Crafts and recipes on the cheap for the normal person

Classin it up with balsamic chicken October 22, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — LaurenTamony @ 3:35 pm
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I have a deep and intense love for Italian food but absolutely hate the work that generally goes into making it, let’s just say I’m an expert on ordering take out manicotti but couldn’t make it if I tried. But in an attempt to be more fiscally responsible when my most recent pasta craving hit I decided to try my hand at a meal on my own. I got this recipe from my mom and love the bold flavors in the sauce. It is probably one of the easier things I’ve made in awhile but it sure didn’t look like it when I showed it off proudly to my roommates. This dish smells AMAZING when you’re cooking it and took me no time at all. My only complaint with the original recipe is it’s timing was off for me. It said to simmer the sauce for 15 minutes, mine was a paste in about 5. I’m not sure if that’s because I diced the chicken (I prefer that over strips which you end up cutting anyway) or what, but keep that in mind when you’re timing things.

The original recipe is here, but this is so good I’ll definitely keep the recipe in rotation: (note the picture I’m showing is not my plate but the one from the original recipe, my crappy phone camera couldn’t capture the deliciousness the same way)

Braised Balsamic Chicken Recipe

Balsamic Chicken and Pasta


  • 3 chicken breasts (I cut mine up into bite sized chunks)
  • 1 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (the recipe said thinly sliced, I diced mine)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (I would recommend petite diced if you’re like me and don’t like large chunks of tomato)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 package noodles of choice (spaghetti worked fine for me but it’s judge free if you want to use something else)


  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic salt. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and brown the onion and seasoned chicken breasts.
  2. Pour tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken, and season with basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.

Honey Lime Tilapia October 17, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — LaurenTamony @ 1:12 pm
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I might have mentioned previously that tilapia is one of my favorite foods. It thaws and cooks quickly, making it perfect for a rushed dinner. When I first found this recipe I was a little concerned, you have to 1) have the foresight to marinade the fish and 2) risk life and limb cooking it on the stove in olive oil. Granted number 2 might be a little far fetched my irrational fear of the stove made this part a major accomplishment.

What I loved most about the recipe is how easy it is and the flavor. For as little time and effort as it requires it sure does taste good! The breading comes out crispy and really packs the sweetness in. I cut the recipe in half when I made it and ended up making the entire amount of the marinade it suggested from the beginning for my two fish. Maybe I drown the fish (ironic) but that’s what worked for me.

With the weather getting cooler give this a shot for dinner to bring a little summer back in your life!

Honey Lime Tilapia

Honey Lime Tilapia:

Fish and marinade:

    • 2 tilapia fillets- Original recipe called for 4 pieces
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 large lime)
    • Zest of 1 lime- Because I’m cheap I didn’t have a lime on me, or a zester for that matter, it worked fine without this
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
Coating and Cooking:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and garlic. Place the tilapia in a gallon-sized ziploc bag and pour the marinade on top of the fish. Press the air out of the bag and seal. Refrigerate the fish for at least an hour and up to 4 hours. It helps to lay the bag in a flat dish and turn it over once or twice during the marinading time since the marinade won’t completely cover the fish.
  2. Before cooking, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish like a pie plate. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until rippling and hot. Dredge each tilapia fillet in the flour, coating both sides lightly. Cook the fillets for 3-5 minutes per side without moving the fish while it cooks on each side; this will ensure a more even browning. Adjust the cooking time as needed depending on the thickness of the tilapia and the heat of the skillet and work in batches if necessary so the skillet isn’t overcrowded.