Crispy Cheddar Chicken

I made this the other night... very tasty! We all enjoyed it for dinner and then lunch the next day. I served it with Rice-a-Roni and steamed veggies. I adapted this recipe from here.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

2 lbs. chicken (4 breasts, tenders, etc.)
1-1.5 sleeves Ritz crackers, crumbled
1/3 c. milk
2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
dried parsley, to taste

1 can cream of chicken soup
2 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter
21-Seasoning Salute, to taste
milk (a little to thin, if necessary)

Cut each chicken breast into 3-4 large chunks (this step not necessary if using tenders).

Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate containers.

Dip each piece of chicken into the milk, then the cheese, then the crackers. Press the cheese and crackers into the chicken with your fingers.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. Add the remaining cheese and crackers to the top, if you want. Sprinkle dried parsley over the chicken.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 400°F for 35 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are crispy, golden brown. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving.

While it’s baking, into a medium saucepan, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Add a little 21-Seasoning Salute, and some milk to thin if you want (I did!). Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken.

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm a sucker for a super soft cookie!  Try these out - they will not disappoint!  (Recipe adapted from here.)

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 sticks (1 c.) butter, softened
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 - 3 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. (12 oz.) chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease with cooking spray. (I used my silpat mats.)
In a large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes.
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips, and mix until combined.

Roll into balls and drop onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 10-11 minutes until the edges are just set and the middles are still light and fluffy.

Let the cookies rest on the baking sheets for 3-4 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I used a small cookie scoop, and this recipe made at least 5 dozen cookies.

Emily's Liege Waffles

Emily made these yummy liege waffles at our family brunch last weekend.  They are a copycat to the famous Waffle Love Truck waffles. (Recipe adapted from here.)

Emily's Liege Waffles

prep time: 4 hours

cook time: 5 minutes
yield: 10 waffles
serving size: 1 waffle

3/4 c. whole milk, scalded and cooled to warm milk
2 Tbsp. water, warmed
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. instant yeast
2 large eggs, lightly whisked
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. white sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
2 c. bread flour
1 1/2-1 3/4 c. flour
2 c. Belgian pearl sugar (purchased from a specialty store or Amazon)

Add the sugar to the milk and water and then and add the yeast, stirring to combine. 
Allow the yeast to proof, or get foamy and puffy.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars. 
Add the eggs, honey and vanilla. 
Stir together and add the yeast mixture. 
Place in a standing mixer with the dough hook and add 2 cups of flour. 
Mix until the dough is thoroughly incorporated, and add the remaining flour, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for up to 4 hours on the counter, or up to 24 hours covered with plastic wrap in the fridge. 

The dough will need to sit on the counter and come back to room temperature to use. 
Then punch down and knead in the pearl sugar. 
Separate into 8-10 balls and place on a hot, greased waffle iron. 
Cook until golden brown.
Serve with biscoff/nutella (and other yummy spreads), whipped cream and fresh berries - no syrup needed!

Breakfast Casserole

This deliciousness was served at the family brunch last weekend, along with Emily's liege waffles. (It was adapted from here.)

Breakfast Casserole

Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: 90 min.
Total time: 1 hr. 40 min.
Serves: 12

24 oz. frozen shredded potatoes
salt & pepper
12 eggs
2 c. half & half
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1½ c. cheddar cheese, grated
1½ c. pepper jack cheese, grated (or colby/monterey jack)
2 c. chopped ham (or sausage or bacon)

Grease a 9”x13” pan.
Put the potatoes in the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together.
Then add half & half, seasoning salt, cheeses and meat.
Pour over the top of the frozen potatoes.
Cover with foil and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Bake at 350˚F for 90 minutes, still covered with foil.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

*Even Better* One-Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice

When Brian is traveling, I don't often cook much for just Connor and me... I keep mealtimes simple, because I can.  The first time I made this dish (for Connor's birthday), while it was yummy, we all thought it was a little salty for our tastes.  This time, I made an effort to cut some of the added salt and add some extra flavor using the spice mix - Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute.  These were exactly the changes I needed to make, as both Connor and I inhaled it!  This dish is delicious and so very easy.  I adapted this recipe from my original post and here.

*Even Better* One-Pan Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, in bite-sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
1 c. uncooked extra long grain white rice
2 1/2 c. broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 1/2 c. of low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (I like Kraft Triple Cheddar Finely Shredded Cheese)

In a large skillet or pan, sauté chicken in 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat, and season generously with TJ's 21-Seasoning Salute.

Once the chicken is browned, add the garlic (optional) and cook for about 1 more minute.

Push chicken to one side of the pan and add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to other side.

Add the uncooked rice in the olive oil and sauté it for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken broth to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid.

Cook chicken and rice mixture covered for about 12 minutes.

Sprinkle the broccoli evenly over the chicken and rice mixture and stir to combine.

Continue to cook covered another 8 minutes on low, or until broccoli and rice are both tender.

Remove from heat and stir in half a cup of cheese.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover with a lid, letting it sit for 1-2 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Chubby Hubby Clusters

I really wanted to make some sort of candy this year for Christmas... I saw these online, and they intrigued me... and did not disappoint!  The whole family loves them!

Chubby Hubby Clusters

Serves: 30

1½ c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 c. peanut butter chips
½ c. butter, cut into pieces
¼ c. peanut butter
2 c. pretzel sticks, roughly chopped (I broke them in half)
1 c. salted peanuts

In a large bowl, mix together chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butter, and peanut butter. Microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir, and microwave again for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth (if it isn't completely melted, return to the microwave for 20 second intervals, stirring after each time).

Add pretzels and peanuts to the melted chocolate mixture and stir until they are completely coated in chocolate.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm.

Optional: drizzle with melted peanut butter.

Store leftovers in an airtight container.
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