In the kitchen: Indian food !

Since I don’t have a lot of time to post these days… Just sharing tonight’s dinner- butter chicken and an Indian bread I baked this week, chapati- this bread is definitely worth a try since it is easy, without yeast so no rising time; it is baked in a skillet without oil or butter; and it is pretty amazing AND filling with Nutella too ! I now keep a bag of that dough in the fridge for mornings when I am in a rush. The recipe in the book only calls for whole wheat flour/salt/water-easy peasy !

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My frugal week

You know, far from being synonymous with a miserable life, I think frugality -making the most of what you have, learning skills in order to save- teaches you a lot. I think it taught me to pause, to stop, and no longer jump from one shopping spree to another. It taught me to work with my own hands, to be grateful for the clothes I had, to take care of them, to cook my own food and be grateful for it, to not take anything for granted… I am no longer in that rush that keeps me thinking, what should I buy next. I am learning to be content with what I have and I feel, honestly, richer that I have ever been, more that when I allowed myself to buy tons of stuff…

Also, I really think that as Christians, frugality is something we ought to aim for, in the sense, that we ought to be good stewards of what we have and not waste things. Think about what the Lord did with the loaves of bread…

Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. 12When they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”  (John 6: 11-13)

 

Little steps I have been taking, and things I have been doing recently in order to save money, increase my creativity and take care of the environment…

 

  •  I started carrying a small fabric tote bag in my purse so I would be able to say “no” to another plastic bag when I buy something
  • I made sushi for my family last week-end.
  • I have started adopting the need it or not ? mentality. Last day, I was considering purchasing on Amazon a makeup palette and I gave myself a few days to think about it. Eventually, I realized that I had tons of makeup and that I actually did not need that palette at all.
  • I am learning to say “no, I’m good” when pressured to buy something.
  • I have started making my own bread. Bread was something I avoided trying as I thought it was something too fancy and that you could not do unless you had a bread making machine… But trust me, it is really easy ! I don’t eat a lot of bread so I thought making my own small breads would be a good alternative:

bread.JPG

 

  • I used what I have in the pantry to blend my own chai latte mix. In France, we don’t have that Starbucks/Tim Hortons culture so we don’t really have that budget hole due to Frappucinos and other drinks.

 

What frugal steps will you be taking this week ? I would love to hear your ideas !

 

In the kitchen: my first Challah !

I clearly remember that Friday night, during our summer vacation last year, when we met some elderly people from Israel. They had just celebrated Shabbat and wanted us to try the Challah, the braided bread they traditionally have before dinner. I heard numerous times about it and saw pictures on the Internet yet it did not seem appealing to me: it reminded me of the heavy French brioche which my mom would buy us for school when we were kids.

This week, I was determined to bake my first bread. I have no idea how I thought of Challah but I remembered that Friday night, when that old architect handed me with a big smile a piece of that bread, I tasted something that was approximatively the culinary incarnation of a childhood dream: eating a cloud.

(Yea, weird: I imagined that if one could eat the moon, he would eat something like a cookie and clouds could be a more dense version of candy floss. It’s called imagination).

Challah has a crust that is sure to please even those who remove the crust from their bread because it is so thin, and the inside of the loaf is to DIE for: it’s so fluffy and moist, I ate plain chunks of it but I imagine it would be the perfect match with everything: jam, butter, Nutella, and toasted, I think it would make a really good bruchetta or french toast.

challah.JPG
Can you see the clouds ?

This recipe calls for honey (like most Challahs I guess) and I though I added 3 or 4 spoon of a very strong thyme honey a friend brought us from Greece, it just gave it the sweetness that made the loaf so decadent; if you really want a sweeter version of a Challah I think you would have to add more honey or even sugar…