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Are You there Yet? First Meal in My New Home

I am so blessed to have friends that really do care. All week long I have been receiving emails and phone calls asking, “Are you moved in yet? Have you unpacked? You settled in?” Well, I am happy to report I am in and settled. I just love it here! I also would like to share that the empty nest sucks.

To offset the missing of the kids syndrome, my son said that he would gladly come for dinner every Sunday. I moved in Thursday, he came over on Saturday to help finish off the moving, unpacking…the cut down and disposal of countless boxes… and then on Sunday, guess who came to dinner? My son has his own dibs now and also requires some coaching on food preparation. So as I made us dinner, he busily took notes and pics on his iphone to recreate the dishes at his new home.

On the menu? Well he loves beets. So I incorporated them in a one pan meal that looks like you slaved for hours. Roasted Maple Garlic n Herb Chicken with Golden Flesh Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Broccoli with Sweet Onions. The beets were roasted, diced, and marinated to take home for the week. The dinner was created with what moved with me from past refrigerator to present. Big grocery shop coming up this weekend.

I took a roasting pan, lined it with foil, and made two partitions by folding the foil up lengthwise, twice, in ridges, to make three compartments. Chicken, potatoes, and broccoli had their own place. I lightly greased the potato and broccoli sections with extra virgin olive oil. Then I placed sliced sweet onions in each. The sweet potatoes, skins on, were cut on the diagonal, about ½ inch pieces and placed on their bed of onions, overlapping slightly. I cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces and place them on their bed of onions. A light sprinkling of both grey sea salt, Tellicherry black peppercorns and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil simply completed the veg part of the dish. I covered the broccoli side with tinfoil during the roasting process. This is to ensure they steam and do not burn. The tinfoil is removed the last 20 minutes of cooking to brown just a bit.

I had two meaty organic Halleluja chicken thighs in the freezer. I first defrosted them in my new Whirlpool microwave. Then I roasted them until crispy on the outside, juicy in the middle and fork tender. The beets were bundled in tinfoil with some evoo, crushed garlic cloves, coarse kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I found a place for them in the corner of the roasting pan. The beets roasted along with the rest of the one pan dinner, but required further baking…so once everything was cooked through…about 45 minutes, I continued their cooking.

After the long hard move…it was really exhausting. My son and I enjoyed a relaxing dinner for two sipping on Grape Brain Rose Reserva from the Maleta Estate Winery. It was lovely.

Roasted Maple Garlic n Herb Chicken serves 2

1 lb organic chicken thighs 1 heaping teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard 1 teaspoons organic maple syrup 1 garlic clove, minced juice and rind from half a lemon ½ teaspoon rosemary, dried ½ teaspoon thyme, dried

  1. Season the chicken pieces with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black Tellicherry peppercorns.

  2. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ingredients for the glaze.

  3. Place chicken in a roasting pan and roast at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Then brush with glaze every 15 minutes until cooked through. About 45 minutes in total.

  4. Chicken juices should run clear…not cloudy or pink. Then you know it’s cooked through.

Roasted Marinated Beets

2 large beets, roasted (about 75 minutes), steamed or boiled 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons maple syrup course kosher salt and freshly black pepper to taste Vinegar of your choice

  1. Peel and dice or slice the beets

  2. Place in a food grade container with all the ingredients. Fill container with vinegar about 1/3 of the way up…not to cover. Give it a shake or stir. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

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