Posted: June 9th, 2010 | Filed under: Vegetables | Tags: cake toppers, cowboys helmets, home grown tomatoes, patio garden, patio produce | 2 Comments »
So this is just a quick mid week update of a few things that have happened (things that caused dancing) and a little preview for later this weekend. As you know, I have been tending to my little patio garden like a good little Dentonite – and while I have been harvesting in on my herbs none of my little veggie plants had ripened quite yet. Until this week… welcome Tomato 1 and Tomato 2 – my first little tiny tomato harvest from the patio! So exciting – and super tasty little guys!
Now for a little preview action… this weekend I’m making cupcakes for a Dallas Cowboys theme 1 yr old birthday party… and this evening I made these cute little cake toppers…
So there you go… anything exciting happening with you mid week?
Posted: April 3rd, 2010 | Filed under: Chicken, Entree, Vegetables | Tags: Roasted chicken, roasted chicken with sourdough bread, roasted root vegetables | 3 Comments »
We really like roasted chicken. Our favorite is from this great little restaurant in Dallas called Toulouse. So I have been trying to recreate it ever since. And roasted chicken is simple, inexpensive, and versatile. And its heartwarming. I can’t explain how heartwarming it is to see the golden roasted bird coming out of the oven surrounded by tasty onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and sourdough bread. Dripping with juices and herby and warm and oh my goodness. I love a well roasted chicken. This is my favorite one so far. Everything was perfect and I took a hint from Martha Stewart (she recently had an article saying to toast crusty bread under the chicken. I took it a step farther and used a some delicious crusty sourdough chunks under the bird and scattered around with the veggies. Something beautiful happened. The chunks got nice and crunchy on top and soaked up all of the juicy goodness and oh my. Well, lets just say it was amazing. You will not regret this one…. and don’t be shocked if I keep toying with roasted chicken some more. I’m just enjoying this way too much.
Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables and Sourdough
1 3-4lb whole chicken, rinsed, dried, at room temperature
(Note, when I buy a chicken I buy it cleaned fully with no gibblets or neck, completely ready to go)
3 large carrots, peeled
1 lb red potatoes quartered
2 large yellow onions cut into wedges
1 large lemons cut in half
2 pieces of applewood smoked bacon
2 heads of garlic un-peeled and cut in half
1/2 loaf of crusty sourdough torn into large chunks
3 tbsp butter at room temperature
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
Fresh salt and ground pepper
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow pan or dish place all your onions, carrots, potatoes, sourdough, and garlic. In the chicken, (yes, inside), line the cavity with bacon and put in the lemon halves. On the chicken, spread the butter and half of the herbs, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining herbs and salt and pepper on the veggies. Place the bird on top of the pan full of veggies and bread. Pop in the oven for an hour and a half. The skin should be a nice golden brown and the meat opaque all the way through. Let the chicken rest for atleast 5 to ten minutes before carving. Serve the chicken carved with a helping of veggies and sourdough with the pan juices spooned over. Enjoy!
Posted: April 2nd, 2010 | Filed under: Entree, Vegetables | Tags: broiled flank steak, cajun flank steak, cooked spinach, easy flank steak, excellent spinach, Flank steak, garlic spinach, spinach, steamed spinach | No Comments »
Like I mentioned in an earlier post we have been trying to make dinner at home more often on weeknights. And by make dinner I am excluding a box of mac and cheese, a bowl of cereal, or pasta with canned sauce with a little cheese on top. Not that these aren’t dinner. They are. But they don’t invoke a love for cooking in me, they don’t challenge me to try a new cut of meat or hone my skills. So here is a dinner that was made that I was completely delighted and pleased with. It was simple and did not break the bank and helped me build a little more confidence in buying meat again. (Have I explained that irrational fear to you yet? I’m not sure… so here it is. I have no confidence in cooking most meats. Veggies, breads, anything cakes or sugar, side dishes, casseroles, I have no problem making in a moments notice. However, picking a cut of meat (outside of a meat for burgers) I have a little bit of anxiety about. I think its because its more expensive and seems more easily destroyed in my kitchen. Its harder to fix and be okay with making a dry and flavorless steak or pork chop or loin that I spent more than ten dollars on that is now inedible than a bunch of asparagus that was slightly over cooked for four bucks. I think also that when you initially start out a little more nervous about something more likely you are to ruin it. But I’m working on it… don’t worry.)
So a seasoned flank steak and garlic spinach it is. With roasted potatoes (which I cannot ever stop making because I love them so much.) But Ryan loves spinach. Which is weird because it is hard to get him to eat leafy green things or green things in general most of the time. But he really likes spinach, which is A OK with me. And we aren’t talking about the sodium filled lump of green from a can. We are talking fresh baby spinach all nice and wilted with sauted spinach and a dash of red wine vinegar. Fresh and bright and super tender and tasty. And I’m not going to lie. I am proud of this steak. It was well seasoned, flavorful, and perfectly pink on the inside. (We are on the rare side of medium rare kind of people, but hey, you can change that with a little extra time if you so choose.) I made me want to buy flank steak again. And c’mon, I found the steak recipe in Cooking Light… it can’t be that terrible for me right? But seriously, it was delicious, and it made me so happy, and this will be showing up on the rotation again with a few new spins soon.
1 lb flank steak, trimmed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat broiler. To prep steak leave it sitting at room temperature for 15min. combined salt and the next 8 ingredients, sprinkle on both sides of the steak. Place steak on broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6min on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Cover and let rest 5min. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb fresh stemmed and shredded
1/4 c water
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and garlic, cook 1 min, stirring constantly. Add spinach and water and cook for 4 min or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients.
Posted: February 26th, 2010 | Filed under: Vegetables | Tags: cauliflower, parmesan cauliflower, Roasted cauliflower | 2 Comments »
Today it is cold and rainy and gray outside… and I spent my morning working out, getting my oil changed, getting the tires rotated, finding a new pair of jeans (never fun) and running other very boring errands. So now I’m sitting at home, hungry, studying, and ready for a warm lunch. So roasted cauliflower it is. And man am I glad I waited the thirty minutes for it to roast. Warm, with the bite of pepper and a sweetness in the cauliflower brought out through my favorite roasting process, no chalkiness - with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese… Thank you oven for making such a perfect lunch.
This makes a perfect side dish… or if you are me, a perfect small meal.
**Note: I have been buying blocks of good parmesan cheese for awhile and I have to say this – everyone should do the same thing. (If you ever use parm that is.) And here is why. A good block of parmesan costs anywhere between $5 and $10 dollars. It lasts for a long time, and with so much flavor in a good cheese, a nice fresh tbsp or so finishes off a meal nicely. So next time you are at the grocery store, consider spending a little extra for a lot of flavor.
1 head of cauliflower
3 tbsp good olive oil
Fresh ground kosher salt and pepper
4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut stems and leaves off of cauliflower head. Place cauliflower on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Grind a good amount of salt and pepper over the cauliflower. Roast for 30min tossing once. Take out of oven and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Pop into the oven to melt the cheese for about a minute. Enjoy!
Posted: January 13th, 2010 | Filed under: Chicken, Vegetables | Tags: Chicken, Easy, herb potatoes, lemon chicken, Potatoes, quick, Red potatoes, Roasted chicken, Roasted potatoes | 3 Comments »
There are a few dishes I would like to work on perfecting this spring… one of those things is a roasted chicken. Simple, unassuming, unpretentious, and just right. Full of flavor, even with only a few ingredients, a really good roasted chicken is an almost intimidating dish. I don’t want fancy rubs or sauces. I don’t want fruity glazes or spicy gravies to go on my dinner plate. I wanted something that was just surprisingly simplistic and delicious. And so I did. I roasted chicken. It was inexpensive. It was easy. It was moist. It was a little comforting, especially with the cold still here. It was a great meal for the middle of the week.
To keep things easy and roasted I paired the chicken with a side of roasted red potatoes… a favorite of mine, and if you’ve known me long enough… chances are you’ve had them once or twice.
Incredibly easy, and always a crowd pleaser, try these for your next pot luck or dinner gathering. Who’s ready for dinner now?
1 3-4 lb whole chicken (neck and giblets removed, chicken rinsed and pated dry)
5-10 cloves of garlic (depending on how much you like garlic) peeled
Fresh ground pepper
2 tbs Olive oil
2 tbs dried rosemary
1 tbs dried basil
1 tbs dried thyme
2 lemons (1 cut in half, 1 cut in quarters)
3/4 c chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place the chicken on a roasting pan, rack, or in a dutch oven. Coat the exterior of the chicken with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the dried herbs and a good amount of salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice of the halved lemon over the chicken. Place the garlic and the quartered lemon around the chicken. Place in the oven and roast for 3o min uncovered. After 30 min, take out of the oven and pour chicken stock over the chicken. Continue roasting the chicken uncovered and basting with its own juices every 15 min for another 45 min. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest with foil lightly draped over it for 15-20 min. Carve and enjoy.
2 lbs red potatoes washed and quartered
2 tbs olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
1 tbs dried rosemary
(I usually roast these at 400 degrees F, but since the chicken is already in the oven… you can just shorten the time)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper toss your potatoes in the olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Roast for 15 min, flip the potatoes and continue roasting for another 15 min.