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WARNING: This post contains pictures taken on a cameraphone. For those of you who require hi-res fancy pictures… sorrry! I should get a new camera for me and a cheap one for the Oldest Kidlet, who is quite the photographer- but rough on cameras.

I know, I’m the Queen of Make-It-From-Scratch. But you know… there are a few places that I take shortcuts. A few products out there that you can get quality goods without filling foods with preservatives.

I don’t use baking mixes anymore- making a cake from scratch really doesn’t take that much longer. Same with pancakes.

So where do I use my shortcuts? I used canned tomatoes almost exclusively, and keep a good jarred tomato sauce on hand. Nothing with HFCS as an ingredient- but something that’s essentially doing all the work I would have done if I was making it myself. I try to get something that’s as basic as it gets. Tomato with a little basil. And I always keep a jar of that on hand. That way, when I feel like having pasta, I can grab that and tweak the sauce the way I want to.

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Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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So, I got a Flip UltraHD for my birthday. I got it, on the promise that I’d take more videos of my children. But really, I had fond memories of my sister and I, making silly home movies with our camcorder. Somewhere there is a tape with our bizarre version of Wizard of Oz, lip-synching songs from Sleeping Beauty, Barf-o-vision, and naturally… a cooking demo by yours truly. My mom wasn’t thrilled that we didn’t clean up the kitchen before we shot it, but it was fun.

Then, when my point and shoot died a horrible death, I got a notion that I could make videos about my culinary exploits.

Which led to this video. I had already posted this recipe, but you get the video and the recipe:

Warning: I sound like I’m 14. Also, I didn’t have a tripod. So, it’s a little bit shaky. I also said “um” a lot.

Additional warning: I now have a tripod.

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

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Originally published at American Whitney. You can comment here or there.

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I love cheesecake. As a kid, when my mom brought home the frozen cheesecake from Trader Joe’s, I knew I was ready for something special. When I was first dating TheBoy, I knew we were meant to be when I discovered that he made cheesecakes from scratch. It was a sign.

I’ve made a few cheesecakes over the years, including a pumpkin bourbon cheesecake the Thanksgiving right before my oldest son was born. That was a great cheesecake, which I personally ate a quarter of after it was decided that the teaspoon of bourbon the recipe called for must have burned off. (As an aside: when you cook with alcohol, not all of it burns off. In fact, flambeing a dish doesn’t guarantee it’s burned off. It takes a fair amount time cooking at a steady high heat to burn off a small amount.)

I started to follow Eli’s Cheesecake on Twitter when they started having a giveaway for free cheesecakes based on their number of followers. They’re still doing regular giveaways, so follow them! I was lucky enough to win (on a day when I really needed it) and after I gave them my address, I had cheesecake on my doorstep.

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Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

thesilversiren: (food cooking)

Yes, waffles on a Monday. There are many times that I lament the fact that TheBoy works nights, but Monday mornings are not one of them. With his schedule reversed, he’s usually up Monday morning, and we can have a nice big breakfast for just the four of us. Otherwise, we’d have to double the amount of bacon and batter being produced, just to make sure there were enough for the rest of the clan in the household.

My family was always big on weekend breakfasts. With how busy our lives were during the weekend, we’d come together to make them. My dad, sister and I would whip together pancake batters or my parents would make papas y huevos con pan ducle (we bought the pan ducle- however, it’s on my wish list of things that I want to learn to make). Then we’d sit down together and enjoy. Ah, food: the glue that binds families together- and even helps patch up the rough bits.

How serious were we about weekend breakfasts? My parents crafted a pancake/waffle batter that worked with my sister’s allergy to wheat. From the time TheBoy and I moved in together, we worked on crafting our own recipes. He’s long been convinced that he could have a waffle recipe that didn’t require separating eggs, but when we were looking for a different recipe to try… I said I’d make the waffles today since this was a bit more complicated than our usual attempts. Boy was it worth it!

(Note: I’m not saying this is a complicated recipe. Just saying it’s a bit harder than throwing all the ingredients into one bowl)

Waffles with Blueberry sauce
Waffle recipe: Emeril Lagasse, via foodnetwork.com

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nonstick cooking spray, optional

Equipment needed
3 bowls (two for your mixer, if you have ‘em, though one will do)
waffle iron

Directions

Preheat your waffle iron. To make for easier cleanup, I recommend placing it on top of a cookie sheet with a rim so that if you overfill your waffle iron, the batter doesn’t go everywhere.

Using two bowls, separate the eggs. Whip up the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Make sure you put your mixer on the highest setting, and be prepared for your table to start shaking if it isn’t super solid. Set aside the egg whites. In another bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves into the eggs and the mixture turns a pale yellow. If I had two mixer bowls, I’d just do this in another one- but I used TheBoy’s superior biceps and a whisk to get it done. Add the milk, melted butter and vanilla to the egg yolk mixture.

In the last bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Sifting is extremely important for good waffles- it helps get the dry ingredients combined, but also incorporates air. Air is key to good waffles. Add in the flour mixture to the egg/milk mixture and whisk until just combined. Don’t overmix. Honestly, as soon as you stop seeing giant clumps of flour, it’s great.

Fold in the egg whites into the batter. If you’ve never folded in egg whites, don’t be scared. It’s simple. You dump the egg whites on top of the batter, run your spatula around the outside of the bowl, and use it to bring up the batter from the bottom of the bowl over the top of the egg whites. Repeat until it looks like you have a bowlful of beige clouds, instead of egg whites dumped on top your batter. Then stop!

Now, spray the waffle iron with a bit of nonstick cooking spray. Ladle in your batter into the various compartments- just enough to fill the bottom part. If you put too much in, it’ll just spill out. Think of the first batch as your gauge to see how much will fill it! Cook according to the directions for your waffle iron, and enjoy!

You can top them with syrup, melted butter… or a really quick and easy blueberry sauce!

Easy Blueberry Sauce

1 cup blueberry preserves
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Microwave the blueberry preserves to warm them, and stir thoroughly. You’ll see it already starts to make a syrup. Add in the lemon juice, and stir to combine. That’s it! Perfect for spooning over waffles or pancakes.

(If you want to make it the real way, here’s a guesstimate on the proportions you’ll need. I usually wing it)

Blueberry sauce

2 cups fresh/frozen blueberries (if frozen, thaw first)
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine blueberries and sugar. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the blueberries have broken down and formed a loose syrup. Add in the lemon juice and stir.

The final verdict: The waffles were light and crisp and delicious! The syrup was sweet, but not too sweet and thoroughly enjoyable. I also dusted them with some powdered sugar. I’ve been informed that I’ll be making the waffles from now on, so I’m not the only one who liked them!

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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That’s right. I know of the worst food blogger, and I’m going to name names. It’s me. Maybe it’s because I’ve become so accustomed to food blogs filled with delicious looking food. You see, I have a big problem. When I make something- usually I’m so excited to dig in that I completely forget to take pictures.

Which is what happened yesterday for Easter dinner. Typically Easter dinner’s a big deal, with ham, all the family and a formal dinner. But it seemed time to scale it back a bit, and so I got to make dinner. I had the recipe in mind- a roasted pork loin with mustard crust, veggies and homemade macaroni & cheese. However, supermarkets aren’t known for their butcher’s counters, and there was no pork loin. So there I stood in Albertson’s with my phone out, looking for recipes with pork tenderloin (which they did have). I bought some Brussels sprouts and fresh broccoli, and it was back to home I went.

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Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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I read a lot of food blogs, and typically all the reviews on recipes that I think I might make. And well, I’ve noticed a lot of people who are angry at Food Network.

Once upon a time, there was a woman who revolutionized food television- indeed, she basically created it. Julia Child. A woman who showed us you can debone a duck at home and make beautiful French cuisine. Most people complain that now food television has devolved into celebrichefs like Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee who make their money off of being the anti-Julia.

This is true. What people are failing to take into account is that our societies are vastly different. Back in the 60’s, women were just starting to gain a foothold in the work place. For the most part, women were expected to stay home and to cook. They took classes or learned from their mothers and grandmothers. Cooking was a skill that any accomplished housewife was expected to know. Even coming off of World War II where the TV dinner was hailed as the next big thing, it wasn’t unusual to expect that a woman could cook.

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Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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This recipe has been in my bookmarks for almost a year now, after I saw her make it on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. Not too long ago, a dear friend wondered if I had a good recipe of macaroni & cheese, and I remembered this. So when we had a wonderfully rainy and dreary day, I decided it was time to give this a go.

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Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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Baking is sort of my thing. It has been since I was in middle school. Icing, however, is something I’m still learning about. This weekend, I was making a birthday cake for The Boy’s grandfather, and was running out of time. So when the layers were almost cool, I began icing. More on that. Since the cake was delicious, I thought I’d share the recipes that are quickly becoming family favorites.

Now, to the disaster. I had the bottom layer on the cake plate and put strawberry preserves in as part of the filling, and a bit of icing. Then I started icing the sides. I was nearly done, when it started to ooze out the middle. Quickly, I put it in the fridge and hoped it would set before all the filling had melted out. This is what we wound up with. An ugly, yet delicious cake. Lesson learned, wait until layers are completely cooled to ice them.

Restaurant Eve’s Cake
adapted from The Washington Post, found on chaos in the kitchen

2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter melted, at room temperature
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350°F and prepare cake pans with grease and parchment paper.
Combine dry ingredients (sugar through salt) in a mixing bowl.
Beat in melted butter for about 2 minutes and until mixture resembles cornmeal.
Combine eggs, vanilla, and milk in a bowl.
Add liquid mixture to dry mixture, beating constantly for 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl mid-way.
Pour batter into pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Remove cakes to a rack and allow to cool before frosting.

Magnolia’s Vanilla Buttercream
from More from Magnolia

Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes*

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Add butter to your mixer bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk & vanilla. On medium speed, beat until and creamy (about 3-5 minutes) Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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I’m not sure how I wound up at this recipe. It might have been a link in a blog, or I might have googled ‘cranberry almond’ out of desperation, looking for something to bake.

Regardless, I wound up at The Wednesday Chef and her post for Regina Schrambling’s Almond-Cranberry Cookies. And I realized, that I had everything I needed to bake these cookies. You see, I’ve been putting off going to the grocery store. Knowing that I’ll be somewhere else next week tends to make me not want to buy food that I’ll have to use in one week or else. So, I’ve been creating out of what we’ve had.

Eons ago, I’d bought almond slivers and dried cranberries- intending to make scones from them. But inevitably, I was out of some ingredient I needed for the scones.

So I looked at the ingredients, and I had everything! Even the almond extract and the brown sugar! Only, my brown sugar was a hopelessly solid brick, so I used regular sugar.

Even with the substitution (which I thought was hilarious given that she made substitutions when she made the recipe), they were fragrant, crunchy with some give, and exactly what I was looking for. The oldest kidlet proclaimed them to be “scrummy,” which I think was supposed to be scrumptious and yummy combined. Regardless, the recipe yielded just a little under 3 dozen, and they were gone in two days flat.

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Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

thesilversiren: (food place setting)
I'm not sure how I wound up at this recipe. It might have been a link in a blog, or I might have googled 'cranberry almond' out of desperation, looking for something to bake.

Regardless, I wound up at The Wednesday Chef and her post for Regina Schrambling's Almond-Cranberry Cookies. And I realized, that I had everything I needed to bake these cookies. You see, I've been putting off going to the grocery store. Knowing that I'll be somewhere else next week tends to make me not want to buy food that I'll have to use in one week or else. So, I've been creating out of what we've had.

Eons ago, I'd bought almond slivers and dried cranberries- intending to make scones from them. But inevitably, I was out of some ingredient I needed for the scones.

So I looked at the ingredients, and I had everything! Even the almond extract and the brown sugar! Only, my brown sugar was a hopelessly solid brick, so I used regular sugar.

Even with the substitution (which I thought was hilarious given that she made substitutions when she made the recipe), they were fragrant, crunchy with some give, and exactly what I was looking for. The oldest kidlet proclaimed them to be "scrummy," which I think was supposed to be scrumptious and yummy combined. Regardless, the recipe yielded just a little under 3 dozen, and they were gone in two days flat.

Almond-Cranberry Cookies
Yield: Around 3 dozen cookies

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar (or regular sugar, in my case)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Toast the almonds in a skillet on low heat, shaking often to keep almonds from burning. Remove from heat when they become fragrant and cool.

2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

3. Cream the butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Blend in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir in the nuts and cranberries.

4. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each. Bake the cookies in a 375-degree oven until light golden brown (centers should be soft), about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Originally published at The Fabulous Whitney Drake.

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One of the challenges I face in baking is following familiar recipes and having my youngest son, Reed, be unable to share them. He has a slew of food allergies- including wheat, eggs, and soy. He recently turned 2 and so I took to trying to find either a vegan recipe that I could adapt to being gluten-free (since vegan means no egg) or find a recipe that used all the allergens and adapting.

I wound up going the latter route, mostly because the vegan recipes called for a lot of ingredients that he hadn’t tried before- whereas a substitution method would only call for one. And for those who either have allergies or have children with allergies, you know that’s the way to go.

I’m going to share the recipe that I used, without substitutions first, and at the end share what I did to make it wheat and egg free. No pictures, sadly.

Banana Cupcakes
Source: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners.
In a bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix in butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir just until incorporated.
Spoon better into muffin pan lined with paper liners.
Bake 25-28 minutes or until done.
Cool completely.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Thoughts

This was an astonishingly quick recipe to put together, and as it turned out was pretty easy to adapt. For the two eggs, I used 1 Tbsp of Ener-G mixed with 4 Tbsp of water. To replace the 1 1/2 cups of flour, I used 1 cup of rice flour, 1/3 cup potato flour and 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp of tapioca flour.

The results? A cupcake that’s a little dense- almost more like a muffin. But excellent nevertheless. It got the seal of approval from the birthday boy, as well as from those who don’t have food allergies. Though, word the wise, they don’t keep as well as cupcakes made with all purpose flour. They’re much better the same day (two days later, and they were doorstops).

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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I am a fan of quick and easy meals from scratch. I think it’s genetic. My mom, the queen of Chopped style cuisine (“What can I make for dinner using a can of tomatoes, a can of black beans and some pasta?”), is as well. Okay, it probably isn’t genetic- but I know that since we were/are both stay at home moms, you run into situations where it’s suddenly lunchtime, you’re starving and don’t have the time to make something elaborate.

But it doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor. I’ve mastered the quick tomato sauce, which has a bit of a raw taste to it. While my pasta cooks, I heat a small skillet and saute some onions and garlic in olive oil. Then I throw in a can of drained crushed tomatoes and cook until it smells right- I usually just season with a bit of oregano, some fresh basil and salt and pepper.

This is my staple go-to sauce, but sometimes you just want something more luxurious. On my last shopping trip I’d bought more heavy cream (now a staple since I’ve started baking regularly) and some Parmesan Reggiano. So when yesterday rolled around (a beautiful overcast fall-like day in Southern California), I wanted something a little more luxurious.

So I made alfredo sauce, and discovered that it’s even easier than my tomato sauce and just as fast to make.

Ingredients

Heavy cream
Butter
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper

You’ll note that I haven’t listed measurements. Mostly because I only made the sauce for myself, and not a family sized portion. But from the recipe I made, I can tell you this… for every 1/2 cup of cream, you’ll need an equal amount of parmesan. And 1 T of butter. So you can just expand as necessary.

While my pasta cooked, I put the heavy cream and butter in a small saucepan, heating it over low heat. (This is the only thing you have to pay attention to – while you can heat it over a slightly higher heat, you don’t want the cream to boil. So low makes it fool-proof) When the butter’s melted, and they’ve thoroughly combined, pull off the heat.

Grate your parmesan cheese. (Or use the pre-grated stuff you can buy in tubs, but try not to use the stuff in plastic bags or in a can. They use stabilizers to make them shelf-friendly, which makes it not melt) When the pasta is nearly done, put the saucepan back on the burner. Add in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Toss with your pasta, and enjoy! Honestly, it’s just that easy!

Note – this is for the Americanized version of alfredo. The true Italian alfredo sauce is basically butter and parmesan, tossed together over warm pasta. Equally easy, and just as good. :)

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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One of my favorite ingredients to use is the potato. I’ll have them mashed, french fried, turned into potato chips. They’re just wonderfully versatile, and typically quick to prepare!

Now, I’ve come to realize that people are divided into two types of snackers. Those who crave sweet foods and those who crave salty foods. I fall squarely into the latter category, and will eat just about anything that’s been fried.

Recently I’ve started frying things on my own. For a family party last month I made onion rings, and had said that potato chips were next on my list. I was making some potatoes for my son for breakfast and realized that I’d cut too many potatoes in half, and set aside two of them to make chips with.

Required equipment:
Heavy bottomed pot for frying
Fry thermometer
Spider/Skimmer

Ingredients:
An appropriate oil for frying (vegetable, canola or peanut)
Idaho potatoes (the number is up to you)

To start off, fill a non-reactive bowl with cold water. Potatoes oxidize quickly, so if you don’t want them turning brown, have a decent sized bowl ready. (I’d put the left over potatoes in cold water and they kept all day) When you’ve finished washing and peeling each potato, put it right into the water.

Making your own potato chips!Slicing. You can go one of two routes – use a knife, or invest in a mandoline! You can get pretty decent ones (just get one with a hand guard) for not much, and then you know you’ll have uniform slices and won’t have to worry about rolling potatoes. Just make sure that if you’re using a knife that you slice them as evenly as possible to ensure an even cook time- aim for about 1/8″. As you slice, put the slices back into the bowl of cold water.

Now, in your large heavy bottomed pan, get some oil heating up. You’re going to want to have at least 4-5″ of oil in the pan, so that the chips have enough room to flip as they fry. Using your handy dandy fry thermometer (not an expensive piece of equipment either), get the oil up to the 325-350 range. If you go too high, the chips will burn, and too low, they’ll just suck up oil and get soggy.

While it heats, set up your drain station. I used a cooling rack on a baking sheet with some newspaper underneath to help minimize mess.

Making your own potato chips!Potato time! Take out a batch of potatoes – about 6-9 slices depending on how large the slices are. Pat them thoroughly dry in paper towels or a dish towel, and add all at once to the oil. Now, these do cook fairly quickly, but you can’t leave them unattended. Gently stir the potatoes with your spider/skimmer to keep the potatoes from sticking and to make sure they cook evenly. Keep going for about 3-4 minutes or until they’re golden brown.

Making your own potato chips! Remove the chips from the oil and put on the sheet rack to drain. Once some of the oil has drained off, season them with whatever spice blend you like (I used just salt). And repeat until you’ve finished the batches.

Making your own potato chips!Obviously, this isn’t as speedy as opening a bag of Lays- but the chips were wonderfully crispy and delicious. As a matter of fact, I wish I’d made more!

Final thoughts: Making these in front of small children is not a good idea. Not because of the frying (my kids are well trained to stay away when I’m cooking on the stovetop), but because now my son knows that all I need are potatoes to make potato chips!

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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Years ago, my husband and I had made the conscious decision to get DSL rather than pay for cable service. So we sat, for hours on end, adjusting our antenna to make sure that the broadcast stations came through loud and clear. Then, years later, we realized we were doing well enough to afford cable (and a precious DVR).

Finally, I would have what I’d been longing for. The Food Network. (To imagine my excitement, you have to hear a heavenly choir of angels singing every time you say it- The Food Network)

In the years that have followed, it’s been the channel that I’d leave on when I needed background noise. I nursed my second child while watching. I assume this is why, at the age of nearly 2, he’ll sit on the floor and watch an entire show with me. Or why he loves to watch Ratatouille.

All of that said, I’m much more a fan of Ina Garten and Alton Brown than say… Paula Deen or Rachael Ray. While both have their merits, usually their shows are on as background noise. But this recipe caught my eye. Paula Deen’s oven fried chicken. Not because it’s simple (it is) or because I love dijon mustard (I do). But it’s an egg free recipe. Not only that, it’s one that you could easily make wheat-free as well. Definitely one to add to your dinner rotation (it’s been added to ours!)

Oven Fried Chicken

Source: Paula’s Best Dishes (Paula Deen)

Ingredients

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 -inch thickness

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Spray cooling rack liberally with non-stick spray (you’ll be cooking the chicken on this).

Pound your chicken to 1/4 inch thickness. If you don’t have a meat mallet, use a pan that has a decent weight to it. (Note: I didn’t have full chicken breasts, but had tenders)

In a shallow dish, combine the dry ingredients for the crust – the panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Salt and pepper this mixture to taste.

In another dish, combine the wet ingredients. 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the dijon mustard and water. Also salt and pepper this to taste.

Coat each piece of chicken thoroughly with the mustard, then dredge into the bread crumbs. Place on wire rack and repeat until you’ve finished all the chicken.

Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is a golden brown.

Thoughts

This was a really fast recipe to assemble, and used ingredients that I always have on hand. My oldest son is nearly four and a picky eater, so I was worried that he wouldn’t want to try the chicken- but not only ate it, but proclaimed that it was yummy. He also was happy to see that we had leftovers, and happily ate it reheated. As I said earlier, it’s found a home in our dinner rotation.

On adapting it for allergies: My youngest had severe food allergies, so I plan on trying this with a crushed puffed rice cereal in place of the panko crumbs and a sheep’s milk cheese in place of the parmesan. The recipe itself is egg-free and can easily be made wheat-free or gluten-free by making substitutions for the panko.

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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Recipe time! After seeing the movie- I prepared the first meal that we see Julie Powell make (pre-Project, for those wondering). Bruschetta with a pan-fried bread. It’s quite a simple recipe (I made it in practically no time at all- even after I accidentally burnt the first batch of bread)

Bruschetta ala Julie and Julia
from The Hungry Novelist

Ingredients

For the crostini:
French bread (the wider loaf, not a thin baguette- though if you’re doing a party, those are great, too)
Olive oil
One clove of garlic

For the bruschetta:
Tomatoes (good quality)
Fresh Basil
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

The simplest part of the recipe is the bruschetta. Simply roughly chop your tomatoes, removing the core and seeds if they don’t look edible. Toss them in a little bit of olive oil (the original recipe called for 16 oz of tomatoes, and 1 T of olive oil) and sea salt. I added a tiny bit of pepper as well. Then, tear the basil into bite size pieces and set aside for the moment (to make sure that the basil doesn’t get soggy, it’s added at the last minute)

The crostini is pretty easy, too. But as I mentioned, you might want to keep an eye on the bread- I did burn mine the first time. In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 T of olive oil. Add in your bread (don’t overcrowd the pan) and cook until one side is a golden brown. Flip the bread and add more olive oil, if necessary – the bread will soak up the oil as it cooks. Remove as soon as they’re golden brown to a paper towel. Take your clove of garlic and rub the toast (both sides).

When all your toasts are done, top with the bruschetta and enjoy!

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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Source: Peanuts Cookbook

I looked forward to summer for these. I never quite believed my mom that these were easy to make- simply because they tasted so darn good!

My family has always loved lemon (my Grandmother has a “famous” lemon meringue recipe that we’ve all tried, and failed, to duplicate).  So it was extremely lucky that my husband loves lemons are well.  I was trying to decide what to bake one day, and his request was “something with lemons.”  Knowing how tricky meringue can be to pull off in the middle of a hot summer, I turned to these lemon bars.

The Husband loved them, but my neatnik of a son decided that he didn’t like them (the lemon portion was too sticky, but it was yummy, he said). I’m sure that he’ll come around! Forgive the horrible picture, all I had at the time was my cameraphone.

Lucy’s Lemon Squares

The crust:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour and sugar into a bowl.  Blend in butter with clean fingertips until well mixed.  Pat evenly into the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan (no need to grease it, but if you’re worried you can’t get it out, feel free to line with parchment paper!).  Bake for 20 minutes.

The filling:

2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly, and pour over baked crust. Return to oven for 20-25 minutes at same temperature. Cool on rack, and cut into squares. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.

Yield depends on the how small you cut the squares.

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

thesilversiren: (Default)

One of the recent big changes in my life has been that I’ve been diagnosed as being anemic. So I’ve been ordered to up my intake of iron both through pills and food. One of the easy fixes I’ve had is added shrimp to recipes- since it thaws quickly and cooks very quickly.

This is a really simple dish and can be done easily in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Pasta w/ Shrimp
Ingredients
1 package of spaghetti
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 servings of frozen/fresh shrimp, cleaned (see package for serving size based on shrimp size)
1 clove garlic, diced or run through a press.
olive oil
salt
pepper

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Whitney Drake. You can comment here or there.

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thesilversiren: (Default)
thesilversiren

July 2011

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