Oven ‘Fried’ Chicken

It’s crispy, its crunchy…you’ll hate that its soo good! This is an easy recipe to make on the week day or weekend and enjoy with family!

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups flour
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs ( I used Kroger brand)
  • Chicken legs, thighs or breast
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 TBSP hot sauce
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika
  • Oven safe baking dish or tray (you’ll want deep enough for butter to not spill out)

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Instructions

  1. Begin by making your egg wash. Combine eggs, milk and hot sauce until completely mixed.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Pour your flour into a bowl/container and season with salt, pepper and any additional seasonings. Pour your bread crumbs also into a separate container.
  4. You’ll have 3 bowls or containers setup for this next process. And have your baking dish ready.
  5. Dunk your chicken into the flour mixture, shake off excess, dip into the egg mixture, then dunk into your bread crumbs and set in dish.
  6. Continue this until all your chicken has been properly coated.
  7. Melt your stick of butter in the microwave so that its liquid. Pour butter over chicken and into dish.
  8. Place your chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, pull out and flip and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.
  9. Your chicken should be golden brown and a temperature at or above 165.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

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Midwest Succotash

If you were like me, you may have heard the words “suffering succotash” by a famous by Sylvester the cat. Who knew succotash was a delicious meal/side dish that’s easy to make and perfect for all those summer veggies available!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ears of corn or 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 3 fresh okra pods, chopped
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 small sweet peppers
  • 1-1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, snapped into small pieces
  • 1 bag frozen Lima beans
  •  1 TBSP fresh herbs, I used Tarragon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • salt, pepper, chili powder, lime

Instructions

  1. Begin by cooking your corn, I usually put my corn in the microwave on a plate and wrap the corn in a wet paper towel for about 4 minutes. But prepare as you see fit.
  2. While corn is cooking put your onion, okra, zucchini and peppers into a skillet with a little olive oil and saute until tender. Medium heat
  3. In the same skillet, now add your chopped green beans, corn and 1/2 of your butter.

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4. Prepare your Lima beans and then add to your skillet with the rest of the butter and mayonnaise.

5. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder, add a little lime for a kick.

6. Now pour in your tomatoes and water. You want just enough water for all your veggies to marinate, not drown in. This will cook the green beans and make the Lima beans more tender.

7. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once at a boil lower to medium/low and let cook for about 20-30 minute or until water is almost evaporated.

8. Serve and enjoy

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Alfredo Sauce

This is probably the greatest thing I learned to cook! Its simple, delicious and fancy as all get out.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • Parsley chopped
  • Salt/Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Melt your butter in a skillet, be sure to not let it brown.
  2. Once the butter becomes frothy, add in your heavy cream and turn up the heat for about 2-3 minutes so that the sauce becomes thick
  3. Turn the temperature down to medium and add in your cheese by whisking it so that is blends smoothly
  4. Your sauce should be creamy and thick, keep temp on low or take off heat if it becomes too thick.
  5. Garnish with parsley

French Carrot Salad

This is probably the best discovery since sliced bread…French carrot salad—taking the regular side dish to a whole new level! It’s easy, it’s cheap and it’s damn good! Not only is it fancy looking, it’ll easily impress all your friends! Take Memorial Day weekend up a notch with this dish!

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Ingredients

  • 6-7 large carrots, peeled and then grated or use a mandolin to slice thin
  • 3/4 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP dices shallots
  • 1clove garlic minced
  • 2-3 TBSP parsley
  • 1-2 TBSP lemon juice
  • salt/pepper to season

Instructions

  • Grate your carrots, they should be shoestring/paper thin. You’re pretty much going for a coleslaw cabbage consistency. I used my mandolin on the 1 setting to get them thin. I broke the carrots in half to keep the size consistent so they weren’t long strings.
  • Once your carrots are ready, add in your garlic, shallots, honey, Dijon and olive oil.
  • Give everything a big stir then season with salt and pepper.
  • Add in your parsley and finish with a good spritz if lemon juice! Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve and enjoy !!A24FBDB3-16B7-4F9F-B6E9-EAC559F2F01B

Creamy tomato sauce pasta

This was a last minute…what do I have in my fridge to make something delicious. Cooking takes about in total 25 minutes, 30 including prep.

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Ingredients

(These ingredients are for a 1-2 person serving)

  • 1  chicken breast
  • 1/2 package of Farfalle
  • 4 TBSP of Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2-2 cups of tomato juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, slightly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • Salt/pepper/garlic powder/garlic salt/crushed red pepper/Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dry your chicken off with a paper towel, season with salt/pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Put your chicken in a foil tent adn place in oven. The chicken will cook for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Next you’ll need a skillet with a lid and a large sauce pan to boil water for your pasta.
  5. Fill your sauce pan with water as package reads for pasta and get that boiling. Add pasta when ready.
  6. In your skillet, turn the heat to medium high and add your tomato juice and cream cheese. Whisk together until the cream cheese has melted and dissolved, creating a creamy sauce.
  7. Add in your spinach, onion and tomatoes–stir and then cover with lid and let it bring to a boil.
  8. Turn heat down to medium-low and let it cook covered. Add your seasoning as needed and  stir occasionally. Your tomatoes should begin to burst and become tender, your spinach should wilt and onions tender–thats the end goal.

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9. Once your pasta is ready, drain and add to your sauce.

10.Stir in pasta and mix sauce to fully coat pasta. Adjust seasoning as needed. You may need to bring the temp back up to a medium high,  to keep sauce and pasta hot. Cover with lid and let cook for about 4-5 minutes while you’re chicken is finishing.

11. Be sure to make sure your heat isn’t burning your sauce or pasta tho!

12. Pull chicken from oven and carefully unwrap foil tent. Put chicken back in for about 4-5 minutes uncovered. (This should run simultaneously with your pasta/sauce finishing cooking)

13. Pull chicken from oven, slice and serve over your pasta. Feel free to garnish with a little Parmesan or parsley–and enjoy!

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Jacques Pepin’s French Potato salad

This is probably the most elegant potato salad I’ve ever mad. Its sure to be a household favorite with its zesty, light flavors.

(Of course, I made some adjustments to the recipe for my own take on it and have them listed below. My suggestion is create it like normal then if you need a little more something in flavor you can add the extra seasonings like I did.)

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Ingredients

  • Fingerling or waxy potatoes, I used red potatoes myself
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard (I actually added a little extra mustard after tasting)
  • 3-4 TBSP of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 tablespoons of a mix of chopped basil and  parsley, tarrgon if you have it
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder and garlic salt ( I added a little red crushed pepper and cayenne for a little extra)

Instructions

  1. Clean your potatoes and place them in a pot. Bring water to boil and reduce the heat and cook potatoes until they are tender. They should be ready when you can easily pierce them with a sharp knife. (About 15-20 minutes normally, also depends on the size of your potatoes)

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2. Drain potatoes (scrap the skin off one long side of the potatoes if you’re looking for a decorative look. I left my skins on for the most part)

3. In a small saute pan add 2 TBSP of olive oil and saute your onion and garlic for about 3-5 minutes. Do not let it brown, remove from heat when ready.

4. Dice potatoes into quarter pieces and put in a bowl.

5. In the bowl with your potatoes, add  your wine, 3-4 TBSP of olive oil and stir.

6. Now add in your onion garlic mixture, mustard and fresh herb mixture.

7. Begin to season and taste, taste, taste! Correct seasoning as needed.

8. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

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Stuffed Mushrooms

When one finds mushrooms discounted for a $1.00 at Kroger, you need to find something to make and I decided to make stuffed mushrooms. First time making them and they were just bliss. Perfect for any occasion and sure to impress your family and friends!

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Ingredients

  • Baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 half sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • about 1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt/pepper/red crushed pepper/garlic salt/Italian seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees
  2. Wash your mushrooms thoroughly and carefully PLUCK the stems from the mushrooms, creating a hollow shell of a mushroom top.
  3. Put the mushrooms tops in one bowl and set your stems in another.
  4. We’ll come back to tops at the end.
  5. We’re going to make the filling for the mushrooms by mincing, cut into tiny pieces, the mushroom stems and onion. Chop your Spinach fine also and lastely mince you garlic.
  6. Add your mushroom stems, onion, garlic and spinach into a pan; add your olive oil and sautee until onions and mushrooms become tinder.

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7. Once tinder, season with salt and pepper and add in your cream cheese. Make sure the temperature is on low so you don’t burn your cream cheese or other ingredients.

8. Mix your cream cheese, Parmesan and begin seasoning! Our filling our should well combined and smooth. When you’re happy with the flavor we can begin filling your mushroom tops!

9. Line your mushroom tops on a foil lined baking sheet, fill with a spoonful of filling.

10. Finish them off by sprinkling the bread crumbs over top.

11. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Around 15-20 minutes begin checking on  your mushrooms to make sure they’re not burning. The mushrooms should turn a deeper brown and kind of flattened out adn tops should be a good deep golden brown.

12. Plate and enjoy! A double bonus for this is, if you have left over filling, you can save this and serve it as a cracker spread or dip! Cheers!