1 family. friendly food. » Cooking from the hip

breaded chicken breast, Schnitzel

How does your cooking for dinner routine look like? Are you cooking something quickly at home? Do you stop by the drive-thru? Are you being creative and playing with the food or are you stuck in a rut (like me, lately)? Are you cooking by yourself or maybe with your kids? Or are you one of those romantic couples who cook romantically together in the kitchen taking your time? Tell me, tell me, tell me.

A few weeks ago, my friend came over with her sweet little girls for a play date. We were chatting, the kids were playing, then it was time to start making dinner. Sounds good so far.

Then I started cooking, the baby started crying… she had another plan for dinner. She just wouldn’t stop sobbing or let me move an inch without signaling for me to pick her up and hold her. This happens often, but with my friend watching this from the side it made me feel like an episode from… well, real life.

You know what I mean? Like the one where The Husband comes home from work, the minute he enters the house he see the kids screaming, crying or whining, or fighting with each other, the mom looking all tired and worn out, a bit desperate maybe, a baby with runny nose and tears in her eyes…

It was so funny that my friend asked me: “would you like me to take a picture of you?” The offer was too good to say no to.

cook with baby

I might look calm and well composed in the photo, but it makes me really nervous holding the tongs in one hand and a baby in the other, trying to keep her as far as possible from the stovetop with a hot oil in the skillet. (A few months ago, when she was younger, it might have involved poop followed by a bath. Forget about dinner…)

So, tell me, what is your cooking-for-dinner routine?

*** don’t forget the “real food” book giveaway, it ends this weekend. Leave a comment on this post for a double chance to win the book ***


And here’s the recipe I was making in that photo. One of my all time favorites. The ultimate home food for me. My knight in shining armor when I have no idea what to cook, or don’t feel like cooking. Best served with mashed potatoes or pasta salad.

Schnitzel, breaded and fried chicken cutlets
Makes 4 servings

4 chicken cutlets
1 cup fresh bread crumbs, preferably flavored with herbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper
Canola oil and/or olive oil for frying
Lemon, mayo, for serving

Pound each chicken cutlet to the desired thickness (some like it thin, I like it thick and juicy), or you might want to cut them into smaller nuggets. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oil in a large skillet (about a third of the height of the cutlets) over medium heat.

Meanwhile, dip each cutlet in the eggs, shaking excess off. Then dredge in the bread crumbs mixture, pressing firmly so it will “stick”, then gently shake excess off.

Place the cutlets carefully in the hot oil and fry about 4-5 minutes per side. Adjust the heat as needed. If the cutlets brown too quickly and are not cooked through (check one to see), lower the heat, and vise versa.  The oil should sizzle just right, not too much, not too little.

Serve with lemon and mayo.

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Categories : Chicken, Fall and Winter, Main dishes/entrées, Recipes, Spring and Summer

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