Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Whole Roasted Chicken

This recipe has made the blog before but it is so good, I had to repeat and share for "What's For Dinner Wednesday"! I stole the recipe from Kyle, he borrowed it from Thomas Keller. Semantics.  This chicken is so good you will claim it as your own, too!

The secret to a good roast chicken is to let it sit, unwrapped, in the refrigerator overnight before you roast.  That way, the skin dries out a bit and you end up with this really crunchy chicken skin wrapper that holds in all of the juices.  Mmmm boy. Thank you Chef Keller!

Whole Roasted Chicken

1 4-5 pound chicken
10 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
5 sprigs of thyme
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped into large pieces
8-10 fingerling potatoes (red potatoes work, too)
1 onion, chopped into large pieces
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature (cut into 4 pieces)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper


  1. Place the chicken, uncovered, in a baking dish in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Remove and let it come to room temperature before cooking. (About an hour.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
  3. Remove the neck and insides of the chicken and season the cavity generously with salt, pepper, 5 sprigs of thyme and 4 smashed garlic cloves.  Truss the chicken.
  4. Massage the outside of the bird with a 1/4 cup oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme and garlic powder.  
  5. Toss carrots, celery, onion and potatoes into a large bowl with 1/4 cup oil, salt, pepper and the remaining smashed garlic cloves.  Place vegetables in a cast iron skillet and make a little hole in the middle to put your chicken.  
  6. Put the chicken in the center of the bed of vegetables and place 2 pats of butter on top of each chicken breast.
  7. Roast at 475 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower the oven to 400 degrees and roast for another 45 minutes (or 160 degree internal temperature).  

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Cooper has never loved me coming up to his school. Every time I get there, he insists it's time to leave. We made it through all of 5 minutes of the Halloween party I volunteered to host last fall. When I brought donut holes up to his friends on his birthday, he ran and hid in the corner and then led me by the hand out the door. I alway assumed it was because it wasn't part of his beloved routine. Now, I know better...

Last week I volunteered for Cooper's school Valentine's party. I was tasked with reading the book at story time, among other things. Cooper carefully instructed me on my technique the night before.

C: "Mom, when you're reading the book you have to smile at the friends or they won't like you."

Mmmmkay, got it.

The next day everything seemed ok when I got to his school. I started to read the book to "the friends", remembering to look up every so often to smile. By the time I got to the second page, I realized I was doing something terribly wrong. Cooper was sitting in the circle, literally smacking himself in the head and saying "UGHHHHHHHHHHHH", really loudly. As I read, he continued to do this until his sweet friend leaned over and asked him what was wrong. He replied: "UGHHH, my Mom!" followed by the most dramatic forehead slap you've ever seen.

Yeah, didn't see that one coming. I asked him after the party how I did reading the book.

C: Bad.

Me: Why was it bad?

C: You didn't smile at the friends and you were EM-BARR-ASS-ING me.

Me: What does it mean when you say Mommy is embarrassing you?

C: It means that everything is kind of ruined.

Noted. Although I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Pesto and Tomato Baked Chicken

Here's another one for your quick but delicious weeknight file!

I've seen this receipt floating around Pinterest in several different places so I'm not quite sure of my source. Could have been here or here! The first time I tried this, I used chicken breasts instead of chicken breast tenders and I prefer the tenders. Better topping to chicken ratio! Also, for the kids, I used tomato sauce instead of pesto (I happened to have some in the fridge) and nixed the tomatoes.  Coop called it "pizza chicken". Score one, Mom.

Pesto and Tomato Chicken


1 package boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
4-6 tablespoons pesto
2 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Salt & Pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place chicken in a baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread pesto over the chicken. Top with sliced tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle cheese over the chicken.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just Can't Let it Go

Have you heard about the new Disney movie, Frozen? I hear its sweeping the nation.

We are on round two of Frozen obsession around here. The first round brought Inappropriate Superman into our lives, along with a lot of 'splaining to do. The second round is in full force for the little girl and as of now there is no end in sight.


I'll admit, I'm a show tunes-y kind of girl. I can't wait for Frozen to go to Broadway. (I'll be the one in the front row quoting the entire thing from "aah aah ya, hey ya ya" to "We're never closing them again.") But I'm starting to wonder...what kind of kid-crack subliminal messages this movie has in it because it has now taken over the life of not one but both of my kids.

Yeah, yeah. I know, it's my fault. They did not make the Amazon purchase nor do they know how to work iTunes. I actually thought we were cured until the other day I heard Sister from the backseat of the car:

"Go! Go! Gooooooooooooooooooooooooo baby!"

I thought to myself: "She's singing 'Let it Go', how cute!" The next time I needed a couple minute break (because, I'll admit, I actually like to go to the bathroom alone), I pulled up "Let it Go" on youtube for her on my phone and another Frozen-ite was born. Thank you (and you're welcome?), Disney.

Now the requests are endless. We get "Show? Let it Go? Uh huh!" and "Selsa? Selsa?" all day. And yes, my 19 month old can sing "Let it Go".

I'm not sure whether to be proud of this or not. I mean, Elsa has provided me with many opportunities to do important things for myself such as brush my teeth, put on deodorant and use dry shampoo on clearly "needs to be washed" hair. Ahh, Mom life. Wouldn't let it go for anything!

Sister in her "Selsa" cape.

And one of her brother's socks. Always just the one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Pot Roast

I actually made this recipe a couple of weeks ago. Now that the weather has taken a turn towards summer in Houston, this is maybe a little out of season but think cool thoughts and enjoy! Unless you're on the East coast, then I'm sorry for the blizzard!

I love a good crock pot recipe!

Pot Roast


4-5 pound beef roast
2 carrots
1 celery stalk
1 onion
1 bag of fingerling potatoes (or red potatoes)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups beef broth
1 bottle of beer (I like to use a dark beer, bock or brown ale.)
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Chop onion, carrots and celery.
2. Place the onion and the garlic on the bottom of your crock pot.
3. Rub salt and pepper on the roast and place it on top of the onions/garlic.
4. Arrange the carrots, celery and potatoes around the roast. (I generally do not use all of the potatoes in the bag.)
5. Pour beef broth and beer over the roast.
6. Place the rosemary sprigs on top of the roast.
7. Cook on low for 6 hours.
8. Remove and plate your vegetables separately and then shred the roast over the top. Top with some of the pan juices and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Balsamic Chicken Thighs

I recently brought this to a friend after she had a baby. It is so tender and juicy (I will NOT use the "M" word!!!) that she questioned what kind of meat it was. "Chicken?! Chicken in a crock pot?!" Oh yes mam! Love me some chicken thighs!

This one is definitely on our weekly rotation. Garnish with parsley if serving to a friend! (My kids don't care about garnish. Or any condiment except ketchup, for that matter!)

Balsamic Chicken Thighs 

(adapted from Take Them A Meal's recipe)


3 garlic cloves, minced
Half of a medium onion, minced 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs


  1. Place onion, garlic and olive oil in the bottom of a crock pot.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and oregano and place on top of the onions and garlic.
  3. Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Enjoy! I like to serve with this orzo pasta salad if I'm feeling festive!