I’m going to be very honest. Being a blogger is not easy. Being a blogger with a full time job is even harder. I’ve been at this for three years; and while I love it, its super fun but super hard. A labor of love. I admire my peers, the ones with full time jobs and families and still, they manage to crank out quality, impassioned content. I heart you. I adore you. I wanna be you.
For me, its just me, my tiny kitchen, my camera and my overactive, ‘I can do it all’, perfectionist self. No staff, no cookbook deals, no marketing strategies or ad campaigns (not that I wouldn’t love to have the time and means to make each of those a reality).
I won’t bore you with the whole process but it is long because, well frankly I’m not very good at any of it really. Shooting, editing, writing; not really my strong suit. Takes me forever. I agonize over developing the recipe, the photo composition, the lighting and not to mention the editing. So with that said, I’m trying something new. You see, when I first started blogging I wanted to do a feature once or twice a week called ‘Dinner Tonight’, you know real honest weeknight cooking, with mess, mistakes and all. You see, I cook for real on weeknights and it seems like a total shame to waste good blog content just because I don’t have hours to make it perfect.
With the sun going down earlier and not a lot of time to be fussy with the pictures or editing or time to craft a perfect, tested recipe, I’m just going for it – iPhone photos, a stream of conciousness-type recipe and all. I hope you enjoy ‘Dinner Tonight’.
Dinner Tonight: Apricot Mustard Chicken with Cauliflower Gratin
You’ll Need: Chicken, roasting veggies, apricot jam/preserves, whole grain mustard, cauliflower, cream, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese.
Pantry Items: olive oil, herbs, spices, mustard powder, salt, pepper
1. Par boil the cauliflower. 1 head with a tablespoon of salt.
2. Chop the veggies for roasting. I chose onions and carrots because that’s what I had. Fennel, parsnips or pumpkin/squash would also be great. Make sure they are not wet.
3. Place the veggies on a large rimmed baking sheet. Salt and pepper and sprinkle with olive oil.
4. Prep chicken. Make sure its dry. Place amongst veggies on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl mix apricot preserves and whole grain mustard, spread over chicken. Cook in 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until done.
Note: If you have small pieces of chicken, it would be wise to begin roasting the veggies without the chicken so that it doesn’t dry out. Put it in about half way through the roasting.
5. Drain cauliflower. Put in a roasting/casserole dish. Cover with 3/4 cup of cream, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup grated cheddar and 1/4 cup grated parmesan. Put in the oven with the chicken at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until bubbling. Note: both cauliflower gratin and chicken can do with a bit of browning under the broiler for color but be careful that it doesn’t burn.
6. Remove both chicken and cauliflower from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before digging in.