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Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce.

Japanese

Sandwiches. Soup. Fondue/Sauce. 100 Calorie Snacks. Lasagna Timpano. I went to see tUnE-yArDs on Monday night with some friends, and as always we wanted to cook a meal that somehow related to the show we were heading to.

Lasagna Timpano

Sometimes this is hard to do, but other times it seems to come naturally. Finding culinary inspiration in Merrill's lyrics seemed like it would be tough, but my sister knew what she wanted to make without hesitation. "How about something layered, because of all the vocal and instrument layering in the music? " From there we worked together to come up with this deep, colorful, and multi-flavored lasagna version of a timpano.

If you are using words like deep, colorful, and multi-flavored to describe something inspired by tUnE-yArDs, you already know you got it right! Start by making a lasagna crust. Finally got it together. Now it's easy, just start building the layers! Alfredo sauce with some salami goes first. Butter Chicken. Note: By popular demand, we’re featuring this recipe again.

Butter Chicken

Great reports across the board! I originally loved the looks of this recipe, submitted by Tasty Kitchen member lillieknits, because I knew I had almost all the ingredients in my kitchen (important, since I don’t live around the corner from a grocery store)…and because the sauce contained both tomatoes and cream. Yum. My favorite. But after I made it…oh, boy. You need these spices…AND ground coriander, which I didn’t have in my pantry. Chop up several cloves of garlic. And throw everything in a mixing bowl! After marinating the chicken, dice up a whole onion. Heat 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter in a large skillet. Let the onions cook for several minutes… …Until they’re golden brown and translucent. Next, Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook the chicken for a couple of minutes, then flip it to the other side. Pour in the tomato sauce… Ratatouille. The boyfriend and I saw Ratatouille last week.

Ratatouille

Besides it being a cook/animation lover’s wet dream, it inspired a discussion afterward about Pixar movies in general. We surmised that they rule. Or, to expand a bit, we agreed that we’ll be watching Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and The Incredibles well into our ‘80s, while films like Shrek and Shark Tale will be obsolete by the next Olympics. See, where most current animation relies on pop culture references and kitschy radio tunes, Pixar concentrates on story and character.

In 2050, when no one will know what to make of a fish dancing to "Baby Got Back," Woody and Dory and Sully will still have emotions folks recognize and sympathize with. In honor of Pixar’s most recent winnah, I whipped up this Ratatouille dish from the February 1995 issue of Bon Appetit (via Epicurious).

(Note that the cheese is optional, and leaving it out cuts the cost almost in half.) 1) Heat oil in big Dutch oven over medium heat. 3) Preheat oven to 350°F. Good Luck Potatoes. My friend Donna Natale Mason…what can I say other than that Texas is not nearly as colorful without her?

Good Luck Potatoes

She is a vibrant, loud, gorgeous bit of Texas stomping through the snow in Indiana in red cowboy boots. We were debutantes together in Wichita Falls and she keeps threatening to come back to Texas and have a get together where we all wear our (very small sized yet shockingly poufy) deb dresses and eat lots of food and tell raunchy jokes. In the meantime she has given me a very decadent, yet simple recipe that is dear to her heart. You know I have a soft spot for recipes that are truly an embodiment of love. This recipe not only yields a baked mashed potato dish that will make you tear up with delight, but the story behind it will make you a little weepy, as well. This is part of the note that Donna sent to me: “My sweet Momma made these for me when I was pregnant with my daughter, Molly in 2005. Hence, I call these Donna’s Good Luck Potatoes. Notes: Bacon Cups.

I had an occasion calling for bacon themed food and my mind immediately turned towards the famed bacon mat.

Bacon Cups

I needed something a little more single-serving though, so I decided to attempt bacon cups. In the bacon mat instructions there is mention of draping the mat over an overturned metal bowl and cooking it so that it would turn out in as a bowl shape. I decided to try using the backs of various muffin and mini cake pans, I ran out of bacon before I got to try as many as I would have liked so I’ll have to try more at a later date.

Any excuse for more bacon. I set the oven at 400 degrees and carefully formed foil over the back of the muffin pan. This all took three hours and my house filled with smoke, but it was worth it. For cup shapes I used the back of this Wilton King-Size Muffin Pan.