Archive for March, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Updates to come…

Nothing like a bocadillo in the Spring, Madrid sun…

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I have been commonly known around both work and with friends for my strange celebrity crushes.  Mark Harmon, Miley Cyrus…the list goes on.  However, my newest crush, Arnold Vosloo, is for many different reasons.  Not only did he star in the Mummy movies, some of my absolute favs (with a soundtrack that helped get me into metal music \m/), but he finds a way into every crime drama I love. So Arnold Vosloo, your acting in Bones, NCIS, Psych, and a slew of other television shows gets this dish dedicated to your bald little head.  Enjoy, because this is hands down on of the top 5 things I have ever made.

And let’s just ignore that you are the same age of my parents…

Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook


  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes  (I just used 10 ounces of frozen chopped carrots instead.  Lazy!)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For the biscuits:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and

saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.

Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick.

Add 2 teaspoons salt (I didn’t add this, I thought it was salty enough already), 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream.

Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley.

Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

Note:  To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.

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This is my new obsession.  Making oatmeal at work is awful.  Our microwave is older than I am.  If I want to make quick (and the most voluminous) oats, I would need a microwaveable safe bowl that I would have to hand wash (ew) and I would have to cart in anything I want to mix in.  Overnight oats you can throw together the night before, or early that morning, require no cooking and are completely customizable.  Now don’t go and get all granola on this stuff and throw in too many raisins, honey and high calorie nuts and fruits and ruin a good low calorie thing.

Here is my favorite recipe which totals to around 200 calories, but hey, do whatever makes your little raw, oaty heart happy.


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (The type that take 2-5 minutes or so in the microwave.)
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup (based on taste) unsweetened almond milk (around 40 cals a cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Splenda

Mix ingredients and cover.  Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.  Enjoy!

Yes, that is my rug.  My brilliant roommate found the only place in our apartment at dusk that gets good light and doesn’t have weird fracturing lighty things.  I think I really need to invest in a light box and a dictionary.  Look forward to more rug shots in the future my loves.

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I hate zesting.  More than anything in the whole entire world.  More than the relentless coverage of Lindsay Lohan’s clothes during her stupid necklace trial, more than dark lip liner with light lipstick, and even more than I hate ferrets (furry, smelly spawns of satan).  However, zesting can have its triumphs and this is one.  Don’t get me wrong–it does make me want as many children as possible so I can force them to zest and chop vegetables and do all the things I hate for me–but these muffins are incredible.  I got this recipe from Fresh Direct and it comes from the Staff Meals from Chanterelle cookbook.  It is so easy and so delicious, plus each muffin is only a little over 200 calories.  Makes 12 muffins.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Good pinch of coarse (kosher) salt
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 12-cup muffin tin. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly to mix; set aside.

Using the whisk, beat the eggs in a medium-size bowl,

then add the buttermilk, melted butter, oil, and vanilla and whisk well to blend.

Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and whisk just until the dry ingredients are moistened; do not over-mix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each almost to the top.

Bake until risen and very lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin will come out clean.  Makes 12 muffins.

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