Almond Parmesan Crusted Chicken Strips

I have lots of parmesan floating around in my fridge right now from the flax crackers I made last week. I didn’t feel like whipping up crackers but was hurting for some chicken strips. After cleaning out my coffee grinder, I went to work grinding up almonds and parmesan, and I was on the road! You can definitely use pre-ground almonds and kraft parmesan, but I was using the fresh deliciousness on hand. These are crunchy and satisfying and definitely higher on the health scale than the regular breaded version! They also cook up in a jiffy, making for an easy dinner on a busy night. Serve with salad, or braised brussels sprouts (at Gen’s desperate request).

Almond Parmesan Crusted Chicken Strips

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders (or 3 chicken breasts, sliced into strips)
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, ground
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, whisked 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Grind up your almonds and parmesan and toss them together in a bowl. Stir in the spices and whisk until well combined.
  3. Whisk your eggs in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each strip into the eggs and then toss in the almond mixture and set on a plate.
  5. Let the strips rest in the coating for 5-10 minutes.
  6. In a large pan heat some oil and cook the strips for 3 minutes each side.
  7. Lay the strips on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Let the chicken strips rest in their coating for a few minutes.

Deviled Eggs light lunching

Looking for a quick lunch, I boiled up some eggs, mashed up the yolks with some of my favourites, and ate like a queen! These aren’t the most attractive version of this treat, I was just making it for myself. It is delicious though, and there are many variations of deviled eggs out there, try them all! Make them for lunch, breakfast, appetizers, whatever floats your boat.

Deviled Eggs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen eggs, boiled and peeled (place eggs in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring them to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10-15 minutes. Peel, rinse and set aside)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard (I used habanero mustard this round)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (make your own!)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice the eggs lengthwise, pop the yolks out and into a medium bowl. Lay the whites on a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except onions and celery, to the yolks and mash until well combined.
  3. Stir the celery and onions into the yolk mixture.
  4. Spoon the yolk mixture into the yolk holes in the whites. Feel free to sprinkle with a little paprika before munching down.

It’s not pretty, but it is tasty.

 

Excuses, Excuses!

Please find below my excuse for my posting absence:

Wait, is that a bookshelf… in the kitchen? Yes. Yes it is.

I took off half the books for ease of moving, didn’t help with ease of cooking.

We weren’t starting a new trend, we were getting our carpets cleaned and have very few places to store anything. Our kitchen took on the book shelf, our bedroom held the rest. But gosh darn our carpets are clean!

So that is my first excuse, and it’s a good one, but the carpets were cleaned last Saturday, only hindering me from baking and cooking until Monday, when they were dry enough to load back up with furniture. My second excuse came about as a bit of a surprize. Someone in our building has ants. We don’t but that doesn’t matter, we got a notice on Monday that our floor (along with 15 others) were being treated for ants. Okay, easy enough. No, they needed us to clear out our cupboards and drawers. Tah dah:

Utensils. (Auntie Janice, those knives are great!)

Everything packed up. Ugh, I am a transient.

Anyway, I do have posts for you wonderful folks, but I need a night to focus, finish reinstating my life, and relax. Sorry about the big pause, but now that I have a clean carpet and access to my kitchen, I will whip you all up something spectacular! (or just good.)

WARNING: MONSTER POST—Steamed Mussels three ways: Butter & Garlic, Curry, Spicy Coconut

My husband brought home a big box of live mussels on Thursday and I started planning the best way to cook them up this weekend. When I went to open them I noticed that their expiry date was the same day that Gen had bought them, two days before. Well, in an ignorant and hopeful moment, I opened the container and tested the mussels for liveliness. Unsuccessful. Time of confirmed death, 5:00pm. Gen immediately called Costco about the possibility of an exchange for mussels that haven’t already expired and they agreed! Problem: they close at 6:00pm. So, my wonderful husband who was desperate for some mussely goodness hustled his butt down to Costco, they took in our dead mussels and gave us a brand new batch and I went to work preparing them three ways! This was a delicious treat for us and we happily have some leftovers to munch on today (pluck the leftover mussels out of their shells, seal in a tupperware and eat cold, or just warmed the next day. They can get quite hard if you heat them too much the next day). The Butter & Garlic batch has a little kick from some apple cider vinegar, Gen went WILD for these, possibly because they were the first batch. He slurped back the sauce from his bowl, my bowl, and the pot. The Curry & Kale mussels are simple and tasty. The kale soaks up the curry flavours wonderfully. The Spicy Coconut version was the big winner. Coconut milk enhances the sweetness of the mussels while the chili flakes and chilis add a kick to balance it out. Winner, winner, mussel dinner. 

I’ve put the recipes and a special mussel eating tip behind the jump so that my front page is manageable to scroll!

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Parmesan Flax Crackers

These crackers are delicious, but really, I like the flavour of flax, so I am bias. These bake up crispy, are sturdy for cheese and dip, and can be different flavours based on preference and convenience. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Parmesan Flax Crackers

Adapted from I Breathe… I’m Hungry

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cup flax seeds, finely ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (don’t use the powdery stuff, grate fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, ground
  • coarse salt for sprinkling before baking

optional flavours:

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (great with creamy cheese/dip, salsa, hummus)
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary (good with creamy dips/cheese, hummus, or on their own)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (great with creamy mozzarella for a quick snack)
  • 1/2 tsp curry power (great with tomato soup, really)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all the ingredients (including spices as desired), except the salt, in a large bowl.
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined.  Let the dough sit for 10 minutes, in the fridge is best.
  3. On a large piece of parchment or wax paper, form the dough into a large log (with the circumference of your desired crackers). If you want square crackers, use a flat surface (cutting boarded) and  the counter to gently square your corners.
  4. Gently wrap the log in the parchment and allow it to chill for 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using a sharp knife with a thin blade, slice crackers off the log, gently placing them on the prepared cookie sheet. The thinner the cracker, the better.
  7. Sprinkle the crackers with salt and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, flip the crackers gently and bake for another 3-5 minutes, until browned and dried.
  8. Let cool for the crunchiest crackers.

Ready for mixing.

Not the prettiest, but worth it!

Today is not the day!

For posting! I am pooped!

It has been busy at Appetite, which is amazing. And our apartment is a mess because I finally got the property manager to close the gaping hole in our wall (only to be told that they will have to open it later anyway when they finally replace the pipe). So all of our dining room stuff is in the living room. AND we are having our carpets cleaned on Saturday morning… so we have to figure out how to pack everything into the bedroom tomorrow so that most of the space can be properly cleaned! Madness. Madness all around.

In addition to all this, I hauled a 17lb enamelled cast iron pot home from the other end of town. So, my arms are jelly, my house is a mess, I am making something simple (maybe Egg Drop Soup) and going to sleep!

Here is a picture of my Grandma’s 85th birthday cake, all lit up to tide you over until Saturday!

 

Almond Praline Cookies

These buttery, crispy cookies are an incredible treat. The cookies have almonds in them and a praline-like topping, I drizzled half with dark chocolate because… why not! I’ve meant to make cookies for a week now but have just been too busy to get to it. I modified my frangipane recipe to make the topping, and it turned out perfectly. I’ve also decided that these would make wonderful Christmas cookies as they are lovely to look at, rich and buttery, and can take some dark chocolate like a champ. Sadly, I can’t use them for my Food Blogger Cookie Exchange cookies, as I am posting them too early! Hmm, now I have to think of a new recipe for the exchange!

Almond Praline Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped (I threw whole almonds into my food processor and pulsed to the desired texture)

Praline:

  • 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg white

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt., mixing well to combine. It will come together in a sort of crumb-like fashion (see picture below). Chill the dough while you bring together the praline topping.
  4. Praline topping: In a food processor, pulse together the praline ingredients until you have a chunky paste. Don’t over pulse, otherwise you will almost have frangipane!
  5. Form dough into 1-inch balls and place them 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
  6. Using a flat-bottomed glass, lightly press down the cookies to flatten slightly. Top with 1/4-1/2 tsp of the praline mixture.
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown. They will not crisp up until cooled. So let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before trying to move them to a wire rack to cool.
  8. If you want to drizzle with chocolate, simply melt 2oz of dark chocolate with 1 tsp of butter and drizzle over top once the cookies have cooled.

Crumb-like texture of the dough.

Dollop of praline mixture.

So delicious.

Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Chicken

Oh sweet goodness, this is amazing. The stuffing adds texture and flavour that can’t be beat. I served the stuffed chicken breasts with some roasted broccoli that is similarly out of this world. I am going to throw some words out there to describe this dish: succulent, tender, scrumptious, flarghingyum. That’s right, I lost my ability to articulate at the end. The chicken breasts I had were really large, so you can easily stuff three or four regular-sized breasts and have a little less in each. OR double the stuffing and don’t fool around.

Cheese & Walnut Stuffed Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of dry curd cottage cheese (or use regular cottage cheese and omit the crème fraîche)
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, crumbled (heat oven to 350°F, lay walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes)
  • 1/4 cup of yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes (optional, we like spice)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl cream together the crème fraîche and cream cheese.
  2. Mix in the dry curds, walnuts, onion, and spices.
  3. Slice the chicken breasts length-wise through the centre, from the side. You are looking to create a pouch of sorts that is the length of the breast.
  4. Stuff the breasts with as much stuffing as you can manage. Sprinkle both sides of the breasts with salt, pepper, and paprika. Mine stayed together without assistance, but feel free to secure with a toothpick.
  5. Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Place the breasts in the pan and cook for 6-8 minutes per side until browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve with roasted broccoli.

Chicken breasts are stuffed and ready for the pan.

Nestled in, browning nicely.

Roasted Broccoli

This is a recipe for a super-easy side. Toss the broccoli with some salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil and you are golden (so are they). This would be a great side for stuffed chicken, roast beef, a lot of things. Eat them right off the pan.

Roasted Broccoli

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of trimmed broccoli florets (large or medium florets work best)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/3 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl toss together the florets, garlic, and olive oil, making sure they are evenly coated.
  3. Lay the florets evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle the florets with the salt and pepper and give them a little toss on the baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the broccoli browns in some places.

Flecked with garlic, salt, and pepper.

Roasty and delicious.

Better navigation!

Huzzzzzzaaaaaahhh!

If you look up about the header you will see that I’ve added a new page, Recipe and Post Index.

This is a place where you can find all the recipe categories with their respective recipes, all in alphabetical order! The non-recipe and personal posts are listed at the bottom in chronological order.

I will be sure to add all the new posts there right away so you will always know where to look. It is WAY easier than having to sift through pages of posts when you click through the categories at the right. BUT! Feel free to click on the tags on each post to find similarly tagged recipes.

I hope this helps navigate my growing list. I am still working on further ease of use, but I am doing it on my own and it seems finicky. Anyway, HURRAY!