Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

My brother in law Phil is a complete Asian food addict. Seriously. It’s a sickness. He is one of our countries beloved postmen (post people… post unisex? Heck, who knows what the PC term is these days.). When his day off was on Wednesday, his unwavering routine was to go to a neighborhood Chinese buffet for lunch. Every. Single. Wednesday.  The rest of us set our calendars by his routine. When he went on a Tuesday recently, we were all fairly sure that the world was ending.

His brother, my husband, is the same way. Say it with me class… anal creature of routine. It freaks me out because I am such a live by the seat of my pants, let life be a surprise sort of a gal. *laughs hysterically* Sorry. I couldn’t even fool myself with that one. I admit it. I too am one of those slightly rigid “don’t mess with my world, I like it the way it is” type of people. I’ve never decided if I admire or feel sorry for those of you who are the spontaneous live on the edge sorts.

I think my BIL would like this one. Marybeth, you need to make this for Phil! This is fall off the bone tender, spicy sweet (can be made more or less spicy depending on the amount of sriracha you add), a little bit salty and nice and sticky.I of course didn’t get sticky because I have those dainty girl manners and used a knife and fork. In reality, I simply hate sticky hands but dainty girl manners sounded cooler.

You know the drill… git to cookin’!

  • 3 lbs chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (you want the sesame for flavor but you can’t use too much because it’s quite strongly flavored and you need enough oil to help prevent sticking, thus the olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (more or less as desired)
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (I know… sounds weird but believe it or not, a lot of “authentic” <aka Americanized> lol, Asian recipes use it for tang and flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil. Trust me. Line the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except for the chicken.
  3. Place the chicken in the prepared pan.
  4. Pour the sauce over it and turn the chicken in the sauce a couple of times to coat.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 75 minutes. Turn the chicken twice while cooking, making sure that you start and end with the chicken skin side up.
  6. Wonderful served with rice and the extra pan juices.

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Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

I mentioned in the last post that my husbands requested birthday cake every year is a German chocolate one. Well, his requested birthday dinner is Chicken Parmesan. Every.Single.Year. Did I mention that he asks for it every single year? He is a creature of habit, my husband is. Though I really have no room to talk. I tend to do the whole creature of habit thing myself though not with birthday cakes and birthday dinner. One- I usually have to make those myself so for dinner you’d darn well better believe it is going to be steak. Dessert… ehhh, who knows. I buy a cake more for the kids since cake doesn’t really excite me much. and two- if given the opportunity, I’ll ask for dinner out every time. Give up the chance to have someone else doing the cooking and cleaning? Not on your life!

But back to that whole chicken Parmesan thing. I am pretty sure he would alternate between that, my chicken curry, my lasagna or spaghetti and my chili or meatloaf every day with no problem. But beyond the fact that chicken Parm is a pain in the tush to make (you try making enough to feed not only a grown man but 2 teen boys, yourself and a 4 year old who loves “sketti”), it’s just not a favorite of mine so it’s a definite labor of love to make it. But… I also absolutely adore my husband so I wanted to make him something that at the very least mimics the idea of full blown chicken Parmesan. I think this casserole does a good job. To make it even better, it uses those evil convenience products and that makes this a fairly quick fix for a weeknight dinner.  You COULD use homemade pasta sauce and more power to you for it. You could also make fresh chicken and again more power to you, but I wanted something quick, easy and tasty. This worked in a delicious way. It’s hearty, filling, creamy, cheesy and comfort food to the max. You get bites of tender chicken mixed in with pasta as well as the creamy tomatoey (yes that is now a word cause I say so) sauce and ooey gooey cheese. Unless you’re feeding a lot of people, this will easily stretch to the next days lunch meal too. Light and low fat? Ummmm… no. But really? You came to THIS blog looking for low fat and low cal? *giggles hysterically*

You know the drill…

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce box Penne pasta (or ziti or whatever you prefer), cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 23 ounce jar pasta sauce (those jars are slowly getting smaller & smaller for the same price!)
  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Parsley (can sub 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning for this if you don’t have fresh)
  • 24 ounces freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a  3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. After draining your pasta, pour the jar of pasta sauce and the jar of Alfredo sauce into the empty pot. Stir to combine., Add in the Parmesan cheese, chicken, basil and parsley. Stir to combine.
  3. Fold in the drained pasta then 16 ounces of the Mozzarella cheese.
  4. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then top with the remaining 8 ounces of Mozzarella cheese and continue baking for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and the casserole is hot and bubbly.

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Country Fried Chicken

Country Fried Chicken

Country Fried Chicken

My mom made the worlds best fried chicken. Or at least she did to me when I was a kid. I wonder sometimes if I would like as well the foods I enjoyed when I was a kid since my tastes are oh so sophisticated now *snorts and laughs*. But seriously, as our tastes mature and we try more, the things we loved as kids just don’t seem appealing anymore. In some cases, that’s a good thing. As much as I joke about Twinkies and Cheetos, I wouldn’t want a steady diet of them but when I was a kid, I could have happily eaten them for every meal. In other cases, maybe it’s not such a good thing. Like I said, I loved my mothers fried chicken. But now, as a middle aged mom, I make it my way and it’s what my family and I are used to. Would I like mothers now with it’s simple coating of flour, salt and pepper? I don’t know and that strikes me as kind of sad. She also made really good lasagna but I make that differently too. I remember once asking her, after I was married and made it myself, why hers always tasted like it had boiled eggs in it. She replied simply, “because it does.” I thought then and still wonder where she found a recipe for lasagna that used boiled eggs in the filling. And while I wouldn’t make it that way myself, I remember loving it when she made it. Maybe I didn’t know any better… maybe it was because it was a rare treat, maybe it was just because it was made by her.

This chicken is years in the making. For years, my coating was too heavy, too greasy, too hard. FINALLY though, I learned what I was doing wrong. Basically, I was trying too hard. I was trying to make fried chicken into something fancy when it’s not. It’s simple country food, homey and comforting. It’s fattening, it’s bad for you and it’s oh so good. Fried chicken can frighten so many people but if you don’t fall into the ‘trying to hard” trap, it’s easy as can be. Just watch your oil temp (buy an instant read thermometer if you don’t have one) and don’t overcoat. Contrary to what one would think, extra coating won’t make it crispier. It just makes the coating hard and tough.

You know the drill…

Country Fried Chicken

  • 5 lbs chicken pieces (we like boneless skinless thighs and breasts and occasionally wings if I can find them on sale)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons Janes Krazy Mized Up Salt (can be found in most grocery stores. I prefer this one because it uses larger salt pieces thus isn’t as “salty” tasting as other seasoned salts)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 to 5 tablespoons of franks Hot Sauce (optional and amount will vary depending on what level of heat you like)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup butter flavor Crisco (optional, but it gives a nice flavor)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, herbs, spices and salt. Stir well.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and hot sauce. Beat until well combined.
  3. In a large pan or dutch oven (I use my 8 quart dutch oven and it works great. You can get a deep level of oil but with no worry of bubbling over and less splattering.), pour vegetable oil to a level of about 2 inches. Add in the Crisco if using (or another cup of oil) and over medium heat, heat oil to 340 degrees.
  4. While oil heats, take each piece of chicken and coat in this order- dredge first in the flour, then in the egg mixture, carefully shaking off excess liquid, then dredge again in the flour. Set each piece on a rack that is set over a piece of waxed paper for easier cleanup.
  5. When oil is hot, put chicken into pan carefully, starting with dark meat pieces like thighs and drumsticks. Turn the heat up to medium high for about 2 minutes, just long enough to bring the oil back up to temp, because adding the chicken can lower the temp drastically, causing the chicken to soak up too much oil. Don’t crowd your pan. Let the dark meat pieces cook for about 5 minutes, then if you have room in the pan, add a piece or two of the white meat.
  6. Cook the chicken, turning two or three times during cooking, until it is golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into a piece of chicken (NOT touching a bone if it’s not boneless chicken) reads at a temp of approximately 180 degrees. Remember that white meat cooks quicker than dark and that just because a thinner piece is done, that doesn’t mean a thick piece like a large breast will be. Make sure you check thicker pieces inner temps too.
  7. Drain on a paper towel covered plate and serve piping hot…or warm…or room temp…or cold. I mean, really… it’s fried chicken!!

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Sticky Spicy Sweet Thai Wings

Sticky Spicy Sweet Thai Chicken Wings

Sticky Spicy Sweet Thai Chicken Wings

Yesterday, I was having a conversation with friends on facebook about how the American public (and a few other westernized cultures) has gotten fatter and fatter even though there is a far larger variety of good for you foods to choose from. We went back and forth over whether diet or lack of exercise was the larger culprit with my personal stance being right in the middle of both. We make crappy food choices, then do nothing to work it off. As a society we have come so far from our agricultural work 10 hours a day at manual labor roots that’s it’s frightening. most of us now get our exercise at home via a dvd or at the gym or maybe jogging and that’s assuming we even get up off of our computer chairs to do ANYTHING. And as I said to friends, I’m as guilty of that as anyone.

Case in point, chicken wings. I absolutely love them and would happily eat them several times a week with no problem. The problem lies in how I usually like them. I love the prepackaged bags of Hooters coating, frying the wings up all nice and crispy and then slathering them in the Hooters sauce. In my defense, I don’t have them often, maybe 2 or 3 times year, but to be totally honest, that probably stems more from the price of wings than any healthy living on my part. Like I said, I’m as guilty as anyone else. Last night, I had those same Hooters wings all planned for dinner. But after that conversation, I just couldn’t do it. I have been trying to eat better lately anyway (as I’ve said before, I actually don’t eat much of what I make for the blog… this is where having teenage boys and my husband having female coworkers who love sweets comes in handy hehe) and after my soapbox talk on facebook, couldn’t justify fried wings coated in flour and a buttery sauce.

So I played. I love spicy foods, I love sweet hot foods even more and I love Thai influenced foods too. So I dreamed up a sauce that had those flavors. I am rather pleased with how these turned out. The sauce is sticky, (and a good wing just HAS to be sticky. It’s the law!), sweet and with a nice punch of heat to it. If you’re spice averse, just lower the amount of jalapeno pepper.  This makes a lot of glaze. You can store the excess in the fridge to use as a dipping sauce for many different foods. 🙂

You know the drill… git to cookin’

Sticky Spicy Sweet Thai Wings

  • 1 4 lb bag frozen chicken wings, thawed
  • 8 ounces apricot preserves
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • juice and zest from one small lime
  • juice and zest from one small orange
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with non stick foil (you could also use regular foil but spray it with cooking spray… as much fat as wings render, they still stick to the pan).
  2. Place the wings in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then drain off all of the rendered fat or your wings won’t crisp at all, they’ll just steam in their own fat.
  4. Continue baking at 400 until wings are cooked through. If they haven’t browned enough for you, turn your broiler on high and put the pan under the broiler until they are of desired brownness. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
  5. As the wings cook, make your sauce. In a medium non stick pot, combine all the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn while the preserves melt. Once it is smooth, turn the heat to medium and continue boiling, stirring very frequently to prevent sticking. Turn the heat off about ten minutes before you take the wings out of the oven to let the sauce cool and thicken. it will look thin hot, but will thicken nicely as it cools.
  6. Put your cooked wings in a large heatproof bowl and pour the desired amount of sauce over them. Toss to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.


Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease. Kim of Cravings Of A Lunatic lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Each year on the day her Mom passed she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day. The ladies got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives. So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honor of Momzie, Kim’s Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.

I think everyone has been touched by heart disease in one way or another, be it with their own health or that of a family member. It is still, in the year 2013,  the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States with over 600,000 deaths per year. Why? genetics of course but you can add in there the increasing tendency towards obesity and the utter lack of exercise many of us get other than walking to and from the snack cabinet. Add in the high fat, high calorie foods so many of us, including myself, love and it is far too common to see people be literally one heartbeat away from death.

I had a stroke last year as many of you know. While it’s not the same as a heart attack or heart disease, it can be caused by many of the same things I just talked about. So is this important to me also? Damn straight. It’s why I lost almost 50 pounds and have tried to get my own health issues fixed.

My family history isn’t pretty when it comes to heart disease. My dad had a heart attack in his mid 40’s. My mom had tachycardia from early adulthood until her death. I have issues with a heartbeat that goes so slow at times that I get dizzy.

On my husbands side, HIS dad has had…five…yes, five…heart attacks. The man is amazing. But the chances of most people being that blessed are rare. Tragically, a lot of the time, one heart attack is all it takes to leave behind a family who will feel that loss forever. So if there is a family history of heart issues for you (and even if there isn’t), I beg of you, don’t wait until later to take steps to insure your own heart health. If you need to lose weight, do it NOW, not after you finish all the junk food you have in the house. If your exercise consists of lifting your hand to your mouth to insert a doughnut, get off your butt and move, even if it’s only a short 20 minute walk per day. But please… please… take care of yourself. Too many people need you. Yes, even YOU back there eating that bag of potato chips, no matter what you think. You…are…loved. Why? Because you have a good heart. So keep it that way.

This soup can be either semi decadent or healthy, depending on what you use in it. For this post, I obviously chose the healthy way; even if you ARE used to seeing foods that have 14,000 calories from me. It can also be played with in many ways to make it more to your family’s tastes. Like things spicier? Add some Sriracha or red pepper flakes at the end or use a hot curry paste. Want a bit less tang? Use less lime juice. Slightly sweeter? Add a touch of brown sugar along with the regular. Plus you can use full fat coconut milk if so inclined and regular chicken broth instead of fat free. Don’t like chicken or just not in the mood? Use shrimp. You could even do this full on vegetarian by using vegetable broth and firm tofu instead of meat. This is a very versatile recipe. It’s also delicious and made as stated you won’t miss the fat or calories. I PROMISE. I mean, c’mon, you all know what I normally cook. So would I lie about something low fat being tasty? This has it all. Spicy, meaty, rich and creamy (yet with no dairy), sweet, salty, tangy. Also, don’t use dried lemongrass in this. If you can’t find fresh (I couldn’t) get the squeeze tubes of lemongrass you can now find in the produce section of most major supermarkets.

This recipe originally comes from Cooks Illustrated.


Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, tough outer parts removed, then sliced lengthwise (or use 1 tablespoon of the squeezable lemongrass)
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 8 sprigs cilantro (they say to chop them but I don’t bother since you will be straining them out later anyway)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (Nam Pla) (do NOT omit this. Yes, it smells ghastly as it heats but it adds that needed something to so many Thai dishes and it leaves NO fishy taste)
  • 4 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 2 14 ounce cans low fat (lite) coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoon lime juice (I also use the zest from one of the limes)
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (I tend to use more… no such thing as too much curry in my book hehe)
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the lemongrass, cilantro, shallots and one tablespoon of the fish sauce (like I said, the fish sauce smells horrid as it heats. But it is not meant to be eaten plain. Once mixed with everything else, the smells fades and it leaves an undefinable flavor. Cook this mixture just until the shallots and lemongrass are softened, about 2 to 5 minutes. If using the squeeze lemongrass, use it now too.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth and one can of coconut milk; bring to a simmer over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about ten minutes
  5. Strain soup over a mesh strainer into another pot; discard the solids.
  6. Return pan to medium high heat and stir in the remaining can of coconut milk and the sugar.
  7. Add the mushrooms and chicken. Stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is JUST done.
  8. Combine the lime, zest if using, remaining 2 tablespoons fish sauce and the curry paste in a bowl. Stir into the soup.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with more cilantro and scallions and some slices of serrano (or jalapeno) pepper. If you really like the tang, pass around some lime wedges too.

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Now that you’ve seen my recipe and have read what I have to say, go check out what these other bloggers have to tell you. You’ll find good food and stories that will touch your heart.


The Recipes from the Heart Crew:

Healthy Snacking with Radish Dip by Juanita’s Cocina

Arugula, Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Farro, Apple & Pecan Salad by It’s Yummilicious

Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce by The Spiffy Cookie

Pasta House Wilted Salad by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars by The Cooking Actress

Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts by All Day I Dream About Food

Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce by Chocolate Moosey

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon by Curry and Comfort

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad by Magnolia Days

Broiled Salmon Gyros with Cucumber Feta Yogurt Dip by Damn Delicious

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal by Crumb

Hoisin Flounder by Taking on Magazines

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Veggie Nachos by Dine & Dish

Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake by Hungry Couple

Ahi Tuna Salad by Noshing with the Nolands

Canapes of Apricot, Goat Cheese, Almonds and Rosemary by Cook the Story

Thai Chicken Soup by From Cupcakes to Caviar

Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf by Rachel Cooks

Black Bean Quesadillas by Pastry Chef Online

Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa by Whipped

Polenta Rounds with Apples and Cheddar by Diethood



It’s All Greek To Me

I’ve mentioned before that I have a crappy appetite.  It’s hard for me to find foods that I really like but when I do I rarely venture far from them *Cough Twinkies and Cheetos Cough* (and yes, they ARE foods. Kind of.) Like a medium rare ribeye, potato wedges and roasted brussel sprouts will always, always always be my all time favorite dinner. Nothing, not even Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food will replace it.

You may have noticed that I have not been posting as much of my normal “OMG, if I eat this my arteries will harden and fall out of my body” type of recipes. That has been a symptom of the above issue. No, I’m not pregnant before anyone guesses that lol. But there HAS been something going on. If you “like” my facebook page, you may have seen an update here and there about exercise and calories (frightening from me I know, but you can take the mental blow. I have faith in you.). Well, about 7 or so weeks ago, I began a pretty frightening undertaking. And part of that included much less of those delicious artery hardening foods. You see, I finally got fed up with my weight. And as of today, I am now 30 pounds lighter than I was about 7 weeks ago with about another 30 to go. It hasn’t been easy because I stopped making (to avoid eating them) all the baked goods I love. Thus why all of you haven’t been getting posts filled with those foods. *Sobs in abject shame* I’M SORRY!!! I’ll try to post more of them!! Seriously, I will. I am now able to have some  faith in my own abilities to stay away from the foods I need to avoid. I also have enough faith now, since I have been doing this for almost 2 months and am 30 pounds lighter, to know that when I DO make the fattening foods, that I can eat a piece and not feel like a failure. It’s hard to explain the way my mind works and the mindset I had. With me, I have always been all or nothing. If I wanted to lose weight and ate something bad for me, that’s it… I was a total failure and I gave up. Not this time though. I have my cheat days (today is one) and I eat what I want then I get back on the proverbial diet bandwagon. And please don’t tell me to not call it a diet but a “lifestyle change”. I’m not that modern lol. It’s a diet. I’m fine with that. It’s just a word used to describe the changes I’ve made.

So today, for said cheat day, I made something that can be either quite good for you or somewhat not, depending on what you do to it before eating it. I absolutely love Greek food and one of the things I get at the fair every Summer is a Gyro. But a good Gyro, made with beef and/or lamb, is hard to do right in a home setting. I don’t like the ground meat ones so there’s where that all or nothing mentality came in. I couldn’t have a huge chunk of meat turning on a spit in my kitchen and one of those cool knives they use to cut the meat, I wasn’t going the beef/lamb route. So I used chicken.

Now is this authentic? Is the Greek government going to call me and give me an award for the best Chicken Gyro ever made? Nope. But is this based on “real” Greek food and does it have a flavor that won’t disappoint? Oh. My. Yes. It does. It is tangy from lemon juice, redolent of oregano, mint, dill and covered in Tzatziki Sauce and Feta cheese. Then, to kill that “good for you” idea, I shoved them in pitas. I mean, really… Gyros with no pita? I’m pretty sure that’s against the law. But it was a honey wheat one in my defense!!! Like one extra gram of fiber and I’m sure the word “grain” was on the package somewhere! *grins*

So c’mon. Get to cooking. Your family will love you and quite possibly erect a statue in your honor. Just make sure they wash their hands first. That sauce drips everywhere.

Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list. Most of it is for either the marinade or the Tzatziki, both of which go together very quickly.

Chicken Gyros With Tzatziki

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Marinade-
  • 2/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 5 (yes, you read that right) minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Oregano (this is one recipe where I will recommend dried herbs, not fresh. The flavor is stronger generally speaking)
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt (or to taste. I usually end up having to sprinkle more on the cooked chicken)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • Tzatziki Sauce-
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (please don’t use fat free in this; it makes it watery)
  • 2 large cucumbers, grated (food processor works well) and then excess liquid squeezed out
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill (I have used both dried and fresh in Tzatziki. In my opinion, the dried works better because the fresh leaves an unpleasant “leafy” texture)
  • To Serve-
  • Pita bread or flatbread
  • Sliced red onions
  • sliced tomato
  • feta cheese
  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large non metal bowl. Stir well to combine. Add in the chicken thighs and stir well to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, while chicken marinates, make your Tzatziki.
  3. Combine the yogurt and sour cream. Add in the lemon juice, garlic, dill salt and pepper. Stir. Gently fold in the grated cucumber, then the olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4. If marinating the chicken overnight, wait until about 2 to 3 hours before serving to make the sauce.
  4. Heat charcoal grill to a medium high heat. If using gas grill, I’m not an expert there but I would guess medium high there too.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium high heat (this could easily be done on an indoor grill pan too) until the chicken has reached an internal temp of about 155, about 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Let the chicken rest for about ten minutes, then serve in/with pita bread, onions and tomatoes and Tzatziki. Sprinkle feta on it. Eat, drip sauce. Enjoy. Write me fan mail.

Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?

Who else remembers that commercial? The line of course pertaining to the idea that you couldn’t tell (I am assuming everyone was dumb and had their eyes closed) whether or not something you were listening to was live or done on a Memorex cassette tape (those funny looking things that predate CD’s). Even then, I have to admit that I thought the premise was rather lame. Helloooooo. If there is not a sweaty “hair band” in front of me shaking their locks and belting it out (as they drink heavily, hit on all the women and quite possibly smoke pot onstage) as the walls and floors shake and everyone holds up Bic lighters, then it AIN’T live. I was poor so it probably wasn’t Memorex either but some crap quality store brand of cassette. Just sayin’
Point is, usually, it is pretty easy to tell the difference between the real thing and a heavily doctored up imposter. Hostess Ho-Ho’s? Yum. Little Debbies Swiss Rolls? Imposter. Coke? Real thing. Pepsi? Imposter (giggles as I imagine the Pepsi drinking crowd getting angry) Cartier Jewelry? Real. Anything worn (or body parts of) by Paris Hilton? Fake. You get the idea.
But sometimes… just sometimes… a fake can be almost as good as the real thing, just in a different way. Like this recipe here- Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken. It’s crunchy and crispity (yes, that is now a word because I said so), tender and juicy (that was already a word. Damn, that means I can’t make it into one) with all the flavor you expect from a good piece of fried chicken. What DON’T you get? A large portion of the fat grams and calories.  Mind you, I won’t say to you “Hey! You can eat this 3 times a day and lose weight! It’s better for you than celery!” but I will tell you that it cuts down on the fat appreciably, especially if you use boneless, skinless breasts. It also definitely tastes far better than celery. Then again, maybe you love celery. In which case, you’re probably reading the wrong blog. Chocolate? Real thing. Celery? IMPOSTER!!
This is extremely easy. Just get out the chicken (any part of the bird will do… except maybe the lips and testicles), and go cook.

Extra Crispy Oven Fried Chicken

  • 6 bone in, skin on chicken breasts (again, that’s what I used because it’s what we had. Use your favorite part. Just adjust cooking time for smaller pieces or dark meat)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 11/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2 teaspoons good quality paprika
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons seasoned salt. (I use Janes Krazy Mixed Up Salt which is my go to seasoned salt. Has been for ages.) The range is broad because seasoned salts vary in saltiness. I use about 2 with the janes but with some that would be far too much.
  1. Combine the butter and the oil together in a large foil lined baking pan. Trust me on the foil part. tilt the pan back and forth to mix them together. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Mix the panko, flour and seasonings in a large bowl or gallon size ziploc bag.
  3. Wet each piece of chicken and dredge it in the flour mixture, pressing it into the chicken if needed (which it will be)
  4. Lay each piece as you dredge them, skin side down, into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes (again, adjust your cooking time depending on what part of the chicken you’re using. Boneless breasts will cook much quicker as will wings. Large pieces of dark meat will take longer. This is based on bone in, skin on breasts.
  6. Flip each piece of chicken over and continue cooking  about another 20 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temp of 165.
  7. Let rest in pan for about five minutes. Before serving, feel free to lay these on a paper towel lined plate to absorb some of the excess oil if you feel the need.

Woohoo!!! I Did A Guest Post…

For one of my favoritest (yes, that too is now a word. Please add it to your dictionary.) people. She is nice, she is funny and she actually tolerates ME. That makes her a saint by any measure.

I made this *points down*

So if you want to know what this is (Ok, I’ll tell… it’s Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Pasta With A Light Bleu Cheese Sauce… but you have to go see her to get the recipe 😛 ) as well as revisit a blogger you probably already know and love OR get to know a blogger you will soon know and love, go over to visit Ann at
Cooking Healthy For Me

. She’s on vacation in England right now *please don’t turn green with envy and yell at my blog…* which is how I was honored to get to guest post for her.

So go check her out, but don’t even think of just looking at this one post. Her whole blog is filled with wonderful recipes and a wonderful personality to match.



Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Cheese?

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

I think not. No… really.

I think.



But really. I love cheese. Like as much as I love chocolate… or butterflies… or cute pot bellied pigs…or Twinkies and Cheetos. And if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know how much I love Twinkies and Cheetos. Btw, please don’t anyone remind me of that Hostess going out of business thing. I’m working my way through the black mood that news caused. It’s not easy and involves massive hoarding of snack cakes. Continue reading

Something Smells Fowl

I think that like most people do anymore, we eat a lot of chicken. I mean, unless you’re wealthy and also completely unconcerned about your arteries turning into cement, you can’t afford much besides chicken and also don’t want THAT much of the excess fat and calories that go along with most types of red meat. Mind you, if it wouldn’t kill me and we won the lottery, I would eat a medium rare ribeye or a juicy lamb chop every single night… then gnaw on the bones and burp loudly for good measure.

But until that lottery win happens and I can hire an in house cardiologist, we eat chicken. Lots and lots of chicken. Until I feel like I am growing feathers and want to say “Cluck you, chicken!”

So I keep looking for new ways to prepare it. Especially ways to prepare the dark meat because as much as I love the boneless skinless breasts, it takes a 3 pound bag to feed my husband, two teenage boys, a three year old who loves his “chickies” and myself…assuming they leave me any. So I sneak dark meat in there, listen to my husband gripe as he eats it, gnaws at the bone and burps loudly for good measure.

The other day when I made the lemon marmalade, I already knew we were having chicken thighs for dinner. I had no idea what to do with them until I ended up with about 3/4 of a cup extra marmalade. See, you can’t can less than full jars when canning because that leaves room for air thus creating a great breeding environment for bacteria. I shudder when I come across photos of things people have canned that have WAY too much head space. But that’s another subject…

So I saw the extra marmalade when I was putting the chicken in a baking pan, still not sure what I was going to do. My mind went into “Hmmmmm” mode (it does this often…usually with frightening results) so I played. Not with the chicken you sickos! Though come to think of it, there WAS the time I danced with a whole chicken across the kitchen. But he liked it! I swear! It was consensual!

What I came up with was pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself. My dark meat hating husband ate two LARGE thighs himself as well as both Zach and Jordan eating two and Joshie polishing off one by himself. They had a beautifully browned crisp skin due to the caramelizing of the sugar in the marmalade. The flavor was sweet, salty, buttery… plain old delicious. And this was so simple. Just toss the chicken in the pan, throw some spices, pour on the sauce and cook.

Buttery Lemon Marmalade & Soy Chicken

  • 3 pounds bone in, skin on chicken thighs (I would NOT use boneless skinless meat in this. You would end up with overcooked meat before it browned or cooked meat with no crispness, depending on how long you cooked it.)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup lemon marmalade (I’m sure it would work fine with orange marmalade too)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil…. unless you LIKE cleaning sticky pans. Then feel free to not line it 😛
  2. Put the chicken pieces in the pan and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder.
  3. In a large measuring cup, microwave the butter, soy sauce, lemon juice and marmalade until the butter is melted. Stir well to combine.
  4. Pour butter mixture over the chicken pieces, making sure to spoon some on any skin that doesn’t get any. Scoop all the pieces of peel out of the measuring cup and throw those on there too 😛
  5. Bake at 350 until chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 or until when you poke it with a knife, the juices are clear.
  6. I served this with Spanish rice. Next time I will be serving it with plain rice because the sauce is beyond delicious!