Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Today She Learned That The Exhaust Fan Should Be On When Adding The Wine

Oops. The title of today's post was supposed to be something mildly impressive like "Today She Learned to Make French Bread" or "Today She Did 8 Loads of Laundry". Both of those are true, but the stand-out in my mind was adding the wine to my hot pan, watching it hiss as the alcohol burned off, and hearing the smoke alarm go off. I instantly chuckled and thought to myself, "Aha, today she learned...". Thankfully the smoke alarm was quickly silenced, the house was aired out, and I finished making my sauce without further incident.

The dish for which the sauce was intended was Chicken Cordon Bleu. I had never made it, but I wanted to cook chicken for dinner and needed something that the Hubby would eat. Too often, when he asks "What's for dinner?" and I answer "Chicken," it conjures in his mind a plain, overcooked, tasteless chicken breast all alone on a plate. I have learned over the years that if I am going to say we are having chicken, I better have a description of what is planned... even better if it involves cheese. Thus, my quest to make dinner began.

Now, here's the thing about this story... One of the big things I need to learn is how to pull together dinner. Once in a while I'll get into the swing of things and put together a menu for the week. That's rare, though. Today I found myself staring at the chicken and thinking about the Chicken Rollatini I had at a restaurant a few weeks ago. That triggered the idea of Chicken Cordon Bleu. Ham & cheese rolled into breaded chicken sounded like something Hubby would like. I quickly found this recipe and concluded that I had most of the ingredients. I breezed through the reviews and decided that I would follow suggestions to brown the rolls in a pan, then finish them in the oven. Since I didn't have heavy cream (and to lighten it up a bit), I figured I could make the sauce with 1% milk.

Since I made pizza dough earlier in the week, the thrill of using my bread machine was fresh in my mind. Again, it was back to the computer where I found a recipe for Bread Machine French Bread, with raves about how good it was when prepared as suggested by one of the reviewers, ~*Miss Diggy*~.

I prepared the chicken rolls while Sophie was sleeping in the afternoon, popped the ingredients into the bread machine and continued my laundry crusade (which I had dedicated my day to). The bread machine signaled the end of it's dough cycle at about 4:30. I shaped it into 2 loaves, froze one and set the other to rise. It went into the oven at 5:30ish, I started searing the chicken at 5:50, popped it into the oven at 6:00, removed the bread, put together the sauce (which, if you recall, is what started this lengthy saga), and dinner was on the table by 6:30. All in all it was quite tasty - I'd definitely make it again.

And the French Bread? Let's just say I'm very excited about making French Toast tomorrow morning!

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