It might be a lot like yours (or not at all)

the meal the ended my cooking-depression.

In Apartment Cooking, beauty and the biz on January 14, 2008 at 5:07 pm

following Christmas and the shenanigans surrounding the meal i put tremendous thought into planning, labored over for hours, and turned out amazing…i was not in the mood to cook. despite my diamond cutting new knife, new cookbooks, my new island, and tons of new kitchen toys…it seemed as tho i had no desire to cook. my man came back home to L.A…still nothing. approaching New Year’s Eve…still nothing.

maybe it was the irregularity of being on a 10day vacation with out my routine. or maybe it was how sucky my stepdad’s reaction was to not having his dinner on the table at the time he’d hoped…but i was in a culinary funk.

so work started back up. i was relying on eating out and delivery, yet i knew i needed to stop that bizness (not good for pockets or pants size). still, i sat surrounded by the new Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Rachel Ray, Real Simple, new cook books, and attempted to get into the Food Network…and i was slightly disinterested. after a few days of the disinterest, i WANTED to cook. yet–i couldn’t for the life of me decide what to make. not only could i not figure out what i was in the mood for…but for some reason, i had no creative inspiration to create something new (which is what i do 90% of the time when i cook),ย  and none of the recipes appealed to me. UGH.

finally, it came to me. i knew what i needed to cook. Baked Lemon Chicken from my Betty Crocker cookbook. this amazing dish started my adventures in cooking back in college. this was the very first recipe i made that i would call “challenging”…and the first one that actually really intrigued me and impressed me enough to keep it up. it is the chemistry and science of the ingredients that got me.

in this recipe, which is different than others…a few things happen that make me happy. it’s easy, yet impressive, and the preparation is just…thought-provoking when your a beginner, and even when you’re not. you start by breading the chicken breasts with flour, a smidge of baking soda, and cayanne pepper. then, you lay the breasts on a baking sheet…but before you put them in the 400-degree oven, you spray the tops of the breasts with Pam Spray! this amazed me! even more amazing is the way the Pam and the baking soda react in the oven…it gets cripsy, and tastes like it’s fried (MMmm). as the chicken is cooking, i prepare the lemon sauce which i think is impressive. it’s basically just sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken broth, and chopped garlic…then you add cornstarch and presto! thick sauce!

the end result for me that night…was a process that was both familiar and comforting, since i’ve made that dish at least 10-15 times before. it reminded my why i fell in love. and the outcome impressed me enough to feel good about what i’ve made. THANK YOU BETTY CROCKER! i’ve been cookin’ up a storm ever since ๐Ÿ˜‰

Baked Lemon Chicken by Betty Crockerย 

  1. “my diamond cutting new knife”


    I have a recipe like that, that “first inspiration.” that’s just wonderful that it helped you in that way once again. not to mention it sounds delicious. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also couldn’t help but smile when you talked about the chemistry and science of the ingredients… I dig that, in all my geeky nature. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. something comforting about the first inspiration. it’s like listening to your first favorite song in a certain genre that really grabbed you ๐Ÿ™‚

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