Giada de Laurentiis said that a good Friday night dinner is a start off to a great weekend. I must agree with her, though in my particular case, there was a tiny dent in our otherwise awesome long weekend. But it’s ok, didn’t let that ruin our great family time together.

I’m all about simplicity when it comes to cooking, which explains why I tend to shy away from cooking cuisine from my homeland. I love the flavor and the complexity, but I certainly don’t love the 1 hour of (JUST)prepping work that comes with it. Not especially with a little one, it’s just too much. I’d rather spend my time playing with him, taking walks in the park, or hitting thrift stores. Plus there are always other chores to do.

That’s not to say I don’t cook them at all; because I do occasionally, when the mood (and the craving) kick in. Perhaps, later on as Baby Bubbles (I decide that’s what I’ll call my kid here in the blog) grows older and more self-sustainable, I’ll dedicate more time into cooking the cuisine of my homeland.

Meanwhile, I tend to stick to simpler recipes from cuisine of really, ANY origin. The most frequently cooked food in this house are typically American, French, Japanese, Korean, even some not time-consuming Thai recipes. A few times a month I try to delve into a cuisine I’ve never cooked before (tried a West African peanut stew last month, this month I know I’ll try a Brazilian dish). I especially love recipes with few ingredients, not only because it’s easy but also because of the fact that the flavor of the dish will rely so much on the natural flavor of each ingredients. I love that. Not too heavy on any particular spices, just the natural flavor. It feels more “wholesome” to me, if that makes any sense. (Which is strange if I think about it, because I grew up with spice-heavy food and complex flavors).

Last Friday night, I made this Braised Chicken with Balsamic-Shallot sauce on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. I got the recipe from a Five Ingredients Gourmet Book I picked up at my favorite thrift store for one dollar only. It’s really, really divine. Polished off with a nice glass of White Zinfandel, an episode of Rome, and some cuddling time in the sofa, and I called that my kind of Friday night.

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