Let's create!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

June 2011 Garden Update

My garden is doing great, and by 'great' I mean everything is growing!
I am growing lettuce, spinach, carrots, and tomatoes in the garden.  Those paint pails in front of the fence are holding tomatoes and mini bell peppers.  I am also growing radishes and some herbs.
 Hopefully the growing continues uninterrupted.  I will keep you informed!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Graduation 2011

My Sister is graduating Highschool!  So I made her a fancy card.
I used these materials:  toilet paper tubes, cereal box card, mulberry paper, ribbon, craft wire, acrylic paint, white glue, stickers and double sided tapeI also used a poem preprinted on vellum that i purchased from a local dollar store.  This project was created using A.J.'s Digis by Amanda Marks.  You can find the same free digi stamp that I used as well as many other excellent digital images in Amanda Marks' shop here:  http://www.ajsdigishoppe.com/

I flattened the tp tubes and then painted them black,  I punched 2 holes in the tubes and used wire to bind the 3 tp rolls together.  I created the insert cards from cereal box card and paint, I decoupaged mulberry paper on the card and drybrushed some pearly finish paint across them.  I used some lovely handmade stickers and a poem printed on vellum as the sentiment.  The 2011 grad stamp on the front was printed from A.J.'s Digi Shoppe and coloured with Bic Mark Its.  I also glued a 3D star scrapbooking embellishment to the front to add interest.  I hope she likes it (please don't tell her about this card, as it is a secret.)  I will let you know how it went over after the ceremonies :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

My (perfect) Roast Chicken

Firstly, I apologize to any vegetarian readers of my blog.  With that out of the way, here is the method that I use to make a delicious, moist, roast chicken.  If you wish to have stuffing/dressing with your roast chicken my suggestion is to cook it outside of your bird, for safety's sake. 

Morninglass' Roast Chicken
*1 roasting Chicken 
*1 Onion, quartered 
*several Garlic Cloves, peeled
*fresh or dried Herbs of your choice. 
I used dried Rosemary & Thyme (Basil and Oregano are also nice) 
Use about a Tbsp. dried or 2 Sprigs Fresh
*Salt & Pepper
*Water to cover bottom of roasting pan

*Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.   
*Weigh your chicken, you will cook it for approx. 35 minutes per pound.
*Now, it is time to stuff the bird.  Instead of using a bread based stuffing fill the cavity of the chicken with aromatic vegetables and herbs.  I like to use an Onion, some Garlic, Herbs (fresh or dried,) and salt and pepper. Place these ingredients right inside, trying to keep your "stuffing" loose to allow air flow.  This adds a great deal to the flavor of the roasted chicken.
all the goodness is in the chicken
*Place your filled chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and add water to cover the bottom of the pan. (Do not allow water to run over chicken, you want the skin dry for better browning.) Sprinkle salt over the outside of your chicken.
'stuffed' and ready to roast
*Roast chicken in 375 degree oven for 35 min per pound.
*Monitor your chicken every hour or so, if the liquid in the bottom of the pan is drying up too quickly, add more water. You can baste, if you like. I sometimes baste halfway through my cooking time and sometimes I choose not to baste at all. 
*Check for doneness with a digital thermometer your chicken is cooked when the internal temp. of the breast is 160 degrees and the leg is 165 degrees. When your chicken is properly cooked the juices will run clear.
*Let your chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before you begin carving, foodies would have you rest it longer, but I am hungry after all this cooking!

*Serve with any or all of your favorite side dishes. 

Tips and Tricks:
*You can use virtually any aromatics to fill the bird.  Instead of onion and garlic you could try a lemon or orange and some ginger slices.
*If you don't have a rack for your roasting pan you can make one out of whole cleaned vegetables eg.Carrots and Celery stalks.  Just place your vegetables in the bottom of your pan and set your chicken right on top. 
*A silicon lifter placed on the rack under the bird makes for an easy job of removing it from the pan. 
*Use the liquid from the pan to make gravy, or pour it into ice cube trays and freeze to use in everyday cooking. I like to add a cube or two into my stir fry veggies to steam them a bit and add flavor.
*After I carve the chicken, I remove all the leftover meat from the carcass and freeze the bones with the herbs and vegetables still inside to use later for making broth.