I am not known for my timeliness, or perhaps more accurately, I am known for (1) underestimating how long things will take, (2) being slow and (3) being late. I have very good intentions, so despite knowing this about myself, I often overbook, making my timing issues even worse.
You should have seen me on Tuesday afternoon. We got home a bit later than planned from the rose garden, with a lofty agenda: make dinner for our family (my parents included) and a family in town with a new baby and deliver dinner to new baby’s family. In the llittle more than an hour we had before it was time to drive to Ryan’s swim lesson.
This is me, moving as fast as I can:
2:45 p.m. Pull into driveway. Bring sleeping Noah up to his bed. Put on TV show for Ryan (AT&T is nothing but trouble – this actually takes me 4 minutes).
2:52 p.m. Turn grill on. Brush 10 thin chicken cutlets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2:58 p.m. The grill must be hot by now, right? Put chicken on grill. Gather remaining ingredients from refrigerator and bring them out on the deck so I could be near my chicken.
Flip chicken. Cover bottoms of pyrex and Corningware with sauce. Transfer grilled chicken to pyrex and corningware.
3:05 p.m. Realize I am giving one of these dishes away, and that family should neither have my Corningware forever nor feel obligated to return it amid their new baby-ness. Transfer sauce and chicken from Corningware to aluminum baking tin. Pick fresh basil from the garden. Skip the ladybug. Rinse leaves. Chop.
3:10 p.m. Cover chicken with more sauce, chopped tomatoes, mozzerella and parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
3:15 p.m. Rapidly chop gigantic head of broccoli. Toss in baking pans with olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and lemon. Nope, no lemon. Back to kitchen to look for lemon. I always have lemons. Just not today.
3:20 p.m. Chop giant watermelon and pack in two containers, one to give, one to keep.
3:25 p.m. Clean dishes. Run down to wine cellar and find appropriate gift for 18 month old big sister of baby whose family I am making dinner for.
3:35 p.m. Pack Ryan’s swim bag and throw bathing suit at him.
3:42 p.m. Scoop sleeping Noah from his bed and move him to car. Miraculously he goes back to sleep. Google Map wherever this meal is going.
3:57 p.m. Arrive at destination. Bring food to kitchen, say hello, quick view of adorable baby and her gorgeous big sister.
4:08 p.m. Hit the road. I seem to be related to my GPS because it estimates we will arrive at swim lessons in 11 minutes, which I know is completely impossible, but I remain hopeful.
4:29 p.m. Arrive at swimming parking lot. Somehow manage bathroom visits and getting Ryan in the pool without missing a single “turn.”
5:30 p.m. Finish swimming. Help Ryan change, walk back to car.
5:45 p.m. Get distracted by amazing trees and forts near parking lot. Play for 15 minutes with boys.
6:15 p.m. Arrive home. Phew. No one is here yet. Turn water on for pasta, oven on for dinner.
6:20 p.m. Go outside with boys. Can’t help but test one more paint color before my mom comes over to vote, I mean, comes over for dinner.
6:35 p.m. My parents arrive. Scott arrives. Pick kale from garden for salad.
Eat dinner really, really late. Even though I made dinner sooooo fast!
Grilled Chicken Parm (from Rocco DiSpirito’s Now Eat This!)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
- Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 ounces each) trimmed of all fat, pounded thin
- Freshly ground pepper
- Kosher Salt
- 2 cups low-fat marinara sauce
- 1 cup drained canned whole plum tomatoes , roughly chopped
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
- 1 1/2 ounces (about 6 Tbsp.) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil spray and set it aside.
Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. When the grill is hot, spray the chicken lightly with olive oil spray. Grill until just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Spread a little less than half of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Lay the grilled chicken breasts on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the chicken; scatter the chopped tomatoes over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the chopped basil, the mozzarella, and the Parmigiano Reggiano.
Bake the chicken until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle the panko and remaining basil on top, and serve.