Weeknight Dinner: Jamaica in a Bowl

Jam2When my husband and I were in Jamaica in March, we had an amazing meal that consisted of shrimp cooked in coconut milk with curry powder and tomatoes, served over rice.  Of course I came home to the States and tried instantly to duplicate it. I finally got the recipe almost right, but it was still a multi-pot meal with lots of effort and cleanup involved.

This afternoon, with hours of writing ahead of me and a stomach that was beginning to rumble, I began to think about what I could make for dinner that would be quick and easy. I found a can of low-fat coconut milk in the cabinet and thought back to that wonderful Jamaican meal. What if I could turn those flavors into an easy, one-pan oven bake?

Guess what? It worked!

Here’s the recipe. So the next time you’re craving a little island flavor — or the next time you’re looking for something simple and delicious — give it a try. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Makes: 6 servings


1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 can (13.5 ounce) light coconut milk (such as Hokan brand)
2 1/2 cups water
1Tbsp. curry powder (preferably Jamaican, such as Badia brand)
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. chicken bouillon
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 chopped onion (or 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion)
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound frozen chicken breast tenderloins
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Set oven to 375 degrees and spray a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray. Spread rice evenly over bottom of pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix coconut milk, water, buillion, garlic powder, curry powder, ground ginger, onion and diced tomatoes. Pour mixture evenly over rice. Stir just until combined.
  3. Top rice and liquid with chicken breast tenderloins, making sure tenderloins don’t overlap each other. Season lightly with salt and pepper. The chicken should be mostly submerged in liquid. Don’t worry; this will help keep it moist.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for remaining 35 minutes. Remove from oven and check for chicken doneness by cutting into one tenderloin. If it’s still a little pink inside, put the baking pan back in the oven for 5-minute increments until it’s done.
  5. Enjoy, mon!

One Piece, Three Ways: Target’s American Infinity Scarf

The Fourth of July is upon us, and this week, we’ll be sure to see a plethora of red, white and blue in the States. But there’s no wrong time to rock your national pride, so shall we take a look at three patriotic pairings, all with clothing items that are affordable and fun? The nice thing about investing in basics like this is that they’ll never go out of style. You’ll wear this flag scarf every summer (and to show your national pride during future Olympics and World Cup matches too). Here’s how I’d pair an American flag scarf — three ways.

American Flag Scarf

The Scarf: Target ($17.99)

  1. This breezy dress ($34.95) is easy to dress up or down, and paired with a scarf and these sandals ($19.99), it can easily go from a day at the beach to a dinner al freso.
  2. Keep things casual with this basic boyfriend tee ($9) and show some leg with this pair of effortless cutoff denim shorts ($19.99). The flag flip flips ($39.50) add an extra patriotic punch to tie the look together.
  3. Dress things up a bit with this breezy dress ($68) and American pride wedges ($86.99). When the sun goes down, stay warm with this coordinating cardi ($9.98 — on sale now).

Happy Fourth of July!

One Piece, Three Ways: Target’s Lainey Flats

I’m obsessed with pointy-toed shoes, but in the summer, they can be harder to pull off, simply because closed-toed shoes tend to be hot. But these Lainey flats from Target provide a perfect way for me to indulge my elf-like shoe desires while staying cool. The perforated material keeps them summery, while the closed toe means you can get away with chipped toenail polish — a big plus for me! Plus, these flats elevate every outfit; sub them in for flip-flops and you’ll look instantly chic and pulled together. They also come in beige and black. Here’s how I’d pair the white ones — three ways.

Lainey Flats Target


Continue reading

How to Write a Novel Part 5: Page One

Courtesy MorgueFile
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Now that you have your outline written, it’s time to dive in. And there’s nowhere better to begin than at the beginning: the first page of chapter one.

It can be daunting to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) for the first time as you set out to write your novel. After all, you have some 70,000 to 100,000 words ahead of you (depending on what genre you’re writing in), and on page one, your word total is 0. The finish line feels like it’s a long way away.

Continue reading

One Piece, Three Ways: Zara’s White Skort

Last fall, I bought a skort from Zara after reading about it on several fashion blogs. I don’t typically love my legs — especially in shorts — but for some reason, this skort made them look great. I was sold, and I wore them throughout the winter and spring (I live in the South and thus could get away with bare legs). I bought my first Zara skort in black, but Zara also offers them in a variety of other colors, including white, which is perfect for summer. Here’s how I’d pair it — three ways.

Zara White Skort
The Skort: Zara ($49.90)
  1. I recently bought this chambray shirt  ($22.99) from Target. Unlike other chambray items I’ve owned in the past, this one washes up nicely without shrinking or wrinkling. Roll the sleeves, and you have a perfect comfortable-preppy look for a casual summer night out.
  2. This striped top ($14.98) has an open bow back and comes in both navy stripe and red stripe. At this price, both are great options! I love the modest front and the summery open back.  I’d wear it with a pretty lace-back bra, like this one (on sale for just $9.99!) from Victoria’s Secret.
  3. White on white is a striking look for summer, especially when the fabrics come in different materials, as is the case here with this lace top ($22.99).

Continue reading