Two Cooks in the Kitchen

“Cooking” means different things to different people.  
Teri 
To my girlfriend, Teri (who measures her cream before placing it into her coffee each morning and is pictured, here, enjoying something I made one day), recipes are comforting guidelines to be followed to the letter.  Teri reads recipes as valuable documents, carefully crafted maps upon which the traveler  shall comfortably drive.  This is why Teri loves baking.  Measuring.  Sifting.  Following procedure and order brings rhythm and relaxation into Teri’s time in the kitchen.  Predictable outcomes.  Ahhh

To me, recipes are more like, uh, “suggestions.”  Recipes are lists of possible ingredients in recommended quantities with an endless array of outcomes.  Recipes are rough sketches that need not be followed if the artist is not in the mood.  Having to follow a recipe to the letter causes my breathing to become labored.  This is why I avoid baking whenever possible.  Measuring.  Sifting.  Being forced to follow procedure and order brings panic into Michelle’s kitchen time.  Predictable outcomes.  AHHH!!!!

I would like to state that Teri and I have found ways to coexist–even co-create–happily in the kitchen together.  Give us our six combined kids, a good bottle ‘a wine and stand back.  I would also like to mention that Teri has, thanks to my influence, developed a looser grip on her measuring implements and even occasionally whips things up now with a “pinch of this” and a “spot of that.”  It could be the wine though too.  No.  It’s my influence.
 
Not surprisingly, Teri makes the best milk chocolate chip cookies in the universe (with an equal number of chips in each one.)  Generally someone who likes to share, Teri has locked this recipe in the vault.  If you want to try a chocolate chip delight, check out Teri’s new business venture Red Door Sweets. Even if you’re not in the mood for a cookie, this stylish webpage is worth a quick visit just to brighten your day!

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The “Joye” of Cooking

teriyaki chicken

So I’ve been sorta-kinda posting on MWF (OK, technically this is only my second week with that schedule, but must we split hairs?)   Today, in case you’re not aware, is Thursday, but last night my girlfriend, Joye, found out about a chicken dish I was preparing.  She said it sound delicious and couldn’t wait to see the recipe.

Apparently flattery will get you everywhere with me ‘cuz here you go (Joye!)

Michelle’s  Very Own Hawaiian-Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients:
Whole cut-up (organic if you like) chicken
1 can crushed pineapple in juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
tsp. garlic powder

Directions:
Set oven at 350 degrees.  Pour soy sauce and garlic powder in the bottom of a baking pan.  Place chicken upside down to coat with sauce/powder mixture and then flip over.  Pour pineapple over chicken.  Add a shake of garlic powder over top.  Crumble brown sugar over top of pineapple and then drizzle with vinegar.  Bake uncovered for one hour or until done.   Broil top for a couple of minutes to create a nice crusted glaze over top of chicken.

Tips: you can use whatever chicken you have around (thighs, breasts, whatever.)  Brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar measurements can be adjusted for smaller quantities, in fact I don’t even measure, just sorta eye-ball and pour until it looks right.  You want about a quarter inch of liquid in the pan when it cooks.  Add a dash of orange (or pineapple) juice if there isn’t enough.  The sauce from the meat tastes super-yum over steamed brown rice…  Oh, and you can substitute cubed or round-cut pineapple, just drain some of the extra juice before pouring.

Bonus Tip: The best thing about this recipe is that I always have the ingredients on hand and can whip it up in a NY minute.  And, yes, the title of this post was a no-brainer. 🙂

p.s. (geeze, shut up already, Michelle!) this recipe is also posted on the “meat” section of my recipe page.  OK.  I’m done.  For real.