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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oven Roasted Chicken - Rana's Recipe

My gal Rana made this Arabesque last minute thanksgiving dinner possible just now :-)

She started with a whole, free range... organic chicken from Trader Joe's. She then rubbed some Baharat - an exotic Arabian spice blend that contains several different spices and herbs - all over the chicken. She also poured some Kraft olive oil vinaigrette, sprinkled some coarse black pepper and crushed bay leaves on all sides of the chicken and never used any salt. She let this bird sit on the counter for about an hour and a half - just the time I needed to shower, get ready, grab a few potatoes and head her way. We baked this on a roasting rack... breast side down for 30 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. We then turned the bird.. breast side up, we also turned the heat up to 400 degrees and baked for 40 minutes. We turned it over one last time... breast side down and baked for another 30 minutes.

Roasting the chicken on a rack ensures a nice and even brown color and the skin also gets very crispy. And to catch all the drippings and to prevent a mess and a possible fire inside your oven please place the rack inside a baking dish. We used a disposable aluminum pan.

The result: This fabulous, golden, succulent, super juicy oven roasted chicken bursting with flavor :-)
The sides were simple and quick to put together.
Mashed potatoes
3 small red potatoes boiled with skin on. Mashed with 1 Tbs of butter, 1 Tbs of onion and chives Boursin cheese, salt, pepper and some milk.
Sauteed vegetables
Carrots, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, garlic cooked in a tiny amount of oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs. (The carrots and green beans were pre-cooked from Haggen)
Spinach salad
Baby spinach, sweet onions, carrots, cherry tomatoes tossed with olive oil, some balsamic vinegar and of course a little salt and pepper.
Cranberry and walnut tart
From Trader Joe's
French Bread
Haggen bakery

Everything was super awesome!
She suggested sweet Riesling will pair well with it :-)

And oh yeah... almost forgot.
We cooked while sipping Turkish coffee and munched on Boursin cheese with rice and charcoal crackers, cashews, raisins, Ritter Sport hazelnut chocolate and prunes!
Had a terrific time :-)
Thanks Rana for pulling this off :-)

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love soft baked cookies and these I made with some wholewheat and less butter.
And that makes them...... hmm..... lets say healthier. Therefore its okay to eat all of them in one go :-)

(makes about a dozen 1 1/2" cookies)
(prep time 5 mins)
(bake time 15 mins)

Vanilla 1 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Bittersweet chocolate chips 1 cup (I used Nestlé Toll House )
Melted butter 4 Tbs
Wholewheat 3/4 cup
All purpose flour 3/4 cup
Egg 1 large
Dark brown sugar 1/3 cup
White sugar 1/3 cup
Whole milk 1 Tbs


This is quite simple and easy to make.
Preheat your oven to 350.
I used a fork and a large bowl to mix up the dough.
First combine the melted butter, egg and all of the sugar together.
Whisk this for a minute.
Now add the rest of the ingredients - except the chocolate chips -  and mix really well you might need to use your hands.
When the all the ingredients are fully incorporated fold in the chocolate chips and drop spoonfulls on a cookie sheet.
Bake for abour 12-15 mins in a preheated 350 oven. The sides should feel firm and the center only slightly soft.
Let these rest for a few minutes and they are ready to eat.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chewy Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies


These turned out pretty awesome :-)
This is my lighter version of the classic cookie. Incredibly chewy and yummy specially considering the fact that I used half the butter that would normally go into making these.

(Prep time 10 mins + 1 hour refrigeration)
(Bake time 15 mins)
(Makes 8 cookies, approx 3" dia)

Flour 1 cup
Quick cook oats (not instant oatmeal) 1 3/4 cups
Melted butter 1/4 cup
Dark brown sugar 7 Tbs (1/2 cup minus 1 Tbs)
White sugar 7 Tbs (1/2 cup minus 1 Tbs)
Condensed milk 2 Tbs
Egg 1
Cinnamon 1 tsp
Vanilla 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Baking soda 1/2 tsp


Combine the sugar, salt, vanilla, egg, condensed milk and melted butter in a large bowl.
Whisk together for a minute and then add the flour and baking soda.
Mix well until a thick batter is formed.
Fold in the oats.
Make sure everything is well incorporated.
Roll out an 8" log and wrap in some saran.
Refrigerate for about and hour.
Cut the log into 8 discs and place on a baking sheet.
Bake in the middle rack of a pre heat oven at 375 degrees for 15-18 mins or until the sides seem slightly brown and the centers are firm but not fully hard.
Allow to cool for 10-15 mins.
Enjoy :-)
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