The Awkward Chicken

If someone were to ask me, “Do you like chicken?” It would go right on a list of questions I find it awkward trying to answer.

You know the list.

It begins with, “What type of music to you like?”

Usually the this question is from the lips of an extraordinarily musical person.

A person who would guffaw if I told them the truth.

I haven’t updated my iPod in multiple years.

Sixty-one of the songs on said iPod are sung by someone whose last name starts with “J” and rhymes with “Bonus.”

I’m the least musically inclined person and can play 0 instruments and while I sing loud on occasion, it ain’t pretty.

But, I don’t say that.

I say something along the lines of, “Uhh, I like all kinds, ya know whatever is playing.”

The list ends with, “So what do you think you want to do in the future?”

Yes, there’s a 97% chance I’ll go to a certain university.

And there’s a good chance I’ll end up studying nutrition or communications at said university.

But, you don’t just want to know that do ya? You wanna know like career wise, after college?

Umm, I’m gonna be the next Rachel Ray, duh.

Either that or I’m going to travel the world exploring.

Or maybe I’ll find a wonderful husband and stay at home with the 9 children I’m going to have.

But, those answers don’t satisfy you.

You want to be all realistic and logical.

Well, you’re no fun.

But, to answer the chicken question.

No, I don’t like bland, dried out chicken.

Yes, I like moist, flavorful, well-prepared chicken.

I like this chicken.

 After eating it, I would give a loud and proud yes and declare, “I love chicken!”

Actually, it might just be the sauce that I like. I love balsamic.

Whatevs; it’s a good combo.

Balsamic Roasted Chicken

Adapted from this recipe. Serves 4.

Just a note to my vegetarian readers: this sauce would probably be really good on baked tofu.


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

11/2-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs*

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon fresh parsley + extra for garnish

Lemon zest, for garnish (optional)

Whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large sealable bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in the fridge. Let marinade for at least one hour (the more the better!). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange chicken on a large, greased baking dish. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Transfer chicken to a serve platter (you may want to cover with foil to keep it nice and hot). Pour pan dripping into a small saucepan, add chicken broth and parsley. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve with roasted veggies and let the marinade totally engulf the veggies. Enjoy!

*chicken thighs are wayyy more flavorful and moist and delicious than breasts

Bonus if you serve the chicken with a platter of bruschetta. This is a Giada recipe, after all.


And yes I’m aware that the people who ask these questions are totally kind and well-meaning and my inability to answer a simple question is totally not their fault.
Which is why I’ll smile and reply, “I’m not sure,” and pray they don’t prod anymore.
And if they do, I’ll just invite them over.
For chicken.
And hope they are so captivated by the deliciousness that they don’t judge me when I break out into, “That’s Just the Way We Roll.

“I woke up on the roof with my brothers…..”

Or talk aloud as I cook, explaining everything I’m doing, even making sure I do the boring stuff during commercials so my viewers don’t get bored…when there’s no camera in sight.
Don’t mind me.
I’m planning for the future.

Just call me Rachel.

What questions do you find it awkward to be asked? Do you like chicken?


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By the way, the giveaway I alluded to will be posted Wednesday (please check out yesterday’s post if you haven’t arleady).

Dinner Tonight


The above was tonight’s dinner.

Marinated pork chops grilled on a soaked plank (seriously the most tender, flavorful, juicy pork chops I’ve ever had)

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus filled with farm fresh cheese (also plank grilled)

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Sooo delicious

And you know what?

I took no part in the planning or preparation of the meal.

I have awesome parents.

For realz.

Best thing you have eaten this weekend?

Summer BBQ Sauce

Today is the first official day of summer. Back in Texas, it has felt like summer since April. Here in Colorado (where I’m spending my summer), it actually is just starting to feel like summer. In the week that I’ve been here, most of it has been unusually cool. On our hike Sunday, it was 59 degrees. Today though, the sun is shining and it’s a nice 78 degrees. Perfect summer weather if you ask me. I don’t miss the 100+ degree weather of Texas.

To me, BBQ sauce just says summer. For you maybe it’s the feeling of sand between your toes or eating a popsicle on your back porch with the popsicle dripping on the ground due to the heat or maybe splashing in a pool. A warm plate of BBQ-ed meat (or veggies!) with the sun beating upon my back as I sip a glass of cool lemonade, that just says summer to me. Of course, not just any BBQ sauce will do.

Homemade barbecue sauce is 3,222 times better than store-bought.

I can’t explain why.

You’re just going to have to trust me.

Not So Basic Barbecue Sauce

Sweet and smoky, this sauce is perfect on ribs, pork, chicken, veggies, and just about anything you might put it on.

From the How to Grill cookbook by Steven Raichlen

2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce ( I used this kind)

1 tablespoon of your favorite barbecue rub

2 teaspoons liquid smoke

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and bring slowly to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and gently simmer the sauce until dark, thick and richly flavored, 10-15 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.

Mmm perfect summer barbecue sauce

Now I just need some lemonade and sun and my summer will be complete. I guess I should really put the sauce on something….besides a spoon :)

While I highly recommend you make homemade barbecue sauce, if you can’t, here’s a little tip for ya when serving store bought barbecue sauce: either allow the sauce to sit out until it reaches room temperature or heat in the microwave for a few seconds. Cold barbecue sauce is not a good thing.

What says summer to you?

BBQ or Barbecue?

Human Rights vs. Animal Rights: Why I’m Ethically Okay With Eating Meat


I’m hesitant to post this because I know it may be a bit controversial and many of you will not agree with me. So, before I start, let’s make a respect compact. You are more than welcome to disagree with me and express your own opinion, just please do it in a respectful manner. I will try to do the same. Sound good?

My opinion on the subject of consuming animals products is one that is rarely expressed so I though I would share it with you all. It seems like some (not all though of course) people who don’t consume animal products assume that omnivores consume animal products because:

A) They are unaware of how horribly animals are treated in factories

B) They choose to ignore the unethical treatment of animals in factories

C) They think that meat is a vital part of the human diet

D) They are horrible evil meanies

Well, I actually don’t fit any of the above criteria. I am pretty aware of the unethical treatment of animals in factory production and it is not something I ignore. Also, I do not believe that animal product consumption is necessary for a human to have a healthy diet. And I like to think that I don’t fit D.

So, why do I eat meat and not feel guilty doing so? Well, it all steams from my belief that humans are superior to animals. Soul, will, intellect, ability to truly love, inherent dignity; these are things humans possess that animals do not. Hence, it breaks my heart that when someone is found guilty of abusing an animal it makes national news, yet millions of children are abused daily and no one seems to give much thought to it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not think it is okay to abuse animals. However, what upsets me is that our society gets so caught up in animal rights and ethical treatment of animals that we seemingly let ethical treatment of people fall to the wayside and don’t bother worrying about human rights.

  • an average of 5 children die daily due to abuse and neglect
  • over 1 million babies are killed in the U.S. each year through abortion
  • an estimated 18,000 children starve to death daily

I am not telling you the above statistics to upset you or make you sad. I’m telling you because I find them heartbreaking. How come these types of statistics never make the news? Sometimes it feels to me like our society has forgotten about the human person because it’s not “cool” to help people, but helping animals, now that is trendy. Of course, I know that I am over generalizing and making assumptions, plenty of people who help animals work even harder to help people.

I think it is important that we preserve a culture of life in the 21st century, when a culture of death is upon us.

The promotion of the culture of life should be the highest priority in our societies…If the right to life is not defended decisively as a condition for all other rights of the person, all other references to human rights remain deceitful and illusory.” Pope John Paul II

I am completely 100% for preserving a culture of life, but I firmly believe in first and foremost focusing on the preservation of human life. I choose to focus my full efforts on humans, on ending malnutrition, ending the killing of babies because they are unwanted, and ending the killing of the elderly because they are no longer productive members of society. 


 I’m not sure if that totally answers the why I eat meat question, but to put it simply, I eat meat because I value humans, human life, and human rights much more than I do that of animals.

 Please do not take this post the wrong way. I think that many vegan and vegetarians are some of the kindest, sweetest, most full-hearted people ever. I admire their dedication and convictions, regardless of the reason for going veg. I just wanted to share my thoughts and opinions on the subject with all you and get my point of view out there.

 I welcome disagreement and confrontation in the comment section, however please be respectful. If you have any questions/concerns (about this post or anything) please feel free to email me at

What is your opinion on animal consumption? Am I overreacting about the whole “forgetting human rights thing?”

Enjoy your week and check back soon for a lighter and more upbeat post.


Ann Claire