Food Blogger Cookbook Swap

So this month I participated in the Food Blogger Cookbook Swap, hosted by Alyssa of and Faith of .

The format is much like when I’ve done Foodie Pen Pals. But instead of filling a box with foodstuffs, I sent a cookbook to a food blogger and received one  in return.


I received from (the very educational and very fun), a copy of At Home in the Kitchen by Jorj Morgan.

So the first thing I did was read the back cover. And let me say that I never imagined cooking from, let alone owning, a cookbook authored by a woman who writes for sites like, and That’s not a dig—it’s just a fact that my lifestyle is so dissimilar from that. I don’t know the first thing about mommying.

HOWEVER, the back of the cover read as such:

At Home in the Kitchen represents a fresh, new approach to cooking…the book is filled with recipes and tips designed to help busy working women (particularly executives, who have little time available for planning and executing complicated, exotic dishes) prepare exciting, excellent meals every day.

OK, that sounds like that could be in my wheelhouse–as a busy, working woman. Also, I love the bizarre alliteration with all that ‘ex.’ I do wish that my life were more exotic, exciting, excellent, and executive!

Anyway, I was expecting this sizable (almost 400 page) cookbook to provide some great, quick, throw-together-easily dinners. But after perusing the book it seemed like so many recipes ended with phrases as such:

Preparation time about 45 minutes

Preparation time one hour

Preparation time 25 minutes plus baking

Well, this doesn’t jive for me–as a busy, working woman, who goes to the gym after work when she is not out socializing and being all-around fabulous at happy hours. I am an international party girl, after all.

I need some quick shit.

I selected the recipe for Pan Chicken with White Wine “Gravy” because it said that the preparation time was “about 30 minutes.” The preface for the recipe reads:

Chicken any way you prepare it is an excellent mid-week meal. This dish holds well when you are trying to balance several different schedules. Serve it with lightly buttered egg noodles or yellow rice and a tossed veggie salad.

Plus, the recipe includes two of the best things to ever happen to Planet Earth: White wine and Old Bay.

It makes everything better

It makes everything better

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Let’s see exactly how long this dish took to prepare, shall we? At the beginning of my 30 minutes I started with nothing but an empty sink and a glass of Pinot Grigio…

Pan Chicken with White Wine “Gravy”

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz each)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon OLD BAY SEASONING
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 bunch green onions, including tops (approx 1 cup)
  • 3/4 cup WHITE WINE
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, mixed with cold water
  • 3 tablespoons garlic chives

1. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Place chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet.

chicken pieces

I used a rolling pin.
I do not own a meat mallet.
Nor do I think I need one.

2. In a shallow bowl, place 1 cup of the flour. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Whisk the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water in a second bowl.

4. In a third bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the corn flake crumbs and the seasonings.


This was 15 minutes in

5. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on medium high heat.

6. Dip the chicken breasts into the flour, followed by the egg and then into the seasoned flour and corn flake crumb mixture.

7. Place each one in the skillet and brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the breasts to a platter and keep warm in a low heat oven or a warming drawer (note: who the hell has warming drawers? Aside from Martha Stewart, of course).

30 minutes

This was the 30-minute mark. 2 of the pieces of chicken were warming in the oven. They took a lot longer than 3-5 minutes per side. And I had only cooked one side of the third piece of chicken.

8. Add the chopped green onions to the pan and cook until softened.

green onions

I chopped the onions while the chicken was browning

9. Pour the white wine into the pan and deglaze by scraping and stirring the browned bits from the bottom. Add the chicken stock to the pan and reduce for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add the mustard and stir thoroughly. Helpful hint! At this step you may thicken the sauce with a thin flour pasted (flour mixed with cold water) to give it a gravy consistency.


At the 36 minutes mark: I didn’t saute the green onions first, I deglazed the pan and THEN put the green onions in. Oops! At 40 minutes I added the broth. So they kinda boiled. 10 minutes later I was still trying to thicken the gravy with the flour mixture. At the 50 minute mark the gravy was done and I plated.

10. Add the chopped chives and season with salt and pepper.

I did not have chives.
Deal with it.
Official time: 50 minutes

So not only did this chicken dish take 50 minutes from start to finish, the dishes took an additional 20 minutes to wash  (because I do not have a dishwasher). There were a lot of dishes and pans involved here:

kitchen mess


And if this was too much for me and the only living thing in my house that needs any attention is Brian (and he doesn’t want it), I cannot imagine trying to do this if you had kids about.




And no down time.

BUT! This was a good recipe. It was an easy recipe. It just wasn’t a fast recipe. The corn flake coating with the red pepper flakes, paprika and Old Bay was choice. But there has to be a quicker way to make this. I think that if I bought the already thin-sliced chicken tenders and doctored up some Shake n’ Bake with the spices (and perhaps some crushed corn flakes), maybe I could speed this up a bit.

Anyway, go check out some of the other blogs that participated in the swap. You might find something you like! And if you are interested in joining in on the next one, click HERE.

A Baker’s House
An Edible Mosaic
avocado bravado
Blue Kale Road
Blueberries And Blessings
Cheap Recipe Blog
Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Create Amazing Meals
Cucina Kristina
Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Cupcake Project
Done With Corn
Eats Well With Others
Everyday Maven
Flour Me With Love 
From My Sweet Heart 
Great Food 360° 
Healthy. Delicious. 
I’m Gonna Cook That! 
Je Mange la Ville 
Karen’s Kitchen Stories 
Kitchen Treaty 
Olive and Herb
OnTheMove-In The Galley 
Our Best Bites 
Paleo Gone Sassy
poet in the pantry 
Rhubarb and Honey 
Rocky Mountain Cooking
Shikha la mode 
Shockingly Delicious
Sifting Focus 
Spoonful of Flavor 
Tara’s Multicultural Table 
The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler 
The Suburban Soapbox 
The Whole Family’s Food 

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51 Responses to Food Blogger Cookbook Swap

  1. Pingback: 4 Responses to Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream ~ Recipe Guest Post

  2. Pingback: Pistachio Cake with Honey Vanilla Buttercream ~ Recipe Guest Post

  3. Ah, that’s what I like to see – a sparkling clean hob. You should see the state of mine – FILTHY!

    Wish I lived in the States and could participate in this. Will fish around to see if any British blogger is organising anything similar. Being someone who LOVES getting stuff in the post I would be all over it…

  4. PS – who got the book that you sent out? I do hope it had some Jello recipes in it…

  5. hemcfeely says:

    The ingredient list alone makes my eyes glaze over. I hate cookbooks of that ilk. Also, Shake n’ Bake is delectable; you have good taste.

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  8. I am sorry it wasn’t more fun! I used the cookbook once and since I never actually pay attention to the time suggestions I never noticed how long it took. By the way… did you notice the recipe for dolphin tacos? Lol

    • Yinzerella says:

      OH, it was totally fun 🙂 It was an experiment and, a delicious one. The chicken was good and it reheated nicely. Thank you!
      Yes, I saw the dolphin tacos! Where it the word does someone get DOLPHIN?

    • and sorry! let me clarify– I rarely cook from cookbooks, I just buy them and read them like novels. i didn’t send you a cookbook I knew nothing about! This one was one of my favorites to read. I was going through an “I never want to be a mommy but i’m obsessed with mommy blogs” phase, so I bought it for entertainment purposes.

  9. Spiceroots says:

    My Kitchen is a hot mess most of the time. But it is usually me, not the recipe. I am sure you will find a way to speed things up with the recipe if you liked it.

  10. Not yet but I am SO EXCITED you sent it!

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  14. Jenna says:

    Looks yummy indeed! Glad to discover your blog through the swap! 🙂

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  16. rusty cunningham says:

    Mahi-Mahi = Dolphin

  17. I love the shot of all of the dishes! I also love the idea of using a rolling pin instead of a meat mallet.

  18. Tara says:

    Looks like a great chicken dish even though it took so long! Weekends are my long winded, trash the kitchen recipe days. My husband isn’t a fan (he is my dishwasher).

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  20. I wasn’t able to leave a comment before so I apologize if this is a duplicate!

    Thank you so much for participating in the swap and helping to make it a success! This meal looks killer, but I’m with you on the time thing…I’m the dishwasher in my house (we don’t have a machine either) so I really get it.

  21. I bet that you would have enjoyed the process a whole lot more on a lazy weekend day! Loved your candidness (and admiration for alliteration).

  22. SeattleDee says:

    A good recipe for a stay-at-home-cuz-its-a-blizzard-outside kind of day, not so much a quick-dinner-after-work-cuz-I’m-starving thing. Extra props for Executing an Excellent dish for this Extraordinary swap.

  23. Christy says:

    Exactly! What is it with exacting recipes that flaunt themselves as exceedingly easy dishes for busy executives who need a bottle of Excedrin by the time they are done with the exemplary chicken dish?
    What a fun post, glad to have found you in the food blog cookbook Exchange.

  24. Anything with Old Bay is a winner in my book. I am glad you got this book just for the pure entertainment you created with this blog post! Thanks again for participating and helping to make the swap a success!

  25. Sydney Fry says:

    White wine and Old Bay FOR THE WIN! 🙂

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  28. shockinglydelicious says:

    Your sink looks like mine! Nicely done for the cookbook swap!

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