A July Favorite

July 19, 2012

~First of all, I’d like to thank Sarah Fite at Momalom for trying to de-bug my website.  If any of you readers are still receiving odd, spam-like emails from here, would you mind forwarding me an example? I want to crush these suckers!

~Next order of business: MamaKat’s Writing workshop asked us to share a favorite post from any past July since we’ve been blogging.  I chose this one from two years ago. Last July, something was in the water and many of the posts I wrote then ended up in the Best of TKW section, so I figure that many of you readers have already seen those. Damn. Can I get some of that water back from last year? I sure could use it.

I also chose this post because it shows what a neurotic freak I am. Plus, the recipe is hot-dang good. You should make it as soon as you can get your hands on some fowl.  It won’t disappoint.


My husband walks into the kitchen while I’m riffling through cookbooks, searching for something–anything–that will add verve to my menu for the week.

“You own too many cookbooks,” he says.

“I know.” I keep flipping. Pad thai? Yawn. Greek lamb chops? Meh. Yet another variation of Cobb salad? Ick.

He absentmindedly thumbs through Weber’s Way to Grill, one of my go-to cookbooks in the summer.

“Are you sick of grilled salmon?” I ask, hesitating over a page.

He shrugs. “Not really.”

But not exactly a ringing endorsement there, either,  Better Half.

” I hate planning dinner sometimes,” I grouse. “It’s a pain in the ass.”

He pauses. “I could make dinner once this week.”

I look at him.

“No, really,” he says.


“I could do it…I could figure out what to make, and shop, and cook. You wouldn’t have to do anything. Well, except probably answer a bazillion questions, but I’d do a lot of it.”


“Oooookay, what did you do? Seriously. Did you buy a new car or something? An iPad? Don’t tell me you want to golf all weekend.”

“Jeez, suspicious much?”

Hmph. Maybe I am. But in my defense, my husband has never, not ever, offered to make dinner. Sure, he’s agreed to slap the pork tenderloin I’ve  marinated on the grill, or cook the burgers, but make dinner? As in: plan, shop, prep, prepare, clean up? No way, Caterpillars.  This is like Close Encounters of the Third Kind or something.

Long story short: I agreed. But you’re gonna have to wait for the details. I’m bitchy like that.

In the meantime, I’ll share the recipe I decided to make for dinner. It’s from the same cookbook, Weber’s Way to Grill by Jamie Purviance. This recipe is fairly easy, but it rates big on the Impress-o-Meter. Plus, it’s downright scrumptious. Added bonus? It requires pounding the tar out of chicken with a mallet, which is greatly cathartic after a day chasing naughty children.

Chicken Involtini with Proscuitto and Basil

serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 8 ounces each, tenders removed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 very thin slices prosciutto

4 thin slices provolone cheese, halved

8 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups good-quality tomato sauce

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat.

For each piece of chicken, use about 12 inches of plastic wrap. Place the chicken, smooth side down, to one side of the plastic, about 2 inches from the edge. This will allow the chicken to spread out as it gets thinner. Starting from the thick side, gently pound the chicken with the flat side of a tenderizer or the bottom of a small, heavy skillet, moving to different areas with every stroke until it is about 1/4 inch thick and just about doubles in size. Don’t pound too hard or the chicken might break apart.

Season each piece of chicken with salt, granulated garlic and pepper. Arrange the chicken with the smooth side down on a work surface.

Lay a slice of prosciutto on each piece of chicken. Then lay down 2 halves of the provolone and 2 basil leaves. Carefully roll up the chicken, keeping it snug as you work, until it is tube-shaped. Tie 2 pieces of butcher’s twine around each piece to keep it together. Trim the loose ends of twine. Lightly brush each rolled piece with olive oil.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the chicken over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until golden on all sides, about 12 minutes, turning a quarter turn every 3 minutes. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the tomato sauce.

Remove the twine from each chicken piece, cut into slices and serve warm on a pool of sauce. Garnish with torn basil leaves.

Enjoy with family members who don’t get suspicious when you do something nice.


Have a great weekend, readers!  One that hopefully doesn’t involve spambots or wrenched backs or midnight vomiting, which may or may not have all happened to us over a span of a few days. Pass the gimlets!

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer July 19, 2012 at 6:18 am

Sounds yummy! Can’t wait to hear how your husband’s dinner turns out. I LOVE it when Daddy Y offers to cook. He’s just decided he wants to prepare meals in the last year… after nearly 20 years of marriage. It’s been freaky awesome.


TKW July 19, 2012 at 10:42 am


I don’t think this one’s gonna stick–he’s crazy busy–but I sure did love the offer. :)


Arnebya July 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

Sadly, I’ve stored my gimlet, deciding it was overused and too appreciated. It’ll come back out, I’m sure, but probably not until winter. Believe me. It was necessary.

I own too many cookbooks, too, but I rarely use mine, so the reason for my husband saying I own too many, and my agreeing, is wholly different from yours. This looks scrumptious, though. I get scared when I need to use twine on mah yard bird or other meat. It rarely ends well.

Boo to maybe/maybe not bad backs, vomit, and spam, even if it’s surrounded by suspicious tan jelly in a can.


TKW July 19, 2012 at 10:42 am


Is something going on with you? I’m here if you need an ear…


hollow tree ventures July 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

YUM! Looks delicious, and I like that the grilling keeps the cooking heat outside!


TKW July 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

hollow tree,

Making the men go outside and do the cooking is definitely something I endorse. Just give ’em a cold beer and send ’em out!


Kimberly at Rubber Chicken Madness July 19, 2012 at 6:33 am

Looks delish! I pinned it :)


TKW July 19, 2012 at 10:44 am


I love the name of your blog! One year our grandmother cooked Thanksgiving dinner and grandpa proclaimed it, “Just like rubber, Henrietta.” I don’t know how she kept herself from gouging out his eye.


Jenna July 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

Glad the spambots are on their way to being crushed into oblivion! And the involtini looks superb.


BigLittleWolf July 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

Damn, this looks good!

I have to smile at the mention of owning “too many cookbooks.” Um… as an art book fanatic, one might say the same of me, but replacing the sort of book.

And frankly, how can you ever have too many books? (Too many books in the kitchen spoil the broth? Oh, never mind…)



Stacia July 19, 2012 at 9:19 am

When Daddy makes dinner around here, it’s PB&J with gourmet Cheetos. Maybe I should start calling it PBJ Involtini, just for kicks?


TKW July 19, 2012 at 10:45 am


The man can make a sandwich? Surely, you jest.


emily July 19, 2012 at 9:30 am

ohmygosh, that sounds delicious…my husband regularly complains about how much I don’t use our cookbooks, one of these days we will stop eating hamburgers on sunday, spaghetti on thursday, and fish on friday!


TKW July 19, 2012 at 10:47 am


I own sooo many, and have dog-eared and sticky-noted them all. And then I always fall back on true and old favorites. It’s just easier. Sad, but easier. I need to do better!


Barbara July 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

RE: Valium
I had three under three. There are some major difficulties here too. Three sick with chicken pops (as one of mine called them) at the same time was one (don’t they give shots for these diseases now?). I won’t bore you with the rest. I lived through it. And didn’t start taking valium until I became a grandmother. Go figure.

The chicken dish sounds good and so does your husband. Would he cook for me once a week? If I asked nicely?


TKW July 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Barbara, you are a saint. Yes, they give chicken pox shots. My sister and I both had them at the same time when I was little; my sister only got a few spots–I was absolutely covered with them. I’m still bitter about it.

My hubby is a good guy; however, I think you and I are pretty much alone in the cooking department.


Dana July 19, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I have one of those (except he’s a soon to be rather than a husband), I always get a little bit worried when he offers, but sometimes they really do pull through, don’t they?


Velva July 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I have got a thing going on with cookbooks too. I promise my sons that whoever likes to cook the least is getting willed my collection…I remind them that karma can bite-no selling my books at the garage sale.

Looking forward to hearing the details of your husbands cooking adventure.



TKW July 20, 2012 at 6:30 am


You crack me up. I am now going to will all of my cookbooks to Miss M., who will eat nothing but white food. You are an evil genius!


Katybeth July 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm

This looks very tasty and my helper–the one that if she ever leaves me I will throw myself in front of a train helper—-just brought me a bag of home grown basil that smells bellissimo (I’m sure there is a better word..but I can barely spell in English can you imagine what my Italian spelling would be like? I can spell bellissimo–I think.) Anyway I am going to make this recipe with my basil.
Dearly departed Joe did all the cooking and all the grocery shopping. Sigh. On the other hand I will never have to eat homemade tuna fish ravioli again!!! There is a upside to everything :-D
Just tell us how the meal turned out!! I could lose interest you know! (not a chance. sigh)

Bye ♥


TKW July 20, 2012 at 6:31 am


Tuna fish ravioli? Gag! You need to write about this culinary bomb! Sounds soooo bad. And sooo bad makes a great story!


TKW's Dad July 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

For God’s sake, people! It’s summer. High 90’s into the 100’s. Here it is baseball season, swimming, the Olympics, getting ready for football and all this cooking heavy stuff like it’s winter and the holidays. How about some really great summer stuff, like TKW’s fabulous cole slaw to go along with those wonderful Vienna Beef Chicago style hot dogs! Time for comfort food! You can take the German out of the country, but you can’t take the German out of the German:-).


TKW July 20, 2012 at 6:32 am

Okay, Daddy-o, you win.

I’ll make you cole slaw for Sunday lunch this week. Promise. xoxo


ck July 20, 2012 at 4:22 am

G just leaned over my shoulder and said, “Ooooh! What’s that? It looks so good!”

Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight? (Thank you!)


TKW July 20, 2012 at 6:33 am


Was it cathartic to pound the chicken? Depending on which child is annoying me more (or sometimes it’s hubs), I always pretend that chicken is someone’s backside.


Sam Erickson July 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

Somehow I completely skipped over the last paragraph that states this is the dinner YOU made. I was so impressed with the hands on meal that HE was making. Clearly this is not a man’s first meal.

Now if only I could bring the meat mallet with me on my upcoming vacation. Seems like a great meal to eat next to a dock.


Jana July 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

This looks amazing. I wish I could fly you over to the east coast to cook for me, just once.


TKW July 20, 2012 at 10:43 am


…sitting by my mailbox, waiting for the plane ticket to arrive…


Maggie S. July 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

Husbands cooking something that isn’t served with butter and syrup.

I don’t know if I’m allowed to read this racy kind of blog.


TKW July 20, 2012 at 10:42 am

Maggie S.,

We do like it racy around here. :)


Biz July 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

I remember that post! :D Ha, I knew you would love Tony’s “F no” comment about my zucchini gratin!

He said the same thing to my quinoa meatballs and spaghetti squash “pasta and meatballs!”

Hugs, and happy Friday!


TKW July 20, 2012 at 10:42 am

My darling Biz,

Quinoa meatballs are seven kinds of wrong. xoxo


Robin July 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

The recipe sounds really yummy! I certainly get into cooking ruts, when I am too lazy to make anything new. But, my husband will eat whatever I cook, and rarely complains about it. And now that I am cooking with gas for the first time in years, I am not ruining the food nearly as often. Anyway, I love that you share your recipes, because I only own 5 cookbooks and three of them are different editions of The Joy of Cooking. The other two are Mediterranean cookbooks.

I enjoyed the tease about your husband doing the meal – soup to nuts. Can’t wait for that story :)


TKW July 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm


I am also blessed with a man who eats whatever I cook. I’m the one that gets all edgy and restless and bored. And you are right–cooking with gas rocks! Scares my mom to death because once Gramma Rhetta set her eyebrows on fire on a gas stove, but I’m not going back!


Heather July 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm

The men in my life burn food. A lot. I simply cannot trust them in the kitchen or near the grill… Fortunately my honey and I do quite well at splitting the cooking and neither of us has an affinity for extra carbon attached to our food.
Hope you and yours are back in the land of the living. Summer sickies suck!


Tiffany July 23, 2012 at 5:34 am

Looks awesome!!! Matt always makes omelets or pizza when he makes dinner. :)

Here’s hoping the vomiting and spambots are through with you!!


Lyndsey@TheTinySkillet July 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Ha! You sound so much like me in the kitchen, and I hate having to come up with what to have for dinner. Yes, my husband never complains and eats most anything…but I know my jaw would drop if he ever offered to make dinner once a week. He did offer to come up with what we could have for dinner once a week. :) Yes, you are bitchy not letting us in and making us wait to hear all about it! :P lol!


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