Book Update: I finished Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” and really enjoyed it. A fast, quick read that has a lot of nuggets of wisdom and funny biographical stories. The chapters are very short and can be read in order or out of order. Many professors give a “last lecture” of sorts to summarize all they have learned. However, this was REALLY Randy’s last lecture since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died leaving 3 small children (youngest was 18 months old) and a wife.
Some of my favorites points were:
1. Never Give Up
2. Know Where You Are
3. No Job is Beneath You
4. The Lost Art of Thank You Notes
5. Pouring Soda into the Back Seat (of his brand new convertible)
6. Don’t Obsess over What People Think
Some interesting quotes:
-“The key question to keep asking is, Are you spending your time on the right things? Because time is all you have. ”
-“People are more important than things.”
-“One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose.”
-“Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
-“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted .”
-“There are more ways than one to measure profits and losses.”
-“If you want something bad enough, never give up (and take a boost when offered).”
Recipe: On that note, let’s make some BBQ!!!! We love BBQ and sometimes in the spring the Midwest is known for its storms. Those storms that make the tornado sirens wail or the windows rattle with the wind and rain. I know the weather is warm, but I just don’t like grilling in that kind of weather. So, instead we BBQ our meat inside. The key I think to getting that smokey flavor quickly and inside the house is a golden grail called “Liquid Smoke”. You can find it in the BBQ sauce section of the grocery store. It is natural, it is tasty and it is inexpensive. A $2 bottle lasts me about a year.
So here is a way to make BBQ chicken from scratch in the house. Add 1 tsp. of liquid smoke (I like the hickory one) for that smoky flavor. You could also make this in a plastic freezer bag – maybe even triple the recipe? – and always have a quick chicken meal ready to go for your family or another family in need.
If you like the idea of making your own BBQ sauce, check out my homemade no-cook BBQ sauce. Everyone that has tried this homemade sauce LOVES it. I stash a jar full in the fridge and have it on hand at all times.
*Note: The original recipe, which is from America’s Test Kitchen, calls for broiling the chicken for 5- 10 minutes after baking it at 325 degrees for 10-14 minutes. Most of my skillets are not broiler safe, so I developed a different way of cooking.
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 Tb. finely grated onion (on a grater, or use small food processor)
- 2 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tb. Dijon mustard (I use 1 Tb. because I don’t like mustard)
- 3 Tb. molasses
- 2 Tb. maple syrup
- 3 Tb. cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne (omit for kids or really sensitive adults)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tb. olive, vegetable or grapeseed oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Whisk together everything from ketchup to cayenne.
- In a large, oven safe nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium. Add chicken and brown on both sides – about 4 minutes total.
- Remove chicken from skillet. Add sauce and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken back to the pan, cover with foil (or parchment tucked around the inside) and place it all into the oven for about 20-30 minutes. The chicken should be cooked through and register 165 degrees.
- Serve while warm.