Sunday, March 30, 2014

Honey Glazed Baked Chicken Thighs

This is a super simple recipe for baked chicken thighs. It features just a few ingredients which you probably already have on hand and it can definitely be whipped up on a week night. The glaze could be used on any cut of chicken but for us broke twenty-somethings, chicken thighs are a cheap protein source. I found these on sale for $2.49 a pound; you really can't beat that! I served these with a steamed vegetable medley, steamed baby spinach and oven roasted potatoes. 


1.5 pounds of chicken thighs (breasts or legs would also work)
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tbsp of sesame oil
4 tbsp of honey 
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of ground black pepper
2 tsp of crushed red pepper
5 cloves of fresh garlic 


1.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a glass baking dish with foil (optional for easy clean-up). 
2.) Mince 4-6 cloves of fresh garlic. In a small bowl, measure out oil followed by honey and then the rest of the listed ingredients. By measuring out the oil before the honey, you will have an easier time getting it out of the measuring spoon. Whisk well. 
3.) Lay the chicken thighs out in the dish. You can trim up the extra fat or leave it on. 
4.) Pour the mixture over the chicken and flip the pieces to ensure a generous coating of your glaze. 
5.) Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Plate the chicken and pour some of the juices from the pan over top before you serve it. The excess glaze is super flavorful with all the chicken drippings.
6.) Serve and enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicken Apple Sausage with Curried Apple Couscous

"To be a good cook, you have to have a love of the good, a love of 
hard work and a love of creating." 

-Julia Child

This dish is a totally do-able weeknight dinner but it has levels of complexity in flavor which make it appear as if it were a slaved-over Sunday night dinner. What's not to love about that? The cayenne pepper gives this sweet dish a perfect pinch of heat and the water chestnuts give it an unexpected, fresh crunch. I served this with an additional side of roasted cauliflower. That is my go-to side dish year round. Take a raw head of cauliflower, chop it up, spray it with cooking spray, sprinkle it with your favorite spices and roast it for approximately 30-40 minutes on 400 degrees, turning occasionally. 

Also, I must mention that my non-vegetable/fruit eating sister even ate the couscous! That speaks volumes on behalf of this dish for those who know her. 


1 package of Aidells Chicken Apple Sausage
1 medium yellow onion 
1 large shallot
3 cloves of fresh garlic 
4 handfuls of fresh kale
1 apple (I used a pink lady)
1 pear (I used a green anjou)
1 can of water chestnuts 
1 cup of dry couscous
1 box of your choice of broth (I used Trader Joes Miso Ginger)
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon of garam masala
2-3 teaspoons of curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste where appropriate 


1.) Prepare couscous according to box directions. I used Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Couscous and it required 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of "water" which I subbed out for the miso broth. You bring the butter and broth to a boil, add the couscous and take it off the heat. Let it stand for 5-10 mins and then just fluff it with a fork. This my first time making it and it was super simple! 

2.) First, cook the kale. You don't have to do this but I will share a tip I learned from my boyfriend's mom. She freezes fresh herbs so that they are easier to chop (and always available!). I tried this out with the kale and it made it so easy to chop. So, chop the kale into bite sized pieces and add it to a pan over medium heat with one clove of chopped garlic and 1/2 cup of broth. 

3.) When the kale reaches the desired tenderness, drain it if there is excess liquid and set it aside in a small bowl. 

4.) Just wipe out the pan and over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 sliced shallot, 1/2 rough chopped onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. Cook until the onions begin to become translucent and fragrant. 

4.) Peel and chop the water chestnuts, pear and apple. Next, add them to the onion, garlic, shallot butter mix. 

5.) Add in the garlic salt, curry, garam masala, ginger and cayenne pepper.

6.) Add 1/4 cup of broth at a time. Depending on how long you cook your mix, it may take 3/4 of a cup. Simmer the mixture until the apples and pears are fork tender. 

7.) Add the apple mix to the kale on the side. Wipe out the pan and place it back over medium heat.

8.) Take the sausage and slice into diagonal, bite sized pieces. Slice the last 1/4 of your onion. 

9.) Add 1/4 cup of broth to the pan along with the sausage and onions. Continually add splashes of broth to deglaze the pan as your sausage cooks. When they get a nice golden outside, take them off the heat and set aside. 

10.) Do not wipe out the pan. Just splash some broth into it and add your kale and apple mix back into it. Add the cooked couscous and mix thoroughly. Heat through and serve! 

11.) I kept the sausage and couscous separate because I didn't think my sister would eat it with the kale in it but to my surprise, she did! Next time I make this, I will add the sausage into the couscous at the end. 

Check out the finished products:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Feature Story and Upcoming Changes

If you're a local to the county, you might find yourself stumbling across my blog after picking up the latest copy of the Leonardtown Life magazine. The March issue featured my personal stuffed ham journey and gave you this web address to learn more about crafting your very own ham. I've made it super simple for you to find this information.

Here is a link to the story:

Here is a link to the play-by-play of ham stuffing: 

In other news, there are changes coming to the blog! I am going to be launching a new series called "My Grandmother's Box" where I will feature short narratives of my experiences cooking my way through a box of original family recipes that have been handed down to me by her. They range from down home classics to strange concoctions so I promise this series will not disappoint!  

You may notice that I will be writing less and less about thrifty fashion but in the coming weeks I will be able to announce an exciting opportunity that explains my lack of this said thrifty fashion writing on County Meanderings. Stay tuned for lots of hearty, wholesome family recipes, though. Oh and of course the occasion burst of creative passion in the realm of community.  

I can't thank you all enough for coming by and reading my blog. In the last six months, my readership has really blossomed and I am so appreciative that you have come by to see what I am up to down in the County. 

Peace and Blessins'