The Best Fried Chicken

Why do I call this the best fried chicken, you ask?

First of all, it’s much healthier because it’s actually OVEN-fried chicken.

And second, because my husband said so!!

 

Soak the chicken in the buttermilk and egg mixture.

 

 

Pour melted butter evenly on the sheet pan.

My hubby would have appreciated it much more if I would have put some aluminum foil down first.  Seeing as he does the dishes so I don’t have to, I will happily comply next time!

 

 

Toss the chicken in the flour dredge and place skin-side down.

 

 

You can see why my hubby requested the foil now.

But, it’s a small price to pay for this beautiful, golden brown and juicy oven-fried chicken.  Once you sink your teeth into this chicken, you will so not miss the fact that it’s not deep-fried.  Your waistline will thank you too!

You can see I used all dark meat here, but that’s because it’s what was on sale at my grocery store.  You can definitely use fryer chicken pieces.  Just keep in mind that the cooking time will vary between the breast and wing.

 

Best Oven Fried Chicken

1 whole fryer chicken, cut up

½ cup butter, melted

Buttermilk mixture

3 cups milk

3 Tbsp vinegar

2 eggs, beaten

2 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp dry mustard

Flour dredge

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp Hungarian paprika

2 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the egg wash and set aside.  Place chicken pieces in the buttermilk mixture and allow it to soak at least one hour, longer if possible.  As you can see, I did not use actual buttermilk.  I made my own using regular milk and vinegar.

Melt the butter and pour evenly onto a half sheet pan (13x18x1 inch).

Combine all the ingredients for the flour dredge in a large plastic zip top bag.  Remove each piece of chicken from the bowl and shake them (2-3 pieces at a time) in the flour dredge until well coated.  Place the chicken directly on the sheet pan, skin side down.

Bake at 425 degrees F for one hour or until internal temperature is about 180 degrees F.

Halfway through the cooking time, turn each piece of chicken over and continue cooking.

A Valentine’s Day Breakfast

Guest Chef:  My hubby.

This is what my sweetheart made for me this morning, on Valentine’s Day

These waffles look very romantic to me.  I think it’s the color of the berries on top, the powdered sugar, and of course the the fact that my hubby made them for me!  I know it sounds as if I’m painting a very romantic picture of a Valentine’s breakfast with the just the two of us at the table with candlelight and music…………………so NOT true!

The kids are at the table in their pajamas and we happen to have company visiting too (sister and brother-in-law, Anne and Aaron).  It was a busy morning in the kitchen with kids running around, the waffle iron with drips of batter all over the counter and trying to get it all on the table while it’s still morning!

Nevertheless, I took a moment to enjoy the fact that my hubby made these waffles for me, on Valentine’s Day.

I hope you are able to spend today with a loved one!  And if not, make these waffles.  I know it’ll make you feel warm and lovely on the inside.

 

Waffles

From Better Homes and Gardens

1-3/4  cups  all-purpose flour

2  tablespoons  sugar

1  tablespoon  baking powder

1/4  teaspoon  salt

2    eggs

1-3/4  cups  milk

1/2  cup  cooking oil or butter, melted

1  teaspoon  vanilla

1. In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In another medium bowl beat eggs slightly; stir in milk, oil, and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy).

3. Pour 1 to 1 1/4 cups batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker (use a regular or Belgian waffle baker). Close lid quickly; do not open until done. Bake according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, use a fork to lift waffle off grid. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.

4. Makes 12 to 16 (4-inch) waffles

5. Buttermilk Waffles:Prepare as above, except reduce baking powder to 1 teaspoon and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Substitute 2 cups buttermilk or sour milk for the milk.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I mention in my About page that I am a staff advisor for a college student club.  Well, I was asked by my students to make some items for a bake sale to raise money for a homeless ministry that some students started.  The first thing I thought to make was these oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Why?

Because we all know how unhealthily college students eat, right?  I figured, if I could get some oats and fiber into these students, this would be the way to do it!

Sorry, it’s the mom in me.  I can’t help it!  I did add chocolate chips in there to make it go down easier.

I heard they were a hit, so I guess it worked.  Mission accomplished!

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mixer until well blended. In a medium bowl add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon then mix with a whisk to combine. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stirring until just combined.

Fold in rolled oats and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 3 dozen cookies with a #30 scoop.

Caramel Apples for Your Valentine

Since it’s traditional for kids to give teachers apples, there’s no better way to do it than with a caramel and chocolate covered apple for Valentine’s Day.

What better way to tell a teacher you appreciate them than to let them indulge in some sugary sweetness.  After a long day of wrangling other people’s kids, they deserve it!

 

 

Melt the caramel according to package directions.  Make sure to keep the heat medium to low.

 

 

Roll that apple and coat it well.

 

 

Here’s a great way to have your apple-a-day!

I used the same recipe as my Halloween caramel apples, except with a different color of candy melts.

Shepherd’s Pie

So here I was, stuck with 10 pounds of potatoes because I was silly and bought 10 pounds of potatoes while they were on sale.  (I’m a sucker for a bargain!)

I didn’t have a recipe in mind when I bought these potatoes, so I searched the web to see what would look interesting.  I finally decided on this shepherd’s pie.  It was quite easy to make and the whole family loved it!  It is the ultimate in comfort food.  Ground beef and mashed potatoes, what’s not to love right?

If you are ever stuck with lots of potatoes, here’s a great recipe for ya!

 

Shepherd’s Pie

Adapted from Alton Brown

For the potatoes:

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes

1/4 cup milk

2 ounces unsalted butter

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 egg yolk

For the meat filling:

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 carrots, peeled and diced small

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas to the beef mixture and spread evenly into an 9×13-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

Chocolate Dipped Fortune Cookies

I think a great way to jazz up anything is to dip it in chocolate!

If you are not the baking type, this would be a great solution to an easy Valentine’s gift.  This would be great for teachers, co-workers, or your sweetie (of course)!

I just unwrapped a bunch of fortune cookies, dipped them in some melted semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled then with Valentine’s sprinkles.  Place them on parchment paper to dry and they’ll be ready in about 30 minutes.

You can get pretty creative with this idea.  You can use colored candy melts or use different colors or shapes of sprinkles.  The possibilities are endless.  This is also a fun one for kids to help you with.

Try them out this Valentine’s Day and I’m sure everyone will fall in love…………………………….with these cookies!

German Chocolate Cake

 

This German chocolate deliciousness was my husband’s request for his birthday cake this year.  After all, he is German!

Come to find out, this cake did not originate in Germany.  It is actually named after a man who developed a type of baking chocolate and they named it after the Englishman, Sam German.

The filling is a coconut-pecan caramel and really gives the cake it’s distinct flavor.  The pecans add a great crunchy texture and the coconut’s flavor is lovely.

I will warn you, this is quite a decadently sweet cake, but it was for a special occasion and a very special MAN!

I took the recipe from two different places.  The cake and frosting are from Hershey’s Kitchen and the filling is from allrecipes.com.

 

German Chocolate Cake

Cake

2 cups sugar

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

 

Filling

1 cup white sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup butter

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Chocolate frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10 in. square baking pan.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake about 25-30 minutes or until done.  Set aside to cool, then cut cake horizontally into two even layers.

To make the filling: In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.

To make the frosting:  Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Spread filling between layers of cake and then frost the top.