Ginger Chicken Massacre I insist on cooking when it almost always ends in disaster? Last night I prepared a ginger chicken recipe from the South Beach Diet book. All I had to do was marinate the chicken and fry it. Marinating went well--I excel at mixing things in a bowl. The frying part...not so good.

The recipe said to spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and cook the chicken on medium-high heat for 8 minutes, turning once. I sprayed, I cooked, I turned. And ended up with a chicken breast that was a lovely golden brown on the outside and completely raw inside.  Never one to admit defeat, I hacked into the breast, sawing it in two and proceeded to cook those pieces. By then, the kitchen was filling with smoke as the cooking spray had evaporated and the chicken was burning to the bottom of the pan.  So I threw some EVOO into the pan and kept frying.

Blair had walked in the door by this time and was looking over my shoulder. "Is the pan supposed to smoke like that?" he asked.

"Shut up and hold that fire extinguisher ready," I said.

After 14 minutes and still raw chicken, I turned the heat off on the stovetop and slid the pan containing the mutilated chicken to the side.

Blair patted my shoulder. I looked at him.

"I want extra cheese on my pizza," I said.

"I'm on it," he said, running toward the phone.

THIS is why my diets fail. It's not that I refuse to eat healthy--it's that the Universe conspires and refuses to allow me to do so.

Back to pre-packaged meals we go.