family · food · life · reviews · through my camera lens

Honey “Bourbon” Chicken

Ok so yesterday I didn’t write any posts, and today you get two (and both are recipes I made yesterday)! Earlier I posted a sweet treat recipe, chocolate peanut butter pretzel bars, that I made yesterday. One of the ingredients of this treat was honey. Now as I mentioned in that post I do not actually like the flavor of honey, but Richard and Colby both love it. I have a HUGE bottle of honey that I purchased at Costco. It was put to use yesterday.

For dinner last night we had Honey Bourbon Chicken made in the electric pressure cooker. I read through the recipe and my first thought was…. ummm where is the bourbon? When reading the comments they said that this was “Bourbon inspired”. One of the people also responded that if you cook with alcohol in a pressure cooker it does not cook off the alcohol… ok let’s try this anyway!

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Honey “Bourbon” Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic (I grated it with my microplane)
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1 c. honey
  • 2 TBSP canola oil
  • red pepper flakes (I did a few shakes of the container)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP water

Put all the ingredients (except cornstarch and water) into the electric pressure cooker

Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes

Let it release pressure for 5 minutes then finish releasing the pressure manually

Remove the chicken and dice it up into bite size pieces

Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry, then add to the cooking liquid. Stir to dissolve completely

Return the chicken to the pressure cooker

Set to saute and cook for an additional 3 minutes to thicken the sauce

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I served it with red wheat berries that I toasted and then cooked, adding a bit of butter at the end of the cooking process. Colby said this made it taste a lot like popcorn. We also had a raw carrot. Colby ended up eating two since he took the one off Richard’s plate too before he got home. No worries, I peeled another one for Richard.

I tried everything separably, but then put the chicken and wheat berries together and it was so yummy.

The chicken was really tasty. Colby felt it had a homemade bbq flavor, I don’t think it did, but hey if that works for him… then go for it dude. Colby ate 2 carrots and 2 servings of wheat berries and one serving of chicken. Blake ate 2 servings of chicken, his carrot and a nibble of wheat berries. Then, when Richard came home and was having dinner, Blake had a 3rd serving of the chicken. I’d say he really liked this one. Richard enjoyed it too.

I really wish the sauce ended up thicker. I think next time instead of thickening the sauce in the pressure cooker I’d transfer it to a pot and cook it in there so that the liquids can evaporate and thicken. Richard suggested reducing actual bourbon in a pan and adding it to the chicken mixture in the thickening step. This would add the bourbon flavor, but not the alcohol.

I think we will be trying this one again!

 

 

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food · reviews · through my camera lens

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Yesterday I never did get around to writing a blog post, I’m not sure why, but oh well such is life.

I saw the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel bars and thought they looked rather yummy. Who does’t like chocolate, peanut butter and pretzels, oh wait I know a few people who don’t, but I like them and that’s what counts, a lot of people like them and that is what’s important.

I made them yesterday… well I made something similar anyway. I followed the recipe, but then “Lori-ized it”. And, as soon as I tried one I was already re-writing the recipe in my head.

This is what I did:

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (divided) Image may contain: dessert, food and outdoor
  • bag of mini pretzel twists
  • 4 oz. box Reese’s Pieces candy
Peanut Butter Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate layer:
  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a siltpad
  2. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate chips gently in the microwave (on low heat, stirring every 15 seconds) until smooth. (my microwave has a melt chocolate setting so I used that, but this is the typical way to melt chocolate in a microwave without burning it)

For the peanut butter sauce:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add honey and sugar and stir well to combine.

  2. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 full minute, stirring. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth.

  3. Stir in vanilla

     

Assembly:

  1. Spread the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet, don’t worry about neatness aim more for a similar thickness across the surface area used
  2. Top with pretzels and Reese’s Pieces. You can put them down at random, or be more like me and spend time making sure they are evenly spaced out (ok a bit OCD there, but hey what can I say?) Lightly press into chocolate
  3. Prep peanut butter layer. I had enough to spread it in an even layer over the whole bar
  4. Add an additional layer of the pretzels and press into peanut butter layer
  5. melt remaining 4 oz of chocolate and drizzle over the top of everything.
  6. Refrigerate until solid.
  7. Cut or break into pieces
  8. Enjoy!

OK… now here is how I’d change it next time!

First I felt this was very honey forward. I would either use 1/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of agave nectar or switch it all to agave nectar (I am not a huge honey fan even though both Richard and Colby love the stuff and eat it all the time).

Also, I would add salt to the peanut butter layer to bring out the peanut butter flavor more than just the sweet of the honey/sugar combination

I liked the double layer of pretzels (that I already changed from the original recipe), but felt the Reese’s pieces got lost. So you either need to double the amount you use or add peanut butter chips or even peanut M&M’s to up the peanut flavor.

Finally I would put more of the chocolate into the bottom layer maybe only reserve 2.5 oz for the top so it was a true drizzle and not a full layer of chocolate.

Colby tried these out as his after school snack. He loves peanut butter and chocolate together. He loves peanut butter and honey together. He always eats peanut butter and pretzels together. He LOVES  Reese’s Pieces. So this treat was right up his alley. Richard also enjoyed them when he came home from work. I guess I will be making these again, but next time I’ll “Lori-ize” them even more!

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food · life · through my camera lens

Rambles and Pasta Salad

Yesterday the boys had their first mountain biking lesson. They left excited to go back on Thursday! That makes it feel like money well spent. While they biked I went off on a hike. I’d hiked over 1 mile when Richard surprised me by showing up to walk with me. I had to hike back out and meet up with him. I ended up hiking/walking over 3 miles in about an hour. I wasn’t doing a good job about pausing my app while texting/talking to Richard in order to figure out where we were going to meet up. So, I’m not sure how long I walked, but I don’t care that was still good hike.

One of the places I came across on my hike has a “forever tree”. This is a tree dedicated to those furry friends who loved North Park, but are no longer with us. People add medal ornaments to the tree to honor these pets. Such a loving tribute.

Today I decided to take my coffee and make it a smoothie. I used 1 cup of chocolate coffee, a splash of chocolate creamer, and 1.5 frozen bananas. I blended it up and called it a drink. It was yummy… I’d show a picture, but I finished it before I decided to share about having it.

While I was having my coffee smoothie I worked on lunch. I know I often talk about the foods I make for the family for dinner, but almost never discuss breakfast or lunch. Part of that is breakfast and lunch is take care of yourself meals. I haven’t made breakfast or lunch for my boys since they were about 5. Most days my lunch is open the fridge and toss whatever I find on top of salad, pasta, rice or something on that idea. I will also eat leftovers as is, but I typically like to reinvent them so they feel new and not just leftovers.

Today, since I went to the grocery store, I decided to make myself a pasta salad. I love pasta salad and is such a great side, but for me… it’s lunch!

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Today’s pasta salad

  • bowtie pasta (about 1/4 a package)
  • zucchini -diced
  • grape or cherry tomatoes (I used a 10oz package) split
  • heavy handful of spinach
  • 1/4 package of broccoli slaw
  • fresh motzarella
  • Italian Dressing (I used Ken’s Simply Vinaigrette Italian)
  • EVOO
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder

Cook pasta according to package. When done make sure to rinse in cool water to cool down the pasta

Dice zucchini. Heat EVOO in a skillet. In skillet put half of the tomatoes and zucchini. Dust with garlic powder. When cooked to the texture you like, leave to cool.

Chop of the spinach. Cut the rest of the tomatoes in half. Cut mozzarella into bite size pieces.

In a large bowl place the spinach, broccoli slaw, chopped tomatoes and mozzarella. When pasta and veggie are cooled down add to bowl. Top with dressing and then toss.

Refrigerate. I put it into the fridge for 40 min or so before eating. This is one of those the longer it sits the better it tastes.

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I like the fact that there is more veggies than pasta. You can put in whatever veggie float your boat. I was trying to go for an Italian-ish flavor profile. Do you have a favorite pasta salad? What do you put in yours?

book · food · reviews · through my camera lens

Roasted Thanksgiving Salad- Alton Brown

This week we had a lot of new recipes on our menu. I really enjoyed all the recipes. And, they all came from on location:Alton Brown: EveryDayCook. First, we had fish sticks, then pizza dough, and then finally Roasted Thanksgiving Salad.

The roasted Thanksgiving Salad was the healthiest of all, and actually really yummy! Think roasted veggies, quinoa, apples and pumpkin seeds in a mustard vinaigrette. This was a great side dish and I’ve had it a few days cold for lunch.

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Roasted Thanksgiving Salad (recipe adapted from Alton Brown: EveryDayCook)

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. of Sweet Potatoes, ~3 medium, peeled & cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. of Parsnips, ~3-5, peeled & cut into bite-sized pieces (use the smaller ones as the large ones are too woody)
  • 1 Red Onion, small, diced
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup of Quinoa, rinsed in cool water & drained
  • ¼ teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Agave Nectar
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 2 medium Gala Apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup of roasted Pepitas
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes, parsnips, and red onion on a baking sheet pan lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Roast for 15 minutes, toss and then roast for 10 more minutes or under the veggies are golden and tender.
  3. While the vegetables are roasted, prepare the quinoa. Boil 2 cups of of water and ½ teaspoon of salt in a saucepan. When boiling, whisk in the quinoa and cinnamon. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool, still covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  4. For the vinaigrette, combine the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, vinegar, agave nectar, mustard, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a jar with a lid, shake to emulsify.
  5. Toss the vegetables, quinoa, and dressing together in a large bowl. Top with apples and pepitas just before serving.

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I ended up doubling my dressing since I used more sweet potato, parsnip and apple than was originally called for in the recipe. You easily could change the veggies in this recipe, carrots would make a nice addition and add a bit more sweetness.

Richard and I both enjoyed this and said that the apple and pumpkin seeds added a nice texture to the recipe. I was thinking that if you put wheat berries into this for 1/2 the quinoa you would add in a chewy texture and an additional ancient grain.

The original recipe called for thyme and sage, but I didn’t add these to mine. I can see how they would add to the Thanksgiving feel, but since we were making it in April I didn’t see the need for it to feel Thanksgiving. It also used maple syrup instead of agave nectar, I only have cheap fake maple syrup and didn’t want to use that in this dish, plus it was almost gone. I figured it was looking to add sweetness as much as anything so that’s why I used the agave nectar.

I’m ready to start adding more veggie heavy dishes to our menu. The dish could be used all year long and is hearty enough, in my opinion to be used as a main dish. I served it with grilled chicken.

There is nothing new on our menu this week. Life is going to be busy for the next few weeks so I’m not sure how many new dishes we will see, but you never know.

Hope you enjoy your Friday Eve!

food · through my camera lens

Amish Sugar Cookies

Today I went to the boys’ school for their Teacher/Staff Appreciation Luncheon. That is what I made the cookies for yesterday. They were a hit at the luncheon and were all gone when I left, guess I should have made more (I sent 2 dozen to school and 1 dozen to work with Richard). sugar_01

These cookies are so yummy. They melt in your mouth and just taste… yum!

sugar_02Amish Sugar Cookies

Adapted from The Gold Lining Girl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, and sugars until combined.

  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

  4. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined after each addition. Do not over mix.

  5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

  6. Drop dough by small teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets.

  7. Bake at 375 for 8-11 minutes, or until edges and bottoms are lightly browned.

  8. Remove to wire racks to cool.

     

This time, I put my dough into the fridge for 30-40 minutes. This just firmed it up a bit and the cookies held their shape really well. I then had to increase my bake time to about 11-13 min.

 

I feel like I’ve posted a LOT of food posts this week. I still have one more coming soon about another Alton Brown Recipe. I don’t think of myself as a food blogger, but when you have good recipes/dishes… you have to share. Right?!?

 

food · Must Have Monday · reviews

Must Have Monday– the cookie baking edition

TTM_MHM

I have decided that I want to have a weekly post on Mondays. I have been debating on this for a bit and decided that Must Have Monday works. One of the big things this does for me is makes it so I don’t have to think about what to blog about on Monday mornings!

Each Monday I will post about some must have items. I have found over the years that many items that I didn’t know I needed later became must haves or at least must use once I’ve had the product.

Since I’m baking cookies, Amish Sugar Cookies, today to take to the boys’ school for their teacher appreciation lunch tomorrow, I figured I’d blog about my cookie baking must haves!

When I was engaged and planning my wedding registry one of the first things I knew I was putting on my list was a stand mixer! I had a decent hand mixer and I still use this at times, but one knows that every good baker needs a stand mixer… right??

I have had my KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red (mine is white not red) for almost 14 years now and it has seen a lot of use! It sits in the end of my island right below where I keep my laptop. Since moving into our new house, I think I’ve used it at least once a week. Whenever I bake cookies it is the first item I pull out and get ready. So let me get it out so I can start making the Amish Sugar Cookies for tomorrow.

While my butter, oil and sugar cream together, let me tell you a few tips that I’ve learned. I keep my granulated sugar in a food storage container like the one pictured. I do that so it stays fresh and there is no chance of sugar falling all over the floor if the bag tips in the pantry. I keep my flours, as well as, powdered and brown sugars in the freezer. This keeps the flour fresh and bug free, after living in the heat and humidity of Florida I appreciate this knowledge a bit more. Not that I’m using nuts today, but keep your nuts in the freezer too, they won’t spoil as quickly.

Time to check on my batter. When using a stand mixer, you need to make sure you do a good job scraping the bowl. Let me grab my spatula and get the mixer ready for the next step. I have this set of spatulas and I like the variety of sizes and styles. I use the “spoonula” when I’m baking since it has a decent size curved spatula and can get in there and get all the good stuff off the bottom.

A few food must haves when baking cookies (well at least in my book they are must haves)… you must have real butter. I typically buy salted butter even though most recipes call for unsalted, and I still add the salt to the recipe. I love the taste the salt brings out in sweet recipes. I also believe that you MUST use pure vanilla extract. I try very very hard not to use artificial flavors in any of my cooking/baking. I also only use real sugars. Ok so the recipes aren’t going to win any healthy eating contest, but they will taste good and, in my opinion, as long as you have it in moderation… why waste calories on fake food?

Time to whisk together the dry ingredients.  I pulled out my OXO Good Grips 3-Quart Mixing Bowl, White/Black. This is the bowl I always pull out when my boys were helping in the kitchen when they were little. It had a very sturdy base and didn’t tip when they used it. I like the fact that it has a wide lip and spout which helps when transferring the dry ingredients into the mixer. Make sure you have the mixer on low and you do this is small doses or you will we sweeping up your dry ingredients off the floor.

I’m tossing this dough into the fridge so it can chill out for about 30 minutes. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but this recipe reminds me of snickerdoodles and snickerdoodles dough gets chilled… so off to the fridge I go with the dough!

While it’s chilling I’ll clean up the prep mess and get out the next items I need. Let me grab my cookie sheets. Ok so mine aren’t really cookie sheets they are actually Calphalon Classic Bakeware Special Value 12-by-17-Inch Rectangular Nonstick Jelly Roll Pans, Set of 2. I like the size of the jelly roll pans better than the cookie sheets. I can typically fit a dozen cookies on each sheet and I have 4 sheets (2 sets). I have this so I’m not having to wait for a sheet to cool before I can prep the next pan. I just prep them all and toss them in the ovens. On top of my “cookie sheets” I have Silpat AE420295-07 Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet Size, 11-5/8″ x 16-1/2″. This is one of those I didn’t know I needed it until I had it items. I do not have to spray my pans, the clean up is sooo easy and the cookies almost never burn (if they do, they don’t stick).

Another item I didn’t know was a must have until I had one, or three, is OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop, Small, Stainless Steel. I have three different sizes of these scoops. I love that using them helps with the consistency of the size of the cookie or other item I’m making.

Once I have dished out all the dough onto the cookie sheets using the cookie scoop I’ll bake them off. I need to bring 2 dozen to the boys school and if I have extra I’ll send them into work with Richard. If not, maybe I’ll just have to bake again later in the week. Seems like I’ve been baking a lot on Thursdays.

I’ll be sure to share pictures of the finished cookies. I have made these before and I know they are yummy! Last time I froze half the batch to pull out at a later date, you can do this with cookie dough before or after baking. Such a versatile product, don’t you think.

Well you will have to let me know what you think of the first installment of Must Have Monday.  Do you have any of these products or something similar? What are your must haves for baking cookies? What other must have ideas would you like me to blog about? Share you thoughts, click on the links, join the fun… and please read my disclosure statement since this post contains links. Remember that if you purchase items through these links it doesn’t cost you any more money and helps me out too. Thanks!

family · food · reviews

Alton Brown’s Pizza Dough

The week of Alton continues with tonight’s edition… pizza! I made a batch of Alton Brown’s pizza dough from his book Alton Brown: EveryDayCook, are you motivated to buy this cookbook yet? (Did you see my post about his fish sticks that I made on Friday? No?!? Click here and check it out)

I did not make any changes to this recipe, so you can find it here on Alton’s site. I did measure everything out with my kitchen scale. I made it in the bread machine instead of in the stand mixer, I just have better luck with dough this way.

You need to plan ahead with this recipe because the dough needs to rise in the fridge 18-24 hours. You take the dough out 30 minute before making your pizza product. Alton suggests cutting the dough into three. We used this to make three different products. We made a grilled pepperoni pizza, a baked two cheese stromboli and garlic butter rolls.

pizza1To make the rolls, I cut the dough into bite size pieces and then rolls them around into a ball shape. I put cornmeal on the counter while I worked as well as on the baking sheet to add extra crunch and prevent sticking. I baked these in a 450 oven for 17 minutes. While they baked I heated EVOO and microplanned 3 cloves of garlic into the oil. When the garlic just began to brown, I added 1/2 stick of butter and let this melt. When it was melted, I brushed it on top of the rolls. (These rolls were my favorite part of the meal.. .just saying!)pizza3

Richard made the pizza and stromboli. For the pizza, he grills both sides of the dough on screaming hot grill. When they are starting to brown on both sides, he brings it in and tops it with sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Then it goes back on the grill to crisp up and melt the cheese. The grill wasn’t as hot as we like it so the crust wasn’t as crunchy this time.

pizza2The dough for the stromboli gets stretched and tossed the same way the pizza dough does. He then lays it onto a cookie sheet and puts the toppings on one half of the dough. This time it was mozzarella and provolone cheese. (We never put sauce in our stromboli because it seems to make the crust mushy.) Then you fold the un-filled part of the dough over the filled and roll the edges together to crimp them. You also need to cut in vent holes to let the steam out. This gets baked for 20-25 min in a 350 oven. We have decided that next time we will make it in a hotter oven for less time since the rolls came out really crispy and yummy.

I will be making this pizza dough again!

A few things we learned:

  • Make sure you put the dough in a large enough bowl over night, ours was over the top and down the sides in the morning
  • These rolls were so worth it and I’ll make them again, but make sure they are closer in size, the bigger ones were good (by big I mean doughnut hole size instead of walnut size)
  • Possible additions/alterations to the rolls
    • put fresh mozzarella in the middle
    • put cheddar cheese in the middle and serve with soup or chili
  • The garlic butter needed more garlic and maybe a pinch or two of salt
  • Go for a hotter oven/grill and shorter cook time.
family · food · reviews

Homemade Fish Sticks

Yes, you read that title correct, I made homemade fish sticks. I found this recipe in Alton Brown: EveryDayCook. I was searching for menu items for the week and thought this would be a good change of pace. Plus earlier in the week I was watching Worst Cooks in America, this show cracks me up, and they made fish and chips.

I decided to make the fish sticks with the frozen tilapia I had in the freezer. I took the fish out and let it defrost a bit and then began the process of chopping it up as stated in the recipe. Well the fish was probably not defrosted enough and/or I didn’t cut it into small enough pieces. When I added the bread crumbs, mayo, mustard, egg and seasoning and tried to mix it together, it didn’t come together into a mixture that could be formed. But, I did not give up… I got power! I pulled out my food processor and mixed it that way. I mixed it enough so that it was not completely homogenized, leaving some bigger pieces of fish still.

I then rolled this mixture into log shapes. I couldn’t quite get them into the pretty sticks the recipe called for, or didn’t try hard enough to anyway. The logs then went into the fridge. I set up my breading station of flour, which I added salt and pepper too even though it wasn’t called for in the recipe, 2 eggs and bread crumbs, the recipe called for panko… I only had Italian.

Thirty minutes, or so, passes time to bread the fish sticks. They then got shallow fried using canola oil. When I did this we decided that my sticks must have been too large since they were perfectly browned on the outside but not fully cooked on the inside. No panic… pull out a pan and put them in the oven to complete cooking.

The funny thing about this whole process is I was making oven fries which I felt didn’t cook crisp enough in the oven so I finished those in the oil from the fish…. so the fish finished in the oven and the fries finished in the oil. Can you say adaptability??

These turned out really good. Blake ate 3, Colby ate 3 and Richard and I both enjoyed them too. Both boys said they would eat them again, so I guess there will be a take two on it. At the bottom of the recipe I included some thoughts on what I learned making this recipe. (hope that helps)

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Fish Stick Adapted from Alton Brown’s Fish Sticks

  • 1 pound white fish (I used talapia)
  • 1 3/4 cups bread crumbs, divided (I used Italian)
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil (depending on the size of your skillet, you need enough to completely cover the bottom by 1/8th of an inch)
    1. When the fish is just soft enough to cut, finely chop. He suggests freezing fresh fish for 30 min or defrosting frozen for 30
    2. Place in a bowl along with 3/4 cup bread crumbs, 1 egg, mayonnaise, mustard, onion flakes, salt and cayenne pepper. Combine well. — this is where I used my food processor
    3. Shape the fish mixture into 1 1/2 ounce finger-shaped sticks. Set on a sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (oops I didn’t weigh out mine that may have played a roll in the size issue)
    4. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in a shallow pie pan.
    5. Place the remaining cup of panko in a second pie pan and the flour in a third.
    6. Roll each stick in the flour, then egg, followed by the panko.
    7. Heat the oil in wide, non-stick skillet over medium heat (or an electric skillet to medium high) until it shimmers. Add the fish sticks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (if not cooked enough pop it into a preheated 350 oven for 3-5 min to make sure it is cooked through. (I used Meat Thermometer – ON’H Instant Read Thermometer Cooking Thermometer Food Thermometer with Strong Magnet for Grilling Barbecue to check the temperature)
    8. Total cook time 8 to 12 minutes.
    9. Cool slightly before consuming.

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A few things I learned…

  • make sure the fish is defrosted a bit more before chopping
  • chop very fine or just plan to put it into the food processor
  • make the fish sticks smaller or plan to finish in the oven
  • make sure you salt them when they come out of the frying process
  • add a touch of water to the eggs to make it a bit smoother and easier to use in the breading station
  • next time just use frozen french fries or tater tots or something else it was too much to do the potatoes and fish at one time.

**this post contains affiliate links,  please read my disclosure statement**

food · reviews · through my camera lens

Mixed Berry Cornbread

Richard worked from home yesterday. It was nice to have him around. I had asked him if he wanted me to bake anything and he said no, or really that he didn’t care. Colby asked me to make him these oatmeal cookies. The problem is Richard doesn’t like those cookies, so maybe I’ll make them like Monday so they can go to work and Colby can take them with him for his lunches.

So when I came home from the grocery store today I was in the mood to bake something, but didn’t want to make cookies. I’m not a big cake or pie eater as discussed here and here.  So what can I make?  Hmmm Colby had suggested banana bread, but the last few times I made that I was the only one who ate it.

Well lets see what I have for ingredients…

The last time we went to Costco (which I refer to here as Not BJ’s… funny story), I picked up mixed berries. The bag is a mix of raspberry, blueberry and blackberry. I bought it under the premise of I was going to start making smoothies a few days a week for breakfast, yeah that hasn’t happened yet.

I just bought cornmeal at the store since we didn’t have it when we grilled the pizza and need it before we try again. Hmm I was in the mood for cornbread or corn muffins the other day can we combine the two things? Sure why not??

So off to the internet I went. I found this recipe for Sweet Blueberry Cornbread Skillet and figured I could tweak that to work. I didn’t make too many changes. I used a bit more than a cup of the fruit and used a combination of honey and agave nectar.

I thought it turned out really yummy. No one else has tried it. My boys didn’t and that is no shock to me and Richard isn’t home yet. I will certainly enjoy having this for breakfast tomorrow with a cup of coffee.

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Quick question. would you prefer that I start typing these recipes out on my blog or is the link to the original recipes good enough?

family · food

Wheat Berries

It’s snowing again… what?? This weekend we were wearing shorts today I’m wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. It’s only 33F outside and won’t get much warmer. Tomorrow is forecast to be in the 50s and then there is snow in the forecast again for Thursday. What is wrong with this picture?

Yesterday we had FFY (fend for yourself) dinner. Richard had to work late at a planning meeting that ended in dinner out. So I used it as an opportunity to try a new grain. A few weeks ago, I purchased wheat berry. I decided to make this to have for dinner. I found the directions on Genius Kitchen, I bought the wheat berries from the bulk section so I didn’t have any kind of directions. It was pretty easy to make. You started by toasting the wheat berries in the pan which was neat since they pop and even started to smell almost popcorn like. Then you add 2c of water to the 1c wheat berries. It cooks for about 1hr. I did end up needing to add a bit more water, which the recipe said might happen.

I put the wheat berries into a bowl and topped it with steak, cheddar cheese, carrots and a bit of ceasar dressing. Both Colby and Blake tried the wheat berries too. Colby really liked then and considered having it for his dinner, but he already had started making pasta. He did try it topped with alfredo since he was making it for his pasta and said it was really good. Blake tried one bite and didn’t make a big deal over it and said he liked it better than quinoa.

I like finding new things to try especially healthier versions of things we like. Now, I would not call this a replacement for rice or pasta, but it was good. It will make a nice topper for salads or an addition to a pasta salad.

Have you tried wheat berries? Any recipes with wheat berries that I should try? What ancient grains have you tried and liked?

Hope the world is bright and sunny where you are… if so send some to me here in western PA… I’m over winter. Let’s finish loading spring!

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