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Oh how I have missed you…

My dearest food lovers,

I have missed you more than I can express.

The last few weeks have been demanding and I have had to focus all of my attention on school.  I kept thinking: “if I have time to be doing [insert fun thing], I have time to be studying.”  It was ridiculous and I may or may not have taken it to an extreme.

The light at the end of the tunnel was the midterm and our professor had dangled an impossible carrot in front of our faces (the carrot was irresistible).  He told us that if we managed to score a 90% or above on the exam, we would be able to skip the final.  I took the bait.

The midterm was on Monday and this morning, we had our exams returned to us.  In the 12 years he has been teaching this course, there have only been 3 students who scored above a 90%.  My friends, I am lucky number four!  I received a 94% on the midterm.  It is a huge load off of my shoulders and now, I can return to being normal (i.e. not being a shut-in and only cooking soups so that it lasts for days).  Most importantly, I can return to my hobby!  Cooking and blogging!  Can you tell I am excited??

I wanted to celebrate by making a real meal.  Not that my soups and stews over the last three weeks weren’t real meals, because they were, but I haven’t had time or the will to make something nice.  I decided on a chicken recipe from one of my newer cookbooks, The Newlywed Kitchen.  I served the chicken piccata with a zucchini barley recipe and the combination was flavorful yet light.

Without a doubt, the chicken was the star of the meal.  I have never made chicken this way, so I was surprised (and delighted) to find that cooking it this way produced savory results.  You start out by butterflying a chicken breast and then pounding it down to about ¼ of an inch.  Next, you dredge the chicken in flour, Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of paprika.  Cook the chicken breasts in a skillet with a bit of olive oil for 3 minutes on each side, and then remove and keep warm.  Add just a little bit more of olive oil, and then toss in the rest of the ingredients: mushrooms, a leek (white part only), garlic, lemon juice, chicken stock, 1/3 c. of dry white wine, some capers, and about 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley.  It was incredibly simple and perfect.

This chicken piccata wowed both the pelirojo and me, so it is undoubtedly a keeper.  It turned out to be a scrumptious way to celebrate and a heartening way to start the month of March!  I hope you are all well, and I look forward to catching up on everybody’s culinary adventures!

All my love,

Apicius’ Apprentice

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