Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Warm Winter Wonder & Thai Chicken-Coconut Curry

It's was a cool, cloudy morning.  I woke up and lit some new candles to make things cozy as I got my first cup of coffee.
 After I put my Christmas away, I decided to leave out some snowmen and winter greenery at least for the next few weeks!  While I really like for there to be less clutter and to reorganize things at the beginning of the year, I think it's fun to have out some cute cold weather decor to brighten the house on these dark days.
 I really love this picture that my hubby and I took of us 3 years ago on a very snowy day!  I keep it in this frame my parents gave us a couple of years ago and put it out every winter!
 I decorated my large shelves that I usually have trouble knowing what to fill with.  They're so tall and deep and, well, awkward!  I kept things fun and simple here, and I like how it's turned out.  I just need a little candle to bring life to my old lantern!
 This is one of my favorite pillows!  With red and cream plaid and homemade looking snowmen, it's just so country cozy!   It's like the sweet snowmen are giving a winter greeting to those in the room!
This pillow a Christmas gift from Mom a couple years ago. 
You know, I welcome every change of season and each new holiday as they come.  Like I've shared before, I look for and find the joy in them all!  I know that January in my part of the country isn't a time to be outside to garden, grill, or relax on the patio, so I think it's that much more important to keep inside my home a place where we love being.  Just with the help of a few simple things like having yummy candles lit, the fireplace cracklin, new books on hand to read and a well stocked pantry for new recipes or a batch of cookies on the fly, it's easy to be inside!!!
One of my favorite things about winter is that it's quite okay to have sparkly lights here and there to give a warm glow inside the house.  I decided to keep out this sparkly sprig that's so pretty, especially at night!
Another favorite photo of us with our best friends in front of the Louvre in Paris!  I think it's appropriate to keep in this Parisian frame by the Eiffel Tower.
Oh!  How I wish to go back some day....
Underneath the shelving I keep a big basket --I love this basket!--with snugly throws and blankets in year round.  We love curling up around here under soft throws, and we have them everywhere!  I have my favorite one kept on the couch.  This new grey one is Mr. Cozy's and it's incredibly soft!!  (Haha, we "claim" certain ones as our own, although I did give him this one!) As you may remember, the quilt here is a family heirloom. :)
Last night for supper I made some delicious chicken & coconut curry filled with tender chicken breasts, sweet basil, red and orange bell pepper and broccoli.  We LOVE Thai food, and this is one of our favorites.  I thought I'd surprised my husband by making it since I rarely cook Thai at home.  This recipe is extra simple because it uses ready made red curry paste that you can find any almost any grocery in the Asian food.  This mixed with succulent (light) coconut milk makes a creamy base for this recipe.
Last night on Facebook I mentioned that I was cooking it and posted a picture and there was quite a response for the recipe.  Because this picture was a quick one taken with my phone, it's not "styled" the way I like to present my food on the blog, but I want to share with recipe with you all anyways! This is a wonderfully easy recipe for anyone who loves Chinese or Thai food!   
( I have another Thai recipe, Thai Chicken & Mango Curry, that I posted a while back that you should check out, too!) 
Perfect on a winter night, we ate a bowl of this over some whole grain Jasmine rice to satisfy our body and give a little comfort to the soul. :)
Chicken Coconut Curry or Kai Kang Dang
Slightly adapted from
1 can coconut milk
1 heaping Tbsp. red curry paste
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in 1 in. pieces
2-3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/3 c. Red Onion, sliced thinly
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
1 1/2 c. ( or 1 medium head) Broccoli
3/4 c. Fresh Basil Leaves, torn
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Squeeze of 1/2 Lime
Before I proceed with the recipe, note a few things:
  You can add more coconut milk if you want more soup to your curry.  If you do this, you'll probably want to add more curry paste.  Also, I added a few dashes of reduced sodium soy sauce and didn't put in quite as much brown sugar.   Add whatever vegetable you love in this kind of food, like carrots, snow peas or bamboo shoots.  Feel free to play around with the recipe like I do.
Bring 1/4 can of the coconut milk to a simmer and whisk in the red curry paste in a heavy bottomed pot.  Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. 
Add the chopped chicken and cook until slightly golden or at least cooked just on the outside, about 5 minutes. 
Stir in the rest of the coconut milk,vegetables, fish sauce, sugar, cayenne pepper and basil leaves.  Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. 
Pour lime juice over the dish and remove from heat.  Serve warm over rice.  Deliciousness!
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krishna said...

lovely . cosy n warm room... i love it..
and the thai chicken curry also.. :)
luv n hug

Donnie said...

We're in Florida but that still looks like a wonderful recipe for a not so chilly night. I'm definitely going to try it.

elizabeth said...

I LOVE Thai food! A young couple from our church loves to cook and they came over New Year's Day and made us a Thai curry feast, red curry, green curry and yellow curry over Thai glazed grill chicken, stir fried veggies and rice. So good! :)
Your cozy touches around your house are sweet. Lots of warmly glowing candles and a fire in the fireplace are my cures for the "bleak mid-winter".

Dewena Callis said...

Your curry looks delicious and I love your ideas for keeping winter cozy. We just have to cocoon, don't we? Next July we'll be wishing we had some of this cold weather. Your winter touches around the house are pretty. I hope you do return to Paris often--and post about all the good food when you get home!

Michelle said...

Love curry. Will have to try this. I have a favorite curry and chicken dish I get from a local restaurant. But I always have to get it to go, because they don't add coconut milk. So I have to bring it home and add it myself. Now I can make it at home. Thanks so much.

wendy said...

I love your winter decor. I too save a few things to leave out for the month of January....may not be Christmas of course, but It is Still winter....and a season eh.

Everyone wants and loves a cozy home for winter and yours certainly does that.

that recipe....oh my, looks divine

Paula said...

Thanks so much for this recipe! I love coconut curry and can't wait to try this!

Maria said...

I love all your wintery decorations (and all the Parisian ones too - I really want to go back to Paris too!), and that curry sounds SO good!!!! I LOVE different curries, and love coconut flavored ones! That warm taste is perfect for wintertime! On a cold day like today, I wish I had a bowl of this with some good rice! Hope you have a great weekend!

Lorraine said...

Such warm and cozy winter decorating :) And the recipe looks delicious too!

Cathy and Paul @One Creative Couple said...

Mmmm, the recipe looks wonderful. I have to try this.

Alicia said...

This curry looks so yummy! I'm excited to try it. And thanks for following my blog... your comments always make me smile. I love how sweet and positive your blog is. And I'm pretty sure I need to you come help me make my house as cozy and adorable as yours is!

Alicia (The Baker Upstairs)

Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch said...

Mmmm..Your Chicken Coconut Curry looks delicious! I love how you leave up some of your cute winter decorations! Why should everything have to end after Christmas? Have a great week!

Unknown said...

Hi Leslie,

I realize I am dragging up a really old post here, but I like perusing your recipes. Recently I made a Thai recipe for the first time and unfortunately discovered that curry paste can vary greatly in "heat" from brand to brand. I used Mae Ploy and it was blazing hot. Another brand that I've heard, but not tried, Thai Kitchen is not so hot. What brand did you use? I'd love your recommendation. Thanks a bunch!! I'd like to try your recipe this Fall.