Monthly Archives: December 2011

A Look at 2011

Y’all thought I forgot huh?? Haha here is a look at the year via a monthly (sometimes random) blog post!

JanuaryA Whole New World


I made the switch to Blogspot in January of 2011. I would say this was the first move to become a blogger.
FebruaryS-N-O-W


We got snow in Tuscaloosa and Valentine’s Day brought dark chocolate-bacon chocolates and boots
March… Travel/Birthday BIG Month


I turned 23, went to Atlanta and got an iPhone, Arizona, and said good-bye to my red-high heels. Whew… and that is the month that David and me celebrated 2 WHOLE years of being a couple 🙂
April… No one planned for the April tornados.


Started the month with our first garden, no shoes for TOMS, first CSA basket then ended the month with the historical tornado event.
May… The move over to WordPress.


I celebrated my 80th post and moved over to WordPress. The blog moved into its teenage years 🙂 Thanks for staying with me!
June… More travels and one of my most viewed post! Also the Summer of BASIL started!


I got to travel to Oklahoma for a weather conference and made a pitstop in Arkansas to see one of my favorite tennis girls!
July… The garden took off, we picked blueberries, and I was back in school.


Morning runs started… we celebrated the 4th… even got a run in on the morning of the 4th!
AugustBob visits the porch.


We have a jungle on our hands in August.
SeptemberCornbread hopped in the mason jar and half-marathon training happens at the beach.


We ran in that. Period.
OctoberRace and Comprehensive Exam were both completed! Yepee! More travel!


I am teaching this semester for the first time as well!! I taught 3 labs with around 30 kids in each, fun fun!
November… More travel! To Savannah I go… research conference!


I also turned my grandparents’ old screen door into a headboard 🙂
December… Semester ended and Christmas happened. I got “big girl cookware.”


Also baked my first WHOLE chicken!
And now I am going to ring in the New Year!!

Happy New Year y’all,
Courtney

 

Chicken Sandwich on Tarragon Infused Bread

No worries… the chicken isn’t still baking 🙂 The chicken turned out great, woohoo! I switched up a few things with the seasoning last minute… I simplified it just in case I needed to quickly cover up any bad flavors with spices! I rubbed the chicken down with vegetable oil, salt, pepper, and tarragon. Who knew tarragon (a spice I have had in my cabinet for a while and have not used!!) was so delicious! Needless to say, I have upgraded the “tarragon real estate” to the front of the spice cabinet/property. Know what else just took up some real estate in the kitchen???


Move over 5 cup coffee pot… Keurig 1 cup brewing system has taken over! That was the very first cup… pictured above. Beauty of a blog, I will never have to wonder what my first cup of Keurig coffee looked like 😉 Haha anyways Target has a great deal on the Keurig if you are interested… I can’t keep a great deal to myself! Normally this particular one is $149. But at Target they had a package for $135 but this included a FREE $20 gift card. So I got the Special Edition brewer system for $115 then turned around and used the $20 to buy the cup you can insert in the pod spot to make your own coffee. Cool huh? I know I am a bit behind on the thing, but bare with me… I didn’t get MTV until I was 16. So back to the chicken… shall we?


We have used the Le Creuset cookware every day since Christmas, promise. I love them 🙂 For the first baked chicken I planned on doing this… a bit of lemon and honey.


I was afraid the honey would burn though after talking with my sister and her husband… so I chose a recipe out of the cookbook Mom got me “The Cast Iron Way to Cook” that is made for cooking with Le Creuset pieces. I didn’t want my first chicken to flop so I decided to do a recipe that (seemed tried and true) went with the dutch oven. And it turned out wonderful! So here is what the recipe had me do:

Tarragon Roasted Chicken (Adapted from The Cast Iron Way to Cook by Sue Cutts)
-Vegetable oil
-Whole Chicken (mine was a little under 3.5 pounds)
-1 tablespoon of dried tarragon
-Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Easy right??

How to: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then rub the inside of your pot with some vegetable oil. Wash and dry your chicken (this was a little interesting… first time to hold a whole chicken, raw) and place it in the pot breast side up. Rub it down in oil (then wash your hands). Sprinkle salt and pepper then take your hands and rub that into the chicken (wash hands again). Now be sure the entire chicken has oil, salt, and pepper all over it (get all Food Network chef and really get crazy with the ol’ S&P). Last sprinkle your tarragon all over the chicken (well the side facing up). Place the lid on and place it in the oven.
To determine the cooking time you have to consider the weight of the chicken. For a 4.5 pound (like the recipe), it suggests 2 to 2 and a half hours. For mine, it took under 2 hours since it was a whole pound (or more) less than what the recipe called for. I used my thermometer and looked for clear juices coming out of the chicken. When we took it out to check the temp, it shot up to 170 and kept rising. So we let it sit for about 3 minutes in the dutch oven then moved it to a cutting board where we covered it in foil and threw a towel over it. It needed to rest and soak up all the juices!


I won’t reveal the carving pictures… show some privacy to the chicken… Geez.


The first meal with the baked chicken… a sandwich of course! Tarragon infused bread with layers of chicken, Dijon Mustard, pickles, onions, spinach, and a few slices of green apple 🙂 It was so delicious!!!


To make the infused bread:
-Put a little olive oil down in a cold skillet and turn up your heat to medium.
-Let it warm a little then sprinkle some salt and pepper in the oil.
-Place sandwich in oil, pour a little oil and salt/pepper on the top of the sandwich, then flip when you hear the whispers of sizzling from the side touching the pan.
-Flip the sandwich, carefully!!
-Sprinkle the herb of choice… I did a little tarragon on the top. Let the other side turn to golden and flip.
-Sprinkle that side with the herb while the other side gets to the “golden” level you desire. Plate up!

I know it seems like a lot of flipping, but since you aren’t leaving it long on one side it goes fast! Just be careful flipping if you lots of toppings on your sandwich.


It is worth it to “infuse” your bread… that is David’s method he taught me, by the way 🙂

Guess what??? Tomorrow is DAY 100 of the Burpee Challenge!! Yah!!! I am going to take a break from burpees for a bit I think… although I wouldn’t be surprised to see some in the WODs next week. I am going to TRY to bring my camera and film all of us doing our last day of burpees and do some sort of video to post on here… we will see how it goes. We are meeting in the morning to finish the challenge together… woohoo!! Now I think I am ready for some tea then bed! Fire up the Keurig!


I will do a recap of 2011 tomorrow… can’t wait to share what has went on this year! Lots of traveling and exciting things!

Make your last day of 2011 great… I hope it is full of food, laughter, and smiles…
…and burpees haha 🙂
Courtney