Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tasty ramblings from a tired mama!

Here I am, bringing you a yummy blog entry that will make your tummy rumble. It's just an average Thursday night, and I sit here by the light of my laptop screen and the LED lit keyboard that guides my typing. I spent much of the day preparing for dinner, which is always an ordeal. You know, kids protesting what you're making.. "But mooooom.. I hate that!" It always gets answered the same way with a deep sigh and restraining the urge to roll my eyes, "How do you know if you hate it, if you've never tried it?" It gets them thinking. I refuse to negotiate with my children. The exception is our middle son who has sensory processing disorder, so a lot of food he just honestly can't handle.

Anyway onto the great stuff here. Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil is a really nice mid-priced olive oil that you'll find in your grocery store. I would rate the flavor and versatility of this oil as a 5 out of 5 stars. It works well in many dishes, so it really allows your creativity to soar. I put my thinking cap on when I was shopping on Monday afternoon for our meals this week.. I hit Aldi and looked through their cooler section of meat. I picked up lots of different things, but came across whole chicken at a price I couldn't pass up! $3 for a 5 1/2 pound chicken. I normally pay at least twice that elsewhere. So I grabbed one and put it in my cart. I had a plan for this chicken! I also grabbed lemons and garlic.

So most of the time I let my chicken thaw. I don't have time for that today. It was still frozen in the middle, which means the chicken was not about to give up its giblets. I was so close to rage quitting you guys.. so close. Then as if by some magical force of power, I pulled the chicken carcass and tried my best to yank it all out. Yeah.. it so didn't happen that easily. It took me 15 or 20 minutes of shimmying and hoping for that chicken neck to finally release from it's seemingly eternal resting place. I grew up around farm animals, so I never thought twice about this. I just kind of laughed at myself and the mess i had made. Oh, and not to mention I broke a sweat. I was instantly glad that it was just me and the kids at home at this point.

So I prepared this dish (instructions below!) roasted lemon-garlic chicken, baked potatoes and steamed broccoli with cheese. Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil was used in the preparation of all these dishes! It complimented everything wonderfully and really made it seem like I was a real pro at this cooking thing. Pssssh... do not be fooled! I am an excellent baker, but that is really it!

Really quickly I want to mention the benefits to choosing healthy fats over the heavier, not so great kind. Olive oil is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which should be part of a balanced diet. It's important to choose healthy fats to maintain overall health, especially heart health. I substitute whatever types of oils I'm using whenever possible. Olive oil is great for cooking and is very versatile. It has a nice smooth flavor that blends in well with your food. Just take a look at this chart shared in our Bzz Guide for substituting oils or other things with EVOO!

So all in all my dinner was pretty amazing. We had a great time chatting over wholesome food. The kids didn't die from hating everything on the plate. I'm still alive despite really wanting to eat the entire chicken myself. Really y'all.. I probably will sneak back to the refrigerator and pick at the leftovers. So below is a guide to making this meal! It's so easy, and you'll love it!

Lemon Garlic roasted chicken

What you need:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 fresh lemons, halved
  • 5 to 7 medium sized garlic cloves, smashed
  • Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Directions: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. With your thawed chicken, rinse well and pat dry. Use a shallow roasting pan. When this is done, drizzle a bit of your olive oil over the skin and spread evenly. Then, squeeze lemons (I used 1 and a half of the lemons for the juice and tossed the rest into the bird without squeezing) over the skin and allow the juice to get on the skin. Crack some salt and pepper over the top and rub in. With your smashed garlic, also rub this into the skin on the outside, and then toss the remaining cloves into the bird with the squeezed lemons, plus the unsqueezed ones. The rinds themselves and the pulp still have a lot of flavor to give, so that's why you're using them. For my bird which was about 5 1/2 lbs, it cooked for roughly 1hr 50min. Please note the time that you cook it will vary by the weight of the bird. Cook until an optimal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit is reached. Be sure to test around the thickest area of the chicken, which will be the thigh area. Some cooks will say to take the chicken out once it temps at 170-175, but I am cautious.

Baked Potatoes

What you need:

  • Large Idaho Potatoes, or potatoes of your choice
  • Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea Salt

Directions: Wash your potatoes thoroughly under warm water to ensure all dirt has been removed. Pat dry. Drizzle your olive oil over the skin and coat the entire potato with a layer. Lightly salt (trust me it's tempting to really pour that salt on, but you won't need it!). Bake ~ 1hr (depending on the size of the potato) at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The skin will be amazing, and you will love me forever.

Steamed Broccoli with cheese

What you need:

  • Broccoli florets
  • Sea Salt
  • Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
  • Cheese of your choice (we like cheddar)

Directions: Take a pot of water and put in just enough water so the broccoli will swim happily. Add in salt (as much or little as you want) and a splash of olive oil. Bring to a boil, add your broccoli. Cook for about 5-6 minutes or until you can easily pierce the broccoli with a fork. Drain well and drizzle a small amount of olive oil before tossing and adding cheese. Very simple, and delicious!

Disclaimer: I received a free bottle of Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil as part of a Bzz campaign through Bzz Agent. I bring my readers a promise to always give truthful reviews and opinions on products that I try. I want to share only the best stuff, and I typically have great luck. So please rest assured that I will not fudge the truth even a little bit!

In closing a picture of my plated dinner. It's not beautiful, but I promise you it was heavenly. <3

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