Sometimes there are recipes that from reading it for the first time, to prepping and cooking and finally enjoying it at the dinner table, it  just makes you incredibly happy. Last night I had the pleasure of this experience which I must say is rare. Let me clarify, that all the recipes I put on this blog I love for many reasons and would never lead you astray lambs, but it’s kind of the equivalent of seeing a double rainbow when you have one that gets it juuuuuust right on every single front if you know what I mean. Enter this Roast Chickens with Pistachio Salsa, Peppers and Corn from Bon Appetit and Chef Jeff Cerciello from FarmShop in Los Angeles: This was the bomb in so many ways, let’s start counting why shall we?

(1) It’s roast chicken which never sucks in my opinion, especially when the chicken is smothered in a killer marinade and then stuffed with thyme and lemon. The recipe called for the perfect temperatures and cooking times for these little beauts (45o for 30 minutes then 350 for 30 minutes) that led to super-moist and flavorful chickens. All David kept saying last night was “You NAILED this chicken!”

(2) A nut salsa! A while back we made a flat-iron steak with an herbed-nut salsa that we loved: This got us thinking that we need more nut salsas in our lives and we were more than happy to give this one a try and rate it a 10 out of 10 on the nut salsa scale.

(3) Peppers and Corn! “Really,” you might be saying, “you’re excited over peppers and corn? You might need to get out more.” Well maybe, but still. This was a perfect complement to the moist, delicious chicken, nutty/spicy salsa and the pitch-perfect heirloom tomatoes I served alongside to round out the meal.

(4) This might seem like a lot of prep, but alas, it wasn’t. In fact, I felt it was kind of fun to put it all together and it’s a stunner when it’s plated and ready to go. I think this would be an amazing crowd pleaser for summer picnics or dinner parties since it would be easy to do large batches of chicken and the pepper/corn mixture.

(5) If it’s possible, the leftovers the next day were just as amazing as our dinner. I snarfed it in fact.

As I said, PERFECTION. Please try this one, in fact, I’m making this for Sunday family dinner this week. Can’t wait to try it again, yes, twice in one week!

French Onion Soup – Grandpa Jacques Style

I’ll paint a little picture of a young Emily for a moment. I grew up loving PBS (I’ve always been a public television and radio junkie) and Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin were two of my favorites. I would sit in front of the TV with my head perched in my hands and a smile plastered on my face as I watched these chefs stir up their magic. Between this and my Mom teaching my all the southern ways of cooking, I didn’t stand a chance to not be in the kitchen did I? With Jacques Pepin I always felt like I was learning to cook from an awesome French grandfather and as I got older and started cooking in the kitchen, I realized just how much I loved his recipes too. Fast forward to now, where I’m cooking each night for my wonderful husband in our own cozy little house…ah, life huh? After a few weeks of random dental surgery, we needed soups, stews or anything soft and palatable for a week. I found Jacque’s French Onion Soup and knew this would be a winner for tender mouths and hungry stomachs.

Cooking Light suggests you can use store-bought broth but I followed their recommendation and made my own. Patting myself on the back for that one. Sure, it’s more work and more groceries but you cannot beat this version with any store-bought brand. I felt so Chef-y as I was ladling my from-scratch made soup into the bowls to boil the cheese and bread. It doesn’t take much lambs, obviously.  I’ve made plenty of French Onion Soups in my lifetime and never have I ever gone “MMMMMMMMMMM!!!! OMG!” and pointed at my soup bowl like a 4-year old who’s learned to tie her shoes. That should tell you enough to make this if you are craving some seriously good French Onion Soup.

Tonight we are making David Chang’s Pork Butt (Bo Ssam) with Ginger Scallion Noodles. If you haven’t read the post here you go, and if you haven’t made this dish, please let my husband requesting it once a week inspire you to do so now: