Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 4: a Cooking Student

Have I mentioned that I was a bit of a school nerd growing up? As in I always did my homework and never missed an assignment? And was a tiny bit obsessed with getting A's?

So naturally when Mrs. Marple instructed us to start in the kitchen on our quest for fine living, I took her seriously. True to form, I wanted to impress her with my scholarly diligence.

So I made chicken parmesan for dinner.

First I chopped up these lovely tomatoes, home grown from my friend who felt sorry for me after reading my "runt" post last week (thanks Sharry!), for the sauce.

And I blended them in my handy little hand chopper. It's probably one of my favorite appliances. But that's not surprising because I think smaller versions of big things (like food processors) are always adorable.

I like a little flavor and texture in my sauce, so I sauteed some onion and garlic....

And then added the tomato, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. On occasion I've also been known to thrown in a little chipotle for heat, but my little tryst with heartburn of late shut that idea down immediately.

Chicken parmesan is breaded, so I dutifully dredged my chicken breasts in egg and then seasoned bread crumbs. Then I cooked them in 1 tbs. of butter in the skillet until done, giving them a nice, crispy brown coat.

The final ta-da is to dump the cooked pasta (I used about 1/3 of a spaghetti package) into an oven-proof skillet, place the cooked chicken on top, sprinkle (or dump, as in my case) the parmesan cheese, and then pour the sauce over the whole thing. I broiled mine for 5 minutes or so until the cheese melted and everything looked all bubbly and delicious.

Then I served it with salad greens tossed in vinaigrette.

Of course cooking dinner wasn't exactly the point of Mrs. Marple's lesson. What she wants is a menu plan. So, again true to form, I did that too. I'll let you copy mine if you want--just email me at for the pdf. Mrs. Marple probably won't notice.

She also gave us a hint about the next assignment--something about doubling up recipes to make life easier. I guess we'll learn more about that tomorrow.

Hope you have a great day!

Previous Days at the Institute:
Day 1: Acceptance
Day 2: the Secret to Fine Living
Day 3: Starting in the Kitchen


  1. I love that my tomatoes made it into the blog! YA-WHOO :)

  2. You're famous! And the tomatoes were great!


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