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Crunchy Baked GF Chicken & Isaac

The path of Tropical Storm Isaac isn’t expected to impact SW Florida as was anticipated by the meteorologist’s, or the many people who were out buying up as much water, batteries and canned goods as they could. This is a good thing 🙂 well maybe not for those who will be eating soup and tuna for the next few weeks :/ but that we are no longer in the cone (or path) of Isaac. I must also add, in preparation for this storm my husband has moved all of the patio furniture to the garage, took the kids’ John boat out of the pond and secured it to a tree and trimmed all of the trees in our yard, and we have many, many trees. As you can see in the pictures below the trees, especially the palms, really were pruned! I moved all of my orchids and part of my herb garden into the outdoor bathroom [lots and lots of fun]. If nothing else this gives us (mostly Rick) a great opportunity to thoroughly clean up outside and groom all the landscaping! Yay!  We will still see plenty of wind and rain, enough to keep the children in doors all day today and tomorrow. I am trying to keep them occupied so they are not tempted to munch on junk food out of boredom. All in all I really do love this weather, it is such a nice break from the scalding heat.

 

 

 

 

When the, “Mom, when will lunch be ready?” echos started rolling in I decided to try something new (to us). I recalled reading a recipe, some time ago, that was for fresh chicken tenders breaded with crushed potato chips instead of bread crumbs.  I have one child who has to avoid gluten and this recipe seemed as if it would appeal to all four of my hungry kiddos. I didn’t try to find the recipe that sparked the idea, time didn’t allow for that. They were hungry! So, this is a recipe I threw together on a whim, and it turned out great! Often gluten-free foods aren’t quite as tasty as the gluten laden version. Especially things like chicken tenders, however, these oversized crispy chicken nuggets are an exception and they are were GOOD and they are gone

Crunchy Baked Chicken Chunks (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into large chunks (about 2 or 3-bites per piece)
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Bisquick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 or 2 1/2 cups of crushed Kettle Cooked Potato Chips (I used the Reduced Fat Cape Cod brand)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried parsley (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (be careful with the salt, the chips provide saltiness)
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spray a wire rack with non-stick spray coating well, or rub with oil
  • Place the Bisquick in a shallow bowl
  • In a second bowl beat eggs, water, Dijon mustard, and 1T of parsley until well combined
  • In a third bowl combine crushed chips, 1T parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper
  • Coat all of the chicken with a three-step dip/dredge: First dredge each piece in the Bisquick, next dunk in egg/mustard mixture allowing excess to drip back into bowl, third roll the chicken in the crushed potato chip mix. Be sure to coat the chicken well and press the crumbs gently into the chicken.
  • Place chicken on the wire rack placed on a cookie sheet. This allows the chicken to remain crispy on both sides.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer reads 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat.
  • This chicken is tasty enough to eat without and dip. However, it would be great with your favorite sauce or rolled in hot sauce and served with Bleu Cheese 🙂 my combination of choice!

And on a final note. I sincerely hope and pray that everyone, who is at risk of being of being affected by Tropical Storm or Hurricane Isaac, is safe. Take care.

 

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It’s been a while… & Green Bean Salad

I was totally shocked when I realized that it has been 6 months since I have last posted anything on my blog 😦

I have been completely wrapped up in my crazy, busy life of raising four children (1 teen, 1 tween & 2 babies), being an efficient secretary to my husband and his business ventures and his wife. Even though being busy should not be an excuse for making time to do what I love, which is cooking and blogging, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I am currently attempting to make some minor adjustments in my life so that I can have a bit of me time, which is time I like to spend on here. This makes me smile!

Just to catch everyone up to speed

~ Bailey will be making some major adjustments this upcoming school year. She is moving from a private Christian school to a public school and entering into the IB program. I am praying that the culture shock isn’t too rough on her. Bailey has been working for her Aunt and Uncle at their business throughout this summer, and is planning on staying there through high school.  She is active in 2 rodeo circuits as well as the NBHA, and loves every minute of it. Bailey has been blessed with a horse who is as perfectly matched to her as she is to him. His name is Blaze.

~Emily will be homeschooled full-time this year. I am both excited and nervous about this. I know that everything happens for a reason and this is what we are supposed to be doing at this time. She is also active in 2 rodeo circuits and well as the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) Emily is a cowgirl at heart and I just adore her spirit. She loves to work cattle and in her spare time she loves to design hair and nails.

~ Gracie will be three years old the end of this month. It is so hard to believe that three years have gone by so quickly. She has definitely made the transition from baby to toddler to little girl. She is most excited about her 3rd birthday party. For the past two months she has talked to me everyday about her, “Horse party, with purple balloons and cupcakes!” I hope we are able to live up to her dream party (pictures and details to come). We are hopeful that Gracie will ride in her first rodeo before the end of this year. I am anxious to let you know how that goes.

~ Richard a.k.a. Bubba is not only our baby but also our only boy. Therefore he is spoiled rotten, down to the core. He has each and every one of us wrapped around his little finger(s) like all of them. He will be turning two in November and I cannot fathom where the time has gone. It is like the days are long and the years are short. Any how he is healthy and happy and surrounded by girls…

So, now that we are all caught up on life I would like to share with you one of Bailey’s favorite salad’s. Let me know what you think about it, or what changes you make to it. I love hearing from you.

Rachel

Green Bean Salad

1 lb. fresh green beans (washed & trimmed)

1 small red onion slice thin

8 oz. cooked and crumbled bacon (or use bacon pieces already cooked)

8 oz. crumbled Feta Cheese

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-3 Tablesoons white wine vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)

1 Tablespoon dried parsley

1 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon dried dill (optional, depending on taste)

1-2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

Blanche green beans (place in pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and transfer to a bowl of iced water) you want the beans to be crisp and keep their vibrant color.

Wisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs and seasonings

In a large bowl toss the beans, dressing, Feta, and bacon.

This salad is served as made or chilled.

 

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Chipotle Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich

I have a confession to make… I am a Pinterest addict! I have never  found a website that I couldn’t easily click away from, until now. I am constantly inspired by many wonderful ideas that I find on there. This sandwich is a product of my Pinterest addiction. Within about an hour of pinning the “Spicy Hawaiian Burger” I had over 20 repins. So, I figured should get in the kitchen and make my version of it. I did alter the recipe somewhat, to the ingredients I had on hand, and it turned out fabulous!  Have a marvelous Monday my friends!

My quote for the day: “For every 60 seconds you spend angry, results in 1 minute of happiness you will never get back” unknown

Ingredients:

    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Seasoned Salt (I used Tony Chachere’s)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 clove of minced garlic
    • 3 scallions sliced (green and white parts)
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
    • 4 slices of pepper jack cheese
    • 8 pineapple slices
    • 1 whole Cuban loaf
    • Romaine lettuce for garnish
    • 1/4 cup olive oil mayo (optional)
Directions:
  • In a large zip-tip bag combine soy sauce and the following 8 ingredients, thru the chipotle powder.
  • Place the chicken in between layers of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until about 1/2″ thickness.Add the chicken to the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.
  • Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, remove chicken from marinade and coat with non-stick spray. Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side (or until done) add a slice of cheese to each piece of chicken.
  • After removing the chicken from the pan add the pineapple and cook for about 3 minutes per side.
  • Slice bread in half, smear bottom of bread with mayo, add lettuce, chicken & cheese, pineapple slices.
  • Wha La!Sit back and enjoy this most delicious sandwich!

This recipe was adapted from Homemade by Holman

 

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White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Hello, hello! I am thrilled to be back on the blog-scene once again. It has been such a long time since I have had a single spare moment to devote to Rachel’s Vittles. Change is in the air (or kitchen) though. As difficult as it is for me, I will be delegating some of my responsibilities to others 🙂 so that I can spend a bit more time doing what I love, which is cooking and sharing about it here.

I truly hope that each and every one of you had a remarkable and memorable Christmas and start to this New Year! I am very much looking forward to the many new adventures and memories 2012 will bring my way. I thought it might be fun to reflect back and share with you what has been going on in my crazy-busy life.

My youngest child and only son, Richard (aka Bubba) is quite the busy body these days. He has not only mastered walking, but running as well and is quickly moving on to climbing. His appetite is tremendous, I still haven’t figured out how the little guy eats so much but, I am fairly certain he has inherited my love of food. He is the happiest little baby I know, and he seems to have his Daddy’s patience. The good Lord must have known he would need it in this home full of girls!

Gracie… where do I even begin. I have come to the conclusion that this little girl must be solar-powered. She doesn’t eat very much at all and sleep is something she rarely does for any decent amount of time. So, being that we live here in the Sunshine State she must run on the sun! lol. Our little girl has become quite a character at the ripe young age of 2. She is loving, hilarious, theatrical, silly, sarcastic, very particular, determined and so abundantly full of energy. We never have a shortage of entertainment around here. She is so much fun to be around and brings a constant smile to my face. She loves, Loves, LOVES her brother & sisters, and during this past year she has added horses to the list of who she loves. It is amazing to me that my tiny 24 pound girl doesn’t hesitate for a second before climbing on the back of a horse and riding off. In December she rode all by herself, not even with a lead rope, for the first time! She is the cutest little cowgirl.

Emily is doing phenomenal in school this year. I am so impressed with her accomplishments during her sixth grade year. She is playing the violin, and doing an amazing job at it. I love to hear her play! I look forward to listening to her make music with those strings for many, many years to come! Her 4-H project this year is a hog, which she named Pigsie (like Pixie) and she also has two miniature goats. Emily has taken her love for horses to a new level this past year. She is now a member of the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) and is barrel racing every chance she gets. It is hard to believe that she will be 12 years old this month…time flies! I am so blessed to have her as a daughter!

Bailey, my oldest baby 🙂 will be 15 years old this upcoming Tuesday! I just cannot believe that so many years have passed since I became a Mommy for the first time! She has become a remarkable young lady who has so much going for her. She jumped on the 4-H wagon this year, and cannot wait to jump back off! Nepolian is the name of her swine, and fair time can’t get here quickly enough. Bailey is also a new member of the NBHA this year and is spending as much time on the horses as she can. She loves the horses and with her hardcore competitive spirit I know she will go far. New and exciting times are in store for her this year as she will be driving and getting her first job!

As you might can see my children keep me a bit busy, but I love every single moment of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I have days that I feel like I am going crazy (my husband thinks I am crazy), which I think is normal with two babies and two teenage girls!

Again, I am happy to be returning to my blog and I am looking forward to a year full of delicious vittles!

White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. can baby artichokes hearts quartered drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped broccoli thawed and drained
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles, boiled according to directions on box
  • 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper (I usually add more, to tatse)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups of water
  • 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes chopped

Directions:

  • Beat egg well, add in the ricotta and parsley until combined and set aside
  • In a skillet over medium heat melt butter, whisk in the flour to make a roux, do not allow the butter to burn. Continue cooking and whisking about 2 minutes, add the water, cream and milk, whisk until all of the flour/butter mixture has dissolved into the cream cook over low heat (don’t boil) until it has thickened.  Add the parmesan or romano cheese, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the artichokes, broccoli and spinach in a bowl and toss to combine.
  • To begin building lasagna. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. Start with a layer of noodles first, top with 1/3 of the cooked chicken, 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, 1/4 of the mozzarella, and then ladle on 1/4 of the sauce. Repeat this process two more times ending with noodles. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so.
  • Allow the lasagna to sit on the counter, uncovered for 5-10 minutes. This lets the dish set so that you can cut and serve it, with minimal sliding 🙂
  • Garnish with chopped tomatoes just before serving.
 

Tomato Cobbler

Tomato Cobbler

I cannot pinpoint the exact reason it took me so long to make this savory tomato cobbler. Learn from my mistake, do not wait to make this. The biscuits are full of cheesy, hearty goodness with a crispy top and melt-in-your-mouth body. The Gruyère is the perfect accompaniment to the juicy little tomatoes (which are oh so delicious!), the caramalized onions, the garlic & rosemary all work in harmony. * The only change I made to the recipe was swapping the rosemary for thyme and only because I didn’t have thyme, and you just can’t skip on the herbs.*  I also want to point out that it calls for 3 pounds of tomatoes, not 3 cups! I misread the ingredients the first go-round. One pint of grape tomatoes weighs 10 ounces, so you will need approximately 5 pints. I know it seems like a lot of tomatoes, but it makes a massive amount of delicious food.

I love tomatoes, they are a staple in our home. It’s safe to say we eat tomatoes everyday. I cannot think of a recipe, that has cooked tomatoes in it, that is better! This one takes the cake (or should I say cobbler), it is my new favorite side!  I am anxious to make this for our Thanksgiving Day dinner. Actually, I should probably make two because I know most of us will be making a trip for seconds. This savory cobbler will undoubtedly impress your family or guests at the dinner table. It is definitely worth the time it takes to prepare it. I found that my cooking time was significantly less, by about 25 minutes. I would keep an eye on it after about the 40 minute mark. * Note to self, check the accuracy of the temp in my oven*  This dish would also be a hit at any office party or your next “bring a dish” gathering, as it reheats well. Thanks to Annie, of Annie’s-Eats  who posted this scrumptious recipe last month! I would love to hear from you, let me know what you think!

tomaot cobbler

Ingredients
For the filling
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium yellow
onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme
3 lbs. cherry or grape tomatoes
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1½ tsp. coarse salt
Pinch of black pepper

For the biscuit topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1½ cups heavy cream

Directions
To prepare the filling, combine the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions
and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked down and caramelized, about 20-25
minutes.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes
more.  Remove from the heat and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  In a large bowl, combine the onion mixture, tomatoes, flour, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
To make the biscuit topping, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a
medium bowl.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the
mixture is crumbly and small clumps form. I used my hands, since I don’t have a pastry blender and the knife trick doesn’t work for me. Mix in the cheese.  Stir in the cream
with a fork until a sticky dough forms and the dry ingredients are
incorporated.

Transfer the tomato mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Using a large ice cream scoop or a ¼-cup measure, drop clumps of the biscuit dough evenly over the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle the top with
additional grated cheese.  Bake until the tomatoes are bubbling and the biscuits
are golden, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

Source: Annie’s Eats via Martha Stewart Living July 2011 via Pink Parsley Catering

 

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Blueberry Pancakes

I find great joy in waking up early and making breakfast for my family. Maybe it is because my children have yet to reach full-throttle mode! One by one, they find their way to the kitchen and plop down in a bar stool. They sit watchfully, with sleepy eyes as I cook up their morning meal. As I zip around the kitchen cooking (and sipping coffee) we start chatting, and that is what I love so much! I cherish the small talk and easy conversation we share in the mornings. I think this is when we actually catch up with what is going on in each others lives. These conversations are incredibly important to me. So… moving on to the pancakes 🙂 I have been making these for quite some time now and they have remained my kids favorite. The recipe was submitted by Kris to allrecipes.com  I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit our tastes. If you are not a fan of blueberries you can simply leave them out, the rest of the recipe will stay the same. I serve these pancakes with chicken, apple and maple sausage; they make a perfect pair!

On that note, get up early and go make breakfast for your family. It will feed your soul and your belly!

Blueberry Pancakes

Ingredients

  •                     1-1/2 cups milk
  •                     1/4 cup white vinegar
  •                     2  cups all-purpose flour
  •                     1/4 cup white sugar
  •                     2 teaspoons baking powder
  •                     1 teaspoon baking soda
  •                     1 teaspoon salt
  •                     2 eggs
  •                     1/4 cup butter, melted
  •                     1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  •                     cooking spray

Directions

  • Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  •  Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, drop 5-8 bluberries onto each pancake, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.   *Only flip pancakes once while cooking.

 

 

 

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Crispy Baked Eggplant

Eggplant, oh how I love thee!
For those of you who enjoy the greatness of eggplant, you should definitely give this recipe a whirl. For the rest of you, those who are yet realize that you are a fan, this is where it will begin.

First for a little eggplant education, thanks to Amanda of C&L Farms. Have you ever wondered why some eggplant are full of seeds and others aren’t?  While I was out shopping at the local produce stand the other day I was informed that there is infact male and female eggplants. Who knew! Well, as you might guess the females are the ones full of seeds. The males have seeds in them as well, just not near as many. The females, with all of their seeds pack a stronger, more bitter taste than the males do. It is strictly a matter of preference as to which one you like. I know for me I lean more towards the male.

So, how can you tell the difference without cutting into the fruit, yes I said fruit, eggplant is a fruit not a vegetable? The male eggplant has a dash-like marking on the bottom while the female has round indention or dimple marking. In the picture below the female is on the right and the male is on the left. The marking isn’t always a clear, sometimes it is more like a combination of the two.

 

I have baked eggplant numerous times, most of the time it turns out nicely. I have always used the standard combination of eggwash first, then breadcrumbs, seasonings and cheese. Spray a pan with non-stick spray, add the breaded eggplant, spray the eggplant with spray and toss it into the oven. Very easy, and just as common. I wanted to make this eggplant great! I was trying  to achieve a crispy crunch on the outside while leaving the inside soft and creamy without overcooking this delicate vegetable.  My mission was successful 🙂 this recipe is not as healthy as it usually is when I bake it, but it is still much more heart and figure friendly than the fried version that is served at most restaurants.

Okay, my secret weapon is mayonnaise. Now, I do not use mayo very often and I have never really cared much for it. I almost never use it as a condiment but I am finding it is addition to certain recipes and this is definitely one of them. I actually prefer this method of preparing the breaded eggplant over the fried version, even if the health benefits weren’t at stake!

As you can see I served the eggplant over pasta and a simple tomato sauce. It would also be fabulous served as an appetizer or side dish. You could cut the eggplant into sticks and then follow the same directions and serve them with a spicy yogurt dipping sauce or a marinara.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried  parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 generous Tablespoon of mayo
  • olive oil (enough for drizzling & coating the pan)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil lightly spray with non-stick spray and grease with olive oil
  • Beat the eggs and mayo together
  • In a separate bowl or large plate mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper together
  • Slice the eggplant into 1 inch thick slices
  • Dunk in the egg/mayo mixture, shaking of any excess
  • Dredge in the breadcrumb mix, be sure to coat all sides evenly & place on cookie sheet
  • Drizzle olive oil on the eggplant (side facing up) about 1-2 Tablespoons
  • Bake 12-15 minutes, carefully flip the eggplant, try not to puncture while flipping
  • Return to the oven for an additional 12-15 minutes
  • Garnish with freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese!

I always love feedback! So, let me know how you like this dish! I assure you, this is Good Vittles!

 

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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