Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My first roasted chicken


Disclaimer:  There are very few pictures to go along with this recipe. There are very few pictures because I was too busy freaking about about cooking a WHOLE chicken..and having to...touch...a whole raw chicken.....and i forgot to take pictures. Oops.  Thankfully I survived! I know, I'm such a baby. I even freaked out when i was washing it and the giblets fell out in the sink.  (they were in a plastic bag - i did not know this). I wish I was kidding.

anyway. The chicken was fabulous.

The recipe is roughly based on a Williams Sonoma recipe card via bon appetit.  By roughly, I mean i used the cook time.....I substituted most of the suggested veggies for seasonal ones, and - of course- upped the garlic amount. we're going to call it...

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~~ Autumn Harvest Roast Chicken ~~ 
sure. why not.


1 whole chicken (roughly 4 pounds)

1 large russet potato (unpeeled) scrubbed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1 large sweet potato (peeled) cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 rutabaga (not kidding) peeled,  cut into 1 inch cubes

4-5 cloves garlic

3 TBS unsalted butter (@ room temperature) + 2-4 small pats (optional)

1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 sprigs of rosemary
(1 sprig minced, 1 kept whole) 

1/4 cup vegetable broth



Preheat oven to 400  

in a small bowl  combine butter, minced rosemary, and 2 cloves garlic (minced)
(if butter still isnt soft enough to mix, stick it in the microwave for about 20 seconds)

Place pats of butter in each corner of a large roasting dish or pan
( again, optional. but i think it adds a lot to the vegetables..)

Add russet potato, sweet potato, and rutabaga to pan 
(I learned through this experience that it's best to keep the veggies on the outside of the pan, so they don't get squished under the chicken. those veggies were really not good eats) 

Add remaining cloves of garlic (whole or halved..up to you) to vegetable mix
(omg. just trust me) 

loosen skin from chicken, spread rosemary butter mixture under skin - spread remaining mixture all over chicken and vegetables.
(can you say GROSS?! really though, it's worth it)

 place whole rosemary spring inside chicken.......carcass. *shudder* 
(again....worth it)

add salt and pepper to chicken and veggies

roast on middle rack at 400 for about 15 minutes. 
( at this point, just for laughs, i poured the vegetable broth over chicken and vegetables. We liked it.)

lower heat to 375 and roast for another 1 hour or so, until chicken reaches 165 degrees

This is literally the only proof I have that I actually made this chicken


and looks so greasy. i promise it wasn't! I'm definitely not done tweaking this recipe, I plan on having loads of fun with it in the future - different vegetables, seasonings, who knows. BUT I am quite proud of how this one turned out- super flavorful and JUICY! My  biggest fear was that it would be super dry. not even close. what a relief! 

Tonight we are making one of my FAVORITE recipes of all time via the great Alice Waters - plus a little broccoli and quinoa - Cassimus style...

Have a wonderful evening! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The B.L.A.T.

Yes, the B.L.A.T. It is quite possibly the most fantastic sandwich ever conjured up in our kitchen. it stands for Bacon Lettuce Avocado and Tomato. It's been a staple in the Holder household ever since I decided to slap some avocado on my BLT one night last spring. Even E, who isn't the biggest fan of avocado, LOVES these things. I used to make two or three a night. I couldn't help it. It's just so simple: toasted bread, avocado slices (I usually squirt on a little lemon or lime juice before slicing), some schmancy "lettuce" such as spinach or arugula, bacon, and tomato. 

Well, recently we took the B.L.A.T. to a whole different level of incredible. with just three words. FRIED. GREEN. TOMATOES. excuse me while i show my Mississippi roots, but there is little in this world that I love more than fried green tomatoes. They're just perfect. 

Also, for this fancified version of the B.L.A.T.,we tried to go a LITTLE healthier (to make up for the fried goodness) and used turkey bacon. Man, I love turkey bacon. Turkey sausage and ground turkey are also high on my list- and low in fat! yessir. unfortunately these amazing additions create sort of a predicament when it comes to the name of the sandwich......still haven't come up with an acceptable acronym..but here goes..

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~~ The T.B.A.F.G.T.L ~~
(it's actually quite amusing if you sound it out..)


1 Avocado -peeled, pitted, and sliced 

Lettuce of your choosing 
{we stick with spinach or arugula. or both, whatever we have on hand}

Toasted Bread of your choosing 
{we typically skip the fancy breads like french or sourdough and go for sliced wheat. i dont know why, but its just better that way in our opinion}

Turkey Bacon

Green Tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup corn meal

1 tbs Paprika

2{ish} TBS all-purpose flour

3-4 TBS vegetable oil 
{depending on the amount of tomatoes you want to fry}

Salt + Pepper


Start by cooking the bacon - { cook until crispy }

while the bacon cooks, add corn meal, flour, paprika, salt and pepper into a bowl

heat oil in medium sized skillet on medium-high heat

coat slices of tomato with corn meal mixture and add to oil 
{if the oil doesn't start sizzling when you add the tomato, wait a bit longer to add more}

Fry tomatoes until golden brown on each side
{I always transfer my fried foods onto a plate with a couple of paper towels to soak up some of the oil}

Combine all ingredients into the best sandwich ever! 
{Side note: I ALWAYS add salt and pepper to my sandwich. and sometimes a little EVOO- not necessary, but definitely a good choice}

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Avocado Fevah

We've been on a bit of an avocado kick as of late. Then again, I'm always on an avocado kick - but I was able to drag E along with me this time (yay!).  We seriously had avocado 2 nights in a row. this never happens, people.  Previously  the only way I could work avocado into a meal was to make BLATS (yes, you read that right - but thats another show) but now I have a new method of getting my husband to eat those healthy little mushy green things..Baked avocado fries.

I'm not kidding.
~~ Baked Avocado Fries ~~


2 Avocados - peeled, pitted, and sliced into wedges {about 1/2 inch thick}

1/4 cup Flour

2 large eggs - beaten

1/14 cup panko bread crumbs {LOVE this stuff!} 

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper {optional - but so worth it}

salt + pepper

olive oil {in this case, I'd say regular is best}

grated parmesan


preheat oven to 450

mix together panko and seasonings into a bowl - add egg and flour into separate bowls

dredge avocado first in flour, then egg, then panko

place each slice onto a cooling rack - place cooling rack onto a sheet pan

spray wedges with olive oil 

place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until they look a little somethin' like this..

sprinkle wedges with parmesan, and voila!

I promise, the quasi-smiley-face was unintentional.

These are addicting - and healthy! my favorite combo!

what a horrible picture :-/ one day i'll stop being lazy and use my real camera instead of my phone. 
one day 

tomorrow, i'll explain what a BLAT is. Let me just say- its AH-MAY-ZING. seriously.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My healthy addiction..

There was a time in my life where turning a vegetable into a chip, aside from the obvious, scared the pants off of me. I mean, what a concept! I'm not sure where this intimidation stemmed from, but I'm sure it is not unlike my fear of frying things {which is nuts, considering I'm a southern gal- but that grease is hot!} and circular needles {well, thats off subject!}. The fear of the unknown..scary stuff!

LUCKILY thanks to my fearless husband, and lots of practice, I overcame my fear of transforming some of my favorite veggies into snacks. Case in point: Kale Chips. I kid you not, these will blow your everlovin' mind. Plus they're healthy! Who'da thunk. They take absolutely no time at all, so I typically throw some in while i'm cooking or before watching a show or movie, although more often than not, I never make it to the couch with more than just a few chips left. Yes, they're that good.

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~~ Kale Chips ~~
{These babies are so simple, a recipe almost seems silly..}


Kale leaves, however many you'd like, torn into bite-sized pieces
{note: the leaves cook down quite a bit so 1: don't be shy on the amount you decide to cook, and 2. don't be afraid to "crowd" them a bit on the pan}

Olive Oil
{ANOTHER note: I like to spray the leaves and pan with regular olive oil to prevent sticking and browning, and then drizzle just a little extra virgin over the leaves for flavor}

Salt and Pepper
{YET another note: go easy on the salt! Kale chips really soak up the stuff. I tend to lightly salt them pre-baking, and then if they need a little extra, which they usually don't, I add more when they're done} 

Lemon juice {optional- but so good}


Preheat oven to 350

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper

add kale in a single layer to baking sheet

drizzle with olive oil, add salt and peppr

Cook for about 12-15 minutes
{If you're using a toaster oven, like I tend to do, just 10 minutes will do}

add lemon juice, if desired

enjoy an incredibly amazing and healthy  snack! 


Told ya it was easy. Now, go make some! Trust will be an addict too! It's's a good thing ;)

Swedish style potatoes and more roasted happiness

Happy Friday Eve, everyone!

The weather today is beautiful, sunny, chilly, and the trees are full of amazing fall colors. Which means although its only 10:30, I'm already thinking of what I'm going to make for dinner to match the weather. I love fall/winter meals!  Maybe vegetable soup...hmm...anyway.

Last night I went grocery shopping. Alone. And it was surprisingly pleasant. Now dont get me wrong, I LOVE grocery shopping..but I'm not sure if I've actually completed a real grocery trip {as one more than just a few items} by myself since E and I got married. But,  E had class, and I was desperate. So, I took my mile-long list to the store . To my surprise the grocery store in a Wednesday evening is NOT a mad house. I must remember this...

I got us all stocked up on veggies, turkey bacon, too many avocados, and salmon. Ugh.  I hate salmon. Unfortunately fish is good for you, and we recently found out that our beloved tilapia is not as nutritious as we thought. Lame. I'm on the hunt for some good salmon know, like that would cover up the salmon flavor :)

Last nights dinner was so simple, it's stupid. Also, I finally tried a recipe that I found on pinterest. Oh, I love that website so much..anyway, the recipe I decided on was a sliced baked potato recipe - according to the source, it's the swedish version of baked potatoes. It's SO simple! but so stinkin good. and pretty darn healthy, I might add.

~~ Swedish Potatoes ~~


2-4 baking potatoes

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

butter {obviously}

sea salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 425

Wash and clean baking potatoes {Let dry a little before slicing}

Lay potatoes flat side down, and beginning at one end, make thin slices almost all the way through the potato 

insert garlic slices in open slits of the potato

drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper

add small pieces of butter to the top of the potato as desired { I used some frozen butter and grated it over the top }

Cook in oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft

Luckily both Veggies cooked at the same it when that happens!

add a little more olive oil or butter and eat that sucker! 

The potato slices were so soft you could literally just pull them off of the potato like a chip. SO good. 

And, of course, we apparently can't have a meal without a roasted vegetable, so our other dinner item was roasted brussels sprouts. FRICK these little babies are good. And, just like the potatoes, incredibly simple {yay!}.
~~ Roasted Brussels Sprouts ~~
(adapted from this amazing gal's recipe)


brussels sprouts
{however many you want. Trust me, you'll want a good amount }

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and pepper

 lemon juice 


Preheat oven to 425 

Trim ends off brussels sprouts and cut in half

place brussels sprouts, cut side down, onto a tin foil lined baking sheet

drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper

cook for about 12 minutes, then flip those babies over, and stick them back in the oven for about 15 more minutes until crispy and amazing!

squeeze a little lemon juice over the batch and eat. them. 

ladies and Gentlemen, THAT'S dinner.

The verdict is still out for tonights dinner.. possibly some zucchini chips, mustard greens, and *shudder* salmon....but i'm still thinkin' vegetable soup.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

oh, hi there!

Hello, and welcome to Cassimus cooks! I am Cassimus and well, I like to cook, discover new recipes, create my own recipes, and oh- eat! My super-rad husband E and I tend to spend way too much  lots of quality time together planning meals, elbow-to-elbow in the kitchen, or stuffing our faces {mostly stuffing our faces}and so I have decided to create a little space to keep track of our food-related happenings - and here we are!

Now, down to business.  Let's talk veggies! Why start there? Maybe because I have an unhealthy -no, actually i guess it's healthy - obsession with vegetables. I'm not kidding. I would rather eat a big plate of vegetables than candy..chocolate..are you freaked out now?

Lately we have been experimenting with roasting our vegetables. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that roasting is THE way to cook em!  So far we have roasted butternut squash {yes, i know its not a vegetable} brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, even kale!

We'll  start with the non-veggie first. Butternut squash. oh, how I love butternut squash. We first discovered this little fall gem our first year of marriage. since then it has graced our soups, pastas, even salads( not so awesome). Finally we decided that that's all well and good, but really it's best as a solo side dish...

~~ Roasted Butternut Squash ~~    


1 medium/large butternut squash (peeled and cubed)

( we only use the skinny part for roasting, the thick part we either cut in half and cook like a sweet potato or turn into soup) 

Roughly 2 tbs rosemary (we used dried. because that what we had)

1 tbs Paprika

1 tsp Allspice

3 cloves of garlic - minced

Enough extra virgin olive oil to coat

Salt and pepper 


Preheat oven to 400

Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss to coat

Spread squash out evenly on baking sheet

Roast squash for 45 min. to an hour (turning occasionally) until crispy


Tomorrow we'll have yet another roasted vegetable { this time its a REAL vegetable} and some funky baked potatoes!

have a lovely Wednesday!