chicken tikka masala + naan

This is a really yummy, quick meal – especially if you can prepare everything beforehand (mince the onion & ginger, cut the chicken, let the naan dough rise). We used the spices in the tikka masala as called out below, and the spice level was fairly mild (perfect for me). I would imagine you could add more chili powder to add more heat. My favorite part about this meal was the naan. It was really easy to make, and so delicious right out of the frying pan. However, the naan (in my opinion) didn’t heat up that well for leftovers … it was only about 40% as good as it was fresh 🙂

Chicken Tikka Masala – recipe from Skinny Taste

2 tsp canola oil or you could use butter (I used oil)
1 small onion, minced (I omitted)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
4 oz fat free yogurt (I used Chobani)
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garam masala*
1 tsp turmeric (optional) (I omitted)
1/2 tbsp chili powder
salt to taste
16 oz (2 boneless) chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 tbsp fresh cilantro (or to taste) (I omitted)

* If you can’t find pre-mixed garam masala, you can use this as a guideline for the spices it includes.
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the crushed ginger, stir for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook another minute. Add cumin, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and salt; mix well until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, yogurt and milk. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked through. Add a generous amount of chopped cilantro and serve with Basmati Rice or Naan. (I don’t like cilantro, so I skipped that. We served with jasmine rice – it’s stickier than basmati – and naan.)


Naan – recipe from the little red house

1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt (Chobani again)
1 large egg
melted butter or oil, for frying (I used canola oil)

In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg and stir, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled in size; about an hour. Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a thin circle or oval. Cook each naan in a nice hot skillet drizzled with oil (just a teeny tiny bit–you’re not frying it like a scone) until blistered and cooked, flipping as necessary. (When the surface has big blisters and is golden on the bottom, flip it over and cook until golden on the other side. Makes about 8 naan.


Baby Barto: Week 34

me at week 34: Another very exciting week! My mom, Emily, Chris’ girlfriend Carley & two of my best friends got together to celebrate little girl Barto. It was such a great day. We went out for a fabulous lunch & then we all got pedicures! The spa was exceptionally luxurious.  We all relaxed & drank wine (… or delicious sparkling cranberry) as we were pampered.

(Thanks for the pedicures, Mom!)

Then we came home & visited … which involved Killer Brownies from Dorothy Lane Market, a spinach & artichoke dip that was devoured in seconds (courtesy of Chef Darrell), Big Sky Bread pizza & Dorothy Lane cake. The day was definitely what I would consider as every pregnant woman’s dream. Let’s also not forget the delectable lemon drop martinis (courtesy of Bartender Darrell).  Next time, however, we will learn to distinguish the non-alcoholic martinis from the alcoholic ones. I sipped one that had a little heat to it, not being able to really tell if it had alcohol because it was so sweet (even after a 2nd & 3rd opinion)! After sipping an abandoned martini, I discovered that one was definitely the non-alcoholic one 🙂

I am so blessed to have my family and friends in my life. This little girl is already so loved.

{some very generous gifts}

{an amazing piece of art that Carley made for the nursery. I love it so much.}

{clearly entertained by the gift opening.}

{oooo… a swing}

{like I said, clearly entertained. :)}

{a whole bin full of books! Little girl is going to be in heaven.}

{eating, drinking, visiting}

{our new ledge: perfect for perching.}

{who is that lush with all of the martinis?}

{my beautiful sister.}


{Mom & Dad.}

{a Dorothy Lane cake … Baby B enjoyed it very much.}

I had a doctor’s appointment this week; at this point, we’re going every 2 weeks. I’ll start going weekly at 36w. Everything looks healthy! The midwife says I’m measuring 1-2 weeks ahead (fundal height) but it’s well within the typical variation. Her heartbeat was strong (she was very active during the appointment, so it was in the 150s) and she was positioned head-down.  Little girl is continuing to be extremely active, especially right after I wake up, before & after meals, and after I lie down on my side for sleep.

This week I also went to the local Dar a Luz meeting. Dar a Luz is centered around education, support & just overall community in regards to raising your children. The group of women meets once a month, only 5 minutes from our house. Each time, there’s a general topic to discuss, but it’s very casual and open … it can lead to any subject. This month’s topic was induction. It was good timing for this topic, as I’m getting close to the due date! Luckily, I have a very relaxed doctor who is not in any rush to induce labor for any unnecessary reasons. I loved the environment of the meeting; it was very open & welcoming. Some of the moms bring their kids along – there were even newborn triplets there!

This week was a busy week; I also had a prenatal massage with April Kline. It was the 2nd time she’s worked on me and it’s just … heaven. If you are pregnant (or not pregnant), I highly recommend regular massages. Along with yoga, I believe the massages have helped me to stay physically & mentally fit throughout these past 7.5 months.  I had some sciatica pain in the late 1st trimester & early 2nd trimester, but ever since, I have been relatively pain free.  In my opinion, it’s been helped by a combination of nightly stretching, 1-2 yoga sessions per week (I could definitely stand for more) and regular massage.  I think Baby Girl also likes it … whenever I get a massage on my lower back, she just lights up & wiggles all around.

Baby Girl Barto at week 34:  She now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like a cantaloupe!) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. It’s a relief to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies!

{Most of this fun information is from}

Baby Barto: Week 33

me at week 33: This week, Little Miss Barto, her daddy and I went to a Black Keys concert with my brother & his girlfriend. Little girl was a trooper 🙂 She’s going to be a very cultured newborn, having already been to 2 concerts (this one & Death Cab) and 2 foreign countries (Poland & France).

She definitely feels like she’s packing on the weight. I’m still sleeping great (such a blessing, from what I hear at this point in pregnancy) on my side, but when I try to get out of bed, her weight comes as a surprise to me. She’s just so OUT there & cantilevered! I have to be very careful with my movements. I think I’ve startled more than a few (mostly male) coworkers when turning corners … their “Whoa!” isn’t that discreet 🙂 I love it though; I’m pretty proud of my belly & the miracle that is happening inside.

The heartburn is pretty intense this week. I keep Tums by my bedside because the heartburn normally strikes when I lay down to go to bed.  They say that heartburn is a sign of the baby growing hair.  We will see … I was a bald baby & from what I understand, Michael was fairly bald as well. But who knows, maybe she inherited her father’s wavy ‘fro early on. I’m pretty excited to eventually discover what color hair she has … it’s a toss-up. Michael was very blonde as a child, and I’ve always been very dark-haired.

Michael was also out west on business for most of the week. While he was gone, he wrote 4 beautiful Haikus for our baby girl. I can only share two of them, because the other two include her name 🙂

Spring baby, don’t cry

When clouds pass, the flowers bloom

Your smile is the sun

(I love that one)

The moon from the sky

The stars down from the heavens

Anything for you

Baby Girl Barto at week 33:  This week, little girl weighs a little over 4 pounds (about the weight of a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. She’s rapidly losing that wrinkled look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

{Most of this fun information is from}

Baby Barto: Week 32

me at week 32: This week, I had a dream that I ran a 5k, while I was this pregnant. We were pretty fast, too! In reality, I ran until around week 24 & now I stick to yoga, DVDs and walking. It’ll be fun to get back to running when I’m able.

A lot is happening this week at home. Our kitchen renovation was complete, which is the first of several dominoes to fall. Now we can get rid of our old fridge & stove, put together the new bedroom in the basement, and clear out our makeshift kitchen in the living room. Then we’ll get to the nursery 🙂

Baby Girl Barto at week 32:  By now, our girl weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicamawhat is a jicama? But more importantly, how do they come up with these food examples?) and is about 16.7 inches long. You’re gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she’ll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

{Most of this fun information is from}