Family = Love

I went to a bridal show in the Poconos with my mom and little sister this weekend, which was so much fun. Collyn and I have lived away from home (in Boston, Western Massachusetts, Paris, NYC, Philly, Colorado, & Montana, between the two of us) for so long, & being back in the same place as our parents for the first time in a long time is something I really treasure. Wedding planning has been really fun, but one of my favorite parts about it has been, hands down, the quality time I’ve been able to spend with my mom and my sister.

Roasted Chicken

Brad and I had our friend Bobby over for dinner last night for two reasons – 1. so I could teach Bobby how to make balloon animals, and 2. so Brad and I could ask Bobby to be the officiant at our wedding next September.  Brad and I met because of Bobby, who had organized the fundraiser at which Brad and I met for the first time. Bobby’s married a few couples already as an “ordained minister”, and Brad and I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to marry us. He’s one of our favorite people, and we’re so grateful to have him be such a key part of our wedding.

For appetizers, we snacked on a whole round of Boursin and rice crackers, because that might be our favorite combination ever, and roasted grapes with thyme, which is one of the easiest/more interesting appetizers you could make. We had roasted butternut squash soup and a simple roast chicken for dinner, with a cold lemon souffle for dessert. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine.  Lots to celebrate!
Bobby left our house like this after dinner, and went to a local bar for a nightcap, where he  told me this look “went over like gangbusters” – obviously.

ROAST CHICKEN (serves 4)

– 1 4-lb. chicken, giblets removed.

– Kosher salt & pepper

– Sage and Thyme leaves

1. Preheat oven to 450. 

2. Remove the chicken’s giblets, then rinse off the chicken and thoroughly pat dry inside and out. The drier the chicken, the less steam, which means more dry heat and a crispier chicken. 

3. Truss the chicken. There are a number of ways to do this, probably the simplest being to just tie the legs together against the breast. This helps keep the chicken juicy, and also helps it roast evenly. It also makes me want to be a vegetarian, EVERY TIME, because handling a whole chicken just icks me out. I kind of have to hustle through these couple of steps.

4. Loosen the skin away from the breast meat with your fingers. Arrange thyme sprigs and sage leaves underneath the skin layer for a little extra flavor. This is optional, but I really like it.

5. Place the chicken in a dutch oven (Le Creuset is perfect), salt and pepper the bird. Kosher salt should be rained over the chicken liberally – maybe 1/2 a tablespoon, and the same for pepper. 
6. Roast the chicken for approx. 1 hour – no basting, just roasting. The skin should get crispy and golden. Before removing from the pan, baste with the juices, the transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil, and let sit for 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Wine Dinner


I love dinner parties. I love wine. I love combining these things, especially when my parents host, because my mom could out-Martha-Stewart entertaining. She makes everything beautiful.

Grand Vin Chateau Latour, 1985

My parents’ friends Chris and Theresa are unbelievable wine connoisseurs. They have a wine cellar that I probably wouldn’t leave – like, ever – but I was so happy to be a part of this wine dinner last night, to which they brought all the wine we were lucky enough to have. Our wine “sommeliers” were so much fun – Chris was so knowledgeable, and we were all so curious to know all about the wines he’d selected specifically for the dinner. Among the highlights:

Krug Brut, 1995, 2 bottles brought to the party under the guise of celebrating Brad’s and my engagement. To which we toasted, enthusiastically and repeatedly!
E. Guigal Cote-Rotie La Mouline, 1986

Chateau d’Yquem-lur Saluces, 1988 and Rserva Velha Barbetto Madiera, 1910!!! They decanted this for 3 days before bringing it to the party. Unreal.

My dad made my/my sister’s favorite dish, filet mignon with a shallot and merlot reduction, mashed potatoes, and zucchini ribbons. 

scrumptious city.

We had a great night with a lot of laughs, and actually learned a bunch about the wines, the flavor notes, and how they were meant to be paired. At the end of the evening, my parents brought Brad and me a little cake to celebrate us officially being within a year of our wedding! We’re saving it in the freezer for our 1 year anniversary…they are too cute.