Christmas Extravaganza Part 2: The Eats

Main dish: Chicken Tikka Masala with Naan Bread

Chicken Tikka Masala has an Indian origin, and is just about the only Indian dish I've ever liked. So, thanks to my college friend, Mary who introduced it to me, it's a favorite. 
Here's the recipe I roughly followed from 


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper ( I didn't have cayenne, so I used chile powder and paprika)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 long skewers (you can grill or bake... I baked)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • I added chopped  sauteed onions


  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour (I marinated over 6 hours).
  2. Preheat a grill for high heat or bake on 350 for 45 minutes or until fully baked. 
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro. 

Naan Bread


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
  4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Dessert Time!
Desserts: Gluten free Peanut Butter Balls (some dipped in chocolate), Coconut Mounds, Whole Wheat Cherry White Chocolate chip Cookies, and No-Stir Bars (from Carolyn). YUM.


 Peanut Butter Balls

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles
makes about 50-60 balls, if teaspoon sized
2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup crisped rice cereal (I used gluten free rice crispies)
2 1/2 – 3 cups milk chocolate chips

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and butter until creamy and smooth. Gradually add in vanilla extract and powdered sugar with the mixture on low, speeding up once it becomes more combined. At this point you should have a cookie “dough” (depending on your brand of peanut butter you may need a little more sugar – add it 1-2 tablespoons at a time while mixing). Using a spatula, gently fold in crisped rice cereal so it gets distributed through the batter, adding more is desired. Be careful not to crush all the cereal so it stays crispy.

Once combined, roll dough into balls (mine were slightly more than teaspoon-sized) and place on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Some of the balls will have crisped rice edges sticking out and some may be crumbly – that’s okay, just roll as smooth as you can occasionally squeezing the dough together if needed. Refrigerate for 60-90 minutes. Melt chocolate in either the microwave (I melt in 30 second increments while stirring) or in a double boiler. Remove peanut butter balls from fridge and dip in chocolate, then place back on parchment. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator!

Note: if you want the peanut butter drizzle, I simply melted 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips then used a spoon to drizzle.

Check out the original posting here at 'How Sweet it Is'. She's got tons of other fabulous recipes and great photos!  


3 ounces sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces sweetened coconut
Almonds (I ommitted these)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1. Combine the milk, butter, sugar and coconut in a bowl and mix well.
2. Roll the mixture into small balls and place in fridge to cool (2+ hours)... I did them over night
3. Once cooled, dip in melted chocolate and allow to cool in the fridge.


Whole Wheat White Chocolate Chip Cherry Cookies recipe Here...

These definitely have a 'healthier' taste...  

 Lastly, I do not have the recipe for the no-stir bars....  But, they were richly delicious! 

PS- Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Make one of these treats and surprise your family! They'll LOVE you.--the peanut butter balls are the quickest and easiest & I think people liked them best!