Design, Food, Pets, Health, Technology... Life Untangled Tue, 26 Jan 2016 19:24:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Wed, 13 Jan 2016 19:25:54 +0000
Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala
This recipe combines the best techniques and elements of chicken tikka masala recipes for the slow cooker to create what I hope is one of the best versions out there.]]>
Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Inspiration for Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

My office is full of people who love to cook. Monday mornings often find us chatting about what we’ve made over the weekend. If someone is a bit slow picking up a new recipe from the printer, someone else might end up making a copy. We have even created a shared Dropbox folder so that we can swap our favorite recipes. Lately we all seem to be using our slow cookers. Most of us have small households so, before one commits to making a big batch of something, it is good to know what successes and failures others have had. Hands down our go-to cookbook seems to be Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen. As I have written in my top cookbook gifts post, it has great recipes and helpful tips to make your slow-cooked meals the best they can be.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe -

This shared love of cooking inspired this recipe. A few weeks ago I printed a chicken tikka masala recipe from Table for Two. When I went to pick it up from the printer, my co-worker mentioned that she had just made the same recipe a few nights ago. She had been a bit disappointed, but couldn’t figure out quite why. Another co-worker said that he had tried a similar recipe from and had the same experience. We were still discussing this when Anna (of Anna’s Double Ginger Pie) joined the conversation. She had purchased Anupy Singla’s The Indian Slow Cookera slow-cooker cookbook dedicated to Indian cuisine. We compared the three recipes and I offered to experiment to create one master slow-cooker chicken tikka masala recipe combining the best elements of the three. Like many slow-cooker recipes, it tastes better the second day and freezes well. 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe -

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe type: slow cooker
Cuisine: Indian
This recipe combines the best techniques and elements of chicken tikka masala recipes for the slow cooker to create what I hope is one of the best versions out there.
For the marinade:
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 2-inch pieces
For the slow cooker:
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T garam masala (see note)
  • 1 T cumin
  • ½ T smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • 1-3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 29 ounces of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 3 T Minute tapioca
  • 1 T dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
  1. Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and spices.
  2. Add chicken and stir to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
  4. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent and tender.
  5. Add garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and spices (garam masala through cayenne pepper) to onions and stir to combine.
  6. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.
  7. Add crushed tomatoes, tapioca, sugar, and bay leaves to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  8. Add onion mixture and chicken to slow cooker. Gently stir to combine.
  9. Cook for 4-6 hours on low.
  10. If you wish, stir in heavy cream at the end.
  11. Garnish and serve over rice or with naan.
If you can't find garam masala, you can make your own. There is an easy recipe here. It calls for: 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1½ teaspoons ground coriander, 1½ teaspoons ground cardamom, 1½ teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.

Besides My Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Please join me on my Slow-Cooker Recipes Pinterest board. Also, be sure to check out my slow-cooker chicken enchilada soup and slow-cooker maple apple oatmeal recipes. What’s your favorite meal to prepare in the slow cooker or crock pot? I’m always happy to try a new recipe!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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6 Easy Ways to Trim Your Food Budget Tue, 05 Jan 2016 15:07:29 +0000
SOS to Your Wallet
The holidays are over which makes it a great time to tighten up your more ways than one. Budgeting for food and saving money on meals is made easy thanks to these 6 tips.]]>
Everyone has to eat, there’s no getting around that! But budgeting for food and saving money on meals can be tricky. The holidays are over which makes it a great time to tighten up your belt…in more ways than one. As part of my ongoing quest to live a frugal life and keep my belly full, I’ve put some easy techniques into practice over the years. Today, I’m sharing 6 easy ways to trim your food budget. These tips will help you reach your own food budgeting goals!

6 Easy Ways to Trim Your Food Budget

No Purchasing Lunch

I normally always bring a lunch to work, but there are those days that I don’t have time to make my own lunch. Then there are those times that I just want to eat at Panera Bread. But no more! I’m planning out all of my lunches for the week and making them the night before. If I get really ahead of the game, I’ll take some time on Sundays to put together my lunches for the whole week. This way, I find that I have no excuse but to bring me own lunch to work. Which brings me to my next tip…

Plan Meals in Advance

You know what they say about impulse purchases? You want to avoid going to the grocery store too often because it can lead you to spend more or grab for something you don’t need and probably shouldn’t be eating anyway! On Sunday nights, I make a list of all my meals for that week. My goal is to eventually get to the point where I plan a month of meals in advance, but one week at a time for right now has been working. One of my favorite make-ahead meals for lunch is this BBQ Chicken Salad! It’s so simple and healthy to put together. I also plan my breakfast ahead of time, since I leave so early in the morning. By making egg sandwiches, waffles to freeze, fruit bowls, or breakfast smoothies, I am not tempted to go to a fast-food restaurant in the morning.

Share Meals at Restaurants

After work drinks with your co-workers? You and your significant other want a night out on a budget? No sweat! If I know where I am going, I check out the menu beforehand to figure out some different options. I also suggest sharing a meal or splitting appetizers. People are usually more than willing to split meals. It’s a great way to try a few different things on the menu in the same trip.

Use Credit Card Rewards for Gift Cards

Remember those reward points the credit card companies love to tell you you’re so lucky to have? Don’t let them go to waste! I’m definitely not advocating for charging up a storm on your card simply to reap the reward points. In fact, I’m not really using my credit cards too much at all these days. But, I still make sure to turn in my reward points for gift cards to restaurants or grocery stores. I earned it after all!

Keep Track of Your Grocery Receipts

In order to know if you are getting a great deal, you need to keep track of your food purchases. You’ll also see that different foods go on sale at different times during the course of the year. The best way I found to keep track of all of this was to setup an Excel spreadsheet of the different grocery stores and to log what I purchased at each of them, along with the cost. It’s a time-consuming task at first but easily becomes a habit, and it’s well-worth knowing when and where the best deals are.

Coupon, Coupon, Coupon!

On top of screening your grocery stores for the best deals, couponing is still one of the best ways to save money on food purchases. There are so many outlets for collecting coupons these days: newspapers, grocery store flyers, mobile apps, and internet websites. Another great idea is to start a couponing circle with your family, friends, or co-workers. You can trade coupons that you don’t need with someone who might put it to use, and you may even get some ideas for recipes in the process!

What are some budgeting tips that you have to save on food purchases?
Follow my Frugal Living board on Pinterest for more inspiration!

Follow Michelle D’Auteuil’s board Frugal living on Pinterest.

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Ruby’s 2016 New Year Haiku Tue, 29 Dec 2015 19:31:41 +0000
Ruby's 2016 New Year's Haiku
The first of January ushers in a new year full of promise. It's a time for reflection, resolutions, and renewal. The bloggin' dog is more than ready to give 2016 a big, sloppy kiss hello. How about you?]]>
Distinctive new year

Handsome New Year's Devil Like freshly fallen snowflakes

Happy New Year 2016 Cold, yet warmed with time

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Ruby’s 2015 Christmas Haiku Mon, 21 Dec 2015 15:00:53 +0000
Merry Christmas 2015
Ruby may have a cold nose, but he sends warm greetings through his holiday haiku. From the MyUntangled family to yours, may you have a beautiful and peaceful Christmas.]]>
Peace, love, and good cheer
Joyous holiday treasures
Give, and you’ll receive

Ruby's 2015 Christmas Haiku

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Out Of The Box Gift Ideas Thu, 10 Dec 2015 13:52:50 +0000
Out of the Box Gift Ideas
The holiday's can be stressful and going out shopping with long lines and no parking isn't always very fun! Here are some subscription/non-subscription box gift ideas that you can send directly to the person on your list.]]>
The holiday’s can be stressful. The weather can be hard to handle. Going out shopping isn’t always the most enjoyable with the long lines and no parking spots. To make things easier, a lot of people have turned to online shopping to tackle their holiday shopping. Here are some subscription/non-subscription box gift ideas that you can send directly to the person on your list.

Legacy Box - A fantastic gift alternative!Legacybox is a great gift for someone who wants take their outdated memories and make them new again. All you have to do is take your memories in any format, fill in the prepaid legacy box label, and ship it out. They will take your memories and put them on DVDs or digital files and send them back to you. There are different packages based on the number of items you are sending. I sent in my grandparents’ 5mm films and VHS tapes. Within 3 weeks, I had the original films and tapes back and they were transferred onto DVDs. The quality was the best it could be. It was a meaningful gift that they will be able to cherish for years.

Club W - Give the gift of Wine!

ClubW is the prefect gift for the wine enthusiast in your life. When I signed up, I was asked questions so they could determine my palate profile. Each month different wines are suggested based on what I like. I keep the suggestions or add my own. The wine is shipped directly to my doorstep. It’s that simple. Don’t want wine one month? No problem! You can skip a shipment at anytime. Boxes start at $39 plus shipping. I have always had a difficult time trying to find wines that I like. I love this because it takes the guesswork out selecting. It is also helping me learn what I do and don’t like.

Bespoke Post - The ultimate gift for guys!

Bespoke Post – Got a man in your life that you don’t know what to get? These monthly limited edition themed boxes are perfect for a man’s lifestyle. At the beginning of the month, the theme for that month is announced and you can decide to select the box or choose something else. Boxes are around $45 a month and you can skip a month at anytime. My boyfriend loves these boxes every month. Some of the themed boxes he has received are “The Weekender” which included a travel bag, “The Barber” which was a nice shaving set, and “Brisk” which was a wool scarf set.

Send a Pajamagram this Christmas!

Pajamagram – Who doesn’t love pajamas?! This is a fun gift to give to anyone, even the most persnickety people in your life. Just pick out a pajama set for the person and have it sent directly to them. I loved the set that I received for Christmas. I thought it was so creative and was completely me.

Ice Cream Sundae in a Box - A Fantastic Gift Idea!

You can also be innovative and create your own box of joy to give. How about an Ice Cream Sundae Box? Or a Christmas Eve Tradition Box for the kid in your life? Then there’s Gifts In A Jar which can easily be made into a box. The possibilities are endless!

Do you have any ideas for a great out of the box gift?

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Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas 2015 Wed, 02 Dec 2015 21:43:13 +0000
White Elephant Gift Ideas 2015
We've got lots of fun and creative gift ideas for your upcoming office holiday party, Yankee Swap, White Elephant, or Secret Santa gathering with family and friends!]]>
Way back in 2012 we started this tradition of pseudo honoring/sort of mocking the tradition of the Yankee Swap, White Elephant, Gift Exchange, whateveryoumaycallit. Though I was never truly a fan of participating in them IRL, I have to admit this post is one that I look forward to all year long. So without any additional rambling on my part, I present the 2015 MyUntangled list of things to keep and things to give away at your next holiday gift exchange.


Personality Desk Signs - boss gift, office sign - UncommonGoodKeep: Not only would I keep this gift, all y’all can consider this a public declaration that I want one of these! The personality desk signs from UncommonGoods made me LOL. And even better, they reminded me that sometimes it’s great to be the boss!

The Situation Workout DVD - Fun Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas

Swap: I don’t know what you even want me to say here. But I happened upon The Situation Workout DVD while innocently walking down the aisle, minding my own business. And I haven’t been the same since.


The CatBall
Keep: Now that the winter is upon us and my humans don’t keep the heat up as high as I would like, I need a warm spot in which to nap. The Cat Ball comes in many patterns, but this coral one matches my little pink toebeans just perfectly.

Every cat needs and Ugly XMas Sweater!

Swap: I don’t care how trendy ugly X-Mas sweaters may be for you humans or how cute you think I’d look. There is no way that I am getting in this sweater.


Dapper Animal Plates
Keep: Why should mealtime be boring? With these Dapper Animal Plates designed by Rachel Kozlowski for West Elm, your meal will have a sense of whimsy (and a built in conversation partner). I’d certainly keep an assortment of these.

S’mores USB Heated Plush Slippers - To wear, not to eat!Swap:  I certainly love to try different s’mores recipes. Undoubtedly my feet are often cold in the winter. Still, I’m not sure that heated s’mores slippers are the way to go. Unless they keep your feel smelling like s’mores, then maybe we’re onto something.


Mason Jar Herb Garden

Keep: This cute Mason Jar Herb Kit is the perfect gift if you ever wanted to start growing herbs. It comes with everything that you need to start growing your own herbs at home.

Holiday Gift Exchange Ideas - Space Kitten Women's Leggings

Swap: I am a cat lover but if I got these Space Kitten Leggings  I would trade them back.  They are a little too out of this world for my liking.


Ultimate Wine Bottle Glass

Keep: I’ve been known to enjoy red wine. Usually one glass is enough for me. However, there are occasions when a bottle seems more appropriate. Well, hello answer to my drunken prayers! The wine bottle glass holds a full bottle (750 ml) of wine. Bottoms up!

Toast It Coasters
Swap: Let’s be honest, home slice; who cares about using a coaster while getting toasted off a bottle of wine? I know that it’s crummy to leave rings on a table, but the Toast It Coasters are a swap for me. Perhaps you can’t teach an occasional old lush new tricks.


Mixed Breeds Cassette Dog ToyKeep: Music to my ears! Just press play to keep the hits coming on this ultra-hip mixed breed cassette dog toy from Perpetual Kid. I’ll be kickin’ it old school style all winter long.

Cat Lover Magnetic Poetry Kit

Swap: Dear wise and benevolent itty bitty kitty committee, please know that this magnetic poetry kit would be promptly thrown it in the kitty litter swapped out if it were to land in my paws. While I love to write haiku poems, cat poetry just isn’t my steez.

Check out all of our past holiday gift exchange ideas and Pins!

White Elephant Gift Ideas 2014Top Yankee Swap Gift Ideas for 2013 and 2 Yankee Swap Ideas (Times Five)

Follow MyUntangled Life’s Yankee Swap Board on Pinterest.

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Quick DIY Christmas Decorating Ideas Mon, 30 Nov 2015 16:01:24 +0000
Quick Holiday DIY Decorating Ideas
This holiday season is busier than most at my house and with so many things to do at this time of year, it's nice to find some shortcuts. Here are a few of my favorite easy DIY decorating ideas including one of my own!]]>
This holiday season is busier than most at my house. We’ve just moved, and there are boxes everywhere. While ordinarily I would be looking for all sorts of new ornaments to share with you (and to end up buying to trim my tree), decorating a Christmas tree seems unlikely this year. It is possible that we will still find the time to put up the tree, but I have been looking for other easy ways to make things festive for the holidays. With so many things to do at this time of year, it is nice to find some shortcuts.

Quick Christmas Ornament Decorations - MyUntangled Life

This year I am going to start by decorating with a few easy DIY projects that will set the mood. I will be stringing ribbon so that I can attach holiday cards as they arrive. Next, I will be setting up a display with my nutcracker and some ornaments in jars. This particular project couldn’t be more simple to do, but it has such great impact. I start with two tall, glass jars. Then I fill them with varying sizes and colors of glass ornaments. For the ones pictured, I have used silver, red, and some with glitter. The ornaments don’t have to be expensive–some of these came from the $1 section at Target–just varied enough to complement one another. I carefully layer the ornaments to make sure the smaller ones fill the gaps left by the larger ones, and that the colors are evenly dispersed. Once I am satisfied with the overall look, I place them on a mantel or shelf and enjoy.

Over the last couple years I have noticed more and more ideas for tree alternatives or full-of-cheer decorating for small spaces. Here are a few of my other favorites that I might try this year:

Full of Cheer Decorating Ideas - MyUntangled Life

  1. Tree made of strung lights (IKEA via Design Sponge)
  2. Framed ornaments (from Dans le Lakehouse)
  3. An understated mantel (from Real Simple)
  4. DIY Makeshift Tree Wall Hanging (from Almost Makes Perfect)
  5. Ornament chandelier (from Real Simple)
  6. A second version of the string of lights tree (from Domino via Apartment Therapy)

For more ideas, see my Holiday Decorating board on Pinterest.

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