I’m visiting for a few days here in Big Sur at the house of Kim, my best friend of many years, and of course I’m going to cook for her, because, well, that’s a big way I show my love for people: I cook for them. It’s a lovely little house on the Old Trout Farm at Garrapata Beach, set back in the beautiful redwoods, surrounded only by the sounds of nature, like the wind which is whipping everything into a frenzy! That wind only adds to the beauty but is making me glad to be indoors cooking and looking forward to yoga, and to Kim’s beau Lucas lighting a fire later.
But this is about more than just being here and the gorgeousness of it all: After we drove to the Whole Foods in town (Carmel/Monterey) to get supplies, we went by my mom’s old favorite beach — and mine too — to fill this cool glass bottle with sand from there. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time as I do not have my mother’s ashes, but collecting a little of this sand makes me feel I have something of her and gives me closure. And after that we came back down the coast, which is so special to me — hey, it’s just plain special, period.
This visit is so easy to take! Kim, who is a yoga teacher, is immersing me in yoga. I’m out-of-shape sore all over, but it’s that good kind of sore, from stretching out all the kinks of winter and feeling the spring/summer coming to life inside me — it feels great to be moving and grooving this way again, in a perfect place for this transition take place. The long, cold months of winter seem far behind me now as I walk the property here, and I just had to share all the beauty of this with my readers so you could experience a taste of it with me.
Speaking of taste, I picked herbs for cooking from the little garden Kim and Lucas had planted, and in a store I found this terrific Himalayan pink salt. I’m whipping up a fresh herb roasted chicken and an arugula salad with sharp cheddar, Pink Lady apples, and Trader Joe’s Sweet and Spicy Pecans, with a delicious tangelo/lemon thyme vinaigrette, and steamed Purple Haize asparagus (yes, purple!). Why Purple Asparagus, well because it was there!!! Cooking good food and and absorbing the beauty surrounding me have put me into a state of euphoria, like a dream only better because I’m wide awake, with my dearest friend, and Big Sur pulsing through my veins — this is living life to the fullest!!!

Herb Roasted Chicken w/ Pineapple Sage , Lemon Thyme and Rosemary:


In a large plate put:

1 whole chicken, washed and dryed
Rub with:

Olive Oil
Juice of one Lemon
Season w/:

Himalayan Pink Salt (or any gourmet salt, kosher will do)
Fresh ground pepper
Paprika
Pinch of Cayenne (or if you are like me, a lot of Cayenne)
Seasoning of Choice, (I used Spike because I was in Big Sur and it’s a old tradition w/ me)
1 Tbls chopped fresh Pineapple Sage
1 Tbls. chopped fresh Lemon Thyme
1 Tbls, chopped fresh Rosemary


In a small bowl put:

1 Good quality apple, cut up
1/2 red Onion cut up
2 sprigs Lemon Thyme
2 sprigs Pineapple Sage
1 Sprig Rosemary
3 cloves Garlic roughly cut up


Season with:

A little Olive Oil
2 Tbls. Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper and Cayenne
Mix to coat and stuff into cavity
Place Chicken on a rack in a pan and roast at 400ºF for 1 1/2 hrs, basting after 40 minutes and then every 20 until done, remove from oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes. While chicken is resting, steam asparagus.

Arugula Salad w/ Tangelo and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette:

1 package Arugula
4 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese of choice sliced into triangles
4 oz. Sweet and Spicy Pecans (I used Trader Joes) cut in half lenthwise
1 Pink Lady or Fugi Apple sliced on the diagonal

Dressing:


1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lg. Tangelo(or more if necessary) should make a 1/2 cup
2 Tbls. Lemon Thyme chopped fine
Salt and Pepper to taste, again I used this fabulous Himalayan Pink Salt and it really makes a difference what salt you use!!!
Fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 Tbls. Lt. Brown Sugar
Mix well and dress salad right before serving.

Always the right side!!!!

And as always, Enjoy!!!
LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, COOK!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010