Sunday Salon: Thankfully Reading, and (Weekend) Cooking Too!

I didn’t officially sign up for Jenn’s Thankfully Reading Weekend, but I’m thankful that I have gotten some reading time in every day since Thursday, and hope to continue the trend today. I finished one very long e-book, my last read for Kim and Leslie’s Nonfiction November, and started on the two January releases I’ll be reviewing for Shelf Awareness (I’d like to start 2014 right on time over there, which means getting my reviews in three to four weeks in advance of publication dates). I also got all of my Nonfiction November reviews written this weekend–even though none will post till December, I’m feeling like things here are running right on time for a change, too. It’s been nice to have four straight days off!

One thing I haven’t done so much during the past week is watch TV–partly because it was mostly reruns due to the holiday, and partly because I’m still coming down from the greatness of “The Day of the Doctor” last weekend. There’s been some good post-show commentary to keep it going: I really liked this PopWatch discussion comparing and contrasting two of Britain’s greatest pop-culture exports of the last half-century, Doctor Who and James Bond, and this piece from Wired dissecting all the references that tie the Doctor’s anniversary special into his last 50 years.

Weekend Cooking badge

It was nice to have a quiet Thanksgiving Day at home. Tall Paul has taken on most of our weekday meal prep since he gets home earlier than I do, but I like taking back the kitchen on special occasions. There were only three of us at dinner and not one of us really likes turkey, so we went with a fairly nontraditional menu–baked chicken breasts, roasted baby potatoes, and green beans with toasted almonds, plus chocolate-chip cookies and gluten-free brownies for dessert. (I’m the only one around here who likes pumpkin pie, so that was out too, but I’m sure I’ll be buying one for myself some time before the holiday season is over!)

The baked chicken breasts are a family favorite–they were the first dinner I ever made for Tall Paul, on one of our early dates, but I haven’t made them since Spencer went gluten-free just over a year ago. I’ll share how to make the gluten-free bread crumbs that made it possible to bring them back in a Weekend Cooking post soon, but they can be made with packaged Italian-style bread crumbs too–I did them that way for years.

Ingredients:
4 thin-sliced chicken breasts
1/4 cup oil (I combined grapeseed with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup lemon juice
Seasonings: garlic powder (1/4 teaspoon), Italian seasoning blend (1/4-1/2 teaspoon)
1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs (use more if needed)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Directions:
Heat oven to 425 degrees (F).
Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels.
Whisk together oil, lemon juice and seasonings in a shallow bowl.
Blend bread crumbs and cheese with a fork in another shallow bowl.
Dip each chicken breast into oil/lemon blend–moisten thoroughly. Dredge through bread crumb/cheese mixture and coat thoroughly–pat coating down with fingers. 
Place chicken breasts on ungreased, nonstick baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove baking sheet from oven and use spatula to turn chicken breasts over–loosen gently, as breading may stick to baking sheet. Return to oven and bake 12-15 minutes more.
Remove from oven and serve promptly.

Are you reading–or eating, or cooking–anything good this weekend?

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