recipe: perfect roast chicken

August 9th, 2019


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
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 425¬įF.  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. 


→ 3 CommentsTags: food · main dishes

lemon olive oil cake

August 7th, 2019

Hope everyone had an amazing Memorial Day weekend!  Things have been so crazy, I really needed three days just to catch up on everything!  I spent a full day baking and can’t wait to show you guys all the amazing recipes I whipped up, and then spent a full day working on the sequel to Moving Neutral, which is coming along really well!  I can’t wait to show you guys what happens to Blake and Casey next.  ūüôā

One of the highlights of my day of baking was definitely this lemon cake, which seems difficult but really only takes a few minutes of prep and basically uses ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!  Eggs, flour, sugar, olive oil, lemon juice, powdered sugar, salt, and that’s it! 

Easy to whip up on a random weekend morning, and totally delicious!

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

For the cake:
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 large eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla abstract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp skim milk


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a stand mixer, mix together the eggs and sugar, and then add the milk, vanilla, olive oil, salt and lemon juice.  Mix until combined, and then add 1 cup of flour, the baking powder and baking soda (sprinkle them lightly across the mixture) and the additional 1/2 cup flour.  Mix together until smooth, and pour into a pre-greased pan (approximately 8″x4″). 

Bake the cake for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

For the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar with 1 1/2 tbsp of milk, and add additional milk if the glaze isn’t runny enough to pour.  When it is, pour the glaze over the loaf, cut into slices, and serve.

→ 11 CommentsTags: Breakfast and Brunch · food

Farro with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

August 5th, 2019


This is really my sister’s recipe, although I give myself a little credit for helping. ¬†Actually, though, it’s probably really Heidi Swanson’s recipe, since it’s sort of a cross between two recipes that she put up on her amazing blog —¬†Farro and√ā¬†Roasted Butternut Squash, and ¬†Hazlenut and Chard Ravioli Salad. ¬†Both, I’m sure, are delicious on their own, and we loved this hodgepodge of the two.

I had never made farro before, and it was nutty and delicious with a great texture (and healthy!). ¬†If you don’t have access to farro, quinoa would be a great substitute, or even whole wheat pasta. ¬†Shockingly, I had also never cooked swiss chard before! ¬†I know that I’ve seen it at the farmer’s market on plenty of trips, though, ¬†so I will definitely be experimenting with it again.

I had a little bit of an internal debate over whether to tag this as a “main dish” or as a “side dish.” ¬†I would eat this as a vegetarian meal, certainly, but it could also be served as a side. ¬†So I’m putting it in both categories to avoid waking up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, thinking to myself, “it should have been a main course…” ¬†There are only so many times that can happen, you know?


Farro with Butternut Squash
and Swiss Chard

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fleur de sel (or coarse sea salt)
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
2 cups butternut squash pieces (we used the kind that comes sliced from the store)
zest of one lemon
2 cups farro
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1. In a large stock pot, heat farro, salt and stock to a simmer. Stir every few minutes for 35-40 min, or until farro is nearly cooked (still slightly crunchy, with some stock remaining to be absorbed).
2. While farro is cooking, in a large saute pan, cook olive oil, onions and garlic until translucent.
3. Add hazlenuts and toast rapidly, about 2 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat.
4. After 35 minutes, add butternut squash, lemon zest, and onion/hazlenut mixture to the farro. Simmer 10 minutes. Add swiss chard, simmer five additional minutes or until farro is fully cooked and all the stock has been absorbed. Remove from heat and serve!

Serves 8 as a side, 4-6 as a main course.

→ 22 CommentsTags: food · main dishes · side dishes