Monthly Archives: July 2014

Oh, my! Chicken Thighs

I credit Giada deLaurentis with spurring my infatuation with chicken thighs.  I used to watch Giada’s show in the afternoons when my oldest was a toddler.  I even went to a cookbook signing and met Giada!  Her recipe for Chicken Vesuvio ( http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-vesuvio-recipe.html) inspired me to start cooking with thighs and I have loved them ever since.

One of my all time favorite things to do with thighs is stick them in a Dutch oven with some aromatics and then enjoy the perfect chicken.  It comes out very tender and the infusion of herbs and garlic make this meal rustic and comforting.

SAMSUNG

ROSEMARY AND GARLIC CHICKEN THIGHS WITH LEMON SAUCE

Ingredients:

*6 Chicken Thighs, bone-in and skin on

*2 heads of garlic, top of the head sliced open

*1 lemon, cut into 1/4″ slices

*2 lemons, juiced

*2 tbsp. Unsalted butter

*Chicken stock

*A few sprigs of rosemary

*1/2 cup white wine

*Olive oil

*Kosher salt/pepper

Directions:

Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and set aside to cook.  Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven and brown the chicken thighs.  Remove from heat and arrange the lemon slices, garlic,  and rosemary over the thighs and close the lid.  Deglaze with 1/2 cup of chicken stock and then put the pot in the oven on 250 for 2 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven and take out the aromatics and chicken.  Put the pot on the stovetop and heat the butter with the juices that are left from the chicken.  Deglaze with 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of chicken stock.  Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

I make a delicious cranberry and green onion cous cous to serve aside this dish.  It is wonderful under a piece of chicken and drizzled with the bright lemon sauce!

 

 

 

 

Cupcakes!

almond.coconut.cupcakes (6)

Dark and white chocolate wings with chocolate-covered almond centers make cute little butterflies

There’s nothing I enjoy more than making cupcakes!  I look for any special (or not) occasion to make and eat them. I think it is the pretty little package that they come in that is so appealing to all of my senses-they are just too cute and delicious! I have been baking cupcakes since I was a little girl, getting more adventurous with my flavors and decorations.  I have tried many recipes and styles and have come to this conclusion: When making cupcakes, it is essential to keep things simple!  What this means is having a clear flavor profile.  There’s nothing worse than biting into one of those cupcakes that have 7 ingredients in the title (like a spiced chocolate bourbon and brown butter cake with pecan fudge filling), only to find that while they sound absolutely delicious, they are lacking in a cohesion and most of the flavors end up getting lost.My philosophy is that if you use fresh ingredients and think about how a couple flavors pair together, you can create something magical!

Chocolate truffles rolled in cookies and cream sprinkles make the perfect spiders!

Decorations, on the other hand do not need to be simple!   As an artist and a baker, the cupcake is the perfect medium for me to work in because not only do I get to bake them, but I also get to make them look beautiful. The only requirement I have of how to decorate a cupcake is that it be something that looks beautiful and indicates what kind of flavors you are ready to enjoy.  Let your imagination go wild with the decorating and your recipes remain fresh and simple!

Double chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and milk chocolate flower

DECORATIG TOOLS I ALWAYS HAVE IN MY CABINETS: *Cupcake liners, usually white in all sizes-Jumbo, regular, mini *Sprinkles-all types and colors *White non-parials *Decorating tips and piping bags *Milk and dark chocolate and white chocolate melting disks (You can get these at any craft store and they melt better than chocolate chips because they do not have the stabilizers in them that chips often have) *Gel food coloring