We’ve started a new rule around the house: the kids are in charge of Sunday dinner.

They love watching Master Chef Jr, Chopped Jr, and all sorts of cooking shows. They’ve taken a few lessons on their own. We’ve played Master Chef Jr games at home, and they’re eager to pitch in to bake.

So this new rule just makes sense.

I’ve written it up on our family calendar, so it’s official. Each week we alternate between Zacharie and Charlie. They’ll be in charge of creating the menu, and doing the prep. I’m still there in the kitchen to help, but this is supposed to be all on them.

On Saturday morning, when I do groceries, I’ll bring along one of my sons to help and make sure he gets all the ingredients needed for his Sunday dinner.

charlie doing groceries

A little math, a little home ec, a little bit of healthy choice making, this has all kinds of win all over it.

This week there was an extra night of cooking responsibility. With Zacharie off at a birthday party, and Momma at a work event, Choochie and I decided to roll up our sleeves and have a Daddy Date Night.

Some fun on the big screen watching Pee Wee’s Big Holiday on Netflix while cooking up a mean Chicken Parm.

I partnered with Muir Glen to work on this recipe, and this saucy, chicken cheesiness is a bona fide kid pleaser. All the favorites of kids right here, gang: cheese, sauce, breaded chicken. We’re talking #OnlyTheBest for a date night, right?!

Chefs Ready To Go

And the fire roasted crushed tomatoes kicked up the flavour to make it bold enough for daddy’s tastes.

I pulled up a stool the counter and Charlie was all about helping me, until I cut the first onion and his eyes watered. “Daddy, you need some goggles,” he announced before running off to dig in his swim bag and pull out his pair.

Cooking with Goggles
They were a little snug, but sure helped as I sauteed the onion and garlic before dumping in a can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes.

When I set up the dip stations for the chicken, crumbs, eggs, and flour, Charlie had his tantrum. Because of course he did. Upset that there was a hot stove just a few steps away, he left me to pout in a corner, so I did up the chicken.


And then I put the chicken in the baking dish, covered it with the sauce, and asked if he wanted to do the cheese.

Now while recipes are great suggestions, we don’t always follow them. Usually a Chicken Parm would have mozzerella on top. We had some left over tex mex cheese from taco night earlier in the week, so we cleaned up with that. Charlie was down for cheesing.

Charlie Cheesing his Chicken Parm

A few minutes in the oven to melt the cheese and we were sitting down to a pretty cool dinner for 2!

Charlie's Chicken Parm

Here’s the Charlie’s Chicken Parm recipe for a healthy, balanced kid dinner pleaser:

Charlie’s Chicken Parm*

Charlie's Chicken ParmTomato sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes
Salt to taste

4 thin boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt to taste
2 large egg whites
6 tablespoons dry Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 to 5 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Tomato Sauce: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sautee the onion and garlic until soft and slightly browned. Add the Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes,  salt; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cutlets with the salt. Lightly beat the egg whites in a medium bowl. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan on a sheet of waxed paper. Spread the flour on another sheet of waxed paper. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dip both sides into the flour, shaking off excess. Dip each piece into the egg whites, shaking off excess, and then press both sides into the breading to coat.

Heat some oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the chicken then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, covered loosely with a tent of foil, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 12 to 15 minutes.

The foundation of many great meals is a tomato waiting to be cooked and seasoned. Committed to spectacular flavor and just arrived in select Canadian grocery stores this spring, Muir Glen tomatoes are field grown and vine ripened under certified organic practices. That means no synthetic pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, and true to nature.

Muir Glen tomatoes

To help celebrate the launch of Muir Glen tomatoes in Canada, I want to know what you consider to be #OnlyTheBest when having a date night. This could be with your kids one-on-one, with your spouse, whatever.

Muir Glen is committed to spectacular flavour by providing only the best quality ingredients. Tell me how you use #OnlyTheBest in your kitchen to make a date night extra special. Let me know in the comments or on social and you could win a Muir Glen prize pack (including these Muir Glen tomatoes varieties: Fire Roasted Diced, Fire Roasted Crushed, Diced, Crushed with Basil, and a $50 grocery card!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: Please use legitimate personal social media accounts, not contest only, or egg acounts. Prize must be accepted as awarded. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond with shipping information or will forfeit the prize. Void where prohibited.

For me? It’s cooking together. And it doesn’t matter the date. Could be with my boys, could be with my wife, just making something healthy, comforting, and with love is #OnlyTheBest for me.

Like having a date night with Charlie watching silly movies.

* Adapted from this Food Network recipe.

Disclosure: this branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada.

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  1. Victoria Ess May 5, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I cook everything from scratch and rarely buy any processed meal.

  2. Andrea Amy May 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    #OnlyTheBest I always use fresh, quality ingredients (I try to stay away from overly processed foods), and try to make something that everyone will enjoy (with 5 kids that isn’t always as easy as it sounds!)

  3. jennie May 5, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    To have the best date night I always have a cold bottle of wine of course.

  4. jan May 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Growing your own veggies ensures they are #OnlyTheBest

  5. angela marriott May 5, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I buy #OnlyTheBest fresh food and cook everything from scratch.

  6. Jasen H May 5, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    An #OnlyTheBest date night to me would be a decent home cooked meal that satisfies everyone and then a quiet night relaxing together.

  7. Brenda Penton May 5, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I make a nice, fresh meal from scratch.

  8. John C May 5, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    #OnlyTheBest A dinner at her favourite restaurant and a VIP movie theater afterwards

  9. Josh S May 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    I like to use fresh local ingredients if possible.

  10. Dennis Beierbach May 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I always enjoy cooking up a storm.

  11. Elizabeth R May 6, 2016 at 5:34 am

    A nice dinner of made from scratch chicken parm.

  12. Florence C May 6, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Make a nice meal from fresh ingredients.

  13. Jana Liu May 6, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I go to the Farmer’s market and pick up fresh and local ingredients then cook from scratch

  14. Jenness M May 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I grow my own veggies and herbs and make everything from scratch. It really makes a difference.

  15. jessica s May 6, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    #OnlyTheBest Fresh ingredients.. from my own garden when possible!

  16. Glogirl May 6, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I cook from scratch using the freshest ingredients possible. In the summer, that means coming from the garden.

  17. Tina L. May 6, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Use fresh infredients

  18. Rebby May 7, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I like to shop the day of the meal so I have the freshest and most delicious ingredients!

  19. Jonnie May 8, 2016 at 12:28 am

    I make date night #OnlyTheBest by planning something fun and relaxing

  20. Karla Sceviour May 8, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I make a nice meal using #OnlyTheBest ingredients!

  21. Belinda McNabb May 9, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    my son and I have the best #OnlyTheBest date night when we prepare nachos together and then curl up and watch doctor who on netflix

  22. nicolthepickle May 10, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I make #onlythebest food. I try to have fresh ingredients and homemade rolls.

  23. Tamara M May 10, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    We have #Onlythebest date nights making Fondue and feeding each other!

  24. Darren Scrubb May 11, 2016 at 8:43 am

    I only use vegetarian ingredients

  25. Nancy J Montgomery May 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Using quality, fresh ingredients assures a quality finished product. Slow is better.

  26. Carina Vause May 11, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I use #OnlyTheBest helpers… my kids are in their late teens now, but have helped with almost every meal I’ve ever made since they were preschoolers. Whether it’s cooking or prepping or setting the table or even just getting ingredients from the fridge and pantry for me, we all work together. Its a nice time to chat about our day too.

  27. Caryn Coates May 11, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    #OnlyTheBest Fresh ingredients.

  28. Ariel C May 12, 2016 at 2:07 am

    i use herbs and spices from my own garden! #OnlyTheBest

  29. ginette4 May 12, 2016 at 5:17 am

    I love using fresh local ingredients when I cook for my family

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