Monday, April 30, 2012

SRC: Crispy Buttermilk Baked Chicken

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was assigned Baking and Creating by Avril. I immediately went straight to her blog to explore :)

Typically when it comes time for me to choose a recipe, I try to vary it up. If I chose something savory last time, I go with a sweet and vice versa. Last time, I chose savory - sweet time, right? Wrong! Now it's not that I didn't find any sweets on Avril's blog. Quite the opposite - I cannot wait to make her Cookie Bars, Pumpkies, and Brookies. I also was seriously considering the Bacon Tomato Pasta, but I did pasta last month. Then I found Crunchy Buttermilk Baked Chicken. A few days before our assignments went out, I had tried an oven-fried chicken recipe that failed MISERABLY. So when I saw this chicken on Avril's blog, I knew it was the one I wanted to try.

It was crispy and great alone - although I am on a buffalo kick lately and everything is getting dipped in buffalo!

What you need:
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope Ranch Dressing mix {or 1 homemade recipe}
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts (Mine were super thick - I will be cutting them in half next time!)
  • 4 to 5 slices bread, torn into smaller pieces

Combine buttermilk, sour cream, and 2 tbsp. of dressing mix in a bowl. 
Place chicken in it and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, run the slices of bread plus the remainder of the ranch mix through a food processor.

Spread the seasoned breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 450* for about 5 minutes. Watch these carefully to make sure they don't burn! Stir a couple times while baking to help :)

Place bread crumbs in a bowl and dip the buttermilk soaked chicken in them to coat.
Place chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and give the chicken a light spray.

Bake chicken on a rack set on the lowest place in your oven for 10 minutes.
Move chicken to middle rack and reduce oven temperature to 400* - bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through.

A peek at my past SRC recipes: Brisket & Veggies, Banana Custard Cream Pie, Chicken Egg Rolls, Hamantaschen, and Lemon Fettuccine.

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pecan Chews

Today, I am sharing another recipe from the Hannah Swenson series by Joanne Fluke. A few weeks ago, I shared Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies. These cookies were also found in the first book, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder. I brought them to our April Family Readiness Group potluck - and they were gone fast! I think they almost taste a bit like rum cake.

What you need:
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 4 cups flour
Beat butter and brown sugar, then cool.
Add eggs and beat until combined.

Then add salt, baking soda, vanilla, and pecans.

Lastly add flour and combine until it comes together.

Using a cookie scoop, add 12 balls of dough to a cookie sheet.

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 350* oven.
Rest for 1 minute on the cookie sheets and remove to a wire rack.

Recipe from Joanne Fluke, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuna Melts

So when I meal plan each week, I sit down with a list of all the recipes I have. I typically don't go for WHO I got the recipe, but what it is. It seems like I have racked up a great deal of Pioneer Woman recipes, plus I've also been cooking through her newest cookbook, Food From My Frontier, like a mad woman. I have mad love for PDub. Mad love.

I remember seeing this recipe and thinking of how smart it was to make the melts on English muffins instead of hamburger buns or just plain bread. These were easily the best tuna melts I've ever had!

What you need:
  • 5 oz. tuna (I used a large is bigger than 5 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped (I had to omit because mine had gone bad)
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 English muffins, split in half
  • Sliced cheese
Mix together tuna, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and eggs. Stir in mayo and mustard. 
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place a large dollop of the tuna mixture on each English muffin half and top with a slice of cheese, then the other half of the muffin.

Bake at 375* for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and muffin is slightly crunchy :)

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

~Tasty Thursday #57~


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Banana Pizzazz Pancakes

We're always trying out different pancake recipes in my house. I like this one because it's an easy way to use up ripe bananas with ingredients I most likely will always have on hand. Plus it has sprinkles in it!

What you need:
  • 2 cups baking mix
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 tbsp. sprinkles
Mix together milk, egg, and banana. 

Then whisk in baking mix. 
Last, add in sprinkles.  I may have added more than 1 tbsp. I love sprinkles!

Pour 1/4 cup of batter on a heated skillet or griddle.
Cook until top is bubbly, then flip and cook until golden brown. 
Serve warm with butter and syrup. Or peanut butter. I bet these would be fantastic with peanut butter!

Recipe from Mommy Hates Cooking

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Let me just start off by saying, my husband has some kind of weird magical food powers. He can make me like things that I swore I hated. If only I could harness those magical powers and use them on him. I could see him liking mayonnaise being a huge advantage for me!

Anywho, I have made chicken parmesan twice in the 5+ years we've been married. Once was this Skinny Chicken Parmesan and this was the second time. My husband loves chicken parmesan. LOVES it. I don't. So it's not something that I planned on making often...until I made this recipe. I think the reason that I wasn't a big fan of chicken parmesan was because most recipes thickly bread the chicken and it gets soggy with the sauce. Others I've made never used pasta in it either. This recipe has a nice thin "breading" and uses pasta as well. The sauce is the best tomato sauce I've ever tasted and my quest for a good spaghetti sauce is over. Kaput!

Ree says in her cookbook that this one is in her kitchen's Hall of Fame. I can see why and it's definitely made its way into our Hall of Fame. Although, we don't have a plaque.

Monday, April 23, 2012

NY Strip Steaks with Tarragon Melting Sauce

I messed up on the sauce a little by melting the butter beforehand...guess you're not supposed to do that. Your sauce is supposed to look like butter and then melt over your hot steak. Guess that's why it's called a melting sauce and not a melted sauce. :) It was still completely amazing though. I loved it. It actually tasted quite a bit like alfredo sauce.

(Printable Version)
Recipe from Paula Deen

What you need:
  • 6 NY Strip Steaks (these were mighty small and expensive, so I used some other type...same price...and gigantic)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Tarragon Melting Sauce:
(I quartered this recipe because I knew my husband and kids wouldn't touch it)
  • 2 cups butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. green onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (used from the lemon above)
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice (I was able to get this from the lemon I used above)
  • 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients and place in a large ziploc bag or a bowl. Place steak in the marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook by desired method until desired doneness is achieved. My husband grilled them to a medium-well or so.
  3. While steak is cooking, mix together all the melting sauce ingredients and refrigerate.
  4. Serve steak topped with 1 to 2 tbsp. of melting sauce.

And I'm also going to quickly share that we made my favorite grill side dish {and I got a picture of the finished product!} and kabobs. We made these kabobs with Italian dressing marinated chicken, fresh pineapple, and green and red bell peppers.

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fantastical Feature: Food Network Magazine

My Fantastical Feature for today is the Food Network Magazine. Specifically, I am sharing recipes I've tried from the May 2011 to July/August 2011 issues.

From the May 2011 issue, Lemon-Parsley Asparagus on p.113.
I served this one up with Lemon Fettuccine. It was my kids' first time having asparagus as a side and I'm happy to say both of them adore it and gobbled it up. That's a mom's dream come true, right?

From the June 2011 issue, "Name This Dish!" Stuffed Peppers on p.190.
These were later named Pork Bellied Poppers - they are actually pulled pork with cheese stuffed peppers. My husband and I devoured these. Best popper I have ever had HANDS down. We used leftover shredded beef from shredded beef tacos.

 From the July/August 2011 issue, Buffalo Chicken Salad on p.114.
I didn't make this one precisely how it was made in the magazine - Nick and I don't do ranch or blue cheese dressing. At all. This is a great dinner if you are in a hurry!

As a whole, I rate Food Network Magazine with a 5-utensil rating.
Why? Because every magazine is stock full of recipes, tips for the kitchen, inspiration for kitchen decor, etc. It's the only periodical that I subscribe to. I'd be sad without it. I'm a FN junkie (:

Look for more Food Network magazine Fantastical Features in the future. I want to feature recipes from many of the issues! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Homemade Granola

Recently, I have been a granola fiend. I've been eating it for breakfast, snack, and whenever else I am sort of hungry. I cannot get enough of it. I wanted to take a stab at homemade granola because the kind I like can get kind of pricey when you eat as much of it as quickly as I do. Not only was this recipe simple, it was very good. I added dried mixed fruit (cranberries, blueberries, and cherries) into it.

(Printable Version)
Recipe from

What you need:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (I left this out because I couldn't find mine - time to clean the pantry!)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 4 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 325* and grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine oats, meal, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, combine apple juice, syrup, honey, and brown sugar.

Add juice mixture to oats mixture and stir until combined.

Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and stir, breaking up big chunks.
Bake for another 8 minutes or until crisp.
Remove and let cool. At this point you can break up any more large chunks, add fruit, etc. 
Store in an airtight container when cooled. Makes 4 cups.

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

~Tasty Thursday #56~


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spicy Chicken Breakfast Biscuits

I do believe this is the first recipe I've made from Confections of a Foodie Bride, so this means it's time to gush a little. I'm sure you all have seen a few of Shawnda's recipes on my Sunday Social post (like Waffles with Southern Comfort Praline Sauce and Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies). I'm still a relatively new follower though, so I highly recommend visiting her site and checking out her delicious recipes :)

This recipe was pretty quick to make for a breakfast recipe and it was definitely a keeper. My husband has no-register spice palate whatsoever...he could eat a habenero whole, no problem. Okay, well maybe not :P But he loves spicy foods and will eat everything with buffalo sauce on it! He loved these!

(Printable Version)

What you need:
  • 4 thin chicken breasts, halved
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne, depending on how spicy you want to go
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tube buttermilk biscuits, 8-count
  • Sliced pepper jack cheese
  • Honey
  • Vegetable oil
Place milk in a shallow bowl. Place flour and all seasonings (not honey) in another shallow bowl.
Dip chicken in milk and then dredge through seasoned flour, coating completely.

Place on a plate and refrigerate 15 minutes.

Bake biscuits according to tube directions. I did this while my chicken was in the fridge.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. You'll want enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan.
Fry chicken for 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and let rest.

Serve chicken in a biscuit topped with cheese and a little honey.

{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taco Pasta Toss

This recipe can look a little overwhelming at first, but it's actually a very quick recipe despite the amount of ingredients. It backs a lot of flavor - this was our first time using coriander - which was a great touch!

(Printable Version)
Recipe from Rachael Ray

What you need:
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. pasta
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeno, halved and seeded, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack
  • 2 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small heart romaine lettuce, chopped
Bring a large pot of water and salt to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente and drain. 
Place in a large bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Add beef until browned.

Add 3/4 chopped onion, jalapeno, garlic, chili powder, coriander, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute and stir in broth.

Add sauce to pasta and toss.

Top with cheese and cover with foil until cheese is melted, a few minutes.
Top with remaining onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.
{Click here to see what blog hops I participate in}