Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hail to the Lake

Well, not TO the lake. Just at the lake. We had hail here Thursday afternoon — hail! Pea-sized, it quickly coated our deck later turning to flurries. Pretty. A good way to get me in the right frame of mind for my first holiday craft show of the season. I'm in Pittsburgh this weekend for Handmade Arcade, and now my mind is filled with visions of snowflakes, hot chocolate, mittens and roaring fires! Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Small Craft Launch

If you're in the Detroit area this weekend, I really want you to go check out the launch of Small Craft on Saturday and report back to me immediately. I so wish I could be there. Amy Cronkite of Handmade Detroit, along with her family, has started what for now will be a pop-up shop with upcycled craft supplies on a pay-as-you-wish basis and workshops for learning new crafts and helping small businesses. They will be launching the whole endeavor on Saturday — it will continue the second Saturday of each month —inside the Trumbullplex Theatre, located at 4210 Trumbull in Detroit. The hope is that it will one day be a brick and mortar shop in Cass Corridor. The launch Staurday includes a free workshop where you can learn to knit a hat or neckwarmer. Or just bring your own project and hang out. I heard they will even have Avalon goodies on hand. Ack! Please, please go!

Why won't I be there? I'm off today to Pittsburgh for tomorrow's Handmade Arcade. I couldn't be more excited but am sad to miss the launch of Small Craft. So again, please, please, please — go, check it out, make something, bring some supplies to donate and then come back to tell me all about it!!

In other news, I am still without my computer. It is making its return this weekend while I am away, so I'm hoping to be back on a more steady stream next week. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Mustard and herb chicken

I have tried many, many recipes involving chicken, mustard and herbs. Many! These ingredients rank high among my favorites, so any recipe involving them catches my attention. I'm here to tell you today though, that I've found the perfect method for preparing this beloved combo. Perfect! (My continuing disclaimer: I have not figured out at all a decent way to photograph in our new place at night. Working on it, but please be patient with these awfully lit ones!)

My latest trend in recipe sourcing is to search "Staff Favorites" on the Food & Wine recipe search. Their favorites are my favorites. I subscribe to the magazine and turn down corners like mad. But I'm much more likely—especially during these busy days of holiday craft show prep—to scramble onto the site and search just minutes before preparing to cook whatever's brewing (or shall I say, peaking) in the fridge. No, this is not a paid advertisement for F&W, I'm just a legit fan. Anyways… below is the five gold star recipe for a fast, mustard chicken weeknight dinner. And yes, real bread crumbs will make all the difference, though whatever kind of bread you have on hand will be fine—it doesn't have to be country bread (though that's mighty tasty). And be sure to make plenty of extra for leftovers! 

Mustard and Herb Chicken
via Food & Wine

Two 1-inch slices of country bread, crusts removed, bread torn
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 ounces each)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a food processor, pulse the bread until finely shredded. Add the garlic, rosemary and Parmesan, season with salt and pepper and pulse until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and pulse just until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer to a small bowl. 

In a medium, ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Turn the chicken and spread the skin with the mustard. Carefully spoon the bread crumbs onto the chicken, patting them on with the back of the spoon. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for about 15 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and crisp and the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and sugar, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook until the liquid has evaporated, 2 minutes longer. Spoon the onion mixture onto 2 plates, top with the chicken and serve.