Pre-vacation dinner

Welcome to my new blog!

I cook frequently and, less frequent but still too often, my kitchen-fervor spills over onto my facebook page. Sometimes my pictures and links and comments are rewarded with supportive responses, but mostly I think I’m starting to piss people off. So this will be the forum for all of that now and everybody, or some people, or nobody at all has to see/read about my dinner. Or cake. Or bacon preferences. Or pie crust experiments.

Tomorrow Dave (my gentleman) and I are headed off for a short vacation to Florida to visit a friend. This means that my meticulous rotation of meat from freezer to fridge, micromanagement of fresh ingredients, and obsession over meal-details are on hold. The fridge is almost bare and, much like the night before Christmas, I am giddy to get back and restock my perishables. Oh yes, and to take a vacation.

Last night we were trying to use up some thawed chicken breast and veggies from a shopping trip and farm-share box that we hadn’t gotten to. We ended up with “bourbon” chicken (which I am going to try and paleo-fy as soon as I get some coconut aminos from Whole Foods [I can’t go in there alone, long story for another time] and troubleshoot exchanging the brown sugar for honey), brussels sprouts with bacon, cabbage (yes..cabbage and sprouts, not something I would have usually made), and jasmine rice.

So, about that paleo thing…I love rice. And I used to eat it in extreme quantities but now I’m scaling back to the portions that a normal human should consume. Maybe someday I’ll end my love-affair with its white, grainy goodness, but that time is not now. There is some evidence to suggest that brown rice is not actually so great for you and, since I much prefer delicious and aromatic jasmine/basmati rice, I am willing to believe it.

The dinner of champions.

The recipe for the chicken is pretty straightforward and, like I said, I’ll be working on switching some things up. One thing to note: if you don’t like spicy food, scale way back on the red pepper. We like it hot but it makes our noses run. I find it’s easiest to snip the chicken into bite-sized pieces with kitchen/poultry shears and to mix the sauce beforehand (to help everything dissolve) and toss it in the fridge. With the chicken cut and ready to go, and the flavors in the sauce coming together, it’s easy to get home and assemble this dish.

For a side, I tried out a great bacon and brussels sprouts recipe from Nom Nom Paleo and it was AMAZING! If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, give this a chance. (If you can get your hands on some Applegate Organic Sunday Bacon it is heaven. When we pan-fry it for breakfast, we usually reserve the delicious rendered fat and use it to flavor our evening veggies.) I also roasted a small quartered cabbage (core removed) on a baking sheet for about 40 min at 400’F, turning once halfway through. I usually grease the pan with olive oil (I recommend Trader Joe’s organic garlic olive oil, it’s not too strong but is super delicious) and sprinkle some salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on the cabbage before it goes into the oven.

And that’s it! And you’re probably thinking: “What the hell is this? Just some lady linking to all her favorite recipes with super interesting commentary and really helpful suggestions?” And, if that’s the case, you are correct.


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