coriander chicken with coconut rice

Thursday, September 20, 2012

You guys: what is up with Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?  I can't take it.  I finally tuned in tonight to see what all the fuss was about and W.O.W.

In the one episode I just watched, I saw:
*a staggering stockpile of toilet paper
*a pet piglet poop itself on a kitchen table (<----------*shudder*)
*a baby shower being thrown for a girl who looks 12
*a dirty tarp become a "red neck" slip-n-slide 
*WAY too many subtitles for people who are speaking English
*a crusty brown dirt ring inside a roll of neck-fat. (Ring around the skin-collar?)

I got dry mouth from gaping for the full thirty minutes.

And now I'm having so many feelings:
*sad about the state of television
*sad about teenage pregnancy
*sad about obesity
*sad about bad grammar
*sad about children's beauty pageants
*thirsty (due to the dry mouth)
*great about my own life

That's why we watch these reality shows, right? To feel better about ourselves? We all have our own train-wreck moments--we're just lucky to not have a camera crew following us around 24/7 catching the action. I can think of a handful of things that happened to me just last week that would've been MORTIFYING had they been caught on camera**. Some things are just meant to be private***.

**I'll give you one: You know when you feel a tickle on your arm and you look down to make sure it's not a bug? And 99.9999999% of the time it's a stray hair or the wind or your imagination? Well, the other day while I was ON THE FREEWAY, I had that tickle moment and looked down only to see a SPIDER CRAWLING ON MY ARM. It was a tiny spider but I had a seizure-esqe conniption worthy of a hairy tarantula and almost crashed.

***Like when your pig poops on the table. Maybe keep that under wraps.

This chicken/rice dish was its own train wreck the first 3 times I made it. I'm usually not so loyal to a dish that disappoints me but I knew there was something good in there worth fighting for. I think I've got it now--it just needed some more deliberate doctoring (AKA, seasoning). No one likes it bland. That's why we like the reality TV. God help us.

Coriander Chicken with Coconut Rice
adapted from Tyler Florence's Chicken and Coconut "Paella"
serves 4-6

The key to making this dish great is a lot of seasoning along the way. You'll need more salt and lemon juice than seems normal but trust me, those two things bring out all the other flavors so perfectly!

2T roasted ground coriander (find this in a regular grocery store's spice aisle)
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs. total)
3T coconut oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2T minced fresh ginger
2 bay leaves
2 cups white basmati rice, rinsed and drained
grated zest of 2 lemons
14 oz. light coconut milk (one can)
10 oz. chicken broth
1 cup frozen green peas
juice of one lemon

For serving:
3 big handfuls arugula (or to taste)
small handful fresh mint leaves, chiffonade-cut
extra virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, season with lots of salt and pepper and then rub generously with the coriander on both sides.  Heat 2T of the coconut oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop and brown the chicken in batches, about 3-4 minutes per side until a nice brown crust forms. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Throw the remaining 1T oil into the pan and then add the onion, ginger and bay leaves (and a big pinch salt & pepper), cooking until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice (and another big pinch salt & pepper) and stir until all the grains are coated in oil. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth and lemon zest and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan for any (delicious) brown bits that have accumulated. Nestle the chicken into the rice and place in the lower half of the oven, uncovered, until the rice is cooked through and creamy, about 30 minutes. Out of the oven, remove the bay leaves, stir in the frozen peas (they'll heat through in a flash) and the juice of one lemon.

To serve, top each serving of the hot chicken and rice with a big handful of arugula, a sprinkling of mint, a big squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and salt/pepper. Serve with extra lemon wedges and mint on the side.

Jolie Boo Boo

an on-set primer

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

*One minuscule, paper-thin smidgen of onion will make your trailer rank for 12 hours. Act accordingly.

*Be kind to people.

*Remember names.

*Bring your own makeup in the event that after getting your make up "professionally" done, you need to remedy a situation in which one (or more) of your eyes appears droopy and/or lazy.

*If someone accuses you of tampering with said "professional" makeup? Deny.  It.

*Make friends with the people who make you look good. They have a lot of not make you look good.

*Shoes that feel surprisingly comfy during a 90-second costume fitting will most certainly give you wicked blisters and lower back pain by late morning on day one. Bring along a spare pair of your own orthopedics.

*Try not to eat out of boredom. Craft service is the work of the devil.

*Retain your self-respect, even when you're spending the better part of your day alone in the space equivalent to a jail cell (complete with exposed toilet).

*Make sure your trailer door is locked before you use the exposed toilet.

*Be prepared at any moment for small talk, to be completely ignored or for an unexpectedly deep and meaningful conversation.

*Bring your laptop so you can create cheesy, spontaneous trailer photo shoots featuring your (bad) wardrobe***.

***The Catskills called: they're missing a jacket.  (a mad shout out to the mock-turtleneck.)


P.S. Speaking of the Catskills, remember this post??

homemade lara bars

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A bunch of random stuff:

* Today I saw a dog wearing goggles while riding a motorcycle and he was the happiest dog I've ever seen.

* If your husband says your hair looks "puffy" that cannot be good.

* I met Benjamin Bratt and he is hot.

A bunch of heavy stuff:

* A friend accused me of being a People Pleaser to a fault and to illuminate this, suggested I make a list of people I consistently want to please. I did this to please her. God help me.

* In an effort to remedy this, I am focusing on pleasing myself first and not playing small. I'm not sure what this looks like yet but you'll be the first to know once I figure it out.

* I hope this post pleases you!! (just kidding:))

A bunch of favorite stuff:

This American Life has the best iphone app--it is seriously enriching my life to own this.

* Hands down, my new favorite beauty products lately are this mascarathis body lotion and this natural deodorant.

* I cannot get enough of this video (courtesy the amazing Joy the Baker) and the way Stevie Nicks wields her talent so effortlessly and unapologetically. She is pleasing herself first, no?!  Love that.

* I love Lara Bars and I'm so excited I figured out how to make them from scratch!

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Lara Bars
yields at least 6 bars (with likely additional edible scraps)

1/2 cup rough-chopped walnuts (or almonds, or cashews if you prefer)
1/2 cup pitted, rough-chopped dates
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (Bob's Red Mill is great)
2 T raw cacao powder 
1/8 t salt
1 T water

Throw the nuts, dates, coconut, cacao and salt into a food processor and blend until everything is well-mixed and incorporated. Add the water a tiny bit at a time, until the mixture just comes together. Turn out between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll with a rolling pin to a uniform thickness (about 3/4"), squaring the edges as best you can. Set in the fridge for at least an hour (or the freezer for 30 minutes) and then cut into bars and wrap individually. These are prone to be kinda squishy (just like real Lara Bars) so I'd store them in the fridge.

May you be as happy as a dog on a motorcycle today:)

look ma, no hands!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bringing the bluetooth to a whole new level of douchiness.

Happy Tuesday!

P.S.  Photo courtesy Amy:)
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