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Grilled Chicken Under Brick RecipePIN

I’ve always wanted to make Chicken Under Brick. It’s a classic Italian dish where a chicken is butterflied or separated and cooked under a mattone, a heavy tile. It’s essentially like cooking the chicken under a panini press. The heat is condensed and because the backbone is discarded, or the chicken separated, it cooks quickly and stays moist and flavorful. This was the perfect recipe to develop for The Gorge Magazine‘s Summer 2012 issue. I had so much fun experimenting with this recipe until I got it just right. We will be making this a lot in the coming months.


1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
juice of 3 lemons
zest of 1 lemon
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 Tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken Pieces in a large Ziploc bag, add lemon juice, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Seal and refrigerate for 4 hours.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat the entire grill on high. Carefully oil the grill. Place the chicken pieces close together, skin side down, over indirect heat. Place a cast iron skillet, or two bricks wrapped in foil, on top of the chicken. Cover grill, and cook for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Return to the grill, carefully remove the skillet or bricks from the chicken. Using tongs, flip the chicken pieces over and, using a basting brush, coat each piece with the butter mixture. Cover the grill and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Check the chicken with a thermometer and remove from the grill (breast will take longer than thighs, wings, and legs). Let the chicken rest for a few minutes, and enjoy!


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I get asked, several times a year, by my friends and family, for my Paris List. It’s no secret that I love Paris. It’s my favorite city in the world. I fell in love with Paris when I was 18, on a trip with my Dad and Stepmom. There’s just something about that city, the bridges, the bakeries, the parks, the restaurants, the shops, the neighborhoods, the metro, the wine, the Eiffel Tour… I just love it all.

Paris Champs de MarsPIN

I decided to put my Paris List into a series of posts for anyone who’s lucky enough to be traveling to Paris. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be writing about my favorite museums, restaurants, cafés, parks, things to see and do, and more. I’m using photos from our Honeymoon in Paris, along with quotes from a travel journal I kept while we were there.

To get things going, here is my list of 10 things you absolutely must do when you find yourself in Paris…

Champs de Mars park parisPIN
The Champs de Mars is the perfect evening hang out. It’s a wonderful place to have a little picnic and take in the view of the Eiffel Tower when it lights up late at night. There are lots of people camped out along the Champs de Mars all through the spring and summer. It’s the perfect spot to share a bottle of wine and talk, and talk, and talk.

Bread and Cheese parisPIN

Bread and Cheese paris

Whether you are in Paris for a few days or a few weeks it’s so much fun to find “your own” little bakery, wine shop, cheese shop, etc. Paris is grouped into little neighborhoods so you can easily make an area feel like it’s yours.

We used our map everyday to make our plans. We marked all of the places we wanted to see with letters and the restaurants were marked with numbers. That way we could easily pick an area to visit that had sights and good food nearby. Paris has great transportation. The buses are great and since they’re above ground you can take in the sights while getting from place to place. The Metro is really efficient and easy (watch out for pickpockets though)! My favorite way to get around Paris is to walk as much as possible. Often Kyle and I would walk “there” and take the Metro “home” after a long day of sightseeing.

There are so many great bridges over the Siene River. When we were picking an area to explore we would try to cross a new bridge on our way. I love Pont Alexandre III but there are so many to choose from.

Where to Stay in ParisPIN
We are lucky enough to have family in Paris which means we always have a great place to stay. I know a lot of people that love using Airbnb, or other vacation by owner type sites. It’s so wonderful to stay in an apartment because they are usually less expensive, and a little bigger than hotels. It’s also a wonderful way to make yourself “at home” while you’re traveling. It’s a lot easier to pretend you’re French when you’re coming home to a cozy apartment.

Best Travel Tips ParisPIN
It’s so much fun to get caught in the rain in a city as lovely as Paris. But the effect would be ruined if you had an umbrella. It’s much more fun to take shelter in a nearby museum or café. As Audrey Hepburn said in Sabrina, “Never a briefcase in Paris, and never an umbrella”.

shakespeare and co bookstore parisPIN
Last time we were in Paris I read, My Life in France by Julia Child. It made the trip (and the book) so much more rich because I was reading about the streets we were wandering down, the parks we were staying in, and the restaurants we were eating in.

I love the Parisian sky, and skyline. You really get a sense of the incredible architecture when you look up.

Eat your heart out. We at so much when we were there. We’d have five course lunches, three hour long dinners, croissants every morning, and wine every night. We ate so much incredible food. Make sure not to get on any scales while you’re there… ignore the ones at the Jardin du Luxembourg. For that matter only bring dresses and pants that won’t make you feel guilty by getting tight.

Best Travel Tips ParisPIN
Paris is a wonderful city, enjoy everything about it (even the ridiculous things)!

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fresh squeezed margarita recipePIN

Margarita Congelada (pronounced cone-hey-la-da). Today Gigi and I are having a lovely, cozy movie day.  I’m sipping tea, watching movies based on Jane Austen novels, working on the blog and cuddling with my babe.  Last week I promised to have perfected my accidental cocktail.  So here is the recipe!  This Margarita on Rocks 2.0 was a very happy accident.  Without warning, the sun decided to come out and some little voice deep in the back of my mind whispered to me, “It’s margarita time”.  Yes!!!  But, we only had a couple lemons and one lime and I didn’t want to spend any time making my yummy Fresh Squeezed Margarita and I don’t ever use store bought mix cause it gives me a sugar headache.  What to do???  This near tragedy was avoided when I remembered that, the last time I had made a big pitcher of my margarita mix, I had frozen what we didn’t use in ice cube trays!  Woohoo!  Rather than waiting for the cubes to melt before making up a regular ol’ margarita, I simply made one over the frozen cubes of mix!  It is super fresh, sweet and sour and definitely hits the spot!

margarita mix (don’t add the tequila though!!!), frozen into cubes*
1-2 limes, zest one, slice one into wedges

Mix together a pinch of sugar and some lime zest on a plate.  Wet the rim of your cocktail glass with a lime wedge before dipping it into the sugar and lime zest mixture.  Fill the glass with the frozen mix ice cubes and a couple regular ice cubes.  Pour in a couple ounces of good tequila.  Top with a sprinkling of the sugar and lime zest mixture and a lime wedge.  That’s it!

This drink is great if you love tequila.  It’s like having whisky on the rocks but for tequila lovers!  The sugar added to the drink and on the glass is needed because otherwise it’s too tart and the regular ice cubes help to water down the mix as you sip.  By the time you get to the end of your drink (unless you’re a really fast drinker) it will taste just like my regular margarita!  Come to think of it, if you are a really fast drinker, skip the regular ice cubes and just use the frozen mix.

*the cubes can be a bit tricky to get out of the tray.  I had to fill the sink with hot water, quickly and dunk the bottom of the tray before they slid out easily!



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