My Valentine’s Day Tradition

My Valentine’s Day Tradition

Chicken! Yes, my sweetheart tradition is all about a roasted chicken. Not an every Friday night Ina for Jeffrey chicken, but a once a year, Valentines Day roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings: roasted carrots, potatoes and onions and a lovely gravy/sauce to drizzle over everything.Tulips in a pitcher for the centerpiece, and a heart-shaped chocolate cake for dessert. Perfection!

In Sunday Best Dishes, I have a recipe for a chocolate walnut torte that is fudgy and nutty – just perfect for a post-Sunday dinner or Valentine’s Day fare.

You can serve it warm or at room temperature, which allows, if you prefer, to prepare it in the morning, knowing that dessert is all taken care of.
Message me if you want this recipe sent via email, ‘cause today’s post is all about melt in your mouth herb roasted chicken!
I first made this dish for hubby on a particularly cool Valentines Day many moons ago. Something about being three months past Thanksgiving was just about enough time for the fowl craving to emerge. In the very many moons since then, I’ve manipulated that chicken in sooo many ways. I roasted it upside down, leisurely cooked it in slow cooker, rotated it on a spit, split it in half and cooked it under a brick, stuffed it and then unstuffed it … I did it all!

This Valentine’s day evening, I can expect hubby to come home for dinner. He always brings me a most sappy, most meaningful card, and usually a bouquet of roses. I will push my (not quite as sappy) card across the table to him and smile. He will be happy and that makes me happy!

In the end, it’s that roasted chicken, served at home, for hubby that is my sweetest Valentine tradition. What’s yours?

Roasted Chicken with Herb Butter

Serves 4

60 minute cuisine

½ cup butter, room temperature (1 stick)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1 (2 ½ to 3 pound) chicken

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 whole orange, cut into sections

½ cup sherry

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the softened butter with the herbs.

Use your hands to cover the chicken with the herb butter.  (Use your fingers to gently loosen the skin and place some of the butter between the skin and the meat.)  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place the orange sections into the cavities of the chicken.

Place the chicken on an upright roaster (or on a rack) in a baking pan.  Pour the sherry over the chicken.

Place the chicken into the oven.  After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

Bake until the skin is crisp, and the juices run clear, about 20 minutes per pound.


Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

What’s better than the Patriots and the Rams in the Super Bowl this year…. Well even if you are a Saints fan, the best part of the Super Bowl is always the game day food!! Well, maybe not if you are a Saints fan…. But for everyone else… let’s talk about the food!

Here’s my Game Day plan. For pregame and first half, I serve finger food that guests can munch on while they are filling out the betting squares. My choice is Veggie Chips with Roasted Garlic Onion Dip. You can make the chips in advance and keep them warm for scooping in silky-smooth onion dip.

Chips and Dip the SUNDAY BEST DISHES way!

Half time requires tummy soothing for fans of the lagging team, and spicy flavor for those coming out ahead. My Turkey Burger Sliders with Crispy Shallot and Pimento Cheese works for both! Again, you can make everything ahead and just grill the sliders right before the half time show starts. Serve a pile of Real Deal Fries alongside the sliders and everyone is ready for the third quarter.

The fourth quarter requires chocolate. Some of your guests are going to be deliriously happy, while some are …. well in need of chocolate. My Chocolate-Walnut Torte is the perfect answer, especially if you serve it with Salted Caramel Ice Cream, featured on a blog I just did on January 7. If your friends haven’t subscribed to yet, forward this post to them with my as of yet unbroken promise of delivering delicious and doable recipes each and every Monday!

As for these sliders, they’re bite size and couch perfect.  Use sharp cheddar and do NOT forget the pickles.  Oh, and good news, the recipe makes enough pimento cheese to entertain your game-watching pals twice in one week!

Really Good Turkey Burger Sliders

with Crispy Shallots and Pimento Cheese



Crispy Shallots

4 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced, about 1 cup

1 cup canola oil

½ teaspoon coarse salt

¼ teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Heat the canola oil in a small pot over medium high heat.  Add the shallots and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the shallots until golden (this will take about 20 to 30 minutes).  Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon to a dish layered with paper towels.  The onions will become crispy as they sit. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm in a warming drawer or in the oven on low heat.


Pimento Cheese

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese

4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese, about 1 cup

4 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese, about 1 cup

½ cup mayonnaise

1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained

2 to 3 green onions, sliced, about 2 tablespoons

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon paprika

Place the cream cheese, cheeses, and mayonnaise into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is creamy.  Add the pimentos, onions and spices and season with salt and pepper. Pulse 3 to 5 times more. You will have more cheese than you need for the burgers. Store in an airtight container to serve on warmed Saltine crackers later in the week.



1 pound ground turkey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon garlic powder

6 slider rolls (about 2-inches in diameter) sliced open horizontally and warmed

Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

Sliced dill pickles

Place the ground turkey into a large bowl.  Add olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.  Add garlic powder.  Use your hands to combine and form into 6 patties. Season the patties with salt and pepper.

Coat a grill pan with vegetable oil spray and heat on medium high. Place the burgers onto the grill pan and sear on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Carefully flip the burgers and cook until seared on the second side, about 3 minutes more.  Top each burger with a slathering of pimento cheese.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, so that the cheese begins to melt over the burgers.  If the burgers are done and the cheese has not melted, remove the pan from the heat and tent with aluminum foil for 2 minutes.

To assemble the sliders, place the warmed rolls onto a platter.  Open the rolls and place a burger patty with the melted cheese onto the bottom half of the roll.  Cover the burger with crispy onions.  Layer the top half of the roll with slices of tomato and dill pickle.   Put the two halves together and dig in!