August 2014 - Buttered Side Up

Pollo en Salsa al Horno (Roasted Chicken in Sauce)

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If I'm honest, I thought that this chicken was going to be a lot more work than it was. First off, the name makes it sound much too fancy for a weeknight meal. And frying chicken always sounds daunting.

To my surprise, this came together very easily. The hardest part is locating some good saffron. It was well worth it.

Check out the recipe and my step-by-step photos over on the Tasty Kitchen Blog. Enjoy!

Pretty Failures + Life Lately

OR: Why I Haven't Been a Good Blogger

Homemade Root Beer Ingredients
Homemade Root Beer
Here's a bit of an explanation for why I've been blogging so sporadically lately: I have had a run of bad luck with the recipes that I've been testing for Buttered Side Up. Take this Homemade Root Beer. I absolutely LOVED the pictures. But it tasted somewhat medicinal. I didn't feel right sharing it with you guys.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Then there's this Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream. It didn't taste bad, but the amount of peanut butter wasn't right. I still want to share this recipe with you guys once I figure it out.

Gooey Cinnamon Biscuits
Gooey Cinnamon Biscuits
These Gooey Cinnamon Biscuits sounded so so good. I must have tampered with the recipe too much, because they were pretty bland. 

Fresh Tomato Pasta
Lastly we have this Fresh Tomato Pasta. I thought it would be full of flavor, but it too was fairly insipid. Once I added some pepperoni it was a bit better, but nothing special.

Another reason I haven't been able to keep up with blogging as much as I like is that we have been pretty busy of late. Here are a few highlights from our summer:

Sparklers at our family Reunion.

Duluth Trip
We took a trip to Duluth, MN. You can read more about it on my personal blog HERE.

We made it to the family cabin a couple of times.

Lake Itasca Family Music Festival
We attended the Lake Itasca Family Music Festival. Well, attended isn't quite the right word. We worked volunteered until we were dog tired, Reuben in the kitchen and I taking care of Helen and TRYING to take good photos. And Helen decided sleep was optional. I was worn out and very ready for home by the end of the weekend. 

Our little girlie is 18 months now! You can read more about it HERE.

So that's my excuse for being a bad blogger. 

I'll leave you with two questions:

1) What have you been up to this summer?
2) What would you like to see this fall on Buttered Side Up?


Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad
On humid August evenings a hot, heavy supper doesn't sound one bit appealing. Any amount of cooking heats up our little house (we don't have air conditioning). And when Reuben has been working in the blazing sun all day, all he wants is a smoothie. But smoothies don't stick with you long.

Thai Chicken Salad
A cold salad is so refreshing and satisfying, especially if it contains protein (AKA chicken). Most of the time I'll simply marinade chicken tenderloins and serve them on top of greens with lots of cheese and dressing. But I wanted to branch out (and I wanted to make something yummy to share with y'all).

Thai Chicken Salad
"Would you eat this for supper if I made it?" I asked Reuben. "You probably won't like it." 

You see, Asian food isn't his favorite (unless it's deep fried, for which I can't blame him). He actually tolerated it pretty well, and wouldn't let me share it with my sister and her husband. I really liked it. It's my thang. 

As always, make sure you customize to your personal tastes. If you like a bit of heat, you could add some Sriracha to the dressing. I think that a fruit such as mangoes or peaches would be lovely. Maybe some candied almonds. Yummers. 

Thai Chicken Salad
adapted from Nature Box | makes 3-4 servings | Printable Page


For the Salad:
  • 6 cups shredded cabbage (about half a head)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2 green onions, sliced on the diagonal 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (less if you don't care for cilantro)
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • 6 chicken tenderloins, cooked with a bit of salt and cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)

    For the Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice + a bit extra
    • 1 tablespoon evaporated cane juice (more if you're using unsweetened peanut butter)
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


    1) Toss all of the salad ingredients except for the chicken together gently in a large mixing bowl. 

    2) For the dressing, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. 

    To assemble:

    3) Pour a bit of the salad dressing over the chicken, squeeze in a bit of lime juice and toss to combine. Toss chicken with salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss one more time. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator (it will last for MAYBE a day, probably less).

    DO AHEAD: Toss together all of the salad ingredients except for the avocado and chicken. Make the dressing. When ready to serve, mix in the avocado, chicken and dressing.

    Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Chocolate Milk!

    Chocolate Syrup - Butttered Side Up
    Chocolate Syrup - Butttered Side Up
    Chocolate Syrup - Butttered Side Up
    Chocolate Syrup - Butttered Side Up

    First of all, my apologies for being such a horrid blogger this past month. Earlier this summer I felt like I had a really good rhythm going. Then things got busy. Every weekend for the past 5 weekends we've had something going on. I'm looking forward to being able to catch my breath. 

    This past year I've really been into chocolate milk, especially making it myself. Normally I'll mix it up as I go along: spoon some cocoa powder and sugar into a cup then mix in milk and cream. It tastes delicious, but it's kind of a pain to mix together. The milk doesn't always play nice and often refuses to be fully incorporated into the chocolate. 

    Having a bottle of chocolate syrup in the fridge makes it so much easier. Simply pour into the milk and stir! No more lumps of chocolate. 

    By the way, I HIGHLY recommend that you use some cream in your milk. Not quite half and half, more like 2/3 milk, 1/3 cream. But be warned: once you try it, just milk will never be the same. Also, I still blow bubbles in my chocolate milk. I think it freaks Reuben out. He's probably afraid that I'll teach it to Helen. Which I most likely will.

    Homemade Chocolate Syrup
    recipe adapted from Created by Diane | Printable Page



    1) Place the water, sucanat and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

    2) Stir in the vanilla extract. Allow to cool and pour into a jar or squeeze bottle. Store in the refrigerator. 

    Note: Some links are affiliate. All opinions are my own and I would never share a product with you guys that I haven't already tested unless otherwise stated.

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