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Staff Blog: Cookin’ with Mr. Chad on Valentines Day

It’s not that you don’t want to slave over a hot stove for your girlfriend; it’s just that you don’t know how. Well guys, there’s hope for you yet. Your local grocery has some handy products to make the process easy, and by easy I mean impossible to mess up. All these products can be cooked in five minutes or less, and require no more know-how than you already have. Pair them with one of these easy recipes, and you’ve got yourself a date.

Grocery Grabs:

Steamfresh vegetables
Uncle Ben’s rice
Alexia or Pillsbury Biscuits
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (Ok, assemble in five minutes or less)
Microwave potatoes
Bags of Salad
Asparagus, green beans, anything that can be boiled
Jell-O instant pudding
Strawberries and whip cream

For the Newbie
You’ll need:

A pack of three aluminum pie tins or cake pans
Olive oil spray
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Panko (in the Asian food section)
One egg
Paprika (optional, but recommended)
A dipping sauce (honey mustard, BBQ, teriyaki)
Aluminum foil

It looks like a lot of stuff, but it’s easy to combine. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it, and she’ll make it worth it.

Pick a vegetable and a starch from the above list. For example, you could grab Uncle Ben’s Long Grain 90 second microwave rice pouch, and a salad, or dinner rolls and Steamfresh corn on the cob.

If you grab green beans or asparagus just put them in a pot, put enough water in it the pot to cover the vegetables, cover the pot and let it boil for a minute or two.

Now to prepare the main course:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees on bake.

Separate out your pie tins or cake pans. Put a handful of flour in one. Yes, a handful; there are no measurements here. Take the chicken breasts and dip them in the flour. Yes, you have to touch them, just keep the reward in mind. Make sure the whole surface gets a good dusting.
Now crack an egg into the second pan (please, no shells). Scramble it up with a fork so it covers the whole bottom of the pan. You may also want to use the fork when you coat each chicken breast with egg.

Now put panko in the flour pan. Shake a salt shaker over it four times. Shake paprika over it four times. Shake a pepper shaker over it six times. Shake it up. Coat the chicken.

Spray olive oil liberally in the last pan. Put the chicken in the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Put it in the oven and let it cook for 30 minutes. At the end of 30 minutes, cut into a thick part of one of the breasts to see that it’s white, not pink. This will be your piece; you will not give her pre-cut chicken. If it’s pink, keep cooking it for five to 10 minutes or until it’s not pink.

Still with me? Still have both eyebrows? In the last 10 minutes of cooking the chicken, start making the sides and setting the table. Candles would be a good idea. Napkins would be good, too.

You can drizzle the dipping sauce on top, or leave it on the side. The chicken has great texture – moist on the inside, crisp on the outside – but it needs the flavor from the sauce.

Want to really impress her? Make dessert. No, actual dessert. Something you can eat.

Take the crescent rolls from the list. Those rolls require that you pull off sheets of dough and roll them up into crescents. This recipe requires you to put a slice of apple sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on each sheet and then roll it up.

Or make chocolate pudding and white chocolate pudding and layer them in a wine glass. Top it with a cherry or strawberry.

Have a happy Valentines Day!

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