The British love to make roast dinners. I had the privilege of eating many roast dinners served by my generous friend, Emma. Even though she lives in Germany now, I still look up to her. This gorgeous gal could get up in the morning, run a full marathon, clean her house, read an entire book, take her “gulls” to and from school and whip up a full roast dinner by 5:30. As I think of “keeping up with the Emma’s”, I’m reminded of my recent self-analyzing, inspired by a book I’m reading, “You’re Already Amazing” by Holley Gerth. My favorite quote so far is, “if we were good at everything, we wouldn’t focus on much of anything. (2 Cor. 12:9) God gives “power made perfect in weakness”. I wrote this down and taped it to my fridge. I need to write it on post-it notes and stick them on every surface in my home and car! Today, I’m making a scaled down version of Emma’s roast dinner. I’m starting with a layer of potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, garlic and fragrant thyme. I’m using Emeril’s essence to season the chicken which I made myself and filled into an old container I’d saved. I have a newfound love for Emeril. Read about my visit to Emeril’s new restaurant in Sandestin here. Often, I simply use olive oil, salt and pepper. I noticed Barefoot Contessa uses butter instead of olive oil which probably gives the skin a richer and deeply browned skin, but I use too much butter as it is and I think olive oil works just fine. Aren’t these beets radiant? When chopping, try to keep the vegetables fairly consistent in size for even roasting. I used Baby Dutch yellow potatoes. I sliced them in half. You could leave the small ones whole if you like but, I like to create as much surface area as possible for flavor. If you don’t have fresh thyme, use dried and don’t throw away the beet greens you trim from the beets! They sauté up beautifully with a little olive oil and garlic! 6 fresh thyme sprigs = 3/4 tsp ground dried I probably used about 8 cloves of garlic for the vegetables. You will need more for the chicken. I left 3-4 cloves for the chicken whole and sliced the rest in half for the veggies. Place chopped vegetables and thyme sprigs into a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. For the chicken, remove giblets from the cavity and rinse inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Coat in olive oil and Emeril’s Essence and rub into the skin. Chop one onion in half, 3-5 cloves garlic, one lemon and several sprigs of thyme. Stuff into the chicken’s bum. This is the second grossest part of making roast chicken with the first being the process of removing the giblets. I always feel the need to open the little bag and examine the organs like they’re a train wreck, even though I plan to do nothing with them. Maybe I sustained an interest from Anatomy and Physiology in college. Gross then, gross now. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it. I’m not wasting all my precious garlic on anyone’s butt…well, actually it will probably go directly to my butt since I can’t seem to keep up my running routine lately. Tie together the legs. If you don’t have kitchen twine, use dental floss. This is what I did. I never remember to buy twine. Place chicken atop veggies breast side down and tuck wings underneath. Ready to roast!! Cook at 425° for about 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°. Don’t be fooled by the red juices; it’s probably from the beets. If you temp the meat next to the bone and it reaches 165°, its done. Serve with vegetables…obviously. I’m also making a quick pasta salad for a side full of delicious carbs and gluten. Tuck in!! By the way, the pasta salad was a hit too. It came from a box, but I didn’t tell…shhhhhh Scroll down for the recipe you can print and health information about beets. something you may not know: the deep red color of beets comes from a phytochemical called betanin. Research shows that the naturally occurring nitrates may help support healthy blood pressure and have been shown to reduce DNA damage which can lead to cancer.