Blogger Inspiration

Every day, I open up my laptop and I read some truly amazing blogs. I read the blogs that I read because I like the writer’s voice, I like the innovative spirit behind the blog, I trust that blogger’s recommendations because they are tried and true. Most recently, though I tend to make up a lot of recipes myself, I have been garnering meal-inspiration from bloggers. Last week, I made Michelle’s nut encrusted chicken (twice!), and I have been making mental notes of other blog recipes like crazy. On Saturday night, after a day on snowshoes, it was Elina who provided the inspiration. After reading about her Filipino Adobo Chicken, I could not get the photos of the flavorful brown sauce out of my head.

I am vowing to eat more meat between now and the Napa Marathon. It might not agree with everyone, but I feel like I need the added protein, and I am finding that organic, humanely-raised meat makes me feel more energetic.

We normally only eat chicken breast, unless I make a whole chicken, which apparently my husband doesn’t love because of all of the dark meat. Something about making a whole chicken just feels right in the wintertime though, so you will likely see at least once more before spring graces our doorsteps.

I followed Elina’s lead with the chicken and used drumsticks for a change. I also pulled out some organic apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, jalapenos, and bay leaves.

Chicken with Soy and Vinegar Sauce

After doing my best to skin the chicken (and some skin fell on my bare foot, EW!), I whipped up a marinade using the above ingredients. I really eyeballed it but made sure I used a lot of garlic and several sliced jalapeno peppers, seeds and all.


Once the garlic and jalapenos were chopped, I added the chicken, then poured in the liquid ingredients, using tongs to toss the chicken and to coat it nicely with the sauce. I set this aside for about an hour before putting it on the stove to cook for 45 minutes.

Chicken in Soy and Vinegar Sauce

As Elina’s posts mentioned, the meat fell off of the bone. Every time I opened my trusty Le Creuset pot the tangy smell that escaped was amazing. By the time the chicken was done, we were dying to eat.

Chicken in Soy and Vinegar Sauce

As we had a late lunch, a spinach salad with nuts, cheese, and fruit, I kept it simple and sautéed some mushrooms that I bought, already cut and cleaned, at Trader Joe’s. They cooked for awhile in a pat of butter, then I added them to the chicken and sauce. mushrooms

The combinations of flavors was intense and delicious! The meat was so rich, and the sauce had us using our hands, spoons, mushrooms, whatever we could to mop it all up. As a lover of vinegar, I was thrilled with the way this dosh brought a burst of flavor with each bite. I will definitely be making it again and again. Thank you, Elina, for the inspiration!

I feel like paying extra for mushrooms that are cleaned and chopped is totally worth it because I HATE getting the dirt off of mushrooms. I just don’t seem to get it all, and it disgusts me.

What convenience do you feel it is worth it to pay extra for? Grated carrots? Pom arils already removed from the pomegranate? Tell me I am not the only one!

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Tags: bloggers, chicken, Food, jalapenos, mushrooms, recipe, soy sauce, vinegar

  1. Michelle’s avatar

    Unless I know that Bret is helping me with dinner, I totally get pre-sliced mushrooms too. I hate cleaning them and it takes me forever. Bret actually does a really great job with them so I always give him that task – hehe.


  2. Megan’s avatar

    I like presliced mushrooms too unless I am making stuffed mushrooms. :) I usually buy the bags of pre-washed baby spinach and pre-trimmed green beans to save time too. I remember seeing this recipe on Elina’s blog and thinking it looked really good. It’s so nice to have so many blogs to turn to for inspiration.


  3. Kelly’s avatar

    I also buy presliced mushrooms. I also like cut up butternut squash unless I know Eric is going to be home to help me cut those things haha.


  4. Nicole’s avatar

    I want to make a whole chicken so bad, but I’m worried most of it will go to waste because of the dark meat. I think it’s SO worth it to pay for presliced and cleaned mushrooms and bagged lettuce!


  5. Sarah @ Semi-Sweet’s avatar

    I’m terrible (or good, depending on who you are!) about buying pre-cleaned/pre-cut veggies and fruits. When I’m under the gun w/obligations they make life SO much easier. I almost always buy pre-cleaned/sliced ‘shrooms b/c I’m the only one who eats mushrooms – I throw them on my salads at lunchtime.


  6. Mark’s avatar

    It is truly amazing how many wonderful food and wine blogs are out there. Canned /crushed tomatoes is something that I find very convenient and I also grab for sliced olives for different recipes as well.


  7. Melissa’s avatar

    I buy frozen veggies because I can stock up on them and then always have some veggies around. Frozen veggies are guaranteed to be good too, sometimes fresh isn’t as perfect! I didn’t know buying Pom arils already separated was an option – I will definitely look for that!


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Trader Joe’s has the pom arils frozen and fresh. Pricey, but very convenient!


    2. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

      I buy frozen veggies because they’re cheap and I’ve read that they’re actually better than the fresh. Who knows though. This meal looks lovely!


      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        I buy lots of frozen veggies too! I get so annoyed when the fresh ones go bad before I eat them.


      2. Kate @’s avatar

        I know what you mean – After reading all the fabulous foodie blogs, I feel so enlightened, inspired, and hungry!

        I like buying sliced and cleaned mushrooms – I just don’t like cleaning them…it takes too long. :)


      3. Daisy’s avatar

        the opening paragraph – well said!! elina make some fantastic meals and I am glad you found some inspiration from her!


      4. marymeals’s avatar

        I prefer using frozen spinach in most dishes. It takes sooooo much more fresh because it cooks down. The chicken looks a great dish to try! I’m hooked on jalapenos…


      5. kate’s avatar

        I love blogger inspiration! And I know exactly what you mean about it being “tried and true”.


      6. Claudia’s avatar

        I cook from blogs every week. Some are so inspiring I’m at the grocers 2-3 times a day. I hate cutting squash and am more than happy to buy it pre-cut! I must say the chicken meal looks tempting and I’ve only been to the grocery store once today…


      7. Elina (Healthy and Sane)’s avatar

        Yay, so happy you loved this dish as much as we did. It definitely went straight on the favorites list! :)
        PS – I actually only buy whole mushrooms BECAUSE of the dirt. I find that the chopped ones are still not cleaned and it’s a lot harder to wipe off the dirt of individual slices. Maybe you have a good sliced mushroom supplier?? I hate cleaning them too.


      8. megan @ whatmegansmaking’s avatar

        I’m so with you on the mushroom thing! It seems to take forever to clean them and it’s kind of gross! The chicken looks great though :)


      9. Jolene (’s avatar

        Sometimes I will pay for pre-grated cheese, or pre-sliced mushrooms, bagged lettuce, chopped butternut squash …


      10. Kim’s avatar

        I don’t know if I am salivating because of this toothache I have, the chicken, or both. I think I’ll go with the chicken. Oh, let me tell you, once I have this root canal and can chew normally again I will be going nuts. I definitely want to try this one. I may opt for boneless breasts only because it’s what we buy most often. We’ll see.

        As for my convenience worth having: shredded cheese. I’m lazy. If I don’t have to grate it myself, I ain’t gonna. Carrot sticks and frozen hash browns are another. While I prefer a fresh potato, I’m not the worlds biggest fan of chopping one up. See how lazy I am? Haha.

        Now I’m hungry. Good thing hubby is in the kitchen cooking right now. =)


      11. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

        You’re making me hungry! Sounds like a bit of a fun and worthwhile mess =). Whole chicken is fantastic and you can stretch it! I’m lazy about chicken stock sometimes.


      12. Emily’s avatar

        Love that you are inspired by other bloggers – I am constantly feeling the same way. I always pay extra for pre-chopped butternut squash. I hate peeling and dicing them (I always feel like I’m going to kill myself). Per the pound, it’s much more expensive but I don’t care!


      13. alicia’s avatar

        Yum….I get a lot of inspiration from other blogs too. And my FAVORITE convenience food is the already chopped and washed collard greens. I feel like when I wash them at home they’re never clean enough and always have sand on them. It is so much easier to just reach into a bag and grab a handful.


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