I have recently been completely
grossed out by news articles I've read about what is actually in a "chicken nugget". I am not sure why they are even called chicken nuggets anymore if the very last ingredient added is chicken. So, I laid down the law and I've completely boycotted premade, processed chicken nuggets in my household (except for the occasional Chick-fil-a). We actually almost never have them at home, but they are a go-to while out and about.
I decided to try to make homemade chicken nuggets completely from scratch. I made an impulse purchase at Costco and got a KitchenAid 3 cup food chopper/processor to help me with the recipe I was about to tackle.
Here's my step by step -- I completely made this up and I think you could add whatever flavors make you happy. I might try the next batch with a little cayenne pepper or something to "kick it up a notch".
Homemade Chicken Nuggets - Ingredients
2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain bread crumbs
4 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Knorr's granulated chicken bouillon
(this is salty, so I did not add additional salt)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
Yields 40 nuggets (can vary based on size of nugget)
1. Cube chicken breasts.
2. Puree chicken breasts in food processor.
3. Add Knorr's, garlic powder, pepper and 2 eggs. Mix well. Add plain bread crumbs and parmesean cheese. Mix until it forms a wet dough-like mixture.
4. Spoon balls of mixture into a glass bowl with panko bread crumbs. Toss until chicken is completely coated. (warning: the pureed chicken feels sticky and gross)
5. Place coated chicken balls on wax paper. Gently smash down to make into traditional nugget shape.
6. Lightly coat bottom of frying pan with cooking oil, heat on medium-high. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.
7. Place cooked nuggets onto paper towel to rid of extra oil.
It didn't take me more than 45 minutes to make these. I think the little extra effort is worth it - and I'm going to freeze some of them to see how they hold up for future use. If you have any modifications to this recipe, or if you'd like to share your own, leave it in the comments below.
At about 4pm on Saturday, I decided that I wanted to change the flooring in my guest room. With absolutely no planning, preparation, or clue about what I was doing... I headed to Costco and picked up 6 boxes of Vineyard Cherry Harmonics Wood Flooring
($8 off per box coupon). I then headed over to Lowe's and got a tapping block and a piece of trim/molding for the transition from the room to my carpeted hallway. My total project cost: $185. Oh, and I was going to do this project all on my own since the bf was out on the Harley. I have to state a disclaimer: When I first bought my house, I gave my lovebunnie my credit card and asked him to get me set up with a complete tool kit. I'm pretty confident with a saw and power drill and if I can't figure something out, I can always turn to Google.
It took about 2 minutes to rip out the old carpet. The only tool needed was a pair of needle nose pliers. The most arduous part of the process was removing the tacking strip for the old carpet. Holy nails. For this, I used a crow bar. And then, it started. I don't follow recipes when cooking, so why follow the directions on the box about how to lay flooring? I just started laying and tapping and cutting. I think that if I had followed the directions on the box, it would have been much more confusing that the logical approach I took. And let it be known that I never once used a tape measure. Not being conceited, just saying that this project can get done, easily, without over-thinking it.
I completed the entire room just as my dad and boyfriend arrived. Lucky for them - they got to finish off the closet (with my guidance, of course). My next plan is to move B over and tackle the floors in his old room to make it a new office for me :)
Yesterday, I asked you all for suggestions on kid-friendly finger foods to take to the neighborhood BBQ. My friend, Sheila, suggested an idea she saw on Pinterest for mini corn dog muffins - however, the link was removed from by Pinterest as spam. I decided that it would be pretty hard to screw up making these without a recipe, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. Disclaimer: These are not the healthiest - however, I would guess that they are healthier than regular corn dogs which are usually fried.
Here's what you'll need:
1 box of cornbread mix - I used Krusteaz Natural Honey Cornbread
(plus an egg, water, and vegetable oil - or whatever you mix requires)
1 package of hot dogs
non-stick cooking spray
mini-muffin baking tray
1. Heat oven to 400. Apply non-stick cooking spray to baking tin.
2. Make cornbread according to directions on the box. Fill each mold a little less than 2/3 with batter.
3. Cut hot dogs into little segments (I cut each dog into 5 pieces) and place in the center of each mold.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes - keeping an eye on them.
Let cool. Pop out of tins. Enjoy!
These were a hit with the kids and adults. The only comments I got were "I like butter on my corn bread" and "bring ketchup next time". Touché, mis amigos, touché. Next time, I might try brushing the tops with melted butter.
Let me know if you try it and what changes you make!
write down/email/print/memorize this recipe asap and keep in your arsenal. I use this about once/twice per week on salmon, chicken, or pork.
This recipe is a hybrid of a marinade and a rub - but is best applied by a silicone basting/pastry brush. It is easy to make - and easy to modify to meet the needs of your tastebuds. It always impresses guests and commoners (my family) alike. Crunchy outside, soft and tender inside.
tip: I often make this spread (in a larger batch) every couple of weeks and keep in a mason jar in the refeigerator. it's nice to have on hand, ready to go, with the flavors nicely blended. also, sometimes i heat up the olive oil on med-low and let the rosemary simmer for a few minutes to extract the flavors.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp dijon mustard (i like something that is really seedy)
2 tbsp Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb seasoning
2 tbsp rosemary (use fresh when you can)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
sometimes I also add other spices: garlic powder, white pepper, cayenne, whatever else is in my cabinet.
Directions: Mix all ingredients together, spread with pastry brush onto both sides of the salmon. The key to success is a grill pan - it's not too shabby in a regular frying pan either. Make sure your pan is hot enough to create the crust on the outside. I usually heat my pan on high for about 2-3 minutes, throw the salmon on, and then turn to medium or medium-high depending on the thickness of the filet. Cook about 3-4 minutes per side. I also find it best to use tongs to turn over so that you don't scrape the crust off the filet.
This is very customizeable - and it's hard to make it wrong. Add what you like and give it a try!
How to: Once the temperatures reach freezing, fill up balloons with water and add food coloring. Once frozen, cut off the balloon itself and you have a giant frozen ball of colored ice! so pretty - maybe you could even make them into Christmas decorations...
*on a side note, I would try to use a food coloring that will not stain or ruin your grass/sidewalks/child's hands.
I saw this idea over the summer and I've been holding on to the pic - but I just can't wait any longer to share! I thought I'd have a chance this past Tuesday to make these babies come to life, but it just wasn't cold enough.
photo credit to C. Doyle.
by Jennifer Hemmick
It’s my birthday and I’ll bake if I want to!
Last weekend was my birthday and birthdays with my husband’s family are not birthdays without ice cream cake. Call me crazy, but ice cream cake is not my favorite; I’m a frosting and cake kinda gal (the thicker the frosting, the happier I am) and I decided that this year, I was going to bake myself some cupcakes.
A couple of months ago, my coworker mentioned she was going to make some salted caramel cupcakes that she found on Pinterest for her sweetie’s birthday. When the day came, she posted about them on Facebook and I was so jealous I wasn’t a part of the festivities. Knowing how sweet Ms. A is, I should’ve guessed she would save some to share
with her wonderful coworkers.
As soon as I tasted it, I was in heaven. The combination of salty and sweet was amazing and I was so sad when I ate that last bite that I vowed to find an excuse to make them ASAP. What better excuse than my very own birthday?
Ms. A shared the original recipe
with me, but told me she used yellow boxed cake mix instead of the written one. Hers were so good, that when I went to the store to stock up on baking supplies, I decided to just get the box. In my excitement, I ended up getting Sugar-free yellow cake mix and while looking up reviews on Amazon I found out that “excess consumption may cause a laxative effect.” I’m sorry, but diarrhea and birthdays don’t mix well in my opinion, so I ended up following the original recipe.
In full disclosure, these are time-consuming and use A LOT of sugar, but trust me, they are definitely worth it! You will also end up with a lot of leftover caramel and frosting, which, in the original poster’s opinion, “only matters if you’re an alien.” For an added treat Ms. A topped the cupcakes with a chocolate-covered pretzel, which I forgot to buy, but they were good
• 12 Tbsp butter
• 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
• 3/4 cup light brown sugar
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 12 Tbsp butter, room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
• 3 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 3/4 cup reserved caramel sauce
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
• 2 Tbsp milk
• Sea Salt for topping
1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and light and dark brown sugars, and milk together. Bring to a boil.
2. Let mixture boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Preheat oven to 350°
4. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
6. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar over medium speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating
until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary.
7. Add the flour and the milk, beating on low speed until ingredients are just combined.
8. Fill each liner about 3/4 full, about 1/4 cup batter.
9. Bake approx 20 minutes until centers are set.
10. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
11. While cupcakes are cooling make your frosting. Combine butter, powdered sugar 3/4 cup prepared (and cooled) caramel sauce and milk in a mixing bowl. Beat ingredients together about 2 minutes until creamy. (Mine came out really thin, but it hardened once on the cupcakes)
12. After cupcakes have cooled for about 10 minutes, pierce tops of cupcakes with a sharp knife or skewer about 10 times. Pour about 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce on top of each cupcake, allowing it to absorb into the holes. (This step can get messy! I had the cupcakes on a cooling rack placed over wax paper for easy cleanup)
13. Let the cupcakes finish cooling completely and then frost with about 2 tablespoons of frosting on each. Lightly
sprinkle your cupcakes with (coarse or flaked) sea salt.
guest blog by Kylie Carey of Kylie's Pop Shop
Dorothy Jane is a family member on my mom’s side of the family. This recipe has been in the family for a very long time. Actually, the original recipe calls for “oleo” instead of butter! (That’s how old it is!)
Here's what you'll need:
2 sticks of salted butter
1 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1 box confectioners sugar
1 cup graham crackers
Chocolate for dipping
First, assemble your ingredients so that everything is handy.
Next, melt your butter in 30 second intervals in the microwave. While doing this, crush your graham crackers using a food processer. I find that about 3/4 of a sleeve of graham crackers = about 1 cup of crumbs.
Mix in a large bowl using a hand mixer: peanut butter, melted butter, and vanilla.
Use the lowest speed. Mix until creamy.
Add your dry ingredients all at once. DO NOT try to mix using the electric mixer.
My advice: put on some gloves and squish that buckeye dough by hand.
Here is my dough once it was thoroughly mixed and ready to roll!
By hand, roll each buckeye into the size ball you’d like. I made mine into 1 inch balls (the recipe yields about 70 balls!). I like to put my buckeyes on a cookie sheet after they’ve been rolled - it’s easier to put them in the freezer this way.
Put the cookie balls into the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until balls are firm.
Dorothy Jane’s original recipe says to keep them in the fridge for 6-7 hours - but who has time for that? Mine do just fine in the freezer!
Set a timer and do some clean up while they are hardening in the freezer. Get your chocolate melted down, and get ready to dip!
When the pops come out, dip each buckeye into the chocolate quickly and carefully. I like mine on sticks, but Dorothy Jane put hers on toothpicks and removed the tooth pick once the buckeye had dried. Leave the peanut butter showing at the top for the buckeye effect!
And VOILA! Buckeyes!
Please stop by my Facebook
page and check me out, as I am always creating new recipes and toying with classic recipes for new renditions!
In my house, we absolutely LOVE Moby Dick House of Kabob
. And when I say we - I mean all three of us. My 4 year old orders his own platter and eats every last bite. The food is awesome - but it ain't cheap. I decided to try to mimic the famous yellow chicken recipe at home (Persian saffron chicken joojeh). Surprisingly, it was a super easy two-step recipe.
2lbs chicken breast, trimmed and cubed (1-2 inch chunks)
1 cup plain greek yogurt (I used a Chobani)
1 yellow onion, minced finely (almost a paste)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced finely
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron threads dissolved in 1-2 tbsp warm water
1 1/2 tbsp turmeric (for color)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl that is not going to absorb the color of the saffron. You could probably use glass, but I used a metal bowl to be safe. Cover in the refrigerator and let marinate for a minimun of 4 hours. *If you're going to put the kabobs on the grill using wooden skewers - make sure to let soak in water for at least an hour before you're ready to start cooking to prevent the skewers from catching fire.
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup butter (melted)
Grill kabobs for about 3-4 minutes per side (all 4 sides). I had my grill set on medium heat - but all grills are different, so adjust the heat and timing as needed. Baste each side of kabob with lemon butter mixture. Serve hot with basmati rice.
After I made this and was cleaning up dinner, B ran around the corner in the kitchen and said, "Mom, that was PERFECTO!"
I'll add this to my arsenal of recipes. Hope you enjoy!
My girlfriend Susan from my sorority's alum group made these AMAZING sweet treats -- and it's "SO EASY" that I just had to share!
Here is her secret recipe:
1. Into the wells of a muffin tin (or in cupcake papers) flatten a square of store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough.
2. Top that with a Reese peanut butter cup (or a mini).
3. Prepare box-mix brownie batter (as directed on the box) and spoon it over Reese-cookie dough, 3/4 full.
4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. VOILA!
Susan's claim of goodness: "Srsly: not costly, easy, and I have to hide them to keep husband and son from eating all of them tonight."
Doesn't that pic make you want to run to the grocery store right now and make them?
by Anola Trott
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the show “Kimchi Chronicles”, but it’s an eye-opener. It’s basically a documentary on Korean food and was one of my favorite shows when it was on -- the dishes they produce are incredible. True Korean food is so healthy, delicious, and unfortunately, very difficult to make.
I’ve been aching to make a Korean dish for a long time, but everything that looks or sounds yummy requires lots of ingredients (some are very uncommon) and even requires 2-3 days of prep time. No thanks!!! I found this super easy recipe on Pinterest and it was done. Here is the recipe for Korean Beef.
1 pound lean ground beef (the lean part is very important or it will become greasy)
1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar (I did just 1/4 because I wanted it to be more spicy)
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (to desired spiciness)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch green onions, diced (don't skip this!)
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brown hamburger with garlic in the sesame oil. Drain most of the fat and add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and red peppers. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in some of the green onions at the last minute and serve over steamed rice and top with the rest of the onions.
I served mine with a side of Kimchi...enjoy!!