Friday, February 24, 2012

my new favorite go-to dinner

I love cooking something that has been prepped in advance.  It makes dinner seem so much easier.  I am going to share a recipe with you that I have made no less than 6 times in the last month....maybe 8 times...I'm a fan.  The really awesome part of this meal, for those of you who are time management challenged; it takes the same amount of time to cook both components.  So you don't have to think about it too much, just when to start the cooking process so dinner's ready when your family is hungry.

May I present Buttermilk Roast Chicken courtesy of Smitten Kitchen.  Go to this website and check out this recipe.  If you're anything like me and like a quick and easy dinner that your whole family will eat...then this is it!

I like this recipe because the night before I begin the marinade, and by cooking time next day or a couple days later, it's just sitting there waiting for me to just put it on a cookie sheet and pop it in the oven.  Very little work.  Yay!

I am a nancy though and like to cook my chicken for a little longer than her.  I use a whole chicken that has been broken down, and can I just say my chickens have the biggest bosoms EVER!  So I give it a few more minutes than she recommends.  I also do one more step, once I have my meat on the roasting pan, I pull back the skin from each piece and give it a little extra dousing of salt and pepper, then replace the skin so that the chicken is extra tasty good.

If you ask Mr. Because I can, the best part of this dinner is the chicken skin.  It gets extra crispy and the almost burned bits, according to him, because I don't eat chicken skin, blech, is to die for.

My Youngest who is notoriously picky will eat an entire leg of this, which is a miracle, truly.

My go to side dish for this meal is Tyler Florence's slow cooked green beans with bacon and onions  Yum is all I can say.  I have also made this dish several times this month.  Nothing smells better than this meal.  My tip on this dish is to cut the bacon into extremely large pieces.  I probably cut in strip of bacon into 3 pieces...maybe 4 but I doubt it.  I am not a fan of eating soggy bacon, and that's what you get here.  The flavor has gone into the beans and has left the bacon flaccid and nasty.  So if it's in large pieces, you can fish it out easier.

Make this meal, you won't regret it.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Please meet Mini Mr. Because I Can

Before we get down to business...I have a little story to tell.  At my loving husband's work, he doesn't often see his co-workers in person as they are all over the place, so to put an image to his name and voice, they took a picture of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, and transposed his head with Mr. Because I Can's head.  So, that's what he looks like to his distant co-workers.

A few months or so ago, he mentioned to me how funny it would be if I were to make him an amigurumi of this image so he could take it to work...I forgot about it...until about a week before his birthday and a week before we were to go on vacation....PANIC!  I knew that I had to make my husband a dolly for his birthday and had to get busy FAST!

I present...Mr. Because I Can's mini me...

Isn't he a dapper lad?

After scouring the web for images of Michael Flatley, I discovered that many a time he is sans shirt.  Of course I had to make my hubby's ami sans shirt as well!!  Nipples were always in the plan.  They're quite light, so look hard...I didn't want to make them vulgar, after all.    You should have seem me cutting felt circles to the smallest degree possible.

Adding the eyebrows was fun as well.  My beloved has the craziest eyebrows, they can grow to lengths untold if I don't rein them in with the pluckers on a regular of course mini him had to have some wild, untamed brows.

Then came the chest hairs thanks to an inspired idea from my dear buddy.  I have to warn people not to run their fingers through his chest hair...else they'll rip them out.  They're not exactly secure.

And then the belt. Mr. Because I Can mentioned the crazy big belt that his work image of course I had to make a big belt and bedazzle it with sequins.  There are star sequins going around the belt strap.  Love me some bedazzling...Ummm...sister of mine, again that's Be-dazzling, not Va-jazzling.  Just to be clear...she gets confused sometimes.

The back of his mini-vest needed something as well.  So it is also bedazzled.  I kind of envision if we ever go to another Neil Diamond concert that I will have to make him this...human-sized and have him wear it.  It would be my greatest wish fulfilled. 

Thanks for reading!!  Long live Lord of the Dance!!

Granny Square Pic of the Day

This one is pretty much true love!  Love the color combo! 


Saturday, February 18, 2012

My husband cannot go further than this title page.

It's Mr. Because I Can's birthday next week and I have a particularly special surprise for him. 

I would say it's along the lines of this...

...but infinitely more awesome!!!!

It's not done yet though...but I can hardly contain myself.  I had to take it into the office to show the gals...I'm their hero now.

Just a sneak peek because I can't resist!!!!  I spent a good portion of my week hooking while Mr. Because I Can was at work.  It really takes a surprisingly long time to hook a head of hair.  I made myself a little outline that you can see so that I knew where the hair line went.  Turned out perfect!

One last little favorite...

Oh yes!!  Joy of joys!!!  Chest hair on an amigurumi!!!  I have to give credit where credit is due on this one...thanks Karen for the inspired idea!

Whoo boy!!  I am in fact my own hero for doing this.

Granny Square Pic of the Day

If you are not in the in crowd of quilt blogging, then you might not be aware of the latest and greatest fad quilt block that's going around right now.  It's the granny square block and it's awesome!

Go check out Blue Elephant Stitches Granny Square Tutorial for all the deets! 

Thanks for reading everybody!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tasty goodness from a past life

I'm on a low-carb diet.  Blah.  But, it's a good thing and now that I have made it past week 1, I am feeling much better about life in general...until I watched America's Test Kitchen and it was an episode on English desserts.  They made shortbread.  Funny thing about shortbread...I really, really like it.  I love the butteryness (is that a word?) and I love the crumblyness (again?).  I even like the grittyness (I am on one apparently) of it.  It's just good. 

Luckily for me...and you, as I am about to share, a month ago I made a very delicious recipe courtesy of Picky Palate.  They were Chocolate Shortbread Bars and I found them to be most delicious!  In fact, I don't often repeat recipes as I love to try new things, but these...these I will definitely be making again...even though...and this is going to sound kind of heartless; My Oldest did not find them to be enjoyable in the least.  She took one little bite and declared them worthless.  And then, Mr. Because I Can only gave them a 6 out of 10.  But...did that stop him from eating several?  I don't think so.  I think they grew on him and he liked them more than he was letting on...these Shortcake bars...I would like to point out though, are one of the primary reasons I am now on a Low-Carb Diet.  Eat with caution.  They are addictive and you will want to eat the entire pan.

My Youngest and I declared them awesome and they got 10 out of 10 for us.  So there you have it.  There's a 50/50 chance of true love with these.  Oh yeah, I used chocolate M & M's.  My store didn't have white chocolate ones like Picky Palate recommends in her recipe.  I would say if you are looking for a Valentines Day treat, these would be perfect!  Do you notice the Valentine themed M & M's?  Very clever!!!  I even made them decorative by using an individual color for each strip.  Do what feels right.

I am not going to put the recipe here, as I will let you scamper on over to the Picky Palate  if you want to make them, but I am going to give a couple of tips...

This dough is some kind of thick!!!   I used a piece of parchment and mushed it down evenly.  I suppose you could use your hands, but I'm a lady.  If you want to be extra fancy, you could smooth it out a 2nd time with the back of a spoon.  I learned that on America's Test Kitchen.

You will want to make a sling out of foil before adding the dough to the pan. What that means is you will lay a piece of foil lengthwise so that the edges hang out a few inches, and then you will lay another piece of foil going crosswise (also so that the edges hang out above the pan) so that when you need to get the bars out, you just grab the flaps that are on the bottom, and lift up, out of the pan. Very fancy!

Now, time for a lesson on cutting your bars evenly!!

Step 1: Remove bars from pan and let cool completely

Step 2: Cute straight down the middle

Step 3: Cut straight down the middle of the two new pieces you just cut (now you will have 4 pieces)

Step 4: Rotate your bars and now cut straight down the middle of your 4 strips

Step 5: Cut straight down on either side and now you will have 16 fairly even squares.

There you have it.  Now as long as you aren't on a low-carb diet, enjoy!

Thanks for reading!


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