citrus & chile "barbecued" chicken; so good, we made it two weeks in a row.
The best citrus marinade for chicken? I discovered it on accident. Over the past year, Joe and I have gotten really into the whole meal prepping thing. Work got crazier, lives got busier, and all of a sudden, prepping a ton of food on Sunday afternoons not only became a fun mental break for me, it also made my lunches and our dinners a bagillion times easier. Joe always jokes that I’m like MacGyver in the kitchen anyway, and can whip something up out of nothing, and meal prepping makes that even easier. I usually try to spend a couple hours on either Saturday or Sunday afternoon making a variety of things we can mix and match (and worst case scenario: turn into a soup) throughout the week.
One of the things we make most regularly is some type of roasted chicken. Some weeks I’ll roast a whole chicken; others, bone-in breasts; still others, chicken thighs. Last fall, our jam was this jerk chicken recipe that I adapted from the New York Times. Being apartment dwellers with zero access to an outdoor grill, I learned that the secret to perfectly crispy, charred, “am-I-at-an-outdoor-barbecue?” chicken is to roast it atop wire racks. This allows air to circulate around the meat, and if you have a convection oven like us, double bonus! I found that if I roasted on wire racks, with a super high temperature and the convection fan on, I could achieve a char that was similar to grilling on a barbecue. It was a revelation!
So why was this marinade discovered on accident? Recently, I wanted to try a citrus, chile and herb marinade. While normally I hit the store on the weekends, a few weeks ago, Joe volunteered to go, and I sent him with checklist in hand. Listed first among the produce? A navel orange to create the base for my marinade. When he came home, he’d accidentally purchased a pink grapefruit, and while I’ll admit to teasing him about it for a hot minute, I was also intrigued to try it. It ended up being delicious. The bitterness of the grapefruit mellows out, and it has just enough sugar to ensure a beautiful char on the skin. Mixed with lemon and lime, it creates a perfect citrus flavor that tastes delicious with fruity serrano chiles. Navel oranges? Who needs ’em.
Here’s the recipe, along with photos showing you how to roast the meat: View more
I’ve had a version of this post in draft form for a while, inspired by my friend Julia who did a similar post quite a ways back. (Yeah, that should tell you just how long this post has been on my idea list. Oops.) I always think it’s interesting to see how other people structure their days, and on a personal level to track growth and evolution, how much your schedule changes from phase to phase, year to year, era to era.
I will be the first to admit: I burned myself out last year. If I had written this post, say, last October, the listed workday end time would’ve been much later than 6:30, and my best explanation would’ve been “STRESSED OUT. TOO MUCH TO DO. MUST. WORK. MORE.” This approach, like typing in all-caps, was not sustainable.
So this year, I’ve made a concerted effort to restructure my days and figure out a better balance. I wrote that sentence and then was like Does that sound lame? It hasn’t been long enough for me to assess whether the change is working, right? And then I was like, Oh yeah, it’s May already OMG LOL, and I gotta say, I’m proud of myself for 5 months of consistency.
A side note on the elusiveness of “balance.” If you work for yourself, I firmly believe that finding balance is a constant struggle, and its definition can change as your life and biz evolves anyway. For me, I think balance means feeling good about the focus of my life overall—do I feel nurtured in work, home life, friendships, and personal time? If so, I’m probably on the right track. It’s not easy to do, but if every decision you’re making pushes you in that direction, two thumbs up.
With all that said, here’s how a typical work day is looking for me lately: View more
THE INVENTOR OF THE POP-UP AD IS SORRY // Easily one of the best interviews I’ve read about design and the state of the web in a while. Ethan Zuckerman’s answer to the first question of this interview pulled me in, and I couldn’t stop reading.
ALL THINGS ROYAL // Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt about this interactive feature the Times put together last month about Harry & Meghan’s royal wedding. Just trust me on this one, you should click through and click around. It’s so fun! There’s also this article about their courtship, this one which is an excerpt from a new biography about Miss Markle, and this one about how the Meghan Effect is the new Kate Effect. C’mon, you know you love this stuff as much as I do!
OTHER THINGS ALMOST ROYAL // I was also interested in this profile on Emma Thynn, Britain’s first black marchioness. She’s shaking up the aristocracy and I’m into it. Also, their family estate, Longleat, is so beautiful!
ABOUT LASH GROWTH SERUMS // Even though I’ve had success with Neulash in the past, this article had a surprise in store: it’s actually a lash conditioner and doesn’t have any ingredients that would make lashes grow. Here’s more info on whether lash serums actually work.
IKIGAI // A couple weeks ago, Kat shared a link to this article about the Japanese concept of Ikigai, and I thought it was a good read! Sometimes it feels like hitting that sweet center spot and achieving Ikigai is actually the whole point of your life’s work.
HEAVENLY BODIES // The Met Gala is taking place next Monday, with the theme “Heavenly Bodies.” I liked this short video about how the conservators at the museum have been receiving and unboxing precious relics from the Vatican, many of which have never left Rome before. I think in another life, I would’ve ended up in the art history world somehow!
THE UNGLAMOROUS SIDE OF BLOGGING // Meg gets real about what goes on behind the scenes of running a full time blog. And, if you interested in how sponsored content works for many bloggers, dive into Jess’ post too!
SALT FLATS // How beautiful are these photographs from aerial photographer Tom Hegen? I loved Erica’s feature on him! Also—more on her site below ;)
HOW BARBARA CORCORAN GETS SHIT DONE // I really enjoyed reading this interview with Shark Tank‘s Barbara Corcoran (does anyone else love that show?). I thought her approach to setting priorities for the week was unique, and I also loved learning more about behind the scenes production stuff of the show!
THE ETERNAL MYSTERY OF OTHER PEOPLE // As someone who’s relied on personal therapy and couples therapy at various points in my life, yes to all of this.
GETTING OUT OF A CREATIVE RUT // And yes to all of this, too. I loved this quote: “If you have chosen a crazy path, it is probably because somewhere, deep down, you have the confidence to know you can do it. Things may seem unfair at times, but don’t let that take any of your energy. …If that voice is calling you, it will only get louder if you turn your back on it. You have to yield to it and feed it and be gentle with it and let it guide you.”
25 YEARS OF COYOTE UGLY // The bar, not the movie, though gah, that anniversary is probably just around the corner too. A look back on how the bar got started and what it’s like today. Also, I may have owned this movie on VHS when I was in high school.
+ All of the things Part II // Madewell is still taking all my money. Scooped up this top and this one too, and both will theoretically arrive today. Perfect, because I’m totally wearing one of them for Cinco de Mayo festivities tomorrow! Also got this dress; TBD on how it works with the boob situation.
We’ve been super busy in the studio! In the last couple months, we launched designs for the blogs Honestly WTF, Alyson Haley, The Zhush, and a brand new theme for <em>press, named Presidio. I’m especially proud of the WTF build, as I began working with Erica and the Honestly Media brands early in 2017 on identity design. To get re-approached to design the website for WTF early this year was exciting, as I really adore her content. If you like the unique finds I’ll scout for you here, you should definitely browse around her site for far cooler stuff than I could ever dream of discovering!
That’s all from here! It’s been a crazy, surprising, joyful week around here and I’m heading into the weekend excited and grateful. Hoping you’re feeling some of the same—it’s May, after all, and May means summer!