Another week has come and gone. How?! Friday night we had a cookie exchange Christmas party with our small group. That was a good time, so nice to see how our community in DC has grown and deepened over time, I’ll be sad when the time comes for these lovely folks to start moving away (most, if not all, are in DC for a set period of time). On Saturday we drove up with Philadelphia to see Syracuse play Villanova at the Wells Fargo Center. Ugh, that game. Somehow we went from being up 15 in the first half, up 5 with 10.8 seconds left in regulation, to losing by 5 in overtime. There are no words. But it was a great trip because we got to have brunch with my cousin Will and his wife, Telsa. Then we went to the game with my cousin Matt and his wife Amanda, and then went back to their house for the night and had dinner with them my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Bob. And we FINALLY met Matt and Amanda’s daughter, Emerson. She’s pretty stinkin’ cute. My extended family really is a blessing, it’s always so fun to see them and catch up. We spent the night at Matt and Amanda’s and headed back to DC today. Highlight of the day today was stopping at Ikea. I’m always looking for ways to maximize the space in our apartment, and recently saw this lovely idea for spice racks. Thus, the stop at Ikea. Check out what we did, I love it!
And on to this week’s recipes. Holy wow. I’m only posting the recipe for the dinner one. It’s SO good, you should probably make it tomorrow. I modified the recipe from this cookbook (which I got out of the library, and after putting a sticky note to mark pretty much every other page, I decided I needed to add it to my Christmas list). And it’s so easy! Well kind of. Since it’s a make ahead dish, you prep it all the day/night before, and then the next day just preheat the oven, dump the contents of your two prepped bags into a dutch oven (or probably many other dishes that would work) and wait. It was amazing. I threw it in the oven, did an at home pure barre workout, showered and was ready to take it out as Matt was getting home from work. Wins for everyone, especially our stomachs! And boy, do you get your fill of veggies! I had to double check what the recipe said the servings were (4).
The molasses cookie recipe is a family recipe and I’m going to pretend it’s a secret family recipe because it’s so stinking delicious. These are my favorite cookies to have at Christmas time (though there are several very close runners up). My Aunt Mary always makes them, but since we’re missing that family gathering this year I asked for the recipe to try it out myself. Let me tell you, this not for the faint of heart. Which leads to a giant belated thank you to my dear Aunt Mary for making these pretty much every year. I made the dough the same night I did that at home pure barre work out. My poor arms. I had to tag Matt in at the end to help finish stirring! But the two day process (one night for making the dough, another for rolling it out, baking, and frosting) was well worth it. Enjoy the pictures of the process.
Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
- 12 ounces red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 12 ounces Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 8 shallots, peeled and halved
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces, thick ends halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 3-4 chicken breasts (depends on size, we used 3. Also the cookbook said to use bone in, skin on pieces, too much work to eat so we just had boneless, skinless breasts)
- Cranberries, I think I used about ¾ cup (I added these from the cookbook’s version, it was a good choice)
- Place potatoes, Brussel sprouts, shallots, carrots, 2 Tbsp of the oil, the garlic, 2 tsp thyme, and 1 tsp rosemary into a gallon size zip lock bag. Press out air and seal, toss to coat.
- Place chicken, remaining 2 Tbsp oil, remaining 2 tsp thyme, remaining 1 tsp rosemary, ¼ tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a separate 1 gallon zip lock bag. Press out air and seal; Toss to coat.
- Refrigerate both bags at least one hour, and up to 24 hours.
- When ready to finish and serve, preheat oven to 475.
- Spread veggies in a dutch oven (or casserole pan, or the cookbook says to use a jellyroll pan), throw in the cranberries, and top with 1 tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.
- Place chicken in on top toward the center, cover, and cook 45-60 minutes (as long as the chicken is 160 degrees, you’re good.