Happy New Year 2016

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Hello Readers,

Wishing y'all a very Happy 2016 from Texas!  It's been nice to take a breather after all the holiday festivities and look forward to this coming year, which for us will involve a big move cross-country and the possibility of getting our own place (or at least a rental) out in farm country!  So you can expect my blogging to be just as sporadic as this past year.  Ha.  One of the things they say about running a successful blog is to ACTUALLY BLOG on a regular basis, not to start and stop (and start, and stop...).  

Thanks for bearing with my own unique take on blogging, which is definitely sporadic.  I'm much better at starting projects than I am at finishing them, hence there are always a ton of things going on around here, some of which make their way onto this website (eventually!)  If you'd like to sign up for my newsletter (signup form at the bottom of each page), I'll send out a monthly summary of what we've been up to around here.

I discovered this wonderful baked chicken recipe over the holidays, which I think you will love. I've struggled with baked birds in the past, but this time I think I've won. Mom and Dad were suitably impressed, and we ate before 9 PM, so there you go (see my post about my Thanksgiving debacle this year!)

Here it is: Melissa Clark's Salt-and-Pepper Roast Chicken from the NY Times!  I've tried it now a couple times, once on a free-range chicken (3.5 lbs) and twice with Cornish game hens (between 2-3 lbs) since they had a bunch of those at Whole Foods over Christmas.  After following Ms. Clark's directions for the overnight salt & pepper rub, I stuffed the bird's cavity with sliced Meyer lemons (we have them growing in the back yard right now and they finally ripened in time for the holidays), fresh rosemary which overwinters here in Texas, sage, and thyme. I used this new roasting pan that I got myself for Thanksgiving, with the rack, and basted the bird with some low-sodium chicken broth since none of the birds I used made very much in the way of drippings. I discovered that if you rotate the bird about once every 30 minutes or so, and baste with chicken broth, it takes about 30 minutes per pound of bird for the interior temperature to reach 165°F.  If you cut it open and the meat is still red (or reddish) near the breastbone, then put it back in the oven for a few minutes.  The meat turned out flavorful, tender and succulent.  It just made me feel like a Real Chef, especially when plated up with mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing (the latter two from boxes, as I haven't conquered those yet...Trader Joe's makes a yummy cornbread stuffing!)

Best of luck always,

Sarah

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