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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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Chicken Massaman Curry

Massaman curry has somehow become my go-to comfort food.  When I’m cold, stressed, tired, or just annoyed, this particular curry—with its combination of soft and crunchy textures, its creamy sauce and slightly spicy bite—are like a warm, yummy hug.

Massaman Curry with Chicken

For years I went to the same Thai restaurant and ordered the same thing (Bangkok chicken, “baby mild”, no baby corn…it’s the BOMB), but then one day I decided that I needed to branch out, and this was the least spicy of the curries.  Plus, it didn’t have green peppers, which are truly disgusting, so that was a deciding factor.  One taste of this, with the silky avocado and the crunch of the onion, and I was in love.

Massaman Curry with Chicken cooked

I’m not sure what’s taken me so long to try making this myself.  Maybe it’s because I tend to find that ethnic dishes are just better at restaurants, so it’s worth shelling out for them on occasion.  Plus I’m lazy, and I tend to take one look at the long list of ingredients and get overwhelmed (not to mention my grocery store doesn’t just have this particular curry paste sitting around).

Massaman Curry with Chicken with Jasmine Rice

But you shouldn’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients.  Most of them are ones you already have around, and the others are easy enough to pick up once and have around for a long time (I ordered the curry paste on Amazon, because I’m also too lazy to drive around to a bunch of Asian markets looking for it).  Prepping the ingredients will take 15-20 minutes with one set of hands, but is quite easy, and then the dish comes together very smoothly.  It makes amazing leftovers, and can feed a serious crowd. [Read more…]

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Peach season!!!!

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I feel like that should have been all-caps. Because, not only is it peach season, but my VERY. FIRST. PEACH. was perfectly ripe. That has never happened in the history of ever. Farmers market FTW!

fresh peach coconut milk ice cream peaches

When I snagged these beauties last weekend and they were perfectly ripe and criminally juicy, I knew I had to do something amazing with them immediately. And it was balls-hot (the hyphen is important for adhering to AP style…) so ice cream was the logical conclusion.

Fresh Peach Coconut Milk Ice Cream closeup

This is my no-fail coconut milk ice cream. I’ve made it in many different flavors, including my absolute favorite in the world, peanut butter and honey with sea salt, as well as a slight variation of peanut butter and strawberry jam. It’s easy, adaptable, healthy, only as sweet as you want it to be, and naturally dairy-free. And did I mention easy? As long as you have a little frozen yogurt maker you’re golden. Otherwise I’d try stirring it every so often in the freezer and you’ll probably still get good results. [Read more…]

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream

I found a way to make something awesome EVEN BETTER.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream

I raved about the peanut butter, honey, & sea salt ice cream I made a few weeks ago. It is seriously the best. So naturally, peanut butter & jelly was the logical next step. Take sweet, peanut butter-y creamy goodness and cut strips of tangy strawberry jam through it, and you have the world’s best lunch update. [Read more…]

Roasted Apricot & Honey Ice Cream

I’m on an ice cream kick. I’ve tried like four different recipes in the past few weeks, all with this super easy coconut milk base. Because it’s been HAWT!

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream wiht Coconut Milk

I had seen several recipes for roasted plum ice cream, which I found super intriguing, but when I went to the store they were out of plums. And then these beautiful, firm apricots just jumped out at me.

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream

Apricot is such a strong flavor that I couldn’t think of a good spice complement (I’d planned to do cardamom with the plums), so I just kept it super simple—honey, vanilla, and a little bit of sea salt.

roasted apricot ice cream apricots

While it was a bit tart for my taste (I was trying to go easy on the honey but probably went a little TOO light), it was refreshing and delicious! [Read more…]

Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Veggies

Any time I’m home to visit my family, we’re always feeding a big crowd. Generally we stick with what we know—grilled burgers or chicken, taco salad or nachos, soup and chili, or something similar. But every so often my sisters and mom and I put our heads together and come up with something different.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Veggies

When I was home in July, we had one night where we were only going to have like 15 people—a considerably smaller crowd than our usual 25 or more. My sister and I decided we were really craving Thai food, so quickly had Mom poke through her cabinets to see if we had the makings for a Thai peanut sauce pasta. Since my mom’s cabinets are better stocked than most small grocery stores, we had almost everything we needed.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken and Veggies

Beyond the basics of the sauce recipe, we totally winged it (wung it??), adding all the delicious flash stir fried veggies we could find, chicken, and whole wheat noodles. This dish was meat, carbs, and veggies in one, so we knew we had to make enough to get the whole hungry horde through dinner.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken & Veggies done

And it was definitely a hit! There wasn’t even a spoonful left after supper, the pan was scraped clean. Combined with the moist strawberry shortcake I made for the big group, I think everyone was stuffed. [Read more…]

Peanut Butter & Honey Ice Cream with Sea Salt

Summer in Georgia. Crazy humidity. The smell of rain on concrete. Fireflies. And bare legs sticking to your leather couch.

In other words, folks, it’s been hot & humid up until the cool spell we had this week.

Peanut Butter & Honey Ice Cream with Sea Salt

The last thing I’ve wanted to do lately is turn on my oven, so to get my sweet fix I’ve had to turn to cool treats. I’ve never made anything but frozen yogurt in my frozen yogurt maker, but didn’t see any reason this wouldn’t work. And the peanut butter + honey + sea salt flavor combo is one I seriously can’t resist.

Peanut Butter & Honey Ice Cream w Sea Salt

This ice cream is amazing! The texture is super creamy, with the mild sweet honey and peanut butter blending perfectly, with just the hint of sea salt to cut it. I sat on my hot couch on a Saturday night in my pajamas and ate a giant bowl, then contemplated eating the rest…then reminded myself that then I would have eaten an entire can of coconut milk in one sitting. So I resisted, but it was touch-and-go there for a while! [Read more…]

Lime Curry Chicken

I’ll be honest—this recipe is a little outside my wheelhouse.  I wouldn’t have seen a pin labeled “lime curry chicken” and thought, “Oh man, I’ve gotta try this!”.  I’m a sucker for authentic Italian cuisine, Southern comfort adaptations, that kind of thing. My sister, on the other hand, gravitates toward flavors like curry, cilantro, lime, and the like, flavors with Asian or Mexican inspirations. It’s interesting how we can both have grown up eating the same food and diverged on very different flavor paths as adults.

So I was visiting her over the winter break and we whipped up this little recipe for dinner. The actual prep time didn’t take long at all, simply some grating and whisking together ingredients. But I would recommend letting the chicken marinate in the sauce for a half-hour or so before cooking, lets these flavors really soak in.

lime curry chicken finished closeup

This chicken was so flavorful and yet all of the flavors worked so well together. And it was so moist! It’s actually called “lime coconut chicken”, but to me you couldn’t taste the coconut milk flavor (which is totally okay in my book) and you COULD taste the curry. So I made an executive decision. We served with lime cilantro rice on the side, but it would be great with regular rice, noodles, or regular side dishes and bread.

lime curry chicken finished

The original recipe calls for it to be grilled (which was delicious), but I don’t have a grill and you’d be fine sauteing in a pan or even (if necessary) baking. I think saute is probably better than baking, but either would work. [Read more…]

Coconut Milk Smoothie (healthy, fat-burning breakfast)

I’ve definitely been on a smoothie kick lately, and trying combinations that are way outside of my normal smoothie-zone. This whole past week I’ve been trying an apple-cinnamon shake (recipe to come), and then today I tried a shake with raw eggs for the first time ever.

I know, raw eggs. Lots of people have an automatic “EWWW!” response to the thought of eating or drinking raw eggs. First thing—consuming raw eggs is not inherently dangerous. The only real danger is salmonella (also a danger from raw meat and various fruits and vegetables). By the most recent estimates, only maybe 1 in 30,000 eggs has salmonella, so those odds are fairly good in my book, but for children, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems it may be safer to stay clear. And eggs are incredibly healthy—they’re full of protein, vitamin B, and choline, and they provide lots of energy and repair your body at a cellular level. Nutritionists and scientists still argue about whether or not raw eggs are actually healthier than cooked, but they made a nice protein addition to the shake…better than weird, chemical-y protein powder, at least.

coconut egg smoothie finished

A lot of people are also worried about how the eggs will taste in the smoothie, but I didn’t taste them at all. The only really strong taste is from the coconut milk and coconut oil. While I’m not the biggest coconut fan, I didn’t mind it too much. The only real change I made to the original recipe was throwing in some chia seeds for some added omega-3s. [Read more…]

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