Sprouting Feathers

My family loves chicken.  So much so that I think I could cook it for them every day and they would be happy.  Well, except for BigGirl (the Meatasauraus) who needs her steak and “pork butt” to be happy.

I seem to cook an awful lot of chicken recipes.  Do you?

This past weekend (as you know if you are a regular blog reader) I cooked 2 5-lb chickens on the grill. I used my beer can chicken recipe and they turned out super good. 

We ate some chicken on Sunday with our spaghetti and then I deboned the rest and saved it for recipes this week.

Last night I made chicken and dumplings (and a mess in my kitchen) and chicken salad with those leftovers.

I thought I’d share the recipes with you today.

But first, I must confess one thing.  When I cook, I’m one of those “dab of this, pinch of that, sprinkle a little of this” kind of cooks.  So, when you read my recipes, especially these two, remember that fact and feel free to get creative as you cook them.  I approximated in the recipes what I did last night while I prepared these two things, but other than the dumplings, the rest was just eyeballing it and flying by the seat of my pants (how is that for mixing my metaphors?)

Anyway, thought it was important to get those disclaimers out of the way.

If you don’t think of yourself as a good cook, I know it is a little intimidating to try to follow someone’s recipe when they don’t give you actual, definite amounts to go by.

But one thing to remember.  Cooking is more about the blending of flavors and seasonings and less about science.  Baking, well, that’s a whole ‘nother blog post.  Baking IS science. And I have the disaster stories from my experiments to prove it.  Baking is more precise.

Cooking, on the other hand is more like art.  Just go with the flow and see where it takes you. Usually to something good.

Ok, enough of my ramblings. I know you really just came here for the recipes anyway. 😉

Here’s a link to the chicken & dumplings recipe. I changed it only in that I used the leftover chicken and I substituted half whole wheat flour for my dumplings.  BigGirl said it was the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever made. She ate two helpings.

Here’s the chicken salad recipe.  It is an approximation of the chicken salad my friend Donna makes. It’s got some non-traditional ingredients, but I love it. I eat it all by itself, unadulterated with bread or crackers (although it is good that way, too)

I hope you enjoy.

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 4 Oct

I’m not going to be cooking much this week.  That is because I spent a lot of time cooking this past weekend. We had company all weekend and dinner guests Sunday night – I cooked several big meals and we’ll be enjoying the bounty of leftovers for a few days.  I love it when that happens.  I love cooking, so it’s not a chore to me, but it is really nice when you cook a little extra and can take a break – especially after a marathon cooking session.

Here’s what we have planned for the week:

  • Monday: Rotel Chicken Pasta Bake (leftover from Sunday night)
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti (leftover from Sunday lunch – may make this into baked spaghetti to mix it up a bit)
  • Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings (using leftover chicken from the 2 5-lb chickens I grilled this weekend)
  • Thursday: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan (using leftover spaghetti sauce from Sunday)
  • Friday: BBQ Ribs & baked acorn squash

That should take us through the week quite well.  I have no idea what we will do Saturday night – SuperMan and I have plans and so the kids will probably do something easy like pizza.

What are you doing this week?  Any good recipes to share?
Join us over at orgjunkie.com for your Menu Plan Monday.

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 30 August

Happy Monday, everyone!

This week will be an interesting one for us. SuperMan is going on a new work schedule and won’t be home until after 7 each night (boo!) which means that the girls and I will be on our own for supper most nights. This will be a challenge for me. What to cook that the girls will enjoy/eat and will still be appetizing for SuperMan when he gets home…

Here’s what I have planned for the week:mpm-1

  • Twice-baked potatoes with a salad
  • Chicken Parmesan
    This will be a new one to try on the kids. I don’t know if they will like it or not.
  • Steaks cooked on the grill with fresh veggies and buttered potatoes
    This is usually a SuperMan-cooked dinner. It will be interesting to see how I do cooking steaks.
  • Pizza Braid
    I saw this recipe last week when I was perusing other Menu Plan Monday posts. Have to try it.
  • Sloppy Joes with homemade french fries & fresh fruit
    Kid-friendly & fast – good for one of those nights we have dance classes.
  • Chicken Pomodoro
    I have had this on my list for two weeks and haven’t made it yet. Maybe this week?


What are you cooking this week?

Join us over at orgjunkie.com and share your menu plan!

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 23 Aug

mealplanmonday_v2 Got lots going on this week.

So glad I have planned out my menus. We have dance classes on Monday/Wednesday and Friday this week, plus curriculum night/PTO on Wednesday night and a knitting session for me on Thursday evening.

Without the plan, I think we would devolve into eating a lot of junk and fast food. This way, I know my family is getting healthy food and I can control fat, protein, and portion sizes.  Not to mention we have great leftovers for lunches.

As you can see we’re back into the chicken routine.  I’ve been finding chicken thighs on sale at the grocery and substituting them for the breasts in menus where I can. They are juicier than breasts and easier for my tummy to digest. The rest of the family doesn't seem to mind, either.

Here’s what I have planned for the week:

I’ve included links to all the recipes since so many of you have asked me for them.  Most are mine, a few other folks’.  All are posted on AllRecipes.com so it should be easy for you to access and print.

Join us over at Menu Plan Monday on orgjunkie’s blog – you can get some great ideas for your own dinners and share what you’ve got planned as well!  There are some great recipes over there – I was picking up a few ideas myself this morning that may show up in my own menus in the next few weeks.


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What’s for Dinner?

Here’s one of my favorite go-to recipes for the nights that SuperMan is working late and it’s just me and the girls for dinner.

Sesame Chicken BitesSesame Chicken Bites


My girls love them just like they are straight out of the oven. No sauces, ketchup or anything needed.

I make them with two gallon sized zip top bags.

I use one for the mayo base coat mixture.  The second is used to hold the breading coating.  Easy cleanup and easy prep. Love that.

I use flash-frozen chicken tenders and cut them into bite-sized pieces.  This makes the dinner such a snap to make!

Here’s the recipe.  I think it would also be great to serve at a cocktail party with a little honey mixed with horseradish for a dipping sauce.

Sesame Chicken Bites

1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup (apprx) sesame seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Houston House Seasoning
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (Cut in bite-sized pieces)
(you can also use chicken tenders cut into pieces)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large gallon zip top bag, mix the bread crumbs and sesame seeds. Add a dash of Houston House Seasoning
  3. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard & house seasoning.  Pour into a second gallon zip bag.
  4. Drop chicken pieces into the mayo bag and toss to coat.  I usually let the pieces sit in the bag in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Drop the mayo-coated chicken into the bread crumb/sesame seed mixture and toss to coat.
  6. Place chicken nuggets on sheet pan that has been sprayed with oil.
  7. Bake at 425 for approximately 15-20 minutes (or until chicken is done and coating is lightly browned)

I serve them with homemade french fries, a little fruit and sometimes some yogurt. Quick and easy – and healthy!

You can print the recipe here.

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