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One of the things I did over the holidays was make stock. Lots and lots of stock. Which led to many soups and stews over the past few weeks. We made a lot of old favorites (like split pea and turkey noodle), and a few new ones! This beef noodle stew is a rich hearty classic that I’d been craving for a while. There’s just something about a rich beefy stew when it’s freezing outside – warms and fills you up in the most satisfying way.

beef noodle stew

Beef Stew with Noodles
via martha stewart

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups beef, turkey or chicken broth
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups egg noodles
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high. Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until seared and brown, about 6 minutes. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion just begins to soften (reducing heat if necessary), about 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour until beef and onion are coated and cook 1 to 2 minutes (careful not to burn). Add broth and 3 cups water, stirring and scraping up browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until beef is tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add noodles and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, stir in parsley and vinegar.

Slightly spicy, perfectly lemony delicious roasted chicken is what this should be called. I made this on a Sunday night, but there was so little prep, it could be easily managed after work one night. I served it with my favorite risotto (that I haven’t made in 3 years!! due to an inability to track down escarole). This wonderfully flavored chicken was the perfect balance to the warm, creamy side dish. It has just the right about of bite and tang.

roasted chicken with lemon and oregano

Roasted Chicken Thighs With Lemon And Oregano
via bon appetit

1 lemon
4 large or 8 small skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 sprigs oregano
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 425°. Very thinly slice half of lemon; discard any seeds. Cut remaining lemon half into 2 wedges. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Coat a large room-temperature skillet with 1 teaspoon oil. Add chicken, skin side down. Place skillet over medium heat and cook, letting skin render and brown, and pouring off excess fat to maintain a thin coating in pan, until chicken is cooked halfway through, about 10 minutes.
Scatter half of lemon slices over chicken and half on bottom of skillet (the slices on top of the chicken will soften; those in the skillet will caramelize). Transfer skillet to oven, leaving chicken skin side down. Roast until chicken is cooked through, skin is crisp, and lemon slices on bottom of skillet are caramelized, 6-8 minutes.
Transfer chicken pieces, skin side up, and caramelized lemon slices from bottom of skillet to a warm platter. (Leave softened lemon slices in the skillet.) Return skillet to medium heat. Add oregano sprigs, shallot, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Remove skillet from heat. Add wine; cook over medium heat until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add broth; cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Squeeze 1 lemon wedge over and season sauce with salt, pepper, and juice from remaining lemon wedge, if desired. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Return chicken to skillet, skin side up, to rewarm. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

So before I dive into the ten thousand-ish soups and stews I made this season, we had a nice break last month from the comfort food with this light, bright, fresh dish. It feels perfect for January actually. A breath of fresh air after all that holiday eating and leftovers and meals made from leftovers. I cooked the rice the night before while something else was stewing, which made this super quick and perfect for a weeknight too.

chicken green bean stir fry with basil cream sauce

Chicken & Green Bean Stir-Fry with Basil-Sour Cream Sauce
via the kitchn

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1 tablespoon honey
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast (about 1 large or 2 small breasts), cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
Salt and pepper
Sunflower or other high heat oil
12 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
2 cups cooked white or brown rice, for serving

Combine the sour cream, basil, and honey in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place a wok or large skillet over high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until it just begins to brown, about 3 minutes, stirring a couple times to evenly cook. Add the green beans and bell pepper and cook another 3 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
Serve over rice and drizzled with the basil sour cream.

This meal is SO quick, especially with a little prep the night before. We cooked the rice the evening prior, and mixed it up while the chicken was cooking and voila! A 15 min dinner. We did only marinate the chicken for the minimum 10 minutes, and it was absolutely delicious, but next time I’m going to try marinating it overnight to see if we get a little more kick of out of the jalapeños (and we will definitely be making this again soon!).

honey jalapeno chicken avocado cilantro lime rice
Honey Jalapeño Chicken
via bookpage

¼ cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 pounds chicken tenders
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream for serving

Preheat the grill and oil the grill rack.Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, oil, garlic, jalapeños, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss the chicken in the marinade and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Grill the chicken until well browned and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve the chicken sprinkled with the cilantro and with a dollop of sour cream on the plate.

Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice
via cooking classy

4 – 5 cups cooked brown (preferably day old)
2 medium, ripe avocados
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Mash avocados in a large mixing bowl. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, cumin and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in warm cooked rice and serve warm.

Well, that hiatus ended up being a bit longer than expected, but I did forget to mention that summer can last well into early October here in Seattle. I’ve also been working too much, but here are a couple of recipes we tried recently and really loved! I’m just starting to get back in the swing of cooking again, it’s been a long, wonderful, busy, crazy summer.

The second the weather starts to turn, I’m ready for soup season! This one is hearty and delicious, but still bright enough to feel good on a warmish day.

lemon-chicken-soup

Lemony Chicken & Spring Vegetable Soup
View the full recipe here via The Cozy Apron.

Also this fabulous potato salad, which was so packed with flavor and so filling, we ate it as a meal all on it’s own.

potato salad with sausage and fennel

Potato Salad with Italian Sausage and Fennel
View the full recipe here via Cook the Story.

Hope you enjoy these! More recipes and fun stuff to come soon!
I hope your summer has been fabulous too! xoxo.

Wow! We really don’t make enough fish. This recipe is amazing, and enough to convince me to stop being so scared of fish dishes and bring a little more into my life. Sometimes I feel like living in the northwest, I get a little burned out on all the salmon around here (crazy! I know!), but this recipe has just enough kick and is such a departure from the usual – it made me fall in love with salmon all over again. Plus, the avocado salsa here could be my new favorite topping. Seriously. This is fantastic, folks. Did I mention this is also paleo and whole30 friendly? I didn’t even realize it until after I’d already scarfed it all down.

grilled spiced salmon with avocado salsa

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
via the cookie rookie 

2 lbs salmon, cut into 4 pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp black pepper

for the Avocado salsa:
1 avocado, sliced
½ small red onion, sliced
Juice from 2 limes
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper together, rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and this seasoning mix. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the grill. Combine the avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use. Grill the salmon to desired doneness (our took about 7-8 minutes). Top with avocado salsa and enjoy!

Last week I made this amazing soup. It was so bright and summery, and perfect on a night that was just a bit crisp. For fresh herbs, I only had parsley and a little bit of basil on hand, but it made for a fantastic pistou (the french version of a pesto), and with just a squeeze of lemon in each bowl, I was in love. And it was still fresh and delicious the next day after a quick zap in the microwave and a mix-in of the pistou and lemon at work. I forgot to take a picture of the masterpiece, but the original one is so gorgeous, I just had to share. After browsing a bit, I think Love and Lemons might be one of my new favorite food blogs. I didn’t even notice most of the recipes were vegetarian or vegan, everything just looks so good! Click through the link below for the full recipe!

soup au pistou

image via love and lemons