May 29, 2009

Sweet Pea

Here's the latest from Mrs. Swapp

Roast Chicken

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It is easy, delicious, and gives you the appearance of a gourmet chef when all you really did was throw a chicken in the oven. Every time I make it I fall in love all over again.

My only tip is to place the bird breast side up. I have done it upside down more times than I'd like to admit, and while it still turns out, it is not quite as good. Also, I never make the gravy; I just spoon the juices (they are amazing) over the chicken and vegetables.

Barefoot Contessa Perfect Roast Chicken
  • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 Spanish onion, thickly sliced

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pate ht outside dry. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (I never have kitchen string, so I always skip this step). Scatter the onion slices around the chicken.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to a platter and cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the gravy.

Remove all the fat from the bottom of the pan, reserving 2 tablespoons in a small cup. Add the chicken stock to the pan and cook in high heat for about 5 minutes, until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan. Combine the 2 tablespoons of chicken fat with the flour and add to the pan. Boil for a few minutes to cook the flour. Strain the gravy into a small saucepan and season it to taste. Keep it warm over a very low flame while you carve the chicken. (Like I said, I skip this step too.)

Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve immediately with the warm gravy.

If you want to roast vegetable with the chicken, place 8 whole new red potatoes, 4 carrots, cut diagonally into quarters, and add them with the onions. Place the chicken on top of the vegetable for roasting.

May 27, 2009

Old School

See the clip in Ella's hair? That same clip has stayed in all day long. For our super-fine hair this is a real accomplishment. The secret? Good ole' Karo syrup. Felt like 1979. I plopped a little on her hair, made a gooey mess, and clipped away. If you look closely it does look like she put a sucker in her hair, but most people admire from afar so we figured we're safe. High-fructose saves the day.

See the octopus sprinkler? $5 at the DownEast Home tent sale. Originally $59.99. What a steal. Summer...we're ready.

May 24, 2009

Ella and Ollie

Last week Ella and I stopped by Harman Wilde for a quick visit with Grandma. While we were there Ella was reintroduced to Oliver, Desire's little terrier. Oliver wasn't sure about Ella and gave her a gentle growl. Ella looked up at the pup with wondering eyes and stared. And then...she growled back! Then she laughed. Growled. Laughed. Growled. You get the idea. Oliver still didn't know what to think of the little mime, but we thought she was pretty cute.

May 23, 2009


Ella's not quite crawling, but she can get around. Jane Anne posted this video of her playing with her friend Jack, showing off her skills. So cute.

May 18, 2009

Stand Tall

When we were in Florida I had a harder time than I expected being away from Ella. I even watched the rocking horse video a few times. After seeing her cute smile I resolved to take (and post) more video. So here is Ella doing what she loves most: standing. She would do it all day long if I'd let her.

Looks like summer to me

May 14, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

Sometimes being a Pediatrician makes me a better mom. But most of the time it just makes me worry more. Like today. I was reading the new issue of Pediatrics, and found this article. It talks about risk factors associated with Autism:

Advanced maternal age.

Breech baby.


Advanced maternal education.

Multiple pregnancies.

Even better, when I was putting the citation into this blog post I realized that the author of the study is a woman I know from Utah, and the study was done on babies in Utah. So I can't even say, "Well, at least it is in India. I'm sure babies in India are much different than babies in Utah."

Am I worried that Ella will develop Autism? No. But it is things like this that contribute to my neruoses. So the next time I give unsolicited pediatric advice, or come off as a little obsessive, please don't take offense. It's not personal. It's just my crazyness overflowing.

May 13, 2009

She strikes again

My favorite photographer Ashley Swapp pulled off a last minute Mother's Day photo shoot last week. She really is great--she even had the pictures ready for me that night! Paired with a Lisa Harbertson frame (the one I got isn't pictured there, but it was perfect--little birds on a red background) I had the winning gift. Sorry Jamie and Kimmy...your book and swimsuit never had a chance.

May 7, 2009

Busy Bee

The Quilting Bee was a success. Good food, good friends, good fun. Each square has a unique personality, given by the quilter. I love it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

May 3, 2009

Dine O'Round

Spring Dine O' Round; May 1-31 (Mother's Day excluded). Patrons are able to choose from a three-course dinner priced at either $15 or $30 per person, some restaurants offer a special two-course lunch for $10. Downtown Dine O' Round is an ideal way to explore new restaurants or revisit old favorites. There are no coupons, no punch cards, and no strings attached!

Anyone up for dinner?