But I stand by my assertion that once you cut up a raw chicken, everything else is a cake walk. We butchered, roasted, seared, sautéed, pan roasted, braised, and carved a whole chicken, then had a lovely little Atkins-friendly dinner party with our beaus. I pulled together this list for our meat-extravaganza, and maybe it has a tip or two in it that you might find useful. So, without further adieu, here are my Top 10 Tips for Perfectly-Cooked Meat…
The great thing about cake balls is that they really are quite easy to make, and they’re very hands-on (read: messy) so super fun to make with kiddos. You can use little tiny cookie cutters to make shaped pops, or just roll them in your hands and rekindle your good old play-doh days. The simplest of cake balls use a box of cake mix, a container of frosting, and some chocolate. You don’t even have to bake the cake from scratch! And believe me, they are addictive in this most generic rendition. But any fluffy, light cake recipe will work.
I’ve tried sautéing it in a skillet, with a cast iron grill press on top. I baked it on a rack/baking sheet combo in the oven. I tried a non-stick skillet. A cast-iron frying pan. A stainless steel saute pan. They all yielded mediocre results. Somehow I never got that chewy, crispy, perfectly cooked and not too brown consistency. It was either too crispy, or too fatty, or both.
Of course I became friends with the Chef there, and he gave me a tour of his beautiful garden. We talked about what I liked to cook, and American markets, and how much comparable produce costs in the United States. He asked the english names of some of the plants he only knew in swahili, and I had to guess what some of the foreign bounty actually could be. He made this vegetable curry that will go down as one of my favorite food experiences – I’m quite sure – of my entire life.
I absolutely love throwing dinner parties. Or breakfast parties. Or BBQ’s. Or pizza parties. Eating + friends + my living room (preferably with a little drink thrown in for good measure) is one of my most favorite things. I know it’s super stressful for a lot of people, and I’ve talked more than one friend through it. So I thought I’d tell you all my secrets for blissfully stress free entertaining. *cough*
I found this recipe in the Gourmet cookbook a while ago, and since then I would rather have a brick of cocaine in my house than a box of Aunt Jemima instant pancake mix. I’ve had people tell me that I’ve ruined pancakes for them for life because now all other pancakes are inferior. I’m sorry if this recipe has that effect on you, but I don’t feel all that bad about it because these pancakes are so delicious they are totally worth your coming of age as a pancake snob.
Of course there’s no rhyme or reason to this tumultuous love affair. Today? Sign me up for the fan club, I’m on a quinoa-kick. I mixed it here with kale and sweet potatoes and a shot of balsamic vinegar for a forkful of nutty, sweet, earthy, sour, salty goodness. It’s a weeknight workhorse of a recipe because I keep all these ingredients around anyway, and it took just under 30 minutes to make.
But regardless, I’ve been thinking about resolutions a lot lately. I’m three months into a rough job search, and it’s starting to wear on me a little. It’s also the depths of Seattle gloom, and for me, that makes resolving to do anything besides turning on the fireplace and putting on the fleece sweat pants difficult. I think I’ve found a life resolution I can stick with though – and that’s to get a good dose of my 3G’s every single day: Good Friends, Good Sweat, and Good Food. Today I’m putting it to use.