Monthly Archives: November 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So, by now you can probably see that I don’t make a lot of foods that are difficult, just ones that (hopefully) please all four people in my little family and hopefully add to their nutrition. It is so nice to make a nice, easy dinner for my family and see everyone enjoy it. I know that everyone has different schedules/ work/ volunteering to think about in addition to cooking but if I could just encourage you to cook instead of eating out I know that it will make a huge difference in your daily lives. One really easy bit impressive looking meal is a herb roasted whole chicken.

To make it, you just rinse your chicken, removing the heart or whatever gross thing it is packaged inside and then pat it dry, placing it on a cookie sheet breast side up.

Then cut up half an onion and smash a few cloves of garlic and whatever else you like the smell of – an apple, orange, lemon, carrots any of them – and stuff it inside. My favorite thing to use is oranges but since I didn’t have any I used some gorgeous carrots that I got from Thomas and Lindy at Puzzle Peace Farm this weekend.

Then get some fresh thyme & rosemary and remove it from the stem. Put it in a bowl with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add a dash or two of extra virgin olive oil and mix them together.

Rub your herb mixture all over your chicken, making sure to get some of it and the oil everywhere on the outside. This is going to make the skin nice and crisp.

Put your chicken (or chickens, you can make several at a time when you have lots of dinner guests, like I did) in an oven preheated to 450 degrees. Bake for about an hour or until the internal temperature of your chickens is 165 degrees.

Let the chicken sit for about 15 minutes before you cut it up to serve so that it gets a little time to redistribute the juices, if you don’t wait it will be dry.

I served mine with some fresh sautéed spinach and the Trader Joe’s harvest grain mix. It was a hit. Enjoy your easy but beautiful chicken!

 

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Let them eat bread!

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Playing around with an idea the last few days about how to serve fresh, homemade bread on Thanksgiving day. Whenever you make bread from scratch you can guarantee that it is going to get gobbled up and someone is going to be sad that they only got 2 pieces. How about individual loaves? I went ahead and prepared my dough as I usually do. This recipe makes a very savory white bread, almost like a sourdough. I haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t like it (All though I have met quite a few who wished that they didn’t like it as much as they do.)

First, in a large plastic bowl add:

1 1/2 TBSP Dry active yeast, instant yeast, or bread machine  yeast.

1 1/2 TBSP Kosher or Sea Salt

3 cups warm water

6 1/2 cups white all purpose flour

Mix it all together with either a wooden spoon or your hand mixer. This shouldn’t be hard to mix. Make sure there is not extra white flour surrounding your dough. It’s okay to add a little extra water if you need to, but you shouldn’t have to if you measured.

Cover, but not tightly, the dough and leave it alone for 2 hours on your counter. I use a large plastic bowl with a snap lid and leave one of the snaps undone. They’re $10 at target. Before I bought it, though, I used plastic wrap and just very loosely covered the dough.

After 2 hours put it in your fridge. It can stay in your fridge for a week or so. The longer you store it, the more it will smell like beer because the yeast is maturing. I find that if you refrigerate it for at least 2-3 hours the dough is very easy to shape.  This step is not necessary, once you have waited the 2 hours of counter time, you can use your dough. It’s just easier with some fridge time.

When you are ready to shape your loaves pull a small handful of dough apart from the rest and gently shape it into a little ball that is smooth on the top and sides. (It doesn’t matter what the bottom looks like) Just stretch the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you.  Dust your hands with flour if you need to.  This is just to prevent sticking – you don’t want to incorporate the flour into the dough.   When you are done place the dough on a lightly floured surface, like wax paper or foil and let it rise for 40 minutes. Repeat until all your dough is used up. One batch made 13 mini loaves for me.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and let your baking stone be in the oven as it preheats. Ideally I would leave the cookie sheet in for st least 20 minutes before using it. You can do this while you wait for your dough to rise.

After the dough is ready cut a line or two or an “x” lightly on the top of each loaf. This is called scoring and it lets the gases escape while baking and makes your bread come out of the oven cooked uniformly and beautiful. Place the scored bread on your cooking stone and put it on your top or middle shelf in the oven. Place a shallow metal baking dish on the shelf below it, filled with water. This makes a steam and helps the bread to bake better as well.

Bake for about 20 minutes and remove, letting cool. This bread is best served fresh but is delicious anytime.

Hope you try it!

 

 

Make it Beautiful

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Make it Beautiful

I gave my bedroom a face lift this week and I wanted to share it with you. I didn’t buy anything or paint, I just rearranged and made things look beautiful to me. I love  being in my room so much more now, and it melts my heart when Charlotte Jane comes and lays in bed with me in the morning because she can’t take her eyes off all the “flowers” that I hung from my ceiling. Special thanks to my super manly husband for not caring that I hung them. xoxo

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White Chicken Chili

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White Chicken Chili

My girlfriend Megan T makes the most AMAZING white chicken chili and has consented to share her recipe with all of you lucky readers. You seriously will not regret making this! Jack, Charlotte and Matt all woke up with colds this morning and small appetites. This recipe is a great way to get protein (from the chicken and canallini beans) and some healing homeopathic foods in them, like garlic and onion which naturally fight infections and peppers of all kinds which are packed with vitamins and carotenoids.

 

  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 large green pepper chopped
    1 poblano pepper (remove seeds for less  spice)
    1 large jalapeño pepper (same as above)
    1 medium sized onion, chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    1 tablespoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    2 pounds leftover chicken
    2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    1 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    Sautee the peppers, onion and garlic in the EVOO, 1 tsp coriander & 1 Tbsp cumin

  • boil breasts in water until easily shredded (or use leftover chicken, picked apart)
  • add remaining ingredients to crockpot

Cook on low for 5 or so hours,

high for 3ish.

10 minutes before you serve it, top with remaining coriander and cumin.

Top with sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves and salt.

Delicious!!!

Healthy cookie dip and my glorious return to blogging.

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Okay, so there is nothing glorious about my return – and technically I never even left. I just haven’t blogged in over a week because I’ve had a ton of other stuff to do; but now here I am! And I have the most amazing recipe to share with you. My girlfriend, Brandy, linked this recipe on my Facebook page the other day and I tried it not quite believing that it would taste like cookie dough – but it totally does!

  • I can chickpeas, drained and washed
  • a little over 1/8 tsp of salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cups agave nectar
  • 3 TBSP old fashioned oats

Throw all of that in the food processor together and grind it up really well. Taste it. If you aren’t used to sweetening things without sugar feel free to add a pinch or two of brown sugar and mix again.

Remove from food processor and stir in a hand full of chocolate chips.
This is SOOO good. I ate mine spread on graham crackers but it would also be good on apple slices.

Hope you enjoy!

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