Monday, November 12, 2007

Yo, Chicken...Beer Me!

I have never made a whole chicken before. I have enough trouble with just a simple breast so I was pretty freaking nervous. Plus...yeah, wish someone would have told me that whole chickens came with the neck AND the gibblets still in tact. I felt like the Old Man in A Christmas Story. "It's...smiling at me!" DH had to come and chop off the neck and fish out the ickiness inside for me but what followed was absolutely delicious! I can believe how easily this came together and how juicy and flavorful it was. Best chicken I have ever made...hand's down!

(Recipe Source: Guy Fieri -

  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) whole chicken (Mine was a little bigger, like 3.75 lbs.)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer (I used Sam Adams Winter Lager -- which actually involved pouring out a skunky old Bud Light, rinisng the can and then pouring the other beer into the can!)
  • 1/2 pound bacon


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. Rub 1/2 of the ingredients on inside cavity of chicken. Gently peel skin away from chicken and rub mixture into meat of chicken. Open beer can pour out about 1/2 cup. Drop the garlic cloves into the beer can. Place chicken, open end down, over the beer can to insert the beer into the cavity. Place chicken, standing up, in large saute pan. Place 1/3 of the bacon in the top cavity of the chicken and drape the remaining 2/3 of the bacon down the outside of the chicken. Pierce the bacon to the chicken with toothpicks.
  • Place chicken in the oven for 10 minutes and then lower temperature to 325 degrees F and cook for another 1 hour, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. (Mine was larger, so it took about 100 minutes to finish cooking.)

Eric could not stop raving about this meal. He was literally sucking the meat off the bone! It was sooooo good. I served it with crusty french bread, rice pilaf and ceasar salads. Will for sure be making this again!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Holiday Cookie Memories!

So I was organizing some photos on Friday evening and I came across a recipe from my mom in one of the envelopes. She must have stuck in there when she gave me the photos and I forgot to take it out! It's one of my absolute favorite holiday cookie recipes. Sure, it's a little early for chistmas baking but really, these are great anytime of the year. These have been a family favorite at our house for as long as I can grandma used to make them for my mom when she was small!

When I was a kid, I used to get up in the morning during christmas break and sneak into the dining room (where all the holiday baking bounty was kept in the same colorful tins that are still passed around the family) and grab a couple of these and wolf them down before breakfast. They are so simple, light, buttery and are FANTASTIC with a big glass of ice cold milk!

(Recipe Source: Mom McQ)

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal (I use Quick Oats)
  • Chocolate sprinkles, for rolling
  • With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, beating until fluffy. Add vanilla.
  • Stir together flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture. Stir in oatmeal and mix well.
  • Chill dough for at least 30 minutes
  • Shape dough into a log and roll in chocolate sprinkles.
  • Slice cookies and place on an ungreased cookie sheet
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (check after 15)
There's not actually any real chocolate in these, so the name is kind of funny. Looking at the recipe there is no reason why they should be so stinkin' yummy, but what can I say, they are!!!

Monday, November 5, 2007

What to feed a man who hasn't had a real meal in months...

In addition to his very busy work schedule, Eric is in school for an MBA. He is never home. Ever. I haven't cooked a real meal in...a long, long time. He hasn't had a real meal in a long, long time either! I miss being in the kitchen! Eric attacks his two classes with the vigor and enthusiasm of his undergraduate engineering days even though he probably doesn't have to. What a good student!

So we were gone all weekend for a wedding in Austin, TX. We got home about 4:00 Sunday and we were both craving something warm, satisfying and comforting so I broke out one of my old standbys. It's one of my hubby's absolute favorites!

(Recipe courtesy of: ME!)

  • 1/2 box dried mostaccioli pasta (you could use ziti, penne, rigatoni or any chunky pasta)
  • 2 links spicy italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 tbls of minced garlic (more or less to your taste)
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup of grated parm cheese
  • 1/4 cup italian style bread crumbs
  • 1 tbls. butter
  • Additional grated parm for serving
  • Cook pasta to desired tenderness, drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook onion and sausage in a skillet until browned. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add tomatos, salt and pepper, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, stir, getting all the brown bits up from the bottom. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Grease a small casserole dish, add pasta and sauce, toss to coat.
  • Mix parm cheese and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle over the top of pasta. Cut butter into small pieces and place on top.
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven until heated through and top is browned.
  • Serve with additional parm cheese. Enjoy!
Sometimes I skip the breadcrumb toping in favor of cheese but I gotta say I'm a sucker for that crispy crust. I just love it! It tastes like it took a long time to prepare when really its super easy to throw together. I serve it with a ceasar salad and some kind of bread or roll on the side. Perfect for my busy school boy!