Citrus and Rosemary Roast Chicken

When I found this recipe at I knew I had to make it. It sounded SOOO yummy (and it was). 
It's not burned. Really. It was just right. It looks burned, and when  we first opened the oven and looked at it I winced...but upon closer look, it was just the marinade, not the chicken itself, that was dark. 
 This was so juicy and yummy and easy!


1 whole chicken, patted dry (about 5 lbs)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh rosemary leaves (I used 2 TBS of dried rosemary leaves, because that's what we already had in the cupboard)
one orange, zested
one lemon, zested
juice of 1 lemon
juice of half an orange
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper


In a small food processor, combine rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, and garlic. Pulse a few times until it looks like pesto. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse to combine.

Using your hands, rub lemon-oregano marinade all over chicken. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin on either side of the neck and rub plenty of marinade directly onto the breast meat, under the skin. Don’t forget to get some inside the cavity (where the organs were).

Refrigerate for 2-8 hours to allow the marinade to infuse the meat. Remove from fridge about an hour before cooking. (We let it refrigerate for 9 hours, because that's how long we were gone today for work and school. And we didn't let it sit out of the fridge for an hour before cooking. We just pulled it out, put it in the pan, and put it in the oven).

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place chicken in roasting pan breast side up and place in oven. If desired, place small red potatoes all around the chicken and brush them with olive oil or melted butter. Roast for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 400°F and roast about 1 hour and 45 minutes, checking for doneness after 1 1/4 hours. (Ours was done at 1 hour 15 min.)

Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand 20 minutes before slicing.

Sauted Greenbeans

Ok now, these aren't pretty. They look weird. But they really taste good and it's a yummy way to add a little zip to plain ol' canned green beans. 

1 can green beans (the cut doesn't matter)
spices such as onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salts and sauces (tonight I used onion powder, garlic powder, dried red pepper flakes, Caribbean jerk seasoning, a dollop of soy sauce and a dollop of red hot wings sauce)

How to:
Put a little butter or oil in a frying pan over medium to med. high heat.
Drain can of green beans and dump in frying pan.
Sprinkle with seasonings.
Cook till hot all the way through and to desired sauted-ness.

Hot Chocolate Tiramisu

This was my FAVORITE part of our dinner. It was sooooo good! I've always wanted to try Tiramisu, but because it is a coffee based dessert I never tried it. Then, I found this recipe on pinterest and decided to give it a try! I had to make a few adjustments since the recipe calls for Bailey's Irish Cream Whiskey, but I thought it turned out amazing. I had never used Mascarpone cheese before, so that was kinda fun. I could've eaten it three meals a day for a week and never gotten tired of it. As I was loading the pictures of our dinner on my computer I accidentally deleted a bunch of them and, sadly, among them was the picture of our tiramisu. Luckily we had saved some to enjoy the next day so I took a picture of what was left to show you all. It did look so pretty before we dug into them. Oh well.
The recipe says it makes four servings, which is pretty accurate, though they'd be smallish ones. I only divided it between two cups, and we weren't able to finish all of it in one sitting.

Here is my version of this dessert:
What you need:
1/2 cup hot water
¼ cup hot chocolate powder
Hershey's chocolate syrup
2 whole eggs
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups mascarpone cheese  at room temperature (You could probably use regular cream cheese if you can't find mascarpone)
18 ladyfingers
extra hot chocolate mix
Whipped topping
What you do:
1. Mix the hot water and the hot chocolate powder. I actually ended up putting in a squirt of hershey's syrup to give it a more rich chocolatey flavor.
2. Divide the egg whites into a medium sized mixing bowl and the yolks into a heat proof mixing bowl. Place a small pot with just an inch or so of water in the bottom on your stove and start it simmering. Put the bowl with the egg yolks in it on top of the pot of water and add 1 TBS sugar to the yolks. You don't want the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. You could also use a double boiler for this if you're lucky enough to have one. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar over the hot water(don't let the water boil) for about five minutes, whisking the entire time. It will get really fluffy. If they start to look like scrambled eggs you've over cooked them and need to start over. Try a lower heat and faster stirring.
With a clean whisk or, preferably, an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they start to look a little bubbly and fluffy. Add in 1 TBS sugar and continue to mix until they form stiff peaks. That means that when you stop your mixer and pull it out of the egg whites the foam stays in a peak shape instead of falling back into the bowl.
3. Now fold the mascarpone cheese into the egg yolk mixture, only folding in half the cheese at a time. Then fold the mascarpone/yolk mixture into the egg whites, again only folding in one half at a time. Adjust sugar level to suit your taste, just remember you're also going to be layering this with lots of sweet chocolate, so it's better if it's not too sweet.
4.  Place 3 ladyfingers in the bottom of your serving dish. Brush generously with hot cocoa mixture. Now spoon some of the mascarpone mixture on top of that. Next you sprinkle some of the hot cocoa powder on top of the cheese. (I wanted mine to be really chocolatey so I put a drizzle of hershey's syrup on top of the powder) Repeat these layers 1-2 times, ending with a layer of ladyfingers. Top with whipped topping, a sprinkle of hot cocoa powder, and a drizzle of Hershey's syrup. Garnish with a wafer straw cookie and enjoy.

Pomegranate Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice Stuffing

I'm sitting here eating the leftovers of this as I type up this post, and it's sure yummy! It was such a pretty looking dish and it was fun to each get our own bird. It wasn't hard to make either, as long as your not bothered by handling raw poultry. The rice stuffing is so flavorful and moist and delicious. In this dish, there were a couple of ingredients I had never cooked with before. In the rice I used a Shallot and fresh pomegranate seeds (called arils). The hens are glazed with a mixture containing pomegranate molasses, which I had never had before and which I had to make myself because I couldn't find it anywhere.

What you Need:

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Cornish hens (about 1 1/4 pounds each), rinsed and dried
  • 15 jarred grape leaves (optional)(I didn't use these, I don't think they have them at my local grocery store)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice blend
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus sprigs for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

What you do:

Mix the cinnamon, 4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; sprinkle all over the hens and inside the cavities. Place the hens on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, soak the grape leaves in water 1 hour.
Bring the chicken broth and 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add the rice blend and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger and cumin and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; add the cooked rice, pomegranate seeds, and chopped parsley and cilantro; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks and stir to combine.

Make the glaze: Bring the orange juice and pomegranate molasses to a boil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.A good way to measure how much something has reduced is to stick the handle end of a wooden spoon in the liquid and then mark how high up the handle it came with a rubberband or piece of string. Then, you can use the same spoon and keep checking until the liquid only comes half way up to the mark you made. Remove from the heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Fill the cavity of each hen with about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture (reserve the rest); tie the legs together with twine. Roast 20 minutes, then brush with the pomegranate glaze. Continue roasting, glazing every 10 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes. (Rotate the hens halfway through cooking; if the skin gets too dark, cover loosely with foil.)
If you don't tie the legs together it won't affect the cooking, but it does leave the bird free to sprawl out all over the pan and then it doesn't look as pretty when you serve it. I just used some yarn I had left over from some project, and I also tied the wings as well so they'd stay put and looking nice. When tying the legs it helps to cross one over the other like I did in the second picture, and then tie the yarn around the feet and the pope's nose (that's what the tail is called, I'm not kidding).

Meanwhile, drain the grape leaves and pat dry. Use some of the leaves to line a 9-inch pie dish. Fill with the reserved rice mixture and drizzle with 2 tablespoons water. Cover with the remaining grape leaves, shiny side up, then cover with foil. (If you aren't using grape leaves, spoon the rice into a pie dish, sprinkle with water and cover with foil.) After the hens have roasted about 20 minutes, transfer the rice to the oven and cook until heated through, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the hens to a platter and add some parsley and cilantro sprigs and pomegranate seeds. Peel the grape leaves off the top of the rice and serve alongside the hens.
I got this recipe from Food Network Magazine.

Potage Crecy (Carrot Soup)

This was so yummy! We really enjoyed it and I'll probably make it again. Ethan gobbled it up! The color is a little off-putting, but the taste is great! I only made a half a batch and it made about 3 servings.
What you Need:
  • 1 lb fresh carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-1 inch thick pieces
  • 1 medium Russet (or other starchy) potato, peeled and chopped into pieces about the same size as the carrot pieces
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ cup dry white wine (I substituted chicken broth)
  • 1 qt vegetable broth or stock
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper, to taste (I just used regular pepper and it tasted good)

  • What you do:
    In a large soup pot melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously.
    Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half.
    Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don't let them get mushy, though.
    Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary. (I had to add more stock so that it wasn't too thick to blend nicely)
    Be Very Careful!: When processing hot items in a blender the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed.
    Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper.
    Garnish with a toasted crouton and serve right away. (I didn't want to take the time to make the croutons, but they would've been pretty good, I think I'll be sure to do that next time.)

    • Try adding ¼ cup of minced fresh ginger along with the onions and garlic.
    • Or, after puréeing, add 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves before bringing the soup back to a simmer.
    • Or, stir ¼ cup hot cream into the soup just before serving. (As you can see in the picture I put a little dollop of sour cream on ours. I liked it, Ethan didn't.)
    • The soup can be thickened with rice instead of potato. Just substitute about 1/3 cup of uncooked rice for the potato, and simmer the soup until the rice is soft. (I realized when it was too late to run to the store that I had somehow run out of potatoes, so this is the method I used. If you do it this way make sure you really cook the rice well, or it's a little gritty.)
    I found this recipe here, if you're interested in checking out the original.

    Caprese Salad Skewers

    These were the appetizer course for our Valentine's Dinner. I tried to incorporate an ingredient into each dish that we'd never tried before. For this dish it was the fresh mozzarella. I like these, but they weren't as yummy as I thought they'd be. I think maybe smaller basil leaves would've helped, and I didn't really love the slimy texture of the cheese.
    These are so easy to make, all you need is:
    Fresh basil leaves
    Cherry tomatoes
    Fresh mozzarella
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Balsamic Vinegar

    What you do:
    Skewer the cheese, tomatoes, and basil on a toothpick. Drizzle with EVOO and vinegar. Enjoy!

    Pomegranate Syrup/Molasses

    I made this dinner for Ethan for Valentine's day. It was super fun and super yummy. The pomegranate molasses was something I needed for one of the other recipes, but I couldn't find it anywhere here. I looked around online and found this recipe to make my own and it worked great. I think it would be a very strong syrup, but it would be yummy. Now I have some left over pomegranate molasses I need to use, so I guess I'll be looking for new recipes! This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups syrup or 1 cup molasses. I just made a half a batch though, so I don't have a ton left over.

    What you need:
    4 cups pomegranate juice (look in the refrigerator section by the Sunny D and other juices)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice (I just used the lemon juice I keep im my fridge and it seemed to work fine) 

    What you do:
    For Syrup: Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to 1 1/2 cups, approximately 50 minutes. It should be the consistency of syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 30 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before covering and storing in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

    For Molasses: Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, approximately 70 minutes. It should be the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 30 minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before covering and storing in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

    See, super easy and a fun new ingredient!
    I found this recipe at the Food Network website. I knew it had to be a good recipe because Alton Brown always knows what he's talking about.

    Apple Pie

    Friday it was snowy, the highway was closed, we had just used the last of our eggs, and the Relief Society President called and asked if I could help provide food for a funeral. I can't say no, so I said, "Sure! I'll figure something out." We had a bunch of apples that came in our Bountiful Basket that needed to be used, so I decided I was going to make an apple pie from scratch (as it doesn't take any eggs). I googled "Apple Pie Recipes" and made the first one I came across. Cameron and I made it together and by the time it was done we wanted to try it really really bad (and neither of us are huge apple pie fans). So we made it the next night for us to try and it's the best apple pie I've ever had. And Cameron liked it (and he hates fruit pies).'s EASY! We LOVE the caramel sauce that you pour in the pie. We want to try making the pie and making an extra batch of the sauce to pour over the top of the pie when it's all baked and done. MMmmmmm.
    So, without further ado, here is "Apple Pie by Grandma Ople", as found on

    1 recipe pastry for a 9 inche double crust pie (click here for the easy recipe I used)
    1/2 c. unsalted butter
    3 TBS all-purpose flour
    1/4 c. water
    1/2 c. white sugar
    1/2 c. packed brown sugar
    8 granny smith apples (we used some variety of small red apples the first time, just because that's what we got in our basket).

    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer. 
    2. Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust (I learned how to do that here). Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off the sides. 
    3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking for 35-40 minutes, until apples are soft. 

    Pie Crust

    Proportions for a single pie crust (just the bottom, not the top):
    1 c. flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/3 c. + 1 TBS shortening
    2-4 TBS water

    Proportions I use when making a double crust (top and bottom crust):
    2 1/2 c. flour
    1 1/4 tsp. salt
    just slightly less than 1 c. shortening (if you want an exact amount...2/3 c. + 1/4 c. + 2 tsp. of shortening)
    5-10 TBS water

    1. Mix flour and salt together.
    2. Cut in the shortening (don't over mix here, there will be shortening clumps and chunks, that's normal and needed)
    3. Sprinkle in water 1 TBS at a time, mixing between each TBS. I use my hands to mix the dough, and I mix it by folding the dough in half rather than stirring or smashing). You want the dough to hold together and not be sticky.
    4. Sprinkle counter with flour and roll out dough to desired thickness.
    5. Place in pan, and poke 2-3 holes in bottom of crust (to prevent bubbles)
    6. Bake as pie recipe directs, or to bake a crust for later filling (like for pudding pies, etc.) bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes.

    Eggplant Parmesan

    Eggplant has always weirded me out a little bit, I don't know why. This past year I finally broke down and tried it, and so far I like the one recipe I've had it in. This is a really yummy and easy recipe. Cameron told me just now "Anytime you suggest this I think, ew, but then it always tastes really good and hits the spot when you make it." Give it a try! 

    We got an eggplant in this past week's Bountiful Basket and decided to just stick to what we know and do this recipe. We'll try a new eggplant recipe someday, but for now, we love this one. 

    1 eggplant
    3 eggs
    about 1 c. of Parmesan cheese
    marinara pasta sauce
    extra spices as desired (I used onion powder, garlic powder, and cajun seasoning this time around)

    How to make it:
    1. Usually I peel the eggplant (with a knife), but I forgot to this time and it didn't make a difference in the taste. 
    2. Slice the eggplant into 1/2" thick slices (like you were slicing up a cucumber, so not lengthwise). 
    3. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam (or grease it however you normally grease your pans). 
    4. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them (just so they are all mixed up). 
    5. Pour the Parmesan onto a plate and if you want add a few shakes of any extra spices you want. It's great with spices, it's great withough. 
    6. Dip each piece of eggplant in the egg, then coat with the parmesan on both sides. Place on the cookie sheet. Don't overlap the eggplant pieces on the pan. They can touch, but you don't want them overlapping or they won't cook quite the same. 
    8. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes (or until the parmesan starts turning goldenish), then remove from oven, flip over each piece. 
    9. Spoon the marinara sauce over each piece, then return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5 or so minutes (until the sauce has warmed up). 
    10. Take out and enjoy!

    This makes 2 good size plates full.