I love garlic. I almost always double any garlic that a recipe calls for. Nothing smells better than a home kitchen with a bulb of garlic roasting in the oven.
Last night we had chicken with 40 cloves of garlic. It was not over-powering AT ALL. In fact the garlic became so mild I was wishing for a way to liven up the flavor. The chicken was marinated in white wine for 2 hrs, and that was a GREAT flavor enhancer. I highly recommend it for any time you want to do something a little bit different. It adds a depth of flavor that can’t be achieved any other way. Do be careful though, if left too long in the marinade the texture of the meat will change. Don’t go over 2 hours, and please do it in the refrigerator.
I also made breads over the weekend. None turned out like I wish they would have. Last night’s menu called for French Bread croutons, so hence I made French Bread. This sort of thing will not be happening once I begin working again. I also made 2 other loaves that I found recipes for surfing the internet. both were no-knead breads. That was what caught my eye. I made a Rye batter bread and a whole wheat no-knead bread. Both took A LONG time to rise and we haven’t taste tested them yet. Needless to say my text book recipe for the French bread came out the best, so lesson learned: stick with the text.
You can see that neither loaf really rose too high, in fact the rye fell in a bit. Not bad for no-knead breads though. Let me know if you’d like the recipes and I’ll post them or email them to ya.
Finally, I roasted some vegetables, following a text book recipe to accompany our 40 garlic clove chicken. Both my husband and I took one bite, then another and looked up at the same time and declared simultaneously, “These are the BEST roasted vegetables we have EVER had.” Mind you I tagged him with a “jinks” afterwards, but honestly, they surpassed anything I have done in the past, and with all the seminar cooking and event catering I have done over the years, I have roasted plenty of potatoes and assorted vegetables. Not to mention that my husband is the gardener here at the ranch and raises all of our crops, so garden fresh produce has always been in my favor. The secret may have been the hour’s worth of marinating before they actually went into the oven, or just the combo of flavors. Outstanding. You have not lived a full life until you have tasted roasted celery, rutabaga and turnip. So sweet and so unexpectedly satisfying. These will definitely be making an appearance on a menu at the cafe this summer!
Recipes at the end of this post.
I have begun to slightly tweak the recipes from the text. I have been reducing the butter or replacing it, skinning the chicken instead of frying with the skin as per recipe etc. I am also going to go ahead and train to run/walk the upcoming marathon at the end of May.
I am going to follow Jeff Galloway’s plan. The run/walk combo seems very doable and not so hard on my joints, while it should mimic a bit of interval training, so that I will reap the benefits more so than just running. All the weight I lost was from diet and walking. Oh, and Curves. I can’t forget my year at Curves. I supplemented my walking with going to Curves 3 days a week. I chose Curves because it felt safe. There were all sizes of women there, no judgments etc. Once I lost all that it seemed I could, I joined a real gym. To be honest, things plateaued once I joined the gym. I haven’t lost anything significant since then. I still have a minimum of 15lbs.–20 would be ideal to lose. It could be for any number of reasons, but I fell in love with weight lifting and I know my body changed and toned. The point is, I am ready to begin again. The training I did a few years ago kind of burnt me out on walking, there are some long walks, therefore large amounts of time that given over to it. I think enough time has gone by that I am ready to do it again, and give it my all. Also, this time around I will be approaching it differently with a focus on running too. I have no doubt I could probably train to run the whole 13.1 miles, but I don’t think that would be the most beneficial for me. I want to lose some fat while partaking in this training. Running the whole time seems to be counter-productive to that end. Its for various reasons that I have come to this conclusion. Running is hard on the body, its not a sustainable form of pure aerobic energy for me. I end up going anaerobic and not benefiting with extra fat burn, like the steady burn walking provides. I want to continue to strength train too. This gets sticky because you don’t want to haul around any extra weight regardless if it muscle or fat, for 13 miles. There has got to be a way I can do both.
I am excited for this new chapter. I have been needing a tangible goal to focus on, and, just like before, this fits the bill perfectly. I need to be able to see that end in sight as well as feel like I am working towards something rather daunting, something out of the ordinary. Not a certain size, although i am hoping for that as an added benefit, but really to see how good I can do. Last time I did the half marathon, I weighed 230. I had lost nearly 50 lbs while training and getting ready, but was still pretty big. I wonder how different it will feel now?
I run now because I actually can and it makes me happy and I feel invincible when I run an all-out-sprint. When is the last time you ran as fast as you could? I dare you to do it once. Race your kids at soccer practice, or race your dog, or do what I do and right before you turn up your driveway after a walk/jog go for an all out sprint between 2 telephone poles. Its exhilarating! I double dog dare you!
I just came in from lifting weights in the garage. Today was an “upper body” day. I maxed out on the bench press….I do super sets of 12, 10, 8 reps, each time increasing weight and lowering reps. I finished with 95 lbs., 8 reps on the bench press! YAHOO!
I also did my shoulders, back, triceps and biceps as well as chest….and I am contemplating going to a yoga class tonight. Tomorrow will be my first day of training for the half. Its an every-other day program. I’ll let you know how it goes. Any locals want to join in and meet up at the marathon and do it together??
40 clove chicken:
marinate chicken pieces in white wine in the fridge for 1-2 hrs.
Remove from marinade and dredge in flour that you have seasoned with salt and pepper. (I skinned my chicken, although the recipe doesn’t call for it)
Fry the chicken until browned on all sides, and remove from pan. Add 40 cloves of unpeeled garlic to the pan and saute until they begin to brown. **This unpeeled garlic is on par for the French version of the dish** Add the chicken back to the pan and pour in the left over marinade. Add 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme, fresh rosemary and a sachet of crushed peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and roast in a 325 degree oven for 45 min or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, garlic and discard herbs. Place pan on stove top and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened. Serve one piece of chicken on 2 french bread croutons and add a couple of garlic cloves, pour a bit of sauce on top of all.
Tip: when you toast your french bread slices for the croutons, rub them with a clove of garlic for added flavor.
Oven roasted vegetables:
sweet potato: 6oz
olive oil, 2 fl. oz
garlic, chopped, 1 tbsp
salt, 1 tsp
pepper 1/2 tsp
dried thyme, 1 tsp
dried oregano, 1 tsp
peel carrots, onion, sweet potato, turnip, rutabaga and celery. Cut into large dice.
whisk together oil, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano. In a large stainless steel bowl, add the vegetables, toss together and marinate for at least 1-3 hrs. spread on a sheet pan and roast at 350 for approx. 10 min. turn the veg. to promote even browning. continue roasting until done (15-20 min)