The first 10 days of 2013 have been SUPER fun at the Koons Zoo. We’ve had mono, stomach flu, pneumonia, nasty colds & a dead car battery. YAY! *Please note the extreme sarcasm. We have spent more time at home in our PJ’s in these 10 days than we have probably in all of 2012. I’ve also watched way too many episodes of Property Brothers and House Hunters because for my 10 year old son, nothing cures what ails you like those 2 shows. He then takes notes and presents me with floor plan & design proposals for his room. Is he weird or what? Weird but awesome. All 3 kids returned to school yesterday, which was the first time since before Christmas break, so we just *might* be on the road to returning to normalcy. Ha ha yeah right, it’s still the Koons Zoo after all.
Personally, I’ve been making lots of soups, snake eyes (each one of my kids lists these as one of their top 5 favorite foods? They are pretty delicious) and grilled cheese sandwiches. Funny story about me and grilled cheese. When I was growing up the only way I remember my mom making grilled cheese is buttering both sides of the bread, slapping some Velveeta in the middle, and putting them on a baking sheet in the oven directly under the broiler. Then she’d leave the oven door a crack and broil them to melty perfection. That is the ONLY way I knew so of course when it came time for me to carry on the grilled cheese making tradition that’s how I did it. And I burned them to blackened bliss…every.single.time. And since my kids could talk they remind me of that fact, that no matter what kind of awesome, gourmet meal I prepare or what gorgeous cupcake I bake, that I fail at grilled cheese. And to them grilled cheese trumps well, pretty much everything. For many years GI Joe became the grilled cheese maker in the house and the kids would rub it in that “daddy makes grilled cheese better than mommy does” but between you and me, he totally cheats when he makes them. He toasts the bread in the toaster, then puts the cheese on and puts the whole thing in the microwave just long enough to melt the cheese. Umm, NO. One year for Christmas I got a wafflemaker/sandwich maker and I thought I was supersmart when I finally made them the perfect grilled cheese until they busted me. “You have to use a machine to make grilled cheese?!? Tee hee ha ha ha that’s cheating,” they would taunt.
Until one day when I was making their beloved snake eyes, it occurred to me, “why not make grilled cheese this way too? In the skillet with butter…duh.” So last week when the patients aka kids requested grilled cheese but “don’t use the machine and can Daddy just make them?” I assured them that I had a plan and that I would make their grilled cheese and it would be the best grilled cheese they’d ever had. They were doubtful.
But like Dora the Explorer, I DID IT, I DID IT!!!
I paraded that first, browned to golden glory, with perfectly melted cheese oozing out of it, sandwich around the house showing each one of them, “LOOK I did it, NO MACHINE!!!”
Yes, a perfect grilled cheese sandwich is parade worthy.
Ryder took a bite and declared it the best grilled cheese in all the land so I’ll take that as a win. The whole family was so proud, it was a touching scene. OK maybe not but I was pretty darn proud of myself. Now to just master my other nemesis, the pie crust.
And that big, long grilled cheese story? It has nothing to do with the Food Friday recipe today. So there’s that.
But before I earned the culinary respect of my
critics children by mastering the grilled cheese, I wowed them with this chicken. Which in my house, is unheard of, mainly because it’s chicken and they seem to think we eat WAY TOO MUCH CHICKEN (not possible). When I made this, every single kid and husband (to clarify there’s just one of those) asked for seconds which also never happens. Now that everyone in the house has an appetite for solid foods again, this is on the menu for next week. I can’t wait. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the most delicious. Ex: this chicken, oh and snake eyes.
Crispy Cheddar Chicken Tenders (http://www.plainchicken.com/2012/07/crispy-cheddar-chicken-tenders.html)
By Plain Chicken
Crispy Cheddar Chicken Tenders
2 lbs chicken breasts, tender size
1/2 sleeve Club crackers (or Ritz)
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp Ranch dressing mix
2 Tbsp milk
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup (I used Healthy Request)
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Preheat oven to 400.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine crackers, cheese, Ranch mix and pepper. Pulse until you have fine crumbs. Pour into shallow bowl.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 2 Tbsp milk.
Dip chicken tenders into egg mixture and then coat in cracker crumbs. Place chicken on foil lined baking pan. Repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. (PP note: I had to cook mine a little longer to get it cooked all the way through, maybe my breasts were bigger? Ahahahaha, hi I’m a 15 year old boy.)
While chicken bakes, whisk together soup, butter, sour cream, milk, pepper and parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer until chicken is done. Spoon sauce over baked chicken. Do not skip the sauce it makes the chicken.
Have a great weekend!!!