Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Pickle Baked Chicken Tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce

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Thanks to Hellmann’s 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles and the “Real Taste, Less Waste” challenge I get to share with you a kitchen hack that I have used for years! I call it a “Crumb Catcher” and I used it to create this kid approved, super easy and delicious dish - Pickle Baked Chicken Tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce!
 
Here’s the deal. A Crumb Catcher is an airtight container I keep in my pantry that I fill with whatever I have at the bottom of the bag of allllll the chips, snacks and crunchy things I’m already buying. Once it’s full I dump it in a food processor and make crumbs out of the mix. Then it can be used to bread chicken, pork chops or fish, top casseroles, or in place of breadcrumbs for meatloaf or meatballs!! The options are endless when it comes to what can be used in this. Literally anything crunchy and salty would work! Here are some ideas of what usually ends up in mine: pretzels, taco shells, Goldfish, tortilla chips, potato chips, croutons, cheese crackers, rice krispies, bagel chips, corn flakes.


I know most of you have had this happen just like me. I buy a pack of taco shells but two are broken. I buy goldfish crackers and there’s only a handful left in the bag and the kids won’t eat them. You make nachos but ¼ of the bag is crumbs at the bottom. Or, every mother’s favorite, you buy a Costco size box of pretzels only for your kids to decide ¾ of the way through that they suddenly don’t like pretzels anymore. You’re already buying these snacks, so why throw ¼ of what you paid for away just because it’s broken or not enough to make a full snack or meal with?! Less food waste = budget friendly!


While we’re at it, I’m going to use the juice left in my empty pickle jar for the world’s easiest brine for chicken instead of just throwing that away! These chicken tenders are perfectly seasoned thanks to the pickle juice and stay ultra-juicy because of the Hellmann’s mayonnaise that’s holding onto all the crispy crunchy coating on the outside. Dipped in the Creamy Chili Honey Sauce and it’s a winner!

Pickle Baked Chicken Tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce
2 pounds chicken (either tenders or boneless skinless breasts sliced into strips- get what’s on sale!)
2 cups pickle juice
½ cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise
2 cups Crumb Catcher mix crumbs (see notes below for suggestions)
½ cup Hellmann’s Creamy Chili Honey Sauce

Place the chicken tenders or sliced chicken breast strips in a large bowl and cover with pickle juice. Allow the mixture to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain the pickle juice off and evenly coat the chicken with the mayonnaise.
Pour the contents of the Crumb Catcher into a small food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Measure out 2 cups of this mix. If what you have isn’t enough to make 2 cups add enough plain breadcrumbs or plain panko to reach that amount.
Dredge the chicken in the crumb mixture and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Spray the tops of the chicken as well and bake for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken over and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve the chicken tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce for dipping.

#RealTasteLessWaste #ContestEntry #Hellmanns

Monday, March 9, 2020

Little's Lunches

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 Is anyone else dragging from the ridiculous time change like I am? We had a busy weekend and I ended up waiting to make lunches until this morning and it totally reinforced why I always make lunch boxes the night before! I am not a morning person anyway so I'm moving slower at 6am than I am in the evenings. I did not love the idea of messing up the whole kitchen and having to pull so much stuff out of the fridge in the morning. After dinner, when all the food is already out that's when I pack up what I can of the leftovers and fill in the rest with fresh fruits and veggies. What's your best time saving tip for packing lunch boxes?
 Monday:  celery and cucumber sticks, orange slices, cheddar cheese cubes and pepperoni, garlic bagel chips, ranch, roasted corn salad
 Tuesday: pepperoni, pretzel sticks, cucumber slices, orange slices, ranch, fresh mozzarella
 Wednesday: celery and carrot slices, garlic bagel chips, sliced strawberries, radish and cucumber slices, ranch, oranges
 Thursday: pretzel sticks, ham cubes, green beans, celery sticks, ranch, sliced strawberries
Friday: my daughter has 2 wiggly teeth so she requested all soft foods! applesauce, avocado cubes, cooked sliced carrots, hard boiled egg

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Mardi Gras Menu

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Do you ever find yourself sitting at home scrolling through pictures of a vacation that just passed and really wishing you could go back and do it all over again? That's what I've been doing this week missing Mardi Gras and all the food from home. So on this dreary day I' dreaming of crawfish, parades, muffulettas, daiquris and gumbo.

Today I'm posting my favorite Mardi Gras themed dishes just in case you can't make it to NOLA but still want to celebrate with a great meal!

Muffuletta Egg Rolls - a crispy crunchy shell stuffed with cheese, olives, salami, ham and olives



Chicken Andouille and Tasso Gumbo - This dish was the first recipe I ever entered into a contest and competed in and is at the top of the list of my family's favorites! If you can't find tasso feel free to use your favorite smoked sausage and I frequently sub turkey for chicken for an equally delicious version!


Cajun Fish Taco Tostadas with Mardi Gras Slaw and Remoulade Sauce   - Fish taco flavors and texture as an easy to assemble tostada- what's not to love?!




Bayou Blackened Praline Burgers with Creamy Remoulade Sauce - this one is insane y'all! Pralines, Blackening seasoning and a spicy creamy Remoulade sauce all piled on a burger? Yum!


Stuffed Artichoke Muffuletta Burgers with Fried Green Tomato Fries - I love literally everything about this dish. I adore stuffed artichokes, Muffulettas, fried green tomatoes and remoulade sauce.  Bonus points for being vegetarian too! 




Mini-letta Swirls - These easy Puff Pastry Swirls are the perfect appetizer! Provolone, prosciutto and salami all topped off with that olive salad that I love so much! 


Friday, February 28, 2020

Spring Minestrone Udon Noodle Soup

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What are you having for lunch today? How about trying my Spring Minestrone Udon Noodle Soup. This is my final entry in the JSL Foods Fortune Udon Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge and I think it might be my favorite! It's warm and comforting but still light and loaded with veggies - this is the perfect dish to usher us into Spring! I think I get bonus points for it only takes 20 minutes to make too, don't you think?

Spring Minestrone Udon Noodle Soup
2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 (7.34oz) packages Fortune Udon Noodles Chicken Flavor 
1/3 cup diced zucchini
1/3 cup sliced asparagus
1/3 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed

In a medium soup pot over medium-low heat warm the oil. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions have softened but not browned.

Add the broth and water to the pot, raise the temperature to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.

Stir in the soup base seasoning packets, zucchini, asparagus, peas and carrots and simmer for 3 minutes.

Once the vegetables are tender, add the noodles and cook for 3 more minutes.

Divide the mixture between 2 bowls and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

I am taking part in JSL Foods 2nd Fortune Udon Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. They are celebrating their new packaging designs and their new simplified ingredient list that is only 4 ingredients!! You can sign up here to be part of the Noodle Club and receive a free coupon code to use and you can purchase Fortune Udon noodle products at United Supermarkets and HEB Supermarkets
You can find JSL Foods and all of their fabulous products HERE, on FacebookTwitter and 

#fortunenudonoodles #cheftyaki #udonsoups

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Shoyu Udon Egg Drop Soup

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We just got back home from Mardi Gras and it was a jam packed long weekend full of family, parades, friends, beads, king cake, drive through daiquiris, a formal ball, po-boys and fun! As great as our quick trip was, once I got home to the freezing temperatures and endless laundry here all I wanted was something quick, warm and comforting and this totally fits the bill! Using minimal ingredients and time, this soup is so cozy and filling. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Shoyu Udon Egg Drop Soup
2 2/3 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons sliced green onion

In a large sauce pot bring the water up to a boil over medium high heat. 

While the water is heating, whisk together the cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of cold water. 

Once the water comes to a boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture and soup base packets. Lower the heat to medium and allow the soup to simmer for 3 minutes. Add the udon noodles and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Once the noodles are tender, use a spaghetti spoon or large slotted spoon and scoop the udon noodles into 2 serving bowls.

Once the udon is removed, stir the broth gently in a circular motion and slowly pour the beaten egg into the hot broth. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the egg mixture has fully cooked.

Divide the egg drop broth mixture between the 2 bowls, sprinkle with green onion and serve immediately.  

Makes 2 servings.

I am taking part in JSL Foods 2nd Fortune Udon Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. They are celebrating their new packaging designs and their new simplified ingredient list that is only 4 ingredients!! You can sign up here to be part of the Noodle Club and receive a free coupon code to use and you can purchase Fortune Udon noodle products at United Supermarkets and HEB Supermarkets
You can find JSL Foods and all of their fabulous products HERE, on FacebookTwitter and 

#fortunenudonoodles #cheftyaki #udonsoups


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Cream of Mushroom Udon Soup with Garlic Bread Breadcrumbs

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If you need something to warm up with this week let it be this! Creamy rich mushroom soup with chewy udon noodles and crunchy garlicky crouton crumbs are starring in the most cozy bowl of the season! If you're looking for more meat free meals add this to your list.

Cream of Mushroom Udon Soup with Garlic Bread Breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon butter
16 ounces sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
2 1/3 cup water
2 Fortune Udon Noodles Mushroom Flavor packets
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1/3 cup garlic and herb flavored croutons, coarsely crushed

Heat oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the mushrooms and allow them to brown and cook off most of their liquid (about 10 minutes). Add the thyme and garlic and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.

Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. Whisk in the water and seasoning packets and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

While the soup base is cooking, place the udon noodles in a large glass bowl with 2 2/3 cups of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes. Drain the udon in a strainer and set aside.

Once the broth mixture has thickened, stir in the cream and using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Add the cooked udon noodles and divide between four bowls. Top with chives and crouton crumbs. Serve immediately.
I am taking part in JSL Foods 2nd Fortune Udon Noodle Blogger Recipe Challenge. They are celebrating their new packaging designs and their new simplified ingredient list that is only 4 ingredients!! You can sign up here to be part of the Noodle Club and receive a free coupon code to use and you can purchase Fortune Udon noodle products at United Supermarkets and HEB Supermarkets
You can find JSL Foods and all of their fabulous products HERE, on FacebookTwitter and 
#fortunenudonoodles #cheftyaki #udonsoups

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone has enjoyed their extra day off yesterday! This weeks lunches started off with all soft foods to help my daughter get used to her braces. Thankfully she's doing much better now and *almost* used to them!
 Monday: avocado slices, hard boiled egg with garlic salt, carrot slices, spreadable garlic and herb cheese, green beans
 Tuesday: carrot slices, hard boiled egg with garlic salt, spreadable garlic and herb cheese, Fig bars, green beans
 Wednesday: black olives, baby tomatoes, mini naan bread, hard boiled egg with garlic salt, mango chunks, kiwi
 Thursday: mini naan bread, hard boiled egg with garlic salt, spreadable garlic and herb cheese, avocado yogurt dip, baby tomatoes and bell pepper, mango chunks
Friday: baby naan bread, cheese stick, spreadable garlic and herb cheese, edamame, blueberries, apple cinnamon yogurt crackers

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Green Beans with Hot Bacon Dressing

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  This is my spin on the calssic warm spinach salad with bacon dressing. Blanched green beans take the place of spinach in this insanely delish gluten free side dish and I can't get enough! It might be even better than the original since the green beans don't wilt and get soggy after being tossed in the warm vinaigrette.

I think we should be putting warm bacon vinaigrette on everything! Is there any veggie that wouldn't benefit from a bath in it? I don't think so. Why should the goodness stop with spinach? 

Green Beans with Hot Bacon Dressing
1 Tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1-pound green beans
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs

Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add 1 Tablespoon of the salt and the green beans and allow to cook for 8 minutes. Drain the beans and rinse under very cold water until completely cooled. Set aside and allow to drain.

Place the bacon in a large high sided skillet and cook over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan.

Add the shallots to the warm bacon grease and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar, mustard, remaining salt and pepper.

Add the green beans to the dressing and toss to coat. Top with the crumbled bacon and hard-boiled eggs and serve immediately.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Little's Lunches

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 Happy Monday! We survived the first week of braces and I am still in awe of how quickly kids can adjust and adapt! The first few days were super uncomfortable, but now she's feeling just fine! So here was my attempt at 4 days worth of soft/easy to chew meals and it went surprisingly well. At home she had lots of yogurt, cheesy mashed potatoes, broccoli cheese soup, refried beans, scrambled eggs and
 Monday: ham salad, mini pita bread, Ranch, cucumber slices, blood oranges, strawberries
 Tuesday: orzo pasta salad, string cheese slices, strawberry yogurt, applesauce
 Wednesday: applesauce, avocado, cooked sliced carrots, hard boiled egg
 Thursday: avocado, hard boiled egg, cooked sliced carrots, spreadable garlic and herb cheese wedge, canned green beans
Friday: cooked carrot slices, hard boiled egg, spreadable garlic and herb cheese wedge, fig bars, canned green beans

I use Yumbox (here) lunchboxes and I love them! They make it SO easy to put lunches together, keep everything separated and are leak proof!! Also, the little Animal Food Picks (here) keep things cute and so colorful!! These Sistema dip containers are the perfect size to include wet or runny items to dip into. I frequently use these Silicone muffin cups to separate items that aren't exactly messy but I still want to keep from touching everything else in the box. The height of the dip containers and muffin cups are perfect in the Yumbox Panino and the Yumbox Original


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Pickle Baked Chicken Tenders with Creamy Chili Honey Sauce

Thanks to Hellmann’s 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles and the “Real Taste, Less Waste” challenge I get to share with you a kitchen hack that...