Roasted Garlic, Lemon + Rosemary Chicken

Leave it to me to choose one of the hottest days of the season to cook a huge, hours-long dinner in my AC-less kitchen. But once I made my mind up to spend a Saturday trying out new recipes in honor of a belated anniversary dinner, I simply couldnt be swayed to do otherwise. Fortunately, the centerpiece of the meal was a fairly easy fix, requiring a minimal amount of time spent over a hot stove (or, rather, a hot crockpot).

I saw this recipe ages ago and put it on the back burner (no pun intended) until I found the perfect occasion to try it out. And seeing as last week was the celebration of our four-year anniversary, I couldnt let the opportunity pass me by.

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Somehow, in all my years of cooking, I’ve never managed to prepare an entire chicken at once—until Saturday, that is—so I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to clean, season, stuff and cook such a flavorful dish. Of course, all the flavor came from the roasted garlic, fresh-cut lemons and fresh sprigs of rosemary—ingredients that combined to make a succulent (and slightly tangy) main course that was perfect for an almost-fall meal.

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Try out the recipe below for your next big dinner party or special at-home date (and dont forget to save some of the savory juices to spoon over your side dishes—I recommend homemade garlic mashed potatoes!).

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Roasted Garlic, Lemon + Rosemary Chicken 

Servings: 4 (Recipe adapted from No. 2 Pencil)

5 lemons

2-3 heads of garlic

1 whole 4 to 5-pound chicken

Fresh rosemary (or any fresh herbs)

All-purpose steak seasoning (or salt and pepper)

1. Cut ends off of 3 lemons, then cut lemons and 2 garlic heads in half. Layer on bottom of slow cooker, adding a sprig or two of rosemary.

2. Remove insides from chicken, then rinse chicken and pat dry.

3. Season chicken well, inside and out, with all-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper.

4. Lay chicken on top of garlic and lemon slices, then stuff with 1 garlic head cut in half and 1 lemon cut in quarters.

5. Slice 1 lemon, then cover top of chicken with lemon slices and additional rosemary.

6. Turn slow cooker to high, and cook for about 4 hours, or until chicken reaches 165 F.

7. When chicken has reached 165 F, turn off slow cooker and let chicken rest for about 15 minutes.

8. Remove chicken from slow cooker, carve and serve. Strain slow cooker liquid and serve over chicken.

Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

You guys, I have some big news: I finally got the KitchenAid stand mixer I’ve been dreaming of for years! So naturally, I had to put it to use right away, and what better way to do that than to whip up a batch of big, cake-y and super-indulgent Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (as requested by Harrison)?

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Whether it’s all thanks to my new mixer or not, this recipe ended up being surprisingly simple to pull off, and it made nearly 20 thick, rich and delightfully peanut buttery cookies that I ate way too many of. (No shame.)

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Because they’re pretty dense and cake-y, they’re best right out of the oven or within a day of baking, which keeps them from tasting a little dry. And even though you’re going to want to eat the entire batch at once, their flavor is so intense and delicious that one (or two!) at a time is more than enough.

Check out the recipe below, then bake these up for your first fall get-together. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

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Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Yield: 15-18 cookies (Recipe via The Baker Upstairs)

1 1/2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups coarsely chopped peanut butter cups

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment.

2. In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, then set aside.

3. In large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until well combined. Add egg, vanilla and milk, and mix until combined.

4. Add dry ingredients and mix to form a thick dough. (If the dough is very dry and crumbly, add an extra tablespoon or so of milk to help it come together.) Gently fold in peanut butter cups, reserving about 1/4 cup.

5. Scoop large spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle with remaining peanut butter cups.

6. Bake 12-14 minutes, being careful not to over bake. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.

Macarons + Makeup

Last night was a dream come true for me: Not only did I get to learn how to make macarons (one of my favorite sweet treats in existence!), but I also got to do it while celebrating a ton of amazing beauty products carried by QVC. I’m talking tarte eyeshadow palettes, philosophy lip glosses, Laura Geller blushes and bareMinerals lip colors, just to name a few.

And let’s not forget about the macarons. The class, which took place at the Manhattan Sur La Table and was led by the amazing Chef Cameca Bacchus, was super informative (I never knew there was so much to learn about egg whites!) and really hands on. So yes, that means I played a part in making every single one of the delicious macarons I took home + indulged in last night and this morning.

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I’m not 100 percent confident I could make macarons by myself at home (at least not the first couple of times), but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it a shot! Another thing I can’t wait to try out? All of the amazing beauty products I got to take home after the macaron-making class!

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Have you ever made your own macarons? If so, what’s your best tip for churning out the cutest + sweetest treats possible?

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Are you ready to discover one of the easiest and tastiest side dishes you could ever come across? That’s what I thought. Enter my Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, a side dish I’ve been making so much lately that I could probably whip it up in my sleep (seriously, it’s that simple).

Though you would probably think that means I’ve gotten kind of tired of these crispy little potato treats, you couldn’t be any further from the truth. Just like I could eat fries with practically any meal, I could also devour a nice portion of these roasted spuds every night of the week.

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Perfectly crispy, salty and just the slightest bit savory, this recipe can go with everything from grilled salmon and steak to a hot and juicy burger. And served up with a little homemade lemon aioli (this one is pretty tasty), it’s a total hit on any occasion.

Check out the recipe below:

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Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Servings: 4

1 bag (16 ounces) fingerling potatoes (I use Trader Joe’s teeny tiny potatoes)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Dried rosemary

Sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Slice potatoes in half length-wise. Arrange face up on a baking sheet.

3. Drizzle potatoes in olive oil, then toss to coat.

4. Sprinkle potatoes with rosemary and sea salt.

5. Bake potatoes at 400 F for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly browned on top. Sprinkle with additional sea salt, if desired, and serve immediately.

Friday Four

Happy, happy Friday, everyone! Mom and I are heading off to Coney Island today (our planned trip for last weekend got postponed), and I’m really excited to finally explore all the destination has to offer (and yes, that includes hot dogs!). Tomorrow kicks off some birthday activities, though I’ll probably keep it pretty low key with a nice brunch and a little shopping.

But before the festivities begin, let’s take a look at everything I’m wanting to eat, live with, wear and visit this week:

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Clockwise from top left:Turtle cake; The New York Dog; statement necklace; and Niagara Falls.

Eat: Chocolate Turtle Cake (recipe via The Cake Blog)

Not that I need an entire cake for my birthday (because seriously, I would eat it all), but I certainly wouldn’t turn down something that looks this delicious and indulgent.

Live With: The New York Dog by Rachael Hale McKenna

Filled with page after page of adorable pooches in and around the city of New York, this book could not be any cuter. So naturally, I need it on my coffee table ASAP.

Wear: Statement necklace by BaubleBar

This isn’t a new phenomenon or anything, but BaubleBar has really been killing it lately with its gorgeous jewels—especially when it comes to the brand’s stunning statement necklaces. I’ll take one of each, please!

Visit: Niagara Falls

I’ve been itching to take a little weekend trip for a while now, and I’m leaning more and more toward the idea of heading up north to check out the beauty that is Niagara Falls. Have you ever been before?

What are you loving this week?

 

Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

You know that phrase that starts, “Even the best-laid plans… ?” Well, I was living that adage on Saturday when I got ready to bake these beautiful and extremely yummy muffins. First, the bananas I had set aside turned out to be much too ripe to use for the recipe. Then, I opened my jar of Nutella only to discover that I just barely had enough left to cover the amount that’s called for (I guess that’s what happens when you can’t resist the yummy spread).

But I managed to push through the hurdles and bake these goodies just in time for my mother’s long-awaited arrival Saturday evening. And boy, am I glad I did. Not only do they smell amazing and look gorgeous, but their sweet, ooey-gooey taste isn’t too shabby either.

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I would typically consider banana muffins a breakfast item, but as indulgent as these little babies are, you could definitely serve them up for dessert or a sweet treat, too. Paired with a cold glass of milk, a hot espresso and even a little extra Nutella on the side, I can’t think of anyone who could pass them up.

Ready to try ’em yourself? Then check out the recipe below.

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Banana Nutella Swirl Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins (recipe via Alaska From Scratch)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 ripe bananas, mashed

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ cup Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2. In large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, stir together mashed bananas, sugar, brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until completely combined. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.

5. Place Nutella in microwave-safe bowl, then heat 15-30 seconds, or until smooth and stir-able. Spoon about 2 teaspoons Nutella on top of each muffins. Using a toothpick, swirl Nutella into top of muffin batter in a circular motion.

6. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until baked through and set.

Friday Four

Happy first day of August, everyone! August is always my favorite month because, you guessed it, it’s my birthday month, and I’m so excited it’s finally here again. I’m also excited for the weekend, as my mom is coming to see me tomorrow and spend a week here in New York. Though I’ll have to spend a lot of my time at work, sadly, we’ve got some fun activities planned, and I’m sure we’ll have an amazing time.

But before I start prepping the apartment for her arrival, I wanted to share everything I want to live with, visit, eat and wear this week:

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Clockwise from top left: Perfume tray; Coney Island; yummy cookies; and voluminous skirt.

Live With: Minimalistic perfume tray (photo via Margot Austin)

I’ve been amassing a quickly growing collection of perfume that’s getting too big for the little tray I’ve been storing it on, which is why I’m looking for something a little bigger to keep on my mirrored nightstand. I adore the simple, neutral-toned tray above, which would definitely give me room for all of my fragrances and more.

Visit: Coney Island (photo via Etsy)

Despite visiting New York quite often and living here twice, I’ve yet to make a trip out to Coney Island. But come this weekend (or maybe next), that’s exactly where my mom and I are headed to have a fun day of exploring (and hot dog eating).

Eat: Pistachio Coffee Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (recipe via Ambitious Kitchen)

I’m not quite sure exactly how these flavors manage to meld together, but I sure am planning on finding out for myself! Stay tuned to see the results…

Wear: Bird-print midi skirt from Chicwish

This skirt is a little outside of my comfort zone, but how adorable would the summery print look paired with a tucked-in, white satin tank?

What are you loving this week?