Chicken Parmesan 

Pregnancy craving alert!

Let me start off with I don’t really measure anything. It’s pretty much a trial and error process. However it isn’t hard to eyeball what you think is best. Also feel free to mix and match all you do!

The first thing my dad always said when cooking was “Marena gather your mise en place…. You don’t know what it means? Look it up!” I’ll save you the time and tell you it just means gather all your supplies before you start. He always said this helps make sure you don’t forget a step or realize you’re missing something after your hands are messy. I have two mise en place just because I don’t want my cold stuff sitting out while the chicken bakes.

Set #1 


Food items!

4 Chicken tenders (Feel free to use what you like. This is what my husband loves so it’s what I use. I also use frozen mean I just defrost it making sure not to cook the chicken).

Flour about a cup. (This varries on the amount and thickness of your chicken. In the end I had just a tad to much but I also asked my husband to get it for me so that was my fault).

2 eggs. (Again you may need more based on the chicken. I also found with 4 tenders I really only needed 1 egg).

1 cup bread crumbs (You can totally make your own or get seasoned. Mine is just plain).

Dash of Italian seasoning and Chile powder. (I only used this because my break crumbs were plain).

Dash of Mrs. Dash chicken seasoning (this is to season the chicken so if you’d rather just use salt and pepper then go for it).

Good helping of Parmesan. (Fresh or bottle like I used).

Non food items!

Napkins (trust me! Fingers get messy).

A fork. 

Baking dish of your choice. (I’m not sure on the size of mine but it doesn’t need to be super think or thin. Just go with what you have).

3 bowls. (I like them to be a little bigger however I used small ones because my bigger dishes were washing).

*So normally chicken parm is pan fried to get a good crisp if you do this skip the baking dish. I have been baking more because with my pregnancy I get tired standing to long. 

Let’s get cooking!

  1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Mix the seasonings and the bread crumbs if you want to add extra seasoning along with your good helping of parmeasan!
  3. Season the raw chicken
  4. Dip chicken and fully coat with flour. 
  5. Transfer to egg and fully coat. 
  6. Transfer to bread crumbs and really make sure it’s coated!
  7. Place in baking dish with even spaces. 
  8. Bake chicken on both sides 8-10 minutes. (Or pan fry the same way).

* If you don’t have a big enough dish you’ll make a mess. Or maybe It’s just me who makes messes. 

*Dont mind the peanut butter or zip lock bag. After I cleaned up I planned to make my husbands lunch. He seemed to think I’d forget to make it so he sat it on the table. 

Set #2


Any pasta you want (mine is from Cosco. Use the amount that works for your family).

Any pasta sauce (again use the right amount for your family).

1/4 of the bag mozzarella (use more or less with what you like. This was a tad much but my husband is a cheese fan. You can also use provolone or any cheese you like).

Optional would be garlic bread. (I want to say I made it myself Bu after making the rest of the food I want to be lazy so I use Texas toast).

Let’s get cooking!

  1. Cook pasta based on package. 
  2. Bake bread 8-10 minutes. 
  3. Put cheese on chicken and bake for 3-5 minutes. (You can also do the cheese during the last 5 minutes of chicken cooking. I do it this way because I want to be able to check the chicken is fully done. It’s pregnancy thing I’m sure I could put it on but I get nervous).
  4. Heat sauce. 

*If you pay attention and start cooking the pasta and bread at the right time while the chicken is baking everything can be done at the same time!

Here is the finished product!

The best part of my night is when my husband said he LOVED it and would eat it again. He’s a picky eater. 

How do you make your chicken parm? If you try it out let me know how it goes!

Talk soon,

Marena

Advertisements

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy!

Monday I made a very delicious dinner!

I made Chicken and Shrimp Florentine pasta.
It was fresh and light. Usually pasta dishes don’t feel light because it is carb heavy. So it was refreshing.

Here is what I used!

-4 frozen chicken tenderloins  (obviously you can use fresh.)
-1/2 a small bag of frozen shrimp (approximately 15 shrimp.)
-10 Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half.)
-Fresh basil and parsley  (half a hand full, or whatever you want.)
-1 cup baby spinach
-Spoonful of garlic (use a clove or the jar stuff.)
-Dash of salt and pepper
-1 whole lemon squeezed for juice (zest on top.)
– 2 cups penne pasta
-1 1/2 cups wine

I cooked the pasta then drained it with most the water and put it in a bowl to so it wouldn’t stick to the hot pot.
I pan cooked my chicken after defrosting it. Then threw it in the bowl the pasta.
I put the shrimp in hot boiling water for 5 minutes. Then drained it and threw it on the pan after the chicken. I just did a quick toss of it. Then put it in the bowl with chicken and pasta.
After that I threw by cut tomatoes and spinach in the very same bowl.
*This was my way of getting it together without worry of sticking to a hot pan. Do what you wish.
Then I put it all in a pan where I mixed it together really well.
This is where you’d add the wine, lemon juice and zest. Then  cook till warm and it’s mixed well.

I personally am not 21 so I can’t buy wine not even cooking wine.
So here you’re probably asking “Marena what did you do?”
The answer is simple. I panicked and searched for a recipe hoping to find it without wine (before I started cooking.)

Then I went to the store hoping maybe I could buy the cooking wine where I found out I officially couldn’t buy it.
To my luck I found my miracle.
It was a wine and hearbs seasoning packet in the seasoning isle. The directions said add water and olive oil then mix.
To my luck it turned out perfectly. So if you’re under 21 find this packet. I apologize I can’t find the packet to find the brand but the info I gave should be good enough to find. I believe it was McCormick.

Please let me know if you try making it. And give your ideas if you do anything different.

image

Talk soon,
Marena

Smoothie Delight

Have you ever named your smoothie? I don’t mean naming the already named smoothie you baught at a store or a smoothie shop. But naming the smoothie you make. I never did until I started nannying these two girls. Cecilia is 3 and she names all of our smoothies.

I wanted to give background so you’ll understand the names. 🙂

Orange Dream

2 peeled oranges

1/2 a cup of vanilla yogurt (your preference brand)

3/4 cup milk

A dash of raspberry vinaigrette (If desired. We only noticed a hint of raspberry.)

Pink Monster

6 BIG strawberries

6 blueberries

8 spinach leaves

1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt (any brand)

3/4 cup of milk

The Bunny

5 strawberries

Small handful of sunflower seeds

Spoonful of peanut butter

Blueberry greek yogurt (We used the personal sized cup. Use any brand.)

1/2 a cup of milk

I never added any extra sugar. Each time I found it to be the perfect taste. You may need to experiment and make it perfect for you.

If you try any of these recipes let me know!

Talk soon,

Marena

P.S. This was a great activity to do with both children. Of course I did the cutting and measuring but they put everything in and even pushed the blender button.

*Great idea to have a safety lesson first

Golden Harvest Review

Golden Harvest is an amazing resturant in Lansing, Michigan. I recommend everyone coming to try this place out once in their life.

image

I rate Golden Harvest a 10 out of 10. To be rated a 10 by me is very good because I’m usually very hard to please. Great job!

The food and atmosphere here are spectacular. Be prepared to wait a little while. This isn’t a quick resturant like McDonald’s. They are the size of my kitchen and living room and they cook right in front of you.

Also be prepared to laugh and have  conversation not only with the people you come with but also with the staff. No matter how busy (trust me they get busy) the staff makes you feel like family.
When I say busy I mean 50 or more people will wait in the rain, snow, and sun just to eat here. So be sure if you don’t want to wait you’re here by 8:30 am.

Tim “The Coffee Pusher” (employee) stated “Golden Harvest is VERY eclectic.” I’m sure he wouldn’t change it for the world! 🙂

I believe the best part about Golden Harvest being slow is they make their food 10 times better. They put more love in just like grandma used to do. 🙂

image

Cornbeef hash (their take) hash browns over easy eggs(to perfection) and wheat  toast. Sorry I started eating and put my eggs on another plate before I photographed how beautiful it looked.

Let me know if you eat here! I live around the block so maybe I’ll join you!

Talk soon,
Marena

P.S. Cash ONLY!

1625 North Turner Street
Lansing Michigan

Just a Dash of Popsicle!

I love smoothies they are an addiction but I get disappointed if they don’t turn out as well as I want. That includes if they are too cold.

So here is my yummy smoothy recipe. And how I make it perfect. I hope you enjoy!

BluePeach Twist

image

I forgot to put milk in the picture.

*First put in 3 peaches. I like to use fresh but frozen also work.
*Second put in half the cup of blueberry yogurt. I use Yoplait light. But use what you prefer. (I can’t say they will work better or not)
*Third use half a cherry popsicle. (This is the twist. Be sure to put the other half of the popsicle back in the freezer so it doesn’t melt)
*Fourth add a dash of milk. (If you there is too much then the flavors get lost)

No blend these up. Make sure you don’t hear a crunching sound.
image

Side note: If you decide to use fresh fruit I suggest 3 or 4 ice cubes or even ice cream. This way it firms up and stays cold. I partly use frozen fruit so I don’t have to use anything else.

After the first bled be sure to shake it a little. This way everything is moved around.

Side note: Everytime I say to shake it I think of “Keep it sexy” if any of you have seen the tipsybartender you’ll get the reference. It’s a YouTube channel all about making alcoholic drinks.

Now that we’re done blending you’ll put in the other half of your yogurt and popsicle. You’ll also had in 2 more peaches.

Blend it up one last time. Don’t forget to stop after the crunching. This will ensure your smoothy is smooth.

Shake it one more time to make sure it’s mixed. Then poor and enjoy!

*I didn’t wait long enough so I had a few lumps.

Personal Preference
I don’t add any extra sugar than what’s in the original ingredients. However add more sugar to fit your taste. Or less by only using half the popsicle.
If you decide to skip the popsicle all together that’s fine it’ll just be a BluePeach smoothy.

If you try this smoothy out let me know what you think.

Enjoy! I know I am!

image

Talk soon,
Marena

P.S. My photo doesn’t do it justice but the color is a light pink . Very pretty.

Bacon Yum Yum Yum Gotta Have my Bacon!

That’s right we’re talking bacon today!

I’m watching cupcake wars. They had a challenge to make cupcakes with bacon in it. Have you ever heard of that before? I sure have not.

So anyways people made a bacon burbank cupcake and jalapeño bacon infused cupcake. I was feeling inspired so I’m going to give you a bacon cupcake recipe. If you make it yourself let me know what you think!

The first step I believe in is to start up some fun music!
Maple Bacon Cupcake
Ingredients
* 1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained
* 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)
* 1 egg
* 5 tablespoons brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 1/4 cups self rising flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* tiny tiny pinch kosher salt
* 1/4 cup milk
What to do
* 1) Cook some bacon in a fry pan (about 6 thick strips). Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Mince 1/4 a cup of the bacon. The chef should eat whatever is left to assure that the bacon is tasty.
* 2) Beat the crud out of the butter and solidified bacon fat ’till light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat well until combined.
* 3) Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
* 4) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
* 5) Add some of the flour and mix, then some of the milk, then continue to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the bacon. Taste and add more maple syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. Keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, and to add in very small increments for alterations as maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.
* 6) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes for even baking.

For added fun here is the frosting!

Maple Syrup Frosting
Ingredients
*4 tablespoons of butter.
* 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
* 1 cup of powdered sugar.
* turbinado sugar (optional, but recommended).
* coarse grain sea salt (optional, but recommended).
What to do
*Combine the syrup and butter until combined. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, and whip at high speeds until combined. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Sprinkle on sea salt and turbinado sugar for decoration and a lot of added flavor.
*Add some crumbled BACON too!

This recipe comes from bacontoday.com they have a lot of recipes so go check them out as well!

I have not tried to make these cupcakes or even tried tasting a bacon cupcake. So do me a favor and please tell me how it turns out. Also if you have any suggestions on how to make it healthier let us know.

Talk soon,
Marena

Crying Onion

You know when you cut an onion people say you cry?

I’ve never had that experience. However I my eyes burn so bad.

Do any of you have special tricks to help while you cut onions?

Tonight my father made chili and that included dicing onions. I love my dad’s chili. It’s probably the only thing of his he doesn’t burn.

I remember a few years back when my dad burnt green been casserole right before we were heading to a neighborhood cookout. It was just my sister, my dad, and I. My mom was away for work. All my dad had to do was pull it out of the oven when the buzzer went off. To this day I don’t remember why he never pulled it out. (This is a story we still bring up from time to time).

Man I miss livingat home sometimes just for the stories. Then again I’m now creating my own stories. That’s just as great!

Share some of your stories!

Talk soon,

Marena