simple roast chicken.

And, I wouldn't say that this is simple roast chicken if I didn't mean it. I've told you guys before (see no. 1) that I tend to dry out the meat I cook and cry in the corner while Chad fixes us something else.

But this meal, I have made twice and can attest (so can Chad) that I have been successful both times! Since you are roasting the meat, it does take longer (don't be making any plans for about 4 hours) but like all things -- Good things come to those who wait. :)

Chicken in a pot with garlic
(via Rachael Ray Magazine)

get these ingredients together:
*2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
*4 1/2 pound whole chicken
*2 halved lemons
*35 unpeeled garlic cloves
*4 chopped rosemary sprigs
*crusty bread

then do these steps:
01. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
02. In a large dutch oven, heat 1 T. Extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, breast side down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn, then  squeeze the lemons over the bird before stuffing into the cavity. Drizzle 1 T. of extra-virgin olive oil over the top and season with salt and pepper. Cover and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
03. Scatter the garlic cloves and rosemary around the chicken, cover and roast for 30 more minutes. Uncover the pot, increase the temperature to 375 degrees and roast until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.
04. Transfer the chicken to a platter; using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the platter as well. Dip slices of crusty bread into the pan juices, then toast until crisp. Serve with chicken and roasted garlic.

notes: Simply delicious. When I've made it, Chad + I have had to force ourselves to stop eating it since it is just so darn good! We have found that the garlic cloves after they've been roasting, makes this paste that is perfect on top of the bread.


If you want, make it this weekend. Maybe while you watch the Mad Men Season premiere! I'll be hanging out with nephew, UJ! :)


a saturday night dinner party.

Last weekend, on St. Patrick's Day, Chad and I went to our friend Bethany's charming apartment for some traditional Irish food. As I typed that sentence out -- I was thinking to myself "Wow, could that be any more drained to flavor and excitement? Why would they care about who I had dinner with." As I think about so many times when coming up with content. :)

But then I took a minute to think about how I write for myself and my memories. Because further down the road I'm going to want to remember the fabulous dinner party that my friend threw on St. Patrick's Day 2012. I'm going to want to remember how I had never tasted corned beef before this dinner and just how good it was when paired with cabbage and vegetables. I'm going to want to remember being at the table with my husband on one side and Bethany on the other being truly grateful to have friends -- friends who I haven't seen in months and then in one night have all that time spent away from each other completely erased. I'm going to want to remember how hot it was in the apartment (not your fault, Bethany!) because it was 80 degrees in March. in Wisconsin. I'm going to want to remember laughing hard at the jokes people my parents' age made while thinking to myself "this is something adult people do -- hang out with older adults...and like it!" I'm going to want to remember Chad getting in the car moments after we left and already planning our own corned beef game plan in his mind...

I wish and wish you have a Bethany in your life because life is dull without her. She just sparkles like it's her job (and probably most her days do involve glitter at some point) :) If you don't have a Bethany, you can borrow mine by checking out her blog: Rinse.Repeat. and liking her Facebook page too! 

Some fun links re: Bethany --  her photos from the St. Patrick's Day dinner party, the instax camera she's giving away, and last but not least, her wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty today!!!

And, yes, she truly is this amazing and creative in real life. :)


what I like about... // my younger sister.

H + me rockin' our marching band shirts back in Mankato....and yes, she's always been this cute.

Just like I did with my older sister for her birthday, I had to continue the trend and share some things I like about my younger sister. Hannah's birthday was earlier this week, but she's singing in her high school tour choir right now (I think somewhere in Missouri right now) so she won't see this until she gets back -- that excuses my tardiness, right Hannah? :)

what I like about... // my younger sister Hannah.

01. She's 17. Which means she's still in high school. Which means she knows about trendy things like The Hunger Games and Modcloth and Pinterest (and hers isn't filled with pins about bulletin boards and free worksheets like mine). 
02. She's 17. Which means I get to teach her things like what rated-R movies are worth her time, what spots in the parking lot should be avoided, and when to apply for financial aid in college.
03. She's the creative soul in the family. She has such a perceptive mind -- she's the only one that thinks of adding handmade name cards to the Thanksgiving table.
04. She watches shows like Doctor Who. Which automatically makes her the hippest younger sister ever.
05. She pulls off ray-ban sunglasses, skinnies, and cardis like a pro. I sometimes wish we were the same size.
06. She's grounded.
07. She's giving.
08. She's funny + goofy -- like the rest of the family.
09. She's caring + sensitive.
10. She's faithful to God in all that she does. I pray as her older sister that I can help her continue to be.

The end of my sap-fest. :) 


spring breaking.

So ... spring break came at the perfect time in my semester.

For reals. Now I know why college kids don't blog.

Last week it was the perfect storm of future assignments, night classes, papers, lesson plans, and on, and on, and on. My breaking point was almost reached and I was thisclose to snapping (or melting into an emotional wreck).

Then God gave me spring break. God soothed my soul and gave me the week off. A week to re-energize for the next two months of long nights in front of the computer while some Real Housewives franchise is shouting at each other in the background. But I am taking these days of just working, working out, and being. Being with my husband and dog and enjoying life. Being me again. Not the me that is spread in seven different directions in one day.

Spring break is my blessing. And I'm taking it.

P.S. God also decided to give us late spring/early summer weather this week and we've been spending every night outside. The pictures above were taken by Chad on Sunday afternoon in between playing catch and water breaks. :)


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