I'm hesitant to admit this, but during my first year of college, I survived almost solely on ham and cheddar hot pockets, with the occasional pepperoni pizza thrown in for good measure. There was a vending machine in my dorm lobby, hot pockets being only one of its many choice selections. (If my parents only really knew where my "meal plan" money was going!) I still love a good ham and cheddar combination, only now I can enjoy it in a much more delicious way.
Q: My husband is vegetarian and I am not. I am actively aiming for a higher protein diet, so I frequently boost my protein by adding a bit of poultry to whatever vegetarian fare my husband is eating. It is easiest to cook most of my meat ahead of time on the weekends and freeze or refrigerate it.
A dear friend recently celebrated his birthday by hosting a big night out on the town (his extravaganzas more often than not end with very late night dance parties). I am more of a homebody myself, so I opted out of his wild and crazy festivities and offered to cook him a quiet dinner instead. Planning a heartfelt meal is the easiest way for me to show I care.
I am declaring this the year of the chicken thigh. I don't have any empirical proof or trend-spotting evidence that this will be so — just a gut feeling that this will be the year when the food world will fall hard for the sinuous charms and soul-satisfying goodness of this economical cut of poultry. You watch. It's going to happen.
I first came across "Aunt Cleo's Chicken Pie" while digging through my fiancé's tattered purple recipe folder, filled to the brim with handwritten index cards that his mother, Tina, had originally sent with him to college. We were only in the beginning phases of dating when I rummaged through the file, but I figured out pretty early that he was a sucker for his mom's home cooking.
I've been doing a lot of cooking this week, and it's been really nice. When my marriage ended a year ago, I was suddenly thrown back into cooking by myself again, and at first I was lost at sea. I had forgotten everything I'd known -- the touch and the feel of cooking -- that I'd had ten years earlier when I was single.
In my small Alabama hometown, a restaurant lives and dies by its chicken salad recipe. Heaven help the one that decides not to include the Southern staple on its menu. For the local "ladies who lunch" crowd, it is practically a food group, and it should not to be taken lightly.
I hate to say it, but I was inspired to write this post after a days-long bout with the flu that left me craving chicken soup. And lots of it. While chicken noodle soup is the always-beloved standard, there are many other options out there that are equally simple to make at home to satisfy the wearied winter belly. I began researching and whipping up soups with global influences and more complex spice profiles, all the while discovering some new favorite recipes I'll continue to recreate in sickness and in health.
Q: I love Costco. I love them to death. I also love dark meat poultry. So when I saw that Costco had pasture-raised chicken thighs for 99¢ per pound in freezable pouches, I bought two packages worth, which happens to be 20 pounds.
My kitchen has been churning out brownies, baked goods, and layer cakes in mass quantity over the past two weeks, and boy have I been hankering for a savory reprieve. (You know it's bad when one more finger-lick of chocolate, even in the name of hot fudge sauce perfection, just might end in a sugar-induced coma.) Thank goodness white chicken chili seems to be the perfect baking overdose cure.