Category Archives: Recipes

{Recipe} Chicken Curry in a Hurry

I’d never made chicken curry before…I’m actually not sure if I’d even ever had it before, but I was feeling like we were in a food rut and I wanted to try something new. I was flipping through some old Real Simple magazines and found this recipe. It’s super good and wanted to share.

I’ve made it twice now and of course, I’ve altered the recipe, just a bit, to better fit our style so I wanted to share our version as well. All the ingredients and their amounts are the same.

The first time I used leftover roasted chicken and prepared it just like the recipe called for. The other night when I made it, I didn’t have any leftover chicken, so I actually cubed and cooked it right along with the onion from the very beginning and then sprinkled the curry powder right over all of it. Then continued to prepare as directed.

For the onions, I actually chopped them instead of slicing and leaving in rings. I like them to be more bite-size and hidden, you know? I haven’t used the tomatoes either time I’ve made it. Right before I was ready to dish it up, I stirred the chopped cilantro right into the chicken…I like the cilantro more evenly mixed throughout the dish. And lastly, I served it with jasmine rice instead of just plain white rice. One thing I did find was that I liked to add a little bit more salt and pepper as well.

Bonus: Andy even likes it!

Double Bonus: It makes a great weeknight dinner since it’s really fast!


And, just for fun I’m linking up with Mallorie and her “What’s for Dinner” series!

{Recipe} Garden Spaghetti Sauce

I posted this photo a few days ago and I received a few requests to share the recipe.

I found the original recipe online 3 or 4 years ago…the summer of my very first garden harvest. You see, Andy’s best friend (who loves tomatoes) simply didn’t think the 3 tomato plants I planted would be enough for sharing, so he showed up at our house with 6 {SIX!} more tomato plants. 9 total. Come around September, that’s a whole lotta tomatoes, friends. He had taken all that he wanted and I was still left with more tomatoes than I knew what to do with. I quickly did a mad search online for “spaghetti sauce from scratch” {or something like that, I’m sure}. I found one. And over the years I’ve tweaked it.

The great thing about this recipe? It’s easy to mix-and-match the ingredients to make it just right for you. Don’t like that much garlic? Leave some out! Want to add in a little extra garden flare? Toss in some chopped mushrooms and zucchini! Think some banana peppers would spice it up nicely? Feel free to add them in!

Another, equally awesome thing? You can either hot-water bath can the sauce, or freeze it! Easy.

So, here you go.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Cups green bell peppers, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 16 cups tomatoes, cored and peeled ***see step one***
  • 3 12 oz. cans of tomato paste {or 6 6oz cans if you’re like me and it’s cheaper to buy them that way.}
  • 3 Tbl brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl dried oregano
  • 4 tsp Canning salt
  • 2 Tbl fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbl Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Step 1: Get your tomatoes ready. I have found the easiest way to peel them is this: wash and core them. Bring a shallow pot of water to boil. Using a slotted spoon, place a few tomatoes at a time in the boiling water. After 30-60 seconds, remove the tomatoes and set onto a dish or cutting board w/ a trough. Allow a few minutes to cool, then peel the skin off. Repeat with all the tomatoes. {your tomatoes will break down over the cooking process, but if you think they may be too big, you can cut them in halves or quarters after you’ve peeled them}
Step 2: Add all ingredients to a large stock pot.
Step 3: Bring to a boil, stirring often. Then reducing to simmer. Let simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 4 A: If freezing, let cool then ladle into freezer bags, or food save.
Step 4 B: If canning, get your canning pot ready (about 1/2 way through the simmering process, more or less depending on how long it normally takes your pot to come to a boil). Get your 6 quart jars, lids and rings ready. Ladle sauce into jars, leaving 1/2″ head room. Wipe rim and place lids/rings on. Process in hot-water bath for 35 minutes. Remove from water and let set until cool.
Viola! Garden fresh spaghetti sauce all year round!

{Recipe} Tandoori Chicken with Mango Salsa

Friends, yesterday left me defeated. Mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. I had this whole big woe-is-me post written in my head, then realized… nobody probably gives a crap. So, instead, I decided…hell yea! It’s Friday. And pay day. And I have a pedicure with a girlfriend calling my name at 5:30 tonight, followed by a high school football game with my little family. Screw yesterday.

Remember earlier in the week I told y’all about the awesome dinner I cooked on Sunday night? I promised I’d share the recipe, so here we are!

I remember the first time I had this…it was at my sister’s house, probably  8 years ago. That was before I was really “adventurous” when it came to trying new food. I was skeptical, at best. But, my sister assured me I would love it so I took a piece of chicken, and a tiny little scoop of the mango salsa. Before I knew it, I was back in the kitchen for another helping of the salsa. Yumm doesn’t begin to describe it! She copied down the recipe for me and I’ve been making it ever since.

People…I don’t think you understand just how good this recipe is…while Andy & I were engaged, I made it for a BBQ that his best friend was also at. Upon trying it, his best friend turned to me and said “Can I marry you too?”. I now make it whenever his friend is in town…

Anyway…on to the recipe!

Please note…I am giving you the recipe as I make it, not in the original form. When I make it, I pretty much make a marinade more so than a paste. (It’s WAY better this way…trust)

Ingredients for the Tandori Spice:

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 Serrano Chiles (seeds make it spicier!)
  • 1 quart  plain yogurt
  • Juice from 1 whole lime
  • 2 Tbl peeled, grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 Tbl ground coriander
  • 3 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Tbl ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients. Make 3 cuts, about 1/4″ deep in the chicken. Place in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or over night. Grill on medium heat, for 25-30 minutes, turning once. Serve with mango salsa.
Ingredients for Mango Salsa:
  • 4 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 small red onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 – 1 serrano chile, minced
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • pinch of sugar
Combine all ingredients. Mix. Serve with the chicken.

If you make it, I’d love to know! And if you have any questions at all about it, feel free to track me down and ask away!


Recipe: Cheesy Stuffed Eggplant {AKA: We’re Having WHAT for Dinner?}

Since nearly every night directly after dinner for the last month or soAndy has been heading down to the rental for the renovations, dinners have had to be quick and easy. I feel like we’ve slumped into an all too easy food rut lately. 
So, this weekend while planning this week’s dinners and making my grocery list, I started thumbing through some of the cookbooks I rarely use an came across this gem. I knew Andy had eaten (and liked) eggplant parmesan before but that he would be skeptical of this…so I opted NOT to tell him about it.  When I started pulling ingredients out of the fridge he looked at everything and said “and WHAT exactly are we having for dinner?” 
I got the original recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s 30-Minute Suppers, Winter 2010 then made some of my own additions/adjustments. {I seriously love, LOVE ATK!}

4 small eggplants, stem ends trimmed (small = about 6″ in length)
1 pound ground italian sausage
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbl tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
3 Tbl chopped fresh basil
1 Cup shredded italian style cheese
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbl Olive oil
1/3 C Panko bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 475 degrees, adjusting your oven rack to the upper-middle position. Slice off the top third of each eggplant lengthwise and set aside. Scoop out the insides of each eggplant, leaving a 1/2-inch layer of flesh all the way around. Arrange the eggplants, cut side down, in a baking dish. cover with plastic wrap and microwave until eggplant is completely tender, 6 to 10 minutes (mine was 7 1/2 minutes), removing plastic halfway through. While the eggplant is in the microwave, chop up the remaining eggplant you had previously set aside. {Using all the chopped eggplant makes A LOT, so I would recommend only using 1/2 of it}

Cook the sausage until no longer pink. Add the onion and chopped eggplant and cook until soft…5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook until mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and most of the cheeses.

Spoon the mixture into your eggplant shells. In a separate bowl, combine Panko, olive oil and remaining cheese. Top stuffed eggplants with panko/cheese mix. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.


The verdict: I thought it was really, really good! By the end of it though I found myself eating just the guts and leaving about 1/4 of the eggplant itself. Andy? Well, he like the guts but was not a fan of the eggplant. He said the flavor was good, but it was a texture thing for him. So he literally just ate the stuffing part.

The original recipe was meant to be vegetarian and I’m sure it would be great by following the recipe as well.

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Lasagna

Since Andy has been working NONSTOP down at the rental to get it ready for our new tenants (T-minus 5 days, folks) I knew I needed to have really fast, really easy dinners this week. But I also didn’t want them to all be hotdogs.

My slow-cooker and I kind of have a hate-hate relationship. I’m convinced it actually cooks on sterroids because anytime I cook something on “low” heat it’s done if HALF the time the recipe says it will. HALF…that totally throws off the entire concept of a “turn it on before you leave to work then have dinner ready when you get home” slow cooker.

However, since Andy was going to be home with Rylee for the day, I thought this would be a pretty safe, non-hotdog recipe to try.

Although I will admit… I was very skeptical.

I found the recipe on my go-to easy recipe website, the trusty old Kraft Foods. Instead of my typing it all out or trying to mess with the formatting of copy & paste, you can find the recipe HERE.

I did alter a few things in the recipe…for example: I used a spicy italian sausage instead of ground beef, I used part skim ricotta cheese and I used fresh basil instead of parsley.

I was able to get most of this prepped the night before so that I could throw it together Monday morning and put it back in the fridge for Andy to turn on later that day. I had Andy put it in at 2  PM because according to the recipe it only takes 4 hrs to cook and I figured w/ my track record I’d better skim off an hour or so.

Here’s the quick run-down…

The goods…

About this time I’m thinking “Really? This is supposed to work?”

All assembled.

The after-math. Yes, it was so good that 2 of us ate almost half of it. 
Judge away folks…

So there you have it! Easy. And it was ready when I got home from work…all I had to do was melt some more cheese on top.

And also? Please make a note that this is NOT mexican food!