Confessional

You know those confessionals that contestants in reality shows step into?  They sit down and pour their hearts out for all the world to hear.  Yeah, I would never do that.

I will, however, tell you what my New Year has been like so far.

  • I’ve said “no” to lots of things simply because I didn’t feel like saying “yes”.  I consider that a good thing.  It’s something I’ve been working on for, well my whole life.
  • I’ve continued to have a green smoothie nearly every day, and because of that I know I’m giving myself the benefit of high-quality nutrition.  It’s easy in winter to slip into eating only comfort foods.  I’m glad this has become a habit that I want to continue.
  • I’ve gotten some great outdoor exercise with friends in the form of snowshoeing and playing platform tennis.  The sunshine and fresh air really help my mood and disposition.
  • I have been enjoying my cooking adventures and have gotten some positive feedback from my family, which always makes me happy.

BUT

  • I’ll start by admitting that I haven’t been to yoga in like 9 months.  I know better.  I mean, I REALLY KNOW BETTER. Yoga for me is like popping some sort of magical focus and well-being pill.  It smooths out the edges and helps me think clearly and gives me a sense of equanimity I wouldn’t have otherwise.  So why haven’t I been?  It’s that thing of where you don’t do something and you don’t do something and you don’t do something and then all of a sudden it’s been so long it feels weird to go back.  Yeah, I need to get over that.
  • In exchange for my absence, I feel scattered and have had trouble focusing on my Nutrition Consultant schoolwork.  My notes are in like four different physical places.  I missed a crucial slide in a lecture.
  • I also have less energy and generally feel pretty blasé. This happens in winter.  I know this. Which is why I go to yoga.  My husband today said “You need to go back to yoga” and I’m like, “yeah, duh”.

So, who wants to place bets on how long it’ll take me to get into the studio again?  I’m pretty stubborn.

I’d love to hear from you.  How do you tackle those obstacles?  What things do you do that help with focus and energy? How is your 2016 going so far?

And one more thing before I go.  There are two blogs that I absolutely love.  The first, Word Savvy, is written by a good friend who is a brilliant writer and overall fantastic person.  Her musings on life and academia and literature always make me happy.

The second, Pronto Pup, is the most hilarious food blog you’ll ever encounter.  It’s dry and witty and totally NSFW in the best ways.  It is guaranteed to make you laugh and possibly snort, too.

Until next time!

 

BBQ Chicken, Spanish Style

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and were able to spend time with people you love and doing things that you enjoy.  I got to go to a northwoods cabin with my family, where we sat by the fire reading, went ice skating, ate yummy food and just enjoyed being together.  I slept in, went to bed early, and didn’t focus on chores or being productive.  It was fantastic.

I focused more on holiday baking the last several weeks than I did on cooking anything unique. When I’m busy and hectic, usually the first thing to go is my creativity in cooking.  I’ll revert back to things that don’t take much thought of effort.

Last night, after feeling sufficiently rested, I got back to cooking recipes from Gwyneth’s cookbook.  I had dogeared a BBQ chicken recipe that looked good, so that’s where I started. The result was pretty great — the marinade was easy enough.

I prepared the marinade in the morning and after smothering the chicken in it, stuck it in the fridge for about 6 hours.

marinade
Super easy marinade for the chicken

That evening, instead of grilling the chicken in 20 degree weather, because I’m not a savage, I opted to bake it and then put it under the broiler at the end for several minutes to get the skin browned and crispy.  The family liked it, although we all agreed it could use a bit more salt.  Next time I will sprinkle flaky sea salt on top before baking (or finishing salt at the end).

I served the chicken with sautéed mushrooms and roasted Brussels sprouts.

 

I feel comfortable recommending adding this dish to your rotation! It’s easy, flavorful, and a bit different than the usual baked chicken.

BBQ chicken spanish style
BBQ Chicken, Spanish Style

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

Large pinch of coarse sea salt

1 t freshly ground pepper

2 t hot pimentón (I used regular smoked paprika)

One 3-4 lb chicken, cut up (don’t remove skin, it’s the best part!)

METHOD:

Mix everything except the chicken in a bowl. Pour the paste all over the chicken pieces and massage it in, making sure to get it under the skin as well. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for an hour or two, or up to overnight. Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes until juices run clear.  Or, if it’s warm where you are, grill over low heat for 20 minutes on one side or until it’s firm to the touch and browned.