Baked Chicken Fingers

Don’t mind me while I pat myself on my back. These little guys turned out pretty tasty! They’re not exactly the same as their processed second cousins you would get at a fast food joint, or even in the frozen section of the grocery store. But that’s a good thing! This is real food here, folks. Legit. And stuff.

Chicken Fingers

based on a recipe by fANNEtastic food

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 lb. of chicken tenders
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs. mustard
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (for a gluten free version, check out the original recipe!)
  • dash of salt, pepper, turmeric, cumin, and rosemary.

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take a meat tenderizer to your chicken tenders. You don’t need to completely pulverize the poor chicken guys, just tenderize them a bit. Cut each strip into thirds.

2. Beat your egg and mix in the mustard. Use whatever kind of mustard you like, in whatever quantity, based on how much you like the taste of mustard.

3. Mix the panko and spices together in another bowl.

4. Set up your assembly line! Dredge the chicken pieces in the egg and mustard, and then in the panko, attempting to coat evenly. Lay them on a greased cookie sheet.

5. Slide them in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

6. Enjoy with a side of green, and ketchup or mayo for dipping!

Happy Friday!

Freezer recipe: Meatballs

A dear friend gave me a Whole Living subscription for my birthday last year, and I absolutely love it. I look forward to the beginning of the month when I have a new, colorful, inspiring issue to flip through. This month’s had a lovely spread about preserving food, primarily through freezing.

I can say first hand that I have enjoyed all of last summer’s produce that’s hanging out in my freezer. So yummy! Not to mention, it’s great for my wallet because I don’t have to buy higher-priced, lesser-quality produce in these off-season months.

The freezer can be your friend if you are tight on budget and time, and yet want to feed yourself and the people you love wholesome, good for you foods. The freezer is useful for two main purposes:

  • purchasing food when it is in season and/or on sale and freezing it for preparation at a later date.
  • OR preparing dishes in advance, so that they don’t require as much prep time on the night that you want to eat them. You just thaw, cook, and serve!

One of the most versatile, freezable dishes is meatballs. They are easy to make, they hold up well in the freezer, and they go with anything.

Basic Meatballs

Makes approximately 30 meatballs, but is easily multiplied to make larger batches.

1. Combine in bowl:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 onion, diced finely
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of white pepper

2. Form into balls about 1 inch in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet.

3. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes, or until no longer pink. Turn them after about 6 or 7 minutes so that they bake evenly.

4. Allow them to cool, and then package and freeze. Try to package them in such a way that as little air as possible is sealed with them. Ziploc freezer bags work great for this.

The meatballs will last in the freezer for about 3 months. Simply thaw, reheat, and they are ready to serve. Put them in soup, on top of spaghetti (all covered with cheeeese…), stir fry them with veggies, or make a sauce for them.

Swedish meatballs, anyone?

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Let me preface this post by saying that this isn’t going to taste like the Kraft version. Somewhere deep inside, I had hopes that it would. I did. I’m not saying that this isn’t super tasty. Because it is. It’s just not mac and cheese from a box. Nothing will ever match mac and cheese from a box.

By way of a secondary preface, many thanks to Amanda for sharing this recipe with me 🙂 I hope that I did it justice!

Gather your supplies:

  • 1-16 oz box of macaroni
  • 2-8 oz blocks of cheese, one white, one yellow
  • 1 small onion (or the equivalent)
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Bread crumbs (or a couple of slices of bread to turn into bread crumbs)

First things first, prepare your noodles. While that’s happening, shred your blocks of cheese and dice your onion.

When the noodles are done, transfer them to a greased, glass 9×13 pan, and mix in the onions and the cheese.

Thinly slice your stick of butter and distribute over the top.

Sprinkle on Parmesan and bread crumbs. We didn’t have as much in the way of bread crumbs as I thought that we did. So, I toasted a couple of slices of bread and diced and crumbled it up. It worked, sort of!

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When it’s done, mix it up and serve!

Side note #1: check out how green that broccoli is!

Side note #2: What do you all know about melting cheese? How do they make Velveeta? Is there a way to make it that doesn’t involve infusing cheese with 8 million chemicals?

I wanna know: What’s your favorite way to prepare pasta? Stuffed? With sauce? With cheese?