Devirginizing the Kitchen – Skillet Rosemary Chicken

Yesterday was the first Sunday in a while that felt normal. Oliver and I woke up, snuggled on the couch for a movie, had my friend Courtney and her little guy Luca over, and did our Sunday grocery shopping. For dinner, I decided on one of my old faves, Skillet Rosemary Chicken and served with roasted kale.

One of the best additions in my new house is speakers in the kitchen and living room. I got the Sonos hooked up and had a little dance party while cooking. Oliver has some sweet moves, just sayin. I cannot even describe how much I love my new kitchen. It is so functional and beautiful and spacious, I feel like the luckiest lady ever. Cooking is a dream.

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Skillet Rosemary Chicken (courtesy of Food Network Kitchen)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1lb cremini mushrooms, halved

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.
  2. Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon. Stir things around so mushrooms and potatoes get coated by the sauce.
  4. Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

I can’t wait to see some of the search terms that come through after adding “devirginizing” to the post. Actually, I’m scared. You have no idea how many “best bloe job” (yeah, people who are searching for porn aren’t the best spellers) terms I see.

‘Tis the Party Season

It’s Holiday Party time! I hosted a little shindig on Saturday and it was such a blast. My friend Nicole and I combined our Pi Phi Christmas Parties and had gals from PC93 though PC97 (translation – ladies were ranging between ages 34 – 38). We ended up with about 15 people, everyone brought a bottle and a wrapped gift ($20 max) for a gift exchange. I hadn’t seen some of these faces since college and it was a delight to catch up! This is a tradition that we plan to continue and grow, so special to get together with a fabulous and lovely group of ladies.

The Menu:

Cocktail

Food

  • Baked Cauliflower Dip (Heather Christo Cooks)
  • Artichoke Dip
  • Meat & Cheese platter
  • Crudites & Ranch
  • Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad – (Bon Appetit) – NOTE – I subbed whole toasted hazelnuts, delish. I would dress the salad the night before and then redress again before serving as the kale/Brussels are so dense and soak up the dressing. The salad is fricking solid. So good, everyone wanted the recipe. It may have taken me 40 minutes to hand slice the sprouts thin enough, but worth it.
  • Baked Chicken Meatballs & Peperonata (Smitten Kitchen adapted from Gourmet) – NOTE – I made the peperonata and at the genius suggestion of my friend Nelle (check out her fabulous cooking blog www.nellebee.com), I pureed it and served along side the meatballs as a dip. I also forgot to take a picture of the finished product (boo!), but I took a pic from SK’s website so you get the idea.
  • Rum Cake
  • Arrow Cookie (a Pi Phi tradition)

All in all, such a great day. This is what the holidays are about, getting together with friends, eating and drinking and being merry! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season with a few get togethers as delightful as this!

 

Simple, Healthy Dinner – Soy Vay Teriyaki Chicken, Veggies & Quinoa

soy vey sauceAfter coming off of my heavy eating and drinking Portland weekend, I wanted something healthy and easy for dinner, but still delicious, obv. Oliver is with his dad on Mondays, so I’m just cooking for me, but I like to make enough for Tuesday lunch leftovers. One of my go to’s in this situation is marinating some chicken in Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki. If you haven’t used this, it’s brilliant (plus, the name is so cute!). Oliver loves it and it’s a one stop shop for flavorful, teriyaki tofu/beef/chicken/veggies (there are 5 different flavors of Soy Vay, but I like the Veri Teriyaki). This isn’t a fancy dinner, there is no recipe required, but it’s simple and isn’t simple a relief sometimes? Bonus – if you split this into 3 meals, it’s under 500 calories per serving.

I stopped by TJ’s on the way home from work and picked up the ingredients (organic chicken tenders, green beans, mushrooms, quinoa). I threw the chicken in a shallow baking dish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then coated with Soy Vay, covered and put it in the fridge to marinate and headed off to Pilates – it got about an hour of marination time.

Soy Vey
Nothing fancy, just a solid, easy dinner that tastes good

Ingredients

  • 1lb chicken breast (tenders are great)
  • 1lb green beans (or broccoli)
  • 10oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • Soy Vey Veri Veri Teriyaki (enough to coat your chicken and more for finishing)

Directions

30 minutes total cook time

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Cook chicken for 25-30 minutes
  3. Bring 1 cup quinoa (rinsed) and 2 cups veggie broth to a boil, then simmer on low for 20 minutes
  4. Sautee mushrooms in olive oil on medium low, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, maybe a little veggie broth (so you can use less oil) for about 15 minutes or until soft
  5. Steam the green beans for about 7 minutes
  6. When chicken is finished cooking, cut up tenders into bite-sized pieces
  7. Toss green beans, chicken and sauce into the pan that contains the mushrooms and toss together
  8. Serve over quinoa

Now it’s time to start tackling my DVR…..

Sunday Dinner for the Lazy – Skillet Lasagna

It was Sunday at 4pm. Oliver and I had just finished watching “Wreck It Ralph” and I realized I needed to figure out dinner as my family was coming. Sunday is the day I get to do any cooking I want, like REALLY get into it and cook for hours! Or not.

I had a fantastic weekend, that seems to play into the laziness of my Sunday attitude. Dinner out with girlfriends at one of my favorite new Seattle restaurants on Friday night, Westward. Seriously, check. it. out. Pre-dinner cocktails on the not-too-chilly fall evening around the oyster shell fire pit. The view of downtown Seattle is unlike any other restaurant in the city. We moved inside for a meal of fried squid, Moroccan fish stew, wood roasted chicken, potatoes cooked in the fire and fried brussels sprouts. Oh, there were also cocktails and wine too. Um, who doesn’t want to have a few “Champers Cocktails” – sparkling wine with apricot sage liqueur?? We finished with the butterscotch pots-de-creme and shortbread cookies. AMAZING.

(all pics are courtesy of Westward’s lovely website)

Saturday night was a friend’s surprise birthday party and we watched the Huskies lose to Stanford. Whatever. The party sure was fun! Oliver ran around with about 20 kids and the adults ate tailgate food and drank wine and beer out of purple solo cups. My kinda night.

OK, I digress, but my super fun weekend is how I got to my lazy Sunday dinner. I am always a little hesitant to try a new recipe, but when I get the recommendation from my friend Nicole, that’s good enough for me. She passed it along last week after making for her family and loving it – this seemed like the perfectly hearty and delish Sunday dinner. She was right. We ran to the store to pick up groceries at 4 and dinner was on the table by 6. Not too shabby for what ended up to be a really good meal.

Skillet Lasagna

Recipe adapted from “Keepers” by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion (Rodale Books)

Makes 6 Servings; Start to finish: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed (I used Iserno’s Italian chicken sausage in the 1 pound tube)
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes (I used 1 can whole peeled, 1 can crushed – both were San Marzano)
  • 1 basil sprig, plus a handful of basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 9-ounce package no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese or cream cheese (I used mascarpone)
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and patted dry

Directions

  1. In a large lidded high-sided skillet with a 3-quart capacity set over high heat,warm the olive oil. Add the sausages and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Leaving as much oil in the skillet as possible, transfer the sausage to a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic and a pinch of red-pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano and the tomatoes and their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher. Add the reserved sausage and any juices and the basil sprig. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Check the seasonings (it should be a little salty) and remove and discard the basil sprig.
  3. Break half the lasagna noodles in half crosswise (it’s fine if smaller pieces break off) and push each piece into the sauce under the sausage, distributing them evenly throughout the pan. Break the remaining noodles in half and distribute them evenly over the sauce, then push down on them with the back of a spoon to submerge them. Cover the pan and gently simmer (raising the heat a little, if needed) until the noodles are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 12 minutes.
  4. Dollop the mascarpone over the lasagna and swirl it into the sauce. Top with the mozzarella and gently simmer, covered, until the mozzarella melts, about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and top the lasagna with the basil leaves, tearing any large leaves into smaller pieces. Let the lasagna rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes before serving.

I served with simple roasted broccoli and this was a winner, flavorful, not too heavy, and everyone loved including Oliver. I have a little bit left over for my dinner tonight…YAY! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks Nicole!!