Sunday, May 26, 2013

Summer Solstice Chicken

Let me introduce y'all to an excellent cookbook:

Chicken and Egg by Jessica Cole

I picked it up on a whim one day at Anthropologie because it was on sale.  It was a good decision!  Every recipe that I've tried so far has been delicious, and there are so many more that I still need to try.  

As you probably guessed, all of the recipes involve chicken and/or eggs as ingredients.  Those of you who know me in person know that I don't eat a lot of meat in general (not that I'm a vegetarian), but chicken is definitely my favorite meat.  The nice about this cookbook is that almost all of the recipes have common ingredients and are easy to make. 

The book also doubles as a memoir of sorts.  The author raises her own chickens in her backyard.  If you're interested in urban homesteading, you would probably enjoy that part of the book.  My sister has chickens on her farm, so I got her this book for her birthday last year.  

One of my family's favorite recipes to make from this cookbook is the Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts over Roasted Potato Salad.  It's got radishes, green onions, and hard-boiled eggs in there too, and it's a great meal for summer days.  The salad is even good without chicken.  I would recommend this cookbook for that recipe alone.

The recipe my mother and I made tonight, which I am going to share with you here, was the Summer Solstice Chicken.  It was easy to make and extremely flavorful.  

You make a (very) bright green marinade (see below) with springy herbs and onions the night before, and then all you have to do the day of is grill the marinated chicken!  It's so nice for hot summer days when you don't want to use the oven and heat up the house.  

The recipe wasn't kidding when it said bright green.

We also grilled up some fresh corn on the cob, and my mom made these biscuits that have 7up in them (sounds weird, but they're surprisingly good).  

Mom was grillmaster for the night

And the end result:


The author also suggests slicing the chicken and serving it in pita pockets with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion, with sour cream and a lil' dill on top.  I think we had some leftovers tonight, so that'll probably be my lunch tomorrow.

Here's the recipe!

Summer Solstice Chicken (from Janice Cole's Chicken and Egg)
Serves 4

4 green onions (green parts only), coarsely chopped
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1/2 lbs)

Combine all of the ingredients, except the chicken, in a blender container and blend until smooth and bright green in color.  Put the chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them.  Put in a shallow pan and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill to medium.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.  Oil the grill grate and grill the chicken, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. 

Serve immediately.

Note:  We put the chicken in a casserole dish and poured the marinade on top to leave overnight in the fridge, then flipped the chicken in the morning so it would get coated on both sides.  It was less messy that way than using a plastic bag.  We also added a smidgen more garlic than suggested, because why not?  I personally would go a little lighter on the dill next time we make it, but my parents thought it was perfect as is.  

If you give this recipe a try, let me know how you like it!  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

DIY Spa Day & Mixtape #6: Unwind

I've been out of school for two full weeks now and yet I still feel exhausted somehow.  It definitely wasn't the best semester in terms of my stress levels, so perhaps I just need some more time to recover.  What better way to do so than with a relaxing spa day at home?

Here are some of my favorite beauty products for a personal spa day, and a couple that I am excited to try.

Spa Day photo SpaDay_zps7b9ed10c.jpg
From top right and spiraling clockwise:
The robe is no longer available, but it was too darn cute not to include! // Voluspa Japonica Mini Candle from Anthropologie // Godiva Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (stores only) // Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel // Tazo Calm Chamomile Tea // Soap & Glory Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em Body Buff // Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Lament // Philosophy Raspberry Sorbet Bubble Bath/Shampoo/Body Wash

Let me begin by saying that that candle is one of the best I have ever smelled.  I love the Murad peel for its brightening qualities and great smell (scent is important to me, obviously).  My mom used to have this great scrub for hands, legs, and elbows, and this Soap & Glory product looks like it would be a close replacement.  I smelled it in Sephora the other day and it had a nice scent, too.  Speaking of my mom, she has me hooked on these Illamasqua nail varnishes now.  The colors are all beautiful, and the varnish is incredibly long-lasting.  I'm talking a week plus without any chips (or that weird cracking that some nail polishes do after a while).  I have yet to use that Philosophy body wash as a bubble bath yet, but it's on my to-do list.  Finally, some hot tea and a few chocolate covered strawberries would make a great snack while you're kicking back.  Or chocolate of any kind, really.  One can never have too much chocolate in my opinion.

Just add a nice book to read and you're all set.  At the very least, you will smell great!  Haha.

Some bonus links:
-I love the idea of a mimosa bar if you wanted to do a spa day with some friends
-Or you could do epic reflexology foot massages with your partner. Date night!
-If you're on your own, try these unsightly but effective pore-purifying strips
-Here's an easy-to-make but filling salad (yay, kale) if you get peckish

I've also made a playlist of summery, relaxing songs to enjoy alongside the mini-spa.  I may or may not have included some Hawaiian music from the Spongebob Squarepants soundtrack.  I definitely did not rip said music from YouTube.  Just between you and me.

This playlist would also be great to listen to while chilling poolside.  Let's pretend that college doesn't exist for a couple more months, shall we?  (If you're in summer school, I am so sorry.  Stay strong!)




Positive vibes, everyone.  Enjoy :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Poolside

School is over!  For a few months, at least.  I'm back home at my parents' house for the summer and enjoying the relaxation.  It helps that they have a pool in the backyard.  Summer comes early to Texas, and the pool water should be warm enough by this week for us to start swimming.

Using some new tops and swimsuits I got from Aerie as inspiration, I put together a couple poolside outfits and accessories:

 photo Summersun_zpse3656ca4.jpg

From top to bottom, left to right:
Aerie Perfect Boyfriend Tee in Hurricane // RayBan "Chris" Sunglasses (also available at Target, which is where I got mine) // Aerie Light as Air Tank in Lemon Lime Infusion // Aerie "Juliet" Printed Balconette Bikini Top and Floral Ruched Bikini Bottom // Fieldguided "Endless Bummer" Tote (she has a great blog btw) // Aerie Plunge One-Piece Swimsuit in Hurricane (just ordered this and really hope it fits!) // Mossimo Women's 3.5' Inseam Colored Rolled Cuff Denim Short in Mint // Mossimo Lavinia Slide Sandal in Black (I have these in red as well and I love them) // Fossil Girlfriend Short in Vintage Indigo Denim

I thought I would make a more realistic dream outfit post for once.  I own all of these items except for the Fielguided tote (which I actually might order because I love its simplicity) and the Target shorts.  Those Aerie shirts are so comfortable and lightweight--perfect for summer in Texas.  It's already in the 90s here.

Also digging this week:
NPR's first listen of Laura Marling's new CD
These pants from Anthropologie (and this romper)
How to make banana bread in a jar as gifts/favors
My new iPhone case!  Love the textured sides.
This maxi dress I got at Nordstrom.  Perfect.
Watching blogger Sara Sherman's cabin renovation progress.

Hope y'all are enjoying the summery weather!