2017 Holiday Gift Guide - For the Writer in Your Life

Every year I spend countless hours browsing the internet, seeking out the coolest items to add to our yearly gift guides (which really is an excuse to cover my horrible shopping addiction, damn you Amazon!) Today I have a roundup of some of my favorite gifts for the writer in your life.

2017 Writers Gift Guide | Not Starving Yet

Peter Pan Collector's Edition Moleskine Notebooks from Amazon: You just think lovely wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air.

Honest Acronyms File Folders from Amazon: These fun folders perfectly sum up most of the paper items found in most offices. They may or may not help keep you more organized, but at least they're honest, right?

Writers' Tears Irish Whiskey from Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak: I stumbled across this remarkable Irish Whiskey at the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin, Ireland this past summer. Next time I'm facing yet another rejection letter I can at least drowned my sorrows with something tasty, yet humorous. 

Soap for Writer's Block from Hallmark: It smells like regurgitated ideas and probably a vampire. Come on. It's a bar of (handmade) soap, not magic. Try vodka (although I prefer Whiskey myself.)

A - Z Bookends from Amazon: These fun and functional bookends are the perfect gift for the writer (or reader) in your life. 

The Writer's Block - Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination from Amazon: This 3x3x3 block will either jump-start your imagination, as promised, or provide plenty of excuse to procrastinate further which can be a double edged sword. 

Too Much Coffee Mug from Amazon: My words, like most writers, are fueled by coffee. The words stop flowing once the coffee does. True story.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.
 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Simple Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters with Caramelized Fennel and Onions Served Over Sourdough Dressing - A Sheet Pan with a Plan #Sponsored by @OXO

In the midst of holiday over indulgence, sometimes it's nice to sit down to a simple meal that won't leave you feeling guilty. Today we're partnering with OXO to bring you one of our favorites: roasted chicken leg quarters, served over sourdough dressing. We've paired it with some of our favorite fresh, seasonal vegetables—fennel and yellow onions, which have been lightly careamelized to perfection. It's the type of meal that will be on the table in under an hour, making it perfect for a busy week night or last minute guests. Added bonus: the dressing is a great way to use up that loaf of bread you bought, but forgot about (or the heels that no one ever eats.)

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Chicken Leg Quarters
 

with Fennel and Onions


makes approximately 2 - 3 servings



 

Ingredients


1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 - 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
sea salt and pepper, to taste

2 - 3 chicken leg quarters
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
garlic sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups stale sourdough bread, torn into chunks
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced  
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3/4 cup chicken stock
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
 

Directions
 

 

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice the fennel and yellow onion into uniform pieces, brush with melted butter, then add sea salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables so the butter and seasonings are evenly distributed, then transfer the vegetables to one half of the baking sheet. You'll reserve the other half for the dressing and chicken.
  • In a large skillet add onion, celery, and butter. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, or until the celery is slightly tender. Add poultry seasoning, bread, and chicken stock, then mix until all of the liquid is incorporated. Do not add additional stock if you still have dry bread, the juices from the chicken will moisten the stuffing as it cooks.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, then mix everything together. Transfer the finished stuffing to the second half of the sheet pan.
  • Place the chicken leg quarters on top of the dressing, brush with melted butter, then season generously with smoked paprika, garlic sea salt, and black pepper.
  • Bake uncovered for 45 minutes, making sure to stir the onions and fennel several times through the cooking process to keep them from burning along the edges. Once the stuffing is slightly brown on the edges and the onions have caramelized, remove from the oven and check that the chicken has cooked throughly. You can use a quick-read thermometer to ensure that it has cooked to 165ºF, or poke with a fork and make sure that the juices run clear. If they're still pink, just pop the chicken back in the oven for a few more minutes.
     

Notes

 

If you have time you'll want to lay your bread out the night before making this recipe so it will have time to dry out. I'm lazy about planning, so I put mine on a baking sheet, then let it sit on the counter until I'm ready to use it. If you decide to make this recipe at the last minute you can always bake your bread for 10 - 20 minutes at 200ºF to help dry it out a little faster.

The amount of chicken stock you'll need can vary, so make sure to have extra on hand. If your stuffing comes out of the oven on the dry side you can always add a little bit of extra stock to moisten it up. 
 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Tools


To facilitate today's recipe OXO sent along a handful nifty kitchen items. Keep reading for more information on the tools featured in our post today and where you can purchase them.

Chef's Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer: The Instant Read Thermometer provides quick, accurate measurements for cooked meat. The pivoting head allows reading temperature from any angle.  Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Silicone Roasting Rack - Elevates food above fat and liquid for healthier cooking and allows air to circulate around food for faster, more even roasting. Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Non-Stick Pro Half Sheet Jelly Roll Pan - Square-rolled edges add reinforcement for structure, strength and durability. Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Flavor Injector Inject marinades and other flavorings into meat for delicious flavor and juiciness. Two needles for thick and thin marinades store inside injector tube when not in use. Purchase from Amazon or OXO

Good Gravy Fat Separator (not pictured) - Easily separates the fat for healthier gravies, soups and sauces. Purchase from Amazon or OXO
 

Disclosure


Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Sheet Pan with a Plan Campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Dixon Deer Stew from The Walking Dead - The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson

Dear Hunters,

Today I have something special for you, straight out of Lauren Wilson's new book: The Walking Dead - the Official Cookbook and Survival Guide. The deer you bagged may not be eight foot tall or weigh 12,000lbs, but you'll still need a good recipe to warm you up after a day in the woods, even if it wasn't thirty below. Dixon's Deer Stew may as well have strutted right out of your dreams, it's everything you didn't know you were waiting for.

If hunting isn't your thing, don't pass this recipe by, you can still try this stew out with one quick and easy subsititution. This is what I'll be doing since someone in my family had the audacity to get married on opening day of deer season this year. (Seriously, who plans a wedding for opening day of deer season? This is the second time someone in this branch of the family has done that. I'm starting to think we need to stage an intervention.) The wedding may have saved me from sitting in the woods all day with nothing but a bottle of dandelion wine to keep me warm, but it also means that deer meat is in short supply around here unless I hit up my baby brother. If you're in the same boat, no worries, you can easily substitute beef stew meat. Added bonus: You'll have a very delicious stew without having to freeze your buns off sitting in the woods waiting for Da Turdy Point Buck so you can cook yourself a meal.

If you didn't get any of the references I've made in today's post it's quite possible you weren't alive in 1992, so go watch the video I've linked to above and see what you missed out on by not being around in the early 90s . It's 5 minutes of your life you'll never get back, but how can you say no to a deer huntin rappin tale? 

I knew you couldn't, just like I know you can't resist trying this stew.

Recipe excerpted from The Walking Dead - The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide, © 2017 by Lauren Wilson. Photography © 2017 by Yunhee Kim. Reproduced by permission of Insight Editions. All rights reserved. DISCLOSURE: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, as always all opinions are my own.

Recipe excerpted from The Walking Dead - The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide, © 2017 by Lauren Wilson. Photography © 2017 by Yunhee Kim. Reproduced by permission of Insight Editions. All rights reserved. DISCLOSURE: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, as always all opinions are my own.

We all know that Daryl Dixon is a natural tracker and hunter. He’d also be the first to tell you that a deer is far more than just tenderloin and chops. To make the most of the whole animal, you are going to have to use up those tougher cuts from the shoulder and rear. These cuts are perfect for stewing because of all the connective tissue that breaks down over long cooking and causes the meat to become fork-tender.

If you can’t get your hands on venison, you can substitute stewing beef—at least until you get your hunting skills up to snuff (see “Hunting Basics” on page 24) or make it to your local butcher. This recipe features simple vegetables the group could have grown in their prison garden: onions, carrots, potatoes, and peas. In nonapocalyptic settings, feel free to add more “exotic” ingredients like button mushrooms or parsnips.

Dixon's Deer Stew
 

YIELDS: 4 SERVINGS

 

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 2 HOURS

Ingredients
 


3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 pounds venison stew meat (from the front shoulder or rear end: chuck roast, top round, bottom round), cubed
Salt and pepper
2 sweet onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1¼ cups red wine for deglazing, or water
4½ cups beef broth, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf, if available
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
2 large potatoes, diced
½ cup barley
½ cup peas, garden fresh or frozen
 

Directions
 

 

  • Preheat a large heavy pot (like a Dutch oven, if available) with 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.

  • Pat the meat dry and season generously with salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Cover the bottom of the pot with a single layer of meat—do not overcrowd it or it will not sear properly. Leave the meat undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes, until it has nicely browned.

  • Repeat for all sides, remove from the pot, and set aside.

  • Repeat the process for the remaining meat, adding another tablespoon of oil if needed. You will see a brown mess at the bottom of the pan—this is a good sign. If it begins to burn, turn down the heat.

  • Turn the heat down to medium. Add another tablespoon of oil, if needed, along with the onions, and stir until softened, about 5 minutes.

  • Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

  • Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

  • Add the tomato paste and stir constantly for another minute.

  • Turn the heat to high and add the red wine, working up all the browned bits at the bottom of the pot with your spoon.

  • Return the meat to the pot, and cover with 4 cups of broth. Add the thyme and bay leaf.

  • Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

  • Stir in the carrots and potatoes. Simmer covered for another 30 minutes.

  • Add the barley to the pot, along with ½ cup of broth. Simmer covered for another 30 minutes.

  • Check the doneness of both the meat and the barley. The stew is done when everything is tender. Stir in the peas, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.

  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
     

Disclosure

 


This book was sent to me for review by Insight Editions as always, all opinions are my own.

Recipe excerpted from The Walking Dead - The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide, © 2017 by Lauren Wilson. Photography © 2017 by Yunhee Kim. Reproduced by permission of Insight Editions. All rights reserved.