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Chicken Tikka Masala

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It’s funny how quickly a new dish can become a go-to.

Easy Chicken Tikka Masala | Finding Time for Cooking

Indian food has been a challenge for a long time…in restaurants, even when it’s mild it’s usually too spicy for me.  But I’ve also had several recipes I was dying to try.  The intense combination of spices, held together with creamy sauces, is just too much to resist.

chicken-tikka-masala-bowl-2

I finally pulled myself together over winter break and gave this a try.  Part of that was just making sure I had all the spices I needed.  And I was shocked at how easy this dish was to make, how satisfying, and how great the leftovers were.  So I made it a few days later.  And the week after that.

It’s now in my regular rotation, because the lunch leftovers are unbeatable.  Pair it with some of my delish and easy homemade naan, and you’ve got an exotic and yet comforting winner.  Don’t be scared by the ingredient list, because you make the paste once and it will last you through several batches. [Read more…]

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Rigatoni with Chicken, Goat Cheese, & Grilled Fairytale Eggplant

This is one of those really random, accidental recipes that turned out SO. GOOD.

Chicken Pasta with Grilled Baby Eggplant & Goat Cheese

One weekend this summer I was at the farmer’s market and found the most adorable tiny, lavender-colored eggplant I’d ever seen—fairytale eggplant.

Chicken Pasta with Grilled Baby Eggplant & Goat Cheese done

I had to buy a pound of them, but then try and figure out what to do. After looking up some recipes, I decided that grilling them would be the yummiest. And it was…I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but these were soft and smoky and salty, and just awesome.

chicken pasta with grilled baby eggplant & goat cheese fairytale eggplant

Of course, if I’m heating up the grill then why not grill some herbed chicken as well? I also picked up some of the last juicy tomatoes of summer, and a bunch of massively fragrant herbs. Because those two things make everything better.

chicken pasta with grilled baby eggplant & goat cheese fairytale eggplant grilled closeup

And of course, every pasta needs a sauce. Some goat cheese and some pasta water, and boom—instant tangy deliciousness. It was a bunch of random ingredients, but they somehow all came together into an easy, perfect late summer dish.  [Read more…]

Easy Sesame Chicken

How have I not tried this recipe before?!

Easy Sesame Chicken with Veggies

This is one of those things that has sat on my Pinterest board for a couple years now, and every week I look at it and then pass it over for something else. Why? I have no idea. Sesame chicken is my jam when I get Chinese food. But over the winter break I decided to give it a try since it looked simple and I was already making a dessert as well. And I’m so glad I did—this recipe is simple, delicious, and mostly healthy. You can add whatever veggies you want and it can be ready in the time it takes to cook your rice.

Easy Sesame Chicken with Veggies finished

The one major change I’d make is to double the sauce recipe…as you can see in the picture above, there is NO sauce to spare. I like my sesame chicken saucy, so it can soak the rice a little, so double the sauce and you’re good to go. [Read more…]

Grilled Balsamic Chicken…on my own grill!

I’ve wanted a grill for as long as I’ve lived alone. In my head, a grill was all that stood between me and these awesome meaty dinners every night of the week. Now, I can privately admit that that’s not entirely the truth—let’s not pretend I’d actually make dinner after a 12-hour day. But, I WOULD cook meat way more often, and it would open up a whole new world of culinary possibilities. Plus, who doesn’t love that freshly-grilled flavor?!

grilled balsamic chicken finished

However, my apartment complex would never let me have a grill, and my new condo complex is the same. But there’s this nice patio just begging for a grill! What’s a girl to do? Well, I did some digging, and apparently electric grills are a thing—not a very well-known thing, but a thing nonetheless. I knew I didn’t want to go the oversize George Foreman route. I found a few that got good reviews, and lucked out at Target a couple weeks ago and found a great CharBroil one on sale. This recipe was its maiden voyage.

grilled balsamic chicken full plate

Isn’t that an amazing plate of food?! Look at me, making dinner on a work night like a grown-up BOSS.

grill patio

Ain’t she gorgeous?! Putting it together wasn’t super fun, but totally worth it.

My patio, on the other hand, looks a little rough since my dad and I pulled up the tile a couple weeks ago… [Read more…]

Using what I have on hand (Chicken with White Wine & Lemon)

My garlic brown sugar chicken experiment went so well a couple weeks ago that when I needed a meat dish, I went to Pinterest for the answer. I knew I needed something simple, since I was also trying a new bread recipe and a new kale mac & cheese recipe. I scanned the red wine chicken, debated about the garlic chicken (wow, that’s a lot of garlic), and then I found this gem.

Other than the chicken itself, I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry. The recipe was fast, easy, and not TOO lemon-y, which was nice  since it didn’t fight the other dishes’ flavors.

[Read more…]

Five-Minute Entree (Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken)

I think I maybe ate too much chicken in college or something. Because chicken? It’s not my thing.

Almost none of my regular recipes include chicken. Actually, many of them don’t include any meat at all because I’m lazy and cheap and hate dealing with raw meat. But let’s be honest—sometimes you have to make a meat dish, and you have to make it quickly.

And kittens? This is it. Full disclosure, the five minutes is actual hands-on time, it’ll need to bake for 15-30 minutes.

Start your ovens (500 degrees)…

[Read more…]

Down-home main dish (Easy Chicken Fried Chicken)

I grew up in the Midwest, on and around farms, so the food I ate growing up would probably be classified as “meat and potatoes”. My grandma occasionally made some chicken fried steak, but it was still pretty healthy and bore little resemblance to the super Southern comfort food chicken fried steak I experienced when I moved to Atlanta. And that’s when my great love of chicken fried steak began. It is possibly one of the best foods in the world.

When I was in Dallas a few weeks ago, my friend and I decided to make a big cooked-from-scratch dinner for a couple friends, so we perused recipes on Pinterest and in some magazines to get ideas. She insisted on some kind of cheesy potatoes, so we decided to go with the whole “down home cooking” theme and have chicken fried steak for our main dish—but since she already had chicken breasts on hand, we switched to chicken fried chicken.

I’ve always been a little afraid of frying things (plus lazy, since that’s a lot of extra work and mess), but this was super easy. We looked at a few recipes, but ended up kind of making it up as we went along. This recipe is super easy, takes only a couple of ingredients (all of which you should already have on hand), and is basically foolproof. Plus, it’s really not that horrible for you, diet-wise.

[Read more…]

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