Thursday, January 27, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Dijon Sauce

I haven't tried this recipe... yet!  It popped up today on one of my favorite cooking blogs, SmittenKitchen, and apparently she found it in an old Gourmet magazine.  I don't really have much else to share at the moment, so thought I'd put this out there.  Let me know if you try it!

Roasted Chicken with Dijon Sauce

Adapted from Gourmet, March 2008 (borrowed from

The sauce is on the thin side but can be thickened up by reducing the sauce over high heat for several minutes. This concentrates the flavors as well, and if you haven’t used a low-sodium broth, you might find the results a little salty. Just a word of warning.

3 pounds chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, and/or breasts), with skin and bones

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

3/4 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup reduced-sodium or sodium-free chicken broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives or the green parts of scallions

Preheat oven to 450°F with a rack in middle. Pat chicken dry and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat oil in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet (if you’ve got a cast iron skillet, it is great here) over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Working in 2 batches, brown chicken, skin side down first and turning once, about 5 minutes per batch. I like to take a lot of care in this step, not moving the chicken until the skin releases itself and has a nice bronze on it, which will provide the best flavor and seal in the most juices.

Return all chicken, skin side up, to skillet and roast in oven until just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter, then add shallots, wine, and broth to pan juices in skillet and boil, scraping up any brown bits, until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream and boil until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. To thicken the sauce further, turn the heat to high and boil it until it reduces to a consistency you prefer.

Strain sauce through a sieve into a bowl, if you’re feeling fancy (I never am, but if you don’t, you might find some chicken bits scraped up from the pan in your sauce. We don’t mind.) Whisk in mustard, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken with sauce.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Film: Maxwell Christmas Decorations 2010

Here is a little film I did over the holidays of a portion of my parent's house. Every year they go all out for Christmas and I love everything they do.
This video provides only a small slice of what they do each year.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

weekend realities

A 3-day weekend is a glorious thing. Sundays always go too fast - between teaching, service, lunch, a nap... suddenly it's Sunday evening and it feels like nothing was accomplished. So this weekend, we were work-horses and accomplished so much and it feels great!

We did lots of things around the house:
- cleaned out drawers
- vacuumed out my closer... I could have made a small pillow with the amount of dust and hair that was buried back there
- hung my new spice racks and reorganized a kitchen cabinet

- Matt organized his new tools/tool bags
- bought our fancy new vaccum and cleaned our floors

- cleaned up our back porch

We still have more things to organize and clean-out before we can pronouce ourselves "done!", but I'm proud of what we've done so far. As for the rest of the weekend...

- date night at Chi-Dynasty
- Matt, Barkley and I all got hair cuts
- I DID visit Sweet Butter Kitchen and enjoyed a cinammon scone (latte next time)
- watched and cheered during Golden Globes
- we watched The Kids Are Alright, The Social Network, and Despicable Me... I recommend them all!
- found a new recipe for delicious margaritas
- taught our favorite 3-4 yr olds in our Bible class
- did NOT start the apothocary cabinet... but we'll get there soon

Next weekend: no plans yet ... and that's how I like it :)

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Friday, January 14, 2011

weekend possibilities

a 3-day weekend is upon us, thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr, and his remarkable service to this country.  because we just came off of Christmas vacation, we haven't had time to really make any solid plans, so there's no telling what sort of shenanigans will arise.  here are some possibilities:

{Sweet Butter Kitchen}
this new cafe/bakery/coffee shop opened just before the holidays in Sherman Oaks. i have been really wanting to go and have a latte!

{Moxie Hair Salon}
this is where you can find me at 11:30 on Saturday morning.
that's my cutie hairdresser, Julz, with the short black hair.

aside from Inception and The Town (and Toy Story 3), we haven't seen any of the buzzed about movies of 2010 - hoping to change that this weekend before Sunday's Golden Globes

between putting away Christmas decor and cleaning our house, we are getting the itch to move some things around and maybe switch out some items.  matt found this apothecary cabinet on our favorite DIY blog where we found our bed frame plans. we're still deciding on the exact color to go with, but we're considering a dark red with black antiquing.

What are you doing with YOUR 3-day weekend?
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas 2010 review

One of the BEST things about working in Hollywood is that most offices shut down for two weeks during the holidays.  So Matt and I both had two weeks off of work, and we spent each minute of those two weeks either in Texas or traveling to and from.  And during our two weeks, we truly get to recharge and renew, and it gets us through the next 12 months until we get to have that time again.

This will mainly be a picture-post, so here we go...

Before we left for Texas, Matt and I had our little Christmas evening together.  Matt hugely surprised me by giving me something I had mentioned a few months ago, but hadn't even thought about since.... a sewing machine!  A couple of weeks later, my parents gave me a gift certificate to Sew LA, and I'll be taking some beginning sewing classes starting at the end of January!  Matt isn't in this picture, but his gift is... it's the antique TV from 1949 behind me.

After 18 hrs on the road, this was a welcome sight... besides the fact that no one in LA decorates their houses for the holidays!

The pups had a fabulous time.  They lounged at my parents house and wrestled with their cousins at the Maxwells' house.

I spent the first week feeling pretty crummy. But if you have to be sick, the best place to be is on mom's couch with your pup!

Christmas Eve - Tangled with Maxwells & Riggs

Christmas morning at the Riggs:


Later on Christmas Day, we drove to Dallas for a few days...
Cousin Beth:  :Mimi

Cousin Pic                                   Will & Papaw

Annual trip to Northpark to see the Christmas decorations... oh yeah, and lots of shopping!

Loved getting to see Evan!  This is Matt's cousin-once-removed... I think.

My amazing Adobe Pie from Blue Mesa.

Back in Abilene...

Took some family pictures...

(love this one! despite our weird arms)

Ate some Perini's...

And that's the end of the pictures!  We actually did a WHOLE lot more than what is shown here.  We spent several days with the Maxwells, but apparently didn't take many pictures.  Matt did make a sweet video of their home all decorated for Christmas, so hopefully he'll post that on here soon.
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