Monday, January 21, 2013

Valerie Comes to Visit + Indian Night!

Happy Martin Luther King Day! I'm currently spending my day off in bed, recovering from my first class at Fusion Fitness. Fusion Fitness is a very popular workout studio in Kansas City. So popular in fact, that the 5:30 a.m. class I went to with my friend Patti was COMPLETELY full. So early! I did, however, find a fool proof way of getting motivated to wake up early to workout: tell a friend you'll meet them there and pay for the class in advance online. We went to the "Barre Intensity" class, which involves using a ballet barre for stability, and many of the moves were developed by a ballerina. I learned 3 things about myself this morning: (1) I have no balance; (2) I'll never be a ballerina. Not even a fitness ballerina; and (3) wearing basketball shorts and your high school basketball practice shirt will make you the manliest looking person at fusion fitness. And when you tuck that shirt into your basketball shorts to keep it from riding up, you look like the nerdiest manliest looking person in fusion fitness. Despite it all, I'm hooked.

Anyway, I had a great weekend! My bff and former college roommate, Valerie, came to visit! We literally spent all of our time together in college, and then after graduation she ups and moves to Asia (South Korea and Indonesia) to teach, and we rarely saw each other anymore. Despite it being awhile since I've seen her, however, when she got here it still felt like college.

Freshman year
The last time Val came to Kansas City we did more touristy things like eating bbq and going to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. This time was much more laid back. All we really did during the day on Saturday was shop on the Plaza and finally try out the martini glasses Joe and I got for our wedding.

Later that night Valerie, Joe, and I had drinks at Gram and Dun. Gram and Dun has many different fun drinks, and the night kind of turned into a taste testing. Joe would get the same drinks as me and Val, but would get his in a "manly glass".

Sunday we went to church, and then spent the day just relaxing and watching the lifetime movie about Casey Anthony that I DVR'd the night before. Valerie was in Indonesia when the trial was going on and knew nothing about it until Joe and I made her watch the movie. Apparently that's where you had to be to escape that media circus.

On Sunday we also made an Indian feast. When we were in college, we were somewhat obsessed with this hole in the wall Indian restaurant called India Palace. It was absolutely amazing, and we would go there all the time. When I found this recipe for crock pot chicken tikka masala, which is what we always ordered, I knew we were going to have to try it. It looked simple enough, and I thought even Valerie and I could manage it. And of course, we had to make naan to go with it :)

Joseph isn't the biggest ethnic food fan, so I got him a deep dish Red Baron pizza from the grocery store. I even microwaved it for him. He did like the naan however.

Joe's dinner

Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala
From Table for Two

5 chicken breasts
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. minced ginger
1 can of tomato puree (28 oz.)
1 1/2 cups plain yogart
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. Garam masala
1 Tbs. cumin
1/2 Tbs. paprika
2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more or least depending on how much heat you want)
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. cornstarch
cilantro for topping

For the recipe, click here.

Valerie the chopping machine. Notice the hands.
Obviously best done in your pajamas


1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tbs. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
3 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 cup melted butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except the garlic and butter and knead for 6-8 minutes on a floured surface. 

Let rise for one hour, then punch down the dough and knead in the garlic. Separate into golf ball sized balls. Cover and let rise for another half hour.

Preheat a grill to high heat. Flatten the ball of dough to desired thickness. Valerie had the idea to salt both sides of the naan after an initial taste test, and I highly recommend this. Place the naan on the grill. Brush butter on the non-cooked side, and after about 2-3 minutes (or until browned) flip. Brush butter on the other side. Remove from grill.


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