Homemade Chicken Tenders

I have always loved chicken tenders, but then, who doesn’t love chicken tenders?  So of course I was excited when I found this recipe from Cooking by Moonlight.  These are easy to make, and they are quite tasty!

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breasts cut into strips
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 t. hot sauce
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
canola oil cooking spray
Directions:
  1. Wash the chicken and trim away any excess fat.
  2. Mix flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder on a plate or in a bowl.  Pour the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.
  3. Beat the egg along with the milk and hot sauce in a bowl.
  4. Place a large pan over medium high heat.
  5. Dip the chicken strips into the flour, then the liquid, then the breadcrumbs.  Be sure the strips are completely coated with each before moving onto the next step.
  6. Thoroughly spray each strip with the olive oil until well coated and place in the heated pan for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through.

 

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Homemade Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

I have always loved TJ’s chili lime chicken burgers, but they would be so much better if they were organic! So when I found this recipe at Iowa Girl Eats I was thrilled! I could make them myself with all organic ingredients! They were easy to throw together and they tasted fantastic! I will surely make these again, they are healthier and yummier than regular burgers.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 4 buns, toasted

Directions:

  1. Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and juice of half a lime in a large bowl.
  2. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray.
  3. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through.
  5. Top with slices of avocado and serve with salad.

 

 

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes

I made these for Employee Appreciation Week at my work, and they really were fun to make (as you’ll see from the many photos I took)!  This recipe for funfetti from scratch comes from Freutcake, and it is fabulous!

Matt takes a bite!

I made the silly mistake of buying sprinkles with brown sprinkles in the mix, and I did not want brown spots in my funfetti so I spent a good hour picking out the brown sprinkles before I even began baking. So, for all of you readers, if you decided to make these, do not buy sprinkles with brown ones unless you are okay with brown spots in your otherwise colorful funfetti cupcakes!

Ingredients for Vanilla Funfetti Cake:

  • 5 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

Ingredients for Vanilla Frosting:

  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used nonfat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • generous pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside (somewhere your cat can’t get to it-mine did and quickly threw it up, making more work for me).
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 90 seconds.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
  6. Divide the batter between cupcake tins filling cups 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake 15-18 minutes, rotating tins half way through baking.
  8. When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them!
  9. For the frosting: whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  10. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  11. Once cupcakes are frosted, top with sprinkles to make them more fun!

Homemade Oreos

Got milk? You’re going to need some for these.

I have never been a huge fan of Oreos, but when I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen, I had to try them as a sort of experiment.  Recently I went down the cookie aisle at my local Albertsons and could not believe how many different kinds of Oreos they make these days.  I don’t have TV service so I don’t see commercials, and I rarely go to grocery stores other than Trader Joes or Whole Foods so I don’t really know what is in your typical grocery store.  Even more astonishing and disheartening though, is the ingredients list on even just the regular Oreos…

I don’t know about you, but even though I can (almost) pronounce all of those ingredients, they certainly don’t sound appealing or good for me.  Why are there so many chemicals in our food? Are they really necessary?  I wanted to find out if you could have the taste of Oreos with a more wholesome ingredient list.  And so I began.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Wafers

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon bakingpowder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar [see recipe note]
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
For the Creme Filling
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 Directions
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie.
I followed all of these instructions, but after my most recent experience with my pastry bag, I opted to instead put all of the creme into a ziploc bag and cut a corner off to ensure that it wouldn’t come billowing out of the top of the bag.  I realize now I should have taken pictures of this make-shift pastry bag, but will make a mental note to do so next time so you can see what I’m talking about.
For the first time EVER, I was happy with this recipe’s proportions- for once I didn’t have way more icing than I actually needed!
Also the results were as I hoped- they taste like Oreos, except that they actually taste like real food.  I brought some to work and everyone enjoyed them, and I mailed some to my sister (she should get them tomorrow) and can’t wait to hear her review of them.


Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toll House chocolate chip cookies will forever be one of my favorites, even if only for nostalgia.  I made these for my friend Leslie, who helped me out BIG TIME with a paper I had to write, she and her roommates finished them the same night I gave them to her which just proves their deliciousness!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Semi-Sweet chocolate chips
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2 .Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
5. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.