The Joy of Cooking is an absolute essential for any kitchen. Honestly it is the only cook-book you will ever need to own. To the OP. Here is a simple, but delicious recipe for when you turn 21. It may seem like a lot of steps, but I wanted to write everything out in a very detailed way for you since you are just begining to cook. Chicken Marsala: 3 tbs of butter 1 tbs olive oil 2 Chicken breasts. 2 cloves of garlic. 1 shallot or 1/2 of a small red onion. 1/2 lb of mushrooms. 1 glass marsala wine (you can get a bottle for $5 at the grocery store). 1/2-3/4 cup of chicken stock, or water. 1/4 cup flour. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme. 1/8 tsp. dried oregano. salt and pepper to taste. Procedure: 1. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 inch thick slices, and set aside. 2. Chop the shallot, or red onion roughly. I like shallots because they are slightly sweeter than onions. Set aside. 3. Peel and mince the garlic cloves. Set with the shallot/onion. 4. Take each chicken breast and cut it in half across the short way. Then take the thick piece and cut it into two thin pieces. The goal is to have each breast cut into 3 pieces that are 1/2 inch thick. If they are still too thick place each piece between 2 pieces of wax paper, and pound it with your saute pan or a meat hammer if you have one. 5. Put your flour onto a plate and then cover each piece of chicken in flour. Shake off any excess. Basically we just want a little bit of flour on each piece to help it develope a nice golden crust, but we don't want the chicken to be breaded. 6. In a saute pan heat 1 tbls of olive oil plus 2 tbls of butter over medium-high heat. The olive oil is needed to prevent the butter from burning. Place the chicken in the pan (only put a few pieces in at once, we don't want to crowd the pan). Let them cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping. While the chicken is cooking DO NOT touch it, shake it, or move it. What we want is a nice, crisp, golden sear on each side. As soon as the chicken is golden brown on both sides, remove it to a plate. 7. Add mushrooms to the pan and saute, stirring occasionally. This should take about 5 minutes. When they are done remove to the same plate as the chicken. 8. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. You may need some extra oil. Cook until the onion is soft, stirring occasionaly. This should take about 5-8 minutes. 9. Pour in the Marsala wine. Increase the heat until it begins boiling, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until the volume reduces by 1/2. This should take about 10 minutes. 10. Add the chicken stock (or water), salt, pepper, mushrooms, chicken, thyme, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. 11. Add 1 tbls. of butter and let it melt into the sauce. 12. Take 1 tbls of flour and 2 tbls of water or chicken broth and mix them in a glass until the flour is disolved. Now slowly poor into your sauce while stirring the sauce. Once it is all stirred in increas the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently about 3-5 minutes. 13. Serve with noodles and parmesan cheese. It should take about 40 minutes of cook time, and 20 minutes of prep-time to make this. Its a great meal to show-off to the GF with too.