Lonely Dinner-1st pass beer can chicken

April 3rd, 2011

I have a chicken roaster I have had since I left Jackson 7 years ago. I think it was one of my rooomates; I know it wasn’t mine.

For years it has sat in it’s box in a cabinet. Don’t know why. Seems like an easy enough concept.

So, when Weaver Street put whole chickens on sale, I decide it was time for beer can chicken.

Funny, when I opened the box I found 4 hand-written sheets that read like a fantasy novel treasure hunt. It was highly amusing. I can guess which roommate left this behind by the handwriting and Dungeons and Dragons type theme to the notes. I have no clue why they were there, but they added some whimsy to my meal.

I was excited about the beer can part, except the roaster didn’t need a beer can, wouldn’t fit over one, and they don’t sell beer before noon on a Sunday in NC. Damn liquor laws.

So, I pondered what I would do. I had bought a nice looking Vino Verde, Famega, the day before, so I decided to buy a tall skinny aluminum can drink, drain it, fill it with the vino verde, and use some special spice mi amiga mejor brought me from Australia- lemon Myrtle.

I rubbed that bad boy down in salt, spice, and olive oil. I put some pats of butter under the skin like my mom and I did on a thanksgiving turkey once. Then I stuck it over the roaster and aluminum can. It’s just about done!!

I paired it with a green salad topped with strawberries and a lime-pomegranate vinaigrette. Mmm!! Can’t wait!








Lonely Dinner-Raid the Pantry

September 18th, 2010

Breathing in, breathing out.

I just cooked my Lonely Dinner, and I’m settling in for the night. This is how I return to myself. I swear I actually feel the peace juices flowing, and it’s not the wine- I haven’t had any yet.

I cherish my lonely weekends after hard blocks (got off luminal consults last week) as my way to reconnect with myself. I cook and eat alone often, since my hubby lives so far away. This has been my normal weekend routine for as long as I have been in my fellowship. I started my Lonely brunch tweets during a post- call brunch in Durham. Now, all my private dinners get the ‘Lonely’ moniker.

Cooking used to be something I did all the time in chi town. Now I work too much to cook often, so when I do, I feel a total zen peace descend upon me. My breathing slows, and I feel completely in sync with the things that make me happy. My style of cooking echoes my style of living, decorating, creating in general: take stock of what you have, think of what ‘goes together’ and buy a few key things to complete the story.

I had pine nuts and currants left over from a middle eastern dish I cooked for E, and I knew I had to use them. I also wanted veggies but not salad-too much prep work. Additionally, I’ve had a loaf of premade French bread dough in the freezer for-eh-vuh (left over from a recipe contest attempt) that HAD to get used soon.

I also had to get my car inspected, and luckily trader joes was next to the garage. While strolling through the aisles and talking to my mother-in-law (always multi-tasking), I came up with dinner:

Chicken Pesto Pizza with pine nuts and currants. Decided to use raclette cheese. No reason.

Broccoli Slaw(pre-packed, easy), again with pine nuts and currants, Trader Joes’s low fat mayo, lemon juice and a touch of sugar as the dressing. At the last minute, I realized that the bacon I bought for E (Nieman Ranch applewood smoked bacon) was a perfect add. When I opened the package I stuck my nose practically on top of the bacon inhaling the addictive scent- divine.

I don’t measure. I use the tried and true Southern Cooking school method- Dump and Stir.

Ah, now I’m done. Washing it down with 4 buck Finca (La Finca Malbec, not 3 buck Chuck but durn acceptable.)

I have hours of filing ahead, but I’m happy.

The “I Killed My Palm Tree” Cocktail, Light

January 4th, 2010

When I got home from Mississippi after Christmas, I had to finally accept what I had been dreading for weeks:

My Palm Tree Was Dead

I was so sad.  Especially because it was my fault.

I bought the tree for, like, $5 at Home Depot the first few months I was here.  Despite my persistent black thumb, my palm survived.  Last year I even dropped it off at my friend’s house so they could palm-sit over the holidays.

I bought it a new, pricey container and always intended to transplant it because I thought it had outgrown its small plastic pot.  It also got brown leaves a lot, which I thought needed some lime, so I bought that too to work into the soil.

Alas, I’m a busy person, and I neglected my palm.  Truly, I was abusive.  I left it out when it froze overnight.  For 2 years I faithfully brought it in from the cold, but ironically the nice, new pot I bought it made it impossible for me to lift, so I didn’t bring it in in time.

I had noticed wilting leaves for weeks.  Frantically, I cut off all it’s beautiful (but broken) fronds prior to leaving for home in the hopes it would regenerate.

White Stuff is Not Good

Sigh, I was wrong.

Looks Like a Cancer Tree

Looks Like a Cancer Tree

I got home to find my poor palm growing white mold.  (Dum dum da dum da da dum da dum da dum–WordPress Death March).

So, a few days late, it is time to salute my palm.  The only living thing besides myself I have kept alive for more than a few days.

Only Fitting is a Signature Cocktail.  Sadly, I’m on a diet (yeah yeah, I know, typical pre-bride).  So, this will be the “light” version.

I thought a lot about this cocktail because I wanted to pay proper tribute to something that really was kind of a companion down here.  It gets lonely in my condo, and my palm was a friend.


1) TEQUILA, naturally, for a palm. 1.5 oz.  I used my tall black bottle, Insignia Tequila Reposado. 100% agave.

2) Lemonade Passionfruit Skinny Water (would have used lemon juice but the lemons were moldy just like the palm).  I guess the passion part is appropriate

3) 13 dashes of Fee’s Bro’s peach bitters.  I just got these bitters yesterday and I was curious.  I also thought it was like putting a little part of me (Southerness) into a south-of-the-border drink.  Peaches always remind me of wilting Southern Belles, and the wilting part reminded me of fading away into the sunset (see #4).

4) Drop of Grenadine to mimic a sunset.  Actually, this looks like a Tequila Sunrise, but whatever.

Voila! Imbibe!

The Drink is Definitely prettier than the Tree

The Drink is Definitely prettier than the Tree

The “Keep Me Up” Cocktail

December 21st, 2009

I fell asleep on my condo floor next to my space heater about an hour ago.

I’m exhausted, but I need to pack to go home tomorrow.

Hence, I need a keep me up cocktail.

Though alcohol might be desirable, I’d totally pass out, so it must be coffee based.

To the Drawing Board!

Step 1. Coffee (Obviously)

Step 1. Coffee (Obviously)

Counter Culture Holiday Blend (8oz/2tbs ground): www.counterculturecoffee.com

Finca Nueva Armenia
Region: Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Varieties: Bourbon, Typica
Elevation: 1500-1833 meters

Harvest: Jan-March

“The Vienna Melange roasting and blending technique creates layers of sweetness and flavor: combining notes of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel, and dried fruit”

Step 2. Frothy Sweetness

Step 2. Frothy Sweetness

Maple View Farm Skim Milk (~1/4 cup):www.mapleviewfarm.com

No lie, this is the best tasting milk I’ve ever had.

Malted Milk Ovaltine (2 teaspoons): www.ovaltineusa.com

Orgeat (1 tbs), an almond-orange flower syrup

Fees Bros Orange Bitters (5 drops):  www.feesbrothers.com

Step 3. Combine and Imbibe!

Step 3. Combine and Imbibe!

Time to try it!

Notice my aerolatte blender.  My lil bro got me this last Christmas and it’s awesome–quick, fun froth.  It works pretty well in plain milk, but when you start adding sugar syrups, chocolate, etc, it doesn’t froth as much as I’d like.

The Verdict: Too sweet ):

Counter Culture’s Holiday Blend is awesome, and it got overpowered by the chocolate and orgeat.  The combo of the almond, orange, and chocolate are fantastique, but honestly, you gotta choose whether you want sweet or complex.  The flavors would make a great Starbucks TM latte, but I should’ve just put some splenda and skim milk into the cup and drank it the old fashioned way.

45 minutes and one blog post later,  i am UP.

    About Me

    Professional Gastroenterology Fellow

    Amateur Martha Stewart/Bob Villa/Julia Child/Collette Peters