Saturday, October 29, 2011

Simple Roast Chicken with roasted vegetables

All of my meals lately have been thrown together at the last minute.  This was one of those meals and it turned out so delicious!  We love roast chickens and there's never any next time I'm making two!!  If you have a family of 4 or more, I would definitely suggest making 2 chickens.  I love organic chickens, they are so tender and juicy.  When I'm buying a whole chicken I tend to splurge and spend a few extra dollars to buy the organic kind.  I had all of the vegetables already, so it only turned out to be an $11 meal for the entire family.  Not bad!

Simple Roast Chicken with roasted vegetables { Ina Garten }


  • 1 Whole Roasting Chicken {about 5 lbs.}
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 lemon, sliced in half
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme sprigs {about 15 sprigs}
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove anything that might have been left inside chicken.  Rinse throughly and pat dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle the inside of the chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.  Place the 2 halves of lemon, bunch of thyme and head of garlic all in the chicken cavity.  
Spread melted butter all over the chicken and season all over with more kosher salt and black pepper.  
Tie legs together with kitchen twine and tuck wings under the body of the chicken {I didn't tuck the wings under}.

Roasted Vegetables: { you can use any vegetables you like...this is what I had on hand}
  • 4 large carrots, cut in thick chunks
  • 5 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 2 shallots, cut in large chunks
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut in 2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
Mix vegetables together in a large bowl and toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread vegetables around the bottom of a large roasting pan and place chicken on top{OR you can roast the vegetables alongside the chicken in a separate roasting pan}.  I roasted my vegetables in a separate pan next to the chicken for about 50 minutes.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between leg and thigh.
Remove chicken and vegetables onto a platter and cover for about 10 minutes.   Slice chicken and serve with vegetables.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fresh Cranberry-Blueberry Crumble Muffins

I love it when the fresh cranberries start showing up in the stores!  Gets me excited for the holidays and I start anticipating what new recipes I'm going to try this year.  I couldn't resist putting a bag of cranberries in my basket the other day, but then I needed to figure out what I was going to do with them.  Muffins are always a hit with the kids, so I figured I'd not only put fresh cranberries in them, but also some big frozen blueberries.  I wasn't sure how that would work, but they turned out super delicious and moist!

Fresh Cranberry-Blueberry Crumble Muffins
{recipe adapted slightly from Keep your diet real}

INGREDIENTS: {makes 12 muffins}

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt, or milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal {optional}
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • small amount of flour & sugar to toss berries in
For Topping:
  • 2 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  
Line a muffin pan with paper liners.  Melt the butter in microwave and let cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine the chopped fresh cranberries and blueberries and toss with a couple tablespoons on flour and sugar.  This will help keep the fruit from bleeding into the muffin. Whisk yogurt, egg, yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl, then add cooled butter.  Whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the yogurt mixture and stir until just combined {don't stir too much}.  Gently fold in the cranberries and blueberries.  Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups.  
Combine the crumble topping in a separate bowl and rub with fingertips until it resembles "crumbles" then gently press down on muffin tops before placing into the oven.  
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool slightly before serving.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frosted Scotch Bars

My life is a whirlwind!!!  From soccer coach, to baseball fan, to president of Parent Teacher Organization, to mommy, to, I'm exhausted just typing that out!  I rarely feel caught up at home anymore, mostly because I'm rarely home.  Yesterday although, I was home most of the day until it was time to pick up my kids.  It was nice.  I ran around the house from room to room trying to get as much done as I could.  I'm pretty satisfied with the results, but there's still so much more to do.  Oh well, I rewarded myself with these outrageously rich, but satisfying treats.  This is a recipe from a long time friend.  The kids adore these, but I have to give a disclaimer...cut them into small squares.  You'll thank me.  I took a big square for myself, ate it all in one minute, then got a major stomach ache.  My eyes were way bigger than my stomach!  But I just love the chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch combination...nothing quite like it!  The chocolate layer is definitely more frosting-like, which I adore!

Frosted Scotch Bars {recipe by a dear friend}


  • 1 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter 
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • evaporated milk {about 2-3 Tbsp.}
  • sifted powdered sugar {about 1/4 cup}
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  Coat a 9 by 13 dish with cooking spray. 
 Melt together the butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a saucepan over low heat.  
Place rice krispies in a large bowl.  Once butterscotch/peanut butter mixture is melted, pour over the cereal and mix completely.  Place in the sprayed dish and press down with the back of a large spoon that is coated with butter {this helps keep it from sticking to the spoon}.  
Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the evaporated milk and the sifted powdered sugar.  Stir to combine.  The consistency should be creamy...if it isn't, add a little more evaporated milk.  Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.  
Spread over the top of the rice krispies in the pan and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  
I like them best cold, so I store them in the refrierator.  Pour a big glass of milk and enjoy!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Recipe Index finally up & Recap of my latest race

I don't have a recipe to share today.  Mostly because it's HOT and I have no desire to cook.  Our summer has finally come to the Coast and it doesn't seem like Fall one bit!  I'm not complaining at all...I love the warmth and I love wearing my tank tops and shorts in October.  But, we don't have AC around here, so firing up the stove or oven doesn't seem like a good option today.  I did, however, finally get a recipe index up and running, so you can now view my recipes by clicking on the "Recipe Index" tab on the side of my blog.  The recipes are categorized so you will have an easier time finding what you need!

For now I will leave you with a picture of me and my kiddos.  I ran our local half marathon this past weekend "City to the Sea"...what a beautiful morning to run and a beautiful finish seeing my family cheering me on!  I had a PR of 1:58:11 so I was even more thrilled!  It's always a fun race to run and I love seeing many familiar faces in the race.  My next half is going to be in Vegas in December...can't wait for that!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HUGE Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Ok, so I made these cookies about one month ago and I'm JUST now getting the chance to put them on here!  Life is crazy busy, but I am still cooking, and now that Fall is upon us, I am baking more too!
Hopefully someday I'll catch up on all of my recipes to share with you, but for now you've GOT to try these!  I got this amazing recipe from In Katrinas Kitchen...she's got some of the most creative, delicious recipes I have ever seen!  I knew these cookies would be a hit with my kids because they adore peanut butter cookies.  Little did they know these cookies have peanut butter goodness running all the way in, out and around them!  The recipe makes a lot too, so they're perfect for birthday parties or school events.
These are definitely a new favorite for us...try them!

HUGE Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies {recipe slightly adapted from In Katrinas Kitchen}

INGREDIENTS:  {yield 12-14 HUGE cookies, and 36 regualr-sized cookies}

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter {I used organic-no sugar added peanut butter}
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • Resse's pieces for the top
  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  
In the bowl of your mixer cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy.  
Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly.  Slowly add the oats and peanut butter chips.  
Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes.  Just put the whole mixing bowl in there!  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Using a large cookie scoop {or a 1/4 measuring cup} drop dough onto a plate of Reese's Pieces and form into thick disc by smashing down the dough ball a bit.  6 cookies fit to a baking sheet.  
Bake for 10-12 minutes {mine needed to bake at least 15-17 minutes to cook all of the way through}.

**You can make regular-sized cookies with a 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop, just decrease the baking time.


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