Chicken Parmesan

2-3 chicken breasts

1 box of pasta (type doesn’t really matter, but I used rotelle)

1 jar of pasta sauce

1 small can of diced tomatoes (I like the ones with peppers or onions added)

1 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella

A slice of mozzarella for each chicken breast

1 can panko bread crumbs

1-2 cups of flour

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

4 T olive oil

Crushed red pepper, to preference

I’m going to apologize up front on this one, I cooked this 2 nights ago and just kinda made it up as I went so there isn’t going to be a lot of exactness included. This is an artistic interpretation of a family recipe (not my family), but still came out really good!

Starting easy is probably a good place to start. You’ll cook the pasta as directed on the box. You’ll also want to get out a mid-size skillet out for the chicken, set that to medium/medium-low depending on your stove and add 2 T of the oil.

You’ll need to set up a conveyor belt of bowls, one with flour, one with the eggs and milk whisked together, and the third with bread crumbs, in that order with the crumbs closest to the stove. Once the skillet is warmed up, you’ll coat the chicken in each of the three, working your way down the line, and put them in the skillet. These you will fry while the pasta cooks.

I do a lot of cooking by sight, so I don’t have an exact timeframe for how long they take, but 15 minutes would probably be a good estimate. What I usually do is cook on both sides to a light golden brown, then each side again until they’re a darker golden brown or almost a true brown. Depending on the thickness of the chicken, they could cook faster or slower, so it’s always best to cut into the chicken and check for pinkness to be sure it’s cooked. If you make sure the make the cuts all on the same side, they can be covered by cheese later so no one will ever know!

Now don’t forget about the pasta! Once that’s done cooking and drained, you’ll toss it in a large skillet over medium low with the remainder of the olive oil and sprinkle in some crushed red pepper, however spicy you like, and let that all mingle while stirring frequently. I only had that going for about 5 minutes, then moved it into a casserole dish and combined with the pasta sauce and undrained tomatoes. Cover that with the shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is as crispy/melted as you like.

There are two options for melting the cheese on the chicken. You can either melt it while it’s in the skillet just before you pull it off or you can toss it in the oven with the chicken. This is totally personal preference, both work great!

Once it’s all done, toss it on a plate and enjoy!

Baked Broccoli

Pre-cut broccoli florets or head of broccoli

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

This is one I found at work, and loved it! I used a head of broccoli, and snapped off the florets, though you could also cut them off. I rinsed them off, then drizzled some olive oil over it in a bowl. After that, toss with salt and pepper (garlic salt would probably also be great, but I was out) and move into a baking pan. I cooked them at 400 F for 30 minutes, though time may vary. Cook them till they start to blacken a bit on the tips, or if you like your veggies a bit more crispy you could leave them in longer. Another simple recipe for you guys! Let cool until they aren’t veggie-lava and enjoy!

Beer Cooked Pulled Pork

1 pork roast

1-2 beers (depending on size and crock pot size)

Misc. seasonings, to your preference

This is a great lazy recipe, just like most recipes for a roast! Just pour the beer into the crock pot (liners are live savers!!), add the pork, and season the top. I usually do garlic salt, pepper, and Cookie’s seasoning. For the beer, I used a berry ale this time. But you can use whatever beer you have available. I’ve tried cheap beers before and dark ales, so feel free to be adventurous. It’s a good idea to turn the crock pot on and have it warming up before you add the meat so it doesn’t take too long for the meat to heat up to a safe cooking temperature. Food safety is important!! Once you’ve got the pork in, you’ll want it to be about half covered. This can just sit all day while you’re at work, or doing whatever you do during the day. 6-8 hours is a good time frame if you’ve got nothing going on for the day.

Once it’s done cooking, I use a colander to separate it from the liquid (it will hopefully be too tender to pick up) and move it into a bow to shred. If you’re feeling especially lazy, you can use a hand mixer to shred the pork. Also works with chicken or beef! From there, throw it on a bun and add your favorite BBQ sauce. My favorites around here are Sweet Baby Ray’s or Cookie’s sauces. Enjoy!

Snickers Salad

1 packet instant vanilla pudding
 2 cups milk
1 packet of cream cheese, 8 oz
1 tub of whipped cream, 8 oz
4-6 apples
1 cup grapes
6-pack of Snickers

I know this is a pretty generic recipe, but you can’t start out making 5 star dinners! This is one I’ve known for years now, and is always a hit. I first discovered the joy that is Snickers salad when I was in Home-Ec in high school. I lived 16 sad years before I discovered this. And it’s such a simple recipe, you’ll have it memorized after making it just a couple times probably.
Start with mixing together the pudding, following the instructions on the box. No need to let it sit and cool though, just keep moving on with the recipe. Who really wants to wait for dessert? After the pudding has some body to it, mix in the cream cheese and whipped cream. If you’re mixing them in cold, a hand mixer would be best. Otherwise, you’re in for an arm workout! Once that’s all mixed, set it aside.
Next, you’ll be cutting up the apples, grapes, and Snickers. Unless you have some lime juice to prevent browning, it’s probably best to save the apples for last. The grapes you will cut in half. Generally, I’ve seen this dish made with green grapes, though I tend to use red or purple grapes. For the Snickers, there are two options I hop between. I’ll either cut them in half length-wise then into ¼ inch piece, or 1/8 inch pieces without cutting them in half first. These can get kinda melty, so I tend to freeze them for a few minutes before working on them. The apples are the most involved part of the recipe. As with the grapes, the type can mostly be personal preference. Though I wouldn’t recommend granny smith or golden delicious personally. To start with, cut them in quarters, then trim the core out. Once that’s done, cut the quarters in half length-wise and slice them into 1/8-1/4 inch pieces. If you cut these earlier, you’ll want a bowl set out to squirt some lime juice over them and mix it up. This will help prevent them from browning while the rest of it gets chopped up.
This can all be either added as you go, or all at once at the end. Either way though, once it’s all cut up and mixed in, you’ll want to let it sit in the fridge for at least a couple hours. I prefer over night, best way to get the flavors to all meld together. But once that’s done, dig in and enjoy!