Recipe: Crispy Onion Chicken

This is a delicious, easy recipe. And kids love it too!

Crispy Onion Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken (your choice, I like breasts or thighs)
  • 2 cups French Fried Onions, crushed
  • 2 T. flour
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (You can use coconut oil or margarine if you are dairy free)

 

Directions:

  1. Place onions in a Ziploc bag and crush onions with a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine, whichever is handy)
  2. Pour crushed onions, flour, and pepper in a flat dish, mix thoroughly.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken in melted butter, and rolleach buttery piece in onion/flour mixture.
  4. Place each piece in a greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked throughout.

I like to serve these with mashed potatoes, and a green salad (I really like this one).

 

New Recipe: Loaded Roasted Cauliflower

I’ve seen this kind of recipe before and I had never made it because it’s really hard to pick decent fresh cauliflower, and honestly, frozen cauliflower is always kinda… soggy (?) when you defrost it and cook it.

We’ve been getting a lot of cauliflower in our  Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box over the past 5 weeks, so I figured it was time to give it a shot.

This recipe is easy. And tasty. It does not duplicate potato skins. I don’t care what any low carb/potato hating website tells you.

Loaded Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 T. Olive oil or your favorite cooking oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup bacon crumbles (use real bacon, not baco’s)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Sour Cream (optional, but tasty)
Served with a green salad, rotisserie chicken, and half an avocado. YUM.

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place cookie sheets lined with foil into oven to heat up with the oven.
  2. While oven/pan is heating, toss cauliflower in oil, salt & pepper.
  3. Once oven is heated to 450, remove pan, spread cauliflower out in a single, well spaced layer.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes, then turn veggies to roast evenly.
  5. Return to oven and bake for another 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven. Top with cheese and bacon. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until cheese is melty and bacon is hot.
  7. After removing from broiler, top with green onions and eat up ASAP.
  8. Serve with sour cream, or salsa. Or both.

This serves 2-4 people as a side dish, or be greedy and eat the whole recipe as a main dish. I won’t tell anyone. I make this at least once a week.

This recipe is gluten free. You can make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon.

4/5/2021 Weekly Meal Plan!

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The CSA emails us in advance to give us a heads up as to what may be in our boxes on Monday, so that’s helped me be able to meal prep and write up this post.

I usually spend time over the weekend getting the meal plan and prep started. Saturday I made banana bread (recipe here), and a big box of chicken brown rice. I portioned the cooked rice out so we can have it for lunch and dinner as a side dish a few times this week.

Sunday I made chicken stock using the rotisserie chicken carcass I had tossed in the freezer a few weeks ago, along with the veggie scraps I keep in a large bag in the freezer. It’s usually celery tops, carrots bits, onion skins, and the ends and pieces from various vegetables from my weekly veggie prep. I cooked the stock most of the day, strained off the solids, and used the stock to make a yummy chicken vegetable soup. I used this recipe, substituting the chicken stock for veggie stock.

I did a grocery trip on Saturday- Milk, eggs, cheese, and butter. We are pretty well stocked on most other stuff. I went to Costco last week and did the quarterly stock-up trip- Snacks for lunches, coffee, powdered peanut butter, trash bags, laundry soap, paper towels, and toilet tissue, and a few other things fell into my cart.

Veggies and fruit are delivered each Monday by Yasukochi Family Farms CSA. For $25, it’s a great deal. I don’t have to pick anything, go to the store, or carry it upstairs. I can’t go to the store and get the same amount we get weekly for $25. Seriously. It’s a deal.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: The little kiddo and I usually have something quick and filling, lately it’s been sandwiches on croissants, and strawberry yogurt.  Big kid takes his lunch to school.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Vegetable Soup, homemade apple sauce, sourdough toast/Banana Bread
  • Monday:  Poached Eggs with Hashbrowns, fruit salad, Protein shakes (Big kid doesn’t like eggs)
  • Tuesday:   Tamales, Salad, Rice
  • Wednesday:  Roasted Veggies, Baked Potatoes (with an array of toppings)
  • ThursdayCheesy Bacon Meatloaf, Roasted Broccoli, Noodles (or rice)
  • Friday:  Pizza/Takeout Night
  • Saturday: Leftover Fiesta

Please stay safe you guys! The sooner we flatten the curve, the sooner life can go back to normal- whatever that means.

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

3/29/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

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I usually post this First thing on Monday morning or late Sunday night, but I was waiting for our CSA box to arrive to firm up our meal plan for the week. To learn more about Yasukochi Family Farms and our first CSA box, click here. We partnered with Yasukochi Farms for a month and we enjoyed it so much that we’ve subscribed! For $25/week, we get a box of quality produce! It keeps us out of the store, I don’t have to pick the best of the overpicked offerings, and the box is all local and farm fresh!

The kids and I hit up the grocery store this morning and picked up some snacks and some pantry staples that we had gotten low on (brown sugar- I’ve been making a lot of cookies).

This week is our second week of spring break. It’s warm, so we’ve pulled out our kiddie pool, and we’re visiting the Platypus at the San Diego Safari Park on Wednesday. We’re spending a lot of time playing with the neighbor kids in our bubble. In fact, water balloons have been requested, so we may have a water balloon battle later in the week.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: The little kiddo and I usually have something quick and filling (I’ve been prepping bean and rice bowls on Sundays for us to have during week) so we can get back to our adventures.  Big kid takes his lunch to school.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Soup, Roasted Veg, garlic flatbread
  • Monday: Quiche, Fruit Salad, blueberry muffins (blueberries from our CSA Box)
  • Tuesday:  Veggie Burgers, Nuggets, Potato Faces (these things), Salad/fruit
  • Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, Fruit
  • Thursday : Pollo Asada Taco Salad with Beans and Rice
  • Friday:  Pizza/Takeout Night!
  • Saturday: Leftover Fiesta

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

3/23/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

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I posted on Instagram on Sunday that our meal plan was going to be late this week, and I was right. Our CSA Box arrived yesterday and there are all sorts of goodies in our Jumbo box. You can see a picture here.  I made cookies and soup for this week on Sunday.

This week we’ve got a family friend in town, so lunches will be a lot of snacks/picnic style food. Dinners are going to be quick/easy to prepare as we’ll be on the go most of the week.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: This week and next it’s spring break, so the kids and I will be out having socially distanced adventures. I’m filling the backpack with snacks and our reusable water bottles each morning. This will help keep us on budget and keep us out of the drive thru- although we will still stop at Starbucks a few times. I’ve been saving my stars for some freebies.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Soup, Sourdough toast/avocado toast
  • Monday: It was going to be dinner out, but we had a late lunch and had snacks for dinner
  • Tuesday:  Spinach Salad (recipe this week), Roast Veg, Garlic flat bread
  • Wednesday: Nuggets/veggie burgers, Salad, noodles
  • Thursday: Tamales, beans and rice, Roasted Veg
  • Friday:  Pizza Night/Takeout
  • Saturday: Leftovers (probably soup)

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

3/14/2021 Weekly Meal Plan

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Our third CSA Box is being delivered tomorrow, and I know that we’ll have all sorts of tasty fruits and veggies to add to our meals this week. To learn more about Yasukochi Family Farms and our first box, click here. A lot of our meals this week are going to be veggie-heavy. We eat a lot of produce anyway, but now we’re eating more local produce! I’m going to try and get a batch of cookies made later in the week, or possibly over next weekend.

I visited the grocery store on Saturday morning when I went to get the last few ingredients for the big kids birthday cake. There are pictures of it on Instagram. We are pretty stocked up for the week, and possibly into next week, depending on how much milk and butter we demolish.

For those of you that are new to meal planning, I’ve got an easy 101 style post here with super easy tips and steps. After you get that down, here is info about batch or freezer cooking.

I’ve gotten a pretty good inventory of the pantry, freezer, and fridge done (I try to update it after every shopping trip), so I’m able to plan meals and use up what we’ve got with little waste. If you are looking for a kitchen inventory printable, I like the kitchen inventories here. They are great printables.

I only post our dinner plans for the week, because our other meals are usually the same each day.

Breakfast: Coffee with 1/2 and 1/2  for me, and pancakes or something along those lines for the kids.  The kids are nuts about pancakes. The Big Kid has been on a protein shake kick in the AM.

Lunch: The little kiddo and I usually have something quick and filling (I’ve been prepping bean and rice bowls on Sundays for us to have during week) so we can get back to our adventures.  Big kid takes his lunch to school.

Dinner: Usually, I do a crockpot meal on Mondays, but now that we are home all the time, we’ve been having an odd combination of fully home-cooked, scratch meals, and frozen entrees and veggies. I have been posting our meal plans on Instagram too- As well as pics of stuff we are doing to keep busy.

  • Sunday: Chicken Chili, Salad, Roasted Veg
  • Monday: Salad, Nuggets, chips
  • Tuesday:  Ravioli/pasta (I’m not sure which yet) with sauce, Garlic Flatbread, Salad/Fruit
  • Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, yogurt, fruit
  • Thursday: Chicken Tetrazzini, roasted broccoli, rolls
  • Friday:  Pizza Night!
  • Saturday: Leftover Fiesta

Talk Back: What are you cooking for dinner this week?

New Recipe: Banana Bread in a Cake Pan!

These bananas are perfect for making banana bread!

I’ll admit: I don’t have a loaf pan. I did, but it died. It was metal, and after 10+ weeks of weekly use… ::Sad Trombone:: I know I should buy a glass one (I have my eye on this one), but until then, I’m making do with what I’ve got.

And what I’ve got is a glass cake pan. Specifically a 9×9 glass cake pan, like this one. I looked online for some ideas about baking times and temps and reworked my usual recipe. The best part of this recipe is that the bread is moist, fluffy/airy with a good crumb.  It is not dense or heavy at all.

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray 9×9 glass baking dish with spray release.
  2. In a small dish, mash up bananas, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter/coconut oil for about 30 seconds-1 minute until light and fluffy.
  4. Add sugar, beat until combined and fluffy.
  5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  6. Add bananas and vanilla, and blend until the wet ingredients are all incorporated.
  7. Add baking soda and Kodiak Mix. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour into the prepared 9×9 glass baking dish.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Test with toothpick in the center of the bread for doneness.

This recipe makes 1 9×9 cake pan, which is approximately 9-12 servings, depending on how big you like the pieces.

My kids like this bread toasted with either butter or cream cheese. It never lasts long.

Small Changes to Make your Box Cake Mix Taste Scratch-Made!

When cake mixes were first invented most of them only required the addition of water and one or two eggs. Some early cake mixes only required the addition of water, as the cake mixes contained shortening and powdered eggs.

Nowadays most of us use cake mixes, but we long for the taste of scratch-baked cakes and pastries.

Here are a few tips to make your boxed cake mix taste a little bit more like the scratch-baked treats you remember your grandmother or mother making in your youth.

  1. If a cake mix calls for water, use milk.
  2. When the cake mix calls for vegetable oil, use softened butter. Or coconut oil (room temp).
  3. If you are using a spice cake mix, omit eggs, oil and, water and substitute a (14.5 Oz) can of pumpkin to make a tasty pumpkin spice cake.
  4. If you are watching your cholesterol, you can omit oil and eggs in a cake mix for applesauce. 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg, and an equal amount of applesauce instead of the oil. The cake will come out delicious and moist.
  5. Adding ingredients such as chocolate chips, dried fruits (I like dried blueberries, dried cranberries, and dried cherries), or chopped nuts can also make your box cake a little fancier.
  6. I love making a yellow cake mix into a coffee cake by making a streusel topping: 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup room temperature butter, 1 tsp. cinnamon or pie spice to taste. After the cake batter is poured into the greased cake pan, sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the cake and bake per box directions. It makes a great coffee cake for brunch!

If you are looking for more ways to fancy up a plain boxed cake mix, check out the Cake Doctor books on Amazon!

Penzey’s: $50 Gift Cards $35 Groundhog Day Repeat

Penzeys Gift Card

Penzey’s is hooking us all up today! $50 gift cards for just $35.

If you don’t live near a Penzey’s Store (Where contactless pick up is available), you can score free regular shipping with $30+ purchase.
In addition, $1 Oregano and Cinnamon Sugar are available too! 10 free mini BLM heart stickers with any purchase.   Visit penzeys.com now and have your order be one of the first out the door.

Spice Deals at Penzeys!

I love to cook, and one thing that really elevates recipes and home cooking is quality spices. That’s why I love Penzeys. They sell quality spices and herbs, and the prices are really reasonable. Oh, and they always have really good deals!

No coupons or codes are needed for the good Lemon Pepper and Ginger prices. Those are automatic for everyone. Online at penzeys.com, once you’ve reached $5 in spending, simply enter Cuddle into the apply code box at checkout. No need to place the box in your basket, the code will do that for you and for free. It’s easy.

And the Fine Print:

*Penzeys Cocoa Cuddle Gift Box Offer Details
Limit ONE free Penzeys Cocoa Cuddle Gift Box per household during run of promotion. Minimum $5 purchase required. Not applicable to prior sales, not valid with other offers. While supplies last. Coupon must be presented at time of purchase. Online, visit www.penzeys.com, and enter “CUDDLE” into the “apply code” field at checkout. Standard shipping rates apply. Offer ends midnight Sunday, February 16, 2020.

*Penzeys Lemon Pepper Offer Details
Not applicable to prior sales, not valid with other offers. Not for resale. While supplies last. Standard shipping rates apply. Offer ends midnight Sunday, February 16, 2020.

*Penzeys Ginger Powdered Offer Details
Not applicable to prior sales, not valid with other offers. Not for resale. While supplies last. Standard shipping rates apply. Offer ends midnight Sunday, February 16, 2020.