Sunday, August 03, 2008

Homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu and great YA book

This one went over HUGE at my house (that BTW, is not my dinner; that's a Flickr image from sophiafoots' Photostream...our dinner was eaten way too fast for me to take a picture). I don't know what got into me yesterday, but I made a whole bunch of homemade stuff. I was in some kind of big-time cooking mood.

First, I made my husband and I a caramelized onion, smoked turkey and blue cheese sandwich for lunch. He wasn't so wild about it. I liked it but thought it could have used bacon and some dried cranberries or something sweet to even out the blue cheese, too. I have enough leftover to make one more sandwich, so I think I'll try that today and let you know how it turns out.

Then I made homemade mashed potatoes for dinner (I know...mashed potatoes...I was in a seriously cooking mood. It's the middle of summer, for Pete's sake and here I am, peeling potatoes and boiling them). AND homemade Chicken Cordon Bleu. It had to be the whole making out the grocery list and going through all my recipe magazines that had me in this mood to COOK.

I made the Rachael Ray recipe, but used the one in the magazine (which doesn't have ingredient amounts listed; you had to go on the website to get the amounts and I was too lazy to do that, so I just winged it. I've made bechamel sauce before and made chicken cordon bleu before, so it's not like I couldn't make this up as I went along). I didn't have any Swiss Cheese on hand, only provolone, so I used that instead, and it was just as good. :-)

The sauce was GREAT, and awesome on top of the mashed potatoes. I used, BTW, regular chicken breasts, and just sliced them like halfway across from the side, so they were really thin, then chopped the bottoms up to use for another dinner (I'm going to try making a Thai mango chicken recipe I came across). That's a LOT easier than pounding chicken out, IMHO. And a lot cheaper than buying the thin fillets.

Anyway, this was a definite repeat dinner. It'll go in the keeper file for sure. It wasn't a whole lot of work in the long run, just a bit of time. That's the good thing about Rachael Ray recipes. By and large, they're pretty fast.

Tonight, though, I think it's hubby's turn. There are some steaks and a grill with his name on them ;-)

Oh, and I just read the BEST YA book. As some of you know, I'm writing YA for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt with my daughter, for their Graphia imprint. I picked up a few of the books to read and just finished A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb.

It was FABULOUS. This was one of the few YA books that carried me from first page to last without stopping. I sat outside on Saturday morning to read it, intending to get my 15 minutes of Vitamin D (LOL), and ended up with a sunburn ;-). It was, as the review on the cover says, "utterly compelling." It's not just the amazing writing, it's the storyline. A ghost who can be seen by another person after 130 years of being so incredibly alone...but this other person has a secret. And then in their quest to be together, lives are upended, and difficult choices are made.

I really liked how Whitcomb handled the adult issues in the book too. Some YA books don't handle those issues so well. Being a mom, I'm pretty cautious about what my teen daughter reads, and this is a book I wouldn't mind her reading. I'd probably talk to her first and remind her that the ghosts are adults, but that's it. :-).

If you're writing YA or looking to read a compelling YA book, or just a great ghost story, I recommend this book. It's easy to see why it's still at #5 in Teen Horror on Amazon.



  1. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Shirley that YA book sounds great. The dinner sounded like it was fabulous...I had a girlfriend who owns a workout place that every summer in the middle of this heat makes an entire Thanksgiving dinner.

    Kinda a practice run for November.

    But really just because she has such a strong craving for turkey, mash potatoes and gravy...sounds heavenly to me!

  2. That sounds like a great idea! I'd love to do a turkey in the summer! Maybe I can convince the family to try that with me :-)



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