Sunday, January 25, 2015

Patience is key

When making this glazed chicken dish, one must be very patient.  Mainly because the "glaze" takes awhile to develop as you're cooking and this dish requires your full attention.  Lots of stirring and turning, definitely not one of those dishes you can leave alone for an hour to clean out your closet and then come back to.

chicken and sauce simmering until thickened

But the end product is simply divine and delicious, so all that slaving over a hot stove is well worth it, in my opinion.

The finished product with white rice and garnished with pickled ginger

I doubled the ingredients (except for the chicken) because I just love the glaze and wanted some extra to pour over rice. Or to simply dip my fingers into and lick it off! I would call this recipe finger-lickin'-good chicken except that description has already been used for a widely known fried chicken that comes in its own red and white bucket.  So, we'll call this one Sticky Chicken, how about that?

Sticky Chicken 

8 chicken drumsticks
1 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 garlic cloves (smashed)
4 shallots (peeled and sliced)
2 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Place all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven or pot, and allow to boil.
Once liquid is boiling, turned down heat and allow everything to simmer for 20 minutes.
Turn back up to high temp and stir liquid and turn chicken until the sauce becomes a glaze.  This step can take some time.  For me, it was around 45 minutes. You can leave the pot on its own for 5-10 minutes but then check back and stir the liquid some more. If the chicken seems to be getting overcooked, take the chicken out and just leave the liquid in the pot until this thickens. Once the sauce thickens, place the chicken back into the pot and distribute the glaze over the chicken.
Once the glaze thickens, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp.

Eat the chicken over white rice or whatever suits your fancy.

The Sunday Bulldog

My little man Tate reminded me of a little grandpa as I saw him sitting out on the back stoop, looking into the horizon. He'll be 4 years old this coming Tuesday so he's still far from being a senior citizen. In fact, Tate is still very much a puppy with his playful behavior.  Hard to believe that this boy was the little 8 week old baby that I picked up 4 years ago (bottom photo).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sometimes all I want is a bowl of spaghetti

Friday night after a long work week, I made spaghetti.  I've been craving spaghetti for some time now but was too lazy, or too tired, or just didn't get around to making any. Til Friday night.  I made the sauce from scratch, using this recipe.   Spaghetti to me is comforting and brings me back to my childhood when our next door neighbor, Aunt Millie, would surprise us with a large pot of it, discreetly left on our back porch.  That was one of my fondest and earliest food memories.  I'm not sure if this batch of spaghetti I made was as delicious as Aunt Millie's, but it was definitely tasty and sure hit the spot.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Bulldog

It's a rainy Sunday and we're cozied up at home today.  I just started reading a novel called The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, which I heard about from Grechen of Grechens Closet.  Yesterday I got myself to the South Pasadena Library and felt like a kid in a toy store.  I absolutely LOVED perusing the book shelves, choosing this book or that.  So, I chose the Tartt novel as well as a book about dog training, and another about how to be happier at work.  I plan to review that one later.

I'll go back to my book now but let me leave you with this picture of Finn who is serenely napping on his corduroy bean bag.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pucker Up!

I'm not a huge make-up wearer but I do love makeup.  I remember receiving my very first makeup kit when I was 10 years old.  Santa brought it.  It had eye shadow, blush, mascara, and lipstick.  I remember how I obsessively applied the mascara on my barely-there lashes only to transform myself into a Tammy Faye Baker look-alike!  Still, I had so much fun with that makeup kit and ever since then, I've had a lot of fun experimenting with different brands of makeup, from high end lines to your run of the mill drug store brands.  

Today I'm going to share my latest find, the big lip pencil,  by a company called J.Cat Beauty.  Here's what it looks like:

It's a very creamy and easy to apply highly-pigmented lip color.  Think of it as a fat lip liner that you actually fill your lips with as opposed to only using as a liner.  I bought a set of 12 of these lip colors from Amazon for around $25.00.  What a deal, huh?

I like the coverage the lip color provides and luckily, the majority of the colors in the set were ones I could actually wear.  The lip pencil pretty much just glides on but I do recommend you first use a neutral lip liner and then dust some facial powder on your lips before you use the J.Cat.  This will help "set" the color in, as well as prevent any bleeding or feathering that can happen with lip colors.
Here are a few of the colors that I particularly liked on me: 
Caramel Mocha

Red Rose--a bright pink/red shade

Dolly Pink--bright pink with a bit of purple

Keep in mind, this lip color is not a long lasting one and I found myself touching up after things like eating and drinking.  If you keep those activities to a minimum throughout the day though, I think you will find that the color stays pretty fresh for several hours.

Have you been buying and trying any new makeup for the new year? If so, do share!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Layered Look for 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everybody!
Did you make any new year's resolutions for 2015?  Mine are the same as last year's:
get more organized, de-clutter, buy less, and eat more greens.

So, what better way to start the new year off than by making this beautiful salad?

I had been eyeing this recipe for some time now and finally had a chance to make it for Christmas Eve.  It's called a "layered salad" because, well, there are several layers of yummy-ness, topped off with a sour cream-mayonaisse dressing and some fresh dill.  I discovered that this salad was hugely popular in the 80's and 90's and commonly made for potlucks.  I had no idea!  The recipe I followed was from the site, Pioneer Woman and you can find it right here: Layered Salad

You can change things up, of course.  If you don't like the idea of adding peas into your salad, switch it to corn, or garbanzo beans for some additional protein.  Some other ideas: broccoli, cauliflower, or even shredded carrots.

I received many compliments when I brought this dish to our Christmas Eve dinner potluck.  Some even thought it was a dessert because it looked so pretty!