Archive for January, 2014

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Bracing the Self

January 26, 2014

I think most of the inhabitants of North America would agree –

Winter is absolutely whack-a-doo this year.

The change from warm, sunny days to a thirty-degree-ice-rain-of-death day was almost too much for this poor Texan to handle.

My husband and I stayed home from work on Friday during Icemageddon. He played computer games, while I was chained to the kitchen table, participating in a work-related conference call.

Skeleton Sketch

That went well.

Beignet kindly kept me company during the day. I’ll admit, working from home is so much better with a warm, fuzzy dog near your feet.

And a Keurig brewer ten steps away.

Work Buddy

I haven’t been really feeling myself lately. I’ve been extremely tired during the day, despite a solid eight to nine hours of sleep each night.

And then there’s the brain fuzz*. Do you know the sensation of one of your limbs “falling asleep”? Imagine that sensation in the brain.

*I may have accidentally locked Beignet in the garage for fifteen minutes this morning. Gah. Sometimes I am the worst parent ever.

Maybe it really is the weather. Maybe not.

But this I know – Cookies heal the soul.

So, I made two batches: snickerdoodle and sugar with sprinkles.

Cookies

Both of these cookies are phenomenal, especially with a small glass of cold milk.

Cookies and Milk

Armed with these cookies and a fresh carton of milk, Jason and I are bracing for the next cold front due Tuesday. I can only hope the cookies hold out.

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Gonna Roast a Chicken

January 26, 2014

Places, Everybody!

Okay, so the title of the song is actually “Gonna Stuff a Chicken,” but there’s gonna be no stuffin’ chickens here. It would be… unsouthern.

Jason and I have been on a roast-chicken-kick for a few months now, and unfortunately for him, this song gets sung in our home every time.

“Gonna roast a chicken…”

He seems to handle it pretty well.

“Like my mama taught me!”

At least he hasn’t cracked in front of me. Not yet anyway.

You know what really irks me though? Roast chicken has a rep of being so difficult to prepare. Puh-lease! How hard is it to slap a bird with butter, shove a lemon up its butt, and throw it in the oven?

I blame this article from Glamour. The perfect roast chicken recipe to spur your guy to propose?! That’s a lot of pressure on a chicken!

No wonder those roast chickens from the grocery store are so popular…

I like Martha Stewart’s Perfect Roast Chicken recipe, but I’ll admit, I’ve never made it to the gravy in Step 4. All bets are off once this bird is out of the oven, especially when you live with the ultimate chicken connoisseur*.

*I had to drag so-called connoisseur away from a 10-lb. bag of chicken wings at the grocery store today.

The great thing about this recipe is that it allows for lots of freedom. Sage (my favorite!) and rosemary are amazing additions to the four sprigs of thyme.  Also, there are no rules against sprinkling chopped herbs over the buttered skin with the [kosher] salt and [fresh ground] pepper prior to roasting. It just makes the skin that more delectable.

Roast Chicken Prep

[roast chicken prep]

And no, I didn’t use 2 tablespoons of butter to coat the skin prior to roasting. Of course not. I used 1/4 cup or 1/2 a stick.

According to Martha, the chicken is done when the breast registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and the thighs 190 degrees Fahrenheit. I wrap aluminum foil around the wings and drumsticks during the roasting process when the skin starts crisping too much.

Perfect Roast Chicken

And ta-da! Roast chicken!

Please don’t make fun of my trussing skills.