“Honey, I shrunk the dinner!”

I don’t know about the rest of you, but our microwave oven is an expensive popcorn maker.

I have no idea how to cook in a microwave other than making popcorn. I truly believe that they can’t be good for us, it’s not a healthy way to cook. (Truth is: I never figured out how to use it properly, it’s one of those microwave-combo-convection oven things, and the booklet is thick, complicated sounding and boring to read…I hate reading instructions).

We were hosting a dinner party one weekend and the protein I had planned on serving was pork medallions with a balsamic-honey glaze. I had envisioned them fanned out on a platter, surrounded by colorful, roasted vegetables, roasted apples and pear slices, Parisienne potatoes, sitting on top of bright green curly lettuce, speckled with cranberries and currants.

Picasso on a platter. I know, far fetched, but food can look like art, right? Just nod and agree and work with me.

Of course Murphy and his friggin law was nipping at my heels.

Our friends called and said they were running late, so I put the medallions in a casserole dish, covered them and put them in the microwave to keep them warm, while I used the oven for a few other dishes.

After 15 minutes in the microwave I took the medallions out of the microwave so I could start coating them with the glaze and then put them back in the oven for the final step.

I lifted the lid on the casserole dish and screamed to my husband, “Honey, I shrunk the dinner!”

He looked inside the dish (I swear his lips were twitching, but I was too busy staring at the dime-sized, shriveled up medallions to really be sure). He was smart enough not to say anything, because now was not the time to remind me that I should read the stupid microwave’s hand-book and learn to use the useless thing properly.

He sensed silence was truly golden and safe at the moment.

He took the casserole dish from me, put it on the counter and talked me off the ledge, which took about sixty-point-six seconds—–I get over things quickly.

I rushed downstairs to grab my emergency back-up dish.

If you’ve been following Tasty Tuesday’s you’ll know that I have strongly suggested that you ALWAYS have Sexy-Sassy-Sauce on hand.

As I flew down the stairs, I had already mentally revised the menu for the evening and with my sauce on hand, and the other dishes already made we’d be good to go.

Defrosting sauce enough to get it into a pot to finish warming up on the stove wasn’t going to be hard to do. Can’t shrink sauce, right?

Open freezer door.

No sauce. No. Freakin. Sauce. Not one container to be found.

I did have chicken breasts on hand, albeit they were frozen, but surely defrosting them in the microwave couldn’t be too complicated (I’ve never defrosted meat in the devil’s oven).

I put them on a plate in the microwave, pressed the correct amount of pounds and away they went round and round.

After 10 minutes, I heard a few beeps.

The display on the possessed microwave (at this point, I’m seriously thinking this thing is an evil appliance out to get me) scrolled saying, TURN FOOD OVER.

What the hell? The microwave turntable had been going round and round for 10 minutes. What did it mean, turn food over?

Apparently, I was supposed to turn the meat OVER which is apparently different from it turning round and around, so my husband explained when he came back into the kitchen (he must have heard me calling the microwave an evil-@#$#$#@$#@!@!@!@!$).

Our guests arrived and the chicken breasts still weren’t defrosted, but at least I had enough ingredients to whip up something presentable. I may not be a panster in my writing, and a big time plotter, but when it comes to the kitchen, I can panster with the best of them.

We told told our guests that dinner was going to be a bit later than we had planned, but they were okay with that. Vodka and cranberry juice tends to make these guests compliant.

Welcome to another edition of Tasty Tuesday, where adventures in how efficient microwaves make our lives has led you to a recipe I will share, which I call:

EMERGENCY CHICKEN

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 sweet peppers (orange, yellow or red)

4 cloves of garlic (preferably roasted, but if you don’t want to bother with roasting the garlic, you can use raw garlic, finely minced)

4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (take rosemary off the stem. If using dried rosemary, use 1 tablespoon of the dried herb)

2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 TBSP freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tsp honey

2 TBSP olive oil

Kosher salt

Fresh Black Ground Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F

Slice the sweet pepper in strips and set aside.

In a bowl add: garlic, both juices, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix well.

Add the pepper strips to the juice mixture in the bowl and coat them well, then remove the pepper slices and set aside.

In a baking dish, add your chicken breasts.

Coat the chicken breasts with the mixture from the bowl evenly on each breast.

Top each breast with the pepper slices.

Bake for about 30 minutes (or until done and juices run clear)

Please Note: Baking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts.

Please stop by my fellow authors and pick up one of their delicious recipes:

Pumpkin Spice Cake by Pg Forte

Tasty Tuesday Pizzeria by Nancy Lauzon

Eggplant Casserole by Renee Wildes