Six Recipes I’d Recommend

When I mentioned last week that I was in a cooking rut, I wasn’t kidding. It’s taken me four months to get together another set of recipes I’ve made and loved. 
But these recipes were worth the wait. All of them were total hits. 
Also, four main dishes, one bread recipe, and only one dessert? I’m like a paragon of healthy eating over here. 

1. Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry: This is a long-time favorite in our house. It’s so quick and easy, I always have the ingredients, and it’s always delicious. That Mel. She never lets me down.

2. Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake:  Our friends Jessica and Nate invited us over for a Chinese New Year dinner in January and I brought this for dessert (it was one of those afternoons where I didn’t have time to run to the store and had to figured what I could make with the ingredients I already had on hand). It was delicious and both of the women there emailed me later for the recipe, mentioning they were planning to make it for breakfast. THAT is when you know you’ve found the right friends.

3. Halal Cart Style Chicken and Rice with White Sauce: I made this for dinner while Bart’s parents were in town, after RA had raved about it multiple times. It was even better than I expected, and worth the effort of preparing multiple components. Seriously. Make this.

4Mini Meatball Grilled Cheese: I don’t like meatballs all that much, but Bart is a huge fan of meatball sandwiches, so I figured this would be a hit. The meatballs themselves were so good I barely could restrain myself from eating them all while I was assembling the sandwiches. And then the sandwiches themselves were phenomenal.

5. Strawberry Cinnamon Bread: Is it uncool of me to have one of my own recipes on here? I’m going to pretend it’s fine. This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, and I just made it yesterday with the first batch of strawberries I’ve bought this year. We had four families over for breakfast before General Conference and all three loaves were GONE. It’s a serious winner.

6. Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet: This was another meal I made when Bart’s parents were here in December and it was delicious (with some guests, you don’t want to make new recipes, but Bart’s parents are some of the most adventurous eaters I know, and always a good audience for a new dish). I don’t always like sweet potato recipes because sweet potatoes take FOREVER to cook, but shredding them solved the problem and made this a super quick dinner.

(P.S. More recommended recipes!)

(P.P.S! We’re going to Chicago this week with the girls. If you have recommendations of things to do/eat/see in the city, I’m all ears!)

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  • Reply Elaine April 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

    I've only been to Chicago once and I was 8, so it was eons ago. But I still remember visiting, especially
    Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle but it's unfortunately closed until May (mini tour here There's lots more to see though including this, which is another thing I remember visiting.

  • Reply Ashley April 7, 2014 at 11:19 am

    That strawberry cinnamon bread looks AMAZING! Pinning this for future reference. Have the best time in Chicago! I've never been, so I can't wait to hear all about it.

  • Reply Katie April 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Museum of Science and Industry is great, as is the aquarium. Lincoln Park Zoo is good and free. Millennium Park is fun, with the Bean and other neat large-scale sculpture. The lakeshore path – which runs for something like 15 miles – is lovely for a walk. Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Edgewater are some of my favorite neighborhoods to wander around, with cafés and bookstores and boutiques. The Chicago Cultural Center downtown is a gorgeous building with free concerts and other events.

  • Reply Ash April 7, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    I love Chicago! The Shedd Aquarium is amazing and they might be a little young but the first American Girl Doll store is downtown too. Have fun!

  • Reply Melissa April 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Chicago is great! Definitely try to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo. It is free every single day of the year and always enjoyable. The Field Museum is also very good for kids and adults. You should definitely have some deep dish pizza, my personal favorite is Lou Malnatis but Giordanos is also very good. Enjoy the trip!

  • Reply Paige Flamm April 7, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I totally repinned that cinnamon roll pound cake after I saw you pin it! Good to know its delicious! I've never been to Chicago, but I hear pizza is a must 😉

  • Reply Rachel at Maybe Matilda April 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Every one of these just made its way onto my 'must try' recipe list–they look so good, especially the Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry (I also looooove Mel's recipes, they are always winners!).

  • Reply Dana Weinstein April 7, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    The girls still might be a little young, but when I was little my mom and grandma loved taking me to the American Girl Doll store in Chicago for tea. It's all kid friendly and they even have chairs for your dolls!

  • Reply Leah Koch April 7, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I grew up in Chicago and think it is the best city in the world! The museum of science and industry is the most fun museum ever and perfect for kids, someone else mentioned the Lincoln park zoo which is one of the last free zoos in the country. my particular expertise in chicago is breakfast: check out The Bongo Room and Southport Grocery for amazing pancakes and the original Lou Mitchells which is an awesome, old diner where they give you donuts while you wait in line! have a wonderful time!

  • Reply Meg {Boo Boos & Briefcases} April 8, 2014 at 1:37 am

    If the weather is nice, go to the Lincoln park zoo and the conservatory next door. Spend some time walking around roscoe village (where we lived) and southport. Both have great little stores and restaurants. Orange has a great brunch and is very kid-friendly (go to the one in roscoe village). There's also a great gelato place on that block for after brunch/lunch! Or John's Place is tasty and kid-friendly. Lots of great playgrounds in Lincoln park (the actual park) along the lake (again if a pretty day). The girls may also enjoy a ride along the river! Pack lots of layers in case it's cold or the wind is still cold! Have a great time!

  • Reply Meg {Boo Boos & Briefcases} April 8, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Oh and the pizza is good but my husband swore by the hot dogs! So many places to choose from but there was one shack in lakeview on Irving park rd that my husband preferred and coincidentally was the favorite spot of Pres Obama.

  • Reply emandtrev April 8, 2014 at 1:52 am

    I had dinner awhile ago, so I'm feeling completely justified in the fact that my stomach just rumbled after reading your post. Thanks for this! I've been in such a rut lately it is not even funny. First up is the basil curry chicken concoction. Yippee!

  • Reply Jodi April 8, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I feel you. Cooking has been the WORST for me pretty much since I got the flu in January. After that I was in a serious low, and then we were always trekking back and forth house hunting and eating out a lot…ugh it's been awful! Now I feel fine about cooking since I have a nice new kitchen, but I'm SO far out of the habit of coming up with a weekly menu plan. Everyday I feel like I'm just keeping my head above water.

  • Reply Little Gray Pixel April 8, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    These all sound so good. I have to try that breakfast skillet. I get into such a habit with breakfast every morning, it's ALWAYS the same. Talk about a rut. (Although I tell myself that it's hard to mess with perfection. Egg + toast + coffee = Yes, please.)

    Have fun in Chicago!

  • Reply Sew Charitable April 9, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    As a Chicagoan, here is what I would recommend. Deep dish pizza (get the butter crust) at Lou Malnati's. Uno's is horrible. See The Bean, Millennium Park, Skydeck at Sears Tower (will never be the Willis Tower to locals), hop on the Brown Line and just ride around the Loop on the El (fun to see in the office buildings, Architecture Foundation tours and Chicago DeTours are great, walk along the river downtown and Mag Mile.

    For little ones, definitely the Lincoln Par Zoo and then get cupcakes at Molly's which is a few blocks away. Museum of Science and Industry is very fun. My 12 month old loved the tornado exhibit and they have hands on things for all ages.

    For adults, a drink at the Signature Room in the John Hancock is fun. Hot Doug's is great for hot dogs (long lines though) but Frank's n Dawg's is so good too (looks you are walking to an alley but you are not, entrance is on the side of the building). Stay away from Navy Pier. It is tourist trap that isn't worth it. Except the Chicago Children's Museum can be fun and very hands on.

    Chicagoans are very friendly (it's a Midwest thing) so if you get lost, just ask for help!

  • Reply Erica April 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    i too made your cinnamon strawberry bread for a general conference brunch with friends and it was gobbled up right quick. so delicious.

  • Reply Feisty Harriet April 9, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    I've loved my Halal Chicken/Rice recipe, adding this one to the mix! THanks to you and RA!


  • Reply Angela's Anxious Life April 11, 2014 at 6:30 am

    These all look delicious!

  • Reply RA April 11, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    YEAH, halal chicken! It is so, so good.

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