Oven Fried Chicken Breasts…What WHAT!

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Oven Fried Chicken is delicious and uses less oil then your deep fryer. This is must try for the diet conscience crowd!

Oven Fried Chicken Breasts

Yes, Yes!! Not impossible and very much a thing! I have been experimenting with different coatings and batters for my oven fried chicken for some time now, but all the others just weren’t right. I finally hit on this recipe and it was AWESOME! One thing I never do is write down what I do or the amounts of what I use so results keep changing, so….I hope it works out for you when you try it because like I said, it is all in my head (which isn’t a good thing as I sometimes forget where I am going when I am driving?!?)

Anyway, I have used this recipe with chicken legs and backs but this particular time I used breasts. The issue with using chicken breasts (boneless/skinless), is that there is usually no fat on them and we need fat to fry anything so oil is added to the pan.

This recipe can go with any sides: salads, rice, noodles or even on a bun with some lettuce and tomato:-).

Oven Fried Chicken Breasts

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Time: 45 mins – 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Ingredients

  • 5 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ cup of white vinegarDelicious and diet friendly oven fried chicken breasts.
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil plus ½ cup (for pan)
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic powder
  • ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsps. of chopped chives

Directions

  1. Begin by filleting the chicken breasts (cutting them in half lengthwise so you end up with 2 identical thin pieces), now you have 10 fillets.
  2. Place in a large bowl and add vinegar, oil, 1 tbsp. of salt, 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and ½ a tbsp. of garlic powder, mix well and cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
  3. Set oven to 400° F
  4. Take a shallow pan (cookie sheet, depending on the size you may need 2) add the oil to the pan and place in the oven. Set timer for 20 mins.
  5. While you are waiting for the oil to heat up place flour, remaining salt, cayenne and garlic powder in a shallow bowl and mix well with a spoon. Spread out flour mixture in the bowl.
  6. Remove pan(s) from the oven. Place pieces of chicken one at a time into the flour mixture and cover well with mixture. Gently place chicken pieces in the pan.
  7. Return pan to oven and set the timer for 30 minutes, making sure to turn chicken at the 15-minute mark.
  8. Grate ½ a cup of cheese and chop the chives, put aside.
  9. Remove chicken from the oven and immediately place cheese on each filet and then add chives.

This recipe is versatile you could definitely use black pepper instead of cayenne, you could use mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar or parsley instead of chives….endless possibilities here!

When you try it please let me know what you think in the comments section.

What is, your favourite way to prepare chicken breasts?

Until next time!

 

Pulled Pork Salad…Crazy Good!

I love pulled pork! Who’s with me. So much so that if I could find a way to make it into a dessert…I would! So much so that if someone posted the pulled pork diet on Pinterest I would be pinning that all over (and following it)…no questions asked! So much so….well… you get the picture. Surprisingly enough I also love salads (talk about being at the other end of the spectrum!) I like to do lighter meals at least once a week and salads is one of them. I enjoy seeing all those colourful vegetables nestled on a bed of leafy greens, pretty picture. So to keep things from getting too boring with the salads, (you can only do chicken so many ways) I like to mix it up with different meats and I decided to meld my love of pulled pork with my adoration for salad.

My family shares my love of salads…no coincidence as I have been making their meals for over 16 years….I can’t complain at least it evens out their love of hamburgers, hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches!

I did make my own slow cooked pulled pork for this recipe but we will focus on the salad for now (I promise I will post the pulled pork recipe at some point:-) ). The only part that took any time was the pulled pork and the slow cooker handled that😉. Love dinners that take me only 20 minutes to make! Use the salad ingredients that your family enjoys or deconstruct it and let everyone pick their own ingredients, salads are great that way, the sky is the limit!

Pulled Pork Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 15-20 mins
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

 

  • 1 medium tomato061516_0011_PulledPorkS2.jpg
  • 6 cups of chopped lettuce (use your favourite)
  • ½ a head of finely chopped broccoli
  • ¼ of canola oil
  • 3 tbsp. of vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. of sugar
  • 2 tsp. of salt
  • ½ a bag of 14 oz bag of coleslaw
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • Pulled pork (approximately 5 cups worth)

Directions

  1. Prepare lettuce and place in a large bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl place coleslaw mix and broccoli and toss.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour into bowl with coleslaw mixture and toss.
  4. Chop tomato and set aside.
  5. Chop boiled eggs and place in a small bowl (Not everyone in my house enjoys boiled eggs).
  6. Plating: Lettuce, pulled pork, coleslaw mixture, tomatoes and eggs.

The next time I slow cook some pulled pork I will definitely link it. Otherwise…I hate to say it but they do sell ready made in the grocery stores, if nothing else it’s convenient:-)

Enjoy! Until next time.

Home Ownership and Barbeque

BBQChickenTitle

For those of us who are homeowners (and for those of you who have yet to own a home this is a cautionary tale) remember the days when you were in the desperate pursuit of looking for a house…remember the dreams of cutting the grass and the lovely gardens you would have and my favourite…all that extra storage that was coming your way! Yes!! I remember those days…those delusional days. Now it’s “why is the grass so long didn’t you just cut it yesterday!”…and “seriously…why won’t it rain …the grass is brown, the flowers are wilting …please God send rain!” and… “I would love to buy that______ but where would I put it?” Yes, home ownership…the joys and disappointments.

That is my segue into the bbq part, here we go. Last year my husband was able to score a sweet deal on an awesome practically new deluxe bbq …you know, the ones with the side burner and extra shelf…bells and whistles J. Anyway, I really enjoy bbqing and I even have homemade charcoal this year (that’s another post), due to all the warm weather we have been having lately I have been able to start my bbqing season early, which is awesome! However in my excitement I neglected to pull the bbq far enough away from my house, on the deck where it sits, and … brace yourselves …the back of my house is covered in vinyl siding.

You can guess what happened, the siding didn’t melt, but by the time I had finished bbqing my delicious chicken legs that siding was pretty warped. What does a wife do when she senses impending doom (or at least heavy finger wagging) from her man, she tries to fix it herself…I made it worse…don’t worry, he doesn’t know yet, not sure if he’s even seen it as I pushed the bbq directly in front of it J. This won’t be a secret for long as he does read my posts…sometimes😉 .

Onto the good part. I started to season my chicken for bbqing when I realized that I forgot to purchase bbq sauce at the store. What do I do…make my own, of course! Here is my very own (1 of about 6) recipe for bbq sauce.

Lisa's Homemade BBQ Sauce

  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Like a lot of things I make, I did not measure… I eye-balled, so measurements are all approximate.

Ingredients

  • Half a tin of tomato soupBBQChicken
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. of ketchup
  • ¼ cup of salsa (smooth it out with a hand blender)
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of crushed chili flakes (you can omit if you prefer)
  • 1 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of molasses
  • ½ cup of water

Directions

  1. Toss all ingredients, except the water, in the saucepan.
  2. Mix ingredients over medium heat until well incorporated.
  3. Add some of the water (about half) mix in, bring mixture to a simmer and add second ½ of water (if you like the consistency don’t add the second half).
  4. Let it simmer on medium low for 10 minutes.

I had plenty of sauce for 20 chicken legs and there was a small amount (about ¼ cup) remaining. It wasn’t spicy so if you enjoy spiciness add more chili flakes or even cayenne pepper (just a little). I did season the chicken beforehand with a little salt, pepper and garlic powder. This is one of those make lemonade situations and if I hadn’t forgotten to purchase the bbq sauce I would have never created my own tasty sauce. Hmm.. funny how what seems like a mistake isn’t one at all.

Until next time.

Parmesan Herb Dinner Rolls

My mother taught my sisters and I a very valuable lesson in how we eat and it is one that has been echoed by many mothers over time “Always have a balanced meal!” It is not necessarily what you eat but how much of what you eat!  Vegetables are great for you but too much of a good thing could have negative effects on your body.  Now before I get all sorts of comments extolling the virtues of a vegetarian diet let me be clear, even in a vegetarian or vegan diet there needs to be balance of all the nutrients a body needs…no vegetarian is going to only eat kale!?!

Due to my mother’s good training I try to ensure that each of my family’s meals are balanced (i.e. a carbohydrate, a protein and vegetables) that’s just keeping it basic and simple and I am hoping that my kids will learn that this is the best way to eat at every meal. That being said I am also a person that likes loves variety (after all it is the spice of life :-) ). My family could go through an entire month without eating the same thing…no kidding!

This recipe is a result of my desire for variety. I took my basic dinner roll recipe and jazzed it up.

Parmesan Herb Dinner Rolls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-1/3 cups of flour
  • 2-1/2 tsps of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • ¼ cup of parmesan plus 2 tbsps for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of milk (be generous)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). If you are not using a non-stick pan, grease 12 cups of a regular muffin pan.
  2. In a medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, parmesan and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add the mayonnaise and mix into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or 2 knives. Spoon in to the muffin pan and sprinkle with parmesan.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until puffed and browned.

The flavours of the parmesan and Italian seasoning really meld well together. These are a delicious accompaniment to soups and pastas.  This recipe yields a dozen but if your family is similar to my family of 5 there won’t be any left.

Enjoy. Until next time!

Cheesecake Topped Carrot Cake

I have this issue with food, I DON’T LIKE WASTING IT! So whenever I have too much of a particular food item or find out that I purchased too much of something because it was on sale and I succumbed to the trickery of the grocery store!  I open up my laptop and start trolling for recipes that include that particular item (sometimes its several items like strawberries, bananas and sweet potatoes so I can use them all up at once…yes I am clever😉  ).  I had purchased some carrots on sale and there is only so many ways you can eat carrots before the family starts to get bored with them.  Thus the story of how I ended up making this cake. I myself am not a fan of carrot cake…well… the traditional kind anyway, and with a nut allergy it just doesn’t work for me, but I needed to use up these carrots and this recipe at Kraft, sounded yummy. I didn’t have as much cream cheese as they call for in the recipe so mine ended up a little more cakey? (yes..that’s a professional chef term… I suppose I could have said cakier, which…btw… is also a professional term, anyway I digress).

I won’t add the recipe separately in this post as I followed it exactly, except for the amount of cream cheese.  Just click on the link above.

I can’t help but think of all the ways I could embellish this recipe… I have ideas about adding ginger for some pep or spicing up the cream cheese…somehow…still thinking about that one, but that’s another separate post… perhaps😉.

I really enjoyed the taste and texture of this cake despite it being a carrot based dessert. The cream cheese, even thought it is swirled on top of the cake, takes the place of icing.  Also, this cake is great as a snacking cake that the kids can take it to school and when the school lunch police complain about the unbalanced lunch, you can be smug in letting them know that it counts towards their daily vegetables!

Until next time.

P.S. Also, a great recipe for those vegetable gardeners who are looking for ways to use up all those extra carrots from the backyard! No need to give them all away.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

One day I will introduce all of you to my intricate weekly menu planner! It is awesome and makes my week go so much faster, there is no what do we eat for breakfast this morning?…or Mom what’s for dinner tonight? I just direct everyone to the menu plan for the week that is stuck to the face of the fridge with magnets. If you are thinking of implementing a menu plan into your household I will mention that although it is hung in a prominent and central place in our home I still get asked on a regular basis “Mom, what’s for dinner”! … and yes…they can ALL read!

Without get too much into the how and why I do the menu planning (I will save that for another post) I will let you know that I keep breakfasts fairly simple. If your household is like ours it’s amazing that we make it out of the house in the mornings intact! There is some “I can’t find my…” some “where is my…” and a whole lotta squabbling! So getting everyone down the stairs and eating breakfast and out the house can be stressful😕.  That being said I swap out every other cereal day with a non-cereal day, here’s what the looks like (i.e. on Monday – Muffins, on Tuesday – Cereal, on Wednesday – Eggs & Toast…..) you get the idea.

I do make muffins often: 1. They are a good way to use up leftover fruit (i.e. brown skinned bananas) 2. You can pack a lot of nutrition into muffins and 3. If you make them the night before there is no prep work required, just slap them on a plate with some fruit and cheese and voila instant breakfast!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Time: 30 mins including baking time
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Credit: Cooks.com

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup of oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together leaving out the chocolate chips.
  3. Mix wet ingredients together.
  4. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and mix again, only until ingredients are moistened (do not overmix).
  5. Spray a 12 size muffin pan with baking spray, fill each with 2/3 of muffin batter.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are springy on top when touched.

As I mentioned earlier, these are great with fruit and a few slices of cheese on the side. They are not just GREAT for breakfast but as a work or afterschool snack or in lunches!

Until next time.:-)

Pork Lettuce Wraps with Ramen Noodles

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, but there was stuff in the original recipe that I did not currently have in my pantry so I had no choice but to make this my own. I also wanted to incorporate more vegetables so I did! With the addition of shredded carrot I think this took the recipe from just delicious to super nutritious.

The sauce (my own) consists of a soy sauce/peanut butter combo.  I tried to keep things simple not just because that is the theme of my blog J but when you are cooking for picky eaters it is key to not make things too complicated… what’s that you say… those picky eaters live at your house as well, than this is the recipe for you.  You can make the lettuce into little scoops or if you have kids and want to avoid the inevitable mess you can cut the lettuce into smaller pieces and use it a base for the meat mixture, which is what I did.

Pork Lettuce Wraps with Ramen Noodles

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Lettuce Wraps

  • 1lb of ground pork
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of peanut butter
  • Several leaves of butter or romaine lettuce
  • 1 large carrot, shredded

Ramen Noodles

  • 2 pkgs of Ramen noodles
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of frozen peas

Directions:

Lettuce Wraps

  1. Brown pork in a skillet over medium high heat add salt, pepper, garlic and onion.
  2. When onion is softened turn heat to low-medium heat and add soy sauce and peanut butter.
  3. Keep on low simmering while you make the noodles.

Ramen Noodles

  1. Put water into medium saucepan on high.
  2. Once water boils immediately turn to low break up noodles and add to pot.
  3. In 2 minutes add 1 packet of the spice mix (that is included with the noodles) and the peas.
  4. Cover pot and remove from heat.

Plate the lettuce, top with the pork mixture and add the carrot on top. Place the noodles and peas on the side.

Quick, easy, delicious and versatile. Use whatever lettuce you want, or you can add a little ginger to the meat mixture. Mix it up and enjoy!