High Five for Friday, #4

Happy Friday friends! How is everyone doing? We made it safely through the storms (and they weren’t nearly as bad as predicted, and I am OK with that). My week has been a bit of a weird one. Once again my schedule was a bit off, and next week is going to be more the of the same (which means not scheduled).

I love linkups! It gives me structure. It gives me a plan. So today I am linking up with Lauren. I also saw a new linkup for Tuesday, so stay tuned for that!

One thing I noticed for this week is I don’t have nearly enough pictures from my week. So today’s collage is some from online and some I just made today.

PicMonkey Collage21. Pupppies, Puppies, Puppies! Need I say more? The Puppy Cam is up! The Warrior Canine Connection had the newest set of puppies last week, and now we get to watch them grow. You should check them out and donate if you can!

2. Sweet and Sour Chicken: made for dinner on Tuesday night. It was delicious! You can see the recipe from Tuesday.

3. My run/Walk on Wednesday was awesome! Even though it felt like a million degrees that day I did a good pace and it made me happy. I haven’t been running nearly enough lately. So I need to get back on that.

4. Wedding invites: Finally designed and got a proof on Thursday. I am excited about it!

5. Free food for a year! Ok it’s only once a month, but still pretty awesome. And it was all because my dear friend suggested we go to dinner together! We sadly both have so much going on in our lives we don’t see each other nearly as much as we used to.

What awesome things can you share on this Friday about your week?

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Well we all know I ❤ pinterest! Of course I used it to find a recipe to make for dinner tonight. I wish I was prepped and took pictures because this was AWESOME!! I am very critical of the food I make, so if it didn’t turn out great I would have said so. I also made fried rice again, that wasn’t as great but my guests enjoyed.

Speaking of guests, it was the first time I was cooking dinner for my future mother-in-law and my fiancee! So it was a big deal, and brave of me to try a new dish. . . but I am pretty confident that most of the food I make comes out pretty good. I can’t say the same for my baked goods.

Here’s the recipe (with my modifications)

Sweet and Sour Chicken (original recipe can be found at: http://madeitateitlovedit.blogspot.com/2012/03/sweet-and-sour-chicken.html)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 and put the oil in your skillet.

Chicken Breading:

  • 1-1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • salt and pepper ( I added garlic too)
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, beaten (this was a little think, I would add water next time)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil ( didn’t have any so I used olive, but sesame would have been really good too)
Rinse chicken, trim off fat or extras and then cut into 1 inch cubes. season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into cornstarch and coat all the way and then into eggs. Heat oil in large skillet. Cook chicken until browned. Place in baking dish, 9 X13 works best.

Sauce:

  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
Whisk until smooth. Then pour evenly over chicken. Turn chicken so the sauce gets on both sides and then put in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. turn chicken and then cook for 15 more minutes.
Let me know how it goes if you decide to try it! It was a big hit at my house.

Surprising food fail

As you know I love trying new recipes and usually I am pretty successful, last night I was not!! Shocker I know but hey we all have bad days. I sat all day smelling the amazing chicken cooking in the crockpot with the buffalo sauce and just couldn’t wait to have some. I was planning ahead for a Super Bowl party and decided to make the buffalo chicken taquitos on my day working from home.

Friday was ridiculously productive! Got up early and went to Wegman’s before all the crazy people got there, I was in and out in 20 minutes. I even stopped off for gas before heading home. Then I made some breakfast and waited. What was I waiting for? The Howard county inspector to come and ok my newly installed heater/AC unit. Thankfully he was there by 10:05! He was literally there 5 minutes and then he was gone. Thankfully I have an awesome boss so I was able to work from home the whole day. So as I was being productive work wise I was also productive house wise. I did 4 loads of laundry and sat and smelled the yummy buffalo. I even managed a workout video after working all day.

So back to the taquitos…in the crockpot went 1lb chicken, half bottle of Frank’s buffalo sauce, ranch dressing packet and a small amount of chicken broth to coat the chicken. I love this so much because you can even use frozen chicken (which I did). After about 8 hours it was time to shred the chicken. Just as predicted it was delish! I knew it would be the perfect start to my taquitos.

So fast forward a few hours and I decided to make them for dinner and for the party. I of course had to eat the buffalo chicken that day, the whole house smelled like it!

So I got started…first up warm the tortillas, then fill with chicken and cheese. Sounds amazing right? How can you go wrong? I am not really sure, except maybe I over cooked or should have used flour instead of corn tortillas. I made 14 taquitos, which was almost the entire pot of chicken. In the oven they went for 25 minutes, after spraying with cooking spray.

They smelled tasty, they looked yummy, they tasted like crap. Ok maybe not crap since I have never eaten that, but they were NOT GOOD!

I tried one and thought it was a fluke, so I tried 3 more each time hoping for a better result and each time disappointed. I think for sure they cooked too long because the shells were too hard to bite into…the inside chicken mixture still tasted amazing though. I am a bit sad because I feel like I wasted a pound of chicken and I am disappointed because now I need to go back to the drawing board. I guess you can’t trust everything you find on the Internet 🙂

New recipe: Chicken Curry

So everyone once in a while I like to try new foods…ok actually I hate eating the same things all the time. I have a hard time deciding what to get in a restaurant because I would prefer to try something new, yet so often I am disappointed. I was on pinterest  and found a recipe for chicken curry that didn’t require coconut milk (mainly because I had none in the house and didn’t want to go grocery shopping). I took what was there and of course made it my own, another problem I have. I don’t like to follow recipes to the letter….which for cooking works, for baking not so much!

So here’s the masterpiece:

Photo Jan 22, 6 25 38 PM

I served it with some brown rice. To be honest it was just OK. I made it on Tuesday in the crock pot and enjoyed the smells all day long, but when it came time to eat I was slightly disappointed. I had it for lunch today and actually think it’s better a few days later. It may be better today because I drained some of the sauciness from it. Overall that was my major complaint it was a runny sauce instead of being think, which is what I usually think of when I think curry. I give the total experiment a 3 out of 5 stars.

Chicken Curry:
2 lbs of chicken thighs
1 small onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
Diced Tomatoes (whole can)
ground ginger (2TBS)
Curry paste (1TBS)
Black Pepper (1tsp)
Cumin (2tsp)
1/2 c water

Combine all ingredients in crock pot except for the chicken. Mix well, add chicken and toss to coat. Cook on low 8 hours.

Finally a new recipe

It’s been a while since I have tried something new and decided today at the grocery store that I wanted fish for dinner. I bought some tilapia thinking I would make fish tacos but wasn’t feeling it. So I searched for some delish choices and ended up with Parmesan crusted tilapia and paired it with fresh steamed broccoli. I love that it’s easy to steam the broccoli in the microwave, it makes for a much easier dinner.

Here’s a quick photo of dinner:

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1/2 pound tilapia
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese (i used Trader Joe’s fresh cheese)
1/2 T paprika
1/2 T dried parsley
1/2 T olive oil
pepper and garlic to taste

Instructions
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees convection. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2) Mix Parmesan, paprika, parsley, garlic and pepper in a shallow pan.
3) Brush tilapia with oil on both sides and then dredge in the Parmesan mixture patting the coating on. Place on the baking sheet.
4) Take remaining Parmesan mixture and pat on top of the already coated fish.
5)  Bake for about 12 minutes until flaky.