Category Archives: cooking

Re-post – Grilled Chicken Under a Brick..or a patio tile…. the best!

Standard

Since is grilling time, and I’m a bit limited with art supplies right now, I thought I would re-post one of my favorite summer grilled chicken recipes.  Try and enjoy!

============================================================================

Close your eyes and wish for the most delicious chicken you’ve ever had.   Look at that.. it came true, cuz that’s what I’m gonna give you.

I wish that you could have been sitting with us to enjoy this delishuuuuus chicken I grilled.. a whole chicken.. that’s right.  Some of you may have heard about the “chicken under a brick” recipe.  I’ve made it before on my stove top, then in the oven…..but this time I decided to try my grill.  It did not dissapoint. The most moist and tender chicken I’ve ever had.  No kidding!

Start with a whole chicken.  Mine was about 3.5 lbs.  Set the chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut down 1 side of the backbone, staying as close to the bone as you can. Cut along the other side of the backbone, removing it. (Save the bone for making soup or stock.)  Now, open the chicken and take the heels of your hands and try to flatten and spread it out.

I seasoned it with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and gave it a little massage, all over….  and really, you can use what ever spices you want for your taste.  It’s your world.

In the meantime, while I was attacking my chicken, I had the grill heating up on LOW.. this is key.  I let the grates get really hot.

Here we go…. before you put the chicken on the grill, find yourself a big brick, or two, if you have a bigger chicken.  I was fortunate to have a large patio tile that my husband found for me.  Now, wrap this brick with aluminum foil and give it a coating of oil or I used Pam.  Take the chicken and lay it out in the center of the grill, put the brick on top so it flattens while cooking and close the cover.   Again.. a low temp is key here.  Otherwise, you will get a charred chicken and it will not be cooked through.  Each side took about 1/2 hr to cook and I would turn it the last 1/2 hr.

Tips:
- At the point where I really wanted the chicken to takes its time cooking and not be overwhelmed with the strong heat and not get burned, I put my grill brush at the edge of the grates so when I close  the cover, it would not close completely.
- Before it’s done grilling, you can baste it with your favorite bbq sauce or marinade.
- When know one is looking, you can eat the skin and wings.  (I know, I know; don’t tell my husband)
- Here are a bunch of images from Google that you can reference.

C’mon people.. you can’t tell me that this doesn’t look oh so good.  You can’t and I won’t listen (finger in ears… la la la).

Will you try it?  Is your mouth watering?

As always, THANK YOU for stopping by.  Leave some love.

Judy

Collage Page & Spraying Fabric

Standard

I know, I know.. 3 posts in one week… what’s going on?  Hey, have to keep you on your toes.

So, here is how this usually goes:

I walk in my the studio to clean up a little or to put away a previous project’s stuff still hanging around. As you know, I”ve been cleaning out the room of old stuff no longer needed.  I had dried up paints in jars, clogged up spray bottles and rock hard polymer clay (that I wasn’t about to bring back to life with a food processor).  Anyway……….

….. I look at some of the new Dylusions Spray Inks  (by Ranger/Dyan Reaveley) I just splurged on.  Hmmm.. let me give them a try on a piece of 11×14 Bristol paper.  Spray..ooooo… spray…ooooo.. another spray… ohhhhh.  These colors are delicious, let me just tell you right now.

Fast forward….. layers and layers of Dylusions ink
heavy gesso (for the white stencil swirls)
acrylic paint
a little fabric
fiber paper
Tulip Dimensional paint – for the white little dots and spiral flower on bottom right.
Glitter glue
Checkerboard Duct Tape
Paper towel covered manilla tag – the heart was cut from that

Now, mind you, this is done over a few days and in between cleaning.  See, I just sit down and I end up making something with no plans.

I wish I had taken pictures of this from the beginning, but I had no idea, I was going to keep going.. After all, I was just playing with ink.

Here is a picture of my final page….

See the little pansies at the top left corner and on the right, 1/4 of the way down?  That was some sheer fabric that one of my subscribers sent me.  I cut around the flowers and slapped those babies down with some gel medium.  The melted right into the background.  Nancy sent me a package full of music papers, old books, fabric, decorated wall paper (I think that’s what it was) and some old jewelry and some other goodies.  So generous, that someone would think of me like that.  THANK YOU, NANCY!!!!  I hope you like what I did with the flowers.  I love them.

Now, here is what else I did with the Dylusion Spray Inks.  They are NOT made for fabric, but I wanted to give it a try anyway.  As long as you don’t get it wet, you’re fine.  It’s really made for paper.

I grabbed some muslin fabric and started spraying different colors all over.  Oh my.. so purdy.   Then I took a little of the Tulip paint (made for fabric) and mixed that with a little gesso.  Took my make up sponge and dabbed it in the paint and gently pounced it on the fabric through a stencil.  Because the ink is not permanent on fabric the white paint was a little tinted.  But, I still liked it.  What do you think??  I’m just loving these colors.  Now if they can take these inks and make them for fabric.

Above: I spray through a rubber sink mat. Found it at Wal-mart.

Check out Dyan Reaveley”s YouTube videos HERE.  Watch her create.  You can also check out her blog HERE.  She’s a hoot.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

Judy 

Grilled Chicken Under a Brick..or a patio tile…. the best!

Standard

Let me start you off with a beautiful picture of a recent backyard rainbow I captured.

Ahhhh. doesn’t that feel good now?  Don’t you just want to make a wish?

Well, close your eyes and wish for the most delicious chicken you’ve ever had.   Look at that.. it came true, cuz that’s what I’m gonna give you.

I wish that you could have been sitting with us to enjoy this delishuuuuus chicken I grilled.. a whole chicken.. that’s right.  Some of you may have heard about the “chicken under a brick” recipe.  I’ve made it before on my stove top, then in the oven…..but this time I decided to try my grill.  It did not dissapoint. The most moist and tender chicken I’ve ever had.  No kidding!

Start with a whole chicken.  Mine was about 3.5 lbs.  Set the chicken, breast side down, on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut down 1 side of the backbone, staying as close to the bone as you can. Cut along the other side of the backbone, removing it. (Save the bone for making soup or stock.)  Now, open the chicken and take the heels of your hands and try to flatten and spread it out.

I seasoned it with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and gave it a little massage, all over….  and really, you can use what ever spices you want for your taste.  It’s your world.

In the meantime, while I was attacking my chicken, I had the grill heating up on LOW.. this is key.  I let the grates get really hot.

Here we go…. before you put the chicken on the grill, find yourself a big brick, or two, if you have a bigger chicken.  I was fortunate to have a large patio tile that my husband found for me.  Now, wrap this brick with aluminum foil and give it a coating of oil or I used Pam.  Take the chicken and lay it out in the center of the grill, put the brick on top so it flattens while cooking and close the cover.   Again.. a low temp is key here.  Otherwise, you will get a charred chicken and it will not be cooked through.  Each side took about 1/2 hr to cook and I would turn it the last 1/2 hr.

Tips:
- At the point where I really wanted the chicken to takes its time cooking and not be overwhelmed with the strong heat and not get burned, I put my grill brush at the edge of the grates so when I close  the cover, it would not close completely.
- Before it’s done grilling, you can baste it with your favorite bbq sauce or marinade.
- When know one is looking, you can eat the skin and wings.  (I know, I know; don’t tell my husband)
- Here are a bunch of images from Google that you can reference.

C’mon people.. you can’t tell me that this doesn’t look oh so good.  You can’t and I won’t listen (finger in ears… la la la).

Will you try it?  Is your mouth watering?

My oldest daughter is home for a week from college (summer grad school), so I am embracing every moment of having the family together for a week.  Maybe I’ll give this chicken a try again.

… and guess what.. I’m working on a new canvas.. here’s a sneak peek, but it’s turning out completely different than you think it would from these pictures.  Stay tuned.

As always, THANK YOU for stopping by.  Leave some love.

Judy

And the Beet goes on……..

Standard

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a local cafe for dinner.  On the menu was a Winter Harvest Salad.  The description of the salad was roasted winter vegetables (turnip, beets, potatoes and others I can’t recall) over greens with walnuts and feta cheese served with a balsamic dressing.  Wait.. roasted beets, turnips?  I’ve never had that… so I was SOLD.

I won’t go into how long it took to get our food or how not all the veggies described were on my salad…., but I will say it was so good and a great idea.. simple and delicious.  So much so that I decided to make it myself at home, but change it up a bit.

I didn’t take pictures of all the steps, but I have a couple to share below.

I cut up the following veggies in about 1 inch pieces:  red and sweet potatoes, sweet onion, red pepper, fresh beets, mushrooms, carrots, summer squash and zucchini…… all in a big bowl, cuz there were lots of veggies that I planned on saving for a few meals.   Toss with a little salt, pepper and olive oil so that they are coated.  Note: I couldn’t find turnips on my shopping trip.

In a large roasting pan they go…

and I always lay release aluminium foil (your best friend) on the bottom of my pans when I cook messy stuff in the oven.   Ok.. so..oven is preheated to 425 degrees.  Let them roast for about an hour but give them a stir about 3 or 4 times during the hour.  I wanted mine to be really done and golden, almost carmelized.  If you like them al dente, then adjust your timing.

In the meantime, I had a large fennel bulb to do something with.  I had never experienced fresh fennel before.  I see all the chefs cooking with it in fresh salads or sauteing it (I am a FoodTV Network, freak by the way). I tried a raw piece of the fennel and I did not like it at all.  So, I decided to slice it up and saute it with a little olive oil and garlic.  Much better taste.  I basically carmelized it to make it sweet.

Once everything was cooked, I created my salad….

Greens and baby spinach in a bowl topped with the roasted veggies, sliced almonds, and farmer’s cheese.  I didn’t have walnuts or feta, but these worked great as substitutes… fresh mozzarella would be great too.  I topped it off with Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette dressing; just a little to not drown the taste of the veggies.

I am in love with this salad… and roasted beets? …. oh man.. hello?    I never would have thought to use them.   And.. my opinion?… it was better than the cafe’s salad.   I can’t wait til summer to make this using fresh produce from the local  farmer’s market.

You can take these veggies and use them in many ways..

Remember my grilled veggie post?  Well, same idea…. and my grilled pizza post… they can easily go on the pizzas.  Or even if you have a take out pizza, top it with these veggies and put under the broiler for a minute.  Make a sandwich wrap or a panini.   Put them on top of pasta or in an omelette… but whatever you choose to do with them.. enjoy this luscious taste and how healthy they really are… it’s a win win people.

Thanks for stopping by.

Judy

Ready for Spring and Chili

Standard

This winter has certainly brought come challenges to New England.  Our latest is the ice dams on so many houses in the area.  Let me show you the latest shots from our recent storm which is just yet another layer of snow, forming ice on the roof which can equal troubling leaks in homes… and we did have some leaking.  As a matter of fact, two of my art studio windows has some small drippage going on.  So, I have to move my supplies out of the way and now I’m not able to play in my studio until the rug dries.

Here’s my little Dixie below waiting to get out of the damn cold and probably wondering why I’m taking pictures outside in my jammies.. God, hope the neighbors weren’t peeking.  Ah, give them something to talk about.

… and here are the trouble makers.. they are beautiful, but they shouldn’t be there… and these are the smaller ones.

I have to say.. being forced to move my art supply drawers and whatever was in the way, made me realize how much crap I have in that small room of mine.  So, time to purge things I thought I needed.. Back to basics.  I’m even going to throw away some of my art.. start a new.. NO MORE SUPPLIES to buy.  If I can’t create with what I have, then there is a problem.  No more printing out AC Moore, Michael’s or JoAnn coupons that I think I’ll use just in case I go shopping.  I print them and never go…..Why do I do that?  I’m wasting ink and paper.  I want to be able to say that I used something all up and I need to get more and only then, will I get it because I NEED it, not because I want it.  I want to dwindle down my supplies.  Ok Ok.. just one thing.. I have a $20 coupon to a great store..I need a heat gun.. but after that, I’m dwindling…. Stop laughing!

Well, at least someone enjoyed the storm or ignored it is more like it…

Be honest, have you had enough about the New England weather and my birds?  C’mon, you can tell me.  Ok.. no more weather.. promise.  But,  you have to love the birdies a little…

**********************************************************************************

Well, today is Superbowl Sunday.  Even though our Patriots are not playing, it’s always fun to watch with no stress.  I decided to make a batch of low fat-chili to let simmer for a few hours before the game.

Let me share the recipe, but keep in mind, I am not a exact recipe follower and this is just from my memory of making it for years.   You cooks know what I’m talkin about.

Judy’s Low-Fat Chili:

I used almost 2 lbs, split equally of ground chicken and ground turkey.  This will be chunky.  Isn’t that was chili is all about?

1/2 of a large sweet onion

Crushed garlic, as much at you want.. I used about 3 cloves.

2 cans of red kidney beans, thoroughly rinsed in a strainer.

1 28 oz. can of Pastene Crushed Kitchen Ready Tomatoes… my favorite, by far.
(you can put in a 1/2 can more of the tomatoes or a can of tomato paste, then add a cup of water).

Spices:  salt, pepper, ground cumin, chili powder and a dash of ground red pepper.
Now, these spices are all according to your taste.  But the cumin and chili powder is the magic.  See what I mean about just going with it?  But if you need a measurement…  start with a 1 tsp of cumin and about 2 Tblspns of Chili Powder.  Always better to add less than to put too much in and you can’t take it out.

Saute the sweet onion until just starting to turn golden brown.  Add garlic and saute just a minute; you don’t want it to burn.  Add the chicken/turkey.. Break apart with a wooded spoon and cook until no longer pink.  Add the beans, tomatoes and spices.

Let simmer for a few ours on low and enjoy.. stirring occasionally.    Add some low-fat shredded cheddar cheese on top and pair this with a garlic toasted lite english muffin.  I had them around.  Spread Olivio or something you like on 1/2 the muffin, sprinkle garlic powder, put under the broiler to toast.  When they start to turn golden, put some of the shredded cheese on the muffin to melt.

If you want to make a vegetarian chili, you can substitute the meat for a bag of frozen mixed veggies such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower.  Thaw the veggies in the microwave, then saute them in the pot before you add the beans and meat.  This is a quick way without all the chopping of the veggies.

My favorite veggie chili is made with fresh produce such as summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, whatever you love.  You can roast them in the oven tossed with olive oil first then add them to your pot or you can saute them all in the pot before you add the beans, tomatoes and spices.   You’ll never miss the meat.

Have a great Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by.

Judy