Author Archives: Michelle

Indian-Spiced Braised Chicken

This recipe is a favorite of Mark’s and mine that I got from the Everyday Foods magazine.

Indian-spiced Braised Chicken


  • 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I use white meat)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes drained
  • 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • course salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (8 oz)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • cooked white rice for serving


  1. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, coriander and cayenne; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook on high 4 hours (or on low 8 hours) until fork-tender.
  3. Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and if using, garam masala.
  4. Serve with rice.

Alternative Oven Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Follow step 1, using a 5-quart lidded heavy pot.
  3. Stir in 2 cups of water.
  4. Cover; bake until tender, about 2 hours.
  5. Stir in yogurt, cilantro, and if using garam masala.


  • Serves 4
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Total time is 4 hours and 15 minutes

This rated a 10 out of 10 with Mark. If you can’t take spiciness then lessen the cayene pepper. I will have more recipes appear at Ariesna at live journal. Since I plan on more experimenting with new recipes. 🙂

Collecting :) Whew!!!!!!!!

I’m currently taking a break from packing up our stuff. If you don’t realize this, Manzabar and Ariesna are moving to a house finally.

I’ve never realized how much stuff a couple like Manzabar and myself have collected over the past years. There is stuff everywhere imaginable in the apartment. Things that were conveniently put into places until we could find a location for them. This is going to be a big move!! We will probably spend more than the one weekend taking stuff to and fro. The major packing day is really for the furniture if anything else.

Manzabar and I did get a really cool refrigerator. I can’t wait to have my very own laundry utility area with our brand new washer and dryer. I will no longer have to tolerate others for them and also the people who keep taking out others laundry….Don’t get me started on that one.

I LOVE my new home. It is double the size of the apartment. It is very unique and in a great location. Trust me the taxes show that we are in a great location. But it was what we were searching for. We couldn’t believe that we could get this nice of a home without major work being needed.


Chocolate Belgian Waffles

Chocolate Brunch Waffles


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings (whipped cream, chocolate shavings, sifted powdered sugar, fresh fruit, ice cream)


  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
  2. Microwave morsels and butter in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100 percent) power for 1 minute; stir.
  3. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
  4. Cool to room temperature. Stir in milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
  5. Add chocolate mixture to flour mixture; stir (batter will be thick).
  6. Cook in Belgian waffle maker* according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve warm with your choice of toppings.

[Editor’s Note:] As a child one of my favorite things to have for breakfast was waffles. Unfortunately, we didn’t own a waffle iron so I almost never got to have them. Ariesna and I have had a waffle iron for a while now but our attempts at making waffles have been… less than entirely successful. We had been buying those box mixes at the store but the waffles made from them always sat like lead in our stomachs. Yesterday, we were talking about trying to make waffles again. Since I’ve had such good luck with; I went to their site to search for waffle recipes and found bunches of them. I copied several into an email and forwarded them to Ariesna. This morning she went through them and decided to make these Chocolate Brunch Waffles. They turned out scrumptious. Though I do have a couple of caveats about this recipe.

  • Be very careful not to overcook them or they come out crunchy.
  • The recipe makes a great many of the waffles. Come hungry or have something you can freeze them in.
  • While very tasty, these waffles are still have something of a bread-like texture and aren’t as light/fluffy as the ideal waffle should be.

Fruit Trifle


  • 1 Pound cake
  • 3/4 c Strawberry jam
  • 1 cn Pitted apricots (1 lb,14 oz) – drained and pureed
  • 11 oz Mandarin oranges – drained
  • 1/2 c Marsala or cream sherry
  • 2 c Vanilla custard
  • 1 c Heavy cream
  • 1/4 c Superfine sugar


  1. Split cake into thin layers, spread with jam and half the apricot puree, and sandwich back together.
  2. Cut into bars, about 1-by-2-inches, and pack into a 2-quart serving dish, arranging oranges in and around cake.
  3. Pour Marsala over top, spread with remaining apricot puree and cover with custard.
  4. Cover and chill 2 hours.
  5. Whip cream with sugar until stiff.
  6. Frost on top of trifle and decorate with candied fruits, if desired.

This recipie should yield about 10 servings.

[Editor] This is a recipe Ariesna found online someplace and wants to try making sometime.


The Organic Trade Association and food processors are asking Congress to change the Organic Foods and Production Act (OFPA). This could allow synthetic substances in products labeled “organic” and could weaken organic dairy standards. These amendments were introduced on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Sept. 19, and may be voted on as early as today. Please call your senators NOW!

Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)
(202) 224-3744

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
(202) 224-9369

Representative Jim Leach (R-02)
(202) 225-6576

Representative Leonard Boswell (D-03)
(202) 225-3806

Representative Jim Nussle (R-01)
(202) 225-2911

If you’re not sure which congressman represents your district, please refer to the Congressional Districts map at PDF File

Note: When calling, speak respectfully. Staffers answering phones don’t need to hear rants. State who you are and a few short words about your relationship to organics (“I’m a member at a natural foods co-op in Iowa City”). Be concise, make the point or points that matter most to you, then sign off with a thank you to the person who takes your call.

The Main Point: “I’m calling to ask the senator to vote against the organic rider on the Agricultural Appropriations Bill. This amendment to the Organic Food Protection Act is unacceptable because it could:
a) permanently allow synthetic processing aids and food contact substances in foods carrying the USDA organic label
b) leave unresolved whether young dairy cows could be treated with antibiotics and then converted to organic after twelve months.
c) create a dangerous loophole in which organic ingredients could be substituted with non-organic ingredients based upon ’emergency decrees’.”

“Furthermore, this amendment is an unacceptable end-run around due process because:
a) it undoes court decisions that have already ruled on these matters.
b) it shuns public comment from organic consumers, who are the ultimate judges of any organic label’s integrity.”

“The strongest aspect of the USDA organic program is its integrity. Please vote against this amendment, Senator.”

Want to learn more?
Organic Consumers Association
Cornucopia Institute

[Editor’s Note]: Ariesna got this information comes from the New Pioneer Coop member’s newsletter.

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