Friday, February 26, 2010

Whole Grilled Chicken with Wilted Arugula

Recipe by Thomas Keller
"I don't care if you're sophisticated, with a boatload of money," says Thomas Keller, "roasted chicken makes you feel wonderful." Cooking a whole chicken on the grill can be tricky, but Keller has perfected a method that uses indirect heat; he adds rosemary sprigs to the coals to infuse the smoke and flavor the chicken.


1 bunch of rosemary sprigs
One 3 1/2-pound chicken, preferably free-range
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large bunch of arugula, large stems discarded
Quick Pickled Pearl Onions


Light a grill using 6 pounds of charcoal briquettes or 8 pounds of hardwood charcoal. When the flames have died down and the coals are white on the outside, divide the coals in half and push to each side of the grill, leaving the center empty. Top each pile of coals with half of the rosemary sprigs.
Season the chicken inside and out with a good amount of salt and pepper. Fold the wing tips under the back and tie the legs together. Set the chicken in the center of the grill, breast side up. Cover the grill and cook the chicken without turning for about 50 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 160°. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the arugula and stir over moderately high heat just until wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the arugula on a platter. Carve the chicken and arrange on the wilted arugula; serve with the Quick Pickled Pearl Onions.

Such a simple recipe relies on using a good quality chicken—preferably one that is antibiotic free. It is worth paying more for a pasture-raised chicken that spent time outdoors because it has the most flavor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Roast Chicken Rick Bayless Style

Serves 4
1 whole chicken, about 3 1/4 pounds
2 cups Frontera Chipotle Salsa or Frontera Tangy Two-Chile Salsa
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey

Watercress, flat-leaf parsley or fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Rinse the chicken, pat dry with paper towels and place in a non-aluminum pan or in a large plastic food bag. Spoon on (or measure in) half of the salsa and turn the chicken to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to overnight).

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in a roasting pan; reserve the marinade that’s left behind in pan or bag. Brush the chicken with the oil, set in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Mix the honey with the reserved marinade and drizzle over the chicken. Return to the oven and roast until the thigh juices run clear when pierced deeply with a fork (an instant-read thermometer should register about 170° when inserted at the thickest part of the thigh), about 15 minutes more. If the chicken browns quickly, loosely cover with foil during the last few minutes of roasting.

Use a large fork and a spatula to help you transfer the chicken to a plate. Loosely tent with foil and let stand while you prepare the sauce. Spoon the rendered fat off the juices that have collected in the pan, then stir in the remaining salsa. Set over medium heat and stir, scraping up all the delicious browned bits in the pan, as the salsa comes to a simmer. Scrape the warm salsa into a sauce dish. Carve the chicken and arrange on a warm serving platter. Garnish with the watercress, parsley or cilantro and you’re ready to serve, passing the sauce separately for each guest to spoon on.

Recipe from Salsas That Cook by Rick Bayless with JeanMarie Brownson and Deann Groen Bayless.
We made rice and put some fresh cilantro in it and the chicken sauce on top.  To the right we've got Bo looking at the chicken.  YUM!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lidia's Italy

Lidia is a chef that knows Italian Cooking.  We want to try her restaurant in KC or one of her NYC ones the next time we visit.  We were given her Italian Table cook book from a friend, and we recently bought Lidia's Italy.  Last night we made a delcious recipe from our new book - Fusilli and Roasted Tomatoes.  Not to many of her recipes aren't online.  Her books are worth having, her restaurants worth visiting, and her food worth trying!  Lidia does indeed know Italy!

Photos From KC Restaurant:

Dinner Last night

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Up In The Air

Jim went flying recently with our friend Alex, and this is some of what he saw........

No Mess, No Hassle Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert

What you Need:

A 9 x 12 pan

Box of 12 ice cream sandwiches -Blue Bunny or Yarnell (can use no/low fat)

Whip Cream

Topping: Hot Fudge/Carmel

Fill the pan with the ice cream sandwiches and top with whip cream. Freeze for at least two hours. Put topping on before serving.

We made this for my grandfather's birthday this week!

Bo In The Snow

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine's Memory

Six years ago on Valentines Day we got engaged! Below is an exert from an email that was drafted by Suzanne for her friends.......
"......I walked into the chapel and there were two dozen roses and 100 tea lights, 4 tea lights to every one rose in the shape of a heart. In the middle of the heart, Jim bent down on one knee, and pulled a letter from his pocket. With music playing in the background he began to speak - he ended asking me to marry him while simultaneously pulling out “the box”. I screamed and reached for the ring…."Now hold on," he said, as he took the ring and placed it on my finger."

Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Early Valentine's Suprise

Diaper Cakes

The last two years of my life have been filled with precious baby showers for dear friends. And a diaper cake is one of those things that seems to be a staple at each one. Each one being fun, creative, and unique. I don't think I've ever seen two just exactly alike.

Baby Diapers - package of 56 (any size)
Clear Hair rubber bands
Double sided sticky tape or hot glue gun (I prefer hot glue gun)
Bigger rubber bands
2 8 oz baby bottles or 2 baby lotion bottles etc.
Candy To Go In Bottles (optional)

1.) Start rolling up diapers and put a clear rubber band around each of them.

2.) First Base is three rows of diapers wrapped around a bottle/lotion that will make the bottom layer - a big rubber band goes around those. (put candy in the bottle - optional)

3.) Second base has 2 rows of diapers wrapped around a baby lotion or bottle. The second bottle doesn't have treats because it will hold the flowers or you could put candy again or use baby lotion and put a bow on top. Have fun and be creative.

4.) The top layer has just one row around the top of the bottle or baby lotion.
5.) Put ribbon of choice around each tier. Secure the ribbon with tape or glue gun. (glue gun preferred)


Monogramming Etiquette

Female Monograms:
For most, the conventional monogram for women consist of three letters with a larger letter in the middle flanked by two smaller letters on each side. Traditionally, the larger middle letter is for the last name, the smaller letter on the left is for the first name and the smaller letter on the right is for either the middle name or maiden name.

Name: Sydney Rachel Wilson
Monogram: SWR

Male Monograms:
The traditional monogram for a man is a horizontal monogram. Each letter is the same height and appears in the same order as the actual name -- first name, middle name, last name.

Samuel Nathan Wallace
Monogram: SNW (all letters being the same usually in a block font)

Couple Monogram:
Traditionally when the bride takes the groom's last name, the monogram is bride's First Name Inital, the couples last name inital, groom's first name inital. Like at the wedding - brides side is to the left, groom's side is to the right. Or you could choose to do a single monogram just using the first inital of their last name.
Bride First Name: Samantha
Groom First Name: Ned
Last Name: Wilson

The Single Letter Initial: a guideline of when to use the first or last initial.
Jewelry, Handbags, Bath wraps, etc for females: Inital of the female's name.
Glassware, Soap, or Candles: name of the female, male, or couple.
Stamps and Embossers: Female: either the first or last initial - the trend leans more towards the first. If the stamp is for a man or a couple the last name is suggested. wels: Same rule mentioned for stamps.
Towels: Same as with stamps and embossers - for a female either the first or last initial (with the first being more popular). For a couple the last name is generally more appropriate.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beach Dreaming

In my mind I'm going to Puerto Rico. Two years ago at this time we were there. We enjoyed Old San Juan, the El Yunque Rainforest, and the beaches of Fajardo.