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Simplicity is nice, isn’t it? When you haven’t got much time or a full cupboard, it’s nice to relish in simpler foods. Perhaps you’re feeling, pardon the assumption, lazy, yet crave something that You haven’t had in a while that takes time and effort to do? There’s a solution for that. No, it’s not going out to eat (yes, going out to eat is great, once in a while. You shouldn’t always eat out as a solution to home cooking. I don’t care if your cooking is awful, if you want to know how to cook, the solution, like most everything else, is to cook more often. Don’t be lazy and order out or make foods that you know you can cook, again). It’s as simple as substitution. Even if you’re not jonesing for that grand food, simplicity is under-appreciated.

Yesterday, in a fit of improvisation, I made the boyfriend chicken parmesan. Good stuff, really. The way I made it, however would have been loads better if it had been done on a toasted roll or something because it’s not your typical parmsesan.

A fact, I hate over eaten foods. As a rule, I hate the repetition that goes on for dinner in my household. Sure, we’ve got a picky family, but that doesn’t mean doing the same foods over and over on a weekly basis. I also understand that it’s summer. Though that is not an excuse, because there are loads of things you can cook on the grill if you’re avoiding heating up the house like my parents are. Yes, I have told this to my family and we have conceded that one of these days I’ll do some cooking around my place, but until it happens, I will complain periodically.

Side note aside, this parmesan I made was different. It wasn’t the first time I made it, yet it always comes out better each time I do make it. Unfortunately, I had to substitute mozzarella cheese for American, but we can’t always have our way right?

Quick & Easy “Chicken Parmesan”

For those who lack time and a fully stocked cupboard, this quick and simple recipe is filling and savoury, despite what You might think.

 Ingredients:

10-15 Chicken Nuggets*

1 jar Ragu Sauce

1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese**

Kaiser rolls

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 375. While it heats up, take the chicken nuggets and pop them on a plate and put them in the microwave for 5 minutes or until heated through.

2. Pour enough sauce to coat the bottom of the baking dish your using. Tilt the dish around to get a nice even layer. When the chicken is heated through, place them on the sauce and fit as many as you can into the bottom of the dish. Pour sauce over the chicken until they’re coated.

3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top layer of sauce.

4. Cover with tin foil and put in the oven to bake for 15 minutes*.

5. Serve warm on kaiser rolls.

*The chicken can be any brand you’d like but it has to be nuggets. The number is also an approximation. It varies depending on how many people you’re serving. This is to serves 2 people 2 sandwiches.

** If you don’t have shredded mozzarella around the house, substitute it for American cheese. In this case, it’ll take about 1-2 slices of cheese.

Earlier on, I mentioned how simplicity is under-appreciated. This afternoon, instead of cooking something that required me to microwave anything, I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, without the jelly. Sitting down at the table with that, some pringles and a cup of cottage cheese, it was a simplistic, filling meal. There was nothing to cook, and it had plenty of the things one needs in their diet in a day. The only thing I didn’t have was fruit, merely because I had a smoothie at breakfast.

Summer Tips for Cooking:

Trying to keep a cool house in the summer heat but don’t want to eat the same grilled foods all the time? Here are some tips.

1. Whenever Possible, grill. Grilled chicken goes excellent into a salad. Steak and potatoes (even roasted potatoes) can be done on the grill. Pork chops, too, can be grilled. Shoot, even hamburgers & hot dogs are great to have from time to time.

2. Make salads. Chicken salad, tuna salad, potato salad, macaroni salad, Cesar salads, fresh tossed garden salads. Made ahead of time and allowed to chill in the fridge until dinner, they’re easy and a great side dish.

3. Grinders and Sandwiches aren’t just a lunch food. Pick up a couple loafs of unsliced Italian bread, some lunch meats you like (salami, pepperoni, ham, bologna, roast beef, etc), cheeses (provolone, American, Swiss, etc), toppings (pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mustard, relish, etc) and make grinders for the family. Can be served with anything from chips to fresh fruit.

4. Pasta is okay, now and then. If your family is anything like mine, pasta is a staple. But when it’s 90 something degrees outside, I don’t think you really want to be sitting down to spaghetti and meatballs, ziti, goulash, or alfredo unless you have super air conditioning

5. Smoothies are boss. If you have a blender, smoothies make the best in-between meal type snack. My mum will make smoothies (which are loaded with organic yogurt, strawberries & bananas) and they’re great to cool you off. They also pack a serving of fruits too. So drink up.

That said, I’ve run out of things to talk about (else I might start rambling), but I’ll be back with anecdotes of sorts, foods I’ve made, and all other things.

Until next time,

Stay Hungry (& Cool), Mates!

Xx Steffica

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