Post #446 A Monumentally Bad Day

January 8, 2016 at 2:33 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I won’t go into details, but yesterday was not a red-letter day.  I started out cranky and went down hill from there.  The only bright spot was getting off work at 4:30.  That meant I could actually have dinner with Partner/Spouse for the first in days.  Also, I had today off which meant I could indulge in more than a single glass of wine, if I chose to.  I chose to.

Once I got home, we spent several minutes filling each other in our respective days, a mix of good news and less than good news.  I slugged down a glass of wine while we stood and talked.  Then I had to turn my mind to dinner and what to make.  I wanted simple; I wanted quick; I wanted comfort.  I had thawed out chicken cutlets.

What to do with these huge slices of chicken breast that I hadn’t done before more than a dozen times?

I started out by dipping them in egg to hold a flour crust.  Then I dredged them in the flour and immediately rolled them panko bread crumbs that I’d added parmesan cheese to.  While they sat for a few minutes, I heated olive oil in a skillet and turned on the electric tea pot to heat water to boiling.  Turning back to the skillet, I added minced garlic to the oil and seared it for a few seconds, then added the chicken.

Letting that cook, I turned back to the boiling water and measured out two cups for instant mashed potatoes.  I love these instant mashed potatoes.  They’re worlds away better than they used to be decades ago.  Two cups of boiling water in a bowl.  Add the contents of the package and whisk until blended.  Let it set till it thickens, about 30 seconds or so, and instant mashed potatoes that taste like actual mashed potatoes.  They’re light and fluffy and have a range of flavors to satisfy anyone.  Once those were done,  I flipped the chicken and started on the salad.

Oooops, the salad kit was far too old to use.  It was a chopped salad, which meant it was mostly cabbage, and we thought it would last longer.  Either it was an older one when we bought it, or we misremembered when we actually bought it.  I tossed it and reviewed my options.

My heart wasn’t in cooking, but once the process started, I relaxed and let the creative flow happen.  I rough chopped some carrots, some celery, and put them in a bowl.  Then I dumped out some grape tomatoes into another bowl and called it good.

After a few more minutes, I took the chicken off the stove, arranged everything, refilled my wine glass, and we gathered our repast that only minutes before had been in the fridge.  We sat on the couch with our favorite television show and dove into our plates.

The chicken was tender and juicy with the lightly salty/cheesy taste of parmesan with the hint of garlic throughout.  It had crunch and coating from the flour and panko.  It was terrific.  The salad was chill, fresh, and tasty.  The potatoes were hot, fluffy, and very good.  Overall, a good effort for an uninspiring day.

But after the meal was over, I wandered through the kitchen and pantry, looking for something else, something to complete the meal.  We didn’t have any cookies, and the only cakes were in boxes of cake mix.  I wanted chocolate but all the Christmas candy had found its way to Partner/Spouse’s office to feed his troops.

So, on went the oven, and out came the cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Brownies on the way!  I always thought there was no way to add too much chocolate to brownies.  Turns out, I was wrong.  I added about a cup of mini chocolate chips to the completed mix and about half a cup of sweetened coconut flakes.  I was going to add some sunflower seeds, but thought that might be too much.  I should have added them.

For the first time in my life, I cut the brownies while they were still hot.  We ate them like lava cake.  They tasted the Mounds bars.  They were so good!  The ultimate comfort food for a bad day.

That’s why I like being a cook.


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