Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day #2 Dinner

Good Morning! It's Snow Day # 3 except today I am actually going to work at noon! It will be a nice break from being at home, but I must admit...I was just beginning to enjoy the time off.

Snow Day number 1 was a bit boring, I started the day without a plan and though the hubby and I had a nice day of bonding...we ran out of things to do pretty quickly. So, I was prepared for Snow Day #2. I decided that though the roads were a bit treacherous, if Hubs could go to work, I could probably venture out of the house for a short time. So, I made a little picnic lunch and took it to his office. He and I ate together and talked about the snow and then I went to the grocery store.

The grocery store is, admittedly, one of my favorite places. Currently, due to slight budget restrictions (the Hubs and I are trying to save money for home improvements, traveling, etc.) I cannot shop at The Fresh Market everyday, though I would LOVE to. So, instead, I shop at The Piggly WIggly. The Pig, as I like to refer to it, is like the Chick-Fil-A of grocery stores. On every aisle and in every checkout lane, there is a very nice, polite high school student waiting to help you. I'm beyond impressed by their service and their phenomenal employees. But, I digress. Back to the plan for Snow Day 2.

I went to The Pig, after lunch with the hubs, and got ingredients for two new recipes that I wanted to try! I chose recipes that only required me purchase a few items so that my snow day shopping wouldn't turn into a "spree".

I decided, as you read earlier, to bake scones (they were delicious) and for dinner try a recipe from the January issue of Martha Stewart Living. I opted to try the Paprika and Garlic Roasted Chicken. And I thought it would be wonderful paired with rice, and asparagus.
So, the chicken. I purchased a whole chicken, washed the chicken and placed it, breast side up, on a baking sheet. I rubbed the chicken with olive oil and the rubbed on a mixture of paprika, oregano, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper. If you're following along in Martha Stewart Living, you'll see that I tweaked the recipe a touch...but only because I was running low on Paprika! Then I put one head of garlic (cut in half) in the cavity of the chicken, placed it in the oven and let it roast. The rest of the process was a bit more involved, but I won't bore you with the details. (I'll post a link to the website)

The chicken was fantastic. It was not dry, but rather quite juicy with loads of flavor. It was certainly a recipe I would try again. The asparagus with it was excellent and cooked to perfection, in a bit of boiling water until bright green and still crisp.

Now, as the snow and ice is beginning to melt, I'm preparing to go back to the grind. But I will say, my little taste of "house wife" was kind of nice...

Recipe for Paprika-Rubbed Chicken with Roasted Garlic

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Marvelous, light, fluffy, wonderful scones. I remember the first time I had a scone. I was ten years old and traveling in England with my family. After a long day of walking, touring, antiquing and eating "pub grub", we decided to have afternoon tea. It was marvelous. Hot tea and a warm scone after spending the day in the cool damp, English weather...sheer perfection.
A typical English tradition, "Afternoon Tea" usually occurs around 4:00 in the afternoon. It is basically a scheduled snack time. Typical foods for Tea are little finger sandwiches (cucumber with cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill, etc), hot English tea (English Breakfast or Earl Grey, typically), and wonderful scones with clotted cream and jam. Scones are like our biscuits, but with a hint of sweetness and usually a little fruit, like Raisins.

Today, on Snow Day #2, I elected to bake scones and have tea while I enjoyed the fire that I built...and a little blogging. I chose to make Ina Garten's, The Barefoot Contessa's, Raisin Scones. They were excellent...a bit dry, but I think that is because my baking skills need to be perfected, desperately. I must admit I did skimp on the clotted cream...while it is mouth-wateringly wonderful, it is also very difficult to make and requires a bit more preparation that my baking "whim" from this afternoon. But a touch of butter and some wonderful apricot jam will do just fine.

Our house now smells like a combination of sweet, warm scones and a roaring, smoky fire...all the smells of an English house. Can you tell I'm craving a little trip? Now off to enjoy a hot scone with a little tea and a lot of relaxing by the warm fire. Cheers!

Snow Day

Happy Snow Day! We're on Snow Day number 2 here in Columbia, SC. It's a rarity that we ever see such beautiful, white, fluffy snow in this part of the United States. But...this winter seems to be quite a different story. This is our second snow this winter and it's only the second week of January!

I must say, I'm not a huge fan of snow. I don't like the cold weather that comes along with it, nor do I like that one step outside disrupts the perfect layer of frosting that tops our yard. Don't even get me started on the way I feel about snow once it begins to melt and has been driven on and is beginning to turn a lovely shade of dirt brown.

But, enough of that complaining. I have to say that this particular snow, which has yielded two days off (and a little bit of boredom) has actually been quite nice. Yesterday the hubby and I spent the day together. We walked through our neighborhood taking pictures and enjoying the fresh, crisp, cool air and then spent the rest of the day lounging around together. It was a nice break and a nice day of husband/wife bonding. Today the hubs is at work, which leaves me rather bored and sitting at home. I've been brainstorming on a project for the day. I'm watching "White Collar" a USA Network favorite of mine and searching for new recipes to try. 

Today is a great day to cook. I'm thinking about baking scones this afternoon and preparing a roasted chicken for dinner tonight. Martha Stewart Living has some excellent recipes in this month's issue...I'm just dying to try one!

This afternoon, I think I'll build a fire in the fireplace, and curl up next to it with a fresh, hot scone, and a cup of tea. I'm going to read a couple of English magazines that my parents brought me from their trip abroad, and I'm going to pretend that I'm English. It sounds like a nice plan for the afternoon, a fabulous way to spend a snow day!

And perhaps, if this afternoon goes as well as planned, I'll write you again to tell you about how delicious my scones are! Happy Snow Day! Cheers!