The Importance of Our Homes

living room

Our home is the most immediate expression of who we are and how we view life. It is the place we retire to after giving of ourselves in the world all day long. It is the one place in the world that should be a safe place. It is in that safe place that we are our most authentic selves with those we love. In our homes we build and nurture relationships, face the sometimes burdensome issues with maintaining it and even the joys of decorating it. As we build our relationships, we are building a safe place to be vulnerable and truly intimate. It’s important that we make sure that we’re building that same safe place in our physical space, in our homes.

With a Servant’s Heart,
L. Tamar

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Attitudes towar…

Attitudes toward food and the ways we eat, shop, prepare, and serve it are wonderfully reflective of deeper values, as are attitudes toward exercise, body image, and aging. For some, grocery shopping, preparing meals and dining out are a source of relaxation, a time to reconnect with loved ones and relax. Some people find food and the act of dining together to be one of the great sensual joys of life. Fine wines, gourmet cuisine, excellent conversation: These are time-honored sources of pleasure… Just as Hot wings, beer, while  lounging at home are also time-honored sources of pleasure. There can be great satisfaction in being extremely formal or extremely casual about food and entertaining.~Lauryn Tamar

Perfect Roasted Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

final chicken

This recipe is great for a fairly “quick” flavorful roasted chicken. I use organic antibiotic free chicken. It’s smaller than most whole chickens, but tastes 100% better! The key is cooking it in a cast iron skillet and allowing the drippings to moisten the meat. Serve with roasted root vegetables.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes uncovered 425 degree (F) oven

120 minutes covered 350 degree (F) oven

Ingredients

1 4-5 lb whole chicken

1 yellow onion peeled and cut into quarters

1 lemon cut in half, one half slice thin and other half cut into half

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bunch fresh sage

2 teaspoons coarse black pepper

4 teaspoons cajun boil seasoning (w/o a lot of salt) or seasoning salt mix

2 tablespoons creole mustard (coarse mustard)

1/2 stick of cold butter cut into cubes

4 tablespoons EVOO or garlic infused EVOO

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt

4 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (or 2 white potatoes and 2 peeled carrots and 1 stalk of celery)

Directions

Wash outside and inside of chicken cavity with salt and water. Remove parts inside cavity and discard. Trim fat around chicken where neck and bottom were. Pat dry.

whole chicken 2

Place chicken into large cast iron skillet.

Cut skin atop chicken so that it isn’t removed from chicken, but so that you may stuff the area between the fat and actual chicken.

stuffed chicken 2

Stuff this area with the thinly sliced lemons and 2 sprigs of chopped thyme.

stuffed chicken

Next stuff cavity with 1/2 of the onion quarters, the rest of the lemon, and the rosemary, cubed butter, and sage.

seasoned chicken

Rub the chicken with the mustard and season liberally with the pepper and seasoned salt of your choosing. Make sure the dry seasoning is distributed all over the chicken including legs, wings, etc. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the EVOO over the chicken.

Place chicken in 425 F degree oven for 15 minutes. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 F degree and tent with foil. Cook for 120 minutes (2 hours) or until tender and juices run clear.

cooked chicken

After cooking, let chicken stand 10-15 minutes before cooking in order for chicken to maintain moisture.

gravy for chickenchicken in gravy

(If gravy is desires, place skillet on the stove and bring to a boil with 1 cup cold water mixed with 1 tablespoon corn starch)

During final 30 minutes of cooking, mix other half of onion, 2 tablespoons of EVOO, sweet potatoes (or whatever root vegetables you’ve chosen), coarse sea salt, the remaining fresh thyme, and rest of EVOO in mixing bowl. Evenly distribute on cookie sheet or shallow baking dish.

Place on lower rack in oven and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Should finish at the same time as chicken.

Spring Time Lemon Garlic Pasta

This weekend, the weather was beautiful here in New Orleans! I was inspired to create a dish that was fresh, easy, and representative of the season. This dish can be made with chicken, shrimp, or without meat. Serve with fresh crusty bread!

lemon chicken

Ingredients
3 4oz boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
2 cups asparagus, bottoms removed and cut into 3-4 pieces per spear
1/2 red onion sliced thinly
4 tablespoons fat-free half and half (optional)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/4 cups good Sauvignon blac wine
2 tablespoons garlic butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups fresh pasta (any broad cut style, your favorite bakery may sell fresh pasta)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Makes 5 servings

Directions

Cut chicken breasts into 2 inch cubes and toss with salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil and garlic butter in large sautee pan over medium heat.
Once oil is heated begin to sautee chicken until no longer pink.
Add red onion, lemon juice, and white wine. Sautee over medium heat for five minutes (onions may not be soft, that’s ok).
While red onion, lemon juice, and white wine are sauteing, bring water in a 4 quart pot to boil. Once boiling add pasta to water. Cook stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes.
Add half and half (optional) and asparagus to chicken and vegetables, once pasta is boiling. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes, so that asparagus remains al dente.
Toss pasta and chicken mixture. Top with fresh chopped parsley, Parmesan reggiano cheese, and sliced lemon. Serve with fresh crusty bread.

If you don’t have enough sauce, in a separate sauce pan sautee more garlic butter, white wine, and lemon juice.

 

Calories Per Serving 278.8

Total Fat 6 g

Cholesterol 77 mg

Sodium 164 mg

Potassium 69 mg

Total Carbs 31.4g

Sugars 2.9g

Protein 20.9 g