Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm Back with a Weekly Menu

I think I'm finally recovered from the jetlaggy weekend induced by my long vacation and long journey home from France. I have much to share about the food and my adventure with Kelsy at Un Jour Un Chef.  But for now, let's get back to basics while I clear my thoughts and take some time to write some nice posts worthy of the amazing time I've had.  It'll be worth the wait. 

It's finally summer and I'm starting to let the available produce from my garden and farmer's market finds as well as the desire to avoid heating up the house with roasting and baking drive my menu...

I've only planned for three nights since somehow Ry and I have found ourselves busy yet again with summer class and tickets to Billy Elliot, and our own theater volunteer projects. We may have to eat on the go, or hopefully grab some leftovers.

Homemade pizza!  Featuring homegrown arugula!!

Veggie Kabobs with a yogurt/dill mint sauce.  I love how inexpensive fresh herbs are at the farmer market...!  They give way to all kind of experiments for me. 

Roasted Chicken with potatoes.  Yes, I just said I didn't want to heat up the house by roasting things, but my Father in law is likely to be dining with us to help Ryan finish a home improvement project and I like to thank him by making a delicious dinner.

AND I realized that I never posted about my roasted chicken... so here it is just a few weeks later than promised... I am on summer vacation after all.  :) Click the "read more" link below... 

So I had this goal of roasting a chicken thinking it was going to be a big deal.  It was actually really really easy. I bought a chicken that was packaged with all of its "guts" removed already (thank you!). Thursday I had the afternoon off from work so I came home early to tackle what I thought was going to be a bi project.   I followed the directions carefully from Bon Appetit's recipe found here.
The trickiest part was peeling the skin of the chicken up far enough to get my hands around so that I could rub in the olive oil, honey and lemon juice mixture.  Other than that, this task utilized my basic cooking skills!

And that was it! I had easily  checked another cooking "to-do" off my list. 

I think that part of my intimidation was from this American myth that real cooking is hard. I believe it's partly persisted by the relentless marketing and overabundance of convenience foods... but that is a rant for more another time.  I think that if you believe in yourself and have an honest interest in learning new things making real, simple food from scratch is not difficult.

Completing a task, once thought too difficult to do is a very empowering experience. Those are the kinds of surprises I really enjoy. As my skills in the kitchen have grown I've pushed myself to make things and try techniques I never even knew existed!  This is why I enjoy kitchen experiments and doing things just to see if I can.  It doesn't always turn out fantastically... and I've had some major kitchen flops. That doesn't deter me from trying again.   There's my motivational speech for the day.

Before! Stuffed with lemon and rosemary and rubbed with olive oil, honey and lemon juice.


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