Category Archives: dinner

Citrus-marinated chicken thighs (via Bon Appétit magazine)

I recently got an issue of Bon Appétit mazagine from my mom and was immediately drawn to a delicious picture of chicken. I flipped a few pages and found the recipe, then decided I was making it for dinner. In two days. Here are the results! The recipe can be found on their website, where you can view the ingredients and recipe.

However, I wanted to share this with all of you through step by step pictures. I find they can be helpful when cooking. The only change I made from the original recipe was that I used green onions instead of scallions, but let’s be honest… I don’t see a difference. Sorry if I’m not enough of a food snob to care. Still delicious. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Recipe

  • Set aside 1/4 cup sliced scallions. Pulse cilantro, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, and remaining scallions in a food processor or blender until a coarse purée forms. Set aside 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes. (I did ~2 hours)

before pulsing

pulsed

in bag

  • Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade and place, skin side down, on a foil-lined broilerproof baking sheet; discard marinade. Broil chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn; continue to broil until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 12–15 minutes longer. Serve chicken with reserved marinade and scallions.

skin down

skin up

skin up cooked well

one portion

This is wonderful, especially in the summer! My mom pointed out that it could also be grilled, if you’re not into using the broiler. They also go well with popsicles for dessert, like these blueberry-banana-yogurt pops I made recently, using this popsicle mold, which is awesome. I was inspired to buy it after seeing this post about 33 popsicle recipes on Buzzfeed.

blueberry popsicles

Hope you enjoyed the chicken recipe, and try it yourself! It’s easy, fairly quick, and tastes amazing. Also, go ahead and check out Bon Appétit magazine or their website if you’d like, because they have plenty of recipes that I know I’ll be checking out from time to time.

Post and photos by: Melissa

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Post-classes: Vacation Day Seven Part Two (Tampa: Columbia Restaurant, St. Petersburg Beach & Samurai Blue)

After the zoo, we headed to Ybor City for lunch at Columbia Restaurant. It was delicious! We decided to go with the tapas platter (3 to split) and order 2 desserts (key lime pie and bread pudding.)

here it is!

sign

front

Here’s the menu, it has so many pages! Sorry if they’re a bit hard to read. =/

menu

one

two

three

four

five

six

seven

eight

nine

ten

First, we were greeted with warm Cuban bread and delicious butter.

warm bread

balcony

Above us was the balcony.

crab

peppers

shrimp

Our three tapas choices (above) were the Devil Crab Croquettes, Stuffed Poquillo Peppers and Shrimp Supreme (I believe? we were between the two shrimp choices.) All were good, but my favorite were the peppers. they were very cheesy and had chorizo inside. We just had water but the sangria pitchers looked great. We followed this with the key lime pie (super refreshing and great) and the bread pudding (which was very large, sweet, and flavorful without tasting too much like rum for my taste.)

pie

bread pudding

Then we went to St. Petersburg Beach. It was quite a drive, but not too far for a nice beach on a warm day. We passed the Don CeSar Beach Hotel and parked a ways away, then walked down to it and back. Such a pretty, big building! It looked like a lovely place to stay.

big!!!

beach

There were lots of shells and some were inhabited.

shells 12

aha

And of course, bread-hungry birds.

birdy

so many

Then we went back into Ybor City for dinner at Samurai Blue, which I would say might’ve been my favorite meal of the whole trip. If this place was around where I lived I would go here often. Everything here was delicious. The prices were also great especially considering the amount and quality of the food.

sign

menu

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five

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It has an industrial, old-warehouse kind of feel with brick walls inside, but the interior is also quite modern and nicely done. They have a sushi bar, separate sushi menu, and full bar inside.

walls

tables

We got the calamari and blue crab rangoon hot starters and they were both great but the sauce on the crab was amazing.

starters

sushi bar

We also split the cucumber, seafood salad. I LOVED this salad and I am not a salad kind of girl.

cucumber salad

miso

For main dishes my parents split two sushi rolls and I had the amazing Tokyo Beef Short Ribs. The hibachi rice underneath was possibly the best fried rice I’ve ever had, and I love fried rice.

roll

roll2

RIBS!

so so good

We walked around the square afterward.

theater

We discovered the Tampa Bay Brewing Company and I thought I’d just mention them and their beers.

brewing

I'd tap it

I hope you enjoyed! If you’re in the area and like Japanese food at all, DEFINITELY stop in Samurai Blue (either location is probably great.) I was very impressed and they were very friendly.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Six (Tampa: Oakley’s Grille)

Sorry I’ve been slacking on blog posts! Just been very tired, a little bit under the weather, and busy. But I’m here to finish up the last 4 blog posts from the trip for you now.

On this day we really didn’t accomplish much, as we got up late-ish and had a bit of getting ready to do (and catching up from our previous day of excitement) before we got to driving to Tampa. Today was mostly full of driving, and then having a quick but nice dinner at Oakley’s Grille by our hotel in “New Tampa” and then swimming in the evening, and enjoying the hotel’s promise of free ice cream.

menu title page

page one

page two

page three

page four

I had the bacon cheeseburger, plain, with pepperjack cheese. Sorry it looks so plain, but it was juicy and delicious.

plain like I like it

All burgers come separately from sides, so we split a basket of sweet potato fries.

mmmmmm

My parents also shared a burger and a fish sandwich (the blackened tilapia)

fishy

This was painted on the wall and I liked it.

nice!

Sorry the post is so short! To make up for it you will get WAY more than enough in the next few, so don’t worry. I’m off to make them now!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Five (Tallahassee: Graduation, El Tapatio & Kool Beanz)

I graduated! PROOF:

class of 2013

ME

I am now a master of science.

None of us really ate breakfast this morning (as we frantically raced toward the civic center instead), but we did have lunch at El Tapatio, which I enjoyed. Both times I’ve been there I got the carne asada and was not disappointed.

asada

I also tried to show my parents around Lake Ella, but it started raining. We got in a look at some food trucks that happened to be there, as well as the rose garden by the church.

pizza

tacoooos

menu

flowers

The main attraction of the day for me was a well-deserved graduation dinner at Kool Beanz, my favorite Tallahassee spot. My hints: get there early and be prepared to wait. Fortunately we spent time at a local boutique, Cole Couture, while we waited for our table. I also forgot that Kool Beanz always gives you delicious bread and butter before your meal. The bread is so crusty and the butter is so creamy, I could eat the whole basket.

menu

My mom and I each also had a glass of wine.

wine1

wine2

We had the clam appetizer, the spring salad, and the two pasta dishes at the bottom (the crawfish and the scallops/shrimp.) It was ALL amazing but we couldn’t pass up dessert.

clams

le salad

cheesy

mine

Lastly, the dessert menu and our chosen dessert (the smoky bacon brownie!)

desserts

Sorry the picture is dark, it was getting late! This was wonderfully unique and smoky and delicious.

ours

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Four (Atlanta: Ria’s Bluebird, Atlanta History Center featuring beautiful houses, & Frank’s Family Restaurant)

Today we started out at Ria’s Bluebird, a local breakfast/lunch place for a decidedly more fancy breakfast than yesterday. We decided to try a nearby restaurant.

bluebird

creepy bbird

menu one

menu 2

We had the french toast and the pancakes (french toast w/Nutella cream cheese and pancakes with pecans and caramelized bananas.) Both were great, but the pancakes were the clear winner, despite how much I love Nutella.

French toast

pancakes

We also tried the house-made sausage patty and it was great; it was flavorful without being too spicy and perfectly cooked.

patty

Then we went to the Atlanta History Center, which features some civil war exhibits along with gardens and an olympic exhibit, as well as a historic house (The Swan House) and entry to the Margaret Mitchell house, along with traveling exhibits. This was in a very nice part of town which encompassed many beautiful homes, which I also was interested in and took many pictures of. I would say it’s worth a visit if you’re interested in civil war history, history of the south, or general Atlanta history. Also if you enjoy pretty gardens and historic homes. If you’d just like to see some gorgeous Atlanta homes it’s worth a drive through the neighborhood. It’s also worth taking a tour of the Swan House.

canon

musical

animals

piggy

rooster

quilty

turtle

clothing sign

dress1

dress2

Next, the houses!!

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nine

ten

11

We also came across a bit of history (see sign)

signpost

description

We stopped at Frank’s Family Restaurant for dinner. It doesn’t look like much and it’s attached to a gas station but it was decent food, considering that.

franks

This was on our way driving south to Tallahassee, not too far from Atlanta. We had the calamari appetizer, salad, sausage and peppers entree and complimentary breadsticks. Overall it was good value for the money and not a bad place to stop in a town that didn’t offer much else.

calamari

salad

bread

pasta/sausage

Post & photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Three (Atlanta: Aquarium & Silver Skillet & Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion)

This morning we got up early and promptly went back to sleep after the alarm woke us up. We headed out to the Silver Skillet, a local diner, for breakfast. Afterward, we went to the Georgia aquarium and we finally ended up eating dinner at Poor Calvin’s Absolute Fusion, which is a Thai/Asian Fusion restaurant.

My mom did both the beluga experience and the whale shark swim. I went around with my dad to ALL the other parts of the Georgia aquarium. But lets start with the breakfast at the Silver Skillet.

Silver skillet

front

menufront

two

three

four

inside

table

I got the sandwich with bacon eggs and cheese, my mom got the ham skillet and my dad got eggs and sausage.

sandwich

ham skillet

egg sausage

We also had biscuits, which were good, and I was SO excited to see this tabletop because it is almost exactly the same as our kitchen counter used to be (our house was built in the 60s.) So I loved it. (those shapes!!)

Next we went to the aquarium.

lionfish

turtle

tanky

seahorse

seahorse 2

jellies

fishes

fin

grouper?

whale shark

penguins

Beluga whales!

beluga

bel

whale

fish

snake

Albino alligator!

albino

two

three

Piranha

fishie

WHALE SHARK!!!!

whaleshark

Behind the scenes: They grow their own coral!

growing coral

more

Sorry Atlanta lovers, as a Seattle fan I’m still a bit upset over the playoffs. 😦

BOO FALCONS

Still a cool dolphin though.

still cool

another

last one

Lastly, we headed over to Poor Calvin’s, and parked by central park.

inside

one

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Thought I would show the drinks up closer.

drinks

I had the crispy beef, my mom had the unicorn fish, and my dad had the steak. I also ordered the sangria (amazing) and my mom had the “Frankly my dear” cocktail. Both were great, and all the food was too.

We had the calamari as an appetizer.

calamari

steak

fish

beef

sangria

rose cocktail

The staff was really friendly and they also gave us a gift at the end of our meal: a chocolate-covered apple with a 15% off an entree coupon.

dessert

We very much enjoyed our day today and had a much-needed great meal and drink at the end. Glad we didn’t settle for the loud, not-as-great hotel bar. 🙂
If I lived in Atlanta, I think I’d go to Poor Calvin’s to drink as well, seemed like a very nice bar with friendly staff.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Post-classes: Vacation Day Two (Atlanta: zoo, cyclorama, Rosebud)

Let me just say that I would NOT recommend staying at the Atlanta Holiday Inn Conference center across from Turner Field. Because they will close your street and it is NO FUN to navigate around. 😦

However, we did have a decent day today up to that point. We went to the zoo, ate lunch there, and then went to the Cyclorama and the rose garden at Fernbrook before having dinner at Rosebud, which was great! We also stopped by the Lenox Square mall which was really nice. Allow me to share the high points of our day so I can focus on the positive. 🙂

Although it’s hard to do so because my whole post just got deleted. BUT I’LL TRY AGAIN. I began by saying that we saw flamingoes at the beginning of the zoo, were able to feed birds seed sticks, and the highlights for me were the warthogs, the petting zoo for the goats and of course, hands down, the giant pandas which I understand are on a semi-loan from China, which includes some kind of breeding agreement. They also had a nice reptile house and lots of other birds.

Zoo Atlanta!

flamingoes

meerkats

rhinocerus

pancake tortoise

snake

birdy

pandassssss

look at this

papa!

warthogs

warthogs

giant!

tortoise

goose

raaaaaa

goat family

cutie pie

And then we went to the Cyclorama, which has its main feature as a giant oil painting circling the room (the world’s largest oil painting) which depicts civil war battles and a museum featuring artifacts. It was cool and I would recommend it. There was a bit of construction going on. Both of these are right near Grant Park.

cyclo

cannons away

Then we went to Fernbrook which was a kind of science museum, but we just went to peek at the rose garden. it was lovely and I would definitely go back. It’s a peaceful kind of place with some benches.

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We went to dinner at Rosebud afterward, which was in a very pretty neighborhood with lots of brick houses by Emory University. Some of the gorgeous houses turned out to probably be frats but others weren’t and they were all lovely to admire.

plate

insides

menu of entrees

We had the special appetizer of lobster fondue, which featured toasted bread (delicious) with a lobster and butter sort of sauce that you could dip it in. It was great. The three dishes we ordered were the duck, the shrimp & grits, and the chicken.

lobster

duck

chicken

We also split a lovely pecan dessert.

dessert menu

dessert

And that was a great end to the evening! If only it had been the end. Mom and I did go speed shopping (without purchasing anything) at Lenox Square, but it was not worth the godawful traffic mess that awaited us outside our now one-way hotel street across from Turner Stadium. Again, do not recommend fighting baseball traffic. Tomorrow, THE AQUARIUM. If this post seems rushed I apologize, the internet here is also horrible (maybe due to use being in the 7th floor) so I made this in the lobby after 11 pm. Hope you enjoyed anyway. 🙂

Post & photos by: Melissa