Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken

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When I want to eat a roasted chicken, I always go out and buy one. I did not have any idea that roasting a chicken could be that easy and much cheaper. When I started baking, I always wanted to try an oven-roasted chicken but due to the long list I have, I always end up baking cupcakes, muffins, etc…

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There was a time that I was craving for a roasted chicken. So I went out and bought one. After eating a lot, I found my head painful. Why? This is what I get from eating a store-bought roasted chicken – not all the time, but most of the time. After that, I did not buy again. And I have not eaten roasted chicken in months. I tried looking for a roasted chicken recipe and I was surprised how easy it is to make one. So I told myself I will make one… someday! Thankfully, that ‘someday’ did not take too long – it happened in less than a month.

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This is the easiest recipe I have ever found. I loved how the chicken tasted so simple, yet, so delicious!

Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.2 kg whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley (or 2 tbsp fresh parsley)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken.
  2. Sprinkle salt all of the chicken’s surface. Place in a bowl or plate and let sit in the fridge overnight to air dry. (This step will give you the crispiest chicken skin.)

Next day,

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pat dry again.
  3. Let the chicken rest for about 30 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine butter, parsley and lemon zest. Melt in a microwave and set aside.
  5. Place the chicken in a baking dish. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Pour lemon juice inside the chicken.
  7. Truss the chicken.
  8. Spread the butter mixture all over the chicken’s surface.
  9. Squeeze the lemon wedges all over the chicken and place the squeezed lemon wedges in the baking dish.
  10. Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes or until juices run clear when you cut between the thigh and the leg.
  11. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for about 20 minutes before carving.

Source recipe: Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken by Best Recipe Box

The combination of the lemon juice and the juices from the chicken were absolutely awesome! If I could put them in a glass and drink them, I will. But of course, I will not do that. 😀 I just can’t believe that with just very simple and few ingredients, you could make a delicious roasted chicken. See that juice? 

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Oops! Wait a minute. How silly of me not to show you the breast part. Chicken breast is not a favorite of mine, if you can remember. But, this one is so great that I can eat the breast part ONLY! Huh? Really? Nope! Just kidding. I love thigh and legs… but this part in this roasted chicken is perfect – not tough like some of the store-bought ones – it’s soft and still juicy! But nothing is juicer that the thigh! Okay, I get it! 

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I was supposed to eat this with roasted potatoes but since potatoes are carbs and rice is also a carb… Of course, I chose rice over potatoes.

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Hihihi! Can you see the skin? Yes! I love the skin so much. But, you know what? I did not eat rice again after this… even after the next few days. I really know now how to discipline myself. 😀 And I did not ask for another cup of rice. Yehey!

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I was so happy with this chicken that I almost forgot to mention that I got this recipe from this site. Thank you so much! If you check out the link, you’ll notice that I changed some… Well, that is according to what I exactly did.

Hope you try this and let me know.

Impossible Coconut Pie

I wondered why there are recipes called ‘Impossible’ blah, blah, blah! Now I know why…

My sweetened shredded coconut was waiting for a long time to be used. But since it will expire on 2014, I let it wait for a little longer. I always have a problem with soon-to-be expired ingredients as I tend to buy more when I stop by at a store I don’t usually visit. I always try to organize the yummies I’d like to bake but some things (I mean the soon-to-be expired ingredients) will just pop up and get in the way. Thankfully, I got rid of them few weeks ago and finally had the chance to use my sweetened shredded coconut.

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One pack of the shredded coconut can make two yummies, depending on the quantity you need. My first choice was Impossible Coconut Pie. And I was glad that was my first choice. I love anything with coconut. And this coconut pie is insanely delicious!!

Impossible Coconut Pie

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch pie dish or round baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix to incorporate.
  3. Add in coconut and mix.
  4. Add in flour and mix just until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pie dish/baking pan.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until pie is dark golden and darker at the edges. The pie will be firm to touch.
  7. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Keep the pie covered in the fridge.

Source recipe: Impossible Coconut Pie by Blue Eyed Bakers

I don’t have a pie dish so I just used a round baking pan. Nothing differs at all.

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I repeat…

This coconut pie is insanely delicious!!!

If I get to catch sweetened shredded coconut again, I promise to make this again!! 

 

Blueberries and Pineapple Smoothie

I just love the color of Blueberries when blended.

When I see Blueberries, it reminds of the Nightlock berries from The Hunger Games movie. In the movie, Nightlock (blueberry-like) are berries that are infamous for the lethal poisonous juices that are inside. It kills the person who eats it even before it reaches the stomach.

Okay, enough of the Nightlock berries and let’s proceed with the post…

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Of course, these Blueberries are edible and not poisonous. Blueberries are called the antioxidant super food. Like other berries, these indigo-colored berries have many health benefits. I may not love eating them as raw but I love to put them on smoothies.

Blueberries and Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh Blueberries, washed
  • 1 cup fresh Pineapples, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup Greek/skimmed yogurt
  • 1/3 cup skimmed/soy milk
  • Ice cubes

Instructions:

Put everything in a blender and blend well. Transfer to a glass and drink immediately.

The ingredients are just are so simple but you’ll get loads of benefits from the two fruits used in this smoothie. Blueberries are anti-oxidants, provides cancer prevention, good for bladder and a lot more. On the other hand, Pineapples are good source of vitamin C, potassium and they are also high in fiber and low in calories.

Rocky Road Brownies

Brownies is my top one favorite bar. Give me some and you’ll see my eyes twinkle. 😀 I love any brownies, especially the ones with nuts. I don’t know why it took me months before baking brownies again and I am missing them so badly.

I searched for a rocky road brownies recipe that fits on a square baking pan – I just want them to be on a square baking pan so I’ll manage to finish them in just a few days. Unfortunately, all I found were recipes baked in a 9×13 pan.

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On my Instagram account, I am following Manuela Kjeilen, author of Love, Manuela and several baking books. And I decided to adopt her recipe. Please take note that the below recipe is a translated one as the original recipe (or let me say the whole website) is in Norwegian language. Well, I just re-phrased some of the texts.

Rocky Road Brownies

Ingredients:

Brownies:

  • 226 g butter
  • 300 g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 150 g flour
  • 200 g nuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping:

  • 50 g chocolate buttons/chocolate chips
  • 100 g marshmallows
  • 50 g nuts

Sauce:

  • 50 g chocolate buttons
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven at 180 C. Prepare a 9×13 (inches) baking pan with greased parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine butter and chocolate in a bowl and put over a pan with simmering water.
  3. Remove the bowl and stir well until everything has melted and has been thoroughly mixed.
  4. Wait to cool down a bit. Add sugar, salt and brown sugar and mix it well.
  5. Add the eggs and whisk until you get a thick batter.
  6. Then pour in the flour and mix.
  7. If using nuts, add them now.
  8. Pour in your baking pan and bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from the oven and spread the toppings in order: (1) nuts, (2) chocolate buttons/chocolate chips (3) marshmallows. And bake for 8-12 minutes or until the marshmallows brown a little.
  10. When done, let cool in a wire rack for at least an hour or two.
  11. When cooled down, you can do the sauce: Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and melt in a microwave from 15 seconds to 1 minute. Just be careful not to overheat them. Using a spoon or fork, just drizzle the sauce on top of the brownies.

I love this Rocky Road Brownies. I just found it a little thicker. But that’s not an issue at all… Everything was perfect! And I am sure I’ll be making this again – on the right pan.

Notes:

  • I assumed that the baking pan was measured in cm. So 18 x 26 cm is about 7 x 10 inches in size… am I right? Because 18 x 26 inches pan is a full-sheet pan used for jelly or Swiss rolls. (Please, help me out here.)
  • The step when you have to pour your brownie batter in the pan, the translated text gave me ‘…pour in a square shape pan (18 × 26)’. Am I the only one confused or what? – 18 x 26 square shape pan? The thing is, I baked mine in a 18 x 26 cm baking pan and I found it thicker than the usual thickness of the brownies. So I changed the above into 9 x 13 inches baking pan. I did not notice that in her website, the photo showed a rectangular size pan. So, of course, the translated text was wrong when Google translate said ‘square shape’ pan.
  • The original recipe calls for two kinds of sugar – 200 g brown and 225 g white. You will notice that I changed white sugar into 100 g because I used semi-sweet chocolate chips. Manuela used a chocolate with 70% cacao. Maybe that was the reason she used large quantity of sugar. You may follow, of course, the original recipe. It’s all up to you.
  • I used peanuts. You may use walnuts, almond, pecan… It’s your brownies. 😀

Source Recipe: Rocky Road Brownies by Passion for Baking

When I bake this again, I prefer to use 9 x 13 inches baking pan. I am not really sure if 18 x 26 is in cm or inches. So I’ll follow what I think is right for my batter.

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Whew! If I don’t love brownies, I should have not undergone with this translating thing. You know, it gave me a hard timing figuring things out. But anyone who loves food will do anything for food. Haha! Anyway, it’s all worth it.

I promise to post or update this when I’ll have the chance bake this once again. But… a long list of brownie recipes is still on queue. 😀

P.S. If ever you make this, please let me know what pan did you use or how everything turned out. I would love to know.

Dragon’s Loyalty Award 1-2-3

Like I said… I’ve been a little busy the past few days that I have not read even a page or two. Now, I am trying to find a spot for my books. And since I started to go on a diet, I have not cooked and baked much. So I am trying to bake new yummies to post. Thinking of something to bake or cook still takes time. I have to use the soon to be expired chocolate chips and other ingredients (thankful that it’s not much), while the other side of my brain wants something else – the ones on the list. In other words, I am having a battle with myself.

That’s why the passing of the awards took a little longer than usual.  I am so grateful to be nominated by the lovely people: Ada of morefoodpls on 11/26, Shalini of  taleoftwotomatoes on 11/29 and Fae of  fae-magazine on 12/02. I really appreciate the nomination and for every comments and likes. 🙂

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So here I am now for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. To start with, here’s 7 random things about me:

  1. Aside from cooking and baking, I’d also love to sew. I love making curtains, pillowcases, bed sheets and pajamas. Ummm, just only basic sewing. That means, very simple outputs.
  2. I can sew the above stuffs without sewing machine. I once made a curtain like this this with ribbons up like this this. Well, those were not mine but those were exactly what I did.
  3. I love my chocolates a little melted than the usual texture, you know… hard. Sometimes, I put it on a hot surface to melt it a little and eat it right away. 😀
  4. I mostly make a schedule for books to be read and the time I needed. And when I don’t finish the book(s) in the given time, I feel so disappointed and arrange my chores again.
  5. I cry over flowers. I just love flowers!!
  6. I talk to things…:D One day, I was in a footwear shop and I saw nice slippers but I cannot buy it ‘coz it’s not scheduled to be bought. In other words, it’s not included in my expenses for the month. So I talked to the slippers and said ‘Stay right there; I’ll come back for you.’ And then the customer attendant looked at me (maybe she thinks I am crazy) and I smiled at her and left the shop. Hahaha! Seriously, I. AM. NOT. CRAZY.
  7. And lastly, (I thought I will never share this)… I am scared of cockroaches!! I always scream to my death and my sister really wants to ‘kill’ me for waking her up every time I see a cockroach in the middle of the night.

I still have to squeeze my brain to remember stuffs… so I remembered how crazy funny I am… 😀

Okay, for the rules:

  1.  You must link the person who has nominated you.
  2. You must share 7 things other bloggers may not know about you.
  3. Nominate up to 15 people.
  4. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.

 And here are my nominees:

myfavouritepastime
tastytreats13
shivaaydelights
butterbasilandbreadcrumbs
ineedafeed
bakingwithgab
dinnerbank
whenspoonmeetspot
bitsofnice
superfoodista
chefmimiblog
ifyougiveablondeakitchen
foodthoughtstoshare
amalkitchen
fooddaydreaming

Happy blogging and thank you for the support! xx Jhuls

Chicken Bicol Express

According to Wiki, Bicol Express was named after the passenger train service from Manila to the Bicol region, a region in the Philippines famous for its spicy cuisine. Bicol Express is a stew made from coconut milk, chilies, shrimp paste, garlic, onion and beef (or any meat) or chicken.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get the perfect flavor for the Chicken Bicol Express but I failed. The first time, I used fresh coconut milk and simmered in low heat for more than 30 minutes. The color if the dish became nearly brown and I didn’t know if that was fine. Another thing, I did not get the correct flavor. My friend cooked the same and she made a perfect color – not completely white but not nearly brown. And I was like ‘What happened to mine?’ I was upset because I cannot make a very simple dish. I guessed it was the coconut milk… or maybe, I put too much shrimp paste.

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I tried cooking using coconut powder and it was the best. Mmm, not the best Chicken Bicol Express in the world but at least, the best one I ever cooked.

Chicken Bicol Express

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken, cut into small pieces (about 1×1 in size)
  • Coconut milk (2 cup coconut powder dissolved in 1 cup water)
  • 5 sliced chilies (combination of green and red is better)
  • 2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil

Instructions:

  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces. About 1×1 in size.
  2. In a deep pan or cooking pot, heat oil.
  3. Add garlic and onion. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the chicken pieces. Cook until no longer pink.
  5. Add the chilies, shrimp paste and coconut milk. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper. Do a taste test.
  7. Serve with rice.

Easy, isn’t it?

This is the fourth time I made this dish. The second and the third was a success. The second was a trial and I used large cuts of chicken but nothing differs from the recipe above. I included carrots and red bell pepper to the third one just to use the remaining veggies I have in the fridge. I took photo of the third one and that photo was supposed to be the one in this post. The dish was gone and next thing I know, the light on the photo was too much. I cannot do something for the photo to look natural, so I deleted the photo and I cooked another dish after a few weeks. And this is it. I was glad the light cooperate with me this time.

In addition to the above ingredients, you can also add carrots and red bell pepper (or any veggies with not too much strong taste). The color will be so nice and the taste is just the same.

 I really enjoyed this dish. Although I made this just a week after I started my diet, I still enjoyed it and take note… I did not eat too much. I just kept on smelling the dish. 😀

Notes:

  • The coconut powder might look too much but trust me… if using coconut powder, the more the yummier. Tinned/canned coconut milk can also be used, or even coconut cream.
  • I put 6 chilies in mine, half de-seeded and half with seeds. If you are a person who loves spicy dishes, then the above is fine, I think. Anyway, you can add more chilies or make the chili lesser.

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!

WordPress Family Award #2

…and some sadness!

Hello, Friends! I’ve been a little busy lately and it took time to pass the awards given to me. Well, aside from my being busy, I was having (and still having) a heavy heart when I heard the death of  the Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker. I’ve been a fan of Fast & Furious from the start… I think the first movie was released in 2001, making that 14 years. From then on, I did wait for the release of the next movies and I did watch all of them… not once, not twice, but many times. Until now, when I read article about his death, it still brings tears to my eyes. I am also so sorry for the loss of his long-time friend, Roger Rodas, and was the one driving the car. It was really shocking and tragic.

Life is really unpredictable. We should not take for granted the ones we love ‘coz we’ll not know until when they’ll be with us. Anything can change with a blink of an eye. So sad though, but… that is life. All we can do is love each other and don’t hold grudges… it will not bring you good! Be happy and enjoy every moment with your family and loved ones.

Family not only means your immediate relatives or family members. They can also be your friends, even friends from social media networks or from blogging world.

Okay… before I become too emotional, let me bring you one of the things I am so grateful with… receiving and passing award(s).

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One of the awards I am so happy with is the WordPress Family Award. I think you all know why. I am so honored and grateful to be nominated by Sylvia of Superfoodista for my second award for the same. I am so happy that I have found a new family in the blogging world. It’s really fun talking to all of you. I even sometimes forget my worries when I am busy writing my posts, commenting on your posts and browsing the Reader tab.

So other than the blogs I nominated for the first WordPress award I received from Dimple of Shivaay Delights, here are my other nominees:

butterbasilandbreadcrumbs
shivaaydelights
amalkitchen
ifyougiveablondeakitchen
taleoftwotomatoes
therecipebox.
britishblokescooking
thedessertcourse
hfooddaydreaming.
dailygluttony

For the nominees: Here are the rules for the Award, but as always, participation is of course voluntary:

Ping back to the person who gave you the Award

  1. Display the Award
  2. Nominate 10 people you look to as almost Family here on Word Press

Thank you, Sylvia, for thinking of me a a family member. Sending my hugs to you and to everyone!!

Bananas, Grapes and Strawberries Smoothie

It’s been one month and one week since I started this diet thing. Lucky me, I’ve shed some pounds. The first week was great as I lost 4.5 pounds. The second and third week was the very upsetting times as I have not lost any. On the fourth week, I decided to cut the rice on my diet. I was actually taking a cup of rice in a day, so I guessed that will not have too much effect on my diet. But when I saw that I have not lost any pound in two weeks, I finally decided to remove it from my system. I was taking a cup of rice in a day, but now, only on weekends – still one cup and no cheat day. And I am having at least two liters of water per day.

The morning smoothie is still on-going and I am having oatmeal for breakfast, too… or sometimes, at dinner time when I am lazy to make one in the morning. I have tried the overnight oats but I think something went wrong, so I did not stick to that. 

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Among the smoothies I have tried, I can say that the combination of Bananas, Grapes and Strawberries is my top favorite. I can finish a glass or two. 😀

Bananas, Grapes and Strawberries Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe Bananas
  • 1 cup fresh Grapes*
  • 1 cup fresh Strawberries (stems removed and sliced into two)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup skimmed milk/almond milk/soy milk

Instructions:

Put everything in a blender and blend well. Transfer to a glass and drink immediately. This will serve up to three people, depending on how much you can consume.

Notes:

  1. *Seeds can be removed if desired. As for my smoothie, I’d love to include the seeds.
  2. In this smoothie, you can also add yogurt. I just enjoy mine with the above ingredients.

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This diet thing will go on until the scale could put a smile on my face or until I give up. Well, hopefully, I can still manage until a few months. For one month and 1 week, I lost 6.6 pounds… it’s not that bad. 🙂 

I hope you try this smoothie and let me know what you think. Hope everyone is having a great day!

Minatamis na Saging (Sweetened Plantains)

Minatamis na Saging…

Or Sweetened Plantains… It is a popular dessert in the Philippines. It is a very easy recipe but I cannot get the proper sweetness of this dessert. I remember when my Mom and I cooked some Plantains with coconut milk and brown sugar – she had to watch me because I love eating raw Plantains that I’ll almost finish the ones needed in the dish. Haha!

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Anyway, when I tried to cook this dessert, it’s always overloading with sweetness. But I found a not-so-sweet recipe.

Minatamis na Saging (Sweetened Plantains)

Ingredients:

  • 4 pieces plantains (saging na saba)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. In a medium heat, place the saucepan with water. Bring to boil.
  2. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add salt and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. Place the plantains in the pot. Cover and simmer for 8-12 minutes or until the liquid is thick.
  5. Remove from heat and allow the plantains to cool.
  6. Transfer to a serving plate.

Source recipe: Minatamis na Saging (Sweetened Plantains) by Panlasang Pinoy

I love Plantains and I love this dessert. There are many dessert or snacks in the Philippines that uses Plantains and we all grew up with these foodies.