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[personal profile] ktlovely
I am teaching myself to not suck at cooking. Mostly because I've gained six pounds this summer (BAH!) and I'm tired of spending a significant chunk of my income on eating out. Therefore: The Campaign for Not Sucking, Part Deux.

So far I have conquered tortellini in tomato cream sauce and chicken with rice. Tonight, things got a little more complicated.

Chicken Parmesan Bundles
From Kraftfoods.com

4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1-1/4 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
6 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
6 small Boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.), pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 Egg
10 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1-1/2 cups Spaghetti sauce, heated

HEAT oven to 375ºF.

MIX cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup mozzarella and 3 Tbsp. Parmesan until well blended; spread onto chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up chicken tightly. Secure with wooden toothpicks, if desired.

BEAT egg in shallow dish. Mix remaining Parmesan and cracker crumbs in separate shallow dish. Dip chicken in egg, then roll in crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place, seam-sides down, in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks, if using. Serve chicken topped with spaghetti sauce and remaining mozzarella.


Because I live in a really weird apartment where the kitchen is huge but has no counters, my self-taught cooking escapades tend to look pretty interesting. This evening saw me crouching on the floor of the front room (so as to spend some time talking to the rats [Reade, Babbington, and Gus]) with waxed paper, a freezer bag of raw chicken, and a full 1L Sigg bottle, pounding the floor like a madwoman. I also wound up with spinach in my hair, and three rats crawling the sides of the cage trying to get at the cream cheese. And all my stuff? Was generic. Not Kraft brand. Psh. Brand names. Whatever.

However! The actual process was fairly painless, thanks to the fact that chicken kind of sticks to itself, so it wasn't hard to roll up. Thirty minutes later, the timer went off (...I had to disengage Reade from my ponytail) and I had my lovely chicken rollups. I left them in a little longer than 30 minutes to brown the crumbs, but not more than five minutes.

I just ate one, and it's killer. Highly recommended! I would have probably added a bit of salt, but I salt everything, so that probably means it was fine to the normal palate. I also didn't bother with tomato sauce, since it's like eleven o'clock at night, but it'd be good! Maybe even some tomato cream sauce. ;)

Date: 2010-08-17 08:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mlsdesigns.livejournal.com
What I want to know is, where's the picture of your gorgeous tasty creation!?

Date: 2010-08-17 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
Well they don't look that great...they just taste good!

Date: 2010-08-17 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladylilac12.livejournal.com
Yum... I should try out that recipe. Bummer on the counter space. Sounds like are resourceful enough to overcome it, though! :D Cooking really is mostly trial and error... I cook a fair bit of simple meals from scratch, mostly because it was a necessity growing up in a large family. ;) I've definitely had my share of disasters! But there's a good amount of satsifaction in trying something new and having it turn out. :)

Date: 2010-08-17 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ktlovely.livejournal.com
Do try it--good stuff! I ruined a whole pan of chicken and rice, and decided I couldn't live with it so I threw it out and started over at like, 9:00 at night. I will conquer! ;)

Date: 2010-08-18 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladylilac12.livejournal.com
Awesome! I applaud your diligence! :D I can't say I'd have that much determination.... :P

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