Monday, August 18

One-Pan Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables

Anyone else get caught up watching Cook's Country?

I love Chris Kimball. His empire has brought us the famed publications Cook's Illustrated, and of course, Cook's Country Magazine. Kimball, along with PBS, are also the brains behind some of the best shows including American's Test Kitchen, as well as Cook's Country, and even the great home renovation show, This Old House. Thanks to WUSF here in Tampa, I am able to keep up with both of Kimball's cooking shows (among others) for free!

Needless to say at this point, I was watching Cook's Country the other night and knew I just had to try out this recipe. I have roasted chicken with carrots and potatoes several times, but never had I ever added brussels sprouts! Sam and I both really love brussel sprouts. We eat them all the time (usually with bacon!) as I try to serve something green alongside everything I make at home. With this recipe, you don't have to mess up a pot and do green beans on the stove or even mess with throwing together a salad. The greens go straight into the dish! It's perfect!

So while I was watching TV,  I didn't write down anything exact. Thanks to I was able to track down the recipe! I have no doubts that it will be added to your dinner rotation too!


1 cup brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved 
1 cup red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shallots, peeled and halved
1 cup carrots
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken, quartered
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Chop Brussels sprouts, potatoes, shallots, carrots, and garlic. Toss vegetables with 2 teaspoons thyme, oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in bowl.

Make an herb butter to brush on the chicken in second bowl. Combine melted butter, remaining 2 teaspoons thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables in single layer on rimmed baking sheet, arranging the brussels sprouts in center and potatoes towards the rim. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of vegetables, positioning breast pieces in the center and leg and thigh pieces around perimeter of the baking sheet.

Brush chicken with herb butter and roast until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs -register 175 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Toss vegetables in pan juices and transfer to platter to serve with chicken.

This one-pan roasted chicken with root vegetables first appeared in the February/March 2012 issue of the Cook's Country Magazine

Monday, August 11

Shrimp with Fresh Corn Grits


If shrimp and grits are available on a menu, you know that's what I'm ordering! From the Faded Rose in Little Rock, AR to Ella's in Tampa, FL I have favorites all over the place. Bon Appetit Magazine always has the best recipes, so when I wanted to make my own I started there - with this old recipe from September 2011. It was fine, but still not as good as what I could get down the hill at Faded Rose. 

Then last month, I saw their recipe for Shrimp with Fresh Corn Grits and stopped dead in my tracks. It was simple, straightforward, and classic. Last week we tried the new recipe and loved it so much I made it two nights in a row! 

To get the awesome flavors in this dish, you'll primarily being using seasonings you already have in the kitchen. It may be a little late in our relationship to mention this - but I have a thing for pantry staples. I love keeping a well stocked pantry so that when I set out to grocery shop I usually just have to pick up the vegetables and meat (if we are using any). Living in Florida, I am getting spoiled on the great shrimp and seafood we have access to - not to mention the farmer's market that is open seven days week for produce! It's going to be tough if we ever have to move from here!

Here, is the Bon Appetit recipe from July 2014 with the few modifications I made! Enjoy!

Shrimp with Fresh Corn Grits




3 ears of corn, husked
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup grits (not instant)
2 tbs unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp smoked paprika and of cayenne pepper
1½ pound large shrimp, peeled
Fresh chives (optional, for serving)

Grate 2 ears of corn over a medium bowl, catching as much juice as possible; set aside. Cut kernels from remaining ear of corn into another medium bowl; set aside.


Bring broth, milk, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat so liquid is at a simmer and gradually whisk in grits. Simmer, whisking often, until grits are very tender, 20–25 minutes. Mix in butter and reserved grated corn; season with salt and pepper.

Fifteen minutes after you have added grits to saucepan, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook garlic, oregano, and paprika, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add reserved kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and beginning to pop, about 3 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Serve shrimp and corn over grits topped with chives.

Recipe Source: Bon Appetit Magazine

Wednesday, August 6

Chocolcate Cherry Blondies

I saw gorgeous cherries at the farmers market over the weekend, and couldn't resist coming up with a recipe. Although I am not a huge fan of cherries on their own, I can get along with any fruit mixed with chocolate. 

Blondies are probably one of the quickest desserts to whip together. They are easier than even chocolate chip cookies! The only thing you really need to know is that blondies can easily be over worked and will become tough. For that reason I do not recommend using a stand mixer. 

You will also find a cherry pitter is essential to this recipe. If you don't have one, a sturdy straw or pastry tip can be used. Here are a couple resources to assist you: How to Pit Cherries and No Cherry Pitter?

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbs vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quarter

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish with butter (or cooking spray).

In a large mixing bowl, melt a stick of butter, then mix in light brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated.

Stir in sifted flour and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and cherries. Batter will be very thick.

Pour (scrape!) batter into prepared baking dish. 

Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes. The blondies are done when you can insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean. Let blondies cool for about 1 hour before you slice and serve.

Tuesday, August 5

One Pot Pasta: Sundried Tomatoes, Roasted Red Peppers, and Basil

Martha's always got the right moves. Her one pot pasta has been a Pinterest sensation and replicated several times on food blogs. At first, I was totally skeptical of cooking my pasta and sauce together in one pot. I figured I would end up with an ooey-gooey mess, but NO! This is now one of my favorite ways to make pasta. Cooking everything in one pot adds great flavor since the sauce seasoning is incorporated into the pasta itself.

This pasta is creamy, somewhat heavy, and totally filling. I modified Martha's recipe based on this post from The Kitchn. Adding roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes to amp up the flavor, and mixing in brie at the end to give it some creaminess was perfect. Plus, roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes are two great pantry staples. When you are grocery shopping for this recipe go ahead and pick of two jars of each! You'll be glad you have them on hand. 

While it cooks, throw together a side salad, heat up some bread, and you've got dinner for four!


16 oz linguine
1 cup basil leaves

1 cup roasted red peppers
, chopped
1/2 cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (oil reserved)

3-4 large garlic cloves, sliced

4 1/2 cups water 

2 tbs oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbs salt, plus more to taste

Pinch red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 ounces brie cheese, rind removed and torn into pieces

Grated parmesan, for serving

Combine first five ingredients in a straight-sided skillet. Add the water, oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh black pepper. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat. Using tongs, stir the pasta frequently to prevent sticking. Cook approximately 9 to 10 minutes, until al dente.

Remove from heat, and add the brie. Toss with tongs until creamy and melted. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. The sauce will thicken up after a couple of minutes. Serve with parmesan and cracked pepper.