Friday, June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

I started this week on the east coast, competing in a triathlon.  It was fantastic, I did really well, and am already counting down the days until the same race next year!  When I returned home, Ryan had already headed to Europe for business.  Needless to say, between the last full week of school activities, my own class workload, and feeding children all week I wasn't inspired to make complex new dinner dishes.  However, I was inspired to find a quick way to have "bisquick" on hand without actually pulling a yellow box from my pantry!

My children love, and I mean LOVE, Eggo waffles.  The boys would eat them morning, noon and night (plus snacks in between) if I let them.  My daughter loves them too, but she sticks to the morning hours for when she wants to eat them.  I love a good, hot waffle fresh from my waffle maker.  I don't love making a huge mess in the morning, and long ago found a recipe that was super quick and easy and used Bisquick.  This week I found a recipe for homemade Bisquick, and I have stored it in 2 cup portions in the fridge to make it even easier than pulling out the yellow box!  Win-win!  I added some whole wheat flour to the mix, and the waffles turned out great.  I am converted - and it was so easy we made waffles a few times this week! 

We did try one new dinner recipe - homemade chicken fingers.  I saw a recipe that used lemon-pepper seasoning and panko, and I had lemon-pepper panko on hand.  I am sure ours turned out a bit more lemony-peppery than the original recipe, but we all loved them.  We also did a quick browning on the stove and then finished them cooking in the oven.  It was an easy dinner, and everyone enjoyed it.

The kids get out of school on Monday, but I go through the end of June.  Wish me luck as I try to stay focused while the monkeys enjoy summer break!!!

Happy cooking!

New Recipes
DIY Bisquick
Chicken Fingers

DIY Bisquick

* 6 cups flour
* 3 tbsp baking powder
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 cup butter, cold and cut up

1. To a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
2. Add the cold butter to the food processor, and pulse a few times until crumbly and incorporated.
3. Store in the fridge.

I combined 5 cups of AP flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour.  I store it in 2 cup containers, because then it is so easy to whip up a batch of  the kids' favorite waffles.  This will stay quite a while (a few months) in the fridge, but for us it won't last that long!  We've already used it twice week and the kids have requested it again for the morning!  Feel free to halve the recipe, but I wouldn't double it or you will overflow your food processor bowl!

Chicken Fingers

* 1 lb chicken breasts, cut up
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup AP flour
* 2 cups panko  bread crumbs
* 1 tsp garlic powder
* 1 tsp lemon-pepper
* 1/2 tsp cayenne
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp pepper
 * oil for browning

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Beat the eggs in one shallow bowl or pie plate, and put the flour in a second shallow bowl or pie plate. Season the flour if desired with salt and pepper
3. In a third shallow bowl or pie plate combine the panko, garlic powder, lemon-pepper, cayenne, salt and pepper.
4. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
5. Dredge the chicken in the flour, the eggs, and then the seasoned panko.
6. Brown the chicken on both sides until golden and crispy, then transfer to a wire rack on a cookie sheet.
7. Cook for 12-15 minutes until fully cooked through.

I sprayed my wire rack before putting it on the cookie sheet.  Placing the chicken on the rack elevated it and allowed the chicken to cook and not get soggy on either side.  The original recipe called for the chicken to be fully fried, but this method worked well for our family. Also, I only had lemon-pepper panko (always on hand since we love lemon pepper panko salmon), so I skipped the lemon-pepper seasoning and used the flavored panko.  The kids loved these even though they had a little kick!