Making a mess in the kitchen

It was a good day to cook – hot and steamy outside, air conditioning insiChopping Peppersde, and plenty of time to experiment. My knee was still sore after all that walking around hunting cows yesterday so I didn’t want to do anything overly strenuous. Cooking fit the bill nicely. One of my commitments to myself this week was to try some new recipes so I spent some time last night reading cookbooks to figure out what to make and what ingredients I needed so I could buy them first.  It’s always easier to follow a recipe if you have everything on hand. I’m happy making things up but prefer to do that after I’ve tried something as written at least once.

I chopped and diced and cleaned and hulled and steamed and did all kinds of things that dirtied up quite a lot of pots and pans, some of them more than once. It’s a small kitchen so not many pots can make quite a mess. A lot of pots make it hard to manouver. I made three different things:

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage and Apples, which I like cold as a side-dish rather than hot, especially in the summer. I have a recipe I like and have made before but tried another one that used applesauce instead of apples in spite of the name. Hmmm. Next time I might swap out that one ingredient and keep the rest the same – it’s sweet/sour and crunchy, and will be good for lunch. Will post that another time.

Parmesan-Glazed Chicken – got this very easy and VERY tasty recipe from Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You) by Frances Price. Take 1 chicken breast per serving and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine 1 TB white wine + 1 TB Parmesan Cheese per chicken breast (so with 2 of them, use 2TB of each). Combine into a paste and paint the chicken. Bake uncovered on the top rack in the oven at 375 for 35-45 minutes. This was very yummy. I made 3 servings so I have leftovers – 6 pts each.

Pasta salad – another made up recipe with mostly made up quantities of veggies you like and have on hand. Combine 3 Cups cooked rotini pasta, cherry tomatoes sliced in half, approx. 1 1/2 C. blanched broccoli florets, chopped red onion, celery, green peppers, and black olives. I only used a little bit of each of those, picked up at the salad bar at the grocery store. Toss with approx. 1/2 – 3/4 C. fat-free Italian salad dressing. Go with less and add more only if needed. Less is more. This is a good side dish but you can also add chopped turkey or some fake crab and it makes a tasty main dish.