Hey look- it me, crawling out of the tornado that has been 2022!
I think it’s fair to say it’s bloody impossible to keep up any sort of blog while I’m working, save from the odd non sequitur Tweet. I tried to sit down and write something over the last few months, I really did. But to be honest, I had zero brain power left for anything else until right this very second.
I just wrapped season three of Family Law, which was shot over the course of nearly four months, smack dab in the middle of renovating our kitchen, which of course turned into renovating half of our entire house and went approximately a puke-worthy amount over budget. Season three was a tougher grind for other reasons too, and I felt like I was using every brain cell I had to memorize, prepare, stay awake, and stay rational, so to say I was pushed to the limits of what I could safely handle on a day to day basis is putting it mildly, even for a drama queen. I know everyone thinks the film industry is full of glitz and glamour and limos, but that’s maybe 5% of it, and only if you’re in the 1%. Most of it is incredibly long hours that test your patience and your family’s patience, the putting off of things pertaining to keeping a life in order until you wrap (picking up dry-cleaning, going to the bank, grocery shopping in person, seeing friends), the managing of stress and trying to get enough sleep and exercise, putting out the fires and pleasing all the people and parenting a child while still trying to maintain a level of self-care… Cooking on a hot plate in our garage while the rest of the house was caked in a film of drywall dust was just the absolutely hilarious little cherry on top!
So now that the dust has literally settled and the reno (that was worth it) is over, and now that the show has wrapped, and the other show I had to do right after that has wrapped, and the flu that decided to tackle me just to remind me it was time to sit the hell down and rest has finally left my body… here I am.
I’m almost certain it’s too soon to debate what I will actually do on my hiatus, if anything productive at all, so in the mean time, I’m giving myself permission to chill out and feel “normal” again, which, surprise surprise, has meant cracking open my cookbooks and recipe ideas and scouring specialty grocery stores for pleasure. I wasn’t kidding when I said food was my Xanax, friends. Good news is I’ve included one of my fave chicken pasta recipes for your butts, especially butts that don’t have to fit into pencil skirts on set anytime soon, hey hey!
Oh, also.. Family Law season one is finally airing every Sunday night on the CW at 8pm, so check out that action. Season two’s coming for you in January, Canada! To all who’ve watched and love it as much as we love doing it (and I do love it, immensely, even if it makes me tired and hysterical), thank you so, so much. Nothing’s dreamier than working with that cast, and I hope I get to do it for an obnoxiously long amount of time.
Happy cooking, happy relaxing, and happy Halloweeeeeeeen….
Chicken Milanese with Spaghetti and Ricotta
- 1 lb chicken cutlets (or boneless skinless chicken breast)
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced chopped
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped torn
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water and cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve a ladle full (a cup or so) of the pasta cooking water.
- Set up three shallow dishes. Put the flour in one, beat the eggs in another with a splash of water, and put the panko breadcrumbs in the third. Season the panko with some salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, and the dried basil and thyme.
- If you couldn't find any cute cutlets and are working with chicken breasts, just slice them through the middle into two thinner pieces and lay them between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment and pound them with a meat mallet or bottom of a heavy skillet until they're about 1/3 of an inch thick.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then in the egg, and then coat evenly with the panko. Once they're all ready to go, start the next step for the pasta.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the 1 tbsp of olive oil. Sautee the fennel and cherry tomatoes for ten minutes until soft and the tomatoes are starting to burst. Season with some salt and pepper.
- While the fennel and tomatoes are doing their thing, heat another large pan over medium high heat. Add the 3 tbsp of olive oil and cook the chicken for about 4 minutes a side until crispy and golden brown. Set on a paper towel lined plate. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt.
- To the pan with the fennel and tomatoes, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and then taste for seasoning. I always add some extra pepper in this stage cuz I'm just absolutely wild like that. Add a half a cup of the reserved pasta cooking water, the spaghetti, and ricotta cheese. Toss well to combine. If it needs a little more liquid, add a bit more of the pasta cooking water until it's all creamy and delicious. Turn off the heat, and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and basil.
- Serve the chicken on top of the pasta, all seductive-like. Divine.
18 Comments Add yours
I love reading your blog posts (whenever they come)! It always reminds me of when you said at a panel that actors are just like the rest of us & if they tell you any differently, it’s bulls***. 😂 You never fail to make me laugh & remind me that we’re all human & that we all need to take the time to do the self-care (or our bodies tell us to do it anyway). Thanks for being part of a great show (that I hope continues for an obnoxiously long amount of time too) that allows me to escape & laugh out loud many times for a great escape from “real” life. Cheers to you & your family. ❤️
Nice to see you back. Take a well deserved rest from the shenanigans.
Now you can just relax and parent. Ha! Hang in there.
I can’t wait to make this! It looks AMAZING! I’ll have to see if I can find Family Law streaming somewhere. So happy I get to see you acting again! Firefly was of course my absolute favorite but you were also fantastic in all parts you played for SG-Atlantis. Do make sure you take time to relax now! Our bodies have a way of making us rest when we refuse to stop. I’m currently waiting for mine to do that….. until then I keep plowing forward. Have a shiny hiatus and keep cooking yummy food!
Take care. And please share some house renovation pic’s when you’re feeling up to it
Kiss your family.
Hug everyone in the house, flop on the couch & try and catch your breath. =)
One cup dried spaghetti?
Sounds delicious can’t wait to try this!! Nice to see you writing again 🙂
Ahhhh renovating a kitchen…..good times 🤢🤢🤑 enjoy your well deserved break and eat all the things!
What helps me most in -those- times, is what would probably help you cope as well: compassion. That you are not alone with these struggles. 🙂
I was thinking for a good ten minutes how I could help you, and found it rather difficult, like flying-to-the-moon difficult as the distance between us is compared to that.
But here is what I can still do: assure you that you are not alone, the adversities you go through are not tailored for you personally – it’s just life. And a wonderful one, really.
I mean, having a great kid, renovating a kitchen that is probably your favourite place in the house: those things are pure happiness – in spite of adversities. And your job, that is maybe just 5% glitter. (yeah you are in top 1%, and i dont accept any arguments on that)
Work is hard? Yeah, so it is for most of us, but you are at the winning end of the struggle, hooray to that! So don’t focus on it being hard, but on how you rock and roll and keep stuff together still!
Keep it up, use our love as fuel if you can, and if you get the time, let us read a line or two from you, oh and maybe a recipe. 🙂
Where have you been?! (fume… reads recipe) Oh!. Okay. I’m making this. Nice to see you back plus well done in Family Law!
Would love to see Family Law in the UK! You were awesome in SGA 🙂
Always great to see one of your ramblings appear in my inbox. Hope you have a lovely, relaxing hiatus. Thanks for the yummy sounding recipe – definitely will try it.
“Family Law” is a fun watch. Enjoy the pacing which makes for a good distraction from medical issues. Laughter is the best medicine.
All the best to your family.
Huge fan of both the blog & your shows! You opened my wine & food exploration world by showing the fun it can be. Life is too short for mediocre food. Loving the 1 st season of Family Law . I didn’t realize it have started airing in the US until a few episodes in- completely needed that downtime & enjoyed the binge- such a great show! Thanks!
I’ve done the reno, it alone is a patience challenge. Congrats for getting to this side. We look forward to a more coherent post after you rest. I kid.
Hi, Jewel! I love the recipes and stories. You had a post many years ago where you listed your lasagna recipe (and won in a blind taste test against someone else’s!). I can’t find it anymore, and I made it and it was delicious. Can you repost this, please? Thanks!