Ready. Set. Blog.

Have you guys heard about Project Food Blog? Think Next Food Network Star meets The Bloggies. FoodBuzz has set out to identify the next great food blogger through a series of challenges. What’s in it for the winner? A special feature on and a cool $10,000 in cash. Not bad, huh?

I’ve decided to throw my hat into the ring for this competition. Of the over 4,000 featured publishers on Foodbuzz, over 1,800 are participating. And only 400 will make it through this first round!

Food Buzz has challenged all of us who are participating to write a post that defines who you are as a food blogger and why you have what it takes to be a food blog star.

I started thinking about who I am as a food blogger. I think my blog name says it all. After Hubby and I moved from a 3-bedroom house in Ohio to a ~700 square foot one bedroom condo in Boston, I decided that I like to bake. A LOT. I honestly rarely baked when we lived in Ohio… I guess something about that tiny little Boston kitchen got me motivated.

I started out baking just once a week. But as I started to challenge myself more and more, my addiction grew and grew. These days when someone asks me how often I bake, I tell them anywhere from 2-5 times a week. I seriously start getting a twitch when it’s been a few days since I was baking and it’s always the first thing I want to do after vacation or a long day at work.

I love to bake for people. When someone comes to visit I always make sure that I find out what kind of desserts they like and whip something up for them. I even make exceptions to my strict no-repeats rule for guests. I think baking is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for someone.

As my blog started to grow, I started to improve on my photography skills. I wanted my photographs to fully represent the awesomeness of the recipes I was trying in my kitchen. I am continuing to learn more about lighting and exposure, but I’ve definitely come a long way.

Sometimes people ask me why I blog. And as cliche as it sounds, it really is because of you guys. Obviously, Hubby and I get to enjoy the food that comes out of our kitchen, but I really love hearing from you guys. Whether it’s through a comment, an email, or a note on Facebook, it really does make me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that you guys trust me enough to try the recipes I post on here or to ask for advice.

Now on to the big question of this challenge. Do I have what it takes to be the next food blog star? I absolutely have what it takes. It’s been 1118 days since I hit publish for the first time. In the begining, I used cake mixes from a box and took short cuts whenever I could. I was learning how to cook and bake. And I was bringing everyone along for the ride.

Because of this blog, I tackled my fear of yeast. After making some bread, pretzels, and cinnamon rolls, yeast doesn’t even phase me anymore.

I’ve worked my way through 95 posts worth of cupcakes. That’s a LOT of cupcakes.

I grew out of my cupcake phase and into my brownies and bars phase.

I tackled my first layer cake, then I tackled decorating a layer cake.

I’ve challenged myself to continue to try new foods and make things I’ve never made before.

I’ve tackled learning my way through some HTML code so that I can update my blog layout on my own.

At the end of the day, I have pushed myself through many challenges in the 1118 days since I started this blog. I am ready to face these 10 Project Food Blog Challenges head on. They can’t be any more scary than yeast, right?

Voting for Project Food Blog will open to YOU on Monday, September 20th (don’t worry, I’ll be sure to remind you!)

Be sure to come check out my Project Food Blog profile where I answer these questions:

  • Why did you start your food blog?
  • What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?
  • What is the most memorable meal or foodie moment?
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27 Responses to “Chicken Tikka Masala”

  1. #
    Joanne — September 27, 2010 at 12:09 am

    I think it would be SO awesome to live in India…mostly for the food. Which places do you like in Boston? I used to live there and really want to move back at some point!

    This chicken tikka masala looks so tasty. Wonderful for PFB!

  2. #
    Jen — September 27, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Joanne – We love Punjab Palace in Allston for delivery and Tamarind Bay in Brookline for eating in.

  3. #
    Eliana — September 27, 2010 at 2:44 am

    So great that you made it through. I’m sure you will make it to the next round with this beauty. Your take on this Indian classic looks absolutely delicious!

  4. #
    kitchenmisfit — September 27, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Punjab Palace is my absolute FAVORITE Indian place in Boston. They actually make my dishes spicy unlike some other places in Boston. I’ve always wants to try Tamarind Bay as well. Delicious recipe!

  5. #
    Jen — September 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    kitchenmisfit – definitely try Tamarind Bay. They have a great little outdoor seating area so if you can get there before fall arrives in full swing, I’d definitely recommend it.

  6. #
    6 — September 27, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I love chicken tikka masala – I just made it about six months ago for the first time, and I’ve made it a dozen times since!

    I have a version that takes 30 minutes – I found I couldn’t taste the difference of the chicken when it marinated in the yogurt, so just skip it!

    I voted for you – good luck!

  7. #
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — September 27, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    This is fantastic! I love chicken tikka masala and its great you can cross off another item on your list!

  8. #
    Daisy — September 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Chicken Tikki Masala is my go to Indian food too! I had a great meal at Rani in Brookline a few years ago. I just voted for you. good luck.

    Also – how fun you are giving away the KAF treats! 🙂

  9. #
    Shannon — September 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    looks fantastic–you got my vote 🙂 i’ll have to try this one next!

  10. #
    Skylar Wolfe — September 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I made tikka masala too for this challenge! It’s so yummy and tasty. Yours looks really delicious, and I voted for you.

    You can see mine at

  11. #
    Krystal — September 27, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    Yum, I love Chicken Tikka Masala…this looks delicious Jen and you got my vote!

  12. #
    The Cilantropist — September 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Love love me some tikka masala! And totally cute photo of the monkey. 🙂 Got my vote! Good luck!

  13. #
    The Small Boston Kitchen — September 27, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Is it rude if I request to be invited over next time you make this?! Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my favorites and your looks so goooood!

    Best of luck in the competition…I’m rooting for you!!

  14. #
    notyet100 — September 28, 2010 at 12:08 am

    u r so right bout indian food,..
    platter looks yum,..good luck.:-)

  15. #
    Jen — September 28, 2010 at 3:51 am

    this looks delicious 🙂 Good luck with project food and you got my vote for this one! Feel free to drop by 🙂 Good luck and best wishes for making to the top !! WOOHOO

    jen @

  16. #
    undercover caterer — September 28, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I love chicken tikka masala too, but haven’t ever attempted it. I’ll have to do it now, you made it look simple. You got my vote!

  17. #
    Casey Angelova — September 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    This looks awesome. I love Indian cuisine. Best of luck with round 2!!!

  18. #
    Heather — September 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    We love Indian food, I wish we had it more often. Our go to is also Tikka Masala and I am thinking we may need to revisit it again real soon. Great job you have my vote.

  19. #
    Jane Ko — September 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Voted for you and good luck with PFB 🙂

    I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway

    Here is my entry for PFB

  20. #
    thecheapgourmet — September 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    What a fabulous dish you chose for the PFB challenge. Great job! I loved the monkey, but didn’t realize they were pick-pockets. Little rascals! I’ve not tried much Indian food, but would love to try your recipe. Sending you the best of luck in future challenges, along with my vote!

  21. #
    Lick My Spoon — September 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    You’ve got my vote! I’m glad you were able to challenge yourself by cooking Indian food. Good thing you did, this dish looks amazing!!

    That is so amazing that your husband has gotten to the opportunity to live in India.

    Good luck, I know you are going to go far in this competition.

  22. #
    nutmegnanny — September 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I voted! 🙂 Looks great! I love Indian food but unfortunately I’m the only one in my family and friends circle that loves it. In order to eat it I have to eat alone…haha.

  23. #
    sadaf — September 29, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for visiting my site.
    I am panjabi ana love tikka. great post and voted by me.. I always use tikka flavoured chicken for my pizza…

  24. #
    Food o' del Mundo — September 30, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Lovely post, placed my vote. Hope we both make it to the next round!

  25. #
    Queen of Cuisine — September 30, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Your tikka looks great!! Don’t you love the Pioneer Woman? I cast a vote for you!


  26. #
    Karen — October 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I made this last Thursday. It was very good but way too spicy for my kids. When I make it again I am only adding one and a half T of garam masala and omitting the yogurt on the chicken.Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

  27. #
    kk — October 12, 2010 at 1:59 am

    not going to lie- mine didn’t taste so great. i was very hopeful, but i guess a year + of living in india puts my standards really high.

    my favorite indian restaurant in boston is punjabi dhaba in inman square. lines so long they’re usually down the block, and there are always lots of desis there- that’s how you know it’s good. best dosa and chicken tikka masala i’ve had this side of the atlantic. silverware is optional.

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