Once a year, everyone thinks about roasting a turkey — but what about the other 52 weeks?
I love turkey, don’t get me wrong. It’s delicious, it’s impressive, and it’s actually pretty darn healthy. But you know how often you’re going to buy and roast an 18-pound turkey? Once a year. Exactly that much.
But the same techniques can be used on smaller birds, and they’re just as delicious! (Ok, maybe not “just as” delicious, but also very delicious!) A perfect roast chicken only takes an hour and a half, and it’s SO much better than the boneless, skinless chicken breasts you buy at the store.
My secret trick? Start the chicken upside down! That way, as you cook, all the delicious moist juices run over the breast and not just into the bottom of the pan. An added bonus? No basting! Easy, simple and super delicious.
Perfect Roast Chicken
1 5-6 pound roasting chicken
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wash the chicken and dry it with paper towels. Rub olive oil under the skin gently with your hands, and then over the skin. Season the entire chicken with garlic powder, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the chicken in a roasting pan upside down (breast side down) and cook for about 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, flip the chicken over so that the breasts are facing up, and cook for an additional 30 minutes until the breast temperature is 180 degrees and the thigh is 190 degrees.
Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into it. Serve in large portions with a simple side salad or roasted vegetables.
Because right now, some of you are thinking, “I’ve never had avocado served warm.”
But the thing is — you’ve been missing out. Like, desparately. Because roasted (or grilled) avocado is so incredibly delicious, you’re going to be shocked when you finally try it.
These taste almost like big thick-cut baked french fries, only a million times richer and creamier. They’re absolutely delicious. And super easy — go try it!
Roasted Avocado Slices
2 avocados, fairly firm
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Fleur de sel
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut each avocado into quarters, lengthwise, discarding stone and peel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously with garlic powder, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the slices are a little golden at the edges.
Most of the time, I go to the grocery store without a set list in my head — which is sometimes great and sometimes a total disaster.
Great: When I spot fresh key limes and decide to make key lime pie!
Disaster: When I get home and realize I have no idea what the other ingredients are in key lime pie, and have to make a second trip to the grocery store for the rest of them.
But, once I finally got my hands on some sweetened condensed milk (really, I should have had than in our pantry to begin with) and after juicing about 100 ping-pong-ball-sized key limes, this pie was absolutely delicious. Perfect for a summer dinner party in the backyard, or just a really yummy afternoon snack. You could totally make this without fresh key limes (they’re not easy to find) and save yourself most of the work!
Key Lime Pie
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well blended. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate (I used an 8-inch springform pan for mine). Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix together the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice and pour into the cooled shell. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes. Refrigerate to cool, and top with powdered sugar and fresh key lime slices.
Ha ha, that was a joke. Neither do I! That was a long time ago!
The fact is, I’ve been so busy for the past year or two that cooking has really fallen to the wayside. I have a few tried and true staples that I make for dinner during the week and, honestly, we order a fair amount of takeout. I can’t help it — pizza is one of my favorite foods on this earth, and when I get home from a long day and still have 57 emails to respond to, the last thing I can think about is shopping for ingredients, making up a new recipe and cleaning everything up afterwards! I’m hoping to carve out more time for some special dinners this year, as soon as my schedule lets up a little bit!
But every once in a while, usually on the weekends, I still get the urge to make something new and delicious. This quinoa salad was a product of me wandering the aisles of our grocery store, trying to think of healthy ingredients that would all taste great together. Feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts? Maybe I can still cook after all. (Yum.)
Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
12 ounce can of artichoke hearts, packed in water
2 tbsp chives, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the sundried tomatoes, feta, artichoke hearts, chives, olive oil and salt and pepper and stir together. Serve at room temperature or warm.
It’s funny, but some of the most popular recipes that I’ve made aren’t the ones that take all day in the kitchen, require fancy ingredients or equipment, or even seem all that creative. Some of the most popular things I make are simple, straightforward, and perfect for just about any weeknight.
So if that’s the kind of thing you’re into, you should definitely try this one. Combine a few ingredients that you’ve probably already got in your kitchen, spend a few minutes of prep time, and you’ve got a delicious dinner that makes a weeknight just a little more special. I’d take this over takeout any day.
Easy Stuffed Chicken
1 chicken breasts (can be adjusted for as many servings as you need)
2 ounces goat cheese
10 baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Gently pull the chicken skin back from the meat. Place a layer of crumbled goat cheese between the skin and the meat, and then top that with a layer of baby spinach. Make sure everything is covered by the chicken skin, and then drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 40 minutes, or until juices run clear.