My father-in-law came over to show me how to make lentil soup, and we decided to make a whole meal out of it. He ended up getting split peas by accident, so we decided to improvise the whole meal. WOW...everything turned out awesome!

Split Pea Soup
Ashley & Settino Covelli

16 ounce bag dried green split peas
2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and diced
8 ounce package diced ham
1 tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ yellow onion, diced
1 ½ cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 leaf fresh bay
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 dried chile arbol, left whole
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Add ingredients to large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn down medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to thicken it up a little, leaving chunks if you like. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy!

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

I mentioned that I had never cooked a whole chicken before, so we made a beer can chicken recipe. It was super moist, and the skin was nice and crispy.

This is how you set up the chicken:

This is what it looks like when it comes out:

And this is what it looks like cut up:

Beer Can Chicken
Ashley & Settino Covelli

1 4-5 lb. chicken
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 can beer
1 leaf fresh bay
fresh thyme
fresh parsley
dry rub

Remove gizzards from chicken. Wash and pat dry. Apply your favorite dry rub to the outside skin of the chicken. Tuck the wings back so they don't burn. Drink 2/3 of a can of beer, and throw the herbs and garlic into the can. Stand the beer can upright on a roasting pan and place the chicken onto the can, standing upright. Place in a 350°F oven for around 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Thyme
Bon Appétit April 2008

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 ¼ pounds slender asparagus spears, trimmed
fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt

Melt butter with oil and thyme sprigs in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus in single layer; using tongs, toss to coat. Sauté, turning often, until crisp-tender and beginning to brown in spots, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper and serve.

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

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