armadillas


Arya and the queenmaker


Clearly, I’m going through a phase. I might even be prone to admit it’s a slightly obsessive phase. It’s the blogs I tell you, the blogs! I can’t help it. Whenever I’m feeling a little on the bored side and decide to open up Pinterest in my browser, I always end up stumbling upon some recipe or another and then being transferred to a blog. Lovely blogs, mind you. Inevitably, I  fall in love.

Today I fell in love with Stella. I don’t even know how I ended up on a page with Stella’s adorable face, but there she was looking at me with her dark, shining eyes. Oh yeah, Stella is a dog and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have dog envy. Sigh. Stella’s mamma is pretty cool, too.  I enjoy her posts and she has some pretty good looking recipes I intend to try out when my pockets aren’t feeling so empty. Check her out here at Witty in the City!

Anyway, one of her recipes that caught my attention was her mama’s roasted chicken. I’m a big fan of chicken. I’m a big fan of roasted chicken. I’m also quite the fan of those roasted veggies found under the roasted chicken. Witty in the City mentions that her family vies for the crispy ones. Girl after my own heart! I also like her philosophy in regards to cooking as you go. I’m not a mis-en-place type of gal either. It takes a certain amount of fun out of things.

Back to the chicken. With empty pockets, my cooking habits are a little limited at the moment, but that doesn’t mean I can’t improvise. I may not have whole chicken pieces, but I have a few skinless, boneless breasts on hand. And the only vegetables here may be a bag of onions and I think a few cans of green beans. Well, I don’t do the canned green beans thing, but I do have a bag of apples. With September right on our heels, why not do an autumn inspired pseudo-roast? Onions, apples, chicken, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon, and thyme. A lovely meal is forming in my head as we speak. Plus some garlic! Can’t forget the garlic. Some of these combinations might sound a little weird, but I have a good feeling about it coming together into something beautiful. Mmm mmm mmm

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 granny smith apples (or apples of your choosing)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Lemon juice

Maybe you noticed that I didn’t include any real measurements with the spices. That’s because this was my first attempt at this recipe and thus felt it best to eyeball everything. You’ll be fine! We’ll get to that in a moment. But first thing is first. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Now line a baking sheet with aluminum foil- or in my case, a pizza pan. Let’s make clean up a breeze!

Take your apples and give them a rough chop. Toss them onto the foil

Do the same with your onion. I separated the layers as best I could

Doesn’t it all look so pretty?

Okay, rinse your chickies! Place the rinsed off breasts right on top of the apples and onions. Gorgeous I say!

Onto the spices. Seriously, don’t be afraid to just eyeball everything. First, I sprinkled everything with some salt and pepper. Then I dashed on some cinnamon and brown sugar. I tried not to be too liberal with the cayenne (got to remember the boyfriend). Finally, a few shakes of thyme plus a spoonful of garlic here and there and we were in business. You know your own tastes better than I do. Follow your instincts.

 

At this point, drizzle lemon juice over the whole deal. An added option is to drizzle everything with some olive oil, but I omitted it. Oh, the choices! Pop the pan into the oven for about 45 minutes. In about 5 minutes your little house is going to be very aromatic

 

I had my doubts about this creation, but it turned out better than I expected. The boyfriend didn’t think it was too bad either, though he didn’t help himself to the crispy onions and apple bits. More for me! I think next time I might use the garlic and brown sugar to make a glaze. I’m just not the biggest fan of dry rubs. But it wasn’t bad, not bad at all. Nice and juicy!


Chai Town

Do you know what I’m craving? Some good ol’ chai. I know, I know. Maybe I shouldn’t be thinking about a nice warm, cozy cup of chai. It’s summer for goodness sake! It must be 80 degrees outside, 90 inside (we’re playing conservative and haven’t kicked the air-conditioner  on yet) and the humidity is playing havoc with my hair. I suppose I could whip up a soothing glass of iced chai. I much prefer my chai iced anyway. But that just will not do right now. You see, I don’t think it’s the chai at all that I’m craving. I think what I’m really missing right now is the crisp, cool weather that won’t be back again until October. That is, if we don’t have another mild winter (I really need to move to a place where it snows on the regular)! I’m pretty much melting here as I type, longing for cooler temps which would make drinking a hot cup of chai most appropriate. With a slice of spice cake. How about roasted marshmallows over a roaring fire in the den? I’m a December baby. Winter is in my blood folks.

Ah, this was a wonderful fall day. Look at the nice mule

Fortunately, I know the perfect remedy for my sudden autumn nostalgia that won’t involve pouring scalding liquid down my esophagus on this late May day. Cookies! Oh, and I’m not saying just any cookie. No ma’am, I’m talking chai cookies! Mmm won’t that be nice with a frosty glass pitcher of milk. I can taste it already.

Of course, it seems there aren’t very many cookie recipes out there that include chai concentrate. Pumpkin cookies with chai icing, yes. It just so happens that I’m plum out of pumpkin…and I really want some yummy chai please. So we’ll just have to cross our fingers and create our own recipe, thank you kindly.

No problem (or so she says…dun dun duuuuuuun)! So, some ingredients, yes? Dos tazas de harina, un huevo grande, una cuchardita de vainilla…Oh wait! Got Spanish on the brain, haha.

Ingredients en anglais:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice (for autumn’s sake!)
  • 1 stick buttuh (to clarify, that is butter in a husky southern drawl)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp chai concentrate (I might have accidentally spilled a few extra tablespoons in there)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees please. Mix together flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and baking soda in one bowl. Cream together sugar and room temperature buttuh in another bowl. Then add egg, vanilla, chai concentrate, and if you’re anything like me, extra chai concentrate.

Now you can add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Taste as you please before covering your bowl and popping it in the fridge for a bit. Go ahead and relax while you fantasize about your cookies just crying to be baked up.

Two minutes later

Five minutes later

Eleven minutes later

 How long before 30 minutes again…?

Seventeen minutes later

Twenty-five minutes is plenty of time! Some chocolate chips fell into my batter.

Spoon spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet (I understand if you end up eating a quarter of the batter. It happens to the best of us. It’s okay). Bake for 12 minutes or until the cookie looks like it might be done. Let cool and repeat!

Now, since this was the first time I ever made this recipe there is, of course, room for improvement. But my friends all seemed to like these little babies so we’ll file them away in my recipe book. Next time I think I might cut out the sugar and double the brown sugar. You know, just to play around a bit.

Enjoy!

Tijuana