Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wearing My Little Black Apron

Truth to be told I don't actually own a little black apron. Or more like I don't own any aprons. I do however own the cookbook called The Little Black Apron, and last night decided to try a few new recipes from it.

First I decided to go with asparagus. Or as its called, Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Lemon and Olives. As I've said before, this cookbook is geared towards the single girl cooking for just herself. (Can't you tell from the name?) Which means the recipe was for about 4 spears of asparagus. Instead I just decided to cook the whole bunch I had at once. This wasn't a bad thing, it just had a few obstacles.

First the recipe says to grill the asparagus spears for 2-3 minutes on one said, and them flip them over to finish cooking on the other side. Now thing I put all of the asparagus into the pan at the exact same time this was a little difficult. I can guarantee each asparagus did not get to spend time on each of its sides. All the pieces wound up getting cooked all the way, but it might have been a tiny bit easier if I cooked a few at a time.

Also the recipe said to use the juice from a quarter of a lemon for the 4 spears. I did have way more than 4, but figured I'd be ok using the juice of half a lemon. Unexpectedly, the asparagus was far more lemon-y than I would have liked. So maybe I would have been fine using a little less lemon juice.

The recipe said the asparagus would be good hot or cold. I decided to cook them first, and then we could always eat them cold. Instead they were a bit lukewarm, when we ate them. They boy actually wound up microwaving his a bit, but I ate mine as is. Easily my favorite part of them was the chopped up olives on top.
Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Lemon and Olives

For the main dish I went with Simple Chicken Cutlets with Shallots and White Wine. Except the boy bought chicken breasts instead. The recipe said they could be used, but just to pound them thin before hand. Except I thought that would be too much work and cooked them as is.

The way the recipe is supposed to work is to cook the chicken first, and then make the sauce. So I cooked the chicken, cut up the shallots, made the sauce and let it reduce. When the sauce was ready I put the chicken breasts into the sauce to coat them, and called the boy in for dinner.

Except the chicken breasts were not cooked all the way through. Not even close. I had a minor failure freak-out, but the boy took charge and threw the chicken breasts into the oven. The chicken breasts wound up getting cooked, but not-so-surprisingly were a little dry.
Chicken Breast in Shallot and White Wine Sauce

I would say this probably wasn't the best meal I've ever cooked. The asparagus wasn't bad, it just would have been better hot and with a little less lemon. The chicken breasts themselves were a little bland. But the sauce and the shallots were actually really good.
My Plate
The night wasn't a complete loss because there was still dessert! While we were shopping for groceries at fresh market I also picked up a cupcake from their bakery.
One of the best parts of the cupcake? It was only $0.99! I took a picture with my hand so you could see how big it was. And it tasted amazing! And only for $0.99. It was so rich, that I couldn't even finish it all. Which means I have leftover cupcake to eat tonight!


P.S. For everyone that was wondering if they should see the movie Julie & Julia first or read the book first, it's hard to say. Especially considering I haven't read the book yet. Although, there's not a whole lot a surprises from the movie you don't get from the previews. (For example, the big climax of the movies they say at the end, "They turned her book into a blog." Umm.. really? I had no idea.) I have heard there are a few subplots from the book that didn't make it into the movie, but I don't know for sure. I do promise once I actually read the book to shed some more light here


  1. I'm gonna need you to fed ex me that cupcake...pronto!

  2. Okay, i did not have time to read your most recent post, but yes, yes we do know each other... or at least know people who know each other!! I promise i'll be better at keeping my blog updated, its been a very stressful and hectic time for me and i have just not been inspired.... but i'll make it interesting, i promise!!

  3. Hmmm, that cupcake looks DELISH!!

    I love asparagus!! One of my favourite veggies by far.

    I really want to find a cookbook that specializes in recipes for TWO!

  4. Jennifer, Amber and I are all going to fight over that cupcake. It looks so yummy! :)

  5. Damn that's one big cupcake!
    I didn't read Julia & Julie before I saw the movie, but I loved the movie. I'll wait awhile before I read the book. Try to forget the movie first.

  6. that asparagus recipe reminds me of one I use from food network's sandra lee. It has lemon and kalamata olives too! I don't really like kalamata olives, so I just omit them, but sounds like you would love this recipe as is! and it's for more than 4 spears :) here's the link:


    oh, and it uses lemon pepper not lemon juice, which makes it easy because I tend to forget to buy fresh lemons but I always have my lemon pepper. and since you just throw the aparagus in the oven, this recipe is super simple. I like how roasting them gives the spears an almost nutty flavor...

    ok, enough about asparagus! I have had that same problem with chicken though before. the boy ALWAYS buys the regular size chicken breasts even when I write down thin cut! :) even when the recipe doesn't call for thin I use 'em because they are so much easier and faster to cook and you don't have the worry of "did I cook these all the way?"

    that cupcake looks pretty amazing. man is your post making me hungry... I need to go get breakfast, stat!

    oh, and I am dying to see Julie & Julia. I bought the book the other day but haven't read it yet, of course. so I will most likely, I hope, see the movie first.

  7. The soft paws last about a month. They are just plastic tops for the nails, so when the nail grows out the plastic will wear out/ fall off. Kind of like getting "fake nails" at the nail salon for us! :-)

  8. My mouth started watering when I saw the photo of the asparagus. YUM!