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Italian Lemon Cake

This Italian lemon pound cake is a recipe that I'd had my eye on for a long time. I finally made it back in April! I skipped adding frosting but if you visit the original recipe it'll tell you how to make it. The glaze needed a lot more lemon juice than the recipe called for. I used 5 tablespoons of lemon juice and it was still very thick. The cake itself isn’t very lemony so you really do need either the glaze or the frosting to bring the lemon flavour to this recipe. I'm not complaining though, it was still really delicious! Italian Lemon Cake Adapted from My Recipe Confessions Makes 1 Cake Ingredients For the Cake 3 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups sugar 3 large eggs 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup sour cream 4 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1 teaspoon vanilla For the Glaze 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 5+ tablespoons lemon juice Directions Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour a bundt or cake p

Roasted Chicken Dinner w/ Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Here's a recipe that isn't necessarily good for a weeknight if you're on a 9-5 work schedule, but it's perfect for the weekend or on your day off. The oven does most of the work.

This takes about 3 hours of cooking time for an average size chicken (the same size as the ones at Costco - if you follow me you know I don't know the weights/measurements half of the time). Cooking for less than 3 hours may result in chewy chicken and gravy that lacks flavour.

I have made this dish a zillion times and when I don't allow for enough cooking time, I have to add a packet of gravy mix to the pan drippings for flavour.

If you want to make this meal even easier, skip the mashed potatoes. Just serve the roasted potatoes as they are. Mash them on your plate with a fork and top with gravy.

The cranberry sauce can be made ahead of time. 

Roasted Chicken Dinner
Serves 4

For the Chicken
  • 6-8 yellow potatoes, halved (peeled if you like but not necessary)
  • mushrooms or mushroom stems
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon pink salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 large onion - quartered
For the Mashed Potatoes
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2oz cream cheese (or 2 tablespoons sour cream)
  • pan drippings (or milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if needed)
For the Cranberry Sauce
For the Gravy
  • diced mushrooms (use the stems when roasting the chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. To make the chicken; Place the potatoes, mushroom stems (dice the tops and set aside for the gravy) and carrots in the bottom of a large oven-proof dish. I like to place a small rack in the pan so the chicken is slightly elevated. I use the one that came with my Instant Pot. 
  3. Combine the seasonings in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the inside and outside of the chicken with your spice mixture. Sprinkling the inside gives the chicken more flavour. 
  5. Stuff the chicken with the onion. You could also add garlic or even a lemon wedge if you wish. Fresh herbs are nice, too.
  6. Place the chicken on the rack inside the baking dish. You can tie the legs together or do what I do and cut little slits in the skin near the opening and slide the legs in. Keep the wings close to the body if possible. Fill the dish up halfway with cold water (do not forget this step or no gravy for you).
  7. Cover with a piece of parchment paper to prevent the chicken from touching/sticking to the foil that you will use to cover and seal the whole dish. If your dish comes with a lid, use that. 
  8. Bake covered for 3 hours.
  9. After 3 hours, open the covering and, using a slotted spoon, move the potatoes to a pot or bowl.  
  10. Increase the temperature of the oven to 450F and cook uncovered until the chicken is golden. You can baste it a few times.
  11. Once the chicken is golden on top, remove it from the oven and transfer to a serving plate along with the carrots if you wish to eat them. Cover with foil or a lid while you prepare the potatoes and gravy.
  12. To make the mashed potatoes; while your chicken is browning on top, add the butter and cream cheese to the hot potatoes. Cover with a lid or plate to allow the butter to melt.
  13. Transfer 1/4 cup of the pan drippings to your potato pot and get mashing. Add more liquid until you reach your desired mashed potato consistency. Milk or cream can also be used but the pan drippings add more flavour.
  14. Taste and salt as needed. Sometimes I also add dried dill, chives, garlic powder and other seasonings. 
  15. Keep covered while you make the gravy with the rest of the drippings.
  16. To make the gravy; strain the remaining pan drippings into a large measuring cup or bowl. 
  17. In a pot, brown the mushrooms in butter over medium heat for a few minutes until they start to turn golden. Stir in the flour and allow it to cook for another minute or two.
  18. Add the pan drippings to the mushroom mixture slowly while whisking. It will start to thicken immediately. Don't stop whisking. Add pan drippings until you reach the desired consistency for your gravy. Freeze any leftover drippings to use for future sauces or last minute gravies. 
  19. Above is my preferred method for making gravy, however, there is another way. You can always mix flour with a little cold water to make a paste - whisk some of the hot liquid into the flour mixture and then slowly add that back to the pot while whisking. Be careful with this technique as you may end up with gravy and dumplings if you're not careful. And, if you add too much water your gravy will lose flavour. 
  20. Serve your meal with cranberry sauce and some veggies on the side. 


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