August New To Me Cooking Challenge

Week 32- Sour Cream & Panko (and some other stuff) Baked Chicken Breasts
OK. Would you believe me if I told you that this is the first time in my adult life that I baked chicken breasts? ‘Cuz it was. I’m a little embarrassed by this fact. I’m NOT embarrassed about how this chicken came out though! It’s pretty yummy!
This is a combination of a bunch of different recipes I found online, all jumbled together and made my own!
I really like the addition of the sour cream as part of the “marinade”. Before I rolled the chicken in the breading mixture, I made sure the whole thing was slathered in the sour cream.
I originally used double the dry ingredients, but it was definitely too much, so I adjusted the recipe and posted the amount I actually used. Make sense?
The next time this recipe happens in my kitchen I’ll be changing 2 things… I’ll probably use less chicken. This recipe made 5 (4 oz) servings, not that Hubs complained (he ate the other 4). I’ll also cut a bunch of calories by using non stick spray (Pam) instead of pouring all that oil & butter over the chicken. It made everything a little soggy… I think if I use Pam it should make everything less “wet”.
Other than those 2 things… this got thumbs up from both of us!
Week 33- Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
I decided to make biscuits this week because I have half a jug of buttermilk in the fridge and I don’t want to waste it. I adapted this recipe off of AllRecipes.
How come nobody ever told me how EASY biscuits are to make? I always thought there was some secret magic and totally difficult process… little did I know. The most difficult part of these was cutting the butter into the flour. If you don’t have a pastry blender (I don’t need an extra toy), just use a fork. Smoosh the butter into the flour over, and over, and over, until the big chunks of butter are all gone and the dough is crumbly.
I rolled these out pretty thin so I could make smaller biscuits (with fewer calories). But I think they’d be even better if they were thicker, and a little bigger. If I was going to make these for anyone else (besides Hubs & me) I’d roll out the dough out a little thicker so the biscuits will be puffier.
Also… I got 17 biscuits out of this dough, but I also folded and used the scraps. I heard that’s a no-no in the biscuit making world… but, really, I couldn’t tell the difference.
This recipe is going into rotation. As soon as I was done making the regular ones I used a variation of it to make 2 Bite Cinnamon Orange Biscuits. Next up is garlic cheddar biscuits!
Week 34- Mini Pretzel Dogs
I’m a kid at heart. I love “kid food”. Pizza, Mac N Cheese, Pigs In A Blanket, PB&J… if it’s kid food, I probably love it.
This recipe happened because I was craving corn dogs and looking for a healthier option. AKA a recipe that didn’t require frying. I mention it to Hubs and he suggested pretzel dogs instead! What a genius! While it didn’t exactly fix my corn dog craving these pretzel dogs are like a more awesome version of Pigs in a Blanket! We both REALLY like soft pretzels, and I’ve been dying for an excuse to use this pretzel roll recipe again so it worked out perfectly!
I know the recipe looks complicated, and there are like a million steps. But it’s worth it. Kind of.
The problem is… it takes a bit of time, and there’s leftover pretzel dough. There are a 2 ways to solve this. First… if you’re feeding a bunch of people make 2 packages of cocktail weenies and use all the dough. Second (this is the option I chose) make the other half of dough into pretzel rolls! I divided the other half into 8 small rolls. The last time I made the pretzel roll recipe they were HUGE (and calorie filled), so I made them half the size and adjusted the baking time.
While we both really liked these, they probably won’t happen again soon. It’s a little time consuming, and made too many leftovers. However… if our nephews ever come for a visit or if I ever need to bring finger food to a potluck these will be my go-to.
Week 35- Coffee Dry Rub & Kahlua BBQ Sauce, Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
This week has been kinda busy around here… so I wanted to make something easy for the challenge. What’s easier than throwing something in the slow cooker then forgetting it for a few hours?! Not much. I also have an obsession with BBQ style food. Now, we don’t have a smoker, and I really hate leaving the oven on for HOURS. The slow cooker saves the day!
I knew I wanted easy peasy, and I knew I was going to use pork… but the next question was seasoning. The thought process behind all this was kind of random, and I’m not really sure how I ended up settling on coffee dry rub, but I’m glad I did. The rub recipe is from The Hungry Southerner. I can’t wait to try it on some grilled steak or chicken! The Kahlua BBQ is adapted from Pineapple & Coconut. I made the original version for the challenge in week 5.
At first I wasn’t planning on using any sauce, but I’ve never put anything in the slow cooker without the extra liquid. After the 6 hours was up and my pork shredded easily, I realized that the BBQ was too thin still, so I reduced it on the stove top. It took me around 30 minutes. While it was simmering, I ended up skimming out as much of the remaining fat as I could. Fat chunks gross me out. For an option w/ less fat you could substitute a pork loin, but that would be more expensive.
I see this happening quite often in the future. It was good enough that Hubs ate all the leftovers the next day!
That finishes up the New To Me Cooking Challenge for August.
Happy Cooking!
-Hey Waitress!!
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