I'm Just Here To Cook…and Eat!


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Girls night sake

Needing a girls night badly this week, this is exactly on the docket for tonight. I’ve got everything needed for a perfect girls night – my cousin, my godmother, my Thursday night ladies (Greys, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder – thank you ABC), yummy food and alcohol. (Always concentrated around food, see!) Girls night alcohol usually consists of a fruity, sparkling wine, but tonight I have this amazing sake. Yes, it’s really good! I’m not a sake drinker at all. Can’t get into it. But a recent trip upstate introduced me and my cousin to this sparkling sweet sake and liked it. And we actually found it in a local store. So tonight, with sushi as our food of choice this girly sake is perfect. I’m even “channeling” my mom into my girls night using a shot glass she brought me back from Aruba bc who has sake glasses laying around at home? Now, onto Grey’s Anatomy, which I know the songs tonight will make me shed a tear… Cheers to girls night and sake! 

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When things don’t make sense, you cook…

Because cooking always makes sense. The blending of ingredients, the science of the combinations and reactions, the emotions of people as a result. Cooking always relaxes me. Something about the ease I can move around my kitchen, or know how precisely to season, or adding salt in baking heightens the other ingredients, or that adding sugar helps caramelize onions without burning them… these things make sense to me. Food is also always at the center of bringing people together. It’s the foundation of holidays and parties, it’s how friends gather who haven’t seen each other in ages, it’s how you impress people you feel the desire to impress. Food makes people happy, it makes people fall into a dream state, it makes people emotional making new memories and thinking of old ones. Cooking makes sense. And so does this recipe throwback. For all the reasons above…. 

https://imjustheretocook.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/greek-style-roasted-lemon-chicken-and-potatoes/


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*Cookie Heaven*

What’s better after a long weekend in the Hampton’s than a stop at Levain Bakery for their all famous chocolate chip wanut cookies? Not much in a line full of traffic out! It’s the perfect fuel for the drive home. Their original location is in the city but they opened up a location on the east end of Long Island for city vacationers and I was told I needed to try it. And boy did their cookies live up to their expectation! Crisp on the outside, chewy warm melted goodness on the inside. And they are huge!! Definitely a must try but don’t be surprised when a long line greets you. That’s how good these are! 🙂


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Apple Butter Roast Chicken

Missing my food? Here’s a good start to fall dish I dreamt up this Sunday afternoon. I’ve mentioned before that fall is my favorite time of year, and with it rolling in this weekend with cool weather, it felt wonderful having the windows open, the cool breeze flowing in, my pumpkin candle burning, and the oven on cooking this delicious meal. The smell of roasted chicken and apples which filled the apartment was incredible. Definitely make the time to try this one this fall after your apple picking adventures or just by picking some up at the supermarket! 

Ingredients 

2 tbs butter (I used my lactose free butter)
1 gala Apple, halved
1 clove of garlic
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 whole chicken
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small red onion, sliced
1 bottle beer
1/2 cup chicken broth
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Directions 

Don’t these ingredients just look so pretty?


In a food processor, blend together the butter, half an apple, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. This is going to be your rub for the chicken. 


Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Start by carefully separating the skin from the chicken, leaving it intact to form a pocket. You’re going to take some of the butter and rub it into the meat under the skin. 


Use the remaining butter mixture to coat the outside of the chicken. This will create a beautiful crust and also drip down into the pan for flavor. I know, this doesn’t look the prettiest, but keep going! 


Place the carrots, potato, onion and remaining apple (sliced) around the pan. Add the beer and the chicken broth. Oil once around the pan and season with salt and pepper. 


Bake at 350 for 2 hours – see the beautiful crust?! Serve with your favorite fall vegetable. It was perfect with roasted brussel sprouts. This one seems to be a keeper! 



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Sit on a park bench, eat a sandwich, and tell someone you love them

As summer comes to a close, I’m taking the time to unwind and and enjoy what’s left. Life is short. Sit outside, eat your lunch, and make sure to tell the one you love that you love them. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring and don’t want to live with regrets. And turn those boring old lunchtime sandwiches into something enjoyable. 

This week I’ve been packing a new favorite of mine: hummus, mozzarella, buffalo chicken and sliced cucumbers on a roll. Another favorite of mine is turkey, roasted red pepper, tomato, fresh mozzarella with a little mayo in a wrap.  

If you’re home, I love to toast sandwiches. Salami and cheese toasted on a roll with hot banana peppers and olives is great. Or try mixing up grilled cheese by using a mix of Buffalo cheddar and Swiss with salami and avocado. 

What’s your favorite sandwich? Switch up your sandwich routine and enjoy! 


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My thoughts are with family in Florida

And all those impacted by the upcoming storms, past storm, wildfires and earthquakes. I know a lot of great hurricane tips are being thrown around and please make sure to listen to all them. Power will go out quickly and will stay out for awhile so ensure to stock up your pantries with canned food, fresh fruit and vegetables and water. 

One great fresh dish you can make which will keep for awhile outside of the fridge is a simple pasta salad. Just cook up some pasta and mix in tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas and olives. A dressing of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper will allow the salad not to spoil. 

Keep safe out there everyone.