Friday's Finds- On how to cook a quick meal for the Holidays!

November 18, 2011
Elana is my cousin via marriage who I've known for 10+ years and she used to intern for me in early 2000! She is such a sweetheart and started her company First Helpings which I fell in love with right away! Check out her bio below to learn more about her :)

My make shift apron ready for cooking and baking :) thanks Charlotte for this adorable gift!

Created by Elana Karp, a former Teach for America NY teacher and a Cordon Bleu trained chef, First Helpings combines her two passions: education and cooking. No matter what the occasion, Elana will come to your house with a basket full of ingredients and tools to teach you how to prepare a meal start to finish. Cooking the meal with your friends and family is just as fun as eating it!

Dj Blue Steele and I had the chance to take a cooking class with Elana and it was so much fun! For someone who is on the go 24/7 and working non-stop, this lesson was a great experience!

Check out Elana's quick and easy recipes below!

Friday Night Roast Chicken
Nothing says Friday night dinner like a roast chicken. It's the perfect comfort food, and so simple to make!

1 whole Chicken

1 onion

1 head of garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon



salt and pepper

herbs de provence

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start by rinsing the chicken in cold water and patting VERY dry with paper towels. It's really important to get the chicken super dry so that the seasoning stays on it and the skin gets nice and crispy. Once it's clean and dry, season in the inside with salt and pepper and stuff it with half an onion, one lemon, a few cloves of garlic, a sprig of rosemary, and a few sprigs of thyme. Rub the outside with olive oil, herbs de provence, salt, and pepper. Herbs de provence is a great herb blend that adds a nice balanced flavor to almost any dish. You can find it at any grocery store. Start by lying the chicken on its side in a pan. Roast for 25 minutes on one side, 25 minutes on the next side, and about 30 minutes with the breast up. Hold the chicken up and let the juices run out of the cavity; if juices are clear, the chicken is done. If they're still red, let it cook for another 10 minutes. Voila! Perfect roast chicken!

Root Vegetable Medley

This is a great recipe for the fall and winter. You can use any root vegetables you have around or see at the store. We used...

2 acorn squash

1/4 lb brussel sprouts, halved

1/4 lb small potatoes

1 head cauliflower

1 parsnip

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

-Cut the vegetables into even sized pieces. The size doesn't matter too much, it's just important that everything is about the same size so that it cooks evenly. The amazing thing about this recipe is that you can often find pre-chopped squash and other root vegetables at the grocery store. If you bought pre-cut ones, this recipe would involve pretty much no effort. Even with cutting them ourselves, it was a breeze!

-Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the potatoes look nicely browned.

Mixed Greens with Lemon Vinagrette

-Pre-washed mixed greens are a great quick salad option. We cut up some cherry tomatoes for color and sweetness, and made a lemon vinagrette to go on top. Easy, healthy and very delicious!

2 bags mixed baby greens

1 box cherry tomatoes, halved

1 lemon

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1.5 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

-Prepare the lettuce and tomatoes in a serving bowl. In a small bowl juice one lemon and mix with mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil. That's it! It's that easy to make a vinagrette! Drizzle over the salad right before serving.

You can also check out Elana here:
fb page -
twitter - @firsthelpings

Enjoy the recipes and let me know if you try any of them out! Happy weekend :)



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