Thursday, June 27, 2013

chicken tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala via design. bake. run.
we've always been so intimidated by indian cuisines because of all the spices, but after making some of the more popular dishes the last year or so, it's not so bad anymore.

Chicken Tikka Masala via design. bake. run.
this chicken tikka masala dish served with rice is so good, can you see that clean plate in the picture? ;)

m is cooking again tonight. he doesn't cook very often, but when he cooks, he cooks indian. and we love it! over the past few years we've become quite a fan of indian cuisine. even c loves it and he's so picky with his food! i have to say they are just so good. you cannot go wrong with all those spices. i know the list of ingredients just seem so intimidating, especially with all the spices. i mean, who has fenugreek or cardamom pods in their spice pantry? i know we definitely didn't 3 or 4 years ago.

well, i figured it's about time i post one of his indian dishes on here. what you see in this post is his chicken tikka masala. we had it with brown rice since we didn't have basmati rice on hand or any naan bread. i know, i have this bread book with this one naan recipe i have yet to try and make. like i've mentioned in the past, someday i will make bread. naan bread will be one of the things i'll make. just not today or tomorrow or next week. hehehe ;)

ok, so far m has cooked us chicken korma (which i think is his signature dish… it's seriously so good), chicken tikka masala (the ones pictured here) and chicken biryani. all three dishes have been superb. i think they are just as good as any dishes you'd get at an indian restaurant or better. i know he's still trying to perfect his biryani dish, but i have to say, that last time we had it, it was almost perfect! hahaha… good enough for eating anyway. for sure better than the first time he ever made it. oh, yeah… let's just say it didn't quite turned out the way it was supposed to. i have pictures of the second biryani try that turned out fine, but i have yet to post it here. someday when i get around to it.

unfortunately, i don't have the recipe for this delicious-looking chicken tikka masala to post here (maybe when i get a hold of it, i'll update and post it?!). he told me he got it out of this book, 660 curries by raghavan iyer. i believe you can get it on amazon. it's got a bunch of indian curry dishes. there are so many, we've only got around to a few of them. plenty more to come!

now, tonight m's making butter chicken. i'm very curious to see how that dish will turn out. i'm sure it'll taste delicious as always. he's such a tough critic himself, so i hope it's good. :)

recipe from: 660 curries by raghavan iyer

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

raspberry jam french macarons

Raspberry Jam French Macarons via design. bake. run.

it's been a while since i've made french macarons. actually, these ones here i made last month for sabrina and andrew's one-year wedding anniversary. there wasn't a whole lot because i only made half the recipe. i of course, made her favorite ones as well, the coffee nutella, in addition to the salted caramel macarons as well. but needless to say, i thought the raspberry jam ones turned out fabulous. actually, all of them did. i personally love raspberry jam, so raspberry jam as a french macaron filling is just yummy.

below's the recipe should you want to make some. it's pretty simple so i say if you'd like to make some, go ahead. nothing too fancy, just a little gel or powder food coloring to add some color to your cookie shells and filling it with your favorite jam, store-bought or homemade.

okay, enjoy! :)

Raspberry Jam French Macarons via design. bake. run.
i love raspberry jam. so raspberry jam in a french macaron cookie is just a great creation. seriously, so good. :)

French Macarons with Raspberry Jam via design. bake. run.
these french macarons do make for the perfect gift.

raspberry jam french macarons


1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond meal
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 tsp red or pink gel food coloring
raspberry jam (or any jam of your choice), store-bought or homemade


to make the macaron batter/shells:
  1. line two baking sheets with parchment paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip (about 1/2-inch, 2 cm) ready.
  2. sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal so there are no lumps. set aside.
  3. in the bowl of a standing electric mixer (or if you prefer, you can use a bowl and hand mixer), beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold their shape. while whipping, beat in the sugar until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.
  4. add in the gel food coloring. then carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula. when the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding and scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
  5. pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1.35-inch circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
  6. rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons. then let it sit for at least 30-60 minutes depending on humidity before baking them in the oven. about 10-15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. bake for 15 minutes.
  7. once macaron shells are out of the oven, let them sit for 30-60 seconds before removing the hot baking sheet underneath. let the macarons cool completely before removing them from the parchment paper.

to assemble the macaron cookies:
  1. before assembling these cookies, make sure to pair up all the cookie shells so they are as close as possible in size.
  2. using a knife, spread a good amount of raspberry jam (or any jam really, of your choice) on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together.
  3. let them stand at least one day (keep them refrigerated) before serving (serve at room temperature), to meld the flavors.

store in airtight container for up to 5 days. makes 20-24 macarons. happy eating because these are really, really, good! :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

we survived the 2013 sf marathon

we survived the 2013 sf marathon race! photo via mzrichee on instagram
yes, we survived this year's san francisco marathon! :)

i had so much fun running the 1st half marathon at yesterday's san francisco marathon. so glad i only ran the half because there was no way i could have done the full. my mind wasn't set on running the full (hah! because i knew i wouldn't have trained for it properly, let alone i didn't even train for the half marathon except for throwing in a few long runs here and there). m ran the full though. he did okay (4:34:51). would have done better (he was on pace to finish around 4:15-4:20) than his time from last year (4:30) but he felt so nauseous/sick towards mile 23 and had to run slowly all the way to the finish line. still, his time was pretty good for being sick with 3+ miles to go.

i'm just so proud of us. we did incredible! okay, my time wasn't that great (2:11:58) but good enough considering i didn't know what to expect. my running pace since baby #2 has been very slow and i have yet to get it back up to pre-baby #2. i think i was just glad that i finished the half in a decent time. during the race i had hope i would do it under 2:10 but being only 2 minutes behind, i can't be too upset. especially if before the race i told myself i'd be glad if i did it under 2:20-2:30. of course, some day, i'd like to run a half under 2 hours. my best half is 2:04:27 and that was 2-1/2 years ago during the nike women's marathon. i was at my (running) peak, and doing so well. i hope i get back there again. i know i need to incorporate some mini races here and there. thinking of starting up that again and joining some running club sunday races. running with other people in a race setting will force me to run faster. i know i definitely ran faster during yesterday's race than i would typically on a normal run.

alright, that's it. so glad we finished and did alright. can't wait to sign up for next year's sf marathon! enjoy the instagram photos and a few others below, documenting yesterday's events. :)

me before the race, waiting for the gun to go and our wave to start. photo via mzrichee on instagram
yup, that's me before the race early yesterday morning, with the gorgeous bay bridge in the background.

us before the race. photo via mzrichee on instagram
i don't have the best camera for taking pictures in low light, but that's us before the race.

shoes! waiting for the race to start photo via mzrichee on instagram
our colorful shoes, standing around and waiting for the race to start.

the start line @ sf marathon 2013. photo via mzrichee on instagram
the start line @ sf marathon 2013

2013 San Francisco Marathon -- Runners on Golden Gate Bridge -- photo via Rocky Arroyo
this is why the first half of the sf marathon is so awesome! running on the golden gate bridge in that gorgeous weather – no fog! :) photo via rocky arroyo and sf marathon fb page

2013 San Francisco Marathon Finisher Medals -- photo via Rocky Arroyo
yup, nothing like a finisher medal. photo via rocky arroyo and sf marathon fb page

me, all 13.1 miles done!. photo via mzrichee on instagram
me after 13.1 miles. happy and smiley! :)

my post-race meal. photo via mzrichee on instagram
i opted for a homemade curry noodle dish as a post-race meal instead of in-n-out burgers like last year.

Friday, June 14, 2013

running the sf (half) marathon this sunday!

are you ready?! sf marathon this sunday!

can you believe it? it's here already! if you're in the city, come out and cheer on all the runners. i'll be one of them too, tackling the first half of the sf marathon. yay! thank goodness i'm not doing the full this year.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

mixed fruit popsicles

Mixed Fruit Popsicles via design. bake. run.

yes, it's already june and that means the kiddies are out of school. c just finished his first year of school (kindergarten) and is moving on to first grade in the fall. he looked so sweet and proud on that last day of school last week. ahhhh… i can't believe my little baby is growing up!

okay, with school out and the weather heating up, a sweet and cool treat is definitely the perfect thing to have on a hot day. no kid can say no to a nice cold popsicle. c loves popsicles and had been asking me to make some with him for the past month or two. so one day sometime a couple of weeks ago we finally got around to making it. it was delayed so long because we didn't have any popsicle molds in the house; and yes, i didn't even have itty bitty dixie cups as a substitute for the molds. but yes, we finally got around to making it.

below are our incredible thirst-quenching cool treats. these fruity popsicles are the best thing ever for the upcoming and already hot (summer) days. c loved it and was so proud of himself (for helping me make them -- he put the fruit pieces and poured the juices in the molds) when the popsicles were finally ready to eat. i know we'll be making this again. but of course, i'd love to try a few other recipes. i'm thinking a creamy coconut would be awesome. nothing beats creamy coconut anything. i personally love coconut, so of course… it should be delicious. well, if i do make those, i'll try and see if i can snap a few photos to share on here!

below's the recipe. it's super easy to make and you can use whatever fruits you have available. the fruits we used we happened to have on hand. this makes for such a fun mini food project with the little kiddies, especially now that school's out. enjoy and stay cool. :)

Fresh Mixed Fruit Popsicles via design. bake. run.
these mixed fruit popsicles are the perfect things to make (with the little ones or without) for this hot summer weather.

Mixed Fruit Popsicles via design. bake. run.
we can't wait to make more fruity popsicles. these were so easy to make. :)

mixed fruit popsicles
recipe adapted from martha stewart

  • 1 peach (or nectarine work too), cut into tiny chunks (or you can cut into 1/2-inch slices too if you like)
  • 1 apple, cut into tiny chunks
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup cherries, pitted
  • 2 pouches of caprisun fruit punch (i'm sure you can use 1-1/2 to 2 cups of any fruit juice you like)

  1. arrange some of each fruit in eight 3-ounce ice-pop molds, making sure pieces fit very snugly.
  2. pour enough juice into each mold to just cover fruit.
  3. insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 6 hours (or up to 2 weeks).

that's it! pretty simple eh? makes 8 delicious, cool and yummy popsicle treats perfect for any hot weather. enjoy! :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

traditional english scones with clotted cream and jam

Traditional English Scones via design. bake. run.

over the weekend during one of my grocery shopping outings i came upon some clotted cream. i know, clotted cream in an american grocery store!?!! i mean seriously, i have never ever seen or even knew what one of those things look like. i've shopped in mini british shops where they usually have british goodies (typically your jams, candies, chocolates, etc) or the international aisle in grocery stores, but had never came across any clotted cream until this weekend. sure, i've heard plenty about them in my household, but had never had the opportunity to taste them – i know! even after being in england last year and the time before that as well down in cornwall (yes, i was in cornwall and i didn't even get to eat scones with clotted cream!). anyway, long story short, i bought one jar of clotted cream right off the bat. of course, i actually put two in my basket then decided i would only need one and if i needed more, i could come back for more. sadly, i went back the next night and they all disappeared. i was so disappointed. i swore i saw at least 6-8 jars of them still on the shelf. really, who came and bought them all? i mean, within a 24-hour time span? seriously!!?! i couldn't believe my eyes when i went back and discovered they were all gone. i didn't bother asking the store about them because i knew they wouldn't have any left. if it was gone, it was gone. boo hoo. i know i will be very sad when all the clotted cream is gone or when we have to throw it out (because it's only good for 5 days once you've opened it) because i don't know when i'll get to have it again, especially here in the states. ahhh! that just mean we have to plan a trip to england. hehe ;)

now, that very night i got the clotted cream i came home and baked up a batch of your traditional english scones. yes, the ones where there aren't any eggs in them. actually, there are so many scone recipes out there, some with eggs, some without, some with no butter and just cream and some with butter but no cream (milk instead)… lots! i did a quick search online and came across one on bbc good food website. this one sounds simple enough and i had all the ingredients needed so i went ahead and made some. i have to say, the scones right out of the oven, still hot or okay, maybe warm after it'd cooled a little bit with some raspberry jam and clotted cream spread on was just the perfect late night snack. hahaha, yes, late night because by the time i finished baking, it was about 10pm! and yes, i couldn't wait, i had to have one right away. it was so good. so, what does clotted cream taste like? i think it's sort of like a thick heavy whipping cream. like super thick and very, very creamy. you could almost substitute whipping cream for it, but then again, it's not quite the same. but i think for the most part, it will do the job – it'd just be a tad lighter since it won't be as thick. i have to say, the combination of the jam and clotted cream in the scone was just delicious. if you've never had clotted cream before, i say it's a must try anytime you get a chance to have it. so. good. i know i will make sure i eat plenty of scones with jam and clotted cream the next time i'm in england.

below's the recipe should you want to make some scones for that late night snack (okay, afternoon tea or morning brunch/breakfast?!). this recipe's pretty simple so you can whip it up quickly. i've converted everything to american measurements so it's easier for us americans. i say use the cups measurements if you're making it, it's a whole lot easier. of course, if you want the actual UK measurements, i've included that as well. so make some and let me know what you think. enjoy and happy baking. :)

Traditional English Scones via design. bake. run.
i love how these traditional english scones turned out. they're sort of like an american biscuit but with a hint of sweetness. and of course, nice and buttery – and perfect with clotted cream and jam!

Traditional English Scones via design. bake. run.
jam and clotted cream with these english scones are just the perfect treat for any time of day. i, of course, had it for breakfast today, yesterday and the day before that. yum!

traditional english scones
recipe from bbcgoodfood

  • 2 cups (225g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (30g) caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (55g) butter
  • 1/3 cup (55g) raisins or sultanas (optional)
  • 2/3 cup (150ml) milk
  • milk or egg wash*, for brushing

  1. Heat the oven to 350° F (200C/fan 180C/gas 6). Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the raisins or sultanas, if using.
  2. Bit by bit, add 150ml milk until you have a firm dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface. Pat the dough into a circle about 1/2 in (1 1/2 cm) thick and cut out the scones (I used 2-1/2 in biscuit cutters). optional: if you like, you can put your scones in the freezer for 15 minutes to let them set before putting them in the oven. i hear it's supposed to harden the butter so when you bake it, it actually makes your scones a bit more flaky and yummy. i personally couldn't be bother to do that for this recipe here because i didn't have the patience or time to.
  3. Put onto a non-stick baking sheet and brush the tops with milk or egg wash. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve with butter, or jam and cream.

*random note: i think i prefer egg wash over milk. having made this recipe twice in the last two days, the egg wash definitely helps the scones come out of the oven looking more brown or like it's been baked than the milk. the first time i made it i just brushed the scones with milk and they came out looking all pasty like it wasn't ready (baked) when really it was. so i say use egg wash and make your scones look scrumptious! :)

enjoy! makes about 8 scones. happy eating! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

mini vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd + vanilla buttercream

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd + Vanilla Buttercream via design. bake. run.

so far this year we've had 3 people leave us at my work place. and this most recent one will be missed a whole lot. let's just say lunches aren't quite the same without him or the overall vibe isn't quite the same without him. he's fun and has quite the personality anyone would love to have around. so as a little farewell whatever-you-call-it, i made him some mini cupcakes. i asked him what he'd like but he couldn't decide and said for me to bake whatever. and cupcakes it was.

below's the recipe for one of the cupcakes i made. i've always been a fan of amy sedaris's vanilla cupcake recipe so i took her recipe and adapted it a little bit for my little take on her vanilla cupcakes. the overall result? the mini cupcakes turned out great. very nice and moist and with the lemon curd and buttercream combo, they were scrumptious. oh, and yes, i made others as well. you'll see there are mini red velvets with cream cheese frosting and another vanilla with chocolate coffee frosting. but these mini vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream toppings are getting the feature in this post. they really are good. i absolutely love that hit of tartness from the lemon curd as you plop that one-bite mini cupcake in your mouth. seriously, the combination of sweet and sour is just perfect.

so go ahead and make some. you can even make your own lemon curd or use store-bought ones. hey, even a favorite jam could work too. but i say the whole lemon and vanilla combo is the way to go if you're up to making the whole cupcake from scratch. give it a try and let me know what you think! enjoy and happy baking. :)

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes with Lemon Curd + Vanilla Buttercream Frosting via design. bake. run.
these mini vanilla cupcakes are delicious. i absolutely love amy sedaris's vanilla cupcake recipe and the lemon curd pairs perfectly with it.

Mini Red Velvets and Vanilla Cupcakes via design. bake. run.
everyone at work enjoyed these goodies. who doesn't like one-bite mini cupcakes?! :)

Mini Red Velvets and Vanilla Cupcakes via design. bake. run.
mini red velvets w/ cream cheese frosting + vanilla w/ chocolate coffee frosting + vanilla w/ lemon curd + vanilla frosting: these were some tasty cupcakes and they made the perfect mini going away gifts.

going away gifts for @sfkaos -- photo via mzrichee on instagram
yes, i instagram everything and lately it's been a lot of food photos. this was my instagram shot of the goodies i gave to my going away coworker.

mini vanilla cupcakes with lemon curd & vanilla buttercream frosting
cupcake recipe adapted from amy sedaris

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

vanilla buttercream frosting:
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cream or milk

directions for cupcakes:
  1. preheat oven on to 375°F.
  2. in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth.
  4. pour in sugar and beat well. add in the egg and mix well.
  5. then add: vanilla, the dry ingredients and buttermilk. beat until it looks like it is supposed to and pour into individual baking cups, until they are about 2/3 full.
  6. bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. let cakes cool completely before topping it off with the lemon curd and frosting.
  8. makes 20-24 mini one-bite (or two?) cupcakes. or 6-8 regular ones (i can't guarantee the exact amount though because i only made mini ones).

directions for vanilla buttercream frosting:
  1. cream butter in electric mixer for 1-2 minutes until fluffy.
  2. slowly add in the sugar, vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy; and has reached the right consistency; about 3-4 minutes. add cream or more sugar as necessary to achieve proper consistency.

enjoy! these mini cupcakes are best enjoyed within a day or two. happy eating! :)

you can check out these recipes as well:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

this month's exercise challenges

alright, as usual (at least for the last two months since i've started this) i am doing another set of exercise challenges. except for this time around instead of saying i'm going to do these exercise (like i said last month), i'm actually going to tell myself which days i do which exercises. yeah, hopefully this will be a lot better in that it will force me to actually do them on those days! otherwise, i'd either end up doing them 2-3 days in a row or none at all. i know, awful!

okay, here are this month's set of exercise challenges/workouts in addition to my regular 3-4x a week runs.

monday/wednesday/friday: mommy tummy fix abs workout (image below) + sexy toned arms workout (image below) + 20 pushups, 20 dips, 1-min elbow plank, 30-sec side planks (both sides)

The Mommy Tummy Ab Fix Workout via design. bake. run.

Sexy Toned Arms in 6 Weeks Workout
click here for the step-by-step workout details

tuesday/thursday: legs exercise (image below) + 20 pushups, 20 dips, 1-min elbow plank, 30-sec side planks (both sides)

sexy leg workout
simple and easy legs workout. takes just 15 minutes to do it.

saturday: mandatory rest day :)

sunday: optional rest day if needed. otherwise, do these exercises: 30 pushups (10 full, 10 halfway up, 10 halfway bottom), 30 dips, 1-min elbow plank, 30-sec side planks (both sides), 30 squats, 30 lunges or 15-min yoga (actually, more like do 5-7 sun salutations + a few warrior poses)

alright, i think that should do it. good luck to me and this month of june! i'm excited to start these exercises tomorrow night. :)

just because: today's weight is 101.4 lb. stay tune! ;)
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