Tag Archives: chicken

throwback thursday

I thought it would be fun to go through my photos and try to find a picture from January from each year in the past. My digital photos start with 2005 and I really had no idea what I would find. I just skipped the year if I didn’t have any pictures from January.

Library - 0334_edited-1

2006 – my first roast chicken! oh my gosh I totally remember this. i was living alone for the first time (in San Rafael) and always did new recipe Monday.

Library - 0953_edited-1

2007 – around my birthday on the coast up in marin county.

Library - 2027_edited-1

2009 – one of my all time favorite SF nights. the night before we ran our first Kaiser half marathon. soo many of our inside jokes came from this night.

Library - 2529_edited-1

2010 – my birthday/girls night at julie’s. after many bottles of wine.


2011 – so many great pictures from my 30th birthday, but i’ve always really loved this one. five great guys, i’m thankful to have them all in my life.


2012 – sending out save the dates. started to feel really real!


2013 – birthday trip to portland, before we realized puppy plus hotel room was a terrible combination.

This was so much fun, I’m going to try to remember to do it again next month.

New Recipe Monday: Beer Butt Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad

Still obsessed with our new BBQ.IMG_2322

On Friday night we made a quick dinner of pork chops with peppers and mushrooms. It took less than twenty minutes from the time we thought about dinner to the time we were eating. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t go out to dinner on a Friday night out of exhaustion (laziness?), so it’s going to pay for itself in Friday night meals alone pretty quickly.


I got a little more adventurous on Sunday evening and made a ‘beer butt’ chicken. My MIL gave me a device on which to cook the chicken for Christmas, but you really don’t need one. Just a can of cheap (or pricey, I suppose, if you want to make fancy butt chicken) beer. I followed the instructions in the linked recipe but there are approximately twelve million out there to choose from, and many for the oven rather than the BBQ.


To go with the chicken, I made a salad I saw on Pinterest last week. Clearly I was way into it as the ratio of pinned projects to projects that ever get done is pretty low so the ratio of pinned projects to projects that get done within a week of said pinning has got to be near zero.

I made this really easy on myself: Trader Joe’s sells shredded Brussels sprouts (I used two bags for the recipe) and sliced almonds. Don’t get your food processor and mandolin dirty.  Also, make it all in one bowl. I find it very annoying when recipes have you use multiple dishes when it clearly is not necessary. We went cheese-less, but I’m sure it would be tasty.


Make the chicken and salad, preferably together, and eat it outside while your dog runs around like a crazy madman barking at the neighbor kids. Drink a beer or two and savor the gluten as you’re about to give it up (for real) for eight weeks in a quest to get some G-D sleep.

More on that later.

Happy Monday.

Week One is Done!

Okay, not quite, I’m finishing up day six. But I always count weeks as Monday to Sunday, so I’m considering today the end of week one. I made the decision not to log my food this time. I’ve done it in the past but it’s just one more thing to get done everyday and I really don’t find any benefit in doing it. I did though take pictures of my dinners each night. For breakfast and lunch I usually eat the same things all week (southwest frittata and chocolate chili this week), so I didn’t bother to snap those photos. It takes some planning, but it’s not terribly hard to get compliant dinners on the table every night. We did go out Saturday night to fight stir-crazy and I had an underwhelming steak salad.

week 1 whole 30

Tenderloin with roasted green beans and sautéed broccoli and onions // Pork chops with spinach sautéed in clarified butter and a side salad (20 minute meal) // Coconut Curry Roast with  cauliflower rice (crockpot meal) // Paleo chicken pad thai // Individual shepherd’s pies with salad (easy to make ahead)

Here’s what we’re eating next week. And yes, I print this out every week. Laugh all you want, but it works. I know what days I need to defrost meat, what days I need to prep food to have a quick dinner ready the next night, and what’s already been done. Really, it’s genius, so when you stop laughing at my dorkiness I’d be happy to send you the Word document.


Now I’m going to plan out in detail our dining destinations for next weekend’s birthday trip to Portland. I’m sort of regretting this whole jumping on the Whole30 bandwagon over my birthday, but I’m sure after making a list of tasty restaurants I will be happy with my options and I know for sure I’ll be happy come day 30 when I’m feeling great. I will just toast myself with a glass of bubbly in February.

Our First Thanksgiving

Since Greg and I will both be traveling outside of Seattle for Thanksgiving this year (me to Plam Springs and him to Wenatchee), we decided to have his mom and brother over for a pre Turkey Day dinner on Saturday night. Roberta’s birthday also happens to be the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we celebrated that as well.

I had a menu of a bunch of new vegetable dishes planned, but then I picked up my CSA box for November late last week. Holy cow. Now that we’re in winter, the farm provides one large box per month. And large it is. Check out the crazy amount of food I got for $65. There’s no way I could have bought this much food at the store or Farmers Market for this price. Even better, since it’s winter, it’s mostly root vegetables and we should be able to get through most of it before it goes bad. I’m not sure the pictures really shows just how much produce came out of the box.

November CSA Share

Instead of going out to get groceries for different veggie dishes, I chopped up a very colorful mix of beets, turnips, purple carrots, orange carrots, Brussels sprouts, and onions for a veggie roast. We had that along with a roast chicken, mashed cauliflower, and spiced apples. Before dinner we snacked on an appetizer of delicious almond-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates. Dinner turned out really yummy and I was impressed with my planning/timing on the dishes. I managed to chit chat for all but about 10 minutes will I sautéed the apples. If I do say so myself, I might be turning into a decent cook.

The Menu

I forgot to take any real pictures during our dinner. But, as you can see on the above menu, we also had a signature drink. (It was later renamed the “Bertini”, which rolls off the tongue a little easier, but I had already taken the picture I guess.) Roberta loves pears, so Greg made a French pear martini as her birthday drink. None of the four of us are big dessert eaters, so we thought we’d go with a birthday drink over cake. I’m sure they tasted delicious, but since it was day 27 of my Whole30 I did not partake in even a sip.

Place Setting, or "What to do with the decorative gourds from the CSA"

My future husband is becoming quite the entertainer with me. He is in charge of the signature drink (last week when we had friends over for a taco bar it was a jalapeño margarita – and no, I did not have a sip of that either) and the music. And he does all the dishes the next morning. I’ve got myself a winner I think. For this particular party, he was also in charge of “carving” the chicken. Neither of us knew how to carve it, so he literally quartered the chicken. It was hilarious, I wish I had taken a picture of the four (very even) chunks of chicken we ended up with. Here he is hard at work. We definitely made a forever memory laughing trying to cut this chicken and our guests didn’t seem to mind their funny pieces of meat, so it all worked out.

Future Hubs Carving the Bird

I need to get better at taking pictures of people, but this is proof that I have made a Thanksgiving dinner and have successfully cooked for my future MIL, who used to own her own catering business. Oh, and did I mention that the entire meal besides the drink was Whole30 compliant and Mike and Roberta enjoyed it? Paleo is possible for entertaining. Roberta was even spotted drooling over some of the recipes in my Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook. Guess what someone’s getting for Christmas…

Broth Bust

My chicken neck broth was a total bust. Following what I had read about (and wrote about here) various types of bones, and knowing neck bones were more on the gelatinous side, I decided to cook them on the stove for about four hours. The broth was very thin and the necks had disintegrated past recognition. Not that I ever would have known they were chicken necks to begin with if I hadn’t ordered them and seen it printed on the package.

I bottled the broth, placed it in the fridge, and hoped for the best. In the morning it was still thin liquid, no gel whatsoever, and hardly any fat. A day or two later when I was busy in the kitchen I decided to try one last trick to save the broth. I boiled it down and tried to make a demi-glaze, but the liquid just all evaporated and left me with a slightly burnt pan. I’m working on my kitchen multi-tasking.

I just ran out of my original beef broth and I won’t have a fresh supply of bones until my August CSA package arrives next Thursday. I’ve settled into drinking my cup each night when I get home from work, usually starving, while I make dinner. It’s perfect – I don’t snack before my meal and I don’t graze off the food I’m cooking.

So my second attempt wasn’t a winner, but I did learn a lot with my first challenge this month. Going forward I would love to make enough at the beginning of the month to last me through, or at max make it twice a month. The ice cube tray method is the easiest for both storage and portability (just add hot water to a few cubes and in 2 or 3 minutes my broth is “brewed”). I’m looking forward to trying other meat bones as well as getting into fish broths. For now I’m going to stay away from chicken unless I roast a whole one.

AND… I haven’t had a soda since the day I announced I was giving it up. I’ve gone about three weeks and only crave it now maybe once a week. Usually when I’m stressed, bored, or someone pops one open right near me. Besides a few glass of red wine or bubbly, I’m living on water and drinking nearly 100 ounces of it a day. But that is a post for another time.

Paleo Bites 6/1/2011

I feel like I’m getting back on track. Yesterday wasn’t perfect, but it was way better. I’ll get the bad stuff out of the way first – I had a diet pepsi with lunch and I stress-snacked late into the night as I worked. At least it was Paleo snacking (dinner leftovers, jerky)?

 I scrambled three eggs with spinach and coconut oil, then topped them with a few avocado chunks and some cilantro. As usual, added a side of jalapeno sauerkraut and a decaf black coffee.

For lunch I brought leftover tacos to assemble at my desk. It was a little messy and my plate was only large enough to fit one taco at a time. I’ll probably go back to Taco Tuesday leftovers in the form of a taco salad. I forgot to take a picture, but I had three tacos and one hard boiled egg.

I never left the building yesterday, so around 3 I was getting antsy and a little hungry. I went to Grab N Go and bought a small bowl of strawberries.  They were okay, but I should just be better prepared and buy my own from the Farmers Market on the weekends. Cheaper, taste way better, and don’t come with a side of fun pesticides.

Once I got home, I decided to make paprika chicken with a spicy paprika a friend recently brought me from Budapest. While the chicken baked I had a mug of home made broth (I’m convinced I’m so stressed and sleep deprived I’m going to get sick just in time for the big vacation) and mixed a little salad of tomato, cucmber, vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Aside from the oversnacking in the evening, that was it for the day. I feel like I’ve turned a corner and I’m doing it while being super stressed out. Maybe there is hope for me after all.

Paleo Bites 5/17/2011

What a dreary day. People keep asking how I feel about moving to Seattle given the weather. Well, it is raining cats and dogs in SF on May 17th…

20110517-092928.jpgI had an early meeting plus I knew traffic would be awful so I quickly scrambled three eggs with spinach and topped off with fresh pico de gallo. I am out of avocado right now, so I added extra coconut oil to stay full until lunch. Once I got to work I had a half decaf black coffee.

For lunch this week I’m digging into the pulled pork leftovers I made two weekends ago. Yum! Ididn’t pre-cook veggies last night so I had slim pickings, just broccoli slaw from TJs with an olive oil dressing. I forgot dish, so I ate my pulled pork out of a cup. It didn’t look super appetizing, so I skipped the picture.

I had planned tacos for dinner, but forgot to buy lettuce for the wrap and didn’t have any fresh taco seasoning on hand. I ended up just using unseasoned pork and topped it with guacamole and salsa. As I type I’m having an artichoke with a little bit of melted pastured butter. Does anyone else find that artichokes leave a weird taste in their mouth?

I’ve had quite the exciting Paleo evening. It started with two fun packages that arrived. The first is my spice delivery from Penzey’s. I ordered smoked paprika, a breakfast rub (it has sugar, so won’t be ordering that again!), Chinese five spice, and Rogan Josh. They threw in the BBQ as a sample. Also the Rogan Josh was free and I got $5 off my order – google for coupon codes before ordering (1/2 cup jar for free and $5 off $10 order)!

My second delivery is Red Boat fish sauce. After reading on a few blogs about the sugar in regular fish sauce, and the great umami taste you can add to virtually any dish, as soon as a free shipping code went out I had to order this new product. Can’t wait to use it. Check out the different in lables, bye bye Thai Kitchen!

Lastly, I have had chicken broth in the crock-pot for the last 24 hours. I came home from work today and strained it. I also drank a mug – anything to get this cold to go away. Since I use it mostly for sautéing, I stored the stock in amounts that I will go through in one week. I also set some aside for a few more mug-fulls this week.

I think that is it for the wrap-up of my first 100% Paleo day in quite some time!

Whole40: Day Four & SFO

Friday! Royal Wedding! Seattle! 

I woke up at 2:40 to watch the royal wedding. I had no idea I’d be so into it, but the alarm went off and I decided to make a morning of it.

Around 4:45 I made breakfast. I went with three eggs since I was eating so early and added 1/3 avocado and more jalapeño kraut. My pastured eggs are from a new farm this week and were pretty tasty. My cooking technique is also getting better, no broken yokes!


When I made dinner on Thursday night I made sure to have enough for lunch Friday and lunch Tuesday (since I am flying back from Seattle Tuesday morning). Of course, I left in a rush in the morning and forgot both at home. I had to brave the cafeteria instead and had the salmon special with extra veggies, hold the rice.


I was super excited to get to SFO and try Tyler Florence’s rotisserie in the new Terminal 2. Happy chickens, gluten free, with a few Paleo friendly sides to chose from. Sadly it was the only restaurant in the terminal not open! Instead I had a chicken taco salad at Andale, which was pretty disappointing. I did not eat the shell.


I also ate half a bag of almonds that I bought at the airport – the avocado on the salad was not a fat portion that was going to keep me full. After quite the bumpy take-off, I bought a glass of red wine on the plane to enjoy while I read a book and watched more coverage of the Royal Wedding. The love picked me up at the airport at 8 and we managed to stay awake until 10ish before crashing. We were both hungry but too tired to do anything about it, so the wine was the last of my food for the day.

Paleo Eats

Here’s a slideshow of the few Paleo meals I’ve made lately that I’ve also remembered to take a picture of before devouring. Click the pictures for recipes. Though they are not represented for some reason, I’ve had great success with recipes from www.primal-palete.com.

Paleo Mama's Coconut Shrimp with Asparagus and Zucchini

Balanced Bite's Crustless Quiche with Avocado Slices

Everyday Paleo's Baked Eggs

Everyday Paleo's Easy Chicken with a Beet and Kale Salad

One Disaster - Roasted Kale and Beets Exploded in Kitchen

Economical Paleo: Whole Chicken

There’s no doubt that trying to eat Paleo, especially if you take a very legalistic* approach, is pricey. I’d argue though, that I spend a lot less eating out and that it either comes close to or even saves money despite the pricier meat and vegetables I buy. Trader Joe’s has a great line of organic, free range chicken. Sure, it’s not pasture raised, but I’m making choices here and I choose to buy a house soon and eat Paleo. So $25 chickens just aren’t in the budget. The best deal is the whole chicken. At only $2.69 a pound, I’m not sure you can get a better deal on this quality of chicken.

To top that off, I found what might be the easiest whole chicken recipe in existence. In less than an hour and fifteen minutes I made this, which has been enough chicken for four meals (plus the carcass that is chilllin’ in the freezer waiting to become a delicious soup).

I’m not sure you can beat $2.16 (assuming I get two meals out of the soup) per serving for top quality protein. I love you Trader Joe’s, I really do.

*I think my favorite part of the short-lived adventure in a Bible church in early 2010 was learning the term legalistic. It’s awesome and applicable oh so often.