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Recipe: ‘Autumn in Provence’ Chicken

This rings even more true now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, but a couple weeks ago, I got to thinking about what an amazing, crazy year this has been. Let’s recap: left my job, started a new one of my own design, moved apartments, got engaged, got married, got a dog. Joe and I joke that the only thing that could make it more insane is if I wound up knocked up (let’s do the other kind of knocking — on wood). As I was walking down the 2012 memory lane, I started daydreaming about our trip to France this summer, and had a little bit of longing for the easy, lazy days in Provence. I adore the flavors of this region, and felt inspired to make a comforting Sunday dinner that would reflect what Autumn in Provence might taste like.

The region is known for its beautiful fresh produce, especially the garlic, tomatoes, and herbs. So, using a slow cooker I just scored with some wedding gift certificates (only $80 at Crate and Barrel!), I made up this little recipe and served it over whole wheat pasta. You could easily serve it with rice, or cous cous, or even potatoes, just be sure to dust the top with a little parmesan cheese before you dig in.

This was my first time using a slow cooker and I have to say, it really couldn’t be easier. Throw everything in, and boom, hours later, you have one tasty meal. I’ve already used it 4 times since getting it just two weeks ago!

Here’s the recipe: Read more »

“I could fix this if I just had some pasta…”

Joe and I like to joke that I’m the MacGyver of the kitchen. Where others see only an empty pantry and some sad, limp vegetables, I see a feast, and can usually throw something pretty spectacular together (if I do say so myself) from meager ingredients.

Last weekend, before I’d made a visit to the market, we were faced with one of those nights where neither of us wanted to punish ourselves with take out, but there wasn’t much in the way of healthful food in the house.

But, with a lot ingenuity, and a few staples I always keep on hand for moments like these, Chef MacGyver put together a Mediterranean inspired cous cous salad, complete with ground beef, raisins and lots of herbage. The warm salad was completely filling and satisfying; the only addition I’ve made below to my original recipe is a bit of mint; if I’d had a bit of mint on hand, I think the salad would’ve been taken to a whole new level.

Readers, a little tomato paste and harissa can be a wondrous thing. More times than I can remember, one of these has gotten me out of a tight spot. Recipe, after the jump. Read more »

Change in seasons

Apologies for the light posting over the last two weeks.  They’ve been weird ones.

I’m not really in a position to say much else than I find myself in a very transitional phase right now.  We’ve all gone through those periods where we were happy, but still uncomfortably aware of the uncertainty in our lives (that, in reality, was with us all along). My mind has been more preoccupied with figuring some things out than it has been with interesting food tidbits and writing short stories — though, to be sure, I’m as addicted as ever to the food blogs and have been eating quite well at home. Worry not…I’ll never lose my interest in good eats.

I spent this last weekend in the company of good friends, as a large group of college companions made their way up to the Bay Area for the annual “Weekender,” in which our alma mater plays either Stanford or Berkeley.  It was nice spending time with good people, and reminding myself that at this age, at this moment in our lives — mid-20somethings nearly 3 years out of school — that uncertainty is more than okay: it’s completely expected.  I have a terrible habit of worrying, and an even worse habit of trying to have all the answers, all the time.  It’s nice to be grounded by other people and remember that I’m doing okay.

That, and soup always helps.  Here are two more fantabulous soup recipes I created in the last week.  Can you tell I’ve been needing warm, soul-soothing comfort food? Read more »