15 Jun 2017

the best roasted chicken you’ll ever make

 

Chicken for days.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Candidly, I started to resent putting myself out there so publicly, feeling odd when strangers seemed to think they know me based on what I chose to share online. I won’t return to this space daily or share to the degree of intimacy to which you’d grown accustomed, but I miss sharing the food I love to eat. I missed cooking.

2016 was a year worth shredding. This year, I resolved to wake from my sleeping life. The company that I’d started last year — a marketing collaborative — was starting to grow, and the novel I’d spent three years writing finally crawled its way into the world. For a while, I was comfortably coasting until I became comfortably uncomfortable.

For most of my adult life, food had been a passion of mine. I’d been an enthusiastic home cook and avid baker, and I’d spend weekends browsing bookshelves for the latest culinary tomes. I’d spend hours watching The Food Network when it wasn’t a reality show ratings grab. In 2006, a time before filters and iPhone photo-editing apps, I started snapping photos of the dishes I’d made with a pocket-sized Olympus camera. The photos were laughable — all close-ups and blurry shots under the glare of fluorescent kitchen lighting — but I didn’t care because nothing gave me greater joy than sharing the meals I’d made with others. Over the years, making food and writing about it on my blog had been a refuge, a way to recover from the day’s stresses and the slew of fire-alarm emails that never seemed to abate. I worked in a company where everyone acted like we were curing cancer, but really we were finding new ways to hock our clients’ wares on the internet.

Over the years, the meals I made became more ornate and complex and I invested in fancy cameras, photography and cooking classes because when clients are screaming at you on the phone all day long your stress-relieving hobby becomes a necessary lifeline — the thing that will stop you from stapling things to people’s heads.

Last year, all that hard work was rewarded with a handsome contract to work with an incredible company that sold premium kitchen appliances. Someone was actually paying me to do what I loved — make food, photograph and write about it! Nine months later, it occurred to me that I hadn’t bought a cookbook and I only made food for company. My fridge was anemic and I engaged in a torrid love affair with Postmates, sometimes seeing DoorDash on the sly. The work (make no mistake, professional grade photoshoots–working with stylists, pro-photographers–is HARD, and the mounting stress from it, somehow transformed the thing I loved to something I’d grown to resent. Years ago, someone asked me if I’d ever entertained the idea of going to culinary school or opening a bake shop, and I laughed because I knew the moment you made money from a hobby you loved, you’d strip away all the joy that comes from it. Food was sacrosanct until it wasn’t, and this year I made the difficult decision to let that project go.

Maybe I’m insane for abandoning the only consistent income I’ve had in years, but I love food. I miss it, and the idea that I’d become allergic to it was too much to bear. Not everything you love has to come with a paycheck.

 ______________

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. A lot of my work is dark, relentlessly so, and friends often joke that they couldn’t imagine me writing a book or a short story where someone didn’t die. It’s true, most of my characters meet their end in cruel, unimaginable ways. Nearly all of them are in some state of disrepair. Most carry their pain like armor, shielding them from really connecting with anyone in the world. But I love my broken people. I love writing small, dark experimental books because, like food, it gives me a joy that’s impossible to quantify. Let my marketing strategy work pay the bills while my writing helps me make sense of the world.

I secured an agent in 2006 when I’d finished my first book, The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here. Although my agent represented big, commercial books, I’d always felt that he nourished his creative side by working with me. He was my champion, editor, cheerleader, and truth teller. He was instrumental in helping me revise my second book, Follow Me Into the Dark, but I couldn’t shake the conversations steering me toward commercial books. A few other things didn’t sit right with me, and last month I made the difficult decision to resign my agent.

 _______________

Two break-ups in one month — talk about yanking off the training wheels and driving the bike into a tree. Last month felt like tears and scraped knees. Fear — of not getting a new agent or another paying client — was what tethered me to discomfort. Fear bound me to relationships that weren’t serving me, and the only upside was the consistent knowledge of this discomfort. It’s relatively easy to settle into the things that prevent you from moving forward because what if I’ve traded discomfort for creative and financial ruin? The unknown is also a kind of cancer, one that gnaws away at you until there’s nothing left. Until you start doubting your worth and ability to reclaim the joy you perhaps took for granted.

I’ll be honest — I’m anxious. I’m querying agents after ten years and I worry that I won’t find the right match. I worry that I’ve given up financial security and what if I can’t keep my deal flow going? So far, I’m doing okay–I have an exciting 5-week gig leading the marketing side of the Los Angeles Review of Books/USC Workshop, I have a pretty consistent client based in NY, and I got a fun cat gig that keeps me smiling.

But a part of me, in a smaller voice, says, what if you don’t fail? What if you find an agent who loves your work for what it is rather than what he or she wants it to be? Fear locks all the doors. Stepping into the unknown empowers you to break the doors down and jump, feet-first, to the other side.

Now, on to the chicken!

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on, bones in
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of thyme, minced
  • 2 springs of rosemary, minced. Add two more for garnish at the end
  • Salt // pepper

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Make sure your chicken is at room temperature and you pat the skin dry. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, minced rosemary + thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss until all thighs are coated with the mixture. On a large baking sheet, add the chicken, bone side down. Roast for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 375 and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Allow your meat to rest on the sheet pan for a few moments before you serve. I made my chicken with roasted potatoes, or you can add chickpeas (tossed in salt and pepper) to your sheet pan when you start cooking the chicken. I LOVE chickpeas and have no shame about adding them to any recipe.

730A3321

3 Comments

  1. Betsy wrote:

    This looks delicious! I am glad to hear that you are doing well.

    Posted on 6.19.17 · Reply to comment
  2. Lisa wrote:

    Hello! I was looking around for food loving writers, and I am so happy I found you. Congrats on your books, and I hope that a year after this post, you can now look back and feel that all the decisions you have made were the ones that had to made. I am going to read your memoir now.

    Posted on 4.18.18 · Reply to comment

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instagram

  • Do the thing that chills you down to the bone. I keep saying this like it’s a sermon, a song, and it’s taken me to places I couldn’t have ever imagined.
.
I moved to Los Angeles nearly three years because I need to get lost, uncomfortably so, so I could find myself, scrubbed and renewed. And these three years have been some of the hardest I’ve known, but also humbling, exhilarating, and clarifying. In my search for quiet and calm, I could finally hear myself. And when you hear, you start to listen to what you want versus what the world tells you to want. And that’s when the magic happens.
.
This year, I made a point of serving women and the marginalized. I got tired of making white men richer; the rest of us deserve the sky too. And in that work, I got further clarity on what else I wanted. I wanted to work with women my age to help them define their second acts. Moving from success to significance, now that we’re more conscious of the fact that we have fewer years ahead of us. Morbid, I know, but recognizing time as the most valuable thing we have has a way of making us surgical about our wants.
.
Today, I closed on a project with a peer and good friend. She’s a successful entrepreneur who wanted to reshape her business to be more of a purpose-driven one. I feel humbled that she trusted me with her vulnerability. She told me she was buying clarity and perspective. I gave her that and a framework. Before I left, she hugged me and told me she had a plan. That the road ahead was clear, structured and achievable. And damn that felt good.
.
I’m in a Lyft on the 101 and I feel good. Strong. Confident. Sometimes I hate that I’m in my 40s, but it’s times like these when I’m grateful for the years. I’ve been through it all and I have perspective, knowledge, experience, and the kind of calm age breeds. I can’t even imagine what I’ll know in 10 years, 20
.
And it feels really fucking good to lift another woman up.
.
.
.
.
#realtalk #businesscoaching #storyteller #lifelessons #weekendvibes #thehustleisreal #femtrepreneur #entrepreneur #risingtidesociety
  • Four years ago, when this photo was taken, I attempted a return to my yoga practice. I practiced every nearly every day from 2001-2009, but then I stopped. When I tried again in 2014, I was ready to reassume the shapes I knew, physically, but I wasn’t prepared for how this practice changes you if you allow it. The practice makes you a humble student. It’s not about the asana. It’s about your work off the mat.
✨
My teacher once told me the mark of an advanced practitioner is not the yogi kicking up into handstand. That’s ego. Rather, it’s the yogi who goes to a basics class to relearn the poses as if she’s encountered them for the first time. That’s the practice. The work.
✨
At 42, this is the work I try to do every single day.
.
.
.
.
.
#yoga #yogaposes #yogaeverydamnday #wednesdaywisdom #risingtidesociety #lifelessons #dothework
  • Do the thing that chills you down to the bone. I’ve been thinking about time a lot, as well as ambition.
.
When I was young, I was hungry. I was aggressive and relentlessly ambitious to the point of being myopic. I had to prove something to the world, myself, perhaps my mother, and I needed to collect these totems or the signifiers of success.
.
But there comes a point when you shift from desiring success to significance. The shift is imperceptible, but it happens because you start to be aware of time and the fact that you have fewer years ahead than behind. That realization is potent and frightening because death takes it all, strips us of ourselves and we return to that from which we’ve come. We can’t cart along our trophies and bank accounts and handbags to the afterlife. Those things have been reduced to dust and they no longer have any meaning.
.
You start thinking about time and its value. Am I squandering it? Investing in it? Living it? Breathing through it.
.
I’m frightened of death and the irony that I wanted to take my own life two years ago doesn’t escape me. I don’t have faith that could hold my hand and guide me through and out of the dark. I simply believe there’s nothing and this life is the one true thing I know of.
.
Suddenly success morphs into significance because you start to do the math and wonder what you’ve done in this one beautiful life that will leave its mark. Maybe we’ll all be forgotten. Maybe we’ll leave indelible prints that linger. I don’t know.
.
What I do know is that the definition of success is elusive. Just when you think you have it, it changes form. And the things I wanted five, ten years ago aren’t that which I desire now. There’s want, but it’s a different kind of want. There’s the want of designing a life that’s conscious, graceful, impactful, curiosity-driven, and remarkable.
.
I sat down with a peer today and she trusted me as a marketer, and as someone at her level who could lend perspective. She has the tools, it’s just a matter of me being her guide and telling her that she alone can grant herself permission to shift her business and change her life.
  • When you’re trying to get WORK done and your pet is back on their bullshit.
.
Who has a little one (pet, baby, cactus) they play with during the day to keep sane?
.
.
.
.
#catstagram #tabbycat #thehustleisreal #freelancer #mondaymotivation #femtrepreneur #hussy #hussycats #imtryingtowork
  • My mother had died a year ago and this wasn’t about her. My pain exceeded her. I was in new terrain — a dark country to which I’d emigrated yet it was foreign to me. This wasn’t like the darkness of before, this was a fresh hurt. A ground that had given way beneath my feet and the fall felt bottomless. There existed no end to it. There was only the enormity of the hurt and its persistence. I woke to it. I carried the weight of it. I fell asleep to it. Even now I couldn’t meet my friend in the day because the light had become an assault.
.
You don’t understand, I said. This is constant. Again with the blank stare. The discomfort and confusion. I had created a ripple, a disturbance in one place. I was no longer the fun friend who cracked jokes and entertained her for years. I had become something other.
.
All I wanted was for her, for anyone, to say: I love you. I’m here for you. Tell me, what can I do?
.
Have you thought about going back to yoga? she asked, signaling for the check. This is just a slump. You’ll snap out of it. You’ll see.
.
It was if a curtain had fallen over our table and the room had gone black.
.
I wrote about depression. HIT THE LINK IN PROFILE AND CLAP YOUR HEART OUT.
.
#realtalk #depression #mentalhealth #femtrepreneur #entrepreneur #ladyboss #tbt #reallife #risingtidesociety #thehustle
  • ‪BIG NEWS. I’m piloting a 6-week group coaching course that covers how to validate your business concept and model, build your brand (story, positioning, benefits, message, voice and tone) and find/connect with your ideal customer.
.
While there's a lot of garbage and woo phonies out there, I'm serving up the real deal. Who am I? I've published two books, built a $20MM company, and have worked with world-class brands and brilliant start-ups. I know how to tell stories.
.
So, I'm launching a course that will focus on how to:
.
🎈Define your brand and difference.
🎈Create a voice and style that's all your own--in everything from your writing to your fonts and photography.
🎈Get laser-focused on who your customer is and how to go after them.
🎈Write copy that puts your customer's heart on pause.
.

If you're a small business owner or freelancer building their business or looking to build (or re-invent) your career through your brand, this is for you. This is for people who are tired of jargon and want the answers they need in plain old English. This is for people who are tired of the disappointing free downloads and courses taught by people who haven't achieved what they're hocking. This is for people who don't want to just color outside of the lines but want to torch the damn coloring book.
.
Beta @ $1500. Weekly live sessions, hot seats, Slack group, weekly challenges, worksheets, tutorials. Ping me if you’re interested. contact@phoebeandkate.co
.
.
.
.
#onlinecoaching #onlineclasses #brandstrategy #brandstrategist #thehustle #femtrepreneur #girlboss #marketing #storyteller #groupclass #wednesdaywisdom
  • What a magical, yummy time at @smorgasburgla. The vibe is SO different from NY. Fewer chef personalities. More home cooks and small businesses. Incredible ethnic food and such a cool energy all around.
.
.
.
.
#weekendvibes #sundayfunday #smorgasburg #foodporn #foodstagram #food52 #instayum #tacos #arepas
  • Part of being a consultant is self-care. Now this isn’t about fancy candles and spending piles of money. This is about managing stress, anxiety, and the crippling self doubt we feel when we go at it alone.
✨
My self-care is all about meditation, medication, yoga, walking to clear my head and get the creative juices flowing, not taking on crazy clients, saying no, having me time and doing the thing that gives me calm—cook.
✨
For years I published a food blog, lovelifeeat.com where I documented thousands of dishes I made, baked, and ate.
✨
While I’m no longer feeling the blogging vibe and I had to hock the fancy camera, I’m back to cooking yummy food.
✨
And eating it, natch.
✨
What’s your self-care regimen?
✨
✨
✨
#clementinedaily #delish #eeeeats #eeeeeats #weekendvibes #sundayfunday #food52 #food52 #foodstagram #healthyeats #selfcare #thehustleisreal #femaleentrepreneur #instayum #yahoofood #buzzfeedfood #eatingwell #storyteller

Follow Me!