When I was little, my dad would often accuse me of “cracking myself up.” He wasn’t wrong. I can’t count the number of times a particularly witty turn of phrase in a Baby-sitters Club book or a snappy one-liner by Lori Beth Denberg on All That would reduce me to an uncontrollable pile of giggles.
While I don’t think my dad had any particular problem with my frequent fits of laughter, the thing that may have just slightly gotten on his nerves was my habit of halting all adult conversations so that I could repeat the (clearly hilarious) joke or phrase to everyone in the room. And it’s not like I could just rattle it off and let everyone get on with their lives — it usually took me multiple attempts to quell the giggles long enough to spit out more than a few words at a time. When I finally managed to get it out, his response was usually the same. With the tiniest of smiles, he’d shake his head, look at my mom, and say, “she’s cracking herself up again!”
I wish I could say that I’ve outgrown this habit, but that would be a lie. When something really strikes me as funny, I will laugh about it for days, weeks even, whenever I think of it. The most recent culprit is this internet meme. I can’t explain why, and I’m sure most of you won’t do more than crack a smile or briefly chuckle, but I have been cracking myself up over that polar bear for weeks now.
Thank god I stopped laughing long enough to shove all this chicken in my face. I post a lot of good stuff on this blog, but this one is in best-of-the-best territory — and healthyish to boot!
…better play it cool.
TANDOORI CHICKEN AND RICE BAKE (recipe from Diabetic Living)
1 tsp mild yellow curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I accidentally omitted, NBD)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, divided
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1 rec pepper, chopped
1/2 of a fresh Anaheim chile pepper, seeded and chopped (I used something my grocery store described as “long green peppers” — can sub with a couple of jalapenos, serranos, etc.)
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2/3 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound chicken breast tenders
snipped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl, combine first nine ingredients (curry powder through cinnamon), and set aside. Lightly coat 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In large skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, red pepper, and chile pepper; cook and stir for 6 minutes. Stir in zucchini and garlic. Cook and stir 3 minutes more.
3. Stir in broth, rice, water, tomato paste, and 1 tbsp of spices you mixed together in step 1. Bring to boiling; boil for 1 minute. Carefully pour rice and vegetable mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, add chicken tenders and remaining spice evenly to large ziploc bag. Blow air into bag, seal tightly, and shake vigorously to coat chicken with spice mixture (Shake-n-Bake style!). In large skillet, melt remaining 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in hot butter for about 4 minutes, until just browned, turning once halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and chill in refrigerator until needed.
5. Once rice has finished cooking, remove from oven and uncover. Arrange chicken pieces on rice mixture, replace foil, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is done (internal temperature of 165 degrees) and rice is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
So this right here is an A++++ dinner — one of the best things I’ve made so far this year! I loved the spices and Indian flavor, all the veggies and healthy brown rice, and how incredibly moist and tender the chicken got. It’s not the quickest recipe on this blog, but it’s impossible to beat in terms of health and flavor.