This is my attempt at an online recipe diary. Not so much a blog; but rather just a means of tracking a hobby.

Skillet Roasted Chicken with Crispy Skin

Crispy Skin Cast Iron Roast Chicken



Please see post for more recipe details and photographs (http://bestrecipebox.com/recipes/crispy-skin-roast-chicken/)


  • 1 whole Chicken
  • Olive Oil or melted Butter
  • Sea Salt of Kosher Salt
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper


Preheat oven to 375°F.

  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken completely. Coat chicken with olive oil or melted butter and season with salt and pepper to liking.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet that is large enough to fit your chicken over medium-high heat.  Once pan is properly heated brown each side of the chicken including sides (about 4 minutes per side or until skin is nicely crisped).
  3. Once all sides of the chicken are browned, place cast iron pan with chicken (breast side up) in pre-heated oven.  Roast chicken at 375 for 1 hour dropping temperature to 350 for last 20 minutes.  Chicken is done once juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh or the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F when probed with an instant read thermometer (roasting time will vary depending on size of chicken).
  4. Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes covered with foil to retain heat. Carve and serve.
This would be an easy “add to” recipe (i.e. add garlic, sprigs of rosemary to cavity of chicken, etc.).  I’ve done this recipe twice and each time it comes out perfect.  I am not a skin person, but letting it stay on retains all the moisture resulting in a super moist and tender chicken.  Leftovers are great for chicken wraps, BBQ chicken pizza, soups, casseroles, pot pies or share with your dogs and they’ll love you forever…or until the leftovers are gone and you’re just the human again.

wow…it’s been a while.  thankfully i’m starting back with something easy, but delicious.  i got this from norecipes.com, a great site that i’m happy i ran across.




  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (i didn’t measure, i just used what i needed)
  • 5 large cloves garlic (55 grams), roughly chopped (i didn’t add this because i didn’ t have any on hand)
  • 2 large onions (500 grams), sliced (i rustically chopped them)
  • 2 medium red bell peppers (120 grams), cored, seeded and sliced (also, rustically chopped)
  • 6 medium tomatoes (700 grams), cored and cut into 8 pieces (sans tomatoes, used tomato sauce at the end to top)
  • 3 medium Japanese eggplants (400 grams), cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds (i used 2 medium regular eggplants)
  • 3 medium zucchini (700 grams), cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds (i used 6 smaller zucchini)
  • 1/4 packed cup flat leaf parsley roughly chopped (totally forgot this step)
  • 1/4 packed cup basil roughly chopped (basil plant died, none left)
  • 6-8 sprigs thyme (yippee! something i had on hand!)
  • 2 teaspoons salt to taste (yes please!)
  • I also added in: 6 thinly sliced carrots and a few sticks of rosemary

however the recipe tells you to do things, feel free.  i did the onions with herbs/olive oil first then added in the sliced carrots; covered and let it all mellow together.  in a different pan i cooked up the peppers, then added to the carrots and onions.  in a different pan i did the zucchini and eggplant at different times.  at the end, i put everything back in the same pan and let everything marry together nicely; pulling out the stems and sticks from thyme and rosemary.  i did not rush anything.  i had all afternoon to make this and i made sure to make use of my afternoon.

served over polenta; topped with pasta sauce and a little fresh grated parmesan cheese.

image, recipe from below:

– See more at: http://norecipes.com/blog/ratatouille-recipe/#sthash.A3rJ9VAC.dpuf


Polenta with Summer Veggies

I mixed a few different recipes to come up with this one…

1 roll pre-made polenta
oil for pan frying
veggies (zucchini, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant…whatever you have on hand)
jar of pasta sauce
cheese of your liking (we used a sharp cheddar)

sautee veggies to however you like your veggies cooked.  slice polenta and pan-fry according to directions.  heat pasta sauce.  plate polenta, top with some cheese, veggies and sauce.

listen, sometimes we all need a simple recipe and sometimes fluffing up the recipe with a lot of directions just doesn’t seem needed.  if you want to use fresh polenta (which i highly recommend and avoid frying), then do it! it would be delicious and probably save some calories.  if you want to use frozen veggies and save time, feel free!  my husband actually mentioned that after eating this, he’d be able to go vegetarian, so take that for what it’s worth (seeing as how he just ate at Lawry’s Prime and got the prime rib special…this means a lot).  seeing as how i’ll be making this again, i’ll be sure to take a picture and post it.  


Tomato Zucchini Casserole

 “A simple vegetable dish that highlights the summer flavors of fresh tomatoes and zucchini. It goes great with grilled meats or poultry.” — DELTAQUEEN50 
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese (i used mozzarella)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (i didn’t use any – see note by tomatoes)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (i didn’t use any – see note by tomatoes)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (i used jarred, not fresh)

  • salt and pepper to taste (i didn’t use any)

  • 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced (i used about 5 smaller zucchini)

  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (i used 1 can organic italian style stewed tomatoes which came with the oregano and basil seasoning already; with juices, did not drain)

  • 1/4 cup butter (started with olive oil to sautee onion then added in a couple tablespoons of butter for bread crumb purposes)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion (i used 1 whole onion)

  • 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs (sounds about like what i used)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly butter a 9×9-inch pan.
  2. Arrange half of the zucchini slices in the pan. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on top. Arrange half of the tomatoes, and top with another 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers.
  3. Use olive oil or melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook until soft and translucent. Add butter if you started with olive oil and stir in breadcrumbs; cook until they have absorbed the butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole.
  4. Cover loosely with foil, and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until the top is crusty and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

i served this with brown basmati rice. together, they cook at the perfect time (brown rice typically takes 40 minutes to cook it seems, plus boil time=45 minutes-ish). i think i would serve along chicken or a white fish of some sort next time (trying to make some vegetarian meals each week). this is a great summer recipe with all the zucchinis in season…also reminds me of a dish my grandma used to make (although i don’t ever recall seeing a recipe from her…).



BBQ Chicken Pizza (with what I had on hand)

recipe image
Submitted By: Old Crow
Photo By: Melissa
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 50 Minutes
Servings: 8
“This sweet and spicy barbequed chicken pizza has bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, and diced jalapeno pepper – and it’s husband-approved!”
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
6 slices bacon
1 (10 ounce) container refrigerated pizza
3/4 cup barbeque sauce
2 cooked chicken breast halves,
1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced, or
to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring until the onion is very tender and dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
2. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate; crumble when cool.
3. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.
4. Press the refrigerated pizza crust onto the baking sheet to fit the size of the pan. Spread the barbeque sauce evenly over the dough, and sprinkle with the shredded chicken, caramelized onion, bacon, Gorgonzola cheese, and diced jalapeno pepper. Season with paprika and garlic powder. Top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese has melted and is bubbly and the pizza dough is golden brown on the bottom, 15 to 17 minutes.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and altered it to what I had on hand…
Trader Joe’s garlic and herb pizza crust (follow instructions for letting it rest/rolling out. used the temp on bag for cooking pizza.)
1 chicken breast from last night’s leftovers, diced up into small pieces
gorgonzola cheese (who really measures cheese?)
mozzarella cheese (enough to cover, melt and goo a little)
2 onions caramelized
spicy bbq sauce

heat up pizza stone in preheating oven.  follow instructions for pizza dough.  put onto pizza stone, top with toppings.  cook.  please learn from my husband…let this cool off a bit before taking a bite…unless you like the roof of your mouth blistered (then by all means, feel free to eat it straight from the oven).  we both went for seconds.  i’d add bacon next time.




if there is ever a time when a link to the recipe is not at the end of my post, please bring it to my attention so that i can get it posted as soon as i can.  it is never my intention to fail to credit where i found the recipe.  but, being human, there will be times (i am certain) that i might get so excited to post a recipe and i might forget my final end (the link).  thanks so much!  oh, and if it really is “my” recipe (HA!) i’ll be certain to mention that as well (let’s not hold out for this to ever happen).

Corn and Poblano Lasagna

Picture of Corn and Poblano Lasagna 2 Recipe 
Rated 5 stars out of 5


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears), or frozen and thawed
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 4 poblano chiles, charred, peeled, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1-inch strips* (i used more)
  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise (i also used more zucchinis)
  • Twelve (or so) 7-by-3-inch no-boil lasagna sheets
  • 2 cups shredded Oaxaca cheese, or mozzarella (please look around for the Oaxaca cheese, it’s delicious!)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add two-thirds of the garlic and the corn and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and season with the thyme and some salt and pepper, and puree until smooth.

 Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Mix in the poblano strips and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

 Spread about one-quarter of the corn mixture over the bottom of an 11-by-8-inch baking dish. Cover with a layer of 3 lasagna sheets. Spread one-quarter of the poblano mixture and one-quarter of the cheese over the pasta. Repeat the layering three more times. Cover with foil.

 Bake until the pasta is cooked and tender, about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and turn up the oven temperature to broil. Broil until golden brown and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.


*when roasting the peppers, be sure to trim the stem a bit otherwise it might catch fire and set off your smoke alarm.  also, best method that i’ve learned to de-skin them is, once roasted, toss them in a large plastic bag with a moist paper towel; seal.  remove from bag and roll peppers around in a clean towel.  at this point, skins should peel of easily.  keep as many seeds as you’d like to add heat.  i removed too many of mine for my liking, but my husband was happy without the heat.

found while watching food network while i was sick one day (that “best thing ever” show).  seemed easy, yummy and a little different from my norm.  very happy that i tried it.  very thankful for the mexican market across the street from me where i found my fresh peppers, zucchini, corn…had to hunt down the cheese, but it was well worth it.


S’mores bars! oh my

baked smores bars


Author: Rachel Schultz
Serves: 9 large bars (I got 16 from mine since I cut smaller sizes)
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar  (I would suggest cutting this down just a smidge, Fluff is sugary enough)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 and ⅓ cups flour
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 king-sized milk chocolate bars  (I used chocolate chips and they seemed to work out nicely)
  • 1 and ½ cups marshmallow fluff  (I would not skimp on this item)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter, brown sugar, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into butter mixture.
  4. Press half of dough into a greased 9×9 pan. Set chocolate bars on top.
  5. Spread marshmallow fluff over chocolate and top with remaining dough.
  6. Bake for 30-35, or until golden.

** you might want to line your pan with parchment paper.  let cool a bit then pop them all out so you can cut them with a large, sharp knife.  also, based on husband’s co-worker’s consumption – make it easier on yourself and double recipe.

Found on Pinterest, followed to website:  http://rachelschultz.com/2013/04/28/baked-smores-bars/