Back in the Kitchen and Back to Basics

One of the driving factors for me to leave an office job (especially the one that I had in the industry I was in) was the fact that I could not be consistent in providing The Rocket Scientist with a meal every night.  It was getting pitiful when I would come home at 8pm to see that he had stopped and picked up a week’s worth of microwave meals. A part of my heart would weep every night that would happen, but at the time I would literally walk in the door at 7 or 8m, drink a glass of water (and probably a few glasses of wine), eat some dry cereal and fall into bed. I woke up at 4:30 the next morning and was at work by 6 to do it all over again.

That had to stop…

Right now I’m in a mode to just inspire not only myself, but others to just get in the kitchen. To let people know that cooking a good meal doesn’t have to take a long time…and it doesn’t have to have an elaborate recipe to follow. I mean, most of the cooking I do (cooking, not baking…baking is a different beast altogether) is done by the seat of my pants and off the top of my head. That is ok, as long as you know what s in your cupboards, and what tastes good together, you have the makings of a good homemade, meal at your fingertips.

To prove my point, here is a simple meal that I made Monday night. The only forethought I had was in the morning to pull out the chicken to thaw out. Truly, this is all thrown together and there are no precise measurements. Again, as I said above…by the seat of my pants!

Baked Chicken, Red Potatoes with Dill, Steamed Asparagus (and Dump Cake for Dessert)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Place a 6qt pot of water on to boil

I use a bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cooked them all at once. I only use a few per meal, but at least then I have extra for meals later in the week (usually I will make chicken salad with the remaining chicken breasts).

In the bottom of a baking dish drizzle some EVOO. Place chicken breasts in baking dish; drizzle with some more EVOO and sprinkle with salt & pepper, or a spice mix of your choice (often I use Lowry’s Season Salt, but on these I used Penzey’s Fox Point herb mix. Sunny Paris is also great.  It has salt in it so I don’t need to add extra).  Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip chicken breasts, continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest. (If you chose, you could use a rotisserie chicken. You could stop on the way home from work and pick one up.)

While chicken is baking, place quartered red potatoes in the pot of boiling water and parboil (do not let them get too soft). Drain from water. In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add potatoes and 2 teaspoons of dill (fresh or dry). Sauté on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Before starting the potatoes in the frying pan, place asparagus in the pot to steam.

By the time the potatoes are done, your chicken should be out of the oven and the asparagus should be perfectly steams and still crisp. Once you are ready to serve dinner, throw your dump cake into the oven and it will be ready to come out and be served once the dinner dishes are cleaned and the left overs are put in the fridge.

Dump Cake

You know the drill…easy is the key word. You can get the recipe for the Dump Cake HERE.

I will be posting more of these types of meals. I will also try to get back to doing normal recipe type posts and step by step photos.

Everything I cooked could be picked up at the store quickly on your way home from work. If you use a rotisserie chicken, the time is cut even more!