Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey Chicken

Slow Cooker Ginger Honey Chicken

I can’t believe it took me so long to blog this ginger honey chicken dish, because it was SO GOOD. While winter is in its last gasps I encourage everyone to make and enjoy this super-easy slow cooker recipe. As with all the best slow cooker situations, it’s quick to prep, makes your house smell delicious, and seems like you put waaaay more work into it than you actually did. Score, score, and score.

Slow Cooker Ginger-Honey Chicken

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Apples and Honey Gets an Upgrade

Apple Honey 300dpi

If fall is in the air, it must be just about time to celebrate the New Year….not that New Year; the one with apples and honey.

This tasty union is a Rosh Hashanah tradition, symbolizing the hopes for a “sweet” New Year. Of course, at ES we like to do that with more than just a kids lunchbox-esque pack of sliced apples drizzled in goo. For this year”s updated Rosh Hashanah take, we”re looking at this honey-glazed Apple Financier Tart — an elevated, Francophile variation on an apple pie.

Pâtissier extraordinaire Francois Payard provided this recipe, in which the moisture of the mix and texture of the apples with the flavor of the browned butter take A&H to a new level.

Apple and Honey Financier Tart

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Honeyed Strawberry, Avocado, and Almond Salad

Honeyed Strawberry Avocado Salad with Almonds

At this point I feel like I’m getting a reputation among my friends… a reputation for being the person who always brings the salad to the dinner party or cookout. Here’s the thing, though: salads are not boring if you do ’em right. I like to load mine with all sorts of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and nice cheese. I’m also a fan of making my own dressing, which, on top of being better for you, adds so much more flavor and depth than your usual store-bought variety. (But if you are using a store-bought, my favorite brand is Briannas, which I’ve mentioned before in a similar recipe.)

I threw together one of my huge salads when I hosted our Bachelorette League at my place last week. Since I was making a big amount and I was a little crunched for time after work, I had my man help me out. And by “my man” I don’t mean my boyfriend Rob. I mean my man Joe. My man TRADER JOE. I got everything I needed from him for this dinner (including a bunch of cheap yet delicious wine, not pictured). Love u forever, TJs.

Honeyed Strawberry, Avocado, and Almond Salad

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Honey Poblano Chicken Tacos

These tacos are something crazy delicious. Shredded chicken, sweet and malty buckwheat honey, spicy roasted poblano peppers and melty gouda cheese, all shoved into a crispy, freshly fried corn tortilla. These were so tasty I ate them for dinner. Then I woke up and made a few more for breakfast. And I’m still thinking about them.

I gave time-saving alternative ingredients if you’re strapped for time, but I must insist that you fry your own tortillas. Do not buy the hard shell tacos and use those; they are light years away from the awesomeness of a freshly fried corn tortilla. Let’s get down to business:

Honey Poblano Chicken Tacos

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Honeyed Almond Blackberry Pinenut Tart

You know, I consider myself to be a pretty lucky lady. Not win-the-lottery lucky, but my life is pretty good. Maybe it’s the holidays making me soft, but I’m really feeling my luck lately. I’m lucky in love. I’m lucky to have a job that I enjoy, I’m lucky that my children are healthy (even if they are terribly mischievous), and I’m lucky that I get to share my recipes with all of you. One of the perks of the latter is getting to try new and different products in my recipes. I received a sample set of honey from bee raw honey, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. The first thing I made was one of these tarts. I made one again the next day, and one the day after that. It has been thoroughly tested, and deliciousness is guaranteed. You’ll feel pretty lucky too, after you eat one.

Honeyed Almond Blackberry Pinenut Tart

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The Endless Road Trip: Salt and Straw

We’re no strangers to crazy ice cream flavors here at ES, and let’s be real—in this brave new dessert world where salted caramel sundaes and olive oil ice cream have become the norm, a chef putting something insane inside your cone is not really newsworthy. HOWEVER, when I heard there is an ice cream shop in meat-mad Portland serving bone marrow ice cream, clearly I was there in a New York minute.

The bad news: Salt and Straw did not have the bone marrow flavor in stock on the day I visited, but really for the very best reason possible: they were waiting for cherry season to start, so that they could make a bone marrow-black cherry ice cream. Obvi.

The good news: I had enough friends with me to order up a smorgasbord of outrageous flavors: honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper, sea salt with caramel ribbons, coffee-bourbon, blue cheese and pear (!), honey-lavender, blood orange, and blueberry with key lime marmalade. All head-over-heels amazing. the sweet-and-savory balsamic-strawberry-pepper took top honors for me.

The better news:

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Hunger Games? More Like Full-of-Brownie Games

Fine, I’ll admit it. I totally got into the Hunger Games. In a big way. I figured it was just another trendy teen book so I resisted it forever. I ended up taking it as a plane book, forgot to read it on said plane, got bored a couple weeks ago and decided to skim through the first chapter and see what all the fuss was about… fast-forward to 2am , and I was desperately devouring the last few pages! I just had to know what happened to Katniss and Peeta. Whatever, at least I’m not into Twilight, right?

So when the Hunger Games-themed cookbook came out, I jumped. My two passions in life — food and Hunger Games — together?! Done. (Fine, HG isn’t my passion, but it sure felt like it during that three-hour period when I read it cover-to-cover. KATNISS!) Ahem. Anyway, here we have it, The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook by Emily Ansara Baines. I think it’s pretty funny how much they’re required to emphasize the “unofficial” aspect.

Alright, so, real talk: this cookbook is really contrived. I will concede that I am a bit older and more experienced in the culinary realm than its target demographic, but some of these recipes are straight-up ridic. We’re talking “Hazelle’s Beaver Stew with Rosemary Potatoes” and “Banquet-Baked Mountain Goat with Artichokes, Tomatoes, and Fresh Herbs” (ingredients: “2 pounds wild goat tenderloin or round steak,” yeah, probably the round steak, I haven’t seen any mountain goat at my farmer’s market lately). Oh, and even “Grilled Tree Rat with Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce.” Seeing as how most of these recipes are pretty simple and made for young cooks to try out, I don’t think suggesting TREE RAT is really the most realistic path to take, Emily Ansara Baines.

Also of note are the cooking suggestions included with each recipe, hilariously entitled “Tips from Your Sponsor.” And, perhaps the best part, a little description under the title of each dish explaining how any recipe, even something as simple as cookies, ties in with Hunger Games. My favorite example:

“A twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie, this cookie is similar to Katniss’s spirit — mostly dark, with patches of light throughout.”

Hahaha, WHAAAAAT. Stop. Just stop. I mean, I know it’s probably hard to fill an entire cookbook, but come on. Anyway, who am I to judge until I’ve at least tested some of these recipes for myself, right? My initial impulse was to make Katniss’ favorite lamb stew (an obvious yet necessary choice) but I didn’t have enough time and wanted to make something before the movie premiere today. I decided on brownies:

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