Aah for aaloo.. With a side of chicken

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So I thought I would make tandoori chicken with a side of Indian spiced potatoes.

Have you ever had a meal where the side overshadows the main dish?

Despite the fact that the tandoori chicken was as good as always, and MYT always loves my tandoori chicken, he couldn’t get enough of the potatoes.

And I have to agree, they were well cooked, well seasoned, and just so scrumptious.

With a good Indian puri or paratha, it would be a stellar main dish, easy simple and good to eat 🙂

After two strikes, I finally swing it out of the park…

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Today was the first full day that both MTT and I had off from work and I was very much looking forward to a lazy day just enjoying each others’ company…and…in my head this includes three awesome meals that I would make and lots of excitement on the part of MTT.

There were more than a few wrinkles in this plan…

First, my creativity interfered with breakfast. I decided to make eggs over easy served on toast with melted cheddar. That alone would have been fine. But somehow my head thought “I have guacamole in the fridge, MTT loves guacamole, maybe I can spread some on one of the pieces of toast and that will elevate the meal. Big mistake. Huge. I learned from MTT that guacamole is not a spread, and the idea was just a little weird.

Strike one.

For lunch, I thought, ok, play it safe. He loves chicken Caesar salad, so just make a wrap. Except my chicken was very cold from the fridge so I warmed it in the microwave. Apparently, that made for a wilted salad and the combo of warm chicken and cold Caesar dressing turned MTT‘s stomach so much that he couldn’t really eat his meal and was too turned off to let me make him something else.

Strike two.

Add to that a little funk in MTT‘s mood due to a chronic issue in our relationship that we usually just ignore but occasionally cannot…this day is just not going the way I envisioned.

My one last chance to do one thing right on this day was dinner. I think, Mexican. It’s the one thing that MTT will always like.

So I make fajita style chicken and veggies (that I had been marinating since noon) served with flavored rice, with many condiments, MTT loves condiments. Salsa verde, pico de gallo, sour cream.

At least dinner was a hit.

I even did dishes to try to score some brownie points. I don’t think I got brownie points but at least I tried.

And I made vanilla milkshakes for dessert from Edy’s slow churned ice cream and skim milk…delicious for a “diet dessert”

Since the day ended with a slight improvement, I hold out hope that tomorrow will be better. 🙂

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home

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MTT loves loves loves chicken tikka masala. So of course for Valentine‘s Day I try my hand at a homemade, slightly healthier version. I couldn’t bring myself to use heavy cream. I just couldn’t. I love MTT too much to give him heart disease. So, I used skim milk and yogurt. The result was a very good approximation to restaurant quality CTM…just a little less sweet and a little more tangy. Also, I added a tossed salad of romaine and baby spinach with low fat goat cheese, walnuts and cranberries with balsamic vinegrette. The dinner was a delight…just like MTT

See one… Do one…

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There is a saying in the field of medicine… “See one, do one, teach one…”

Last week in clinic, one of my co-residents brought a chicken drumstick for lunch. The comedy was in the fact she left the bone in the Tupperware on our conference table all afternoon. And no one else moved it until someone came in to take photos for our hospital’s website… My friend promptly exclaimed “Move the chicken bone!”

Even with that, I sat by a fragrant chicken bone for the better part of the afternoon and since then I’d been craving chicken drumsticks …

I finally caved in and made them myself at home. “See one…do one” 🙂

With a side of onion rings for MTT as seen in the photograph 🙂

Who knows who will inspire the next meal…or who will be inspired by my chicken leg!

Inspired by WordPress…Slow Cooked Honey Sesame Chicken

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On one of the blogs I follow, I came across this recipe….it instantly caught my eye because I love Chinese food and I love my sow cooker.

I decided to try my hand at it today…with some modifications to allow for the ingredients I had on hand. I also liked the idea of something sweet and spicy so about an hour into the cook time I added brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. I may have overdone it a little bit on the brown sugar but the result was pretty delightful.

I felt a little guilty making this because MTT isn’t a huge fan of Chinese food but he managed to eat enough of it to fill his belly 🙂 Also, I told myself if I make this today, I will make one of his favorites, enchiladas, tomorrow 😉

The Colonel Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me

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After an epic fail this afternoon with cheese balls, (Dill Overdone), we needed a sure-fire win for dinner.

Boneless chicken thighs are always a hit…that, coupled with a little spicy yogurt marinade, followed by a drench in breadcrumbs, can only lead to sheer magic in my oven.

Granted, this concoction isn’t as crunchy as fried chicken. But, it is a whole lot healthier. And the fact that the chicken has a little kick to it more than makes up for the fact that it isn’t fried.

I served this to MTT with sour cream smashed potatoes. His only request was next time to have some gravy also.

All-in-all, I’m very satisfied with how this meal turned out.

My next dilemma is what to do with 2 small leftover pieces…I will attempt to repurpose them…much like a recent episode of “chopped” where all the box ingredients are leftovers 🙂

Dinner by MTT

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I was on call on Friday, and scheduled to get home late. Usually on days like that, we order in or eat leftovers. Imagine my surprise when I text MTT to tell him I will be coming home soon and he replies “ok I’m cooking”. In my head I think this means he is reheating the porkchops and stuffing I had pre-prepared or he was making a phone call for delivery.

However, when I walk up the stairs to our apartment, I can smell something fragrant from the hallway that instantly tells me that porkchops are not for dinner.

I walk in and there is indeed reheated stuffing, but also something cooking on the stove.

MTT will not tell me how he made the orange sauce for the chicken, or what flavor profile he was going for. The result was a semi-Indian flavored chicken curry that I can only call “Chicken Tikka Light”….similar flavors, less creamy/heavy, and just a little bit different in a way you can’t put your finger on.

The other thing I can’t put my finger on is how he made it. MTT is not known for his cooking skills, and his forays into the kitchen are few and far between. And although he claims anything I would make is better than what he would make, the fact that he tries, that he goes into the kitchen to cook for us at all, warms my heart. And sometimes burns it too. Can we say heartburn? 🙂

And…I am back. New year new recipes!

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It has been a while!

But, it’s a new year, and now we are 3 months away from the wedding.

Time for new, healthy recipes!

For Christmas, MTT bought me a KitchenAid stand mixer! Now, this is something I’ve wanted for a looong time. I mean, I have even previously wanted to get married just to register just to get a stand mixer.

So, I decided for a light, Saturday lunch, why not Chicken Souvlaki pitas with home-made, fat-free tzatziki that used my stand mixer??

I warmed up pitas in the oven while I grilled chicken breast tenderloins marinated in some red wine vinegar, Mediterranean spices and lemon juice. Meanwhile, I made a tomato-olive-feta-onion salad. The tzatziki was made by using the whip attachment on my stand mixer to mix up diced cucumber, fat free Greek yogurt, dill, oregano and garlic.

I served a warm pita dressed with tzatziki and the tomato salad, topped with grilled chicken.

This meal was a little prep-heavy…but the joy of using my new stand mixer made it all worth while…that, and the response when I served MTT. He loves tzatziki so much that I was nervous to make a healthy version for fear it would not live up to the condiment he so fondly and often craves…luckily he enjoyed it!

He enjoyed it so much, that he said he’d even eat it on a Tuesday without the chicken ( I don’t cook or eat meat on Tuesday for religious reasons). Coming from my carnivorous MTT, that is truly praise!

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Rainy Day BBQ

Fall is my favorite season…warm but not hot, nice breezes, beautiful foliage…and, in my opinion, the best time to BBQ.

We had planned for a fun, Friday BBQ and had bought so much to prepare. Of course, charcoal, lighter fluid, matches etc. And the fun foods: burgers (beef for the guests, and some ground lamb for me to make lamb burgers for myself and the more adventurous guests), hot dogs, chicken drumsticks, corn on the cob….

I was so excited.

And then, it rained. Not a light drizzle, or a transient rainfall, but a torrential downpour. So we moved the BBQ to our apartment. Our small, cozy, barely tidy apartment. It was the first time we had guests.

I didn’t take pictures, as we were entertaining…but it is good to know a few things.

First, we actually can have people over to our small apartment and it’s not a total disaster.

Second, you can create a pretty good approximation of a BBQ in the kitchen.

I baked then broiled BBQ chicken drumsticks, I broiled hot dogs and buns, and I made my burgers on a scalding hot frying pan.

The results were amazing…and the upside was I could also make fresh baked coconut cup cakes while everyone was digesting dinner.

And, most importantly, we still got together with our friends.

My Try at American Classics

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I love going to the grocery store. Partly because it is the one store where I am fortunate enough to have the power to buy anything I want, no matter how frivolous or exotic. 7 dollar bottle of organic jam? Silly, sure, when I could probably get away with a 3 dollar bottle of Smucker’s. But, even if I wanted to be extravagant, I can buy that 7 dollar bottle of jam. This adds a certain enjoyment to strolling up and down the aisles of the store, looking at all the different products, knowing that if I really wanted to, I could buy any one of them.

The grocery store is probably the only store that I can pull this off in. I can’t walk into Macy’s and say, oh yeah I can buy any purse here.

So the other day, when I was in the grocery store, I saw a Leek Soup Mix. Now, I have never bought leek soup. I’m not even sure what a leek looks like. But I decided, for 2 dollars, that I would try it.

I came home and had the idea to make the soup and use it instead of cream of mushroom (which, actually, I really don’t like) for an attempt at green bean casserole. I use the term loosely because I don’t think the product was a casserole so much as green beans with a leek soup reduction for a sauce.

And I paired it with oven fried chicken drumsticks, which were so yummy. I don’t often cook drumsticks so every time I do I am always surprised by how good they taste.

My verdict: leek soup is actually quite good as a sauce. But Pyrex containers used in the oven for this little experiment are very hard to clean.