Honey BBQ Frito Baked Chicken Fingers

Two back to back posts?! Man! Being unemployed blows. Not that I don’t love cooking and blogging for you guys. But really, I am SO BORED. I am so incredibly ready to start working.

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Right now, my life mainly includes going to different bars and going out to eat. All. The. Time. I am so tired of it. I need structure and work and new people. I buy things for my apartment and keep running up my credit card bill. It’s really quite lovely.

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I told you last week that I’ve been going to my parents house and cooking things for them. I sneak in in the afternoon, do laundry, cook a bunch of things, sometimes see them if they come home early enough and then escape like a thief in the night. Escape with clean clothes, leftovers, generally a pan or something weird that I need for my apartment.

fritos

Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken tenders, about 8 pieced
  • 2 cups uncrushed chips, then crush
  • ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs + ¼ cup milk
  • salt and pepper

First, clean all the fatty parts off the chicken tenders and set aside.

Next, put your Honey BBQ Fritos in a large zip lock bag. Using a rolling pin, crush up the chips until they almost resemble breadcrumbs. Next, add your breadcrumbs into the zip lock bag and give a few shakes to combine thoroughly.

Set up 3 bowls, assembly line style. In the first bowl place your flour, salt and pepper. In the second bowl whisk together your eggs and milk. In the third bowl add your chip/breadcrumb mixture.

batter

Start by covering each chicken tender with flour. Set aside for a few minutes. Setting the chicken aside helps all the coating stay on. Next dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture. Let the chicken sit in the mixture for 30-60 seconds. Put each piece of chicken in the chip mixture and really pack the chip onto each piece. Make sure it sticks on it.

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Lay each piece of chicken on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20-25 min at 350 or until chicken is cooked through.

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I used ranch dressing as the dipping sauce. YUM YUM

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Pesto Turkey Meatballs

In my last post, I told you about my obsession with pesto. OHHHH I LOVE IT.

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Literally my head is exploding with idea’s on what to do with this pesto. I love it so much.  But enough about the pesto… for now. What else is new? The bar I’ve been at for the past 9 months is closed for renovations for a few weeks. The previous owners sold it. YIKES! Scary! But OH SO EXCITING! I know the new team a little bit and I can’t say enough good things about them. I am really excited and blessed to be part of the next Audubon Era but, as with any new job, I’m nervous!

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Since I haven’t been working for 2 weeks now, I’ve been making the occasional trip home to do laundry, avoid shopping in the city, and making m+d some foodsies. (oh yep, I have another post next week involving pesto. I’m a mad-woman!)

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Right sorry, got distracted there. So I made these amazing pesto-ground turkey meatballs. NOMMMMMMM. No really. I’ve made this recipe twice now because they’re soooo sooooo good.

Ingredients

  • 1 package ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko
  • ½ white onion – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed/diced
  • 3/4 cup pesto

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olive oil to fry meatballs in.

Mix all the ingredients together. Form small balls about a quarter-sized in diameter.

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Now here’s the tricky part (and by tricky, I really mean, more than a 1 sentence step). I heated up the oil in a non-stick pan, and friend the meatballs so the outside was crisp. Then I placed the browned meatballs on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet. Then I baked at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I tested the meatballs after 15 min to see if they were cooked through. Mine needed a few more minutes. This will depend on the size/thickness of each meatball.

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Enjoy! Hopefully next week I’ll be able to update you on whats going on with the new bar!

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Pesto: my new obsession

For any of you who don’t know me well, let me share something with you about me.

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I get super obsessed with things very easily and very… deeply. I’ve always been this way. I’m like a puppy obsessed with playing ball and then see’s a squirrel.

pesto

No joke. In the past 10 days I’ve made this recipe three times. and it makes a LOT of pesto.

There are so many things I want to do with this pesto, chances are when I come back from New Orleans on Monday I’ll make another batch.

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I made a batch today and can’t wait to blog what I did with it.

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If you think about it, this version of my pesto recipe has everything that I love in life in it.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbls butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small-med white onion, diced
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 (8 oz) package monterey jack cheese
  • 1.25 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil

Steps:

melt butter in a sauce pan. Add diced onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Your kitchen will smell amazing. You’ll thank me!

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Once the onions and garlic are sauteed add them and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add salt/pepper to taste.

OH YUM YUM. I’m excited just looking at these pictures.IMG_8603

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Marathon Week

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!

Heehee.

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful day with your lovahsssss. Drink lots of champagne and yummy snacks!

This post is actually the opposite of the above statement. I have a marathon a week from Sunday in Hyannis and I’m not ready for it. I’m kind of ready for it but not. I’ve been going out a LOT the past few weeks and eating out almost every day. #yikes! So starting today, no more restaurant food- even when I work doubles. I’m getting up a little earlier, making lunch to bring with me and eating breakfast before work. Haven’t done that in agggessssss.

I want to feel good as I run this marathon and eating out everyday makes me not feel so good. ya know what I mean, jelly bean?

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This really isn’t a recipe post. It’s a “let me publicly write all this stuff to hold myself accountable.”

I made ground turkey with onions. Added some taco seasoning and voila! lunch for two days. I just put it into some Tupperware, made a salad in more Tupperware and we have lunch. horray! It’s going to be hard working doubles but I usually have an hour to myself in between shifts when I can run home and warm something up.

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So for the next 10 days I’m attempting to only eat home cooked meals and not consume any alcohol. The latter already sounds miserable. I figure I’ll just work a lot and not have time to go out? sounds like a plan? cool. And I’ll have to do my final, long run this weekend before the marathon. I’m not worried about the running part… just feeling good while doing it.

So hopefully I’ll have some awesome recipes to blog for you this week as I try my hand at not eating at my bar. Fingers crossed. Wish me luck.

Have a great Valentine’s Day EVERYONE!!!

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Broccoli Mushroom Soup

Do you ever have those moments in your life that you replay over-and-0ver-and-over again in your head for days after they happen? Moments that you feel are just game changers in your life?

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I had one of those moments last weekend. I keep attributing it to being 27. It’s the first time I turned a year old and really felt it. It’s weird. I’m not entirely sure I can put it to paper yet because I’m still sorting through those feelings. But anyways, so I had one of those moments with this guy I went out with and have been wildly embarrassed and kinda sad about it since. #yikes. get over it girl. So here we are. A snow-day Wednesday. I’m stuck indoors all alone (newsflash: sometimes living alone SUCKS), depressingly missing my best friend, replaying this evening over and over again… trying to snap myself out of it.

IMG_8529SNAP!!! I started cooking and immediately made myself feel better. Funny how that works. Kinda like running for me… except there is 8″ of snow out there. Mayyybee we’ll hold back on that.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbls butter
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 package button mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 large heads of broccoli, steamed (very soft) (about 2.5 cups)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups 5 blend italian cheese
  • chorizo sausage

mushrooms

  • melt butter in a large sauce pan then add onions and garlic. Once onions are translucent, add diced mushrooms. Saute for about 5 minutes
  • add the broccoli and mix all veggies together. Then add the vegetable broth and milk and head for a few minutes.
  • using a hand blender, or large food processor, blend the mixture until smooth. Return to medium heat and add cheese, slowly stirring

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  • As your soup heats, slice up your chorizo and cook on high heat, almost burning on each side. Ladle your soup in 4 bowls, add crispy chorizo and toasted pumpkin seeds (store bought).

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So here’s to growing up. One little step at a time. Hopefully I’ll get there eventually.

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Parsnip Soup

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I went home to my parents house on Sunday to hang out for a bit, leave my car at the dealer to get checked out and make my ‘rents dinnah. They are the most amazing little parents and drove into the city on my birthday (NYE) as I was setting the bar up for our festivities. They stayed for about 15 minutes, probably 7 of those minutes they chatted while I answered phones and talked to customers who stopped by. So I wanted to thank them for driving all the way in just to watch me run around like a maniac.

sauteed food

As I was making this soup, my sister and brother-in-law took off from the house. Matt’s comment? “I’m skeptical of parsnips.” Remember how many times I’ve told you that they don’t like orange things? I think that parsnips resemble carrots too much. Carrots are orange. Off the table for those two.

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This soup is super easy to make. There are 2 main steps.

First step: roast the parsnips. Cut them up, drizzle with olive oil in a bowl and roast in the oven until a knife can easily slide in and out (that’s what she said).

Second step: blending your veggies to make soup. In a large pot, melt butter, add onion, garlic, celery and sweat down for about 7 minutes. Then add your roasted parsnips. Let all the veggies sweat down until a knife easily slides through everything. Add veggie stock and milk. Salt and pepper to taste.

Either in a large blender or with one of those cool hand blender/mixer things, blend that stuff up until smooth.

I topped my moms with toasted pecans. My dad added soup crackers to his. nom nom

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Ingredients

1 giant Vidalia onion

4 stalks celery

2 packages (about 8 parsnips) peeled and roasted

1 stick butter

1 quart chicken stock

¾ quart whole milk

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I didn’t add nuts or crackers to mine. Rather, I accompanied it with prosecco :) Enjoy!

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Easy Pumpkin Cake Souffle Dessert

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I know, I know. I’m so terrible. I’ve abandoned you for SO long.

Like any normal human’s new years resolutions “new year, new you!” is on my mind. But can we really change in a day? Can we really just flip a switch and be a new person?  Nah. I just want to improve some of the things I already do. For instance: my blogging.

I’ve been cooking! I’ve been baking! I’ve been EATING! just not blogging to you. I sowwies.

So here is some pumpkin souffle cake I made you. I made it over Christmas, forgot to bring it home on Christmas day, and then ate it for dinner four nights in a row. Sorry dad!

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But this dessert is so easy! And even though the holiday season is come and gone, again, you should still try this. Because pumpkin-orange CAKE LIKE desserts are tremendous.

Oh, you’ll need a crock pot.

Ingredients

- 1 box white cake mix

- 3/4 can pumpkin pie filling

- 1 large egg

- 8 oz container whipped cream cheese

- 1/2 cup powdered sugar

- cinnamon, to taste

Step one: In a mixing bowl, mix cake mix, pumpkin pie filling and egg until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined (Best if you use a hand mixer as opposed to a mixing spoon).

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In your crock pot, layer the cake mix with the cream cheese mix.

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Try to keep the cream cheese mix away from the sides of the crockpot. You want an orange ring around the outside. After each layer, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon.

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aweeee yeah baby. Turn your crock pot on medium and let it do all the work for about 3 hours. Check on the cake after that. It’ll probably take longer but depending on your machine, it might be done. The middle should be cooked through, like a normal cake, and the sides will pull away from the edge of the bowl.

Do your very best to eat this while it’s hot. Of course, don’t burn yourself like I normally do, but this dessert is best when it’s served right when it’s done. YUM!

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Post Run Quinoa Breakfast Smoothie

Yesterday, I ran. I ran far and wide. I ran on the bike path that rolls from my hometown to Alewife. It’s former train tracks that have been paved over. So… it’s paved, I had that going for me.

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Um, it’s also a “suburbia run” which means I’m running through woods, about a hundred yards from any houses or businesses… on either side. So once dusk passed, I was running through the pitch black, praying that I would make it out alive. It really doesn’t help that I watch marathons of Criminal Minds. The last 3 miles of my run were pretty much a sprint because I was so TERRIFIED. It’s funny, when you have nothing else to think about, you think about the pain you feel when running. My bad knees, former stress fracture in my hip, how tired my feet are because I stand up all day every day for work.

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Anyways, so I was running along, in the pitch black, for half an hour, thinking about this episode of Criminal Minds where halfway through, a second girl gets abducted in the woods.  ahhhhhh. I didn’t even finish the episode and all I could think about was how it should have turned out.

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All the pain left my body and my heart rate JACKED WAY UP. I ran my little tush to safety.

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I know that 9AM, the time I’m actually writing this post, isn’t really that early, but for someone who’s lifestyle is now 11am-2am everyday, 9am is annoyingly early. I woke up because my feet were cramping really bad from the run. And because I was uber hungry. So I woke up, put on Criminal Minds because I’m a masochist (SAME EPISODE as I mentioned before… now I can find out what happened to the girl!) and make this tasty little breakfast smoothie.

Ingredients

- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa

- 1 giant spoonful peanut butter

- 1 medium banana

- 1/2 container chocolate protein shake (or you can use yogurt, milk…)

All you have to do is put everything in a blender or Cuisinart and puree! The quinoa doesn’t quite puree smooth but I like it like that. Gives the smoothie some density and crunchy bits.

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Now I shall lay in bed till 11:25 when I will go to work until 1:30am tonight.

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Broccoli Cheddar Baked Mac & Cheese

Today I ran 18 miles. Yup, 18 miles. The Chicago Marathon is in 18 days. I didn’t even do that on purpose!

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So after I ran said 18 miles, I was all kinds of jacked up on adrenaline and booked it to Stop and Shop to purchase all kinds of fun things.

And to be a funny jerk, after I made this broccoli mac and cheese, I texted a picture of it to my cousin in NY. He’s lovely and is coming to Chicago to watch me run the marathon! (all 26.2 miles. yippee!)

He texted me back “is this pre-marathon food” along with this sweet video.

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If you know anything about me… you’d know this is the most perfect thing anyone could ever text me in response to a picture of food. Thank goodness I was home alone because I giggled, alone, in the kitchen for about 3 solid minutes. He’s just jealous that I had this amazing dinner to eat.

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I’m actually SO, SO nervous for the marathon. I am on my feet ALL DAY, EVERY DAY at work and while my lungs and mental ambition are up for the 26.2 miles, my feet feel like bricks after about 15 miles. They just get tired so and so heavy, so fast. And with 18 days to go, and at least a 21 mile training run left, I’m going to do anything and everything I can to stay off my feet. Or… if I’m on my feet, I’ll be in good, supportive shoes. (Uncle Mark, I SWEAR!)

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But I’m really excited to actually go to Chicago! I haven’t been since March and am pumped to run around such a fun city. My former next door neighbor recently moved back there too and I can’t wait to party with him! AND: my sister, brother-in-law, parents, NY cousin and his GF are all coming to support me!

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Fine, we all know my last sentence is a complete lie. They’re all coming because they want to play in Chicago and didn’t have an excuse till now.

Ingredients

- 5 tablespoons butter

- 5 tablespoons flour

- 1.5 cups milk

- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

- 1/2 cup american cheese

- (few cubs colby jack if you have it)

- 2 cups steamed broccoli

- 2 cups pasta, cooked firm

-salt, pepper to taste

- italian breadcrumbs (optional)

In one sauce pan, cook pasta to firm. It cooks more in the oven!

Melt you butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Once melted, add flour. Combine thoroughly and let cook for a few minutes to cook out the flour taste. Add milk. Using a whisk, combine flour/butter mixture into the milk. When your milk has warmed up, slowly add in cheese and mix constantly, but slowly, until cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta to a baking dish prepared with nonstick spray. Preheat yo oven to 350.

Dice up the cooked broccoli pretty small. You can all toss it in a Cuisinart if you want it really small but I like chunks of broccoli in my mac and cheese. Add your diced up broccoli to the cheese mixture. Give the mixture a few good stirs until the broccoli is spread throughout the cheese sauce. Pour the entire sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with Italian Breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.

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I ate about a 1/4 of this recipe after my run. And tomorrow, I know I shall feel so sick from so much cheese. Stupid idiot.

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Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Side Dishes | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Pecan Encrusted Bacon Goat Cheese Balls

There are so many things I’d love to update you on in this post.

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I think I’m going to be a little selfish and make it all about me (unlike every other post, obvs). But yeah, I think I’m going to have a little therapy session today.

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I’ve told you before how much I love work. I LOVE it. I have had 2 other jobs in my life where I felt this type of daily satisfaction. One was my high school job on a farm in my hometown and the other was when I was a financial and operational consultant for a student run business at UMASS. Both places just felt like home. I felt like I fit in; was accepted and respected, and was downright good at my job. That’s how I feel at Audubon. Granted, the learning curve is immense and I’m still making things up as I go, but I have that feeling of calmness and “can do” when I’m at work.

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But then I’m a little, well, insane, in other aspects of my life. I am incredibly demanding, have a huge personality, can’t take rejection, and am probably the worst person ever to disappoint. Oh, and I suck at confrontation/communication… especially in relationships. Mainly in relationships.

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I recently started seeing a new human. He’s awesome. I can’t believe what a nice, genuine person he is. I feel so pathetic in my ability to be relaxed and just let things happen in relation to him. But I am a super intense, dramatic human, let’s face it. I should do more yoga.

Anyways, here’s my little therapy part of this post: I’m afraid to keep getting to know him because his… awesomeness… makes me feel inadequate and kind of like a failure. NOT his fault in ANYWAY, he doesn’t do anything to make me feel like that, it’s just his “perfection” (in that sense) highlights my faults.

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I’m kind of a baby, right? Right. I guess it’s just the realization I wanted to share with you. I don’t know what type of relationship this’ll turn into. I’m having fun and enjoying my time with him; I can’t even begin to speculate how much time that’ll be.

Ingredients

- 8 strips bacon, cooked really well, so they crumble easily

- 4oz soft goat cheese

- 2 cups toasted pecans, completely CRUSHED

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Toast your pecans and let cool. Crush up REAL good and set aside. Cook 8 strips of bacon until well done. Let cool. When you pat them dry with a paper towel, they should crumble apart.

Crush bacon up in a bowl. Add softened goat cheese and thoroughly combine. Using your hands, make little balls with the goat cheese – bacon mixture. About the size of a quarter. Take a small handful of pecans in one hand and gently pat them into the sides of each ball until each one is thoroughly coated.

ta-da! all done! Place in the refrigerator until ready to snack!

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