Wordless Wednesdays

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Recaps, Roast Chicken, and a Summer Salad Staple

As I type this, I am sitting in my sister Megan's kitchen. My beautiful little baby girl Lucy is sleeping in the studio portion of this lovely, gracious old apartment, and Megan is busy making approximately 23,498 frappucinos in 7.5 minutes at Starbucks. I'm...basically...ALONE. Yes, it's true. Lucy and I are celebrating our first girl's weekend with Auntie Meg, and after an incredibly uneventful drive in which I set the cruise control and basically sat motionless for 2.5 hours, I am savoring every single darn moment of this very rare time. *cue a very long, very satisfied sigh of complete and utter contentment*

So what am I doing? Blogging.

What better time to get caught up on some of the happenings here at The Epic Adventures of Skarymop & Co. than right now? Let's not delay a single moment!

First, a small recap of last month's highlights. Our precious Lukie-Loo, Lukers, The Luke, Geeko Geeko, Cool Hand Luke, our sweet Lucas turned two in June.

Lucas after smashing his nose on the bathtub.

Mommy and Lukie.

Wild Man Lucas.

Buzz Lukeyear to the rescue!

Fun with Unky Nate.

Dear Lord, thank You for our platinum blonde, ever-so-toothy, little lad Lucas. Thank You that he is in that wonderful stage of still liking me. I pray for the Holy Spirit to empower us as we embark upon that stage that is oh-so-innocently (and deceptively) entitled "POTTY TRAINING". 

Amen, and Amen. 

Moving on.

Random Recap Item #2: My herb garden is exploding in the most scandalous manner. Now don't laugh; I realize that my herb garden is a bit on the pathetically small side, but as someone who desperately lacks the gift of gardening (why, oh WHY does everything DIE on me??), I am positively thrilled with the immense herbaceousness of it all. I've also learned something about myself: If I can eat it, I will grow it. Practicality prevails!! It all started with a little basil and oregano from my mother-in-law...

...And then a little thyme and some chives from me mum...

We call him..."Spike". 

Put it together and what have you got...Bibbity Bobbity...HERBS!

Hmm. Somehow doesn't quite have the same ring to it. At any rate, I am delighted and yet overwhelmed with the prolificness of it all. What to do with all of this green goodness? Well, basil; that's easy. PESTO PESTO PESTO x infinity. Done. Chives? Snip them into scrambled eggs (the boys regularly request eggs and chives), sprinkle them over potato salad, make a chive dip, munch on them to attract your husband (HAHA)...chives are very adaptable. Oregano? Strip the leaves from the stem, tear them up or coarsely chop them, then sprinkle onto your homemade pizza on PIZZA NIGHT! And then there's thyme...O Thyme of Great Mysteriousness, what shalt we do with thee? Well, I am of the most humble opinion that thyme goes better with chicken than any other meat alive (or dead, for that matter), and so I give to thee (after a heatwave of 100 degrees for nearly a week straight)...

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme
- Slightly adapted from the February 2006 issue of Real Simple

1 3-4 lb. roasting chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2  tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 large bunch of thyme

-Preheat oven to 450 degrees (I know, I know). Rinse the chicken inside and out, then remove its gross innards (giblets, etc). Pat the birdie dry with a paper towel, then place breast-side up in a roasting pan or a dutch oven (I LOVE my 7.5 quart Le Creuset for this). Tuck the chicken wings behind it (think placing your hands behind your head and relaxing on a sunny beach). Rub the chicken all over with the olive oil, then sprinkle it with 1 tsp. of salt and the pepper. Cut the lemon in half; squeeze one half over the chicken, then place the other half in the cavity. Take the thyme and stuff it in the cavity alongside the lemon. Place in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees, then add 1 cup of water to the roasting pan. Continue to roast, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes or until done. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before carving. 

I know what you're thinking. "She's NUTS. Why on earth is she posting a roast chicken recipe in JULY??" Okay, okay; fair enough. Just bookmark the darn thing for October, and you can thank me later. Believe me, my friends; you want to hang on to this one. The lemon just infuses the entire chicken with such a warm, bright flavor, and the thyme adds a wonderfully bright freshness to it. And prep time? Under 10 minutes. I love to serve this with a rice pilaf and peas, or a loaf of homemade bread. It's just one of those meals that is the epitome of comfort food. And we could all stand a little comfort here and there, couldn't we? 

Thus ends Random Recap Item #2.

Let us end this most prolonged post with something actually fitting for summertime. It is time for...

Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad.

This salad is a summer staple for us at any barbeque, birthday party, etc. My mom made it frequently for us during the warmer months, and I have no idea where she got the recipe. It was probably from a church potluck of sorts, and those are always good places for forgetting where a recipe came from at an alarming rate of speed. Since then, I have added a couple of my own little twists to it. It's ridiculously easy:

1) Slice four tomatoes into wedges.
2) Halve a generous handful of yellow grape tomatoes (it adds such lovely color!)

3) Slice 1 English cucumber into very thin rounds. (SO thrilled with my translucent slices! I'm having way too much fun with my new mandoline slicer.)

4) Slice 1/2 an onion into very thin slices. Wow, that wasn't repetitive at all. 

5) Add 1/2 bottle of Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (DON'T. HATE.)

6) Toss it all together, refrigerate for about 30 minutes to let the flavors combine and marinate a bit.


Very fresh, quick, and yummy, although I must admit to growing a tiny bit weary of the extreme sweetness of good ol' Zesty Italian. I've been making my own salad dressing for a couple of years now, so I'm thinking it might be time to change things up a bit and try this for a slightly more sophisticated flavor. If it works out nicely, I'll post it here. 

WOW. If I haven't overwhelmed you tonight, then we'll probably be pals for a while. From my sister's tiny kitchen to yours, have a wonderful evening!

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