Monday Matters

1. My brief lack of blogging is because I spent the weekend (err Wednesday through Saturday) in Keystone. My dad has a conference there, the basic theme for the event was “making Colorado the healthiest state.” There were a few sessions about nutrition and my dad invited me to attend snuck me into one of them. I’ll be discussing it more in a future post.  Look forward to that soon!

2. We climbed our first fourteener on Saturday! The atlitude + rockiness + steep incline made this a tough hike, but we made it!

3. I totally lied to you the other day when I said something about 61 songs. It was an accident. The number is actually higher. STOP JUDGING ME.

4. I start school in 11 days. Nooooooooooo. Summer reading, College apps, SAT stuff, and service hour sheets will be occupying my week. It shall be lots of fun (what is this, opposite day??).

5. I’m going vegan for the week. Actually, 5 days. The thing that is making it most difficult is I’m refusing to use any substitutes. No margarine, tofu, or soy yogurt for me. I’m sure if I was a long-term vegan I would use those things on occasion (except for margarine, I would NEVER cheat on butter like that) but I figure I can go without them for 5 days. I will be making lots of Mama Pea recipes.

Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love

6. I head back to Texas a week from Wednesday. I’m going to die in the heat.

7. I have a super easy, tasty, healthy, breakfast to share with you.

Trail Tacos

Whole-wheat tortilla + natural pb + granola + honey + apple slices + cinnamon

Try ittttttttttt.

Seal with peanut butter (it help it stay closed!) and love.

Make ahead, store in the fridge, grab when you’re hungry.

Perfect thing to eat while climbing mountains, listening to teeny bopper music, or reading borrrring books.

Can you believe it’s August 1st???

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.

Ingredients:

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).