Baked Chicken Breasts

There is a book that we used to read as children, The Seven Silly Eaters, that hit quite close to home. Each of my younger brothers had a very specific diet: one ate only quesadillas, another chose Oreos, while the youngest wanted cereal without milk.

Luckily, fried chicken was something all three of them could agree on. Unluckily, I hate frying things. I would like to claim that I am just incredibly health conscious. This is a lie. The spitting oil has never been something I can deal with. And I have started more than my fair share of grease fires. Baked, breaded chicken is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

This recipe comes from my aunt, who has three sons of her own. It is simple and delicious, and I am proud to say that each of my brothers ate the chicken with gusto. Continue reading

Bran Muffins

There’s always that question, if you could live in any time period, what era would you choose. I used to think the 20’s. Art nouveau is my favorite, and fringe can certainly add a lot to a dress. But there are a problems in this jazzy world: no allergy medicine, no contacts, no braces for my one-crooked teeth. Everything takes just a little more work without the conveniences that I’ve become used to, specifically at the grocery store.
With this in mind, I give thanks for frozen puff pastry, already ground flour, and pasteurized milk. There are somethings that don’t have to be homemade to be amazing. I’ve had some pretty fantastic fudge that can rival our family recipe, semolina pasta isn’t always worth the trouble, and I cannot stand dealing with homemade graham pie crusts.
This recipe utilizes the best of both worlds. It is homemade and traditional, but utilizes pre-made cereals.
I don’t know how many places I’ve seen bran muffins for sale, but I can tell you that they are never even half as good as these. Something about the texture, the flavor, the freshness, has yet to be beat. We keep the dry ingredients on hand always. There is a special spot for them in our pantry, right next to the cookie cutters and cake flour. Try these muffins and then tell me it isn’t worth giving up that space. Continue reading

Mandarin Sherbet Jello

Summer is the time for running through sprinklers, walking through dewy grass in your bare feet, staying up late and sleeping in. It is not, therefore, the time to lay in bed all day. And yet, every summer, I know at least one person who is getting their wisdom teeth removed. Luckily, it isn’t me this time.

As of about 10 minutes ago, my fiancé has a little more room in his mouth. That it, until everything swells up to double the normal size.

The food restrictions for post-tooth removal are relatively straight forward. No straws, nothing that could get stuck, nothing pokey. His menu for the next few days will be something like smoothies, cold soups, and Jello. So this next recipe fulfills the gelatin category for at least one day.

My grandmother makes this recipe for most Thanksgivings. Growing up in the Midwest, I was exposed to a wide variety of Jello salads. Marshmallows and cottage cheese abound. Thankfully, Grandma’s recipe tastes nothing like that. In fact, the term “salad” has no place in this recipe. It is a dessert, and there’s no point in pretending otherwise. Continue reading

English Muffin in a Loaf

I blow hot and cold with breakfast. Some days I go straight to fried chicken and mashed potatoes, other days it’s the full spread: eggs, waffles, freshly squeezed orange juice. In an effort to encourage myself to join the hordes of breakfast lovers, I’ve been coming up with easy breakfasts.

But there is only so much oatmeal a girl can eat.

So the other day, I decided that I wanted some Eggs Benedict…

Except I didn’t have an English muffin. Or Hollandaise sauce.

Luckily, Hollandaise sauce is easy. A little egg yolk, a little lemon juice, and you’re set. An English muffin, however, was a little trickier. Shaping the muffins and making them all consistent widths, plus the fact that I was hungry in the moment and it takes about two hours to make the muffins. So that morning was won by cereal.

Now, however, I am planning ahead. Just in time for a breakfast-themed dinner. Continue reading