Friday, April 30, 2010

Cornflake Chicken

The Parmesan chicken I made last week was such a hit that I was going to make it again, but when I got home I found that we had no bread crumbs.  Because I wasn't about to get back out and buy some at the store I thought I was going to have to improvise on dinner.  So I looked in the pantry and saw that we had cornflakes.  I have always heard that using cornflakes for chicken is pretty good, but I was never brave enough to try it (putting cereal on my chicken weirded me out a little).  But I thought, well why not?  So I found a new recipe and gave it a shot.  It was amazing!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups crushed cornflakes
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Lawry's
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a cooling rack and place it on a cookie sheet. Rinse and trim fat from chicken.  Pat dry with a towel.  Place cornflakes in a gallon size bag and use a rolling pin to crush them into crumbs. In a medium size bowl, mix cornflake crumbs, garlic powder, Lawry's, and salt and pepper.  Generously coat chicken with sour cream.  One piece at a time, place the chicken into cornflake bowl and coat well.  Place on rack.  Repeat with other chicken breasts.  Bake for 45 minutes and broil for 3-4 minutes.

The sour cream is amazing (but when is sour cream not amazing?).  It not only holds the cornflakes in place, but it keeps the chicken moist.  I'm really starting to like these coated chicken recipes.  If anyone else has any good ones and wants to share, send them my way!

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  It's supposed to rain here all weekend.  BOOOO.  But I have my eye on a pie that might be making an appearance next week!

this recipe is adapted from here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pomegranate Martini

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about pomegranate martinis, or pomtinis as I call them, and how they are healthier and yummier than other drinks.  Last night, I decided I needed to test this theory and today I am here to report that they are so good AND lower in calorie than other fruity drinks!

pomegranate syrup (grenadine)
orange slice

Place martini glasses in the freezer or place crushed ice in the glass to chill (see picture below).  Fill the shaker about 1/2 way with ice.  Pour 1 1/2 oz. vodka, 2 oz pomegranate syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon vermouth into the shaker.  Secure the shaker lid and shake until well-blended.  Run an orange slice around the rim of the martini glass and coat the rim with sugar.  Pour liquid into the glass and garnish with a thin orange slice or a pomegranate.  To be honest, if these measurements aren't enough for you, it won't hurt to add a little bit more of everything!

Happy almost summer!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

This is a great weeknight meal that doesn't take more than 45 minutes!  To make it crispier, I placed a wire rack on a cookie sheet and baked the chicken on top of that.  The spaghetti is optional, but I would recommend some sort of sauce for it, either red or white.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Lowry's
2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash (or something similar)
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a wire rack and place on a cookie sheet (see above comment).  In a bowl, mix the olive oil and minced garlic.  In a larger bowl, mix bread crumbs, Lowry's, Mrs. Dash, pepper, 2 types of Parmesan and basil.  Dip each chicken breast in the olive oil first, then in the bread crumb mixture.  Make sure you coat the chicken breasts evenly with the crumbs.  Place on the wire rack and bake for 30 minutes.  Keep the oven rack in the middle of the oven and broil the chicken for 4 minutes (make sure that it does not burn).

*this recipe is adapted from here.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm Dating a Food Celebrity, Kind of

I know y'all are probably sick of hearing about how awesome the hotwing team is, but I've got to share just one more thing.  And since this is my blog, I can brag just a little bit more.  A new food blog in Memphis wrote a post about You are the Ranch Beneath my Wings, saying some very kind words about the hotwings!  Check out the post here.  If you live in the Memphis area, this would be a cool blog to follow. 

Search & Destroy Dining Guide also writes about various restaurants, cooking contests, and bars in Memphis.  They rate the food/service/drinks on a 1-5 "skull" system, instead of stars.  Ben's team was lucky enough to receive 5 skulls!  I just realized how silly I sound saying that, but I am so proud of them!

This is the picture that was in the Commercial Appeal on Tuesday. 

Ok, I'm done bragging.  This is the last time you'll hear me say "hotwing"...until the next contest!  HA!

P.S. I ordered five copies of the Commercial Appeal...yeah, I'm that person.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

If you need a quick and easy dessert recipe this one is perfect!  One tip: keep the bars in a cool place until time to serve, otherwise you will have a chocolate mess on your hands!

2 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup creamy OR chunky peanut butter
10 oz. mini marshmallows
1 cup roasted peanuts

Line a 9x13 dish with foil leaving enough foil over the sides.  Lightly grease the foil.  Melt 2 cups of the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes.  Stir and microwave in 30 second intervals.  Pour in marshmallows and peanuts and stir until well-coated.  Slowly pour the mixture into the dish and smooth it out.  Melt remaining 3/4 cup of chocolate chips, pour over dish and smooth out.  Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  Lift foil from the dish and cut into squares.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We are the Champions! Hot wing contest!

Remember when I wrote about the Southern Hot Wing Contest that Ben and our friends were in this past weekend?  Well, they WON FIRST PLACE!  I'm still in shock.  Not because I didn't think the wings were amazing, but who would have thought that people who have never competed in a hot wing contest would steal the show?  Go Memphis-Commercial Appeal ran an article about the contest and included a picture of the team! Here are a couple of pictures from this weekend to show you just how much fun we had!

Bette would be proud.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Salmon with Cheesy Potatoes and Zucchini

The weather has been amazing around here lately which means it's time to break out the grill!  Ben usually does the grilling, but I do the prepping (which counts for something, right?).  Plus I think even if I wanted to grill Ben would have a hard time letting me take over :)

Last week we had a red wine and soy sauce glazed salmon with cheesy potatoes and grilled zucchini.  It was the perfect meal!  It was totally a "hey, it's nice outside, we should grill" kind of meal, which meant we were running around in Kroger like chickens with our heads cut off.  But what's new?

Ingredients (link to recipe)
4 salmon fillets
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons pineapple juice
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons pepper

In a large ziplock bag combine brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, and pepper.  Place salmon fillets in the bag and coat well with marinade.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Drain marinade into a small bowl.  Place on grill skin side down.  With a brush, coat the salmon with the marinade occasionally while grilling.  For thick salmon, you will need to grill it for about 15 minutes, other wise about 12 minutes.

We got the cheesy mashed potato recipe from this website called  If you love cheese this website is for you!

6 medium potatoes
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Wash and peel potatoes.  Cut into large chunks and add to a large sauce pan full of water.  Bring water to boil.  Cook over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender.  Drain water and return potatoes back to the sauce pan.  Add evaporated milk.  With an electric mixer, mash the potatoes.  Add butter, cheese, salt and pepper.  Garnish with shredded cheese, green onions, and bacon bits.

6 zucchinis
olive oil
kosher salt

Wash and cut the zucchinis.  Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt and pepper.  Grill for 4-5 minutes on each side. (So easy!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Southern Hot Wing Contest

This weekend Ben is on a team for the 8th Annual Southern Hot Wing Contest in Memphis.

This is the first real cooking contest I've ever been to other than our chili cook-offs in college (1st place and best presentation thank you very much)!  Ben is on a team with 5 other friends - Alex, Dan, Rob, Jon Mark, and Samad.  Their team name is hilarious - "You Are the Ranch Beneath My Wings".  And there are even t-shirts with Bette Midler on them so you know it's legit. 

It's going to be so much fun, especially if the rain holds off, so if you're in the Memphis area and love wings come out to the wing fest and look for our tent! 

Monday, April 12, 2010


Well the big surprise dessert I made over the weekend was baklava!  I have been wanting to make it for a while, but just never found the time, so this weekend I was determined to set aside enough time to try it.  Below is the step by step process.  Leave a comment or email me if you have questions about it!

1 16oz. package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts)
1 1/3 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or more)
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 honey (or more)

Thaw phyllo dough as directed on package. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter the bottoms and side of a 9x13 glass dish using a pastry brush.  Chop nuts and combine in a bowl with cinnamon.  Gently unroll the phyllo dough and place the first sheet in the bottom of the dish.  Have a damp towel on hand to cover the unused phyllo as you work so it doesn't dry out.

Place 7 layers of phyllo on the bottom, brushing butter between each one.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut/cinnamon mixture over the layers.  Pour a little butter over it.

Place 2 layers of phyllo dough with butter.  Repeat 2 more times with the remaining mixture, except layer 7 phyllo sheets on the very top.

Cut vertically into 5 sections.

Cut horizontally into 3 sections.

Cut each square in half diagonally.  Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, boil water and sugar.  Add honey and vanilla.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove baklava from the oven and pour honey mixture evenly over the pieces.  Let cool before removing from the dish. 

 Place in cupcake liners to serve.

I still can't believe I made baklava.  I always imagined it to be near impossible, but after making it this weekend I'm already wanting to make my next batch!

*It is very important to put enough butter between each layer and on top of the nuts before adding another sheet of phyllo dough.  This video was really helpful, too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In the Mean Time

I know y'all are wondering what is up with no new recipes/goodies.  Believe me, they are coming.  My next project is not going to be easy so it will have to be attempted on the weekend (I'm thinking this Saturday sounds good).  I hope it turns out, because if it does it's going to be so good!

I hope everyone had a good Easter.  I am in love with these
The commercials crack me up.  I think it's hilarious that Cadbury used the same commercial for like 15 years.  Seriously, I remember seeing it while watching Saturday morning cartoons in the early 90s.

OR the Cadbury bunny tryout commercial.  Love it!

However, the normal Cadbury eggs always freaked me out a little.  Who wants to eat candy that looks like a raw egg?  It's just not appetizing.  But, if you didn't get your fill of Easter candy this weekend, now is the perfect time to buy it, because everything is at least 50% off!  (don't ask how I know this)

AND check back Monday and I promise you will see a new dessert (unless I fail this weekend, which is possible).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cheddar and Goat Cheese Quiche

Every Spring I rediscover my love of quiche and this Spring is no different.  Last Saturday, I made a cheddar and goat cheese quiche.  Strange combination?  I think not.  Because with quiche the cheddar is blended in so you can hardly tell it's there, while the goat cheese adds a little something to every other bite!

1 10" pie crust (yes, it's store bought)
1 cup cheddar, shredded
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
6 eggs
6 strips of bacon, cooked
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt to taste

Thaw the pie crust.  Cook bacon and cut into small bites. Preheat oven to 350.  Mix eggs, cheddar, goat cheese, cream, bacon. and salt together.  Pour over the pie crust.  Sprinkle a little cheddar on top.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Check with a toothpick to make sure it's cooked thoroughly.

Quiche is so easy and can be made the way you like it!

p.s. please excuse the dark brown pie crust.  It got a little over done.  But don't worry, the quiche was perfect!

And as a bonus I'm going to post my Easter lunch menu.

Easter Lunch Menu
2 quiche - ham & cheddar/goat cheese (see above)
oven roasted asparagus 
salad with sprouts, feta cheese, and Italian/balsamic dressing
Sister Schubert rolls (yum)
Lemon squares for dessert

Those are the things that I am preparing, but other people are bringing dishes, as well.  Happy Easter!