Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes

file_001

As someone who enjoys baking more than cooking, and who would rather eat a frozen pizza than leftovers, quick and easy to assemble dinners are always at the top of my list after a long day of work. However, at the end of the day what sounds good to me doesn’t always sound good to my husband J – and vice versa.

I recently came across this recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes. It seemed to meet all of my criteria.

Delicious? Check.
Easy to put together? Check.
Husband approved? Check.

As I was putting this meal together, it felt too good to be true. Put all of the components on one pan and put it in the oven? And that’s it?

Trust me. That’s it. And it is so good.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Red Potatoes
From thekitchn.com

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large bunches scallions, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
16-20 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 pound small red potatoes, halved lengthwise

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and brush or rub with a paper towel to coat the entire surface of the pan.

Arrange the scallions over half of the baking sheet. Sprinkle the sage over the scallions.

Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Place the chicken skin-side up on top of the scallions and sage. (I removed the bones from my chicken thighs.)

Spread out the thyme sprigs on the empty half of the baking sheet and arrange the potatoes on top of the thyme in a single layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and gently toss to coat. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over the chicken and potatoes.

Roast until the chicken is just cooked through (a thermometer in the thickest part will read 165°) and the tip of a sharp knife pierces the potatoes easily, 30-35 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and increase the temperature to broil. Cover the potatoes with foil. Return to the oven and broil until the chicken skin just browns and crisps, being careful not to let it burn, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • You can remove the bone from chicken thighs using kitchen shears. Here is a quick tutorial. I’m ashamed to say that this is the most up close and personal I’ve been with my food since that one time I cooked a turkey and had to dig around for the little bag of innards. 
  • Leftovers can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Your cat may beg for your food if you make this. Do not give in to her demands.

file_000

Banana Bread

img_2484

It’s a pretty established habit in my house that I buy bananas and then watch them turn brown on the counter, before throwing them away and saying, “I’ll do better next time.” Only to inevitably be repeated the next time I go to the store.

But not this time! Yes, I bought bananas only to watch them go brown. But today was different because today I made banana bread.

This recipe originally came from a friend I met while interning in Breckenridge in the summer of 2009. I never tried making it in Breckenridge, and I’ve never tried making it in Denver until now. I’ve posted the original recipe, but have added my modifications for altitude in parentheses. I also added chocolate chips, because I just can’t help myself. But you could add walnuts, pecans, or nothing at all.

This is the best banana bread recipe I’ve found. It consistently produces a moist, flavorful bread that is always going to be a crowd pleaser!

Banana Bread
Original recipe from a dear friend
Adapted slightly for altitude using tips from Pie in the Sky

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar (minus 1 tablespoon)
2 eggs
2 ripe mashed bananas
3/4 cup buttermilk (plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour (plus 3 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (minus 1/4 teaspoon)
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350° (375°).

Mix the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs. Mix. Stir in the bananas.

In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix the buttermilk and baking soda. Add to the banana mixture, and then add the vanilla. Then add the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Add chocolate chips, nuts, or whatever else you want to add in for a little something extra.

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes (50-55 minutes). Ovens can vary so check the bread after 45 minutes. The middle should be dry when you put a knife through it.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife between the loaf and pan sides and tip out the loaf. Remove parchment paper if you used it. Turn right side up on the rack and cool completely (if you’re patient enough). Slice with a serrated knife.

Icebox Cake

img_2478

I recently hosted some friends for dinner and needed a quick dessert that I could make ahead. I also needed to find something that wouldn’t take too long to make, even the day before, because I accidentally filled up my entire week with after work activities. As per usual.

Enter the Icebox Cake. An old classic. Simple, delicious and – most importantly – sitting in the fridge makes it better! For the uninitiated, an icebox cake is made by layering chocolate wafers with whipped cream, and then letting it sit for at least 8 hours to allow the wafers to absorb the moisture.

I grew up eating icebox cakes. My mom would make them when she had a little bit of free time, by stacking cookies and layering with “Dream Whip” topping, usually seven or eight cookies tall. My sisters and I were never patient enough to let the cookies soften though, preferring to munch on crunchy cookies with whipped cream.

Icebox Cake
From Smitten Kitchen

3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
Chocolate shavings (for topping)

To start, pop a metal bowl and metal whisk in the freezer. Whipped cream likes it COLD, so leave it in there for 15-20 minutes. When your bowl and whisk are nice and cold, pour in the heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla and start mixing! Whisk until soft peaks form. Try not to over-whip – keep an eye on it!

Once your whipped cream is done, we are ready to start assembly. On a flat plate, lay out seven cookies in a circle, with one in the middle. Spread on some whipped cream – about 1/2 a cup. On top, lay out another eight cookies (seven in a circle, one in the middle), and spread with more whipped cream. Continue like this until you have 11 layers of cookies, ending with whipped cream on top. Cover and place in the fridge for 8-24 hours. When you’re ready to serve, top with chocolate shavings.

Notes: 

  • You’ll probably want to buy an extra package of wafer cookies. Not only do they break really easily, you’ll probably end up eating one or seven of them as you assemble the cake!
  • Plan on assembling the cake on whatever plate or tray you plan on serving it on. Once it’s made and had time to sit, moving it is going to be impossible. Learn from my mistake. I made my cake on the metal disk that fits in my tart pan, figuring I could slide it from there onto my cake plate. No dice. It will taste the same, but might lose a few points for presentation.
  • If you do over-whip the whipped cream, slowly add a little bit of cream back in, whisking by hand. It will go from sad and lumpy back to smooth and creamy in no time.

Welcome to My Food Blog!

As a novice in the kitchen, but a loyal devotee of food blogs and cookbooks, I’ve been inspired to create my own blog!

I love trying new recipes and putting my own spin on old favorites. But I also know when not to mess with a favorite (I’m looking at you, pumpkin pie.)

Let’s get cooking!