Blog, Food, Inspiration, Recipes

You Are In Control, Y’all — SDB Parisian Cooking Class Part Deux

On the prettiest spring Saturday in April, four American girls gathered at a cabin nestled along a North Carolina lake to channel our inner Julia Child for a Parisian cooking class. And while the Eiffel Tower and the Siene River were half a world away, we cooked the day away living La Vie En Rose to the fullest. 

Our fearless chef and mentor, Dr. Lucindy Willis, showed us the ropes and dropped more one liners than you could shake a stick at.  We’ve already shared her delicious first course and Part One Lucindyism with y’all.  Another pearl of wisdom she dropped was…well, read on!

Lucindy’s pep talk was relevant right out of the gate because when we rolled in, a row of knives and cutting boards were waiting for us.  It was clear that we were getting down to business right off the bat! 

Sous slicers

Lucindy explained that cooking is a cinch when you’re prepared and organized. That’s when she laid down another truth:  YOU ARE IN CONTROL.  The first order of business was to prep our work stations and that started with cutting our herbs and veggies…for ALL the dishes.  Instead of taking each recipe and preparing it individually, we sliced, diced, chopped and pressed the necessary fresh ingredients and then broke into groups to organize everything in separate stations by dish. The process was efficient and highly effective. We soldiered on like we meant it. So from the knife skills to her meal prep SOP (standard operating procedure), we channeled Lucindy’s value statement: YOU ARE IN CONTROL. 

Even when we feared we might overcook the roux or the delicious fresh vegetables for the Pappadelle, Lucindy calmly removed the skillet from the burner and reinforced that…what?  You got it. At that moment, we realized we really couldn’t mess up — unless we wimped out and acted like a bunch of pansies (no disrespect to the edible flower since both us mamas are Tri Delta girls.  Long live the pansy)!


Sometimes, circumstances can leave us feeling NOT in control, so this reminder from a professional put us at ease and left us wanting more. Lucindy’s four simple words put us back in the driver seat, not only in her kitchen while preparing a most fabulous main course (recipes below), but also in life. We’re all in control, friends. May we always remember that tenet. 


Made with heaping amount of control and equal parts amour, 

The SDBs

Sautéed Chicken Breast with Dijon Moutarde Sauce
We've said it before...DON'T SKIP THE SAUCE!
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  1. 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  4. 2 tbsp olive oil
  5. 1/3 cup chopped shallot or green onion
  6. 2 tsp garlic, minced
  7. 1 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 2-3 tbsp dijon (or Dusseldorf) mustard
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  10. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  11. dash of hot sauce
  12. 3 tsp lemon juice
  13. 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  14. 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  1. Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and white pepper. Heat the olive oil in a 12" sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and cook until golden, about 4 minutes on each side.
  2. Increase heat to high, add the shallot/green onion and white wine, bring to a brisk simmer and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside on a serving plate.
  3. Whisk the mustard and heavy cream into the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly for 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Add hot sauce, lemon juice, tarragon and parsley and remove from the heat. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.
Southern Dinner Belle
Pappardelle with Spring Vegetables
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  1. 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  2. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tbsp minced garlic
  4. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 12 oz pappardelle (large, broad, flat noodles)
  6. 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. 1/2 cup carrots, cut into thin diagonal slices
  9. 1 cup asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1" pieces
  10. 1/2 cup diced red onion
  11. 1 cup snap peas, cut on the diagonal into 1" pieces
  12. 3 tbsp finely chopped shallots or green onion
  13. 1 tsp celery seed
  14. Cayenne pepper
  15. 2 cups chicken broth
  16. 3 oz mascarpone (room temperature) or 3 oz sour cream and a tbsp of heavy cream
  17. 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  1. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, transfer to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat.
  2. In a 12" skillet, combine 1 tbsp butter and a tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until the butter is melted. Add the carrots, asparagus, and onions and cook until the carrots and asparagus are crisp-tender (about 4 minutes). Add the snap peas and cook until bright green (about 1 minute more). Transfer the veggies to the bowl with the pasta.
  3. Add the remaining butter and olive oil and heat over medium heat until the butter melts. Add shallots, celery seed and a generous pinch of cayenne and cook until the shallots are translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the remaining 2 tsp garlic and cook for another 15 seconds. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil; cook until it's reduced by half (about 5 minutes). Lower the heat to medium low and whisk in the mascarpone, whisking until the cheese is dissolved into the broth. Continue to cook until slightly thickened (about 2 more minutes).
  4. Return the pasta and veggies to the skillet and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes). Add the dill and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, toss with the micro greens and serve immediately.
  1. This sounds labor intense. It's really not and is worth the effort. Wonderful spring pasta salad!!!
Southern Dinner Belle