Friday, June 12, 2009

I don't do anything halfway

Thatboy has been traveling a lot for work lately. This means he's been on the road, grabbing food as he can. Luckily, he gets to come home every night, even if it is late. This gives me a lot more time than usual to play in the kitchen with dinner. I like the idea of having a feast ready when he gets home.

Lately I've been craving Italian. I've made more lasagna in the past month than many have made ever. At least once a week I throw one in the oven. Most of the time these lasagnas make their way to Thatmom's house and serve as an easy weeknight meal for her.

As a change of pace for Thatboy, I decided to make a non-lasagna Italian dish, mozzarella chicken. We have loads of mozzarella, sauce and fresh basil in the house because of my lasagna baking, so it was an easy choice. Because I had some extra time, I thought I would also make some accompaniments.

Garlic breadsticks - these were Thatboy's favorite. The smell draws you in, and then the doughy goodness keeps you there. He didn't want to share these with anyone. They were also perfect for him to bring in the car with him for a quick snack.

Pizza rolls - sometimes when I do spur of the moment baking I regret not having certain ingredients on hand. We don't keep pepperoni on hand, but it would have been great to have when making these. Most of these made their way to Thatmom's house too, where she fell in love with them. They make a great addition to almost any meal.

Chicken Mozzarella
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of your favorite marinara
  • 2 slices fresh mozzarella
  • basil chiffonade

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Pound chicken flat and season with salt and pepper. Brown chicken in skillet (about 2 minutes per side).
  2. Add marinara, lower heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook 5 minutes, until chicekn is cooked through.
  3. Top each chicken breast with one slice of mozzarella cheese. Let stand one minute, until cheese is melted.
  4. Garnish with basil.

Pizza Rolls
  • 1 loaf of bread dough after the first rise (I used french bread, but feel free to use Italian. And for those of you looking for a shortcut, I bet pizza dough would work, it's just going to be more gluteny and chewy)
  • marinara sauce
  • 3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • handful of basil, chiffonade
  • dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

  1. Knead dough and let sit 5 minutes. Roll dough out into 9x8 rectangle.
  2. Spread marinara sauce over the rectangle, leaving a 1 inch border
  3. sprinkle oregano and basil over marinara sauce.
  4. Layer 3 slices of mozzarella over marinara and spices, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  5. Starting at long side of the rectangle, roll up dough.
  6. Slice dough into 6-8 slices. Place each slice into a greased cake pan. Let dough rise for another 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 450. Cook rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


  1. It all sounds so tasty, but it is that pizza rolls photo that is really calling to me, pepperoni would be a nice addition...
    Thatboy and Thatmom hit the jackpot!

  2. I love having more time in the kitchen to do whatever you want!

    I love the pizza rolls! Amazing!

  3. I've never had pizza rolls.

    My life is incomplete.

  4. Mmmm. Those pizza rolls are making me drool.

  5. Those pizza rolls look divine.

  6. yay! i've missed the cooking posts.

  7. Those pizza rolls look amazing! I have never made mine in cinnamon roll fashion but will have to start now! Thanks for the idea.

  8. Alright, spill the recipe for the pizza rolls por favor!