Lemon-Sage Chicken, by sharon

October 23, 2008

I can’t remember where I saw this recipe, but I’ve made it a few times by now. It is just so easy and delicious! My father came into town a few days ago and this was the dinner I made to impress him. I keep trying to get pictures, but the food gets torn into before I can snap any. It does smell awfully good while it’s cooking, so I can’t really blame anyone for diving right in. Next time, maybe.

Ingredients

1 whole fryer chicken
1 stick of butter, softened
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2-3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
salt
pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove any bits from inside the chicken (sometimes they’re in there, sometimes not), rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry. Sprinkle the chicken, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Using your finger, gently loosen the skin over the breasts. Combine the butter, sage, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl. Rub all of the butter over, around, and inside of the chicken. Put a few dollops of the butter underneath the skin you loosened.

Roast at 450 for 25 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue roasting for another 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness by pricking the thickest part of the thigh–if the juice runs clear, your chicken is cooked.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Print this recipe!

When the chicken was roasting at the lower temperature, I roasted some carrots on the rack beneath it. This is so easy that it doesn’t even require a recipe: Chop fresh carrots into large rounds. If the carrot is especially thick at one end, chop those rounds in half. Scatter in an even layer across a pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and ground thyme. Roast until tender.

I also served haricotes verte. These are much more slender than regular green beans and cook much faster. Also, there’s no string to deal with. I quickly boiled them in a large pan, then rinsed them off in cool water to stop the cooking. In the pan, I put in a tablespoon of butter over medium heat, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. I threw the beans back in and tossed to coat.

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Italian Cream Soda, by sharon

October 6, 2008

I started making these again and thought I would share the recipe. A note: measurements mean nothing to me, especially when pouring shots or liquid. What matters to me is a count. Want to know how quickly to count? Pour liquid into a shot glass and try to remember how long and how fast it pours out. One shot is a count.

Really, as long as you keep counts consistent between liquids you’re mixing, everything will be fine. It’s the ratio, not the exact amount that matters.

So! Fill a tall glass with ice. You need almost equal amounts flavored syrup and soda. For a standard tall glass, something that can hold iced tea, I do 3 counts each. Stir those together. Then top off with 1-2 counts of half and half or milk. I prefer half and half, it’s just a better flavor all around. Stir again and adjust the taste. Not enough flavor? Add more syrup. Not creamy enough? Add more cream. Want it more bubbly? Add more soda. You’ll figure out what you like.

As far as syrup goes, I like Torani. It’s easy to find and comes in lots of different flavors (depending on where you buy it–some places have a bigger selection than others). I’m a vanilla cream soda girl, but can be talked into strawberry, raspberry, or really anything. Mix flavors! Go nuts!


Cafe au Lait, by sharon

October 1, 2008

I don’t always get around to this, but I enjoy it when I do. The weather is a little chillier this morning, a sign of the season to come. The light is different and it makes me want to take a little more time doing things.

My girlfriend has started buying this dark espresso called Cafe Bustelo. It’s cheap and addictive. Baby likes her coffee super dark.

Anyway, this morning I made a huge pot of coffee and decided to actually heat the milk on the stove. Into a small pan went milk, a healthy dash of cream, a spoon of sugar, a dash of vanilla, and half of a cinnamon stick. Heated until bubbles just start to form around the edge and then poured to taste into a cup of coffee.

It’s so good! And it tastes much better than my usual cup. Also, it stays hot longer, which I appreciate. I’m a sipper, not a gulper. That applies to almost any drink, be it coffee or liquor (Molly can attest to this, I always take forever to finish my cocktails).