Yesterday was my mother’s birthday. I think her birthday was the last straw for Jaxon, he now is demanding that it be his birthday tomorrow. And when I say demanding his birthday, I mean he stood there with his brows furrowed and lips puckered looking like a kid from Our Gang and says, “Is October 21st! Thas Jaxon’s Burtday! I having Jaxon Burtday, okay mommy! Not Mommy burtday! Not UmMa Burtday! Not Bam Bam Burtday! Not Wissy Burtday! Not Auntie Val Burtday! Not Naya Burtday! Not nobody, is Jaxon Burtday!” I think I almost had a brain aneurysm trying to hold back the laughter!
Meanwhile back in reality, remained July 19th and still in fact my mother’s birthday. So I decided to do what I do best and that is cook dinner. I roasted two whole chickens, Red Wine Gravy, Roasted Brussel Sprouts/Zucchini/Carrots & Candied yams. Now I also made rice to go along with the chicken and gravy, but alas I am not talented when it comes to cooking starches! LOL! When my sister and I lived together, I would cook great meals and she would cook the rice or cous cous! She said she loved my cooking but was scared of my rice! HAHAHA! Last night was one of those epic rice fail nights. Everything else though… Stupefacente! (Amazing in Italian).
It’s all pretty easy. As far as the vegetables go, I cut the carrots & zucchini into quarter sticks and the sprouts in half. Roll them in Olive Oil and season with Lemon Pepper. Throw in oven for about 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees. The chicken, gravy and yams are a bit more complicated.
2 Whole Chickens
Preheat the oven on 375 degrees. Remove innards from chicken and set aside for Gravy. Place the Chicken in a roasting pan. Add a little Olive Oil on top then add seasoning of Salt, Lemon Pepper, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, & Cumin. Add water to the bottom of the pan and cover. Roast for an hour. Check you chicken. If it’s steamed and cooked pretty through, uncover and cook for another 30-45 minutes to get a nice brown crispy skin.
Red Wine Gravy:
Bottle of Red Wine (I use Merlot)
Cream of Mushroom Soup (if making a medium saucepan of gravy, use two cans)
Juice from Roasted Chickens or Chicken Stock
Chicken innards & Fat
I turn the stovetop on low and add a little Olive Oil to the sauce pan and then add the chicken fat I’ve pulled off the chicken and let it render down slowly. I then brown the necks, gizzards and hearts. Salt them and continue to brown. Add a cup of water and let simmer. Remove all meat from water when you have a flavorful stock. Whisk in your can of condensed mushroom soup. Add your wine. If I’m using two cans of soup, I add about 1/4 of the bottle of wine. Tear or chop up your Tarragon leaves and stir into gravy. Salt & Pepper to taste. Let simmer for a while so the alcohol cooks out and wine taste cooks down.
Whole Fresh Yams
Agave (If you like them on the sweeter side)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and dice your yams. Spread into a pan. Melt butter and pour over yams. Shake nutmeg, cinnamon & brown sugar. Stir together and cover. Bake for 25 minutes covered. If you like your yams and little sweeter and/or browner, uncover after 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with agave and return to oven for about 5-10 minutes with no cover.
Now I didn’t make dessert, for this we have to thank my mother’s friend Tina who brought my mom’s birthday cake from a place called Tasteful Cakes. She also brought a cake for me because my birthday was on Tuesday and then for Jax because he couldn’t understand why it wasn’t his birthday yet! LOL! So awesome of her to think of us like she did and the cakes were absolutely amazing! They looked amazing and they were so GOOD! So shout out to Tina for that! And shout out to Tasteful Cakes in Corona cause…damn! Seriously, if you live in the I.E. you need to check them out! Jaxon fell in love with his mini Panda and my mother’s cake was sooo good! The frosting was a true buttercream whipped frosting, not too thick and not too sweet! I would actually go all the way out to Corona to get another cake from them! That good!!
So Happy Birthday Mommy, Mom, Momsters, UmMa!! Love you!