~Poop On Jelly~

Our Family's Bitter/Sweet Life

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Fare!

Mrs. Nurse Boy here.

Well, it has been a week. Thank goodness it is almost over! Do you hear that? That is me doing the happy dance!!!

Today's Friday Fare is in honor of all of those cooks who don't own measuring cups. I want to be one of those cooks. My mother is that kind of cook. We used to have a lot of dishes that we called "a la Phyllis." She can just go to the pantry and pull stuff out and create an amazing meal. The thought of that makes my head hurt. Do you hear THAT? That is the sound of my head pounding just thinking about trying that tonight! The downside is that there are times she can't remember everything she dumped into the dish. As a result, she may never duplicate your favorite dish EVER AGAIN.

It has also been challenging to learn how to cook from her. I mean, I used to measure the water to boil pasta. Seriously, I MEASURED it out. You'll be happy to hear that I have grown. But, I do still like recipes. I make alterations, but I like to start with a good, solid foundation.

She is also adventurous when it comes to cooking. We can't get too adventurous around here or my kids just might die of starvation (or so they tell me)! She even uses a pressure cooker. Have you ever watched one of those things?! The way it dances around on the stove top? My mother doesn't even wince when the pressure cooker is singing and dancing. And, the meat that comes out of that crazy thing is AMAZINGLY tender. My kids love her cooking. I am pretty sure she could get them to eat squirrel or rabbit. I am lucky if they let meat touch their lips that does not resemble a chicken nugget.

So, today's dish is "a la Mrs. Nurse Boy." Since it has been a little crazy around here lately, I have had to be a little creative with some of our dinner choices. I still haven't made it to the store for my MAJOR grocery shopping. I have had a few nights where I have had to channel the Phyllis in me. She is in there...sometimes.

Today I will share one of my recent successes. No measuring cups necessary!

Zesty Italian Chicken, A La Mrs. Nurse Boy
1/2 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing (with this stuff, there is no need to marinate!)
parsley (I didn't even bother to use fresh..we are talking simple, people!)
garlic powder
Italian seasoning
bread crumbs
4-5 chicken breasts
mozzarella cheese (optional, but let's be honest, you know it shouldn't be an option)

In a 13x9 pan, cover the chicken with the zesty Italian dressing, making sure both sides are covered in dressing. Sprinkle the chicken with parsley, garlic, and Italian seasoning, to taste. Sprinkle the top of the chicken breasts with bread crumbs. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, top with mozzarella cheese.

This stuff is simple and simply delicious! I hope you love it and it inspires you to play around in your own pantry. Maybe you already do... and, if so, I am jealous.

And, since I know Nurse Boy is going to read this, let me clarify what playing around in your pantry means. It does not mean mixing different sugar cereals together to see which concoction can give you the biggest sugar rush. That does not take talent, Nurse Boy!

I just always try to stay a step ahead of everyone else around here...


Ruby Red Slippers said...

Well-the cook you described in our house is my husband-me I measure the water, too!!!
I think I can follow your recipe, today...I might have a measuring cup handy, though...

Boy Mom said...

Hmmm, that's not the clarification of, "playing around in the pantry," I was expecting!

The recipe sounds fab, I bet it would be great with Caesar dressing and Parmesan cheese. Whoa, I think I just channeled Phyllis for a sec.

I'm with you, I need a good recipe to start with.

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

You just inspired me to try mixing peanut butter capt'n crunch and coca puffs. I love a woman you can inspire her man.

Suz said...

We'll my friends( did you hear what I just typed), If you watch ed Boy mom cook it would be like watching mom. I swear she never uses a measuring cup, especially for cookies. I think her hand is exactly 1 cup. I call her my live recipe book. I called her last Friday for a chocolate frosting recipe.... Oh some of this and some of that.

We have a few things in common besides "her". I like a precise recipe, I am all for a solid foundation. I've fallen to many times. I am a Ct technologist (15yrs in radiology). Watch out, Ct colonograhy is pickin up.

Suz said...

Oh... one more thing. I've always wanted to patent cereal favored milk. Maybe nurse boy would have some ideas. I've tried the cereal straws, YUCK!

Boy Mom said...

You two are so incredible! Mr. Nurse boy, I know a phone widowers support group you can join if you ever decide to give out that number.

"Hi I'm Adorable Hubby, I'm a phone widower."

Don't believe Suz about the cooking, it's my 1 cup hand only measures sugar, and she kicks my heiney in the cake department.

Love Ya!

Jonny's Mommy said...

This sounds like an awesome recipe. I am just not the best cook and it never seems like I have time to do something ...well, amazing or remotely interesting. My mom cooks the same way your mom does and that bit about not being sure she'll ever make your fave dish the same way again...yeah, pretty accurate. I've asked her about certain recipes when I'm trying to duplicate it and I'll ask her how much of this or that I should use: "Oh...I don't know. Like a little." or "Maybe a half a cup. Whatever looks good."

Looks good? What?!

She makes the best mashed potatoes though and it is a rare thing that those come out different or bad. They are homemade and .... *sigh* amazing. Let me go think about those for awhile and then feel my hips expand even more!

Mummy McTavish said...

I was just thinking about this while I was cooking dinner tonight. Recipes I have made up myself are measureless so my tuscan chicken was perfection the first time I made it, now, I have to compare each batch to that and so far I haven't remembered what I did right that first time (though tonights was close). Still tastes good, always ends with empty plates and it comes together SOOOOO fast.

I do use measuring cups for baking though, I think I've had too many undesirable outcomes to risk that one (tip for the singles - use measuring cups the first time you cook something for a guy)

Mother Mayhem said...

I come from a long line of great cooks. My mom is the best, and both of my sisters cook food that is to die for. I did NOT inherit the cooking gene. Emily once told a woman in the grocery store that "My mommy can't cook, but I love her any way." :o)

Amanda said...

My Mum used to have a pressure cooker! I forgot about those!!
My Great-Grandpa was a baker and wouldn't use a mixing bowl when he was making cakes of bread ~ it was all done on the work surface. I'm not brave enough to try that!

Thanks for sharing the recepie, it sounds good!

Amanda x