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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Lemon Shallot Chicken

I literally don’t know what to call this chicken.

lemon-shallot-chicken

Sure, it has lemon juice.  And chopped shallots.  And garlic.  And paprika.  And brown sugar.  And chopped rosemary.

lemon-shallot-chicken-rosemary

It’s…complex.

lemon-shallot-chicken-shallots-chopped

And ugly.  Sorry, this dish won’t photograph well no matter how hard I try.  But it is really easy, unique, flavorful, and makes great leftovers.  So despite its ugly appearance, that’s a win in my book. [Read more…]

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

I think I’ve found my new favorite cupcake recipe.  These are as close to a perfect texture and taste as any cake or cupcake I’ve ever made.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting done

Someone described them as “bomb-ass”, and I’m not going to argue with them.  I mean, it would be rude.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

We wanted to do a special girls’ night for Casey’s birthday a few weeks ago, and I heard through the grapevine that she was obsessed with some Publix lemon raspberry cake, so the flavor palette for her cake was easy enough.  I was super excited, because usually people want chocolate or something super sweet, so the chance to make a fruity dessert was one I wouldn’t pass up.

lemon cupcakes with raspberry frosting lemons

And it’s a good thing these were basically perfect, because they were pretty much the only thing that went right that evening.  The restaurant ended up being a nightmare (45 minutes to order, hour and a half for food to come, took two hours to get a second drink order in), so by the time we left our numbers had dwindled by half and it was already quite late.  Thankfully, three of us persevered and went to our friend’s Midtown high rise for wine and cupcakes and a great rooftop view.

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting finished

Right call.  The cupcakes are the most insanely moist, dense crumb you can imagine, packed with super tart lemony flavor that never tips over the line into that weird cloying fake lemon flavor that I hate.  Even without the icing they’re perfection.  But the icing is a work of art itself.  Fluffy buttercream taken to the next level with raspberry jam adding some fruity goodness and tanginess to the frosting’s sugar overload.

In other words, you should make these TODAY. [Read more…]

Peach Rhubarb Pie

Some people go crazy trying to manufacture unleavened desserts during the Days of Unleavened Bread, but generally I gravitate (must like for gluten-free things) towards naturally unleavened recipes.  Pie is one of those glorious things.

Peach Rhubarb Pie

I went home for Passover, the Night to Be Much Observed, and the first Day of Unleavened Bread this year, as has become my custom.  It was…kind of crazy, with lots of people in and out of the house, four kids four and under to keep track of a lot of the time (one of them teething mightily), and hordes of people to be fed seemingly every night.

wheat sunset

Kansas this time of year is really a crapshoot weather-wise, and for the most part I really lucked out.  We had two beautiful days, then one insanely windy day (which isn’t unusual).

sunset

Three gorgeous sunsets.

pasture creek full

Actual water in the creek (it’s been bone-dry the past few years).  Overall, the weather was very kind to me.

peach rhubarb pie rhubarb raw

For the Night to Be Much Observed (or Remembered, which is the same night as the Jewish Seder), we needed to come up with a recipe to feed a lot of people and complement the chocolate toffee matzo that someone else was bringing.  Extra points if the babies could all eat it (which meant everything had to be organic, non-GMO, and with very little sugar.  After some discussion, I settled on peach rhubarb pie.  My mom had strawberries and that was an option, but I felt like the combo of peaches and rhubarbs was a little unique, so couldn’t resist.

A few notes on this recipe—this is a VERY forgiving recipe, in terms of quantities, length of time, etc.  That makes it a little challenging to give exact amounts or baking time (which will also very much depend on the crust you use).  Plus, you’ll want to adjust some of the ingredients to your own personal taste (specifically the sugar; this was a bit tart for my personal taste, but was kept that way for the babies). [Read more…]

Roasted Carrots & Fingerling Potatoes with Turmeric

Guys, I have been in a side dish rut.  That’s a real thing.

Roasted Carrots & Potatoes with Turmeric

Side dishes seem like So. Much. Work.  I mean, I’ve already made a main dish and maybe a bread, and maybe a dessert.  And now you want me to make something else entirely to go beside it??  Basically I always get overwhelmed and then make basic roasted veggies or shredded brussels sprouts and call it a day.

Roasted Carrots & Potatoes with Turmeric closeup

It has—rather embarrassingly—been over two years since I posted a true side dish on the site, excepting the kale and quinoa pilaf from a couple months ago.  So I’m excited to bring this somewhat odd but delightful and super healthy side to you.  I’d wanted to try it for a while but…well, I really haven’t been cooking much besides nachos.  This was also my first time using turmeric, a spice used for millennia to combat inflammation and a variety of issues.  And these veggies are crazy fast and easy, so as long as your oven is free it doesn’t add any stress or logistics to dinner at all. [Read more…]

Healthy Lemon Almond Chicken Salad

So, I had this post all written and ready to publish, then it mysteriously disappeared. Like, hit save and *poof*—everything was gone. So you’ll have to take my word that it was probably the most interesting, witty piece of food writing known to man.

Healthy Lemon Almond Chicken Salad

Or probably not. Guys, my brain is totally fried. Looooong hours, too much on my plate, getting ready for travel, not sleeping well. I know from experience that the way I’m living right now is a no-fail recipe for gaining weight (I have last fall to prove it). I’ve had absolutely no time or energy to cook, but I knew that if I didn’t make something I’d end up having a Farm Burger #4 chicken burger every day for lunch. Which…hello, 15 pounds.

Healthy Lemon Almond Chicken Salad done

So this caught my eye a few weeks ago. I’m a sucker for chicken salad. All of it. All the kinds. But I tend to be lazy about making it, because it takes a number of ingredients and then I eat it so fast. Plus, it’s not always the healthiest.

lemon almond chicken salad green onions lemon

lemon almond chicken salad lemon zest

The ingredients for this chicken salad were super simple. And more importantly, healthy. I didn’t even cook my own chicken breasts. Just saute up cooked chicken with some spices, zest the lemon, slice the scallions, and you’re rockin’ and rollin’. It’s light and fresh and perfect for August in Georgia (and a healthy work lunch). [Read more…]

Fried Squash Blossoms

Not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of this one.

Fried Squash Blossoms

These little babies feel so fancy and seemed like they would be a ton of work. Surprisingly, though, they were really simple to throw together and were WELL worth the effort.

Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Fried squash blossoms and stuffed squash blossoms are one of my favorite Italian dishes—any time I see them on a restaurant menu, I have to order them. And unless you have a garden overflowing with squash and zucchini (I don’t), they’re nearly impossible to get your hands on fresh.

fried squash blossom fresh blossoms

So when I saw them at the farmer’s market last weekend, I pounced. I didn’t know how to prepare them or what I was doing, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to have my very own fancy blossoms. When I got home I looked a few recipes up on Pinterest to get a feel for ingredients, proportions, and how to prep them. The prepping part is easy, just a little exacting—you have to gently separate the flower petals and reach in to pull off the stamen. It’s not hard, but my chunky fingers kept tearing the delicate buds.

fried squash blossom fresh blossoms closeup

I went back and forth on whether to stuff them or not, and decided to split the difference. I had some leftover honey goat cheese, so I softened that, chiffonaded some fresh basil, and stirred that together with a splash of lemon juice and some sea salt. The stuffed ones were out of this world…a solid 10 on the flavor-meter. My only complaint on this recipe is that there was a lot of waste for one person (I stuffed myself, but could only eat so many and they’re not good leftover), so next time I make these will definitely be for a group! [Read more…]

Apple Pie German Pancake Bowls

German pancakes, where have you been all my life?!?!

Apple Pie German Pancake Bowls done

A few weeks ago, I realized on a Thursday that the next morning was my breakfast day. But, in addition to working long hours, my co-workers and I were going out for a department event, so it was going to be a late night. I racked my brain for something I could easily throw together the next morning, but that would be hearty and unhealthy enough for my (probably slightly hungover) co-workers. This recipe was perfect because it was pretty easy, and had a baking break in the middle where I could also throw the frittata into the oven.

apple pie german pancake bowls apples chopped

While I’d heard of Dutch babies (another name for German pancakes), I’d never made them and I’m not sure I’d even had them. But they are awesome! There’s no sugar in the actual batter (some recipes I’ve seen have a tiny bit), but you load them up with whatever awesome fillings you want. Because they have a lot of eggs in them and a lot less flour, they also stick with you longer.

apple pie german pancake bowls struesel topping2

These have a delightful homemade apple pie filling and then some streusel on top, and are entirely decadent (yet surprisingly not that bad for you). This has opened a whole world of German pancakes and Dutch babies to explore now that I can’t get them out of my mind. [Read more…]

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Breakfast Bars

Y’all, I have never once cooked with rhubarb before this recipe. In fact, I could probably count the number of times I’ve had rhubarb on, like, half a hand. Which is creepy when you think about it (half a hand, that is, not rhubarb).

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

There’s something about rhubarb that screams spring…maybe it has a really short seasonality or something? I’m definitely not a rhubarb expert. What I *do* know is that rhubarb is quiiiiiite tart, which is why it’s usually paired with very sweet fruits like strawberries, and takes a little extra sugar to make it edible.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars done

These bars look like a dessert (and they could be, with a few tweaks), but they’re really a healthy, fiber-ful, antioxidant-filled whole grain breakfast treat.

strawberry rhubarb crumb bars rhubarb chopped

The star of these is obviously the strawberries and rhubarb (which is like a girly-looking, super tart celery), but the crust and crumble topping has a lovely light sweetness to it, made hearty by the oats and whole wheat flour.

On a side note, I’ll bet the first person to bite into a rhubarb stalk expecting something either sweet or celery-like later seriously reconsidered their willingness to try new things. It is NOT good raw. I’m guessing it was entertaining to watch, though… [Read more…]

Dynamite Grilled Chicken

Last Sunday I just wanted something SIMPLE. I’d had a super long, exhausting week at work and even after resting up over the weekend I just found the prospect of cooking daunting.

Dynamite Chicken bite

I didn’t want to assemble 20 ingredients or spend an hour preparing different elements of a meal. I wanted quick and tasty and healthy. Also, I wanted ricotta, which is a weird craving but I went with it and threw together a delicious spinach, tomato, and ricotta frittata (bonus breakfast leftovers), then I added some more protein with this “dynamite” chicken.

Dynamite Chicken

Honestly, the main reason I made the chicken was so I’d have some leftovers for lunch, and also because I wanted to use my grill for the first time this spring. Aaaaand, that was a total fail because when I went out to grill the chicken like half an hour after turning on the grill, it was totally cold. I went to plan B (the stovetop), but still need to figure out what’s going on with my grill.

Oh well…it was worth it in the end, because the flavors on this chicken will knock your socks off. It’s really got some tangy bite, which was a nice complement to the more soothing, mellow frittata. Also, it was super easy, which is always a win in my book. [Read more…]

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