Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Recipe and blog reviews

I felt like a total lazy bum today. The only productive things I accomplished were some laundry, vacuuming, and making dinner. I feel like I should be doing something to prepare for the move (which is in 3 weeks...why am I not freaking out yet??), but I honestly don't know what I should be doing. Movers will supposedly be here around the 1st of August, so it's too early to start packing the things we want to take in the car with us. I've already gone through each room and thrown away bags and bags of junk. I've scrubbed floors and cleaned behind and under things (in preparation for the extensive final clean before we turn in our keys). So I can't think of anything else right now!

Anyway, I spent most of the day reading a new blog I found. Actually, two blogs by the same blogger. I first discovered Bakin' and Eggs, which is all recipes. There was much yumminess to be found, and I actually tried two of the recipes today: Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies and Spiced-chicken.

The brownies were definitely delicious. I am not usually a huge brownie fan, and honestly only made them because they use so much baking chocolate which I happen to have a huge stock of in the pantry (thanks to receiving leftover Christmas Nestle stuff from the store that we didn't sell). But they were a very good use of the baking chocolate! They are super moist and chocolatey but not over-the-top rich. Andrew really liked them. I didn't take a picture because they were not photographing well on my crappy camera and besides, Jen's picture is better anyway.

The spiced chicken...oh my word. DELICIOUS. I bake chicken pieces a lot with various spice/herb combinations and it is always good, so I was not expecting to be blown away by this recipe (despite the glowing testimonials on two different blogs) but was merely hoping for a little something different. Instead, I was indeed blown away! I don't know what it is about this spice combination, but it is incredible. It only took half an hour to make and I also discovered that my big stainless steel frying pan does just fine put in the oven as the recipe calls for (I've seen this technique a lot but have always been afraid my cookware wasn't of a high enough quality). Anyway, it was so good I ate two thighs because I knew it wouldn't be as good or crispy left over, and my tummy was rather uncomfortably full. But it was worth it.

From Blogger Pictures
From Blogger Pictures

 I'm going to copy the recipe here so it's easier.
Note: I used only a sprinkling of chili powder instead of the 2 tsp called for since I'm not a big fan of chili powder except in actual chili. And yes, I am the cooking enthusiast who has things like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon on hand at all times in her spice cabinet. If you don't, well, remedy that. You won't be sorry. ;-)

Spiced Chicken
(Recipe adapted from Gourmet, April 2000)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the pan
2 bone-in chicken breasts or 2 leg/thigh combos
1/2 cup white wine, chicken broth or water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken.
Stir together spices, salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Rub all over chicken. Heat another two tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof heavy skillet (preferably not non-stick) over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes (3 minutes per side).
Transfer skillet to middle rack of oven and roast, skin side up, until just cooked through, 20-25 minutes. The internal temperature should read 160 for breasts and 170 for legs or thighs. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Place skillet over medium-high heat. Add water, wine or stock and deglaze, scraping up brown bits. Let reduce for 2 or 3 minutes. Pour pan juices over chicken and serve.
Yield: 2 servings

Jen's other blog is called Peanut Butter Runner. I've been reading her archives all day, and I think she's a new inspiration to me. For one thing, I've really been wanting to start doing yoga regularly and her blog makes me even more determined. Also, I love her balanced approach to eating and exercise. She definitely eats way healthier than me, but I love the fact that she loves desserts and is not ashamed of it. I get irritated with blogs or super healthy people who never let themselves have dessert or re-do every yummy recipe until it's devoid of anything "unhealthy" (and therefore becomes un-yummy). I like that she avoids sugar substitutes and low-fat processed food items...those are a pet peeve of mine. (Sugar-free and fat-free items are NOT HEALTHY, people!!) Anyway, she proves that having a sweet tooth and being healthy and in shape are not mutually exclusive. Check out her blog if you're needing some inspiration in looking great and living a healthy, moderate lifestyle!


  1. I'll definitely try the chicken recipe. It sounds really easy!

  2. I have cumin but it might be because you bought it for me! LOL. I've used it a few times though. And once our kitchen is finished, I will definitely try that recipe!

  3. You should! It's super easy and tastes gourmet! =)

  4. That looks yummy! And I'm glad you mentioned sugar and fat free items being bad for you! They definitely are, and I wish people would wake up and realize that more often! fat free=more sugar to make up for the lack of flavor and sugar free=neurotoxic!