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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Best Ever Crispy Fried Chicken


Mom found this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings and loved it

15 minutes prep time 
6-24 hours to marinate 
20 minute cook time

  • 10 chicken tenderloins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Spice Mixture
  • 1 tablespoon salt (it won't taste salty)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (may sub. regular)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  1. Mix Spices together in a small sealable bag. Add 1 tablespoon Spices, 1 cup buttermilk and chicken to a large freezer bag and marinate 6-24 hours. Store remaining spices.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper (foil will NOT work because the chicken sticks to it). Add butter to baking tray and melt in oven while it preheats. Remove baking tray once butter is melted.
  3. Mix together flour, panko, cornmeal and remaining spices in a large bowl. Add half of this breading mixture to a large freezer bag.
  4. Remove chicken tenders from buttermilk and dab off excess marinade with paper towels. 
  5. Add half of the chicken to the breadcrumb bag and shake until well coated, pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken with your fingers through the bag. Lay breaded chicken in butter on baking tray. Add remaining breadcrumb mixture to bag along with remaining chicken and repeat.
  6. Bake at 400F degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden then carefully flip chicken and bake another 5 minutes then broil to desired crispiness.*
  7. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!

    Recipe notes
    *If your breading is white in some places after you flip your chicken, this simply means it did not come in contact with the butter.  The chicken will still taste great exactly as is or you can lightly spray with cooking spray and proceed to broil.

    Mom mentioned: If you make it for your family you may want to only use half the chili powder.  It had a pretty good kick to it.  
    She also thinks you can chunk it up and make chicken nuggets as well! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

I made this for a family dinner a couple of weeks ago.  There was very little left over so I consider it a hit!

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Squares

Serves 2 dozen
  • 2 cups ground vanilla wafers or graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (10 oz.) jar blueberry preserves
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides.
  2. Place vanilla wafters in a large bowl and mix in melted butter and cinnamon until mixture is the consistency of damp sand.
  3. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of greased baking dish to form the crust and refrigerate until later use.
  4. In a large bowl or mixer (or using a food processor), beat cream cheese until smooth, then mix in eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest until fully combined and incorporated.
  5. Spread mixture over chilled crust and use an offset rubber spatula to even out the top.
  6. Sprinkle fresh blueberries evenly over the cheesecake, then spread blueberry preserves on top.
  7. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 27-30 minutes, or until the center is just set, but still jiggles.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool completely before refrigerating at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  9. Use parchment paper overhang to extract cheesecake block from baking dish, cut into squares and serve chilled.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The best chicken fajitas

By Meaningful Eats 

The Best Chicken Fajitas

Serving Size: 4

My absolute favorite chicken fajitas! The marinade for these is the best.

You can use the marinade for flank steak as well. Sometimes I do both chicken and beef and grill the meat. If you're going that route, leave the chicken and steak whole and reserve some of the marinade for the vegetables in a separate container. Cook the vegetables in a pan and grill the meat. Then slice and serve. Yum!


    For the Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce (can sub coconut aminos)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • For the Fajitas:
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinate together in a large ziploc bag or shallow dish. Add the sliced chicken and mix to coat it evenly. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  2. Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken and all the marinate to the skillet and sautee for 3-4 minutes, bringing the sauce to a full boil.
  3. Add the sliced onions, peppers, and tomatoes and cook until they are just tender.
  4. Serve on corn tortillas with your favorite toppings. My favorite toppings are avocado, feta cheese (or queso fresco), and salsa. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Perfect Prime Rib

This was the prime rib dad and I made on New Years Day.  I don't think we will ever do it any other way.  The exact way we did it is highlighted in blue.  I left the rest so you can adapt it to your needs. 

Step 1: Befriend your butcher

While prime rib can be sold bone-in or boneless, a bone-in roast is the best bet for guaranteed juicy succulence. Estimate that your guests will eat about 1/2 pound per person when the roast is part of a holiday buffet, or 3/4 pound per person if it's the main course to a smaller holiday dinner.
Have your butcher order a roast in the weight range you need. If you ask for your roast trimmed and tied, your butcher will also be happy to prep the roast so you won't have to: He or she will cut the bones away from the roast, french them (i.e., trim off the meat around the edges to make that classic "handle" shape) and remove excess fat before tying the bones back to the roast. There will still be about one inch of fat on the roast after it's been trimmed and tied. We bought ours at Sam's.  It was already tied up with string, which made it easy to work with.  We kept the string on, even while roasting in the oven. 
Step 2: Get your rub on
Whether you want to go classic with salt and pepper or bring extra flavors to the party, rubbing the meat with salt, spices and herbs is the key to giving your roast that traditional crackling, seared and delicious crust.
Either the night before or at least 2 hours prior to cooking your prime rib, rub the roast all over with olive oil, and generously sprinkle it with one of the following seasoning blends:
  • 1/4 cup black pepper and 1/4 cup kosher salt (Grab a canister of Morton's or Diamond kosher salt; the larger salt crystal size will make for a better crust on the meat than you'd get from regular table salt.)  THIS IS THE RUB WE USED.  BASIC, EASY AND TASTY!
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence and 2 large minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1 tablespoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon dry mustard and the zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary and 2 large minced garlic cloves
If you're seasoning it in advance, place the roast uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature for two hours before you put it in the oven.

Step 3: Take the roast's temperature

When it comes time to cook the roast, don't just follow your nose or rely on time alone to judge when the meat is cooked properly. For a perfectly cooked prime rib, buy a digital meat thermometer. Whether it's a probe version that stays inside the meat as it roasts, or a removable stick version, it provides complete accuracy and prevents overcooking.
To cook: Preheat your oven to 450˚F for at least 30 minutes while the prime rib comes to room temperature.
Place the roast in a high-sided roasting pan bone-side down. The bones create a natural roasting rack for the meat, so don't worry if you don't have one.
Cook the roast for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Continue to cook the roast until your meat thermometer reads 110 degrees F. Estimate about 15 minutes of cooking time per pound of prime rib.
Once the thermometer hits its target temperature, remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes. The roast will continue to cook as the juices inside settle, raising the internal temperature to 130 degrees for a perfect medium-rare prime rib.
Snip the tied bones off the roast, slice and serve to appreciative friends and family!
We cooked this very rare.  We added the drippings along with a little bit of beef broth to cook the prime rib to the perfect temperature for every guest, and just cooked it in the juices in a cast iron skillet until desired doneness.  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Chewy Caramel Bars

 I got this recipe from Cory's aunt Michelle

Combine and cook until smooth:
1/2 cup butter
32 caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Mix Together:
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

2 cups miniature semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup vanilla chips 
optional: 1 heath candy bar, chopped

Press 3/4 of dough into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes. Pour caramel over crust. Spoon rest of dough over caramel.
Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool and cut up. Store in refrigerator.

** I didn't add the heath bar and really liked them. Also, they are so so good the next day.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Mom's Chicken Rollups

3 chicken breasts or one whole rotisserie chicken
1/2 block cream cheese
2 tubes crescent rolls 
Panko crumbs
After breasts are cooked or rotisserie is deboned, mix chicken with cream cheese
Squish out each triangle of crescent rolls
Top with chicken/cream cheese mix
Roll in panko crumbs
Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown (or use the time and temp on the crescent rolls tube)

Top with cream of chicken soup mixed with a little bit of milk 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Homemade Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

5 Minutes
15 Minutes
3 Servings
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 6 ounces, weight Mushrooms, Finely Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Quickly whisk in cream and chicken broth until smooth. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed÷–you want it to be saltier than normal, since this is a condensed soup.

Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a jar or freezer-safe container. Once soup is completely cool, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer. 

To reconstitute, add 1 1/2 cups of liquid, such as chicken broth, milk, water, or a combination. 

Note: A 10 3/4-ounce can of condensed mushroom soup is about 1 1/4 cups. This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups of condensed soup.