Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Southern Oven-"fried" Chicken Fingers

When you ask Rebecca what she had for lunch on any given day, her answer is inevitably "Chicken nuggets", even if she hasn't had nuggets in weeks. (Weirdly enough you can also ask her what Buffalo eat and the answer is also chicken nuggets. Don't ask. I have no idea.) She really loves chicken nuggets, particularly those revoltingly processed Tyson pieces (which I confess I find tasty too) that I refuse to buy because I'm stubborn like that. I have a few recipes that I've made for chicken fingers in the past that I've really enjoyed (such as these Buffalo Chicken strips) but when this recipe showed up on my Google reader, I saved it immediately.

They were so good! I was surprised at how crispy they turned out, actually. Rebecca loved them, but more surprising I think Brian and I liked them even more. And apparently it's a Weight Watchers recipe, so they're fairly guilt-free :) Bonus!

I failed to get a photo of these. Given my recent food photo skills, the lack of photo is probably more beneficial to the recipe than a photo would be.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fat free buttermilk or 1/2 cup skim milk mixed with 1 tsp vinegar (I used regular buttermilk)
2-3 drops hot sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup cornflakes crushed
5 TBS flour
salt and pepper
2 lbs chicken parts, skinned (I used boneless chicken breasts cut into strips)
4 tsp canola oil (I used olive oil)


Directions:

Cut the chicken into strips. Pre-heat oven to 400°. Spray a cooking sheet with cooking oil.

In a small bowl mix together buttermilk and hot sauce.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, crushed cornflakes, salt, pepper and paprika.

Dip the chicken into the buttermilk mixture, then into the flour/cornflake mixture.  Place strips onto the cookie sheet, leaving space in between the strips. Once all chicken strips are done and on the sheet, drizzle them with the oil. (I used olive oil spray again, just heavily.)

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, flip strips and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (My strips were skinny so we did 12 minutes-ish per side)

Source: About a Bit of Everything

Brian's Boneless Hot Wings

Brian and I traditionally make these for our We're Lame Homebodies Who Stay In, New-Years Celebration. Every year we stay in for New Years, just the two of us (or in recent years 3 of us, but Becca's in bed), eat fabulous food and watch movies.

While they're fantastic, normally when we make them we use our deep fryer and it is sooo much work. Our fryer takes a huge amount of oil, and we don't use the fryer enough to use the oil again before it spoils, so it's wasteful and expensive. We've been forever saying that we needed to find a less expensive, time consuming and wasteful way to make these little babies and we FINALLY got around to it! And hooray, it worked! They were aaaaamazing. I serve them with my homemade blue cheese dip.

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Ingredients: All measurements are approximate. Brian doesn't measure.
3 chicken breasts (approximately 1.5 lbs)
2-3 eggs, beaten
1 C flour
1/2 tps
1/4 tsp pepper
enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of frying pan by 1/4 inch
your preferred hot sauce. We prefer Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce

Directions:

Heat oil in a deep fry pan.

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Mix together the flour, salt and pepper into a large bowl.

Cut up chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, then coat in egg, then coat in flour.

Place coated chicken into the hot oil and cook until golden & crispy.

Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken from pan and set on a plate to drain oil.

Coat the chicken heavily in your favorite hot wing sauce. We strongly recommend Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce.  We use a LOT of it, too, so the chicken is dripping with hot sauce.

Enjoy!

Source: The genius of The Husband, Brian

German Chocolate Cake

Did you hear that? I think the heavens just parted and the angels sang...

This. cake. What can I say? Oh, I know- best thing you'll ever eat. Ever. I promise :)

I think that's all the intro it needs.

[caption id="attachment_425" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is the best photo I got. We ate it too quickly. Oops."]This is the best photo I got. We ate it too quickly. Oops.[/caption]

For the cake:

Ingredients:

2C all-purpose flour
1 3/4C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1C butter, cut into small pieces
1C water
1/3C unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
1/2C buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mist a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

Add the butter, water and cocoa into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally until mixture simmers and butter is melted.

Add cocoa mixture, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla into the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Pour the cake batter into pan and bake for 3o minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting

Ingredients:

3 egg yolks
1C evaporated milk, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1C sugar
1/2C butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2C sweetened coconut
1C chopped pecans

Directions:

Whisk together the egg yolks with 1/3 C milk in a medium saucepan. Then pour in the rest of the milk, the vanilla, sugar and btter.

Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and mixture comes to a full boil. Then lower heat and simmer for about 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat and mix in pecans and coconut.

Let cool, stirring occasionally, then spread evenly over the top of the cake.

**Note: this cake freezes and thaws again quite well. If there's any leftover, that is....

Source: My mother-in-law, original source unknown but brilliant

Taco bake

 Such a tasty dish.Such an ugly picture. Such a tasty dish.



Don't judge this recipe by my poor photography attempt. Don't judge this recipe by my poor photography attempt. Trust me.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
15-ounce can tomato sauce
8 ounces medium shell pasta (I used bowtie since I'd run out of shells)
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

Brown and drain the ground beef. Mix in the taco seasoning and the tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

Mix together the softened cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Set aside.

Lightly mist the bottom of a 9x13 pan with oil. Pour the pasta into the bottom of the pan, then smear the cream cheese mix on top.

Spoon the sauce mix onto the top, then sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

Source: Cooking This and That

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

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I've had this recipe saved for a while now. Actually, I think I have it saved from a couple of different sites and didn't realize it until I went to make it tonight and had to sort through 3 of the same recipe from different blogs. Apparently it looked REALLY good to me :)

These were a great weeknight dinner option- so simple and fast and delicious. Since we don't have a quesadilla maker, we didn't do these as traditional quesadillas. I don't particularly care for crispy tortillas so we didn't do a fry pan method, I just ate them like a super-cheesy taco (which really, made them even easier to make).

Ingredients:

2 Tblsp oil
1 1/2 onions (vidalia is best, apparently, so that's what we used) coarsely chopped or sliced into rings
1 Tbls honey
2 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 Cup BBQ sauce (we didn't measure, we just eyeballed it) (We used Sweet Baby Ray's

Directions:

Again, since I don't have a quesadilla maker, my directions differ slightly from the original recipe.

Chop chicken into bite size pieces, set aside.

Chop onion into pieces (original recipe said rings, I just did diced pieces) and saute with 1 T of the oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the onions are starting to caramelize, add in the honey and stir until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and saute the chicken until cooked through.

Mix together the chicken, onions and BBQ sauce in pan until heated.

Spoon the chicken & sauce mix onto warmed tortillas, then top with cheese.

Either roll into soft-taco shapes and eat, like we did, or cook in a quesadilla maker until tortilla is crispy. They can also be heated in a 350° for 20 minutes.

Source: Delicious Meliscious

Monday, May 4, 2009

Freezer foods post-baby

As we’re getting closer to D-day we’re starting to make up some foods to put in the freezer for post-birth. We had some of this done with Rebecca and it was nice to once in a while not have to worry about making dinner. We’ve kept it up a little bit in the last few years, just because it’s an easy and cheap way to have a dinner for later on done and over with. No extra hassle making a double versus single batch of something!

I’m starting to compile a list of what we can make. As I make each thing we’re marking it well with what it is, the date it was made and any instructions (ie- “re-heat & add cooked noodles”, “needs to bake for X minutes at X degrees”, or simply “re-heat”). We’re then going to put the list of what’s already in our freezer on the refrigerator so that we don’t have to dig through it forever to figure out what we have. The beginnings of our lists are as follows.

Dinner meals:
Lasagna
Sausage spinach pasta
Enchiladas (I also have a bag of just the cooked chicken/filling for the enchiladas frozen)
Pizza
Beef Stroganoff
Beef stew
Pot Roast
Chili
Macaroni and cheese
Meatballs
Chicken Pot Pie
Sloppy Joes
Taco meat

Other items:
bread
hot dog/hamburger buns
muffins
edit to add: cookies! As one reader reminded me, you can freeze cookie dough balls! (Incidentally, they're quite tasty frozen. Proof to this: I made a batch of cookies last week and froze the whole thing. Brian has already eaten all of them straight from the fridge)

We’re continually adding to this list and I welcome any and all suggestions!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blackberry muffins

I really enjoyed these muffins. I think I should start out by saying that. However, the topping? Not my favorite thing. Next time I make these I'm going to fugde the recipe a bit- leave out the lemon (most at least) and leave out the nuts topping. I really felt the blackberries were overshaddowed by everything else these had going on. Perhaps a very, very slight struessel topping would be good. I've also thought about making them with both blackberries and raspberries together.

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Ingredients:

For the topping:

1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped

For the muffins:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh blackberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen unsweetened blackberries, unthawed

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375. Line 12 muffin cups or lightly grease.

Mix together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.
Make a well in the center of flour mixture, then add in butter, buttermilk and egg. Mix together until just moistened and combined. (The batter will be a little lumpy)

Gently fold blackberries into the batter, then spoon the batter into the muffin cups.

Mix together the topping ingredients until it is crumbly, then sprinke over the top of the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then trasnfer to a wire cooling rack.

Source: Williams-Sonoma