Monday, March 23, 2015

Thai Red Curry

I love, love, love Thai Red Curry and after much research and trial and error have discovered how to make it at home! We think this is super tasty and very close to what we get in Thai restaurants, so similar in fact, that we never go out for Thai any more. Here's the recipe in case you want to try it for yourself! 

A few notes:
  1. Sorry for the poor pics; I'm not a professional. 
  2. You may need to make a trip to your local Asian market to get the good stuff. I haven't had good luck with the Asian brands in my regular grocery store. 
  3. If you change the brand of curry paste and/or coconut milk you will get a different flavor. The brands I have listed have gotten us closest to a restaurant taste so substitute at your own risk. 
  4. Everything else is super flexible so feel free to mix up your meats and veggies!
Thai Red Coconut Curry
First, you need to prep. Chop the palm sugar into small pieces. 

Cut your veggies. We use onions, bell peppers, carrots, bamboo shoots, and pineapple. You can use whatever you like. 

Cut your chicken. I like to cut it into thin strips.

 Here is what we use for the curry paste and coconut milk. Also pictured is a bottle of fish sauce in case you have never used it. Any brand of that will work. 

 Now, we cook! Heat a small amount (1-2 tsp) of vegetable oil in a large skillet/pot over medium high heat. 

 Add your curry paste.

 Saute, stirring frequently, until fragrant (1-2 minutes). 

 Pour in the coconut milk and stir until curry paste is completely mixed in. Add the palm sugar and fish sauce. Let the sauce simmer for a minute or two to let the flavors combine and then taste. This is where you can adjust your flavors. Too spicy? Add more milk. Not spicy enough? Cook up a bit more curry paste in a separate pan, and add it in. Want it sweeter? Add more sugar. 

 Add your meat and let it boil until just done (for chicken, 5-7 minutes, or until you can't see any pink)

 Here is the cooked chicken. 

 Next, add your veggies and let cook to desired tenderness. At this point I like to add the juice from the can of pineapple as well, but that's optional. You might be wondering why it looks so yellow. That's just my bad pictures. It is much more orange in color. Not as red as restaurant curry, but definitely not this yellow. 

 Ta da! Thai Red Curry! Serve with jasmine rice or a nice crusty bread. 

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Thai Red Coconut Curry (serves 2-3)

2 tbsp red curry paste (Mae Ploy)
1 - 2 cans coconut milk (Aroy-D)
1 tbsp fish sauce
3/4 - 1 palm sugar disk
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
½ green pepper
sliced carrots
½ onion
½ can bamboo shoots
1 can pineapple (reserve some juice)

Saute curry paste in small amount of vegetable oil until fragrant. Add coconut milk (start with 1 can), sugar, and fish sauce. 

Taste sauce and adjust as necessary by adding more milk, sugar and/or curry paste.

Add chicken and boil until no pink shows.

Add vegetables, pineapple, and some pineapple juice. Boil until vegetables have softened slightly.

Serve with jasmine rice or crusty bread. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Girly Girl

Makell is such a girly-girl these days. She always, always has to wear, what she likes to call, a spinning skirt. I can't ever get her to wear any of her other clothes and it is making me crazy! She only has a few skirts and most of them are dress up type skirts (the frilly, tutu like ones) so I think I need to get her some more. She also loves spinning shirts (dresses) and will often wear a skirt under the dress for quite the look. Her jewelry is another fave and she likes to put it all on at once, with a purse or two. She has so much personality and keeps us laughing all day!

Swimming Lessons

Now that I get to stay at home with Makell, I am able to put her in lessons and the first one we tried was swimming. She had kind of a love/hate relationship with it. She loved swimming but wasn't sure she liked someone telling her what to do while in the pool. She put up a stink most days about going but was usually pretty good once we got there. I decided not to enroll her in the next session because she didn't seem to really love them and then the week after they were done, she kept asking to go back. What a silly girl! We'll try again in March when the swim school opens back up. Here are a few shots of her last day where she swam almost half the length of the pool by herself!

Swimming with no help and her eyes in the water. That was hardest part for her, remembering to put her eyes in. 

Back float with no help

 Her underwater pic that they take each session

Summer Fun

We took a trip the famous Biosphere2 here in Tucson and while impressive just because of what they do there and how huge it is, was actually kind of a let down. I thought it would be much cooler. If you haven't heard of it, it's what the movie Bio-Dome (with Pauly Shore) is loosely based off. But more importantly is where they have tried to recreate Earth's biosphere in an enclosed space. They use it for scientific studies and such. There were 8 scientists that were locked in there for two years back in 1991 and they completely sustained themselves while living locked inside. Check out there website for more info and probably a better description:

The aerial view

Nick and Makell before our tour

We also have spent a fair amount of time bowling and discovered that Makell loves it! She asks to go pretty much once a week. If it weren't so pricey, I would probably take her. Also it is a little boring bowling by yourself with a three year old in the middle of the day. Those bowling alleys are quiet!

This was her first time and she pretty much only wanted Daddy to help her. We went with Nick's sister and her 4 kids and had tons of fun!

Our score board after three games. See the score by the little J? Yep that's me and I won! By far my best scores ever. 

This was our third time and she still just wanted Dad to help. She also insisted on wearing those purple striped socks (her feet are too small for shoes) and I thought they matched her dress so well (NOT)!

Children's Museums

We have been to three Children's Museums since our move and Makell absolutely loves them! The first one was in Phoenix with my sister in law and niece and everyday after that for about a week Makell asked if she could go again. She loved the "grocery store" and the "kitchen" where you could make your own pizzas. I discovered that Tucson had one so we tried it out one weekend and while smaller then Phoenix, was still lots of fun and they had a grocery store and juice bar! The last one we went to was in St. Louis while visiting my mom this past month. It was the largest and the coolest! If you have never been, I highly recommend them! They have stuff for kids of all ages!

In Phoenix with my niece. She was such a trooper to hang out with a 3 year old all day!
 In Tucson, riding the big fire truck
 In St. Louis-Grammy Debbie at the Van de Graaff generator
 At the water table in St. Louis
 Climbing down the three story "Jack and the Bean Stock" vine, in St. Louis

The International Wildlife Museum

Nick is really enjoying his new job and one of the perks is that their schedule is set up to have every other Friday off so we have been traveling up to Queen Creek to see our family a lot and we have been doing some fun things around town.

One weekend we went to the International Wildlife Museum. It is a small museum filled with all sorts of preserved/stuffed animals, kind of like a taxidermy zoo. There were some neat animals and Makell had a good time so it was a day well spent in my book. Here's a peek at what we saw.

Despite what you may think, this is an insect, not a leaf. I loved all the bugs that are super camouflaged. I just couldn't get over how much they looked like leaves and sticks. Makell, however, was not a fan of the bug room. 
 She also was not so sure about this wild boar
 This is a centaur skeleton that according to the plaque is not fake, but was found whole somewhere. I was kind of confused about that cause I though these things only existed in Greek mythology. Hmm.... It was cool to see though!
 Giraffes are HUGE! (especially compared to our little stinker)
 This face cracks me up!
 We are pretty sure this woolly mammoth was a replica. I wanted to believe it was real but Nick didn't think so. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mt. Lemon

Shortly after we moved here, we decided to take a trip up to Mt. Lemon. It's about an hour drive to the top of the mountain range and is a one run ski hill. When Nick suggested going up there, I was expecting a smaller version of Estes Park (from our Colorado days) but that was not the case. There is one restaurant  that is kind of the ski lodge, a gift shop/rental store, a candy store, a parking lot and that's it. It was not what I was expecting but it was a beautiful drive and  it was nice to get a break from the hot weather. 

Watching a movie on the drive up
 The view (way more green than I ever expected to see in Arizona)

At a look out point