California Pizza Kitchen inspired Thai chicken pizza

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People usually debate that either New York or Chicago has the best pizza in the United States. Outside of the United States of course there is Italy and I have heard good things about Japanese pizza. Personally, I love California pizza. Full disclosure, I have never been to any of the places listed above except California, where I have lived my whole life. So I guess I’m pretty biased. In California, we’re not afraid to put off the wall toppings on our pizza. One of my favorites at a place in Santa Monica was salad pizza. Yes, really.

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Pan grilled pork chops with roasted pineapple salsa

pork with pineapple salsa

One of my favorite summer meals is pork chops with pineapple salsa. I don’t make homemade salsa often, but I love this recipe. It’s straightforward and always tastes great.

The marinade for the pork makes it tender and flavorful. I love that both the marinade and the salsa are spicy and sweet.

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Lemon-herb chicken with blueberry balsamic sauce

Lately I have been making two more involved meals a week for dinner and everything else has been super easy. I only want to make things on the easy nights that don’t require a recipe. This lemon-herb chicken with blueberry sauce was a more involved recipe that felt like something I would get at a restaurant. In other words, it’s worth the effort.

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Shrimp and coconut lime rice bowl

On Father’s Day, we went to my in-laws house and Paul’s dad barbecued. It was so good, as always. We had some leftover corn the next day, and I was inspired to add it to a bowl meal, which turned into this new recipe. I wanted to make something special out of our leftovers, without too much effort or having to turn on the oven.

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Stovetop macaroni and cheese

stovetop-macaroni-and-cheese

One of my favorite comfort meals is macaroni and cheese, especially when it’s cold. It’s one of my favorite winter meals, right up there with chili and broccoli soup. Although it’s not winter yet, it’s starting to feel like it. Today it rained fairly hard and it was windy too. That doesn’t happen too much around Southern California, so when it does it’s a big deal. We’re wimps, I know.

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Skillet chicken with orzo pasta

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My mom used to make this skillet chicken with orzo pasta when I was growing up. I loved it and started making it myself when I moved in with Paul a few years ago. It’s pretty easy and very satisfying. She got it from a newspaper column that I think was in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

This meal is good for weeknights, especially because there are very few dishes involved. The fewer dishes, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s great for lunches the next day too. I can’t remember for sure, but I think my mom packed this in my lunchbox when I was in junior high or high school. It’s funny to me that I can’t remember high school as well as I used to. It was 10 years ago now, so of course.

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