Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken

It was last summer and we went out to celebrate a friend's Birthday at Lancaster Brewing Company and I noticed Pretzel Chicken on the menu. I wasn't eating dinner so I didn't get a chance to order it, but someone in our party did, and it looked fabulous. When I went home and hunted for the recipe online I discovered it was a Rachel Ray recipe and it's actually in her Top 10. I've previously posted about Rachel Ray's Top 10 Recipes that I found through another blog back when I cooked & then posted about the Buffalo Chicken Chili that was on that list. The pretzel-crusted chicken is equally delicious. My husband & his friends have a deep frying night every once in a while. Things get out of control with deep fried pickles, and deep friend oreos, and just about deep fried anything. So the last time they did it I decided to test this chicken recipe out. It was easier than I thought and tastier than I thought.

8, boneless, skinless, chicken breast tenderloins, uncooked
6 oz. bag of salted pretzels (I went with the extra dark - so good!)
1 tbsp thyme
salt & pepper
2 eggs
vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp buttter
2 tsbp flour
2 cups milk
2.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup parsley, diced very thin (optional)
1/4 cup onion, diced very thin (optional)
1 large sour pickle, diced very thin (optional)
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Make sure you have your supplies organized and your servings measured out so you can move quickly from step to step.

Make sure that the deep fryer is ready to go. (I don't have much experience with deep frying so my husband took care of this. Can't tell you how much oil we used or what temp it was on, sorry.)
You can always use a frying pan with oil and cook for a few minutes on each side that way, if you prefer. I prefer the deep fryer, it was so easy!

This chicken is the best when it is is thin & crispy. So the first thing you want to do is take a meat cleaver (or use an alternative plan such as the bottom of a pot) and hit the chicken breast until it lies flat & thin. 

Meanwhile, grind the pretzels into fine pieces using a food processor. 
Transfer to a bowl and mix in thyme, salt, & pepper.

Crack, beat, and mix the eggs.
Transfer the pretzel mixture to a shallow dish that you can dip the chickens into and cover completely with the mixture.
But before you cover them completely with the pretzel mixture, dip them into the eggs.
Once both sides of the chicken breast is coated with the egg dip in the ground pretzel mix, covering completely. 

Then place carefully in the deep fryer and cook for a few minutes. 
The pretzel "breading" should be brown and the chicken should be cooked all the way through.

Meanwhile, while the chicken is cooking, quickly melt the butter and the flour (I would recommend having this stuff ready to go).
Cook for about 1 minute.
Then whisk in the milk. 
When the milk starts to bubble, then add the cheese & mustard.
Add salt & pepper, then remove cheese sauce from heat.

Remove chicken from the oil and place on a serving plate. Cover with the mustard cheddar sauce and feel free to sprinkle with some parsley. As well as the finely chopped onion & pickle. Serve with lemon wedges. 

I swear, THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!, so so so good. And easy if you have a deep fryer. 

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cupcake On A Stick

With the popularity of cake pops it seems like food-on-a-stick is all the rage now. I got these adorable flower-shaped tins from my mom and decided to play around with them. I was making Beach-Themed cupcakes for the school dance and had some extra batter, so I used the tins to make Cupcake-on-a-stick! 

They are called Blossom/Flower Cookie Pop Pans from Wilton and they are fun to play with. You are suppose to use them for cookies, but I went with cupcakes instead. Don't forget to spray with cooking spray before hand! (or grease the tins). I baked them for close to the same amount of time that regular cupcakes were called for, but I watched them carefully and took them out early. The amount of time you bake them depends on if you want to use a homemade cupcake recipe or use one from the box. Once your cakes have cooled, remove from tins, ice & decorate. You can always use a cake pop stand to display them!

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Last summer I was vacationing with my sister-in-laws, my mother-in-law, and all 5 of my nieces. It was an awesome time. We had a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, we definitely needed a reward and time to relax. One night for dessert I made cookie dough cupcakes and with the extra batter I made a cookie dough cake. 

You might find some recipes for this online at or all over if you google the idea. Lots of good recipes out there and lots of pretty images out there :-)  The recipe I came up with is a super easy version of all other recipes out there. I know these cupcakes/cake would taste super delicious if I made the cookie dough from scratch and the cake batter from scratch as well. 

But if you recall I made this at the beach while helping to take care of 5 little girls UNDER the age of 3. I wanted to spend my evening relaxing and not doing so much baking. I went with pre-made tube of Nestle Toll House cookie dough and a box of Duncan Hines and it still came out yummy. The following recipes makes 12 cupcakes and one small cake in a 8 x 8 square pan or about 24 cupcakes instead.

1 box of cake mix (I used the yellow kind) 3 eggs (or whatever the box says you need) 1 1/3 cups of water (or whatever the box says you need) 1/3 cup canola oil (or whatever the box says you need) 1 tube of cookie dough (You can use the 30 oz tube to make larger size cookie dough balls) Tub of frosting (I went with chocolate) Cupcake liners Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Before you do anything else roll the cookie dough into 24 small round balls. Place on a lined cookie sheet with freezer paper/wax paper and place in freezer for 2 hours.
VERY IMPORTANT - The cookie dough must be frozen for this to work!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the box of cake mix with the proper ingredients in the mixer until smooth.
Line a muffin tin with 24 cupcake liners. 
Pour in the batter.
Then place a frozen cookie dough ball in the center of each uncooked cupcake.
Place in the oven and cook for about 16 to 20 minutes.
Be careful not to overcook or the cookie dough will be dry inside.

This is my mom's awesome retro mixer from the 70's! Still works and looks really cool!

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Low Country Slop Fest!

Over Memorial Day Weekend our friend held a low-country slop fest at his house and it was PHENOMENAL. We decided to do a low key one at our house for my Birthday this year. This is a great (EASY) feast when cooking for a large group. The best part? You don't need plates & if you use a plastic throw away tablecloth then clean up is soooo easy!

Big ole bag of white or yellow onions
Big ole bag of potatoes (at least 1 per person)
Plenty of corn on the cob (at least 1 per person)
2-3 packages of sausage (we used different kinds, hot italian sausage, turkey sausage, kielbasa)
2 bags of frozen shrimp (it can be cooked or uncooked, you may have to adjust how long you boil the shrimp based on the instructions on the bag)
2 regular size containers of old bay
4 green bell peppers (optional)
a bushel of steamed crabs (optional, to serve with the slop later)

Fill the largest pot in your house with water and dump an entire container of old bay inside. (One pot may not be big enough, so you might need to do two) 
Bring the pot of water with the old bay to a boil.

Meanwhile...after shucking & cleaning the corn, cut into thirds.
Cut the potatoes into quarters. (I kept the skins on, but just made sure they were rinsed & clean)
Cut the onions into big bite-sized pieces.
Cut the sausage into about 1 inch pieces.
Once the pot starts to boil place the potatoes, (peppers), corn, & onions  in first and let them boil for about 10 minutes.
Then add the sausage & shrimp. 
Cook for another 10 minutes.
Watch as you boil. You don't want the onions, peppers & potatoes to get too soft or soggy. 
If the sausage & shrimp are cooked through then drain the water from the pot, really make sure all the water is gone. Use a strainer if you have one that is large enough. 
Then literally just dump the food onto a table (with a plastic tablecloth). 
Grab forks (plates are optional) and go to town!
Serve with the other container of old bay.
Other great sides? Pasta salad. The bushel of crabs. Cornbread. 
Good Food & Good Friends! YUM YUM YUM.

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guacamole Spice Mix

I love guacamole. I've been making it for a while now. A couple years ago when I started this blog I wanted to start making fresh guacamole and didn't quite know where to begin. After enlisting some help, I decided I didn't want to just use a regular mix packet from the grocery store like I did with my first attempts. So after some trial & error and extra help from my mom I think I've perfected my guacamole, for now.

Here's the recipe we use to make dry guacamole spice mix at home (it should make 10+ batches or 20 haas avocados worth of guacamole)

Ingredients For Mix:
3 tbsp of kosher salt or sea salt
2 tbsp of onion powder
2 tbsp of garlic powder
4 tbsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of cayenne pepper (or more if you want it more spicy)

Ingredients For Guacamole:
2 haas avocados
1 tbsp of above mix
1 tbsp of fresh minced garlic (if you love garlic like I do!)
1 tsp of lemon juice (optional)
1 tsp of lime juice (you can use more if you like, I don't like it so mushy)
1/2 cup of thinly diced red onion (use a food processor)

What do you think? Comments? Suggestions? I would love to know that you visited my blog. Please leave me a message letting me know you were here! Did you try out a recipe? Let me know! I would love to hear from you :-)

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