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Coming home from work at 9 or 10 pm leaves me only enough time and energy to bitch about it and not so much for writing, nor any other intellectually stimulating activity. I follow the feeding/wee-weeing routine with Cosmo and when relieved sleepwalk back home on a leash pulling me forward. Cosmo turns the key in the door, pushes it open and lets me into the bedroom where I crawl straight into my bed and roll into a fetal position, tail underneath my heiney.

My kitchen feels deserted. Hungry pots and pans line up on shelves, dust collecting on their ribs. Three neglected bananas rot away on the counter without a word. The refrigerator echoes EMPTY-PTY-TY.  Except, there’s a chick.

On the top shelf of the icebox a whole chicken lounges, sunglasses on and all, anticipating the roasting party it’s been invited for. It’s the happy kind, organic and free roaming while munching on grains and grass. The BIG DAY, the R Day is Saturday. It’s TODAY!

Time for glitter and jewelry. A whole garlic head sliced in two horizontally and four quarters of a whole lemon roll inside the carcass. Three rosemary spears push through right behind. Olive oil for moisture and that California golden tan is applied to it’s whole body. Celery seeds, pepper corns, thyme, salt, paprika, all get smashed and crashed in a pestle and mortar, then rubbed into the dry skin of the chick, all the while the oven rushes to raise its temperature to 425°.

A big sweet onion gets peeled and sliced into half moons, which are scattered all around the chicken inside the roasting pan falling as snow flakes on top of Pikes Peak. A couple of potatoes and a bunch of naked garlic cloves join the company. Can you hear the music?? Low-sodium chicken stock floods the pan. Bay leaf, one and two, float its stream. Wings get tucked underneath, while legs are handcuffed with a strip of twine.  That Chicken Boat of Love is ready to set sail.

Into the oven they go for one full hour and another 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bird will have reached 175°. Then, a silver sheet of aluminum dress wraps around the roasted meat, hugs it tight, and they bond. Fifteen minutes of such splendid rest allows for the best spa treatment any chick can ask for. All the juices get locked inside the bird thus ensuring a perfectly moist bite every time.

S H O W T I M E !

It’s the best thing ever to touch your lips.

IMMACULATE. SUBLIME. PERFECTION.

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Hello, have we met? I’m Agi, or better Agnieszka, also known as

A RTISTIC

G RATEFUL

N ATURAL

I RRESISTIBLE

E ARTHQUAKE-FREE

S TIMULATING

Z ESTFUL

K ICK-ASS

A GELESS

This newfound and boosted self-esteem is a result of doing a few simple exercises with my wonderful and so inspiring circle of women-friends. As the New Moon arrived, Missy gathered us in her cozy abode and guided us as we set our intentions for 2010. Camilla got the energy moving with the above-mentioned fun practice. Writing those down really got me all excited about the POWER OF ME, and only then was I able to write down

MY TOP 10 TRIUMPHS OF 2009:

1.   I ended my slavery to various employers, which brought on the whole theme of reinventing of self along with so-longed-for sense of freedom.

2.   We found and created with Jason our first home together. It’s beautiful, cozy and really does feel like home, at last.

3.   Living together only strengthened and enriched our relationship.

4.   I unleashed my creative “monster”, as I truly believe that nothing can stop me now from creating whatever I want in my life. I do have a shit load of confidence in myself all of a sudden. Yee-haw!

5.   I created “One More Bite” – the blog you’re reading, which was a pretty kick-ass idea and quite a bold move considering the commitment. I love it!

6.   I mastered my culinary skills, which is and forever will be a work in progress as it’s nothing like riding a bike, kid yourself not.

7.   Hey, I became a PERSONAL CHEF! Hello! Give yourself the gift of being served a homemade, delicious and organic meal that will make your hair shine and a bod so fine – send me an email through facebook or twitter.

8.   I chopped off my hair, thus marking the end of my healing process from various pains of my 20s (that manifested with miserable eating disorders and such, now just a vague and sad memory) and embracing my commitment to living in balance with nature and loving myself for I rock my world!

9.   I built many new and wonderful friendships, and boosted the existing ones, which is HUGE considering my ALIEN status with a green card. My kinfolks, for the most part, are all on the other side of the BIG POND, a.k.a. Atlantic. Hence, my friends are my immediate family over here.

10.  I felt GREAT for the most part of 2009. Let’s see: 365 days – 12 days (PMS) = 353 days of pure, nauseating, daring HAPPINESS.

Yup, it was a good year. Now you go. Stop whatever it is you’re doing, put that doughnut down, stop reading nonsense on the Internet, don’t scratch yourself there!, leave the dishes for later, stop worrying about the bills for a moment, ignore your meowing companion (whoever it is) and take a 10 minute break to write down, hence see with your bare eyes, how successful your 2009 was, how powerful being you are, and feel the energy flowing through your temple of a body.

Done? Feeling MIGHTY? Purrfect. Now take that elevated spirit and translate it into a hearty and comforting meal you deserve right now. Here’s an idea – SPANISH RICE a’la Agi that will punch you in the face with its rich and robust flavor.

Here I used this fancy-shmancy blend of rice grains mixed with black barley that added to the drama of the final look of my dish.

You can use leftover rice that you don’t know what to do with. Or just as well get yourself a pot full of brown rice, or any other unbleached, husk-on variety, and plan on feeding your lovely self and all your neighbors for weeks to come. I don’t care. All I want from you is a batch of cooked rice that you will now flavor to your liking.

Let’s begin with infusing olive oil with yummy flavors. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan; drop in a handful of peeled and crashed garlic cloves, one or two branches of fresh thyme, and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Keep the pan over low heat thus letting everyone get comfy in the warmth of the oil for about 2 minutes.

Next, remove the herb and smash the garlic with a fork, enforcing it even deeper into the oil. Now, instantly add the rice (about 3 cups of cooked grain) and stir and fold it to ensure everything gets coated evenly with your flavored olive oil. Open a small can of tomato paste and empty it into the pan. Season it with a touch of kosher salt and one tablespoon of dry paprika. If you’re going for that smashing HIT in your mouth, feel free to add cayenne pepper as well. Once again, shuffle the rice and spread the paste all over it. When the mass is of a coherent color, spread it evenly over the surface of the pan and let it sit there over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the bottom gets a little crispy.

In the end, add a touch of Mother Nature in the form of fresh parlsey and/or dill, roughly chopped and sprinkled like snowflakes over the tip of Mount Everest.

I love my SPANISH RICE on its own, however for Jason I stir-fry a few chicken tenders that later tend to his six-pack, biceps, and those delicious cheek muscles (my favorite cut).

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