Home Cooking

In the interest of saving money and our health, our household is contemplating a "no restaurant" April.  The idea is that we won't eat anywhere that requires leaving a tip for a server.  Sadly, this takes our two favorite restaurants out of the line-up:

There will be the occasional exception, such as when visiting friends.  And I am not above getting a bake at home pizza!  However, the hope is that we will adjust to eating at home almost all of the time and make eating out into a special treat again. 

How many times per week do you eat out at a restaurant?

Oscar Night

Hosting or attending an Oscar viewing party tonight? 
Or just watching from your couch in the comfort of pjs? 

Either way, give these Black Swan Martinis a try.  The film has got my vote for Best Picture (I may be slightly biased by 20 years of ballet training), and the cocktails won't disappoint.


What's in Your Purse?

Lately, I can't leave home without Fresh's Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment in my bag.  It comes in a few tints, and it the best combination of chapstick and sheer color I've found in while, with SPF 15 to boot!  Totally worth the price tag.

What's your "can't leave home without it" item?

Drapes/Curtains/Window Treatments

For me, curtains are the home decorating equivalent of a good t-shirt or an eyebrow wax.  The former because I never think to buy (or spend money on) them and the latter because they can be so transformative.  They also seem to be a sign of a "grown-up" home.  Pottery Barn is currently running a promotion where drapes are 15% off.  Since I haven't had much luck recently with my old standby, Country Curtains, I may have to give these a try:

A lot of aquaintances on Facebook seem to have custom drapes, but I am really not there yet- baby steps!

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner?

I don't know about you all, but I frequently roast small chickens.  You know, the 4-5lb variety.  It's just enough for two with ample leftovers, and then the carcass can be used to make stocks, soups, etc.

At the suggestion of a friend, I recently experimented with cooking a whole chicken in the crock pot, and it worked out fabulously.  Kind of like a grocery store rotisserie chicken with less fat and less salt.  Here's what you need for my version:

  • 1 whole chicken, skinned (5ish lbs)
  • A rub made of equal parts paprika, onion powder, Italian seasoning, cayenne, chili pepper, and Kosher salt to taste
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion and optional fresh herbs

Clean and de-skin the chicken (gross, I know, but less fat and mess in the crockpot).  If you have a fabulous local butcher, they may do this for you.  Rub the whole chicken inside and out with the spice rub and garlic. Stuff the chicken with the onion and/or herbs (I like thyme). Put in the crockpot on low and cook for 6-8 hours until done. No need to add water or broth; the bird generates enough juices on its own.

No "after" photos exist (and Blogger doesn't seem to want to let me share the "before" photos right now).  The meat was literally falling off the bone with tenderness and was eaten immediately, if not sooner, with a fresh green salad.  We will definitely try this again!

Recipe Recommendation

Wow, it's fun to be back! 

Happy belated Valentine's Day to everyone!  Our household isn't so big on this "Hallmark Holiday," and last year's night out was a bit of a disappointment.  This year we had an easy dinner at home, featuring Ina Garten's chicken piccata and Crumbs cupcakes (they blow away Magnolia).  If you've never made chicken piccata at home I highly recommend giving it a try.  It was so moist and delicious that I may never make chicken breasts any other way.  If cooking poultry makes you nervous (resulting in something akin to cardboard), then this is the way to go- it was so easy! 

Anthro does Weddings

We're loving this sneak preview that hit our inboxes this morning.