit for about an hour before cooking. Once it's ready, sprinkle on a generous amount of black pepper and a light sprinkle of salt on both sides before cooking. Since I don't have a grill, I just cooked it on my cast iron pan for about 3-4 minutes on each side. 

Meanwhile place the lettuce and tomatoes into a salad bowl. Drizzle in the sauce and toss well. Add the remaining ingredients and lightly toss everything together. Top the salad with the steak and enjoy!



Friday, November 15

FUN AND MODERN TAKE ON DECOR!

I am so excited to introduce to you Shae, the amazing designer and owner of Skoope Home! I first came across her shop a few months ago and have been loving her fun and modern take on small home goods such as pillows and prints. Here she is to share a little about herself and what her shop is all about. 




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Skoope Home was born in 2011 through my love of interior decorating and fabric but has since grown into so much more. Originally the idea was to make small home goods out of modern fabrics but it has evolved into my creative baby through which I can create boldly fun conversation pieces for the home. Its not just about making decor but actually creating home accessories that make you happy. The brand is a handmade, one-woman operation from start to finish and I love every moment of it! From designing to printing and photographing to packaging, I revel in each step of the process and I hope you find something at Skoope Home that's perfect for you and your space!


For a limited time, Shae is generously offering all Enjoyer of Grace readers a 10% discount on any purchases from her shop using the promo code: SKHEOG10.  Happy browsing! :)

Wednesday, November 13

FALL FAVORITES


Happy Wednesday, everyone! Dropping in to say hi and share some of my favorite items that I've been using/eating/loving recently! It's been quite busy around here lately so I apologize for being MIA for so long. I've been working on a few projects here and there, doing a lot of end-of-the-year de-cluttering (the guys at our local donation truck know me a little too well haha), and just trying to keep up with my two little guys. 

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If you want to immerse yourself with some yummy fall smells, heat up a scented wax melt on a coffee warmer. Instead of buying specialized candle warmers that cost $30, these are a lot cheaper at $10 and more versatile since you can use it for other things too. 



If you're in need of some TLC and much needed down time, make yourself a cup of this delicious salted caramel chai tea. SO SO good.  


My husband and I also have really been enjoying this Paris tea from Harney & Sons. We're about to stock up some more of this tasty black tea that has wonderful notes of vanilla and caramel. 



Little brother just started eating solids last week. With E, I always used the Take and Toss spoons but for some reason little brother had a hard time with those. I switched to these feeding spoons from OXO and have been absolutely loving them! These spoons are super gentle on the gums and are great at scraping up all the food.  He's been taking down food like a pro. ;)


I've also been eyeing these adorable pillows from Skoope Home. Shae is the super talented lady behind this amazing brand and makes her entire line of home decor herself! I especially love her "hello" and  "you are loved" pillows. I'll be featuring her etsy shop later this week and sharing a special discount she's giving to all my readers. :)

HELLO Pillow Cover - Lumbar Pillow Cover - Pick Your Color and Size

Lastly, have you read this article about why marriage is not for us? Before making any assumptions, you need to read it first!

Until next time,

Friday, October 25

FAVORITES LATELY

So I haven't had a whole lot of time for projects lately, but I do have some favorite items that I'd like to share with you from this month. 



Folex - If you have kids or pets (or just live with someone who's really messy haha), then you probably already know about this bottle of amazing-ness. My oldest gets nosebleeds almost daily and Folex cleans it up better than anything else I've tried. I've even used it on our bedding for on-the-spot cleaning and it works great. Instead of the usual rubbing, the secret is to generously spray the stain and then soak up the stains with paper towels. It's a great deal when you buy it at Bed Bath & Beyond and use their $5 off $15 coupon. 

Alpine Valley's Multi-Grain with Omega 3 - We tried this bread for the first time at Costco and was really impressed with how delicious it was for being so "healthy." It's chewier and not as dry as others that we've had. It's delicious toasted with a light spread of butter or jam!

Hario Coffee Dripper - I know I've mentioned this before, but we still love making our pour-over coffee. Every morning we use our favorite Ruta Maya Organic Medium Roast (we get ours from Costco) and mix it with a few spoonfuls of honey and frothed milk.  YUM. 



Are you intrigued yet? I've been really into these lately and making it for myself and E everyday. For those of you who do know about these amazing chia seeds, aren't they great?! Will be sharing more about it soon...

AND I just found out that my favorite casual shoe of all time...the Sanuk Shorty in Light Blue...has been marked down from $55 to $25 on Amazon! I've worn mine so much this past year that it's definitely time for another pair... yes I'm buying the same exact pair again. That's how much I love it! 


Have any of you come across any interesting/amazing/life-changing products lately?? I'd love for you to share it with all of us!

Until next time,

Monday, October 21

KOREAN SPICY RICE CAKES + RAMEN



Whenever I crave Korean food, Maangchi is always my go-to source for delicious recipes and easy-to-follow videos. Recently I've been craving this popular Korean street snack, otherwise known as rabboki.  It's a delicious combination of ramen plus rice cakes in a spicy sauce. I finally had an excuse to make it last week when a good friend and I decided to hold a Pride & Prejudice marathon at my house (the A&E version of course!). We had hot tea and snacks throughout the day and then this yummy dish among some other Korean dishes for dinner. Definitely our idea of a perfect day! ;)

Being that this was my first time making this, I can happily say that it was a success. I used Maangchi's dukbokki recipe with a few alterations (i.e. the ketchup and ramen). Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!



Ingredients

4 C of water
10 dried anchovies
1 lb Korean rice cakes (cylinder-shaped)
1 pack of Korean ramen
1/2 lb fish cakes
2 hard boiled eggs, shelled
1/3 C hot pepper paste
1/3 C ketchup
1 T sugar
3 stalks of scallions, cut into 3" pieces 

Directions
Soak rice cakes in warm water for half an hour.  Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Drop in the anchovies, turn the heat down to medium high and let it slowly boil for another 10 min. Remove the anchovies.

Add the hot pepper paste, ketchup and sugar and stir well. Add the rice cakes, fish cakes, eggs and scallions (white parts) and bring to a boil. Stirring frequently, cook for another 8 minutes or until the rice cakes have soften and the sauce has thicken. Finally break the ramen into small chunks, add it into the pan and cook for another 2 minutes. 
Add up to an additional half cup of water if more liquid is needed. Right before it's done, add in the remaining scallions (green parts). Serve while hot.

Monday, October 7

COFFEE TALK



It's been unusually cool here in Texas and we're totally loving it. :) Although I know it's going to be short-lived, it's been a nice treat and I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I can! One of my favorite things about this time of year - besides getting to bundle up in sweaters and hoodies - are all the hot drinks that I get to enjoy again. Flavored coffees, hot apple cider, hot cocoa, hot tea, tea lattes, etc.  My mouth's watering already. 

So for today, I thought it'd be nice to "grab a hot drink" with you all and connect on a more personal level for a change. Shall we? :)

First off. You would see me walking in with E while carrying little brother in his car seat on my other arm. A little frazzled, but I would smile, wave hi and put in my order before coming over to you. I'd most likely be coming back with a large tea latte of some sort (probably blueberry pomegranate if we were at Coffee Bean) and a chocolate milk and banana bread for E. If we were at Dunkin' Donuts, it'd be coffee with coconut flavoring. If we were at neither, then it'd be a white chocolate mocha instead. Haha I told you I get excited about my drinks. ;)

I would put the boys down, give you a hug and ask you how you're doing. I'd tell you what a weekend it's been and how I'm still a little sore from having my wisdom teeth pulled.  

E would be trying to get over his shyness and peer over to you every once in a while. Then he'd eventually get comfortable and start interrupting us so that I could help him with his banana bread and milk. Little brother would probably be asleep in his car seat. 

I'd tell you how these days, I'm finding myself stopping to enjoy my boys a lot more - putting my laptop away and not taking my phone everywhere I go...

Because Facebook and most social media and I have been in a complicated relationship...most of the times I'm annoyed by them and the amount of time I waste on them.

ALTHOUGH recently a friend did introduce me to these local online garage sale groups on FB and I've been selling items on it left and right! I told you I like purging hehe. 

How everyday, my husband and I are just amazed at the two little human beings we've created together and how thankful we are to the Lord for giving them to us.  

How I've been intentionally using these six words with E lately and what a difference it's made...

And I'd share this article with you if you've been feeling down about motherhood.

How I've been considering lately about our state of living and how much I rather live in a small well-thought-out space with minimal items than in a large house...

And how I've been desperately needing a change and praying to the Lord about it. I know some people really don't like change and like to stay with what's comfortable, but I'm one of those people who crave change... even major changes. Can any of you relate?

But then how this verse in Philippians has been on my mind a lot lately: "Rejoice in the Lord always..." How I need to learn to be happy in the Lord and not by my circumstances.

I'd comment on how depressing TV and current news has been and reminding me just how much we all need the Lord and His mercy and grace these days...

And then on a lighter note, how hard it's been clothes shopping for all of us! For the boys, everything seems to either have skulls or monsters on them. For me, everything's either too thin, too short, too low or too much crazy bling on the tops.  For Danny, it hasn't been as bad...

Where do you all shop??

How much I'm looking forward to watching Pride & Prejudice (BBC's adaptation) with a friend of mine soon... it's been at least 10+ years since I've last watched it.

I've also been in a cooking+creative rut again. Haven't been super-inspired to do much of either - which could explain the lack of posts lately. Although I'd rather have something worth reading for you all then posting fillers... You all agree?

And of course in between all this, you would be filling me in on all that's been going on in your life! What you've been up to, what's been occupying your mind or heart these days, your kids or other important people in your life,etc. :)

Finally we'd say our goodbyes and hopefully have arranged to get together again soon. I'd gather up the boys and will probably take a quick glance over at the mugs/thermoses section of the coffee shop before leaving...because I'm kind of obsessed with collecting mugs haha.

Miraculously one of the boys will start whining and it'd be the Lord helping my husband out so that I'd hurry up and leave without adding another cup to our kitchen. ;)

Hope you all enjoyed our time together!


Until next time,

Friday, September 20

PINEAPPLE CHICKEN AND SHRIMP FRIED RICE

*Instead of my usual Friday Treats, I will be sharing a recipe that I've been super excited about. :) 



Fried rice was never my thing. My earliest memories of it always involved mushy frozen peas and stale carrots chunks. It wasn't until a trip to this place a few years back that completely changed my mind. Their pineapple chicken and shrimp fried rice was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.  So amazing that I've been trying to re-create it ever since. About two weeks ago - with the help of this awesome recipe plus a few adjustments of my own -  I was finally brought back to that special day again.  Hope you all will enjoy it as much as I did!





Ingredients
2 T grapeseed oil 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili, chopped


2 eggs, lightly beaten


~Sauce
3 tablespoons chicken stock 
3 tablespoons fish sauce 
1 tablespoon curry powder 
1 teaspoon sugar 


3 cups cooked rice, refrigerated overnight
1/2 cup honey roasted cashews

1 cup cooked sugar snap peas, sliced
1 cup pineapple, bite-sized pieces 

1/4 cup craisins
1 cup cooked shrimp, pan-fried with salt and red pepper flakes

1 cup cooked chicken, bite-sized pieces
scallions, sliced (optional)* 

Directions
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium high.  Add the garlic and chili and quickly stir-fry for about a minute.  Add the eggs and cook until lightly scrambled but not dry.  Set the eggs aside.  

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over high heat.  Add the cooked rice and start breaking apart any clumps with your spatula.  Slowly pour the sauce evenly over the rice. Add the eggs and stir-fry them with the rice until they are evenly dispersed. Add the cashews, sugar snap peas, pineapple, craisins and stir everything together for another few minutes. 

Lower the heat to medium high. With the flat surface of the spatula, press all the rice down into the pan and let it sit for about two minutes.  This will help the rice develop a nice crunchy crust.  

Add the shrimp and chicken (and scallions if you like them).  Toss everything together and serve while hot.  



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Trust Him when thy wants are many;
Trust Him when thy friends are few;
And the time of swift temptation
Is the time to trust Him too.

Trust Him when thy soul is burdened
With the sense of all its sin;
He will speak the word of pardon,
He will make thee clean within.

Trust Him for the grace sufficient,
Ever equal to thy need;
Trust Him always for the answer,
When in His dear name you plead.

Trust Him for the grace to conquer,
He is able to subdue;
Trust Him for the power for service;
Trust Him for the blessing too.

Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him
Seems the hardest thing of all.

Trust Him; He is ever faithful;
Trust Him, for His will is best;
Trust Him, for the heart of Jesus
Is the only place of rest.

Trust Him, then, through cloud or sunshine,
All thy cares upon Him cast,
Till the storm of life is over,
And the trusting days are past.



Much grace,

Wednesday, September 18

KEEPING YOUR HOME CLEAN WITH A TODDLER

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of BISSELL Homecare, Inc. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Having a toddler is a lot of fun but cleaning up after one can sometimes be very frustrating.  E loves hiding messes in places that I don't always see - under couches, between couch cushions, behind the shelves, etc. Once I found a dirty diaper in his stuffed animal bin. Yes. SO GROSS. Then there's his car seat - which I'm sure has a secret black hole somewhere because everything seems to find its way in there. And then there's his booster - which is a magnet for all sorts of food particles.  

Recently I was introduced to the new BISSELL PowerGlide Lift-Off Vacuum. When my husband and I first got married, we had his very basic BISSELL that he used in college.  It lasted him for quite awhile until it finally broke down on us 7 years later.  This new one now uses the lift-off technology featuring an easy-release portable vacuum that has no loss of suction for a complete clean on multi-surfaces.  I especially like that it's lightweight, has a long stretch hose, and a TurboBrush and crevice tool - perfect for getting at E's messes! 


There are some great deals going on right now like $20 off and FREE shipping using the promo code: POWERGLIDE. This promotion is valid through November 30, 2013 for the following products:
  • PowerGlide Pet Vacuum with Lift-Off Technology - 2763
  • PowerGlide Pet Bagged Rewind Vacuum - 38631
  • PowerGlide Pet Vacuum - 1044
You can also enter to win a new BISSELL PowerGlide or a $50 certificate to BISSELL.com. Just send them a photo of your best everyday mess that you would clean up with a vacuum. The Celebrate Everyday Messes Contest runs through October 25, 2013. You can also check out some great cleaning tips from their website.



Saturday, September 14

[BELATED] FRIDAY TREATS + IF I GAINED

If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Were my life worth living for a day?
Could my yearning heart find rest and comfort
In the things that soon must pass away?
If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Would my gain be worth the lifelong strife?
Are all earthly pleasures worth comparing
For a moment with a Christ-filled life?

Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,
And a name revered both far and near,
Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting,
Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer;
If I gained the world, but lost the Savior,
Who endured the cross and died for me,
Could then all the world afford a refuge,
Whither, in my anguish, I might flee?

O what emptiness!—without the Savior
’Mid the sins and sorrows here below!
And eternity, how dark without Him!
Only night and tears and endless woe!
What, though I might live without the Savior,
When I come to die, how would it be?
O to face the valley’s gloom without Him!
And without Him all eternity!

O the joy of having all in Jesus!
What a balm the broken heart to heal!
Ne’er a sin so great, but He’ll forgive it,
Nor a sorrow that He does not feel!
If I have but Jesus, only Jesus,
Nothing else in all the world beside—
O then everything is mine in Jesus;
For my needs and more He will provide.





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a beautiful ombre cake that I'm going to try...

already looking forward to winter and making these ice bubbles...

watercolor art using elmer's glue... so cool!

Blooming Monogram 1


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