Monday Meals: Bacon-Swiss Chicken

I love perfect trios. Red, white and blue. The Scarecrow, The Lion and The Tin Man. Jack, Chrissy and Janet. The Bee Gees.

And of course: Chicken, bacon and Swiss.

My bacon-Swiss chicken is a bit like a certain famous dish at that overpriced-but-tasty chain restaurant that uses a bad Aussie accent and cheesy commercials to promote itself. The cheese is different – as is the lack of any fungus tucked under the other toppings poised and ready to gross out my husband – but the basic slightly-greasy goodness is the same.

Bacon-Swiss Chicken

4 slices baby Swiss cheese
4 slices bacon
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Kick’n Chicken seasoning (or whatever you have around the house)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup mustard
2 tbsp mayonnaise
shredded cheddar (optional)

Trim excess fat off the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and beat the hell out of ‘em until they are of a nice, uniform flatness. I’m not going to tell you to pound to ½ inch thickness, because who really goes around measuring their meat after they pound it?

Put your hand down.

Drizzle a bit of the oil over the chicken then season well with salt, pepper and seasoning mix. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Cook your bacon using whatever method you prefer: skillet, microwave, oven or idling engine. Set out to drain on a paper towel.

Mix the mayo, mustard and honey and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the rest of the oil in a skillet and brown the chicken breasts.

Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place the chicken on top. Cover with the mustard mixture, bacon and sliced cheese. If you like a bit more color, cover the Swiss with a bit of shredded cheddar.

Bake for about 20 minutes until the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

*Yields one man-sized serving, one mama-sized serving and one extremely-picky-but-will-eat-this-every-time-toddler-sized serving.

Monday Meals: Fudge Drop Cookies

It’s cookie swap season, and of course Mary Helen is going to show up with those expertly-decorated sugar cookies. You know, the ones that just kill your spirit and leave you reaching for the slice-n-bake dough at the market because let’s face it, her cookies are the star and yours will always be just filler.

Oh no girl. Not this year. This year you are bringing fudge drops, which are kind of like cheating because they are more brownie than cookie but no one will notice because they are OM NOM to the nth degree.

I adapted this recipe somewhat from the famous King Arthur Fudge Drops. Definitely follow their recipe if you have the stuff around, but if not, feel free to get creative. It’s chocolate, so do it your way: dark, milk, 99.9% cacao, whatever. Make it memorable, but most of all, make it yours.

Fudge Drops

1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup  sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips

You’ll need two bowls, one big and one small, a couple of cookie sheets, two tablespoons and a fork. I like to use these awesome measure/mix/pour bowls from Pampered Chef. They survived the hurricane, and I use them just about daily.

In a double boiler small microwaveable bowl, slowly melt together semisweet chocolate and butter by heating in 30-second intervals and stirring. Be careful not to burn the chocolate – usually I stop nuking once the chips have started to melt and just keep stirring until they’re done.

In the larger bowl, mix together the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and the rest of the ingredients. This is going to end up looking like brownie batter. It’s cool, just cover and stick in the fridge, then go watch Elf. Or A Christmas Story, or Rudolph or even Prancer. Whatever’s your thing.

Once the movie is over and you’re feeling a nice combination of merry and smug in the knowledge that Mary Helen can kiss your awesome-cookie-making tush, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease two cookie sheets.

Drop tablespoons of the dough onto the sheets, being careful ’cause it’s still pretty sticky. Also, some of it has a tendency to end up in your mouth. That’s alright with me, unless you’re funny about raw eggs.

Leave a bit of space between the cookies, because they will spread out. Bake for 11 minutes or until they start to crack on top.

Remove them from the oven and wait about three minutes before transferring them to a plate or your mouth. They cool off quickly, so you’ll be tempted.

I busted out the Frosty cookie plate for this batch. I always love when it’s time to use this plate again. Look how cheerful this dude is. Of course he’s happy, he gets to rub up against cookies all day.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies, but of course that can change with how big or small you make them.