Saturday, March 1, 2014

Somewhat Of A Fail

Happy March!!!

As I posted earlier in the week, Christopher had asked me to make some kind of a chicken/wine/cream dish for dinner on Wednesday night. My online searches had led me to this recipe which I planned to modify. In fact, I made so many modifications that there was very little of the original recipe left. And, while my intentions were good, I probably should not have messed with a good thing. 

It started off well.
I used halved grape tomatoes instead of chopped plum tomatoes. I also added chopped zucchini, sliced mushrooms and minced garlic. 
Browning the garlic, ginger and scallions in olive oil. 
In retrospect, at this point, I probably should have done things differently. I added the lime juice and the wine to the garlic/ginger mixture and reduced. Then I added the veggies and sauteed. Everything got too mushy for my liking and the tomatoes fell apart. 
 Then I added the chicken (which I had stir fried earlier) and the cream.
Topped with chopped fresh parsley and ready to serve.

 The final result looked very good, it just wasn't flavorful. At all. Blah.
As I was finishing up with dinner preparations, Christopher came in to watch. 

Christopher: How is that chicken in a wine and cream sauce?

Me: Well, there is chicken and wine and cream and there is a sauce, so technically it is.

Christopher: That was not quite what I had in mind. (And proceeds to ask for leftover spaghetti and meatballs from the night before).

So, this was was definitely a fail for dinner as far as Christopher was concerned. And, Kevin and I weren't all that thrilled either. But, there is hope. Even as Kevin and I were eating, I was thinking about improvements and adjustments to make it a better recipe.

What I would do next time...
1. Saute the garlic, ginger and scallions until very golden. I might have rushed this step.
2. Grill the chicken and the zucchini for more flavor.
3. Use chopped sun-dried tomatoes for more flavor.
4. Figure out how to use some chicken broth in the sauce (maybe reduce the wine a little?)
5. Add a little more salt and pepper. I tend to use less than what the recipe calls for anyway.
6. Maybe use cream cheese instead of cream?
7. Top the finished dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, we had spaghetti and meatballs the night before and finished all of the Parmesan cheese then. I always try to keep a container in the refrigerator because it adds so much flavor when added as a topping on pastas and veggies. 

Obviously lots of things to try next time - and there will be a next time as I see great potential in this recipe. 

Caitlynne has her first "on the water" crew practice today. They were supposed to be on the water as of this past Monday but we had some more snow and then it was just too cold to be out there so the teams continued with their indoor conditioning. Her coach said that, in the 15 years he has been rowing on the river, this is the worst weather he has seen for this time of year. And it doesn't look like it will improve anytime soon. We are watching the forecast (again!) as there is a winter storm watch issued for our area for Sunday night/Monday. It looks like another "freezing rain & sleet before turning to significant snow accumulation" kind of storm. 

Christopher did make the AAU basketball team and is gearing up for 6 months of practices, conditioning and weekend tournaments. He is also in the school play (Fame Jr.) which will be performed the first week in April so March will be a very busy month for him. And for his chauffeur. Fortunately, his school and basketball practices are not too far from our home and we are in a carpool for Caitlynne's crew so I only need to drive to & from the river (about 40 minutes away) twice a week. 

My first full week of work went well. I really like what I do and feel that I have gotten a good start on learning the requirements of the job. The woman who held my position took another job in December so there is a lot of work to catch up on and there are "to do" piles all over my desk. It is all a matter of prioritizing though and just working through the piles. By the end of the week, I was able to complete a few things without any guidance. I know I still have a lot to learn but at least I don't feel like a deer caught in the headlights anymore! 

For the first day of my 45th year, the kids and Kevin are taking me to dinner tonight at a restaurant called The Melting Pot. Since it is a fondue place and there won't be anything too healthy on the menu, I am going to try and get out for a run later this morning. It is supposed to warm up (relatively speaking) and the sun will be out so it might not be too bad.

Have a great Saturday. 

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