Roast Chicken-Lightened Up

A few weeks ago,
I posted about making a few lifestyle changes.
I've been dieting pretty heavily and the results have really paid off.

When I say "dieting" I feel like I'm using the term kind of loosely.
I figured out a long time ago that depriving myself only works for a while.
I'm trying very hard to control certain aspects of my diet to help me achieve my goals.

I've been exercising--which I ABSOLUTELY hate
and trying to eat with moderation.
(I've even cut back on my cocktails!!)

The exercising totally sucks,
but the food moderation is way worse
(in my opinion).
I absolutely love food,
it just loves me back way too much!!

This recipe is an adaptation from Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook.
I completely love all of his cookbooks, 
but Bouchon is probably my absolute favorite.
It is one of my many go-tos.

The book is a little intimidating, 
but I promise, 
the man is positively a genius in the kitchen.
All of his recipes are amazing.

This roast chicken recipe is probably the simplest recipe that I've ever made,
and one of the best.

I mean, check out this beautiful bird.
(I know your mouth is watering.)


I know that you aren't going to believe me,
but this chicken was cooked with NO OIL or BUTTER at all.
And it is absolutely amazing!!

I roast my chicken a little bit differently than EVERYONE else.
I usually roast the chicken breast down.

I've tried it both ways and to me the bird stays juicier.
You usually just have to lower the temp by a few degrees and add a few minutes cooking time.



Roast Chicken--Lightened Up
(adapted from Bouchon by Thomas Keller)

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1-large chicken (usually around 3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Wash the chicken (remove chicken heart, gizzards, etc...).  Completely dry the chicken inside and out.

Salt and pepper the inside and outside of the chicken liberally.  (You will probably use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and 1/2 tablespoon pepper.

Truss the chicken with kitchen twine.  ( I like to truss mine a little bit loosely and leave the neck open a little.)

Place the chicken breast down in a deep roasting pan.  Roast for 1 hour.  (The internal temperature will read 155 degrees between the leg and thigh.)
After the chicken has cooked for 1 hour, turn off the oven and allow to sit in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove and allow chicken to sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

Meanwhile, add the thyme leaves to the roasting pan and baste the chicken with the mixture.


Serve with more of the chicken-thyme jus.


It is amazing how you can get this beautiful, crispy skin with no oil at all.




Enjoy,

Huffington Post Taste--I Really Like You

Sometimes I get emails from different online publications and am totally blown away that they want to feature one of my recipes.

(I always get this feeling that this is fake when I'm initially contacted.
I don't know why, 
but sometimes it just blows me away when someone other than my sister or Dad tells me that they love my recipes.
It's really weird in the grocery store when a person walks up to me and tells me that they read my blog every day and ask me what I'm making this weekend--this really happened and I was 
totally in shock.
I'm getting a little more used to it, but it's still a little weird.)


 is one of those publications that has contacted me several times.
I absolutely love this website.
They find recipes from all over the web and give absolutely fabulous recipe ideas.
It's a one-stop shop for recipes and food trends.
I am so excited to have one of my recipes featured again on their fabulous site and am beyond grateful for the readership exposure.

This time,
they wanted to feature my Spinach Artichoke Jalapeno Poppers 
and I was beyond excited to share.



Please visit Huffington Post Taste and my site for the recipe.


Thanks again to 


for this fabulous opportunity and feature.

A New Treat

My super-sweet husband was super generous this past Christmas 
and gifted me with a new blogging tool.



As you can imagine, I'm loving it!!

I've put my favorite prime lens on and I've been snapping away.
I can really tell a difference in the sharpness and clarity of the pictures.

My first DSLR was a Nikon D40.
A very basic, great camera.
It was all I needed when I started taking pictures past a point and shoot.
I even started using the manual mode on this camera.

Now I'm ready for a new challenge--learning this new camera,
and the multitude of features that it has.  



Also, I just recently ordered this lens.


It is supposed to be the perfect, do-it-all lens, for enthusiasts like me--a total non-professional.
It's range is 18-33mm, 
so hopefully I won't even have to change lenses on our upcoming vacation.

I would love to hear---
What camera do you use?
What's your favorite lens?



What's Going On??

So, I've been kind of MIA lately.
(I guess kind of is an understatement since I haven't posted since October.)

I've received several emails over the last few months,
wondering where I've been.
First of all--thank you for wondering about me--that's truly awesome.  

So, I really didn't want my first post back to be a simple recipe.
I thought that I would start this year off with a little bit about what all has been going on.

November and December of 2013 were probably two of the most wonderful, wildest, craziest, and busiest months of my entire life.

I went for a great visit to North Carolina to visit my sister and was sidelined by bronchitis and
high fever which halted most of our trip plans.


(I had the best of intentions of photographing and sharing this trip, 
but spending most of the vacation on the couch only afforded me photos of my books and several TV shows--so not many pictures. 
This is one of the few.)

I returned from North Carolina and that's when things got kind of crazy... and life altering.

The first week of December,
some of my very best friends and my sister went on a girl's weekend to NOLA (our favorite) for a weekend of behaving badly, eating & drinking too much,  and a Saints game.

Also, it was my sweet friend Lindsay's birthday!!


Brunch at Commander's Palace
Carolyn, me, Lindsay, Charity


Dinner at Pascal's Manale
Carolyn, Katie, Charity, Kelly, Candace, me, Lauren


Pre-game fun 
Charity, Carolyn, Lindsay, me


Our seats were in the nosebleeds!!!


Now for the really big thing...
I decided to change jobs.
(And of course, I did this the week before Christmas!!)

I really haven't shared much about my day job, 
but I'm a Speech-Language Pathologist.

I've been practicing for almost 17 years.
I really love being a SLP, but after almost 7 years with my former company,
I felt like I really needed a change.
I took a job as a home health therapist and I'm absolutely loving it.


This same week, I didn't just host one party... I hosted two.
Call me crazy!!


Kelly, Melissa, Christina, Carla, Heather, Tiffany, Vicki, me, Melanie, Nicole, Donna


Lannie, Katie, Kelly, Jessica, Brittani, me, Christina, Lindsay, Heidi, Carolyn

As you can see,
I also decorated my house for Christmas too!!

I ended the holiday season by hosting our annual Christmas Eve party,
and then I collapsed.

I know that everyone had a super busy holiday season,
but I decided to take a little time off of everything for some much needed R&R.

I am super excited about starting back blogging and am really in a good frame of mind about some of my upcoming post plans.

By the way, I've lost over 30 pounds,
so I'm cooking a little differently these days.


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