Kickin’ Chicken Pasta

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This pasta really is the total package: Hearty, spicy, full of cheese, and bursting with carbs! All the qualities I look for in a friend.

That made no sense.

Anyway, you really will love this pasta, as you get a bunch of spicy deliciousness without a whole lot of effort. Actually all the kick from this dish comes from the blackening seasoning that you’ll use on the chicken.

Full disclaimer: this isn’t the best pre-bikini recipe so make this on your “cheat day”. ‘There’s nothing good about it, except for how good it is. It’s evil, ridiculous, and an affront to good sense…but look at the bright side: I did you a favor in lightening up a bit by adding half & half. If you’re feeling extra decadent use 3 cups of heavy cream and omit the half & half — up to you! You could probably add a few more veggies such as asparagus or frozen peas, or even a sprinkle of parsley, but this recipe can stand on its own.

Here’s how to make it:


  • Four chicken breasts, slightly pounded (I prefer organic and air chilled) $9.00
  • 1/4 C Blackening spice ($1.00)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.10)
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic ($.10)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine ($.75)
  • 2 cups heavy cream ($2.00)
  • 1 cup half and half ($.75)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes ($1.50)
  • 1 pound fettuccine ($2.00)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan ($1.50)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion, for garnish ($.25)

Total: $18.95


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat cast iron skillet over high heat Dredge the chicken breasts in the Blackening Spice Rub. Place in the cast-iron skillet. Blacken both sides of the chicken, 3 min per side
  3. Transfer the cast iron skillet to oven and bake 10 minutes
  4. While chicken bakes, In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and lightly brown it, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the wine. Pour in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half.
  5. Remove chicken from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. After cooling, slice it on the bias
  6. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken slices.
  7. Cook the fettuccine al dente, about 10 minutes or until al dente, Drain.
  8. When the cream sauce is at the desired consistency, stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the sea salt, pepper and pasta.
  9. Fold in pasta and garnish with extra cheese and sliced green onions

Baked Buffalo Wings


Well, first off let me say that I’m deeply sorry for my month-long hiatus. In case you’re wondering why I fell off the face of the earth, my own little world has been completely turned upside down. Between traveling to the Far East (work, not pleasure), a quick, unexpected move, and taking on another job– lets just say I’ve been a bit preoccupied. Things are starting to reach some level of normalcy, so I’m back in the kitchen and ready to cook. I even have a new and improved kitchen!  Photo below…please excuse the mess. We are still unpacking.


So, in honor of football season and stress eating, I thought I’d try my hand at buffalo wings tonight. I am a very picky wing eater. I think ever since I discovered that most restaurants use frozen, year-old chicken wings packed with hormones and other unnatural substances I’ve been a bit turned off by this classic American fare. Not to be a wing snob, but they need to be fresh, light(ish) and free of fat and chemicals for me to enjoy them.

Ok, I will make an exception. I’m probably one of five girls that actually enjoys going to Hooters. Not for the hooters themselves, but for the wings. I highly doubt that Hooters uses farm fresh organic chicken wings, but I’m willing to make an exception.

Funny story- when I was in Japan last month (home of the world’s most Michelin Star restaurants), I was DYING for buffalo wings. I know that sounds crazy, but come talk to me after eating sushi for a week straight. If you’re ever in Tokyo, you have to check out the Hooters in Ginza. Not only was I the only female in the restaurant, but the food is actually better than what we get stateside and the waitresses are hilarious. They totally play in to the stereotypes and I love it. Not to go off on a tangent, but I think anyone that sees Hooters as being “degrading to women” should take a flying leap. It’s a business. It’s successful. And oh by the way, nobody is FORCED to work there. Most importantly their wings and curly fries rock.

The next best thing to Hooters is to make wings yourself. Tonight I wasn’t in the mood for deep-fried anything, so I decided to bake these suckers. The trick is to coat them in plenty of flour and spice to ensure a nice crisp texture. The result? Fantastic.


  • 10 Chicken pieces (drumsticks and wings) ($5.00)
  • 3/4 C flour ($.50)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter ($.25)
  • 1/2 c hot sauce (I use Texas Pete) ($.50)

Total: $6.35


Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Combine flour, cayenne, garlic powder and salt. Rinse and pat dry chicken wings. In large bag, shake and coat wings with flour mixture. Place wings in refrigerator (on cookie sheet) for 45 minutes.

Whisk 1/4 c melted butter and 1/4 c hot sauce. Dredge chilled wings in buffalo sauce then bake for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Combine leftover (melted) butter and hot sauce. Once wings are done, drizzle more hot sauce on them. Serve with celery stick and ranch or bleu cheese dressing.

So anyway,

Tebasaki Chicken Wings


I travel to Japan quite frequently for work and am fortunate enough to enjoy the some of the most amazing food on earth. Sushi, tempura, Kobe beef, you name it. While my travels normally take me to Tokyo, last year I had business trip in Nagoya, which is in central Japan. You can find most typical Japanese dishes in every city, but there are some delicacies that can only be found in certain regions of Japan.

My first Japan trip was actually to Nagoya a little over a year ago. It took about 16 hours to get there and I think I landed around 10 pm. By the time I made it through customs, took a taxi to the hotel and checked in it was almost midnight. And I was STARVING. I set out to find anything that was open and wound up in a quaint little restaurant with servers and chefs that didn’t speak a lick of English and menus written completely in Japanese. With no pictures!

The server luckily knew two words- “Ramen” and “Pork”. At this point I would’ve eaten the menu so I nodded and muttered “Hai”, which is Japanese for yes.

I was expecting a bowl of noodles in some sort of broth and maybe a piece of bacon or a pork chop? Well I got the first one—a bowl of noodles. But do you know what the pork dish was? A PIG’S BRAIN! WHY would I want to eat the brain of a pig! They aren’t even smart! I felt bad, so I cut it up and moved it around on my plate so it looked like I at least tried it. I’ll tell you one thing—the sight of that meal cured my hunger.

So anyway, I was very hesitant to break out and try anything crazy after that experience. I ended up speaking with the concierge and telling him about my run in with the brain. He laughed, and said the chefs were probably trying to play a joke on me. He told me if there’s one thing I should try in Nagoya it’s Tebasaki chicken wings. Chicken wings sounded safe to me so I was on my way to the nearest place that served them- Yamachan.

Yamachan is actually a chain with most branches in Nagoya, 34 to be exact. Based on my three visits to this joint, it’s a quite popular post-work hangout for Japanese businessmen. They serve cold, cheap Kirin or Asahi beer and wings by the dozen. You can’t miss the logo- it’s a cartoonish looking man dressed in a bird suit with a peace sign.

I actually just got back from Tokyo two days ago and I found a Yamachan! There is only one in Tokyo and it’s smaller than a closet, with standing room only. The atmosphere wasn’t as nice as the Nagoya branches, but it reminded me how much I love these wings. As an added bonus, they even provide you with a 5-step eating guide.

Yes that is Zima on the menu
Yes that is Zima on the menu

I’ll always have my allegiance to the buffalo variation, but these are really REALLY good. Totally different texture than your standard wing (they’re double fried), and the seasoning is unique and tasty. Thanks to a spoonful of pepper and a pinch of sugar, they have a perfect balance of spicy and sweet. Next time I will try a baked variation, but if this is your first time trying these wings—you gotta fry them.


  • 1 lb chicken wings ($4.00)
  • ¼ C flour ($.10)
  • 2 tbs soy sauce ($.20)
  • 1 tbs sugar ($.10)
  • 1 tsp Japanese sake ($.50)
  • 2 tbs Mirin ($.50) – you can find this in the Asian section of most supermarkets
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($.05)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbs white sesame seeds ($.40)

Total: $5.85


Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Dredge in flour. Heat oil in cast iron or regular skillet on medium-high. Fry wings for 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Mix soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Turn skillet to high and fry wings another 5 minutes. While chicken is cooking, microwave glaze for 1 minute.

Drain chicken on paper towels and brush sauce. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper along with sesame seeds.

Serve hot.

Dating and Food

katie cooking

I’ve seen it all. My friends always joke that I need to start a journal of all the interesting males I’ve encountered during my 11-year dating career. I wish that I started one years ago because I tend to press the delete button on anything that causes me grief. It’s a shame because I’m sure there are a lot of funny stories and writing material that I’ve put in a mental vault. It’s been a series of ups and downs, laughs and strange moments, and most importantly- lessons learned. You might be wondering why I’m talking about failed relationships on a food blog. It sounds funny, but I can very vividly associate food with certain phases in my dating history.

The Disappearing Man

DC is quite possibly the worst city on earth for dating. You see, it tends to be a transient city and when people are here they are usually focused on one thing—getting ahead. You have the stereotypical Hill staffer, The Georgetown frat boy, or the “I’m too busy” type TRIPLE A attorney. Oh and then sometimes you have a wildcard (don’t get me started on that one). I’ve given them all a chance. Success rate? Zero.

So the first recipe I’d like to share is called the Kiss of Death a’la Shrimp Scampi. This recipe alone has caused three DC men to vanish into thin air. The main ingredient is cyanide. Just kidding. In all honesty though, I am the toughest critic of my own recipes and I consider this one to be excellent. It’s the kind of dish that I make for company or when I want to impress someone.  So how could it be that it caused three gents to run away and never speak to me again? Who knows, maybe I had parsley in my teeth. I promise you this recipe is amazing. Just maybe think twice before making it for that special someone.


  • 1 lb linguini ($1.50)
  • 4 tbs butter ($.50)
  • 4 tbs olive oil ($.20)
  • 2 shallots, minced ($.50)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($.25)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined ($7.00)
  • Juice of 1 lemon ($1.00)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 C dry white wine ($2.00)
  • 1/4 C chopped parsley ($.25)

Total: $13.20


Bring water to boil and cook linguini. While pasta is cooking, melt 2 tbs of butter and 2 tbs olive oil. Cook shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper-seasoned shrimp and cook until pink. Remove from pan and set aside. Add wine, lemon juice and tbs butter and tbs olive oil. Bring to a boil then simmer 2 minutes. Add shrimp and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in cooked linguini then serve, with grated parmesan if desired.

Cheese Therapy

Rejection. We’ve all been there and it sucks. Everyone handles it differently and clings to different coping mechanisms- exercising, talking WAY too much about it, sleeping, drinking, and not eating. Well for me, it’s cooking an excess amount of food. For myself. I don’t necessarily cook anything in particular when I have the blues, but I can remember the time I made two trays of Mac and Cheese from scratch for little ‘ol me. I didn’t eat it in one sitting but over the course of seven days. And after those seven days guess what? I was over it! The guy that is. This is comfort food at its finest, ladies.


  • 8 oz box macaroni ($1.50)
  • 4 tbs butter ($.50)
  • 4 tbs flour ($.05)
  • 1 C milk ($1.00)
  • 1 C cream ($1.00)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 C cheddar cheese, shredded ($3.00)
  • 1/2 C breadcrumbs, buttered ($1.00)

Total: $8.05


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook and drain macaroni ; set aside. In a large saucepan melt butter. Add flour mixed with salt and pepper, whisk until well blended. Pour milk and cream in gradually, stirring constantly. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly). Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) for 8 minutes. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake 18 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Silent Salad

So one time I offered to make dinner for my 3-week boyfriend before we went out to see Jersey Boys in DC. Now, typically when you go to shows you dress up a little. At least that’s what I always thought. I actually really liked this boy so I broke out one of my go-to date dresses and I even made the extra effort to get my hair blown out. Now when this fellow knocks on my door I look in the peep hole and couldn’t believe my left eye. I really wish I had a picture, but let me just give you a mental image: slicked back hair, Wrangler jeans and white sneakers. Now here’s the worst part:  a black MOCK NECK, Long-sleeved, moisture wicking Underarmor turtleneck! Like the kind of shirt football players wear under their jerseys. WTF? Are we like going on a run?

So anyway, I made one of my favorites: Caribbean Cobb Salad but as we sat at the dinner table I didn’t know what to do. Instead of being a nice person and letting the wardrobe choice slide, I said something like “you have something to change into right?” And then I took it a step further and asked if he got dressed in the dark. Apparently this really offended him. Not one word was uttered during the rest of the meal and maybe three or four the rest of the night. Needless to say we did not continue our relationship. Sigh.


  • 2 Chicken Breasts ($3.50)
  • 1 Tbs Jerk Chicken Seasoning ($.10)
  • 1 Head Bibb Lettuce, chopped ($2.00)
  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce, chopped ($2.00)
  • 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts ($1.00)
  • 1 Mango – Cut in chunks ($1.00)
  • 1 Avocado – Diced ($2.00)
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes ($2.00)
  • 1 Can Hearts of Palm – Cut into 1″ pieces ($1.50)
  • 3/4 Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles ($1.50)
  • Citrus Vinaigrette or Balsamic ($.40)

Total: $17.00


Grill chicken, combine all ingredients and serve.

Mexican Aficionados

This post would be incomplete without a throwback. My college boyfriend, who will undoubtedly read this, has an obsession with Mexican food. I will never forget our first date. He picked me up (didn’t come to door, just beeped the horn) and I opened the passenger car door in horror. The horn beep was one thing but his outfit crossed the line. Not to sound completely judgmental but I asked him what on EARTH he was wearing. The poor kid had on a teal horizontal striped polo (two sizes too small), brown and red plaid shorts and Nike sneakers. After two hours of primping, trying on every outfit I own and hoping to be whisked away by prince charming…let’s just say I was a bit let down. So anyway, he made a solid comeback by taking me to the BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT ON THE PLANET, Las Margaritas in Gainesville, FL. I really hope that place still exists.

Over the course of our 2.5-year …ok maybe 3-year relationship we visit Las Margs at least 50 times. Not joking. The place was putting a dent in our college student wallets, so we started cooking and making fajitas on the reg. He manned the beef, peppers and onions while I did all the rest. This of course included my all-time famous guacamole. As corny as it sounds, there’s not one time I pull out my molcajete and don’t think of him. Funny how you can associate avocados with a person huh? Back then I was dealing with the connoisseur of all things Mexican so I can assure this recipe has been tested and approved.


  • Two ripe avocados ($4.00)
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped ($.50)
  • 1/4 C chopped white onion ($.25)
  • 2 tbs chopped cilantro ($.10)
  • Juice of 1 lime ($.40)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder ($.03)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($.10)

Total: $5.38


Seed both avocados and remove the edible part, cut into chunks before scooping it out. Add all other ingredients, mix in molcajete or use a bowl and mash with the back of a fork to desired consistency.

Roasted Harissa Chicken


Chicken! Oh, chicken! You don’t get enough credit. I hate when people immediately put you in the boring and blasé bucket. I know, sometimes people cook you far too long and you end up tasting like mulch.  Sometimes people dredge you in flour and lard and fry you into oblivion. You are misunderstood and stereotyped as common food. Honestly though,  you’re far too humble and should really start asserting yourself. Instead, you wait. You wait for someone to realize your true potential and elevate you to the ranks of filet mignon and Chilean sea bass.

There is nothing better than a whole roasted chicken. I think a lot of people are afraid to roast an entire bird but it’s really quite simple. You can be as basic as salt, pepper and olive oil or you can go crazy and experiment to your heart’s content. Carving does require some skill, but there are several YouTube videos out there to help any rookies in the kitchen.

I’m a huge fan of spice and lately I’ve been digging Harissa. If you aren’t familiar, Harissa is a crushed red chile paste originating from Tunisia. It’s a popular condiment in North African countries like Morocco, Libya and Algeria. Until creating this dish, I’ve never had Harissa with anything other than pita bread and/or raw veggies, but now I’ve realized its full culinary potential. It’s quite spicy, so if you are heat averse just use a little less or shop for a mild harissa paste.

This is a perfect candidate for a “one pan meal”. During the last 40 minutes of cooking, I threw in some diced new potatoes, a quartered fennel bulb and a couple sliced garlic cloves, all seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Yeah, we crushed this bird.
Yeah, we crushed this bird.


  • 1 Whole Chicken ($8.00)
  • 2.5 tbs Harissa (for those in the DMV, I used Harissa from Cava Mezze) ($.50)
  • 1 tbs olive oil ($.10)
  • 1 lemon ($.75)
  • salt and pepper

Total: $9.35


Preheat oven to 425. Line roasting pan with aluminum foil.

Remove gizzard bag and rise chicken in cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.

Mix harissa and juice from 1/2 lemon. Loosen chicken skin and add harissa mix between skin and chicken. Add remaining paste to cavity and place 1/2 lemon inside cavity.

Rub chicken with 1 tbs olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Bake for 16 minutes at 425 then reduce heat to 400 and bake another 50-55 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 5 minutes before carving.

Chicken Marsala


There are certain dishes that have a special place in my heart. This one isn’t a family recipe, but it’s one that I’ve ordered time and time again at a local Italian restaurant in my hometown. For some reason Chicken Marsala reminds me of home…not sure how an Italian dish can remind me of Florida but it does.

This recipe really couldn’t be any easier. You basically sauté chicken cutlets in butter, add in some shallots and mushrooms then make a reduction sauce with marsala wine, cream and a bit of lemon juice. I love that you can use plain ‘ol white button mushrooms in this recipe. These guys are getting upstaged lately by their snobby cousins crimini and portobello. I’m willing to bet money that if you can cook them right, button mushrooms can pull off as much flavor as their fancy friends. Did you know matsutake mushrooms are approximately $1,000 a pound! I should just try and harvest them the next time I’m in Japan and sell them on the mushroom black market.

Now don’t spend all your pennies when shopping for Marsala wine. It really won’t make your dish taste any better.  Actually it will make it taste very bad. Typically if you find Marsala in a liquor store or wine shop it will be sweet and NOT meant for cooking…I always find mine near the oil and vinegar at the supermarket. Don’t be a dummy and drink this variety. Dry Marsala is a fortified wine, which means it has a spirit added to it and will last for months if you keep it in your pantry. I use mine sparingly, so a large bottle usually lasts me about a year. Score!

Tonight chose asparagus and a simple pasta with roma tomatoes, garlic and basil. It would also be good with garlic mashed potatoes or even a simple garden salad. Buon appetito!


Servings: 2

  • 2 tbs butter ($.25)
  • 2 chicken cutlets ($4.50)
  • 2 shallots, chopped finely ($.50)
  • 1/4 lb white mushrooms, sliced ($1.00)
  • 1/8 cup dry marsala ($.75) I use Roland brand Marsala Cooking wine
  • 11/2 tsp lemon juice ($.05)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream ($.40)
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley (optional)

Total: $7.45


Melt 1 tbs butter in skillet. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Cook approximately 2 minutes per side then remove chicken and set aside. Melt the remaining butter in skillet and add shallots and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release liquid and are slightly browned. Add in Mrsala wine, bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits. Add in lemon juice and cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add in chicken breasts and simmer another 4 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and spoon sauce over it. If you desire, sprinkle fresh chopped parsley over top and serve immediately.

Jerk Chicken Pasta


Jamaicans like a little heat and a lot of flavor. So do I.  Surprisingly I’ve never actually been to Jamaica but I’ve always been a fan of their cuisine…I’m sure I’ll go one day. Jamaican food is colorful and spicy with the warmth of cinnamon and allspice and the eye-watering effect of the scotch bonnet peppers. Did you know scotch bonnet peppers are one of the hottest chile peppers in the world? Make sure you have plenty of rum punch on hand (or wine) to wash it all down.

This post would be incomplete if I didn’t tell you about the wine that I paired with this dish. This past weekend I was actually celebrating a promotion at work (woo-hoo!), so I felt the urge to reward myself. I typically would never buy myself a bottle of wine over $12, but what the heck… now I’m a not-so-poor little rich cook. Whenever I make spicy food I always go for wine that will help balance the intense flavors and extinguish the burn. I’ve never been a huge fan of Riesling because I always have found it too overpowering and full of residual sugar. This all changed though when I discovered white wine from the Alsace region of France. Along with Austria and Germany, vineyards from this region produce some of most acclaimed dry Rieslings in the world. I tried a new bottle called Trimbach and it was amazing. It set me back about $23 and was worth every penny.


Though not traditional Jamaican fare, this recipe does include jerk seasoning which is unmistakably Jamaican. For this recipe I used a local brand called Dizzy Pig BBQ Jamaican Firewalk seasoning. I wanted to make something rich and familiar, so jerk chicken pasta was the first thing that came to mind. I first got my inspiration for this dish at a chain restaurant called Bahama Breeze. I haven’t been there for years, but when I went I would almost always order the jerk chicken pasta. Their version is quite fattening…tons of heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and a serving big enough for a family of five. Mine isn’t exactly fat-free, but I did make some modifications to make it a bit lighter– olive oil instead of butter, half & half instead of cream, less bowtie pasta, etc. Enjoy my take on jerk chicken pasta, mon!


Serves 2

  • 1/2 C sour cream ($.75)
  • 1 cup half & half ($1.00)
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced ($1.00)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($.05)
  • 1/4 C chopped white onion ($.20)
  • 1/2 cup white mushrooms, sliced ($.30)
  • 8 spears asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces ($1.00)
  • 2 chicken cutlets, cut into thin strips ($5.00)
  • 1.5 tbs Jerk Seasoning ($.40) – I used Dizzy Pig BBQ Jamaican Firewalk
  • 1 tbs olive oil ($.08)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 box bowtie pasta ($1.00)

Total: $10.78


Bring pot of water to boil and add bowtie pasta. In medium sauce pan, add 1 tbs olive oil and sauté the bell pepper, onion, garlic and asparagus. Cook 5 minutes. Add chicken (seasoned with 1 tbs jerk seasoning) and cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until they start to release liquid. Add in sour cream, half & half, salt, pepper, and remaining jerk seasoning. Let simmer about 5 minutes until sauce begins to thicken. Add in cooked bowtie and let simmer another 5 minutes. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken


I have an issue with meat stuffed with meat. It just isn’t natural. I do, however, completely support meat stuffed with cheese and/or vegetables. I also support prosciutto, bacon, and other pork products in general, but I rarely allow myself to indulge. Tonight was one of those nights. I thought about making prosciutto and melon salad but after my 90-minute boxing class I needed something rich and satisfying, a reward for getting my butt absolutely kicked.

I know, I know… all that work and I go and ruin it with this. It could be worse, you know. I could have stopped at Popeye’s for a bucket of fried chicken and called it a day. I would love to see the look of horror on my roommate’s face if I showed up with a bucket of fried chicken for myself on a Monday night. The only thing that would top this is if someone found out that I have a Domino’s app on my iPhone with credit card information and address saved. Cat’s out of the bag on that one I guess. Speaking of apps, and sorry to get sidetracked, but you can really learn a lot about someone by the apps they have on their phone. Take mine for example. One would think that I have a terrible sense of direction based on the number of  GPS apps I have– FIVE. I really have no excuse for getting lost. You could also conclude that I’m slightly immature based on my “Talking Monkey” app “Dead Yourself” app or “Fat Booth” app . And finally, I have a flashlight app on my phone so one might think that I’m afraid of the dark. Forget Facebook stalking or Google searching. From now on, before dating someone, I think it would be a good idea to do an app inspection. Ok, maybe wait until like date number 3.

So back to this evening’s creation. I had a ton of leftover goat cheese from the pizza I made yesterday as well as some mushrooms. Those two are just like peas and carrots, and perfect alongside chicken and prosciutto. Now I told you about my meat stuffed meat phobia already so instead of stuffing, I wrapped the chicken in prosciutto. The result was fabulous. I served my chicken with a side of Israeli couscous and crispy brussel sprouts. Mission accomplished.



Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded ($4.00)
  • 5 button mushrooms, sliced ($.25)
  • 1.4 C goat cheese, crumbled ($.50)
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto ($1.00)
  • 1 tbs olive oil ($.10)
  • 1 tbs butter ($.05)
  • Splash of marsala wine ($.10)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Total: $6.00


Pound chicken breasts and season both sides with salt and pepper. Make a slit in each chicken breast and stuff with goat cheese and mushrooms. Take 2 slices per chicken breast and wrap completely around each one. Season with more salt and pepper In a dutch oven or nonstick pan, add olive oil and butter. Add chicken and cook for approximately 6 minutes per side until chicken is cooked through and prosciutto is crispy. Halfway through the cooking process, add a splash of Marsala wine and use a spatula to scrape up all the brown bits. Leave them in the pan though! This is where all the flavor is. Remove chicken from heat and let it rest 5 minutes before serving.

Skinny Chicken Milanese with Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes


I discovered my love for Chicken Milanese on a recent trip to New York City. I was visiting my dear friend Kelly and we went to one of our favorite spots for lunch– Serafina. I usually never stray from my standard order: a mimosa (or two) and the Serafina Chicken Salad with sundried tomatoes and pesto dressing. It is salad perfection. i actually developed my own copycat version of this dish, which I will post at a later date. On this particular occasion we were in the mood for a mid-afternoon feast and instead ordered a smorgasbord of entrees. Sometimes we get carried away…gluttony at its finest. One of those dishes was Chicken Milanese. Now, if you told me that you were going to make me breaded, fried chicken cutlets for dinner I would give you a smirk and inwardly cry with disappointment. I find that meats, vegetables, etc. dredged breacrumbs all taste the same. If I made breaded veal I could probably trick my “no red meat” friends into thinking it was poultry.

How do you pronounce Milanese anyway? Is it MIL-UH-NAISE, MEE-LAW-NAISE, MIL-LAW-NAY-SAY? If I had an Italian speaking friend I would ask them. Whatever the correct pronunciation is, let me just say that if you do it right it’s the bomb. It needs to be crispy, but not overdone. Fried (or in this case baked), but not too greasy. You also need to add plenty of spice to your breadcrumb mixture. The standard way to make Milanese is to dredge in flour, egg and breadcrumbs then fry in loads of butter. I wanted a healthier alternative tonight so I opted for olive oil and lemon juice dredge then a bread crumb/ parmesan crust. The chicken was then baked. Instead of pasta I chose to top my cutlets with a simple cherry tomato and arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette. The result was fabulous.


Serves 2

For the Chicken:

  • 2 Chicken Cutlets ($4.50)
  • 1/2 Cup Italian Breadcrumbs ($.50)
  • 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese ($.50)
  • 1/4 Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil ($.20)
  • 1 Tbs lemon Juice ($.04)

For the salad:

  • 2 C Arugula ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved ($1.00)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced thinly ($.50)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil ($.10)
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar ($.20)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste

Total: $8.54


Preheat oven to 450. Put chicken cutlets between 2 paper towels and pound until very thin! If you don’t own a mallet, you can use the bottom of a coffee cup. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in one bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan in another. Dredge chicken cutlets in olive oil/ lemon mixture, then in breadcrumb/ parmesan mixture. Make sure that breadcrumbs cover chicken evenly and pat down.

Bake chicken breasts on a greased cookie sheet for 15-17 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through. In the last minute, turn the oven on broil to make it extra crispy.

While the chicken is baking you can assemble the salad. Whisk together the balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Slice the cherry tomatoes and basil. Toss the arugula, tomatoes and basil with the dressing. I actually sauteed my cherry tomatoes in a bit of olive oil prior to tossing with dressing and arugula, but it’s up to you if you want them cooked or not.

Remove chicken from oven and squeeze a lemon wedge on the chicken. To serve, top the chicken cutlets with the tomato/ arugula salad.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


Tonight I had a classic single girl’s dinner. I was in no mood for take-out. Well, that’s not true, I was in the mood for takeout-like food, but I wanted it to be a little healthier and also didn’t want to buy a million groceries. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to take credit for this dish, but you could probably trick your friends into thinking you picked up dinner at your favorite Chinese restaurant… it is that good. I love that this super Americanized  dish is baked– you’re getting all that great flavor without the added fat and grease from frying.  Baking it on low(ish) heat for 45 minutes also allows the chicken to become very tender and the sauce perfectly caramelized. The sauce does have a little more sugar than I would normally use, but it’s necessary for the taste/ consistency. I think next time I will try experimenting with Stevia. I served this over fried rice, recipe below.


Chicken coating:
  • 3-4 boneless chicken cutlets ($5.40)
  • salt + pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch ($.75)
  • 1 egg, beaten ($.25)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil ($.25)
  • 3/4 C sugar ($.50)
  • 4 tbs ketchup ($.10)
  • 1/2 C white vinegar ($.20)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce ($.05)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Total: $7.50


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water, pat dry with paper towel, and then cut into cubes or strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into egg.  Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through, about 6 minutes. Place the chicken in a greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

Fried Rice


  • 3 C cooked white rice ($1.50)
  • 3 tbs sesame oil ($.50)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots ($.50)
  • 1 small onion, chopped ($.40)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic ($.20)
  • 2 eggs, beaten ($.50)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce ($.40)

Total: $4.00


On medium-high, heat the sesame oil in a wok or skillet.  Add the onion and garlic, cook 1 minute, then add peas and carrots. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry 2 minutes.