Basil Chicken and Zucchini Green Curry, the Ultimate Comfort Food

This is my favorite dish that I make. We always make it for friends and family when they come to visit, and we also make it just for ourselves (usually in bulk so we can savor the leftovers!) It is one of those dishes that is almost better on the second day.

Ingredients:
-2 chicken breasts (approx 1 lb)
-2 tbs green curry paste
-1 can coconut milk
-3 small zucchini
-1 can of chicken broth
-2/3 cup of water
-2 tbs fish sauce
-2 tsp sugar
-2 tsp corn starch
-5 cups rice (prepared)
-1 cup fresh thai or italian basil

Directions:
1. Cut chicken and Zucchini into small pieces, set aside.
2. Pour half of the can of coconut milk into a large saucepan. Turn burner onto medium-high, and when the milk starts to bubble and boil, add the green curry paste (you can add more curry paste for added hotness!) and stir it until it is mixed in thoroughly.
3. Add the chicken and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes until chicken is coated with the curry and coconut milk mixture.
4. Add the remaining coconut milk, the zucchini, fish sauce, sugar, chicken broth, half of the basil (chopped), and water to the saucepan, and heat until simmering. Once the mixture is simmering, you don't want it to come to a full boil or your chicken will become rubbery. Keep it on a light simmer, and make sure to stir it occasionally.
5. When zucchini is tender, your curry is almost done. All you need to do is add the cornstarch (make sure to mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon or two of water before you add it to the curry) and stir it in. This will thicken the sauce slightly.
6. Fill bowl halfway with rice, and pour the curry over the top. Garnish with the remaining basil. Enjoy!

*If you want to make a vegetarian version of this, use firm tofu instead of the chicken, veggie broth instead of the chicken broth, and a teaspoon of salt instead of the fish sauce.

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Decorating on the Cheap!

I'm not a huge fan of the traditional red and green Christmas color scheme, so I've started collecting decorations at the thrift store in blue, white, silver, and gold. I had found these pretty white fake flowers at the thrift store, and then when I was at the craft store yesterday picking up some gift cards, I came across these fun little sticks that were on super-clearance. I was going to buy a vase for them, but I was sure that I could find something at home to use instead.
So I took a vodka bottle that Nate and I had emptied (over a long period of time mind you) and taped around the area where the label used to be and then spray-painted the outside gold with some spray-paint that I had leftover from an art project I had done. I think it turned out super cute, and very festive looking, especially for spending only about $1.50!
We also set up our tree a few days ago. The tree, the ornaments, and the tinsel were all thrift store finds as well, and I just used a scarf I had as a cover for the bottom. :)
I hope you all are having a not-too-stressful start to your holiday seasons!

Semester Accomplished!

I just got done posting grades from my class, and got all of my paperwork squared away. This semester was very busy, but went pretty smoothly nonetheless. Here are some of my students' final projects.I was really happy with how the final projects turned out.
But, now that the semester is through, I am taking a break for a little while, and focusing on some much needed knitting time. :)
These are a mock-up for a pattern I want to write up. The fair-isle makes them very thick and super warm. I can't wait to finish them so that I can wear them! Lastly, one of the most avid readers of this blog, my grandma c, or G-ma as we call her, is in the hospital this week recovering from a not-so-fun surgery. If anyone would like to leave her a comment here, I'm sure she would appreciate it! My G-ma is the one who really got me interested in crafting as a kid. She taught me how to sew, crochet, and most importantly how to be thrifty! Get well G-ma, we love you!

Little Tiny Painting Project

I'm in the process of wrapping up the little loose ends of my semester. I've been chugging along with my paintings, and I thought I'd share one of them with you. I am doing a series of these small paintings of my apartment on the back of formica samples.

I hope you get a little chuckle out of them.

I've also been doing some planning for paintings I am going to be working on in the near future. Whenever I do a watercolor or an oil painting, I like to draw it out first to set up the lighting. This is one of the ones I'm working on - but I think I may crop it differently. I've also been considering picking up drawing again. It is so much more instantaneous than painting!

Thrifting, Weaving, and Cats

I'm working on some Christmas projects today. It is chilly outside, but it snowed for the first time this winter a couple of days ago and I've been cuddling up on my couch working on paintings and final projects. I'm almost done with everything for this semester. All that is left is some grading of student work, some documenting of my own work, and a couple of critiques.
So today I can indulge in a few distractions. Here are the 'kittens' helping me with my weaving.
Here is my view. It is one of the best things about living in our apartments (along with being able to have cats, gardens, and the large kitchen).
I've been doing some thrifting as well the last few weeks in order to collect sweaters for recycling yarn. I went in last week with a mission. "I am going to find an awesome pair of leather boots." Ok, so I go in with these kinds of missions all of the time, and I never find what I'm looking for. This time was the charm though! They fit pretty good, they just need to be worn in a little bit to fit my feet, but I can tell they are already fit better after wearing them a few times. I bought new insoles for them as well which helped increase the comfort level. Now I just need to find a pair of skinny jeans that fits right....
I also found this little cute owly. I think it is a candle holder (it has a space in the back for a tealight) but for now he resides on my secretary desk, bringing cheer to my work space. I also made some woven coasters from the excess warp yarn from a scarf I was making. They match the colors in our apartment which is mostly greys and yellows. After I took the pictures, I decided to felt them, and now they look more even and less wonky.
I hope you all had a nice thanksgiving! I did, but I forgot to bring my camera, so you will have to trust me on that. :)

Unraveled - The Sweater Project

The beginnings of a long term project I'm just starting to work on.