Still a foodie

Ran errands today; most of which were uninteresting and definitely not blog-worthy. Was going to go out to dinner and then realized it was Father's Day today. Every restaurant in my town has a 45 minute wait on the weekends normally... I can only imagine what today would be like so that idea was canned. Instead I headed over to the supermarket and picked up a chicken that I'm roasting with Spinach Gratin on the side.

My Roast Chicken recipe is perfection I have to say.... crispy skin, super juicy flavorful chicken. I'm looking forward to it. Much better idea than standing outside a restaurant for a couple of hours. Bonus #1 the chicken leftovers will make a great Asian Chicken Salad tomorrow... so dinner tomorrow is half done and Bonus #2 I will make some kick butt stock tonight and make minestrone later on in the week. I feel like that Quick Fix Meals lady Robin What's-her-name on the Food Network that makes 5 dishes out of one. Food Network = Fat Girl's Porn. I was a foodie before surgery and I still am... difference is I don't eat for 4 now. So Pre-op foodies listen up: You can still eat good food after surgery have no fear. You are not doomed to a life of cottage cheese and protein drinks. I love my protein shake (1 a day) but even that has to taste great... this surgery didn't deactivate my taste buds.

Here's the Roast Chicken & Spinach Gratin recipes:

Perfect Roast Chicken

1 roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme (you can use dried too just use less)
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1/2 large yellow onion, thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with 1/2 the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, the yellow onion and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper and thyme. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place in a roasting pan. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter.

Spinach Gratin

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onions (1 large)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cups milk (I do it with all milk)
1 1/2 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (2 (10-ounce) packages)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (or Swiss)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Add the cream and milk (I use all milk) and cook until thickened. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Gruyere (or Swiss) on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.

So a word about Father's Day: At age 67 my father died of congestive heart failure and sleep apnea. He was a big guy. His death was the catalyst for my looking into doing something about my weight, getting tested for sleep apnea and ultimately getting wls. I didn't want to go out like that or that young. So although we had our issues I say thank you and remember him on this Father's Day.

Highlights of the day:

* Sleeping in
* Bought all the stuff I need for the two cooking contests I have coming up... wish me luck!
* Mmmm the smell of Roast Chicken and thyme is filling the house

Listening to: "Catch my Disease" Ben Lee