Saturday, December 8, 2012

The week in recipes and some twinkly lights

Once again, I neglected my posts. Oh no! As we get close to winter break, things with the kiddos are busy busy, and I've been exhausted. I have made time for some cooking though! Here is a little photo(with some recipes) recap of some highlights from the last week or so.

I also threw in a twinkly light photo from beautiful Boston at this time of year. I seek out all outdoor lights displays I can. I'm a little obsessed. Yesterday afternoon, I went for a run through the twinkly lights. So lovely!

This is the park strip in the middle of Commonwealth Ave. The lights go all the way from Boston Commons to Kenmore Square. They are on every night till like March. Go to it! Now!
I have been taking long stretches between runs to make sure I don't strain my shins again. The benefit is that when I go on a run now, my legs feel so much better and rested, and I've also been trying out some new types of classes and exercise (Check out my Weekly Exercise page to see what I'm up to).The downside is I'm having trouble building up mileage. I also don't have an upcoming race anytime soon, so that also makes it hard. I like to have a goal I'm working towards, so it's hard to build up mileage with no real race or set distance goal in mind.  Maybe I'll check out if there are any races in the late winter/early spring I'd be interested in....I"m thinking my next challenge will be a 10 miler.

Now, on to the food!

Big batch of kale pesto this week. Tossed with oriochette pasta(from TJs), kalamata olives, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese(Approximate recipe follows. I estimated the amounts, since I usually just eyeball it as I blend)
I added chicken to the mix the 2nd night we had it.
Kale Pesto:
1 large bunch kale(any variety)
1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice(I like walnuts or almonds)
1/4-1/3 cup parmesan cheese( I freshly shred it)
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup water (or a little less if you like thicker)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar

1. Put kale, nuts,and cheese in food processor. 
2. Drizzle oil through top while blending, then do the same with the water(this is based on how liquidy you like your pesto. I also try to limit the amount of oil,but you can definitely add more to make it more saucey)
3. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
4. Blend and add more oil or water until reach desired consistency.

One of my favorite Sunday dinners is a good roast chicken. You can then use it throughout the week. We used it in the pasta and made some chicken salad with it later in the week. When I first roasted a chicken about 1 1/2 years ago, I loosely used a Thomas Keller recipe I found online. I now do some variation on that. The key is the heat level to get a good crisp skin! 

Some breast and drumstick. With sweet potatoes, wilted spinach, and slow roasted garlic and onions on the side.

Roast Chicken:
1 roaster chicken(I usually do about a 4.5-5 lb bird)
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. After cleaning out the bird, I put it in the roasting pan.
2. Sprinkle thyme, salt, and pepper into the cavity of the bird. 
Rub into cavity. Stuff cavity with 1/2 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, and 1/4 of an onion.
3. Lightly oil bird. Season generously with thyme, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Rub seasonings into skin.
4. Cook for 25 mins at 
475 degrees.
5. Turn down heat to 
400 degrees and cook for about 50 minutes(or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees). Add onions and garlic to roasting pan about 40 minutes into cooking, and let caramelize.
6. When it reaches internal temperature, remove from stove and let rest about 25 minutes before carving.
7. Serve with any assortment of goodness. I like some roasted sweet potatoes and a spinach salad.

****The high heat at the beginning creates a great crisp skin. Also I do NOT baste the chicken. I read that basting creates steam, and leaving it alone gives you a crispier skin. As you can tell, I'm all about the crispy skin.

And something random I found at a bookshop that includes one of my favorite people and one of my favorite creatures. 

Ok, that is all! I"ll be back soon with a recap of a fabulous dinner out from last weekend. Let's just say it included duck and mussels. Enough said.

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