Keep Calm and Carry On

I have a slight conundrum that rears its ugly head every once in a while. Not all the time but when it does, it drives me crazy. I don't know if it's a function of my mind that works a mile a minute, egregious multitasking, age or attention deficit but it's growing irksome. I set out to do something and then I simply forget what I was doing. Or I walk into a room only to discover I have no idea why I am there. Forget retracing steps, the original objective has vanished. I have just sat down at the PC to write this article and brought my day planner with me. I have a busy week coming up but surely I didn't put it down on my desk to confirm that. Perhaps it is a function of the intense heat and summertime. Or maybe because it is the weekend. Quien sabe?

Losing my marbles aside, I have had a busy week of social media due diligence. Now that I have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter somewhat under my belt, I am familiarizing myself with Pinterest, Tumbler, Quora, Periscope, EmpireAvenue and the likes. I have officially been sucked in. Please come and find me! And if you have any tips for navigation, do share the wealth. I wake up early in the morning to answer questions on Quora, tag pleasing recipes on Pinterest and peruse news to meet my daily Reddit goal. All these platforms (and how to manipulate them) are a tad overwhelming but my brother asserts that everything at the beginning is. Once you learn how to set up an account and start clicking, you are in business. I will roll with that. I feel empowered learning. Next week I am taking a pair of classes at Apple. I feel it's time to become a pro with this monstrosity of a thing sitting in our office and I am tired of Googling "how to" on my PC. Elizabeth joins the 21st century. 

I see this morning that I have quiet a few readers in my beloved Deutschland. Herzlich Wilkommen und vielen Dank fuer Ihre Unterstuetzung. Ob Sie etwas lesen moechten, bitte schoen schick mir ein Email bei ebbcooks@gmail.com Bitte schoen, Informieren Sie Ihren Freunden ueber Beets and Bratwurst. In other news, I am newly obsessed with Bubbies Sauerkraut. Their pickles are the business too. The kraut is fermented and packed with live cultures, which is marvelous for digestive health and temperamental constitutions like my own. Think probiotics, kefir and yoghurt. Plus cruciferous vegetables are terrific for you. I first fell in love back when I lived in Germany. I attended Oktoberfest one year and after four Steins of beer (a Stein is a liter and I did not stop there) someone brought me a heavenly plate of crispy Wurst and a pillowy mountain of kraut. I have begun enjoying a generous scoop or two with my eggs in the morning. Yesterday afternoon I had a bit of "me time" in between errands and the likes. I decided it was time for a visit to my colorist when Matthew commented on my "beautiful silver hair". Yikes. 

Other than that, the weekend is in full swing. We had a leisurely evening of dinner out and more Karl on the tele. I enjoyed keeping up with folks via Facebook, who were at the Dave Matthews Band concert. Apparently he ordered his food from Pisces Sushi Bar here in the QC (best Moscow Mule in the city). Way to keep it local Dave. I have fond memories of going to Dave shows all throughout high school. Did you know that he is South African? Represent. Back to grub, I prepared the below recipe recently and it was a sure fire hit. Roasting chicken thighs in the oven is supreme. I love chicken thighs. A very welcomed alternative to breasts. They are great for braising, stir fries and they are my absolute favorite on kebabs. I will post the perfect summer grilling recipe this week. You really cannot go wrong with #nytimescooking. If you haven't signed up for their newsletter yet, please do. You will be positively overwhelmed with a myriad of beautiful and simple recipes just like the one below. Be sure to whip up a batch of my basil hummus to accompany your chicken schwarma. When you make this recipe, take a pic and send it to me on Instagram @Eliz1167 - I dare you. Oh and leftovers certainly welcome. Bon appetit.

Chicken Schwarma
Adapted from NYTimes Cooking

Shopping List

2 lemons - the juice of both and zest of one
Extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves - chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 lbs organic, skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 large red onion - peeled and cut into quarters
Fresh chopped parsley
Fresh chopped mint


1. You first want to marinate your chicken. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Add your chicken and toss well to coat. I like to put meat for marinating into large ziploc bags. Pop it in the fridge for anywhere from 1 to 12 hours.

2. Once your meat has marinated, place your chicken and red onion on a metal pan that you have either drizzled or sprayed with olive oil. Pop it in the oven at 450 for 40 minutes or so. Your meat should be a gorgeous hue by this stage and slightly crisped. 

3. Transfer the meat and onion to a serving plate. Cut the meat into slices. If you want, you can dust with parsley and mint or let the individuals manage this on their own. I served ours with separate bowls of goodies for mixing and mingling. These included chopped heirloom red and yellow tomatoes, cucumber, green beans and parsley. Lest we not forget the basil hummus and of course, hot sauce. This would taste wonderful with olives but Matthew will not eat them. I also prepared a big batch of my lentils (the black variety to be specific). We try to steer clear of carbohydrates during the week but next time I will bite the bullet and serve warm pita bread.

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