Sunday, September 25, 2011

Roasted Lemon Chicken & Mustardy Carrots

The holiday season is creeping up!  Winter in general is my favorite season.  The holidays are just a bonus for me :)  My Mom started the holiday season a little early this year by getting me this awesome cookbook.  Southern Living is one of my favorite magazines and I have used several recipes I found from that publication on this blog.  This cookbook however was two gifts in one.  It is sold exclusively at Dillards and all the proceeds go to the Ronald McDonald House Charity!  Now if that is not worth it I don't know what is!  I am going to do several recipes from this awesome book as the holiday season treads on, hopefully you find some recipes you like and give them a try.

I recently had a friend at work want me to cook something on the lighter and healthier side.  Now I thought that was a great idea.  I need to tone back on all the super savory foods, my waist line has been moving in the wrong direction :(  I love lemon, I love chicken, I also love  carrots.  When I saw these recipes it was only natural that they make an appearance!
the above is a link to southern living

Here is what you need:

 1&1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 four pound whole chicken (I just used legs)
2 large garlic cloves minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
2 tablespoons butter softened and divided
1 teaspoon salt divided
2 tablespoons oregano divided you may need more if your not using fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh thyme divided

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees.  You need to zest a lemon to equal about 2 teaspoons (save your lemon you need the juice later). Combine the garlic, zest, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon, oregano, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1/2 your salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. You need to loosen the skin from the chicken and rub half the butter mix under the skin.  Sprinkle the remaining seasoning into the chicken cavity and rub it in.  If you do like I did and use chicken pieces rather than a whole chicken just add all the seasoning to the butter mix.  If you are using the whole chicken rub the remaining half of the butter mix on top of the chicken. Place Chicken on a lightly greased wire rack in a lightly greased roasting pan.  Now if you are using chicken pieces you are pretty much done here, just let it roast until you get an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which was about an hour for me.  If you are using the whole chicken you will need to baste the chicken every 20 minutes, this will make it nice and brown. It will take around and hour and fifteen minutes to roast. When done remove from oven and cover with foil. Transfer the drippings to a sauce pan and bring to a boil adding the rest of your butter, parsley and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Carve your chicken and drizzle the sauce over each serving. 

Mustardy Carrots

Here is what you need:

2 pound baby carrots
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Par-boil your carrots till just underdone. Drain carrots and add all your ingredients to a pan and cook, stirring constantly.  Be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning to your taste. You want the carrots to glaze so be sure not to under cook.

Normally I would provide a link directly to the recipes I use but could not find them on the site. These are not my original recipes!

The chicken is bursting with the zesty flavor that I love! Roasting it makes it nice and juicy and allows you to work on some other task while it cooks not locking you down to the stove.  The color is awesome and the herbs are visible adding to the impact.  You eat with your eyes as much as your mouth! :-D   The carrots are glazed with a home made honey mustard basically, so if your a honey mustard fan you will love them.  I do not eat honey mustard at all! But one thing I have learned from doing this food blog is that you need to try  new things and have an open mind.  Your taste buds change, and even just the pairing of certain flavors may make one thing taste much different than you think.

Love Food, Live Life!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hibiscus Cafe

I was really excited to go to Hibiscus Cafe just the other day and let me tell you it was better than I had imagined.  I love what little Greek food I have tried, mainly gyros and a nice Greek Salad.  This little restaurant goes beyond that!  I was very nice to see items on a menu that I was completely unfamiliar with.  Half the adventure of dining out is trying something new or a new twist on an old favorite.  This menu offered both. 

It is a small restaurant which I like.  It was also busy which is another thing to look for when trying new restaurants.  I always ask around as well and everyone seemed to love it that tried it.  One thing I need to point out that I also loved was a small message at the bottom of the menu.  It was something like this-"Due to the freshness of our ingredients we can not guarantee availability of all dishes" now that made my day!  Some of you may think what the hell!  If it is on the menu then I better be able to order it!  You obviously do not love food the way I and the owners of this restaurant do!  I would rather not have it than have a stale version of a dish.  This statement shows pride and care for the food and the guest.

We started off with an appetizer of Dolmadakia.  It is seasoned ground beef and rice wrapped in grape leaves and topped with a lemon sauce.  They were so good!  The portion was perfect for two or three to share and the zesty lemon flavor was right up my alley!  My first time eating grape leaves and I am on the hunt for some to cook with for sure!

Both meals came with a beautiful Greek Salad.  Taste better than it looks!  And I think it looks awesome!

My Mom had the Lemon Chicken.  Again it looks very good and delivers on the flavor.

If you know me or have been following this bolg then you know I'm all about lamb.  They had a lamb steak on the menu so naturally that is what I had.  It was seasoned wonderfully and cooked very well.  Both the dishes also came with Lemon Potatoes.  At first I was leery but O.M.G.!  I had an instant addiction.  I love zest and the potatoes popped with the zesty lemon flavor.  Potatoes absorb a lot of flavor so it was an awesome pairing.

If you live in Wichita Falls or the surrounding area and know a restaurant I should try pleas let me know!  You can contact me on Facebook @ C.j. Tate, Twitter @ DaFallsFoodie, or email me @!
Love Food, Live Life!

<a href=" alt="Hibiscus Cafe on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chilpotle Pulled Pork Sandwich with Apple Coleslaw

I got the recipe for the pork from Will McCracken and I have to say it was one of the best pulled pork recipes I have tried.  It just has onions, chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce, brown sugar, and Dr. Pepper.  It was sweet and spicy and oddly enough the pairing of Dr. Pepper and chilpotle works!  I wanted to do a coleslaw to go on the sandwich and naturally my addiction to !APPLES! came into play :-)  Not to mention pork and apple is a classic combination.  It was better than I could have hopped for. 

Here is what you'll need:

Chilpotle Pulled pork

1 pork roast
about 2 cans Dr. Pepper
1 onion quartered
1 table spoon brown sugar
1 large can chilpotle peppers in adobo sauce

This one is very simple.  Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cooked until the pork has reached at least 160 degrees internally.  Remove pork from the slow cooker when finished cooking and allow pull apart with two forks or wait until you can handle it and pull it by hand.  I made the mistake of putting the pork back in after shredding it and let me tell you I was crying by the end of the sandwich!
I did try it before I put it back in and was so excited.  I just forgot how spicy the whole peppers are.  I even shredded my onion so it would mix better with the shredded pork.  Still good and recommended for those of you that love spicy foods.  In fact that's how I plan to do it for myself every time! 

the above is the link to the recipe I found

1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 teaspoons of celery seeds
1 heaping tablespoon dijon mustard
tabasco to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 clove of chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 apple peeled, cored, and chopped roughly
1 or two more apples julienned
salt and black pepper to taste
a bag of your favorite coleslaw mix or make your own

I can not tell you how to make the dressing without plagiarizing the recipe.  It is pretty precise.  So you need to click on the link above, just click the purple Apple Coleslaw tittle and it will take you to the recipe.  I did however julienne some apple and add it to the coleslaw mix!

The combination of the two was stellar!  It was sweet, sour, and spicy! The flavor was intense after pulling the shredded pork out of the sauce.  The apple of course was the perfect compliment and one of my new favorites!   I hope you all give it a try. 

What is your favorite slow cooker recipe??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dinner For Foodies!

Okay so I took quite a vacation from the blog :-(  I had to get some things in order and decide what my game plan was for this whole blog thing!  While the end result is still up for debate the goal is to have fun with cooking.  I aim to show you that cooking a meal that you can't pronounce or you just saw on your favorite cooking show is EASY! 
Those of you that don't know me and follow my blog will be surprised to know I only really started cooking for myself within the last year or so.  I could always cook, started my own top ramen at five and burgers at seven, I was not exactly good at it in the early days.  I was notorious for forgetting to drain the grease from the beef for the Hamburger Helper!  The one thing you can do to mess up a dinner in a box and it was my calling card. 
I have always worked with food and knew there was a bond that had me from the start.  I loved it and loved to learn all I can.  I stress can because I learn every day.  Sometimes it's a lesson that I should have learned a year ago, but most of the time it's a new lesson learned in my life at the restaurant.
Well quite naturally those that I work with in the restaurant are always hitting me up for food :-)  I had been wanting to host a dinner but my house is very small and I work with a lot of people.  How do I do it?  I start hosting annual dinner parties until they have all had their turn that's how! 

Dinner For Foodies,  Party #1

I had eight people over plus myself,  my lil house was packed to the max and then sum.  I borrowed a table and chairs from my Mom and had it and my lil table all in the living room.  I regret not taking pictures of the setup and of those that attended. I did however get some splendid pictures of the food!

I made Lemon Herb Roasted Game Hen and Blue Mashed Potatoes.
Will McCracken made Caprese Salad and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus.
Joyce Jones made the best frickin' brownies ever!!!!!

The two above mentioned people are foodies themselves.  Joyce is quite the stellar baker and Will is just a down right foodie like myself! 

My Game Hen was simple and I made it a few times to test it out for good measure.  It went over very well there was not a dirty bone in the house!

Will made the most amazing caprese salad with lemon zest as well as fresh basil and mozzarella.  The lemon put it over the top it was my favorite part of the main course.  He also brought over some bacon wrapped asparagus that I believe he drizzled a little balsamic over that were very delicious.  Bacon makes everything better!

 Now when I think brownie I think heavy.  I like a brownie but they are usually so dense that you only need a few bites.  My friend Joyce whipped the eggs then folded them into the batter ant the result was the lightest, fluffiest, tastiest brownie I have ever had!  They where so good and set the bar pretty high for the next brownie to cross these lips :-D

 Thanks to:
Matt Jones, Joyce Jones, Will Jones, Johnathan Crocker, Will McCracken, Alexis Asbury, Zack Shanks, & Miss A'Z Johnston!

You all made it a great night and I can't wait to do it again!

What did you serve for your last dinner party?

Love Food, Live Life!