I love fried foods. The problem is they don’t feel the same way about me. With all my tummy issues, it is impossible for me to eat anything deep fried. I miss french fries, chicken wings & fried chicken. Luckily, all of these naughty foods can also be baked in lieu of frying.
Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken
A family size package of drumsticks (about 12 drumsticks)
2 cups of Panko bread crumbs
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup of flour
2 eggs beaten
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano, garlic salt, paprika & pepper in a large bowl. Pat the chicken dry. Dip the chicken in flour & then dip into the egg. Put a 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture into a large Ziplock bag. Put 3 chicken legs in the bag & shake until well coated. Dispose of the leftover contents of the Ziplock bag. Do this 3 more times until you have coated all of the chicken legs and have used all of the breaded mixture. Place the breaded drumsticks on a foil lined baking sheet & bake for 45 minutes.
Being Vietnamese, I grew up eating rice. I ate a lot of rice. As an adult not much has changed. It is one of my favorite side dishes to a meal, but rice doesn’t only have to be a side dish. Sometimes it can be the main course.
Day old rice – 2 cups measured before cooking.
2 ham steaks, cubed
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of thinly chopped or shredded carrot
1/2 cup of chopped baby corn
1 can of chopped water chestnuts
1 cup of frozen peas
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of raspberry jam
1/4 cup of bbq sauce
1/2 tsp of minced garlic
2 tbsp of seasoned soy sauce ( Green mountain or Maggi are my favorites,) They have a completely different taste than Kikkoman or La Choy.
Pepper to taste 1 tbsp of water
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well.
Cook 2 cups of white rice. Refrigerate overnight. This is important. Fresh rice will make for mushy fried rice.
Cut the skin of the outside of the ham steaks & cube into 1/4 inch chunks. Chop and set aside all vegetables except the peas.
Scramble the eggs with a splash of water. Water makes for fluffier eggs. Spray a large frying pan or electric skillet with cooking spray. Turn the stove or skillet to medium- low heat. Add the egg. When the bottom of the egg firms, flip it quickly. Let cook briefly. You want them just firm and fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and set side.
Turn up the heat to medium – high heat. Add a tbsp of olive oil. Add the ham & stir, cooking until the edges brown slightly. Add all the vegetables. Stir until the peas have thawed and onions have tendered. Pour the sauce mixture over the vegetables. Stir until evenly coated. Pour vegetables into a bowl and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil & add to the pan or skillet. Add the rice. The rice will be hard and need to be broken apart as you stir. Spread out in a flat layer & and fry until the edges brown slightly. Pour the vegetable and sauce mixture over the top and stir until the rice, vegetables and sauce are evenly distributed. Remove from the heat & toss in the egg. Serve hot.
There are a lot of interesting food combinations out there these days. There are food pairings that I would never think of like peanut butter and bacon, deep fried oreos, and deep fried pickles. I remember the first time I ever heard of a deep fried pickle. I thought that it was so strange and then I tasted one… Wow! I was hooked. If ever I was out and saw them on a menu, I had to order them. The problem is now that I am off of fried foods, I miss them. So, if you can’t fry them, bake them.
This is a quick and easy snack that is fun to eat and tasty.
15 mini dill pickles
1/2 cup of egg whites
1/2 cup of flour (I use wheat flour but regular all purpose flour will do)
1/2 cup of bread crumbs
Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Slice the pickle in half lengthwise. Pat dry with a paper towel. Coat in flour & then dip in the egg white. Roll in the bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with low fat Ranch dressing.
My husband said that he likes these even better than the fried version. They were gobbled up quickly.
There has been a year long power struggle in our home. My loyal readers know of our battle with getting our daughter to eat. For the first year of her life, Mai was such a good eater. She nursed every two hours until she started solids.. We started her on solids early because she was always so hungry. Mai was a cute roly poly infant. She would eat just about anything mama & dada put in front of her.
Then one day, a switch flipped. My child lost her desire for food.
All of a sudden, we had to get sneaky with our food preparation & find ways to entertain her to keep her in her seat long enough to take a couple of bites. It seemed as if anything we would try to feed her would go untouched. There were days at a time that she hardly ate a thing at all. This is a major cause of anxiety for my husband & I. Duke, our dog is grateful for all the extra food though.. He is currently about 20 pounds overweight.
At her last doctor’s visit, the doctor informed us that Mai had dropped into the 30th percentile for her weight when she had once been in the 90th. He understood our dilemma, but told us that if she did not put on at least a pound by her next visit, she would have to have testing. I do not want this.
Mommy was desperate. After speaking with the doctor, he got me to realize something. I needed to loosen up. I was so concerned with feeding her the right foods at the right times, that I was missing opportunities to get my child to eat. It was time to change our more structured ways & kick up the creativity a notch & get this baby to eat. While she is still not on board 100%, we have made some progress. Here is what works best for us because airplane just won’t do.
1. Reading to her during meals. This is our most common and successful method. We refer to this as “Mai’s dinner theater”. She has special book reserved just for dinner. It keeps her from squirming and asking to get down.
2. Add a dipping sauce. Our daughter is a dipper. Whether it is ketchup, syrup or salad dressing, she loves to dip her food.
3. Bribing her with rewards. This is probably a bad idea, after all my daughter is not a dog, but it does work on the same principle. Mai loves her fruit snacks. When I am having an evening that she is just playing with her food & asks for a snack instead, I break out a packet of her favorite snack. We trade a half of a fruit snack for a big bite of food.
4. Get over the mess. Toddlers are messy. They will learn to eat in a neater manner as they get older. Struggling with them over clean eating causes more frustration than eating.
5. Let her eat someplace different. Our daughter is not a fan of her booster seat but she loves her safety stool. Sometimes giving her the option to stand in her stool at the counter helps encourages her to eat. Since it is important to us that we eat together as a family, mommy & daddy will bring our plates up to the kitchen island too.
6. Let her be the mommy. The other evening, she wanted her Teddy in the high chair to eat instead of herself. She wanted to feed him. She grabbed the fork intended for her & brought it up to her bear’s mouth.
I told her that she needed to take a bite too to show Teddy how to eat. This worked.
7. Serve fun to eat food. I have tried dressing up her food by making cute little characters out of her meals. Mai is actually not too impressed with decorated food. What she does like though are easy to eat finger foods. Whenever possible, I make things in balls or muffin form. Check out my French Toast Balls: http://thepinterestedparent.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/french-toast-balls/
8. Let her eat when she is hungry. I was so concerned with meal schedules that I was ignoring my daughter’s hunger cues. When we are hungry we eat, why should it be any different for my daughter. While routines are great, our tummies don’t always look at the clock.
9. Don’t force your child to eat or get frustrated. This will discourage them from eating. I am sometimes guilty of this & I have to remind myself not to get upset. Here is Mai doing an impression of an exasperated mommy after she refuses to eat. “Mai Mai copy Mama.” She nailed it!
When you have a toddler, there are good days & there are bad. Some days, you want to just rip your hair straight from your skull and others like today make you grateful beyond belief.
Our daughter is such a love bug & loves when mommy and daddy are both home together. They don’t happen often, so when they do she takes advantage of it. I was equally as happy to have us all together this evening. Since we were all home for a family dinner tonight, I made one our favorite meals, Asian style drumsticks over rice.
Asian Style Drumsticks
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/4 cup of soy sauce (Golden Mountain or Maggi are recommended)
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Flour for dusting
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450. In a bowl mix orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, cayenne & honey. Stir well. Dust the chicken with flour lightly & place in a baking dish. Pour marinade over the chicken, turning and coating each piece well. Add pepper to taste. Place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Spoon the marinade over the top of each drumstick. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, flip & move the chicken around in it’s sauce occasionally.
After dinner, Mai wanted the whole family to retire to the couch & sit under the blankets. We were snuggled up so sweetly that I wanted to take a family photo to capture it. I set the camera on the coffee table on self timer & took a photo. What developed from there was a fun filled selfie evening that had all of us smiling. Even Dukey got in on the action & fun.
Tonight was a dinner-time victory for mommy. Every evening it is a roll of the dice as to whether we will actually get our picky little monster to eat dinner with the family. The biggest cause of stress currently in my life is my daughter’s diet. She hates to eat. I have spoken to the doctor, talked to fellow mommies & Googled advice on how to get Mai to eat. Nothing works. She eats on her terms.
Mai likes bite sized foods & anything in ball form. Meatballs are hit or miss with out finicky eater, but tonight it was a rare win. I am a very happy mama tonight. Maybe these meatballs will be a hit with your picky munchkins as well.
Cheese Filled Turkey Meatballs.
1 1/2 lb of ground turkey
2 egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
3 sticks of mozzarella string cheese
1/2 cup wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Preheat oven to 400. In a medium sized bowl combine turkey, bread crumbs & spices. Add egg whites, Worcestershire sauce, milk & mix well. Add parmesan cheese & mix until all ingredients are well blended. Slice string cheese into 3/4 inch pieces & set aside. Grab a spoonful of mixture, place a piece of cheese in the middle & roll a 2 inch ball around it. Place on a cookie sheet. Continue until you used all of your mixture. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
I recently discovered that my little girl loves ham. It was an amazing discovery considering that she does not eat anything. Mommy wanted to make a family dish tonight using ham in hopes that my little picky eater would gobble it up. Did it work? Join us for dinner & see.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Risotto
2 cups of rice
1 1/2 cup of diced ham
1 1/2 cup of cubed cooked chicken
6 slices of swiss cheese
2 cans of heated chicken broth
1/2 cup of water
1 cup of heated milk
1 tbsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
In a large skillet, add oil & ham. Cook over medium heat just for about a minute or 2 stirring the ham and browning slightly. Add the water and rice. Stir constantly until all liquid is absorbed. Stir in chicken broth, adding only a 1/2 cup at a time, letting all liquid get absorbed in between adding more. Continue until you have used all of the broth. Add the chicken, parmesan & spices. Stir in milk a 1/2 cup of milk and stir until it is absorbed & then add another 1/2 cup, also stirring until absorbed. Remove from the heat & add the cheese and stir until melted.
*Risotto is meant to be al dente but if you prefer a softer texture you may continue to add liquid until you reach your desired consistency.
Unfortunately, the little one refused to eat mommy’s risotto but hubby, Nanna & me all enjoyed it.
Nutella is such a wonderful thing. I want to find the person that invented the delicious nutty spread & give them a giant kiss. It is guilty pleasure of mine. I have been known to just sit there with the jar & a spoon and indulge in the sweet treat right out of the jar. I also am a fan of the crescent roll. If you stuff a crescent with just about anything it is delicious. I am guessing I would even eat a dirty shoe if a crescent was rolled around it. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to couple two of my favorite foods .
A sheet of seamless crescent
1/4 cup of finely chopped hazelnuts
2 Tbsp of butter or margarine
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Unroll the sheet of crescent dough. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out crescent hearts for the top & bottom of your treats. Gather excess crescent & roll out with a rolling pin. Cut out more hearts until you have used most of the dough. Lay one heart down on an ungreased cookie sheet & generously scoop Nutella & spread in the middle following the heart shape & avoiding the edges. Place another heart over the first heart & Nutella. Pinch the edges. Do this until you use all of your dough hearts.
In a saucepan melt butter or margarine over low heat. Add brown sugar & stir until dissolved & then add hazelnuts. Make sure they are finely chopped. Mix until coated with butter & sugar.
In the middle of your formed crescent hearts, use a smaller heart cookie cutter & press in the center. Sprinkle nut mixture in the middle of the cookie cutter until in fills in the shape. Repeat with all formed crescent hearts. Bake for about 10-15 minute or until golden.
Melt chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Heat it in 30 second intervals. Use a spoon to drizzle chocolate over your hearts & let cool.
I don’t know where you all live, but where we are, it is freezing. With the cold New England weather also comes the flu, colds & an assortment of other fun viruses to bounce back and forth around our home.
My husband & daughter have been sick all week. The menu this week has been soup & vitamin C. Tonight’s special for my two sniffling loves is shepherd’s pie soup.
Shepherd’s Pie Soup
4 cups of peeled & cubed potatoes
1 lb of browned ground turkey
2 7oz can of corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
5 tbsp of butter or margarine
5 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups of shredded cheddar
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp parsley
Combine potatoes, onion & broth in large pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer & cover. Cook until potatoes are tender about 15-20 minutes. Add salt & pepper.
Brown ground turkey with the garlic salt, drain & set aside.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter medium low. When fully melted add the flour and stir until the flour is absorbed. Add milk slowly & stir until smooth. Add parley & 1 cup of cheese & stir until melted.
Add the cheese mixture to the potatoes & stir well. Add the corn & the ground turkey & stir well again. Add the last cup of cheese & stir until melted.
Serve to your sick family while it’s still warm.
Some goldfish swimming in the bowl for the munchkin.
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Let the Christmas crafting continue. Last week we made Christmas themed Rice Krispies treats. I needed marshmallows for making these. They were luckily on sale at the grocery store that day & I bought far more marshmallow than any household needs.
While making our treats, I noticed that Mai really enjoyed playing with them. We had enough of them, so let’s play.
Today, it was Mai & Mommy’s marshmallow crafting day. Lately, Mai has been doing a lot of painting. She asks me almost every day. Today would be no different. “Paint, mama! Paint! Paint!”. Painting it is! We could use the marshmallows to paint with, ala pointillism style. My thoughts were to cut out a Christmas tree & then use the marshmallows to dot on the ornaments with paint.
Here is what you will need..
Construction paper- green, yellow, white, red & brown
I had as much fun with this as she did. This was a fun & easy project for any age.
The marshmallow fun didn’t stop there. We needed a sweet treat after all that painting.
Peanut Butter Melting Snowman Smores
Peanut butter cup minis
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Break graham crackers into double square squares. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on to the cracker. Place one marshmallow on each square. Place in the oven. Bake until marshmallow is almost melted. Do not let burn. Remove from the oven & lightly flatten the marshmallow with a spatula. Let cool for about 2 minutes. Place a peanut butter cup on the still warm marshmallow, where you would like your hat to be. It will melt slightly. Put in the fridge for a few minutes to let the hat cool & set. Remove from the fridge & add two chocolate M&M mini for eyes. Use orange writing icing to make a carrot nose & use black or brown icing to dot on the mouth. Let cool & enjoy.
These are delicious. The peanut butter offers a wonderful twist. I know someone that agrees.
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