Rosemary Chicken and Matthews Sweet Potatoes, Birdeye

Monday, April 18, 2011

The rosemary from the garden, garlic and lemon


Too bad we can't have a "scratch and sniff" button the blog...this is the chicken with a microwaved local sweet potato and a salad from the garden with goat cheese, walnuts and homemade vinaigrette.

The sauce looks interesting but this is the roasting pan I used, only added chicken broth and lemme tell you, it's the key to the dish.  I just warmed the pan over low heat, added the broth and poured over the chicken.  Delish!

Chloe's latest Birdeye strays...Puppy Paws on the left and Oreo on the right.  I usually don't really like the fosters we have due to cat chasing, garden digging and barking but these two have really been pleasant to be around.  The brothers will be excellent with kids, cats and rules.  They listen and love to please...I'm trying not to get attached to a Birdeye stray...just sayin....

Good lord....this is the Gooch Man totally in a nap the other day...just so ya'll know, I'm not much of a cat person, I'm allergic.  And I'm more allergic to this feline than any other one in the past.  But this is a cute picture I will say....
Monday, April 18, 2011

Ya'll got your taxes done?  Anyone want to chime in on the debt ceiling this amazing, complicated, free country has?  What about the price of gas...3.86?  What about our neighborhoods?  What about the tornadoes that started in my home state of Oklahoma Thursday and ended on the east coast Saturday killing 50 people?  What about the infant found alone in a Memphis park?  Nothing crazes me more about the headlines on the news during my cooking with a glass of a good, smooth Cabernet.  Hmmm....(that's me taking a breath and taking a moment) 

Let me give another deserved shout out to Terry Conlan, the genius behind Fresh, Lake Austin Spa Cookbook.  This is one of the easiest and best recipes in the 202 page cookbook.  I love the ease of nuking the local sweet potatoes and using fresh rosemary from the garden, it was equally satisfying to have this fabulous, low-fat meal on the table in less than 35 minutes.  Yes, I said 35 minutes...

Roast Chicken Three Ways (this is my favorite of the 3) by Terry Conlan, Fresh, Lake Austin Spa

"It is difficult to imagine a simple yet more satisfying supper than an herb-roasted chicken accompanied by seasoned mashed potatoes and a green vegetable, all drizzled with a bit of reduced pan juices.  Whether you're serving it for a large family gathering or as a quiet dinner for two, this humble bird, crisped to a succulent turn, unfailingly it reminds us that fresh, simple food prepared simply but with care, can provide some of life's greatest eating pleasures.  Food like this nurtures and sustains, and has for generations.  We use an all-natural, bone-in, skin-on breasts for two servings.  You will want two whole breast or four halves."

Lemon/Garlic/Rosemary Roast Chicken

Grated zest and juice of a lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced, I used 5
2 t. minced fresh rosemary, I used 2 tablespoons and it was great!
2 t. minced fresh parsley, I didn't have this
1 t. olive oil
1/8 t. salt, I used 1/2 t.
fresh ground pepper
4-4 oz. all natural bone in, skin-on, chicken breasts, I used three boneless, skinless organic breasts
1-1/2 c. chicken stock, I used 3/4 cup

Combine all ingredients but chicken and broth in a blender and process until smooth.  Coat the chicken.  Arrange the chicken skin side up on a rack over a roasting pan (my skinless chicken breasts need to be on a greased jelly roll pan (the cookie sheet with sides) so the chicken will brown, it won't brown on the rack without the skin on).  Toast at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.  Set the chicken aside and cover.  Pour off any fat accumulated in the pan and add the chicken stock and some lemon juice.  Cover over high heat until t he liquid is reduced to about 3/4 cup, stirring to dislodge the brown bits.  Add any juices accumulated around the chicken and serve over the chicken when serving.

Nutrients per serving:  Cal 142, Prot 23 gr, Carbs 2 gr, Fat 4 gr

I served this wonderful chicken with a salad from the garden and a sweet potato from the Matthews Farms right here in Cross County.....how great is this?  The amount of energy it takes to get an Idaho white potato to Hays here in Wynne must cost a TON (gas and air conditioning and many other factors).  It is so great to get a potato right here...

I think it's time for us all to get local produce more often at our convenient grocery stores to not only save our own gas money but distributors as well....

Garden update, Birdeye

I planted three strawberry plants a few years ago and they've multiplied nicely

Kara shared a few broccoli plants with me, we'll see, I've never grown broccoli

The Gooch Man loves the herb and pepper box...looks like he likes dill

I planted two bags of onions, red and yellow this year.  Last summer we had green onions yellow onions all summer and fall.  If you plant some bulbs near the surface you'll get green onions and deeper in the dirt, regular onions.

The garlic is really coming on, that green in the middle is totally a garlic green onion, like a chive

The asparagus box was delivered Saturday, I can't wait to get it  ready.  I was worried early in the season that there wouldn't be too many come up this year, but wow, I was wrong.  I have 4 rows from last year and I added a row this year.  Looking forward to harvesting in a few years.  I noticed too, that the instructions on asparagus say to mow over your first years harvest.  Hmm...

This is what potatoes look like.  Last year I totally forgot I had planted potatoes, this thing came up and bloomed and stood about 2-3 feet tall.  I finally got impatient last summer and pulled it up...the potatoes at the end of the bloom lasted all summer and early fall.  What a fun find and I can't tell you how fun it was to served baked potatoes from your dirt!
Chloe loves the camera.  She took all of these photos Friday and Saturday.  She also enjoys making videos of the Gooch Man and is looking forward to posting them on her blog.  We've gotta sit down and do that!  I am excited about the garden this year.  Martin said he's got a bunch of tomato plants in his green house to share, I can't wait!  We cut down a half dead tree near the garden and I have room for three more boxes.  I hope to get them built so I can plant more this year.  I need to get the zinnias in the ground too.  There's nothing like fresh flowers all summer in your kitchen.  I've really enjoyed Winnie Bob's legacy of daffodils in the house all spring. 

Grow a plant in your yard, you'll enjoy an herb or some tomatoes and peppers all summer!

One of 15 varieties of Winnie Bob's daffodils

The late variety, this one comes on around April 10 every year

Chloe's camera work

We're so glad she still loves to play with her horses

Puppy Paws and Oreo, Birdeye

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oreo and Puppy Paws...latest drop offs in Birdeye

During leash training (and during a photo line up) big brother jumps on little brother for screaming.  We'll see how this all works out....hmmm....

Oreo...the scruffier of the two.  Super duper cute...leash trained already compared to younger brother...

Gooch man hangs out during the fostering...he's not too sure about the two new boys out back...

Puppy paws...super shy and likes to run to the back because his bigger, bully brother puts the hammer down way too much on him.  This is a shot of him after the rodeo of trying to be leash trained...poor thing, he twisted around and totally freaked out.
Monday, April 11, 2011

Kara's dogs Sicily and Duchess brought these two brothers to the fence...and what does Chloe do?  She brings them on into the fostering yard!!  Cracks me up.  So far, we are working on leash training and crate training.  They need some vaccines and neutering and then they'll be ready to go.  Come on people, spay and neuter and fence your dog yard!

Harry's Detour South

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Harry's Detour Downtown Memphis

Dara and David Bigger and Jackie and I (I have a new camera that I can't get to focus all the time...you'll see that in these photos, dang it)

After dinner we walked down Main Street to a bunch of hollering, and it was these Elvis impersonators...that were having a gooooodddd time hailing this trolley.  Can you hail a trolley? 

Just a block from the restaurant is the Civil Rights Museum
(look at the focus in this shot, I gotta work on the camera!)

Lorraine Motel
Harry's Detour is one of three restaurants I've reviewed that doesn't have a website. 
I love knowing when a restaurant opened and about the success of the artists over the stove.  This was our bill from a calculator with handwritten details of our order.  I usually brag on great waitstaff but our efficient waitress was listed at server 99 on our visa bill. That's amazing in this age of the Internet and technology.
Saturday, April 9, 2011

My good friend Dara Bigger and I have been looking forward to our dinner plans for weeks and were excited to make our way to downtown Memphis.  Her daughter Bailey and Chloe have been BFF's since birth.  Chloe was so looking forward to seeing Bailey that our 30 minute car ride sounded like a summer car trip of 8 hours.  "How much farther" and "are we there yet" kept coming from the backseat that made Jackie and I more happy we made it to their house than she was.  I loved having Wyly, Bailey's older brother, doing the sitting.  He's 6 foot tall and 13 years old. He's also quite the athlete and pianist and I can report at the end of the evening, he handled the BFF's to perfection.

Dara, a Memphian, always knows the best restaurants to try.  She and David picked Harry's Detour, which they've dined many times at the Harry's on Cooper. We arrived at this downtown location just after 6 and were greeted by whether or not we had a reservation.  We didn't and the place was half empty, we had the choice of the 4 top by the kitchen or outside seating.  We sat inside and the table was great because we were first to smell the garlic and other wonderful smells from the stove.

The menu was printed on copy paper and I loved asking if I could have one of our wrinkled menus and our gracious, sweet waitress said I could have it.  After ordering Stella's and Yeungling's, Dara ordered Bust our Chops, a center cut marinated pork chop, grilled and served with a maple-chili glaze, oven roasted taters and sauteed veggies.  She reported it was perfection and finished her plate like I did.  For an appetizer, she and David shared a house salad.  For dinner, I asked our waitress' recommendation between the Blackened Catfish or the Salmon Edina and was steered to the salmon.  It was a great suggestion, the grilled salmon was served over a sriracha cucumber salad with a side item.  I loved that salad, it was sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion with a spicy, cool dressing.  I loved, loved that salmon, which wasn't overwhelming with seasonings and the salad was cool and crunchy.  Jackie and I shared the Shrimp Remoulade appetizer which boasted six spicy shrimp with a tangy homemade remoulade sauce.  Each shrimp was served on a crostini with plenty of remoulade sauce.  I loved that snack even though I'm not much of an appetizer orderer.  By the way, Jackie ordered the Grilled Redfish special for dinner and he loved it too.

None of us could even hear about desserts, we all enjoyed our fresh dishes that were the perfect size.  I didn't even want to try their coffee with the 85 degree temperatures outside.  We decided to take a stroll down Main.  Harry's is at the end of Main, in fact, we took 1-55 to get there instead of 1-40.  Harry's is across from the Arcade and Ernistine and Hazel's and just a block from the Civil Rights Museum, all a part of downtown that we are not that familiar with.  Jackie and David spotted a sports bar across from Harry's and made us all go in for a pitcher of Yeungling after our stroll.  Yeungling's a new lager to me that is brewed in Pennsylvania.  It's a unique, darker brew and also comes in light which I had at Harry's and loved it.  I'm not a beer drinker but it's a good beer and easy to drink.  Dara and I loved catching up on friends, family and our kids.  They had just ran the Marion Chamber of Commerce's 2nd annual 5K earlier in the day.  The whole family participated, Wyly boasted a time of 27 minutes and Bailey a time of 34 minutes.  That's so impressive.  I told Chloe that the three of us need to do a 5K.  We'll see if that turns out.

We loved Harry's Detour, it's freshness and great waitstaff made the evening with great friends and conversation an easy and memorable one.

Harry's Detour South, 106 E. GE Patterson, Memphis, Reservations Strongly Suggested 901-523-9070, no website can be found so I have no information about Harry's Detour's fabulous beginning!