Sunday, April 17, 2011

Martha Stewart Sunday: How to Roast a Chicken

     For me, roasted chickens have always come in one form: ready made from my grocery store. Yet roasted meats have been served since ancient times but now we use an oven instead of an open pit fire (well those of us, who make them). This week I attempted the daunting task of roasting my own chicken with Martha Stewart's Cooking School. (Cue dramatic music)

Here are Martha's tips for roasting a chicken:

  • Conundrum of heat: low heat doesn't give nice crispy outside, high heat dries out the moist inside
  • Check the temperature ¾ of the time, then again every 5 to 10 minutes (there is no returning from a burnt chicken!)
  • Meat will continue to cook once removed from the oven, for another 10 to 15 degrees. (don't worry, most recipes take this into account)
  • You will have to stick your hand up the chicken's butt (Okay, that is actually my forewarning)

Roasting Pan
Roasting Rack or Veggies (I used onions, potatoes and carrots)

1 Whole Chicken
1 Lemon (cut into ¼ inch rounds)
4 sprigs of thyme
3 Garlic Cloves (crushed)
2 tablespoons of butter (softened at room temp)

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove giblets and liver from cavity to discard (luckily mine weren't there). Let rest at room temperature for one hour then trim excess fat.
  2. Rinse chicken under cold water (inside and out) then dry THOROUGHLY (including the inside, yes that means sticking your hand up it. )
  3. Season the inside (Martha uses the word "cavity" but I am not that refined) with salt and pepper. Then stick the thyme, garlic cloves and lemon slices up the chicken cavity.
  4. Rub skin with the butter. (Honestly, it's better to mush up the butter in your fingers into little parts to help rub it on)
  5. Use twine to tie the legs together. (Martha refers to this as trussing) ((Also, I did not have twine, so I used two wooden skewers to attach the drumsticks)
  6. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  7. Place in roasting pan with rack or over vegetables and roast for 50 to 55 minutes with an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh (no bone!).
  8. Let it rest 10 minutes before you serve it.


    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Pretty Pretty Recipes Cards

          So for next installment of the pretty pretty series, I have a cheap and easy way to add some decoration to your kitchen. One of my best friends for my 21st birthday made me a cute gift basket with Nuvo (one of my favorite drinks) and these adorable recipe cards to make drinks. They were too cute to keep hidden so I used some pretty ribbon to hang them up. They add a bit of sparkle to my kitchen and take up minimal space.



    Balsa wood



    Small Jewels

    Hot Glue

    For more in the pretty pretty series, check out these organizers, these boards and these notebooks (plus these)!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Weekly Wonderings: April 13th, 2011

    Are the best things always french ? Or does that mantra only apply to food? Recently a friend picked me up a French dessert cookbook at sale and luckily for her, her birthday was the next week. Then this week was Lily (Of pretty pretty boards fame) birthday. Needless to say, my kitchen got a lot of use this past week. The French cookbook has been DELICIOUS so far, and not too hard to make. I have made Bavarian cream and a hazelnut cake with chocolate ganache and bourbon whipped cream filling (I also went to the gym a lot). Here are some pictures of my experiments. If you want, I can post the recipes. They are just a bit labor intensive. Here are my photos:

    P.S. as an added bonus, I made this for Charlotte's concert this week. I always bring her flowers or such but I was feeling a bit Easter-y so I made her a peeps bouquet. You just stick peeps on straws (Be sure to press them down past the bendy part). I used twizzlers as fillers and I didn't have any jelly beans around so I had to use paper clips as fillers but you could really use anything for that. Sadly, I don't have a picture of it done right away since they got eaten pretty quickly! Anyways enjoy!

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Easy Entertaining: Strawberry Mint Water

           When I was in Canada a few weeks ago without luggage, my hotel lobby always brightened my day with their delicious water. They simply added strawberries and mint leaves to a big pitcher and let the water soak it up. It was delicious and turned the water a beautiful pale pink shade. Here's my recreation of it:


    6 strawberries cut up

    4 sprigs of mint leaves


    1. Cut up strawberries and place them in the water pitcher with the mint leaves. Let it soak overnight.
    2. ENJOY!

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    50 Dollar fix: Bathroom Additions

    Here are some simple ways I have spruced up my tiny bathroom for fewer than fifty dollars. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference in a room. These additions really make my bathroom sparkle!

    Pretty shower curtain and rings from Target. Who doesn't love a little sparkle?

    I took these plain wood trays from Michael's for 2 dollars each and modpodge some pretty scrap book paper on them. Instant art for my walls, and it doesn't matter if humidity gets to it.

    Took the same scrapbook paper and covered a jar for my brushes.

    I found this odd shelf thingy at a vintage store for 5 dollars. It was just plain wood. I brought it home and added a coat of pink paint. Hung it on my wall and Voila!

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Weekly Wonderings: April 6th

     1) I went to a parade this weekend and got tons of free swag. Like nice cloth bags to a school I don’t go to, now I just need to learn how to decorate them to cover that. 

    2) I also got tons of beads and candy. The candy is under the lid so it takes more effort to get to. The beads are there just cause it looked too bare without them. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the beads. 

    3) A friend called me the other day, and said she had been to a flea market and bought me something. Turns out to be this really cool French dessert cookbook. Yay! (Also her birthday was this week, so I made something from the book, coincidence or not)

    4) Apparently I have been on a cookbook binge because I bought these two the other day at Marshalls, for 4.99 each! I will let you know my progress!

    5) Also I have gotten some comments about how great things look to eat, but they could never make them. I assure you I am not the best cook. When I post recipes, its because I have done them several times and they are pretty easy to follow. Sometimes we all fail, but that is the whole point in trying. I tried to make Baba Ganoush yesterday and failed, I used dried parsley instead of fresh and the garlic was too overwhelming. So the moral is, don't say you can't do something, but don't make something the first time for a dinner party that night.  

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Leftover Magic: Mashed Potatoes into Gnocchi

         I hate eating the same thing every day, and leftovers sometimes don't seem all that appealing three days in a row. Take Mashed potatoes, great that first day and the second but by the third, I get tired of them. Enter the magical idea of making Gnocchi with your leftovers. It doesn't take much work and it quite delicious. Here's an easy recipe:


    Leftover Mashed potatoes (About 2 cups)

    3 plus tablespoons of flour (More for flouring work surface)

    1 egg (Beaten lightly)

    Sea Salt


    1. Mix egg and potatoes together then stir in enough flour to make soft dough.
    2. Knead dough on floured surface until it firms a little (Just a bit, roll it in flour honestly)
    3. Roll the dough out into cylinder sections, and cut into about inch long pieces. Then use the back of a fork to make a ridge pattern on the back of them.
    4. Cook in a large pot of boiling SALTED water. Cook two to three minutes. The gnocchi will rise to the surface, use a slotted spoon to scoop them out. Serve immediately.


      These are quite easy to make, but getting the dough can be a bit hard, just roll them in flour is the easiest way. Top them with a light marinara sauce or pesto. Make your own pesto for a delicious sauce!

      Sunday, April 3, 2011

      How to Not Ship Something: Part Deux

      Just so you guys could see how nicely I tried to wrap this before it got destroyed by the mailman.

      The powdered sugar was in a baggie behind the note.

      Martha Stewart Sunday: Pressed Flowers

           So I had a bouquet from my boyfriend from Valentine's Day. I didn't want to just throw out the flowers, I know I know, I am kind of sentimental like that. So I decided to press a few, luckily Martha was there with the know how to press them.


      Fresh Flowers

      Parchment Paper

      HEAVY BOOK (S)


      1. Take flowers and cut off the stem. Then tenderly place them on parchment paper, fold parchment paper over them so they are covered.
      2. Place at the bottom of a heavy book or two.
      3. Check back in about ten days for beautifully pressed flowers! 

        Friday, April 1, 2011

        Aprils Fools

        Normally, April 1st is when you play jokes on someone or if you are French, you try to tape a fish on someone's back. But for me, it starts a new month and a new chance to start again. It seems like once a semester, a month just gets boggled down with travel, work and everything else, for me it happened to be this March. It was definitely a Murphy's Law situation. So April first is my chance to start over and hopefully start blogging once again! Here we go again! I just wanted to take the chance to once again really apologize to everyone. Hopefully, you will continue to read my blog despite this one month hiatus.