Chick Fil A Sandwich

When I asked the kids what they would like me to make over the weekend Eric requested a Chick Fil A sandwich.  We do not live in an area where there are Chick Fil A restaurants.  Honestly, I know I personally would not even go to a Chick Fil A.   However, I see no reason not to make a sandwich in my home that everyone could enjoy.  I found this recipe here.  There is also another version of this recipe here.  The second recipe seemed a little too time consuming to me but you may want to try it.  I think the pickle juice marinade was a great way to brine the chicken.  I may marinade a little longer next time.  The recipe I chose, for our family, was very Simple and Delicious.

Chick Fil A Sandwich

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Ingredients

1 # boneless, skinless chicken breast (sliced in half and pounded to 1/2 inch)
1/4 cup pickle juice (I used Vlasic Oval Dill Pickles for the juice and used the pickles for the sandwich)
1 egg
1/4 cup milk (I used half and half)
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Peanut or Vegetable Oil
Hamburger rolls (you will need to toast them)

Directions

1.  Wrap the chicken loosely between plastic wrap and pound gently with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until about ½ inch thick all around.
2.  Cut chicken into two pieces as evenly as possible
3.  Marinate in the pickle juice for 30 minutes to one hour.
4.  Beat the egg with milk in the bowl.
5.  Combine the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.
6.  Dip the chicken pieces each into the egg on both sides, then coat in flour on both sides.
7.  Heat oil in dutch oven, should be up to 1/2 inch.
8.  Fry 2 minutes on one side.  Then flip over and cover with lid and fry for 2 minutes.  I used a LeCreuset pan. blog 005  If you have a heavy pan with a heavy lid that should work.  Chick Fil A uses a pressure cooker for their sandwiches.  I found that this was the closest I could get to a pressure cooker.
9.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
10.  Butter the hamburger roll and toast on grill or frying pan.
11.  Place chicken on roll with 2 slices of dill pickles.
12.  Chow down.  YUM!!

Smore’s Bundt Cake – Pizza Friday Dessert

I always ask everyone what they would like for Pizza Friday.  Lately we have been adding a dessert to the mix.  Rachel requested a fruit dessert.  I was very simplistic with that and bought some strawberries, oranges, bananas and kiwi.  I cut them all up and put them out with some Cool Whip.  That went over quite well.  Martin had requested a chocolate bundt cake but he wanted graham crackers with white chocolate chips.  I thought about it throughout the day and remembered when he was younger he liked me to get Smore’s bars.  I found this recipe on another blog and went with it.  Rachel and I thought it could have used more chocolate chips.  The guys did not agree with us at all.  Believe it or not it was very Simple and of course Delicious.

Smore’s Bundt Cake

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Ingredients

For the Cake

2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of whole milk (I used half and half)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
2 cups miniature marshmallows, divided (you will use 1 cup in the cake batter and 1 cup for decorating)

Chocolate Glaze

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon corn syrup

Directions

1.  Set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees
2.  Place the graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder in medium bowl and mix together.  Set aside.
3. Cream the butter for a minute and then add the sugar in small increments until mixed together.  (I used my stand up mixer)  Whisk the eggs together briefly and pour slowly down the side of the bowl while it is running.  Add the vanilla.  Stop and scrape the bowl as needed.
4.  Set the speed on medium and add the dry ingredients and the milk alternately.  Start with the dry ingredients, then the milk.  Scrape bowl as needed.  Fold in by hand the chocolate chips and 1 cup of miniature marshmallows.
5.  Spray the 10″ bundt pan with Pam or brush with butter.  Spoon the batter into the pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  (I baked for 40.  Watch it.  I probably could have taken out at 35 minutes.)  Allow to cool in pan long enough to handle with your bare hands yet still quite warm.  If you allow the cake to cool fully in the pan it will stick.  You need to run a knife along the sides to loosen.  **This cake did not come out easy for me.  That was okay though.  I covered my mistake with chocolate 🙂
6.  For the chocolate glaze; Add all ingredients into a small pan.  Melt over a hot – NOT boiling pot of water.  Remove from heat and stir until smooth.  You can do this in advance and then melt again before pouring.  I did it just before I wanted to drizzle over the cake.
7.  When the chocolate glaze is melted and still warm, drizzle over the cake.  Take the 1 cup of marshmallows and place on the cake.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

Would definitely make this again.  I believe I would sneak in just a few more chocolate chips!  Shhhhh, don’t let the guys know  😉  blog 008

Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust

I found this recipe in the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine.  The only magazine I actually have delivered to my doorstep and read front to back.  I really enjoy reading the articles and checking out the many recipes. I did bake it the way the recipe reads but I also tried something else.  I baked one batch.  The other batch I fried just to get brown, then I baked it.  It ended up, as a family we liked the fried/baked much better.  They were both tasty.  However, the fried/baked had a crunch and we enjoyed it better.  Give it a try and let me know which way you like it better.  This was a very quick recipe.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner with a nice salad or rice and veggie.  I strive for simplicity during the week and this was definitely “Simple and Delicious”!

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan Crust

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Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped (I used fresh)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I slice these
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Mix the mustard, thyme, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. (You can add the chicken into the bowl and turn to coat completely.  I brushed the mix on the chicken instead.  That worked for me!)
3.  In a medium shallow bowl, combine the parmesan and panko.
4.  As I mentioned I brushed the  mustard mixture on both sides of chicken breast. Then I placed a piece of chicken in the parmesan/panko bowl and pressed down on one side, flipped over and pressed down on the other side.
5.  Put the chicken on a rack set over a baking sheet.  Spray with a quick burst of cooking spray and put the sheet in the middle of the oven.  Bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 15-20 minutes. (As I mentioned I fried to brown than baked for 15 minutes.)  Let rest 5 minutes before cutting or serving.

Hope you enjoy!  Also makes great sandwiches for work the next day!!

Chili Pizza

This Friday we had chicken wings, Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies and our usual pizzas; plain cheese and a sausage pizza.  I thought it was going to be a pretty quiet evening so I didn’t put too much effort into making a different pizza.  Sometimes it is nice to just make the “usual ones”.  Martin ended up bring a couple of friends that I did not expect.  The wings and pizza rapidly disappeared.  Nothing left for Kent and myself!!  I opened up the fridge and saw a bowl of chili.  I mentioned that to Kent and we agreed to try it on a pizza.  We topped with monterey jack cheese.   It was pretty tasty!!

For the chicken wings I use 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup Sweet Baby Rays Chicken Wing Sauce, squirt of Sriacha sauce. Mix it together. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  I place the wings on a foil lined pan sprayed with Pam.  I then brush the the wings with the above sauce.  Bake for 20 minutes, flip over the wings and brush with the sauce.  Bake for 20 minutes.  That is it and everyone loves them.  Simple and Delicious!!

Here is the Chili Pizza.  I will work on being a little more creative next week!!  Ciao, Ciao!!

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The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

I have made Chocolate Chip Cookies for a very long time.  The typical recipe is Toll House.  I use Ghiaradelli Chocolate Chips and always add an extra teaspoon of vanilla.  That is the only change I make to the Toll House recipe.  This recipe I did tonight was from Cooks Illustrated.  When I first saw the recipe I thought how could anything be better than Toll House.  Well, let me tell ya this is one PERFECT Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Oh, believe it or not, it is very Simple and even more Delicious!

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Ingredients

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (You can use light brown sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used milk chocolate chips)

Instructions
1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl, set aside.
2.  Heat 10 Tablespoons butter in 10 inch skillet over medium high heat until melted.  Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma, 3-5 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat and using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to a  large heatproof bowl.  Stir remaining 4 Tablespoons butter into hot butter until melted.
3.  Add both sugars, salt and vanilla to the bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated.  Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds.  Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds.  Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute.  Stir in chocolate chips giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.
4.  Using a 1/4 cup, arrange dough 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet.  I was able to get 6 cookies on one baking sheet.  I baked a total of 12 cookies.  They were 4 inches wide after they baked.
5  Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until golden brown and puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, about 10-12 minutes.  Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.chips mac and cheese 003

I know this seems like it would take a long time but it doesn’t.  It really is not hard to do at all.  It took me under an hour to make and bake these really Simple and Delicious cookies.  Give it a try.  It is really worth it!!

Macaroni and Cheese – Again

I was going to go grocery shopping tonight.  Well, it started to snow and I had Martin’s car.  I am not driving that little red car on snowy, icy roads.  So, I ended up going home.  I decided I wanted to make some comfort food.  I had all the ingredients for mac and cheese.  I have used this recipe for years.  It is really easy and can be made in under an hour.  What more could you ask for?  Tomorrow, grocery shopping!

Macaroni and Cheese

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1 small onion, chopped
4 Tablespoons butter (I use unsalted)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to your liking
1 3/4 cup half and half (You can use milk)
2 cups of grated cheese (I use 4-5 cups) This time I used 2 cups cheddar, 1 cup monterey jack and 2 cups gouda.  🙂
1# macaroni (I use elbow or small shells)

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Also, cook your pasta.   I tend to cook al dente.  The pasta will cook more while baking.
2.  Using a medium size saucepan, over low heat melt butter. Add chopped onion, over medium heat, cook until opaque (about 5 minutes)
3.  Add flour and mix together.  Then add half and half, bring to a boil, stirring continuously until thickened.
4.  Add cheese and remove from heat.  Stir until cheese has melted.
5.  Spray a 13×9 baking dish with Pam.  (This makes easier cleaning.  If you don’t have Pam you can skip this step or use butter)
6.  Bake for 30 minutes.  That is it!  Simple and very Delicious!!

Corn Bread – Quite Delicious

Kent requested Corn Bread this weekend.  He never requests anything.  So, when he wants something I listen!  I made some chili and served with warm Corn Bread.  Eric and Rachel ended up coming over too.  They both had some and thought it was quite tasty.  This was extremely simple and of course delicious.  It also took no time at all.  You should give it a try.  I think you will love it!

A cast-iron skillet (or any oven safe pan) is our first choice for this recipe, but a 9-inch cake pan will also work. Instead of heating it on the stove top, place the cake pan with the oil in the preheated oven for 5 minutes before adding the batter.

Corn Bread
(Compliments “America’s Test Kitchen”)

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Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal (yellow or white)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Pulse corn, sour cream, eggs, and hot sauce in food processor until corn is coarsely chopped and mixture is combined. Fold corn mixture into cornmeal mixture, then stir in melted butter.

2. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Take skillet off heat; quickly add batter and place skillet in oven. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Cool cornbread in skillet on wire rack for 20 minutes (handle will be hot). Serve warm.february 3 021

 

That is it.  How easy is that?  Give it a try and let me know what you think!!