Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Homemade Chicken Nugget Recipe

What kid doesn't love chicken nuggets, right? 
With back to school in a few days for my boys, I'm trying to get a jump start on prepping all those early morning lunch boxes. These chicken nuggets are not only delicious and easy to make, but they don't contain loads of sugar or need any weird chemical soak and dyes.


1 lb of Chicken, cooked
2 Eggs
Bread crumbs
Wheat germ
Parmesan cheese

First shred your chicken, either in a food processor or mixer.
I over cooked my chicken a little, I've been watching the latest season of Downton Abbey and was distracted. Don't do that.

Add the eggs and salt. 
Not a great picture, but you get the idea - it's chicken.

Mix together breadcrumbs, wheat germ, and parmesan for the coating. I didn't measure, I just mixed it up until it looked good. I think crushed corn flakes would be equally as good.

I used my rice mold to press and form the chicken mix into small even shapes. And then, I just made patties because the shapes were taking too long. 

Roll your nuggets in the crumbs a few times and press for good coverage. 

I spread my baking sheet with butter to make them a little extra crispy, but that's totally optional. 
I was able to make 20 nuggets from this recipe.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes on each side. Or until they're golden and crispy.

Now you can eat them!
They're so easy and quick to make, you don't have to feel guilty eating a whole batch. If you want, you can freeze them and take a few out as you need.

Dip them in some homemade ranch - it's the best!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Peach-Apricot Fruit Leather

So the other day, a friend and I went to a local farm.

First of all, if you've never been to a peach orchard - go. Now.
The smell alone is worth the trip.

I planned on picking a few pounds - enough to eat and make a pie or two.

The kids had other ideas.

Guess how many peaches I came home with.
Just guess.

So now, along with freezing 10 lbs of peaches, I'm making fruit leather!
I bought a dehydrator a few weeks ago, and I might be a little obsessed with using it.

If you don't have fresh peaches, frozen will work.
But, trust me, fresh from the tree is best!

Peach-Apricot Fruit Leather

4 - 5 Large peaches
3 Tbsp. Apricot preserves
1/3 cup Honey
2 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 Tbsp Cinnamon sugar 

First, you need to peel and pit your peaches. The easiest way to do this is to blanch them and peel the skin off. Start by making a small X in the skin.
Dunk the peaches in boiling water for 30 secs or so, and then immediately put them in a bowl of ice water.

The skin should peel off pretty easily after that. 
Then cut them in half and take the pit out.

Don't eat them yet! (Ok, eat one. JUST ONE.)

Put them in a medium saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients.

I had some sugar that I had stored with some vanilla beans in it - so good! I added some cinnamon to it and put it on toast for breakfast, so I just used the rest in this recipe. Extra sugar is definitely not needed, so if you just want to add a pinch of cinnamon, it would still be great.

Simmer over medium until the peaches are very soft. It only takes a few minutes.

Put your fruit mix in a blender and blend until smooth.

Now you're ready for the dehydrator.
I should have taken a picture, but I lined my dehydrator with parchment paper. 
I laid down my paper, traced the dehydrator tray, and then cut it out. 
Pretend there's a picture here.
Alternatively, you can bake these in your oven - just set the temp as low as you can.

These are beyond delicious. They're even better than the kind you buy at Trader Joe's!
I *might* even like them better than a fresh peach.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ready or Not, Here Comes Fall!

Fall is my absolute favorite season. 
There's nothing I don't like about it!
So, naturally since August = Autumn in my mind, I'm starting to gear up for cooler weather.
(It's already pretty cool here in Michigan)

Doesn't this look so cozy?

Well, here's your chance to win one of these warm cowl scarves for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Nights and Watermelon Margaritas

Is there anything better than an great summer evening?

We have been so busy this summer, sometimes I forget to take a breath and enjoy the laid back schedule and gorgeous Michigan weather.

Bounty from our little garden.

Hamburgers on the grill.

Did you know how easy ketchup is to make yourself? It literally takes about 2 minutes, and the taste is unreal! Store-bought doesn't even compare!

12 oz of tomato paste
1/2 cup honey
1 cup white vinegar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
Any other seasoning you want - I used rosemary and garlic, it was delicious!
Just mix it together and you're done!

Homemade condiments.

Juicy watermelon.

Enjoying a second slice.

Waiting for a treat.

Jumping high.

And not so high.

Learning to ride.

Being silly.

Hanging with Dad.

Roasting marshmallows.

Homemade s'mores.

Crunchy graham crackers.

Messy hands.

Warm fires.

Best friends.

And what night would be complete without a great summer drink!

Watermelon margaritas.

8 oz tequila
3 oz triple sec (I was out and used peach schnapps instead - still good!)
1/2 can of frozen limeade
1 cup water
A generous slice of fresh watermelon (seeded)

Blend it up! 

Drink it out on the deck.