Maternity Leave Bucket List

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Hey Sar,

So this morning, in addition to the coos emanating from the crib in the corner of our bedroom, I awoke to the realization that one week from today I will be back at work. Maternity leave, its fleeting weeks of freedom, will be a thing of the past, and I’ll trade in my sneakers and yoga pants for high heels and black dress slacks (well, the one pair that fits, anyway).

Despite having my return to work marked on the calendar with a big red “X” for months in advance, now that I’m closing in on it, I feel like I’m cramming last-minute for a big test, racing around to cross things off my Maternity Leave Bucket List so I can return to work feeling like I really accomplished something. (ohmygod, did I really just write that?  I BIRTHED A CHILD. Safe to say I ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING.)

Anyways, one of the entries on my list simply reads, “Keepers.” Inspired by the premise of this cookbook, I want to gather together a bunch of favorite recipes that I can turn to on the chaotic evenings I anticipate having upon my return…you know, nights where I pick up the kids late and there’s so much snot to clean and art projects to admire and baths to take and bedtimes to at least try to hit within 30 minutes of their target. (Side note – do you keep the art projects? Is there an agreed shelf life, like with your tax documents, where you’re supposed to keep for five years but then you’re allowed to pitch them?)

On those nights, the last thing anyone wants to think about is what to cook for dinner, which is why is why I'm hoping that having a cache of tried-and-true favorites to mindlessly throw together will help get me through.  Here’s a no-brainer chicken that has never let me down. What about you, mon amie, what are your “keepers”???

Chicken A La Weeknights

1 package of chicken breasts (2-4 breasts, depending on size), trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 TBSP sesame oil or olive oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced
chili oil to taste
garlic salt to taste

Heat sesame/olive oil in large frying pan. When hot, toss in the chicken and stir until starts to brown. When almost cooked through, add scallions and brown as the chicken finishes. Remove pan from heat. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt (to taste) and several shakes of chili oil (also to taste, I probably do about 2 TBSP total?).

Serve w/pasta or rice. (Rice pasta!?)  And maybe something green.