Butter Rubbed Roast Chicken (& dinners)

I’m currently sitting in a Chicago coffee shop after a night spent enjoying lasagna and red velvet cake with friends. I made the drive down yesterday – something I haven’t done in the better part of a year.

Butter Rubbed Roast Chicken

Before leaving, I did something else I hadn’t in ages – roasted a chicken! I used to do this fairly regularly, roasting it one day to eat off of for the week. Not rocket science or even an entirely new idea, but genius nonetheless.

One of the biggest struggles I’ve discovered in living with someone and in working from home is what the heck do we eat?! Seth is a big, Midwestern guy with a big, Midwestern appetite. He likes meat and potatoes with a side of meat and potatoes. Whereas I, on the other hand, ate the same salad every day behind the bar for nearly two years. We only get a few dinners together per week, so I feel the desire to make sure we eat good meals when we have the opportunity to share them.  

Butter Rubbed Roast Chicken
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Pan Roasted Veggies (& ease)

This is one of those “Not-A-Recipe-Recipes.” There’s not a ton of prep involved, it doesn’t require any special equipment, and it’s entirely customizable to suit individual tastes!

Pan Roasted Vegetables | Midwest Nice

It’s also one of the most delicious non-recipes ever. It’s my favorite way to get the appropriate serving of veggies in the colder months with the least amount of work possible. What could be better?!

Pan Roasted Vegetables | Midwest Nice
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Browned Butter Sage Stuffing with Walnuts & Cranberries (& a Thanksgiving Menu)

This is better than I thought it would be. Truly, when I went to put together suggestions for this year’s festivities I thought it would be slim pickings. That there wouldn’t be much to choose from because I hadn’t gotten up nearly as many posts as planned. I’d been behind, slacking, negligent about my duties and responsibilities. Turns out, that wasn’t (entirely) the case. It’s rewarding to look back on the year and see what’s been accomplished. I got more up than I planned! And a lot of it would fit nicely on the Thanksgiving table, if there’s still room.

Browned Butter Sage Stuffing with Walnuts & Cranberries

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Local Lamb Flatbreads (& presents)

There’s a coworker I used to have (and friend I still have) who has this uncanny ability to get gifts. While working with her for two years I saw countless customers and coworkers bring her trinkets and tokens and treasures. “Just because.”

Local Lamb Flatbread

Because they knew her, knew what she liked and loved and what she would gladly and humbly accept. In fact, I did this quite often. I’d see something while I was out and about and go “This is so Bunny!” then happily reveal it to her during one of our shifts. Or hide it in her mailbox.

Local Lamb Flatbread

Even though I used to partake in the gift giving (and quite frequently at that), I also used to feel a twinge of jealousy every time she’d display her newest present and wonder, “How does that happen?!”

Local Lamb Flatbread

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Mushroom Risotto (& tools)

I have a pink tool bag.

It’s filled with pink screwdrivers, a pink level, a pink tape measure. It used to have a pink hammer too, but I accidentally busted it in half last year.

This little tool bag has served me well over the last eight years. My mom gave it to me my freshman year of college – stating that I shouldn’t be away from home without a way to fix things. She got it in pink because she loves me and I love pink.

I have carried this bag with me ever since. Through every move – across state lines and back again. I had it with me in South Carolina, it lives in my coat closet now. It stayed on a top shelf in my apartment junior and senior year of college.

It was there, and it was then, that it was frequently borrowed by my neighbors. I was the only girl on my floor – the three other apartments being occupied by males and their male roommates.

At first, they mocked the pink tools – their petite size and their “feminine” hue. Then, little by little, the knocks on my door increased.

“Can I borrow your hammer?”

“Hey, do you have a screwdriver?”

“Wait…are you baking?”

That last one was unrelated to tools and home improvement, but it happened nonetheless. Inevitably, the scent of whatever I was making would waft across the hall and into the other apartments. They’d come over for a few brownies or a slice of cake or warm cookies.

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