Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

This week Beth blogged about a Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe and immediately I knew it would be Sunday dinner.

This was by far one of the most flavorful and fragrant slow cooker meals I’ve ever made.  I feel like I can get in a rut when it comes to the crock pot and I am so happy to have found something made with so many different spices. It makes chicken seem a bit more special.

We followed the recipe on Beth’s post using double the amount of chicken (I am so jealous that Mike gets to eat all the leftovers this week) and light cream.  It turned out perfect.  There’s a good amount of heat but it doesn’t over power all the other flavors.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka MasalaIt’s a good thing it’s the beginning of September because this is a great recipe to make throughout the colder months.  Just go make it.


2013 Granary Gourmet Dinner

It’s been two years since we were last at the Granary Gourmet Dinner. The evening is a benefit to support the Lemont Village Association.

Last night we enjoyed a great dinner catered by EcoVents and spent time with some of our neighbors. It was a beautiful evening on rather cool day for mid-September and the space, as usual, was charming and rustic.

Lemont Granary Dinner Table Wheel at Lemont Granary Lemont Granary dinner table twoAppetizers including Baked Brie, Roasted Balsamic Strawberry & Goat Cheese Canape, Honey-Roasted Onion Tart, Fromage Fort, and Bagettes were being served when we arrived.

Baked Brie Roasted Balsamic Strawberry & Goat Cheese Canape Honey-Roasted Onion Tart, Fromage Fort, BagettesAnd there was beer from Otto’s and wine from Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery.

Otto's beer Happy Valley Winery WhiteHappy Valley Winery RedWhen we were seated, we started with an Apple Walnut Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing.

Apple Walnut Salad

Next was the French Lentil Soup.  I think this was by far my favorite course of the entire meal.

French Lentil SoupI sort of forgot to take pictures of the entire main course (maybe I was just that excited to taste it!) but here is the Filet with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce. As you can see it
was done perfectly.  There was also a Potato Gratin with Gruyere and Pappardelle with a Fricassee of Wild Mushrooms.

Filet with with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce

And for a dessert a Fresh Pear Tarte.  I only had a few bites of mine and while I am sure it was good, I’m just not a huge fan of cooked fruit.

Fresh Pear TartIt was a wonderful evening as usual.


Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese

Last night we ended up making a side dish mostly based on Cooking Light’s Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese.

We made a few changes to the recipe that turned out great.  First, we used a pound of mini penne since we had that on hand.  Even though we had six extra ounces of pasta, we didn’t up the amount of liquid.  We did double the cream cheese though to get a creamier sauce and mixed the cheddar right into the sauce without worrying about broiling it at the end.

Two-cheese mac and cheeseI don’t think I ever used a mostly broth based sauce to make macaroni and cheese before and it was so good.  Sauteing the garlic in the beginning added so much flavor.  And as you can see, it was still very creamy and saucy even though we didn’t increase the liquids.

two-cheese mac and cheese sideIt ended up being a great side dish and the leftovers made a tasty dinner tonight, too.