This dish received rave reviews by me and by my guests. The chicken was tender and juicy. The plums were rich and decadent. Mine held their shape well but were accompanied by a lovely purple syrup after roasting. The flavor really complemented the meaty chicken. My only complaint was that the rosemary seemed a bit useless. It didn't impart any flavor to the chicken or to the plums. I wonder if chopping it and spreading it under the chicken skin would be a better option. But, then again, I'm not sure it really needed the rosemary at all. It was already good without it.This recipe will definitely go in my recipe box!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So, I admit that I didn't get around to my Martha Monday task until Tuesday. We had guests for dinner on Tuesday and the assignment looked just perfect for it so I waited until Tuesday to try this recipe from the September issue of Living. It was a very easy recipe. I prepared the chickens which was basically removing the packet of organs stuffed in the cavity, sticking two sprigs of rosemary inside, salting with sea salt and arranging more rosemary around the chickens. I put them on my roasting rack and roasted them side-by-side at 450 degrees as recommended. Meanwhile I cut my plums, tossed them with honey, dotted them with butter, and threw on two sprigs of rosemary. These went into the oven about 20 minutes after the chicken. I stirred them after about 20 minutes and left them in for a total of 30. Then I removed them and let the chicken cook until a thermometer said it was done. All in all it took about an hour to cook them.
at 7:02 AM
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I had originally planned to make a dish from Cooking Light of an Asian-inspired noodle dish but when I checked out the reviews on their website I decided it wasn't worth making. Since I had the ingredients, though, I tootled around looking for another dish to make. I stumbled upon Cooks' Illustrated's version of Sesame Noodles. This dish was FABULOUS! I added more vegetables since all they called for was one shredded carrot. I had some mushrooms and zucchini so I sauteed my veggies before adding them to the noodles. The sauce is a simple, no-cook sauce that is blitzed in the blender. It contains peanut butter of all things which I think they include because it is cheaper and easier to find than tahini. This dish was so good and it was even tastier the next day cold right out of the refrigerator. I think this would make a great addition to any potluck. In fact, I think I'll make it for the next one I attend in September.
at 5:58 PM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
First of all, let me say that I did not use maps to make my coasters. My husband (a map lover) is loathe to cut up a map for craft purposes. Instead, I grabbed his fishing calendar off the wall and cut up some of the pictures from past months to make coasters with a fly-fishing theme. The idea, according to Martha, is to take cork coasters and glue an image on it, sealing it in like decoupage. My first difficulty was that the craft store I chose to visit did not have cork coasters. The only thing they had was a big sheet of cork. I figured it wouldn't be too hard to cut my own rounds out of it so I bought it and went home. I was WRONG! The cork flaked and tore and was never perfectly round. So, my coasters were not perfect looking from the beginning. Plus the cork was very thin causing them to bow a bit once glue was applied. The images were easy to cut. I used scissors rather than a craft knife since I find it easier to control scissors. Once all the things were cute, it was easy to apply the glue. So easy my five-year-old demanded to help. I centered the images and let them try a bit before I brushed Mod Podge on them in two successful coats. I made sure to brush the sides with the glue too to seal in any flaky cork.
Overall, this was an easy and attractive craft. They definitely look homemade. Maybe they would look less so if I'd used coasters that were already cut and round. But they are fine for home and, with the fishy images, my husband declared them the best coasters he's ever had!
at 11:36 AM
Monday, August 10, 2009
One of the blogs I follow, MarthaAndMe, proposed a challenge. Every Monday she and her community of fellow Martha Stewart readers and bloggers will do a project or make a recipe. I expect it will be a fun way to connect with others who are trying out Martha Stewart's ideas and a great way to compare notes on each project.
This Monday we embarked on our project by making Grilled Vanilla Peaches from the August issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine. It was a really simple recipe. I halved mine since I knew only my husband and I were going to eat it. Also I used mostly white peaches since that was what my farmers' market had available so the color wasn't as vibrant as it could have been. The recipe called for peaches to be halved and peeled and tossed with lemon juice and oil. Then they are placed in a packet and brushed with a mixture of brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. I was lazy and just dumped all the ingredients together and tossed them together. Then the peaches were folded into a foil packet and grilled for 15 minutes. I think they came out quite tasty. The flavor was delicious and perfect with vanilla ice cream. Sort of like peach pie without the crust. My only complaint is that the juices were somewhat runny. I would have liked the juice to be a little more syrupy. I wonder if I could add some flour or cornstarch to the peaches to thicken it and make it more saucy. This is definitely a recipe to make again.
at 5:31 PM
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Our neighbors bought a cow, well, the meat from a cow at least. And filled their freezer with it. Apparently they ran out of room for the lesser cuts of meat and offered us a few packs. So, I have four packs of short ribs in my freezer. Mostly they are fat and bones - very little meat. I tried braising them whole on the bone and was very unimpressed. So, tonight I tried cooking them a different way. I cut all the large layers of fat and bone off and then I cut the meat into large cubes. Four pounds of short ribs yielded only one pound of meat. And then I made this . . .
Yum! The short rib meat turned out so tender and succulent. I have discovered how I'm going to cook the other three packs still in my freezer. Just like this. I highly recommend it. Yum. And since it is my own recipe I'll give it to you here. I served this over Creamy Mashed Potatoes from Cooking Light. (I halved the recipe.) The leaner potatoes were the perfect vehicle for such a rich stew. A green salad with homegrown tomatoes and homemade vinaigrette rounded out the meal. Yum!
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound trimmed and cubed short rib meat (or beef chuck)
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 pound white button mushrooms
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 bottle red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Heat a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Brown the meat on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and saute the onion, shallot, carrots, and mushrooms for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and saute for another minute. Pour in the wine. Then add the broth, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and return the meat to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to low. Cook on low heat for about one and a half to two hours. Remove lid. Add salt, pepper, and sugar and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Serves 4.
at 5:39 PM