Tag Archives: chicken

Because…Pie, Part II: Winter is Coming

It snowed last night.  I don’t know if it had even frosted yet but last night, it snowed.

It’s made my husband terribly happy.  He’s a weird, cold-loving polar bear who has somehow managed to squeeze himself into a very convincing Josh-suit.  He loves the fact that it rained and then snowed last night, even though it froze the car doors shut.

Me?  I like the snow just fine, I suppose…as long as I’m laying in my warm bed (flannel sheets for the win!).  Or snuggled on the couch with a mug of cocoa watching How I Met Your Mother or American Horror Story.  Or basically not anywhere near the outside.  If it were possible to safely and inexpensively induce hibernation in people…I would do it.  In a heartbeat.

But alas.  I live in Michigan and snow is a thing.  Winter is real.  It’s not just a Game of Thrones meme anymore.


My only weapon against it is flannel sheets, fuzzy socks, and an arsenal of warm, heavy comfort foods.  I have decided this is going to be the Winter of the Comfort Food, officially.  Last week was lasagna.  I’m still working on perfecting it.  Then pumpkin pie.

This week, I turned my attention to pot pie.  I love a good chicken pot pie.  It combines my top comfort food (chicken stew) with pie crust.  There is literally nothing to not like about that.  And when made in ramekins or small baking dishes, you get single-sized portions.  Easy for distributing, and repackaging, and taking for lunch the next day.



I spent less than half a day making these, all told.  It seems like a lot, but most of it is “put it in the oven and let it do it’s thing” time.  I roasted the chicken, made the pie crust, cooked the stew…did everything except make stock.  I used store-bought because I didn’t have any on hand, but homemade would make it even more awesome.  It was a great way to spend a cool fall day.  It’ll be a great way to pass the winter ones too.




Roasted Chicken Pot Pie


    For the crust
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsps cold butter, diced
  • 4 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tsps dried herbes de provence
  • For the chicken
  • 3-4 pound whole chicken, cleaned and with the organs removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 whole cloves of garlic
  • A little bit of chicken stock as needed for basting
  • For the filling
  • The white and dark meat from a 3-4 pound roasted chicken
  • The pearl onions roasted with the chicken
  • 1 leek, sliced and washed
  • 3 carrots, sliced into half inch rounds
  • 1 cup of frozen baby peas
  • 32oz of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tbsp dried herbes de provence
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


    Make the pie crust
  1. Do the step either before or while the chicken is roasting. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, herbs and butter in a food processor and pulse a few times until the butter is thoroughly chopped. Slowly drizzle in the cold water while you pulse the processor until the dough forms on its own into a rough ball.
  2. Remove the dough and place it on a floured surface. Pat it into a ball shape, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
  3. Roast the chicken
  4. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  5. Mix the olive oil, herbs and sea salt together and rub them all over the chicken, especially under the skin over the breast meat. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the garlic and rosemary sprigs.
  6. Place the chicken in a small roasting pan with the pearl onions. Roast for approximately 1-1.5 hours (about 20 minutes per pound, or until the juices run clear), basting as needed with a little stock.
  7. Let the chicken cool before pulling the meat off.
  8. Bring the filling together
  9. In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt the stick of butter. Add in the flour and stir together, creating a roux. Cook over medium heat, stirring as needed. You want to cook the flour taste out, but not burn the roux or let it get too dark--let it go for 10 minutes or so. Add the dried herbs and rosemary to the pot, and then slowly stir in the chicken stock. Let the stock simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Pull the meat from the chicken, give it a rough dice with a knife, and add it to the soup, along with the leeks and carrots. Let the soup simmer down until the stock has reduced by at least a third. Add in the cream, half of the parmesan, the pearl onions and peas. Taste it and add any salt and pepper as needed.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  12. Assemble the pies
  13. Divide the stew amongst your ramekins. I used four wide, shallow ones. The amount of pies you get will vary on your ramekin size.
  14. Roll out the pie crust and, using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut out circles slightly larger in diameter than your ramekins. Carefully drape the crust over the top of the ramekins, pressing the edges over the sides, sealing in the stew.
  15. Brush the crusts with a bit of egg wash or butter, and sprinkle each one with a quarter of the leftover parmesan. Place the ramekins on a large cookie sheet, and bake them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the crusts are nicely browned.
  16. Serve and enjoy. They will be hot and delicious!

Fettuccini with Roasted Red Corn

Roasted Red Corn Linguine, and Some Things I’ve Never Tried

I found red sweet corn at Whole Foods last week.  Not Indian corn.  Not the band Korn painted all up in red.  Red sweet corn.  I’d never even seen it in a store before, let alone tried it.  So I bought some, because what do you do when confronted with something new and mysterious?  You eat it.  It works for babies, it works for puppies, it can work for you, too.


I’ve also never tried putting corn in pasta before.  I’ve seen it, and I’ve avoided it for a long time.  I shy against putting two carbs together in the same dish, I don’t know why.  It’s like carbs all the way down, and it makes me feel guilty.  But despite that, I decided to make linguine and add the sweet corn in to it.

It was delicious.


Of course it was.  I wouldn’t take the time to write up a recipe that was gross or disgusting, not to mention all the photos.  What kind of bored monster do you think I am?

Anyway, other things I’ve never tried:

-Eating an entire plate of Cap’n Crunch french toast from the Bomber (it exists and it is delicious but I fear it would kill me)

-Eating green eggs with a fox.  Eating green eggs in a box.  Eating green eggs here or there, eating green eggs anywhere.

-Strawberries that taste like pineapples.

-Making tiny ice cream sandwiches out of those little cookies they give you on Delta flights.


-Making my own puff pastry because I don’t hate my free time that much.

-Chocolate covered grasshoppers.


Now, I’m not saying that all of those things would be as delicious as this roasted red corn pasta…except for the french toast.  That would probably do it.  But I’m a little more inclined now to try…everything except the grasshoppers.  Maybe the grasshoppers.  Probably not the grasshoppers.


Roasted Red Corn Linguine, and Other Things I’ve Never Tried


    For the Corn:
  • 2 ears fresh red sweet corn
  • 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 whole peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • For the Chicken
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • For everything else
  • 1 pound fresh linguine noodles, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cups green beans, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • pecorino romano, grated--however much you want


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two small baking pans with tin foil.
  2. Prepare the corn: place the oil, basil, garlic, pepper and salt in a blender and puree. Brush a few tablespoons of the oil mixture all over the sweet corn. Place the corn in one of the prepared pans.
  3. Prepare the chicken: in the other tinfoiled pan, place the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle the olive oil over both and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.
  4. Place both pans in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until the corn is browned and soft and the chicken is cooked through. Let cool slightly. Slice the chicken into strips. Hold each corn cob up on its end and carefully cut the corn kernels off the cobs.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked linguine noodles, fresh basil, red onion, green beans, butter, chicken and corn kernels with the rest of the oil/garlic/basil mixture (from step 2). Sprinkle the pasta with the grated pecorino.
  6. Enjoy!

Chicken with Mint Sauce and Rosemary Potatoes

Green Pea Mint Sauce for Two

We have a new fence!  It’s very exciting.  It looks beautiful and it’s intact.  It’s also four feet tall at the shortest level, so Maggie (our Mastiff) has to stand up on her hind legs in order to peer over it, which she can’t do for very long.  She ends up looking like a prairie dog, searching the horizon for predators, before popping her head back into the confines of the yard.  It’s hilarious.

it also has nothing to do with green pea mint sauce.  Well, at best, they are only tangentially related.  But this sauce is as delicious and easy as Maggie is hilarious.  It’s a particularly great recipe if you’re just cooking for yourself or for  the two of you.  It’s quick, has few ingredients and requires little effort, but it can jazz up some leftover chicken breasts or a rotisserie bird with a great, fresh burst of flavor.

Chicken with Mint-Pea Sauce

It was actually my dinner tonight, along with a side of rosemary potatoes (see below) and this week’s Champagne Wednesday watermelon cocktail.  And it was delicious.  Cooking for one often ends up being quick and simple but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yo’self.  And sure, the heavy cream in this recipe might negate some of the healthier aspects of the peas but the verdent green color will at least make you feel really good :).

Rosemary Potatoes


Green Pea Mint Sauce

Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 oz herbed goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are thawed and heated through.
  2. Add half the peas to the blender, along with the mint and and heavy cream. Purée until smooth. If you need a slightly thinner consistency, add some chicken or veggie stock, one teaspoon at a time until the desired results are achieved.
  3. Add the pea puree back into the sauce pan, along with the herbed goat cheese. Cook until the goat cheese has melted into the peas, stirring occasionally.
  4. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over...well, anything, but I found grilled chicken to be particularly good.

Here’s  a “no recipe” recipe for rosemary potatoes: quarter some new potatoes.  Put them in a saucepan and cover them with at least a spare inch of water.  Boil until fork-tender.  Drain the water and add in a tablespoon of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil, as well as some chopped rosemary and a sprinkling of sea salt and cracked pepper.  Cook over medium high heat until browned and crispy, stirring occasionally.


Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Spicy Greek Yogurt and Lime Marinated Chicken or Paneer Skewers

That’s a long title.  Say that 5 times fast.   No, really, do it.  I’ll wait…

…Ha!  That was hilarious.  You’re a funny person.

Today has been a myriad of ups and downs.  I’m still on vacation, +1.  The fence won’t be finished for days yet so our yard is still a construction zone and our dogs can’t roam freely as they’d like, -1.  Paul came over for dinner and games, +1.  Paul smashed his iPad in our driveway, -1.  We had these chicken skewers for dinner, + 1.  I forgot to make rice to go with them, -1.  We had arugula salad though, +1!  It was 90 degrees outside…+/- 0.  The skewers were delicious, +1.  Tally….whew! I’m in the black today.

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers

I may have gone a little skewer-crazy, today.  I also made skewers of cherry tomatoes marinated in balsamic vinegar, baby eggplants brushed with olive oil, zucchini and red onion and grilled them on salt blocks.  They turned out quite nicely as well.  It got a little hot in the 90F degree heat standing in front of the grill but it was worth the extra tan :).

Paprika Habanero Chicken Skewers


Spicy Greek Yogurt and Lime Marinated Chicken or Paneer Skewers


  • 4 medium to large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 1 pound paneer cheese
  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt plus extra for dipping
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tsp habanero powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 metal skewers


    Chicken version
  1. Cut chicken breasts into 12 strips, lengthwise (about three strips per breast). Put the chicken into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
  2. In a medium-sized bow, mix together the yogurt, lime juice, paprika, habanero powder and salt. If habanero is too spicy for you, you can substitute a different chile powder or skip it altogether and increase the amount of paprika.
  3. Spoon the yogurt mixture into the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and squish it around until all of the chicken is coated with the yogurt mixture. Put the bag in the fridge and let it marinate for about 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Brush your grill with oil or spray and set it to a medium high heat. Thread the chicken strips onto the metal skewers, two strips per skewer, one right after the other. Place the skewers on the grill. Grill, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and a nice crust has developed--about 7-8 minutes per side.
  5. Serve alongside a bowl of greek yogurt for dipping.
  6. Paneer Version
  7. Cut the paneer into 1" cubes. Place cubes in a gallon-sized ziplock bag.
  8. Follow steps 2-5, only cut the cooking time down to 5 minutes per side.


I didn't have any cumin, but I think a couple teaspoons added in would be divine. Also an optional spritz of lime, if that's your thing. We served this over an arugula salad, but I think a saffron and tomato rice dish would also fare nicely.



Rosemary Chicken

I don’t know about where you are but it is super hot, humid and rainy in Michigan.  Hot and humid enough that you don’t want to use the oven.  Rainy enough that you can’t grill and your herb garden is exploding…in fact, I think my oregano plant may have eaten one of the neighborhood children.

So that’s when I turn to one of the greatest inventions of mankind: pizza delivery.  Just kidding, I really mean the slowcooker.  And I know that we often think of the slowcooker as a winter-meal-generator and mostly useful for heavy comfort food, but really, you get out of it what you put into it.

ingredient collage

Literally.  What goes into the slowcooker comes out of the slowcooker, only better and more moist.  (I wrote “moister” there the first time, I did.)  And it can be light and summery, and use up all those fresh herbs you’ve got in your yard….or the ones you found in the produce section of the grocery store.  This dish packs a lot of bright, delicious flavor for what ends up being very little effort on your part.  Chicken, pancetta, rosemary (though you could substitute thyme or fresh oregano).  It takes about 10 minutes to put together—all you have to do is slice a few things and layer them in your slow cooker. Less time to cook, more time to fight off the mosquitos.


Rosemary Chicken

Yield: About 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 breast each


  • 4 split chicken breasts (or about 3lbs)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and whole
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2oz pancetta,diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (or 1/2 cup of your favorite white wine)


  1. Place the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Rub the chicken with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on top of the onions. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, pancetta, rosemary and lemon juice.
  3. Cook for 8 hours on low heat.



Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Nuts, and Making the Meals the Universe Wants You To Make

I blame Emily Dingmann.  A day after looking through this interesting Learnist board she’d created on fancy nut butters, my husband brought home, completely on his own, a jar of spicy peanut butter.  Today, I had nothing in the house to make a real dinner with except a package of chicken, some butter lettuce, bell pepper and….that jar of spicy peanut butter.  Clearly, the universe was compelling me to make peanut chicken wraps.  Clearly.

Sadly, I don’t have an actual recipe to share with you.  I can tell you that I heated canola oil and a tablespoon of Chinese 5-spice powder in a pan and then fried died chicken in it, added half a diced onion and one diced bell pepper, and a couple chopped leaves of basil.  Then I added a big scoop of spicy peanut butter, thinned it out a bit with chicken stock until it coated the chicken mixture without being too runny, and served it in lettuce cups with chopped peanuts and some chives from my garden.  That was about it.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Despite what this blog and my Evernote recipe notebook might lead you to believe, most of my cooking doesn’t involve recipes at all.  It just involves me saying, “Hm, what should I eat?”, perusing the refrigerator and cupboards, finding a few ingredients and thinking, “Yeah that seems good” and just sort of throwing things together.  I never think much of it; chances are you do the same thing.  But I do often get questions and exclamations of wonderment from friends and acquaintances who aren’t as comfortable just throwing culinary paint at the wall, as it were.  “How do you know what to put together?  How do you know how much?  How do you know it’ll taste good?”

The answer is, I don’t always, except I sort of do, and it usually works out.  Part of it is knowing what individual ingredients taste like (raw and cooked), which comes with experience; part of it is being able to imagine how they’ll taste together, which comes with experimentation; and part of it is being confident in your instincts, which comes down to trusting yourself a little bit.

Maybe you’ve never considered trying a spicy peanut butter; maybe you’ve never thrown a scoop of peanut butter into a dish with chicken; maybe you’ve never imagined spreading peanut butter on a grilled cheese sandwich, but you should because it’s delicious.

Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Unless you have a peanut allergy.  I mean, it’s delicious but it’s not worth anaphylactic shock.

I can’t really think of anything that is worth anaphylactic shock, off the top of my head.  Unless you’ve been in the desert for months without the slightest bit of chocolate and some desert mirage offers you an Almond Joy.  Then you eat that sucker.

No, seriously, don’t do that if you have a nut allergy.  I’m just kidding.

Anyway, for the rest of you, if the Universe gives you a nut, use it to make something delicious and new to you.  The Universe wants you to experiment.  It wants you to be happy.  It wants you to make delicious food.

Also, it thinks you should check out the following Learnist boards on peanuts and things you can do with them.

Also, it said you look really cute today, so kudos.



{Guest Post!} Chad’s Beer Butt Chicken

If you remember, Chad Williams is the fitness guru behind Anthrophysique and the Evernote Ambassador for Fitness.  Here he’s sharing one of his favorite healthy recipes!

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Beer Butt Chicken is one of my favorite meals of all time. It’s a pretty simple recipe and best of all, it’s done on the barbecue.

When it comes to cooking, I like my meals on the BBQ. I’m not so handy when I have to do things in the oven, but over an open flame I’m better at getting it just right. I also like the flavour you can get and the control you have.

If you’ve never had this meal, you’re in for a treat! Continue reading

Clementines and Thyme

Clemen-Thyme Roasted Chicken & Citrus-Scented Mushrooms and Tofu En Papilotte

Whew.  Say that three times fast.

Continuing with our citrus fest, let’s move on the main show, shall we?  If you remember from last time, Whole Foods sponsored a little bit of experimentation using their fresh, in-season clementines and satsumas.  And with these beautiful little balls of sunshine, we made a delightful feast.

Citrus Dinner Menu

So we covered the berry punch with clementine syrup (which I already have another request for—as one of our New Year’s Eve cocktails) and our lovely fresh satsuma, almond and goat cheese plate (still one of my favorite appetizers ever).

But there was more.  Oh, so much more.  I’d been wanting for a while to make a thyme-roasted chicken dish and figured that adding a bit of citrus would make it even better.  And I was right. Continue reading

I don’t know that I’ve ever made pizza crust from scratch before, mostly because I suffer from a relatively serious case of selective laziness.  Make my own caramel and nougat for homemade snickers bars?  Sure!  Make pizza dough?  Ha.  Why?  Whole Foods sells theirs in neat little packages.

I don’t claim to make sense.  Continue reading

Make Me a Sammich: Chicken with Leek Confit

“Make me a sandwich.”
“Poof!  You’re a sandwich.

You want jokes?  I got ‘em.  You want funny jokes?  Try back next week.

Josh and I have been trying this radical new thing: “making our own lunches and taking them to work.”  Innovative right?

You see, I work on a college campus that happens to be nicely situated amongst the city’s downtown area.  I am surrounded by restaurants of all kinds–Indian buffets, sandwich places, Mediterranean joints, sushi places, pizza delivery, milkshake delivery and the best soup-shack this side of Heaven.  It is, needless to say, very difficult for me to ignore all of that and eat a lunch I packed.  If I packed.  Hey, sometimes I’m too lazy busy to remember little details like that.  But the down side of this genuine first-world problem of having lots of restaurants nearby is that it’s expensive to eat out all the time for lunch and frankly, eventually it gets boring. Continue reading

cheesy chicken soupSunday was a busy day.  I got out of bed–and that was an effort, let me tell you–and made breakfast, prepared bread dough, did the week’s grocery shopping, found out my Twitter account was hacked (again, apologies to all involved), roasted chicken, made stock, made soup and still managed to watch Squid Invasion on Netflix streaming and thoroughly freak myself out.

But the important thing here is the soup.  It’s my cheesy, chunky comfort stew.  I originally made it for Paul and Josh last week for dinner.  Paul and I had a very good trade going: if I made dinner, he would bring cinnamon pie for dessert.  (I freaking love cinnamon pie and Paul makes it brilliantly.)  And since I knew I was going to want to have a really large piece of pie for dessert, I figured I would make something for dinner that was simple (cause I was tired), quick (cause I was short on time), vegetarian (because Paul is not of the meat-eating persuasion) and filling without being super heavy (cause pie).  Oh and delicious, of course, because that’s how I roll. Continue reading

Bet you never thought you’d see a Twilight reference on this blog, eh?  Yeah me either.  And I’m actually a little ashamed now.  Although I’m not sure if I should be more ashamed that I didn’t even realize the reference until after I’d written the headline or that I didn’t immediately erase it.

Actually let’s try this post again.


I took the afternoon off yesterday.  It was just one of those days where I just didn’t want to be in the office; I wanted to unwind and relax a bit.  So after having a long lunch with Josh and a couple of friends, I headed down to Kerrytown in Ann Arbor to hang out at the market and do a bit of shopping.  I ended up at Sweetwaters, which if you’re not from around these parts, is a small local coffee shop chain and this particular location is inside/adjacent to Sparrow Market in the Kerrytown shops.  I hung out for a while, people-watching and debating internally what I wanted to make for dinner.

If you’re like me, the problem of what to eat next is at its very core an existential one.  Which means, if you’re like me, we should both be pretty thankful for the obviously comfortable circumstances in which we live.  Yet beyond that, yes, I take “What’s for dinner?” very seriously for a number of reasons.  One, obviously cooking is my hobby; I consider each meal an opportunity to practice my skills.  Two, as a human, I have the ability to raise eating from a basic level of instinctual need to one of enjoyment; you have to eat, you might as well enjoy it.  Three, as an extension to Reason #2, if you’re going to put something in your body and thereby make it a part of your being, it should be high-quality and it should be as tasty as possible.  I mean, what if you really are what you eat?  When the zombie apocalypse comes, I want the droning, vacant cannibalistic hordes of the reanimated to fight over who gets the remains of my mutilated corpse because I am that delicious. Continue reading

Hunger is the best sauce–if you add pomegranates and cream

I had some time to waste the other day after work and since it was a beautiful day, I decided to walk down to the Kerrytown Market and pick up something for dinner.  I was thinking, some chicken to grill would be great.  We’d been eating a lot of pork and beef and I was getting kind of bored and it was just the perfect kind of day to break out the new grill again.  I knew we had some lovely, giant summer squash given to us by a couple of friends so all I really needed to complete the meal was an entree and some fresh sliced bread that I could dip in herbs and olive oil.  Yum.  The boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the case at Sparrow’s looked fantastic and I knew just what to do with it.  I still had a few bottles of pomegranate juice from the last case the lovely people at Pom Wonderful sent me (and here you thought I used it all up in those pom-chocolate-mint mojitos), and I had plenty of cream thanks to our weekly Calder’s dairy delivery.  (Yes, that’s right–dairy delivery.  I have a milk man.  I’ll dish more on that in another post later.)  And for some reason, I really wanted to put the two together.

I also had this fantastic cheese I picked up at Whole Foods.  You can probably find it in other places, but I found it there a few weeks ago and we are completely hooked on it.  Like, ridiculously hooked on it.  It’s fantastic in everything–melted on burgers, shredded and stirred into scrambled eggs, eaten by itself…delicious.  It’s a jack cheese from Great Midwest that’s studded with leeks and morels.  Yes.  Leeks and morels.  I know.  You’re drooling right now as you read this.  Go out and pick some up.  You can thank me for it later. Continue reading

the Great Recipe Experiment: #5-Asopao de Pollo

This post is brought to you by the letters “Y,” “U,” “M,” “M,” and “Y.”  And the number 3.  Let’s use those in a sentence.  “This meal is 3 kinds of yummy.”  Good!

This may actually be my favorite of the experiments so far.  Granted, there have only been 5–so far—but this is still one of my top ones.  My fabulous cousin Carmen picked this Puerto Rican chicken and rice stew to try out; I made it as dinner for Josh and myself tonight and bundled up a bunch to take her for lunch.  This dish is not only tasty, it’s informative.  It’s taught me at least 3 yummy things.

1.  There’s such a thing as “annatto oil,” which is made by infusing oil with achiote seeds .  It’s used to flavor and color foods in South American cooking.  I didn’t actually use it here.  I used olive oil.  But good to know it’s possible. Continue reading

Tomato Chicken Sauté, or “Let’s See Hansel and Gretel Push Me into THIS Oven”

It hasn’t even been a full week in our new house yet and already we’ve spent more than a little bit updating things–the cable, the washer and most notably, the oven.

I have a new oven.

Do you know what that’s like?  It’s like Papa having a brand new bag, that’s what it’s like.

It’s beautiful—all shiny and black and stainless steal.  The oven at our old apartment was a trustworthy thing; while I am not a fan of electric stovetops, the oven got hot quickly and stayed that way.  When we moved into the house on Saturday, we knew the stove (gas) worked but that the oven didn’t.  So despite my fear-of-change-driven emotional need for brownies, I had to sit and wait until a new stove was ordered and delivered.  But I could still use the stove, and I did.  It was a bit odd changing over to a gas range from an electric one—things heat up so fast!  Lovely.

The new oven (I haven’t named it yet, but I might–any suggestions?) was delivered yesterday.  Josh decided he was going to hook it up himself. This required a trip to the hardware store to get a connector-thingy.  Me, I was all twinge-y with excitement, holding the flashlight while Josh fiddled around behind the stove (which was very shiny—did I mention it was shiny?  I like shiny things). I had it all planned out—first I was going to make a chicken tomato sauté with chicken breasts I had acquired from the store that very afternoon for this very purpose, as well as some plump round cherry tomatoes, garlic and balsamic vinegar.  Then I was going to make a super-quick side dish of tricolor couscous and steamed spinach.  And then there’d be cookies.  Chocolate chip, of course, with maybe some oatmeal and I could nearly taste the chewy delici—

“It’s not going to work,” said Josh.

Well of course it’s going to work, I thought, oatmeal and chocolate go great together. Continue reading

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: eat tasty food. like apricot chicken

Oh, and I guess it can be healthy too.  Can be.

Anyway, I was inspired by this chicken wing recipe and decided to play around with a sweet-and-spicy chicken recipe myself.  The store I stopped at this morning didn’t seem to have sriracha sauce specifically, so I went with the chili paste, which I’m sure I’ll be using pretty often because it smells great.

And let’s face it–we can all use a light meal now and again.  Especially in these heady days between Christmas, Christmas, more Christmas and New Year’s.  So this dish, bundled up with some fresh guacamole and a delicate side of lemony green beans (blanch green beans in boiling salted water, then drop into ice water, then pan-fry in a sauce of a tablespoon of butter, a half tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper and herbs) was a welcome breath of delicious, moist, tender air.  I know what you’re thinking: moist is a creepy word.  Yeah, it is.

But the chicken will make you forget all that.  The chicken is here to help. Continue reading

Sorry Charlie, Peanuts are for eating, not for reading: Peanut Chicken Stirfry

Oh bother.

Since I was on my own tonight while Josh was out at a super exciting computer society meeting, I figured I’d make myself a very easy one pot Asian-inspired dish that Josh actually loves but never wants: peanut chicken stirfry.

Consider this less of a recipe, more of a guideline.  Actually, consider everything I write a guideline.  In fact, consider everything I don’t write a guideline too.  Just in case.

Anyway, I love this dish because it’s fast and delicious and only really requires one pot.  And you can swap all sorts of things in and out.  Basically what it is is a pasta dish with vegetables and meat and a creamy peanut butter sauce.  Let me tell you, it might sound odd, but if there’s one way to get your kids (and yourself) to eat vegetables, it’s to smother them in peanut butter.  Trust me. Continue reading

Meal in a pot: baked mac and cheese

I think there’s one basic truth in this world that we can all agree upon: macaroni and cheese is freaking awesome.  It’s like pizza-even when it’s bad, it’s still macaroni and cheese.

There’s a de facto rule in my family that every holiday meal must contain at least one pan of baked macaroni and cheese.  To not have it is a sin against God.  And taste.  And delicious flavor.

I do have a go-to recipe for mac-and-cheese that I like to pull out for such meals, and it never fails.  But tonight, I was on my own and I wanted to make something that would a) use up some leftover chicken from last night’s sammiches and 2)have all my carbs, veggies and protein in one pot.

I ended up combining influence from my usual recipe and from this baked penne with cheddar and leeks recipe from Bon Appetit, and threw in a few other things I had on hand. Continue reading

eat mor chikn: chicken and avocado panini

Farmer Lauren had a chicken, e-i-e-i-oooo, and with this chicken she made a sammich, e-i-e-i-ooo, with an apple slice here and an avocado there, here a spice and there a slice, eveywhere it’s nice nice, Farmer Lauren had a chicken avocado paniniiiiiiiii.

This is one of those recipeless recipes.  Pretty much you can insert just about anything you think sounds tasty.  Like the rest of my life, I didn’t have a plan…I just went with what I had. Continue reading

Nobody gets left behind: leftovers

What I do with leftovers:

From the milk-roasted chicken on Sunday, I had two bone-in chicken breasts left over.  What to do with them?  Hm.  Think.  Think Think Think.

Well, I also had some Spanish chorizo I picked up at Eastern Market on Saturday as well.  Chorizo is a spicy, smoked pork sausage that comes in many varieties.  I also had leftover chopped green and red bell peppers bagged up in the freezer, and some fresh spinach and portabella mushrooms left from Josh making pizza for himself for dinner.  And I had rice.  Well that all sounds pretty good.  Continue reading