This sandwich is so much more than a sandwich, you guys. Garlic chicken pitas with carrot salad and edamame hummus (say yes to green hummus!) are most likely magical. Some dishes require a kind of synergy of ingredients to be truly complete, know what I mean? That unearthly shimmer that seems to pass over a dish like the successful casting of a good witch's spell in a fairy tale, the flavors of each ordinary, individual part melding perfectly once they're all together. Pull those ingredients apart, however, and each are........somehow lacking. Refusing to shine. Much less than the sum of its parts. Like a lackluster solo career that never should have been (if there were a sandwich equivalent of Scott Weiland), it's simply more evidence that some partnerships are just not meant to be split up, ever.

This dish, though, guys? Definitely NOT one of those situations. Fantastic together, fantastic apart, whatever the situation calls for....each of the elements of this sandwich is your new mealtime best friend. Allow me to introduce you.

This colorful flatbread sandwich, including tender, citrus-glazed garlic chicken with carrot & feta salad and a generous schmear of edamame hummus is something more like a dream team, composed of only star players. Simple flavors--olive oil, garlic, lemon--repeat again and again like plucked notes against a strain of music, creating a kind of resonant harmony when the layers of this sandwich comes together. Yes, it's that good. But split it apart into three new recipes for your mealtime arsenal,'s still that good. These garlic-infused chicken breast slices, for example, could also moonlight as toppings for a hearty kale salad or sit atop a tangle of whole wheat pasta dressed lightly with olive oil and tomatoes. Sweet and earthy carrots play brilliantly off the tart brightness of fresh lemon juice and the salty tang of crumbled feta in a simply assembled carrot salad, one of my favorite side dishes ever. Try this alongside grilled lamb, layered in almost any sandwich, or tossed with leafy greens as a main-event salad. Carrot salad is a perennial hit in my household and formed the original inspiration for this layered pita sandwich, but I have to admit, it was nearly overtaken by a new favorite I discovered while developing this recipe: edamame hummus. Hummus. Made with edamame, you guys.This simple twist on classic hummus is lighter and fresher than the original, and takes on the kind of pretty, delicate green hue that always inspires wonder and hunger in me simultaneously. Edamame hummus is the kind of easygoing side dish that will happily play with flatbread, crisp raw vegetables, fancy crackers, and just about anything else you'd care to pair it with. All things being equal, I'd recommend a spoon. :)

Garlic Chicken Pitas with Edamame Hummus, and Carrot Feta Salad
Makes 4 servings

For marinated chicken:

1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

For carrot feta salad:

3 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
3 teaspoons flat leaf parsley, chopped (divided)
1 tablespoon feta, crumbled

For edamame hummus:

8 oz. shelled edamame (frozen)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
¼ cup water
¼ cup tahini
4 pitas, or other flatbread of choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, arrange chicken breasts in roasting pan. In a small bowl, whisk together one tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon lemon juice, one garlic clove the dried oregano, then drizzle this dressing over chicken and finish with a sprinkle of salt. Bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken breasts are done. Remove, season lightly with pepper to taste, then set aside to cool. Once chicken has cooled for about ten minutes, cut into ½” slices for serving.

Place grated carrots in a bowl, pour 1 tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon lemon juice and one teaspoon honey over them, toss well with a fork. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon parsley and all of the crumbled feta over carrots, toss once more with a fork.

Heat a good amount of salted water to boiling in a medium saucepan, add edamame and boil for 5 minutes, then strain and place in bowl, set aside to let cool. Once cool, place edamame in a food processor with minced garlic clove, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons parsley, ¼ cup water and tahini. Puree until a smooth paste begins to form, then drizzle in the remaining three tablespoons of olive oil and continue to blend until the oil is absorbed.

To assemble sandwiches, spread a heaping tablespoon of edamame hummus on each pita (or inside, if using pitas pocket-style), top with slices of chicken and another heaping tablespoon of carrot feta salad. Fold, eat, and enjoy!


Photos: Ten22 Studio
I need to be the first to point something out: I have no biscuit-making pedigree in my heritage. There's no familial biscuit recipe handed down in grandmother's shaking hand, no secret ways, no bygone biscuits that I can recall at all, really.
But I love them.
Buttery and flaky, soul-redeeming when they're perfect but honestly great even when they're crumbly, served savory to mop up streaks of gravy or just-so sweet and dolloped with rich lemon, do I love me some biscuits. Do you need to have biscuits in your bloodline in order to make them properly? Purists are going to tell me yes, but even still, I don't know. Certainly my biscuits aren't Southern-grandmother-perfect. My people aren't Southern at all, but British--maybe my biscuits have a touch of the scone about them, instead--so these may be cultural anomalies, but they're fantastic alongside a hot, steaming cup of morning coffee, or a tall glass of iced tea. Lightly sweet and kissed with fragrant lemon flavor, the rich pistachio glaze on top is all the sugar you need (plus maybe a little bit extra).
Photos: Ten22 Studio
Just so you know: I'm not a huge fan of most pictures of me. Unless they're taken by a freakishly gifted professional, as these were. Most of the gorgeous photography in this post was shot by my friend, the very talented Rennai Hoefer of Ten22 Studio (she has since blogged the rest of the photos from this shoot, and they're all just as delicately stunning), in an equally gorgeous kitchen borrowed from Heather Kinkel (aka The Birdiegirl Co.). It takes a village to produce a lovely batch of biscuits, people. Rennai and Heather made me feel like a downright domestic goddess that day, and in gratefulness to them, I share my biscuit recipe from that day with all of you. Go forth, blog friends, and bake these for the ones you love. ❤️

Photo: Sweet Laurel

Sweet Lemon Biscuits with Pistachio Glaze
Makes a dozen small biscuits
For the biscuits:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (very cold, ideally you should place it in the freezer for 20 minutes first)
1/2 cup of milk
zest from 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
For the glaze:
2/3 cup chopped pistachios
1 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment in preparation. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & sugar. Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate cold butter into the dry mixture. Work the mixture with your fingertips until everything becomes coarse and crumbly, then STOP! Add milk and work the mixture a little more with your hands until a shaggy dough forms. Add lemon zest & juice, work it gently into the mixture, then gather the dough in a loose ball and place it on a working surface (a clean, lightly floured countertop or another piece of parchment works here).

Pat dough into a shape roughly one inch thick, then--using a small biscuit-cutter or my favorite method, the drinking edge of a glass*--cut out biscuit shapes and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 425 for about 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove and let cool thoroughly.

( *My 'biscuit-cutter' is a small glass that cuts shapes about 2 1/2" inches across. Yours may vary slightly)

To make the glaze, place 1/3 cup pistachios (setting aside the other 1/3 cup for now) in a food processor and pulse until they are as finely ground as possible. Add confectioner's sugar, then water in small amounts. I like to start with a tablespoon and blend until a slow, runny honey-like consistency is achieved, adding a few drops of water here and there as needed. Add a pinch of salt if using unsalted pistachios. Spread on the tops of your cooled biscuits and sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios.


'Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.' --Oscar Wilde

Welcome, 2015. Sorry we haven't really been introduced before now. I've been slow to really grab hold of you in the thirteen days since we met, but I think I'm getting with the program, finally. A little bit of the usual seasonal unease has me dragging my heels into the new year, looking backwards toward the tail end of the holiday season. I didn't really embrace the holidays this time around until it seemed they were nearly over, and for a while--long after the tree should have come down and the mistletoe been packed away--my heart was still aching for warm candlelight and bright paper packages tied up with bows, for cinnamon-spiced things and holly berries and cheer. 

It's really kind of cruel, anyway, isn't it? The way the television commercials instantly switch from scenes of families sipping hot cocoa together to ads for gym memberships? The way we're all expected to snap ourselves briskly into shape like triathletes instead of the eggnog junkies we've become? The way the season just ends and we're left with....January? I may not be huddled in a tiny New York apartment shivering my way through the coldest month of the year this time around (thank goodness for that), but even in the comparatively balmy winters of the Southwestern desert, January is just.....January. A bit grey. A bit gloomy. And after the fleeting glitziness of New Year's Eve passes, totally bereft of golden, twinkling lights, warming cocktails and happy songs. Well, this year I'm fighting my raging case of the Januaries with a warming cocktail of my own, and one that's perfect at any hour of the day: Ginger, lemon & honey tea.

2015, you are nothing to fear. In fact, I've been waiting for you--we have some truly epic things planned around my household, all scheduled to start taking place this year--I just wasn' know...ready for you. But I'm getting there. Like every other human on the planet, I find I am constantly failing, a saintly sinner with an uncertain future. 2014 was epic in its own way, and we moved a lot of mountains, the members of my small household and me. But there are always more mountains left to move. Looking back on a completed year, I see a lot of incomplete actions, a lot of disappointments, a lot of small-minded moments.

Cold, blustery January is maybe the starkest possible reminder of the failures of the year before, which I think accounts for all the resolutions and cleanses and new gym memberships, all the broken promises of the year before seeping their way into our vision for the new year. And yet, and yet.....there is hope. Even in the midst of all this midwinter gloom, there is a way forward (even if we don't find it a physical possibility to exist only on virtuous kale* smoothies for the first month of the year), there is light, there is hope. There is beauty in our most ordinary days, there is grace in humility, there is strength to be gained even in our failures. There is happiness--and healthiness!--to be found in a quietly sipped cup of ginger, lemon & honey tea. Every one of us saints has a past in 2014, and every single one of us sinners has a future. 

To your very good health. :)

(  *Look for a recipe coming tomorrow featuring kale! And no, I'm not kidding, and yes, I'm aware that my timing is ironically hilarious. Don't worry. It's delicious.)

Ginger, Lemon & Honey Tea

This warming beverage is absolutely EVERYTHING in winter. The champion of 'cleanses' for those who may have overdone it on the holiday spirit, and the immune system-boosting hero of cold & flu season, one way or another....drink this to fight whatever form your own case of the Januaries may be taking.

Bright, fresh lemon juice boosts your vitamin C intake, while naturally warming ginger and cinnamon (optional, but I always like to add a dash of ground cinnamon to spike my tea) help the body release toxins. Ginger also fights nausea and aids digestion, and honey, with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties......well, honey is basically a supernaturally perfect food. Plus, this concoction tastes delicious. Need I say more?

Makes one serving

1 cup water
1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peel removed & thinly sliced into coins
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey, or more

Optional garnishes:

cinnamon stick, or ground cinnamon
fresh lemon slice

Bring water just to a boil on the stovetop or in a microwave, pour into a cup and add ginger. Let steep and cool for around five minutes, then add lemon juice and honey, stir to dissolve. If you're a cinnamon fan, swizzling your drink at this point with a whole cinamon stick is a wonderful trick, and allows you to use the delightful verb 'to swizzle'. ;)

You can strain your tea at this point to remove solids, or you can be a little more devil-may-care about them like me, and just leave them in bottom of the cup. I like to garnish my tea with a thin slice of lemon partly because it looks pretty, and partly because it keeps the slices of ginger where they belong, i.e. underneath the slice of lemon and not in my mouth. Do what works for you, and enjoy!