Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicken and Waffles

For the Chicken
Chicken breast tenderloin strips
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Season All (seasoned salt)
3/4 tsp pepper
1 c. flour
2 tsp. paprika

1. Place chicken in a bowl of milk and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes.
2. In a gallon Ziploc bag or large bowl, mix salt, Season All, pepper, flour, and paprika. Set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 1/2 stick butter into a few pieces and place in a 9x13 pan. Melt butter in preheated oven. Spread the melted butter around the bottom of the pan. If needed, lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray to make sure that there are no dry spots.
4. Shake excess milk off of chicken and place in Ziploc or bowl. Coat each piece of chicken completely with the seasoning mix. Place in pan.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for another 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Prepare gravy, syrup, and waffle batter while chicken is baking.

For the Gravy
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1 c. milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a ball forms.
2. Add milk all at once and stir with a wire whisk. Continue to stir until sauce comes to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes more. Add plenty of black pepper and salt to taste. Do not over boil or allow milk to burn. Remove from heat and place a lid on the pan to keep the gravy warm.

For the Syrup
1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. maple flavored extract

In a small saucepan, bring water to boiling. Add sugar. Continue to cook until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. Once the syrup is clear, remove from heat. Add maple flavoring. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Waffles
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
2 beaten egg yolks
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. canola/vegetable oil
2 stiffly beaten egg whites

1. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
2. Combine egg yolks, milk, and oil with wire whisk.
3. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. There will be a few lumps in the batter.
4. Fold in egg whites, leaving a few fluffs. Cook waffles according to waffle maker's directions. Make sure to cook these right before the chicken is done so they are still warm when you are ready to serve.

Assembly Directions
For each serving, place a piece of chicken on top of a waffle. Top with syrup and milk gravy. Enjoy!

Notes: We saw the idea of chicken and waffles on a Food Network show a few years ago and finally decided to try it ourselves. It was a bit of work, but it was worth it. You can certainly make this easier by using a waffle mix and store-bought syrup and gravy mix, but I tend to make these things from scratch. There are several other versions which include topping with just gravy or just syrup. We liked the combination of the sweet and savory, the crispy chicken with the softer waffles. Very tasty! We will be making this again. Source: The chicken recipe came from Our Life Uncommon. The remaining recipes are my own.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thai Peanut Noodles

1/2 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce (1 is mild with a bite, 1.5 is medium, 2 is hot)
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
8 oz. Udon or linguine noodles
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into quarters
Chopped peanuts

1. Cook noodles in salted water.
2. In a medium saucepan combine chicken broth, peanut butter, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat. Whisk until smooth and remove pan from heat.
3. When noodles are done, drain and toss with sauce. Divide into individual servings and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro, and chopped peanuts. Before eating, squeeze juice of 2 lime quarters over each serving and stir to combine.

*If desired, add meat to this dish by stir-frying shrimp or very thinly-sliced chicken (partially freeze it first to make slicing easier) in some olive oil with a couple cloves of garlic, some fresh ginger, some green onions, soy sauce, and a small squirt or two of Sriracha chili sauce.

Notes: Similar taste to Thai Peanut Chicken, perhaps a little spicier. We couldn't find the Sriracha chili sauce, so we used a different kind. I enjoyed the added texture of the chopped peanuts. Very tasty. Source: Our Best Bites.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crockpot Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 16 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp. oregano
salt to taste
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
2 c. mozzarella cheese
12 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Lasagna noodles, uncooked

1. Brown ground been, garlic, and onions. Drain.
2. Combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and mushrooms with beef.
3. In a separate bowl, combine cheeses.
4. Layer sauce, then noodles, then cheese three times and end with a fourth layer of sauce.
5. Cook in crock pot on low for 5 hours.

Notes: Simple and easy way to make lasagna. Source:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Summer Vegetable Tian

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium potato
1 medium tomato
1 tsp. dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. shredded Italian cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, or until onion is softened and translucent.
2. While the onion and garlic are sauteing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables.
3. Spray the inside of an 8x8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic on the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternately pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.
4. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with cheese, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Notes: The vegetables I used were large, so I couldn't squeeze them all into an 8x8. I didn't want to waste any veggies, so I baked it in a 9x13 pan. It is best to make sure your vegetables are very thinly sliced so they get nice and tender while baking. Be sure to add plenty of pepper and salt. The vegetables themselves can be a little bland, but with the seasonings and cheese, this is really tasty. Source: I got the recipe from Budget Bytes.