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Posts tagged ‘brioche’

My Case For An Outdoor Butler

Sometimes the local newspaper asks me to write a story.

They don’t call me when they need someone to cover a political scandal or a tornado.

They call me when they need someone to figure out how to raise a pet chicken.

In my heart I know I was born to do this.  But I try to play it cool.  When they ask if I’m available, I say “One moment please, let me check my calendar. . . .”

But really, I’m thinking WHOOOWEE! IMMA BE A FAMOUS CHICKEN JOURNALIST!  And I’m wiggling around like a kid who has to pee.

After I get the call, I have a week or two to do research.  This basically involves showing up at peoples’ houses and asking if I can pet their chickens.

It also involves:

(a) seeing if this bathtub full of chicks and ducklings fits into my trunk;

(b) crying in the parking lot when it does not; and

(c) realizing I need to sneak it back into the feed store before anyone notices that it’s gone.

In case you try to steal one of these tubs-- please know that these little shits can fly.

When the research is done, I test my information out on Scott.

This involves poking him and telling him chicken facts so I can figure out which ones are the best.

Like so:

[poke] Chickens dig holes so they can take dust baths but then they shake the dust off and they’re actually cleaner than before.  

[poke] They eat yogurt.  And grapes.

[poke]  Some of them lay pastel-colored eggs.

This goes on for about three days and eventually I write the damn thing and send it in.


We will call her Louise.  She’s going to guard our backyard and eat our table scraps and make eggs for breakfast.

It’ll be like having an outdoor butler, basically.

Just look at her butle the heck out of this wooden post.


Scott’s being a real buzz-kill about her.  He says she would violate our lease.

This coming from a guy who just asked me if he could trim the boxwood bushes in our front yard into the shape of a spaceship.

I get that we live in a NASA town and Scott likes space stuff.  But, um, hello.  What are the chances the spaceship looks like a giant ding dong?  90%.  I’m pretty sure the lease says something about not putting ding dong monuments in the front yard.  And if it doesn’t, I’m writing it in.


But in case chicken journalism isn’t a bottomless well of opportunity, I’m still cooking.

This is the delicious brioche from “Baking With Julia.”  You can get the recipe here.  But if you don’t have time to make fancy bread, just get a loaf of something at the store and smother it with some goat cheese and portobello mushrooms.

I like to throw garlic and mushrooms in a pan with some olive oil, salt and thyme and finish it off with a dash of balsamic.

For dinner, we toasted slices of brioche, smothered them with goat cheese, topped them with mushrooms, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with sea salt.   It was awesome, and from start to finish, it took about 30 minutes.

Portobello Mushrooms with Balsamic & Thyme {Download & Print Recipe}


2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press (or chopped is fine)

12 oz. portobello mushroom caps, cut into  1/2″ strips

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar


In a medium or large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat.  When it’s hot, add the garlic.  Sautée for a minute.  Make sure the garlic isn’t browning or frying up.  Add the mushrooms, salt and thyme.  At first, the skillet will be dry except for the oil.  10-15 minutes into cooking, they will be dark and will have released their water content into the skillet.  At this point, add the sugar and the vinegar.  Cook, stirring occasionally, at least 5 minutes more, until most of the liquid in the skillet has evaporated.

Serving suggestions:

Spoon the mushrooms over goat cheese on toasted bread and drizzle with olive oil, if desired, and coarse salt.  Or toss on salads, put in omelets, incorporate into pasta sauces, etc.


Thunder sat on her blanket for 20 minutes this morning with a shoelace hanging out of her mouth.

And then she took a nap, still connected to the shoe.

As I was saying to Scott, it’s probably because my shoes smell like chickens now, and she’s trying to tell us that we should get Louise.