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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Goat Cheese Brownies

I have no excuse for how long it’s been, I have just been lazy!! But school is starting back up in just two days and I’m shaking off the laziness!  Some gooey chocolatey treats should help…

This recipe is from Une Gamine dans la cuisine, and it is fabulous.  These brownies have a regular chocolate brownie layer, a goat cheese layer, and then a melty frosting layer.  TO DIE FOR.  This one has a lot of steps, but do not fear!  They are worth it.

Ingredients:

For the brownie layer:

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

For the cheese layer:

  • 6 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg

 

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz of goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (that’s 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar (have at least one more cup on hand, just in case the frosting is too thin)
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 1 Tablespoon of milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, butter the foil and set the pan aside.
  3. Prepare the brownie layer: Fill a saucepan with about 1-inch of water and bring to just a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate and 3 Tablespoons of butter into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan (be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. As soon as it’s smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  5. Cheese layer: In a medium-size bowl, beat the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter on medium speed for about 1 minute (just to combine).
  6. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of flour, honey, and 1 egg. Beat well (about 2-4 minutes). Set the bowl aside.
  8. Back to the brownie layer: Beat the 2 eggs on medium speed till foamy.
  9. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  10. Add the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat till combined.
  11. Using a large spatula, stir in 1 cup of flour, baking Powder, salt.
  12. Spread half of the chocolate batter into prepared pan.
  13. Spread the cheese filling over the chocolate batter.
  14. Using large spoon-filled dollops, drop the remaining chocolate batter over the cheese filling.
  15. Drag a thin metal spatula through both the cheese and chocolate mixtures. Try not to overdo it, a few swirls here and there will go a long way.
  16. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set.
  17. Remove the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
  18. For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the softened goat cheese and butter together on medium-low speed till creamy.
  19. Add the confectioners’ sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating well after each addition.
  20. Add the honey and milk. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy.
  21. Spread over the cooled brownies and cut into squares.

 

Spicy Tri-tip Skewers with Garlic Rice Pilaf for My Mom’s Birthday

My mom and brother both had their birthdays this past week, and I was able to be home with them for both!  I asked my mom what she wanted for dinner, and she told me to surprise her.  I wanted to make her something she wouldn’t expect, and something she would never take the time to make for herself.

I had found this recipe for tri-tip skewers at Tasty Trials, and new it was perfect.  Especially because I don’t have a grill at my apartment anything like my moms!  I needed something to pair with them, so I modified this pilaf recipe from Pennies on a Platter.  Both were fantastic, these recipes are definitely keepers and I highly recommend them!  Oh, and not only was my mom surprised, she loved it! However, I couldn’t have done this without my boyfriend, and grill master, Matt!  Here he and my mom are!

Ingredients:

Marinade:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 1/2 pound tri-tip, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup red wine
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
Skewers:
pineapple chunks
red onion pieces
6 inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water
Garlic Rice Pilaf:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions:
For marinade:
Mix first 8 ingredients together. Pour into a zip-top bag and add tri-tip. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for at least 24 hours.
For skewers:
When ready to cook, thread skewers with one chunk of pineapple, one piece of red onion, a cube of tri-tip, then another piece of onion and another chunk of pineapple. Repeat until all the meat is used up.
Heat the grill to about 375 degrees and place skewers over direct heat.
Grill for a few minutes per side, to desired doneness. (Beware: They cook fast!)
For dipping sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes, until thickened.
Serve skewers with dipping sauce on the side.
For Pilaf:

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sauté the garlic and rice for about 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown.  Stir in 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Once boiling, turn off the heat and pour the mixture into a casserole dish.  Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Stir in the remaining chicken broth and bake, covered, for another 30 minutes.  Stir in a splash of lemon, cover, and bake a final 15 minutes.

 

 

Spicy Peanut Noodles and Broccoli

 

Some Asian inspired recipes sometimes don’t taste so great, and certainly don’t taste authentic, but with a little doctoring I was very impressed with this recipe I found from Will Cook For Friends.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. linguini
  • 2 large heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • Salt

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil and salt heavily. Cook noodles until al-dente, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a wok or pan over medium-high heat, add 1 TBSP oil and let heat until glistening.
  3. Add broccoli florets and give the pan a shake or a stir. Let cook 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger, then pour in soy sauce and stir until mostly evaporated.
  5. Remove broccoli from pan while still bright green and slightly crisp. Set aside.
  6. For the sauce: In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the peanut butter and 1/4 cup of the hot water, stirring to combine.
  7. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, then add the remaining 1/4 cup water to thin the sauce to desired consistency.
  8. Toss noodles and broccoli in the sauce.
  9. Serve!

 

 

Pesto Pasta with Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

First off, how long it has been since my last post!  I don’t like to make excuses, but I had finals, then I did a lot of cooking without posting, and then I went on a two week road-trip!  It was a lot of fun, but I have missed sharing with you all!  This recipe is from Gimme Some Oven, and it was great!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and any yellowed/browned outer leaves removed, then sliced in half
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 4 chicken sausage links (I used spicy Italian), sliced into 1/4″ thick coins
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spread the brussels sprouts on it evenly.  Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring once partway through, or until they are crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside.  (My batch of tiny sprouts only took about 12 minutes to cook.)  Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until nearly-browned, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the garlic, and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the sausage is browned.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  (I begin heating my water while preparing the brussel sprouts, and added the pasta to the boiling water just after beginning to cook the sausage.)  Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and then toss together the pasta, pesto, cooked sausage and garlic, and brussels sprouts.
  5. Serve warm, and sprinkle with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

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.

 

 

Strawbeery Granita

So, I’m no mixologist or anything, but I do like to drink. And have fun with my drinks! This post will be the first of drink recipes I post!

Granitas are like slushies, but for grown-ups! What could be more fun than that? You can throw pretty much anything into them, so long as you have a blender.

For this granita, all you need is Strawberry Harvest Abita and a handful of fresh strawberries.  Mix them together in a blender until well combined.  Then pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish and put the dish in the freezer.  Ice will begin to form from the edges into the center, every 10 minutes or so scrape the ice off the edges and stir the liquid until just frozen, about 1 hour. Next time I may try it with a different beer, because this was a little too strawberry.  I think it would be great with a pale ale or IPA.

Serve and enjoy!