Ok, so I've stayed away from my computer as much as possible over the last few days. I was starting to get that weird carpal tunnel feeling, which could also be from the repetitious nature of shovelling food and chocolate and booze into my gullet over the last 2 weeks, but who can say for sure really. I think that's the only resolution I plan to make this year, to take better care of my physical self. I'm going to be 33 in a couple of months, and have definitely felt the lack of physical activity and overeating. Any resolutions of your own?
I did finish a painting finally (see above). Though, I'm not totally satisfied with it, I have decided to leave it for now. What do you think?
I also totally forgot to take photos of our little New Year's Eve soiree. The Melissas came over and we ate a roast chicken dinner that I cooked, plus the salad the Missys brought, and THE MOST DELICIOUS PUMPKIN DESSERT I HAVE EVER TASTED that Kirk made. We also drank 2 bottles of wine, 2 bottles of champagne, a lot of coffee and amaretto. We also played a game of Texas Hold'em with a $20 pot. I totall lost my $5.
How was your New Year's Eve?
In case any of you are interested, here are the recipes for what we cooked:
ROAST CHICKEN WITH CITRUS AND MARJORAM
adapted from a recipe in The Conran Cookbook
1 chicken, preferably free-range
1 small onion
1/2 cup of Jack Daniel's
1 tbsp of black pepper corns
4-5 sprigs of dried marjoram or 1tbsp crushed marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Rinse the bird, then loosen the skin from the meat.
Slice 1 orange and 1 lemon, about 1/4" thick and slide them and half of the marjoram under the skin.
Quarter the last orange and the onion.
Stuff the bird with the remaining orange, onion and remaining marjoram, and pepper corns.
Put the bird in a roasting pan and spread the butter all over the breast and legs.
Pour the Jack Daniel's into the roasting pan, then roast it. It's about 1hr for a 3lb bird. Since ours was 6 lbs, it took just over 2 hrs.
Baste the bird often with the pan juices.
Use the leftover crusty bits and citrussy-jackdanielsy-pan juices to make the most delicious gravy ever.
Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine and bring to a boil.
Add about a cup of water and simmer for about 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Dissolve a tablespoon of flour into a bit of cold water and pour into the bubbling sauce.
Then whisk until it thickens to the desired consistency.
LENTILS AND LEEKS
from The Winter Vegetarian
2lbs leeks, rinsed and sliced 1/2" thick, including some of the green part
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup green lentils
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
In a large saucepan toss the leek and carrot slices with olive oil.
Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 1 hour, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
To keep the leek slices intact, do not stir.
PUMPKIN POUND CAKE
adapted from the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Family Favourites (don't bother looking for this, I got it from Kirk's mom)
1 cup cooking oil
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
20oz tin of pumpkin (we used a 28oz tin and put in a little extra flour)
2 cups pecans
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Mix all the ingredients together and bake for 1 hour.