Thursday, August 19, 2010

Farewell Organic Fare

A few weeks ago, some of my friends from my Bible study got together to give me a farewell dinner. I'd been warned that they had a whole menu planned out, which made me beyond curious until I finally arrived at my friend Christy's house that Monday evening. Now, I'm not exactly the type of person who cries at movies; in fact, I've been known to laugh at inappropriate cinematic moments. The only exceptions have been Romeo and Juliet (both versions - that Shakespearean language gets me every time) and P.S. I Love You, which was full of rip-your-heart-out scenes that only an Irish writer could pen. Anyway, I actually got a bit verklempt as I walked into Christy's house. The girls had prepared an amazing meal of local and organic food! I always tell people that I really don't care what kind of food they serve me, and I mean it. We're a bit picky about what we eat at home, but when I eat at someone's house I just sit back and appreciate their cooking skills and company.

In their honor, I wanted to post the recipes they used for these amazing dishes. There are more to come (Janelle, I'll post the bread play with the baby!), but here's what they've sent me so far. I miss you, my friends!

April's Beer Can Chicken
1 whole “happy” chicken (naturally raised at a local farm)
1 can of beer at room temp, half poured out and a large hole cut in the top (April sought high and low for ORGANIC beer!)
1 stick of butter melted
Variety of spices such as: salt, garlic, basil, paprika, oregano etc.. any combo you pick will do.

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Rub spices all over bird inside and out. Pour half of melted butter in the beer can along with 1 tsp. of spice rub mix. Drizzle left over butter on the bird as well. Place chicken top side up with the cavity placed over the beer can. It should sit upright and balanced in a large pan. You can cook this in the oven at 350° for about 1 hour- 1 ½ hours. Or you can cook this on the grill with one side heated up. Place the chicken on the unheated side, cover and cook about an hour.

Christy's Veggie Saute
Green squash from the garden
One organic onion
Organic mushrooms

Chop and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Cook over med/high heat in a skillet until it's nice and tender and parts start to brown and caramelize.

Mandy's Cous Cous
2 c. organic Chicken Broth
1.5 c. whole wheat organic cous cous
2 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1 zucchini chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Bring broth to a boil, pour in cous cous, remove from heat, and cover. Let stand for 15 mins then fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, saute carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onions season to taste. Mix with cous cous!

Janelle's Homemade Bread
Janelle used the Bread Becker's receipe for Slightly Sweet but Very Simple Whole Wheat Bread, found here, using freshly milled flour.  Check out my baking posts for a series of posts with step-by-step instructions for bread making.

Natasha's Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate frosting (recipe follows)

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
10 to 12 servings.

ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.

BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.


  1. It was such a fun night! And I haven't stuffed myself like that in ages...glad to have that cous cous recipe! Thanks for making the trip!! You are missed!

  2. That was a great meal - better than any restaurant! I miss all of you so much!