Monday, June 8, 2015

Copycat Chickfila Sandwiches

When we lived in Ohio, we lived less than 0.5 miles from Chickfila.  Needless to say, we went often.  I loved their sandwiches, nuggets, wraps, salads, the play place for the kids, the service, the lemonade, the breakfasts the get the point.  

Now I live in Eastern Washington where there are ZERO of one of our favorite restaurants.  So the time has come for me to make my own until they make their way here.  Here is my first attempt.  It turned out SO SO good!  I made up some nuggets for the kids and some copycat Chickfila sauce, and we had one happy house.  Enjoy!

Copycat Chickfila Sandwiches

4 hamburger buns, split
1 head green leaf lettuce, leaves separated
1 beefsteak tomato, sliced
20 dill pickle slices

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup dill pickle juice
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
1 cup peanut oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place a chicken breast on a cutting board. With your hand flat on top of it, carefully slice the chicken in half horizontally. Trim excess fat as needed.
In a large shallow baking dish, combine chicken, pickle juice and 1/2 cup milk; marinate for at least 30 minutes. Drain well.

Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
In another large shallow baking dish, whisk together remaining 1 cup milk and egg. Stir in chicken to coat and drain excess milk mixture.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken, flour and confectioners' sugar; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Serve chicken immediately on burger buns with green leaf lettuce, tomato and pickles.

Recipe Source:  Damn Delicious

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars

Cherry season has begun here in Washington!  Yipee!  We love our Washington cherries.  Nate's co-worker does some picking on the side for extra money and brought us our first batch of cherries from a local orchard.  So...I thought it was time to try some new recipes!  Here's my first cherry recipe of the season for you, and it is so good!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
3/4 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup cherries (or combination of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries; fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 60 seconds.  To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and stir to combine.

Add the egg, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over mix or the blondies will be tough.

Fold in chocolate chips, fruit (I don't halve the cherries: I like them chunky and big), and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.

Bake for 27 to 32 minutes, or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan and center is set. Baking time will vary based on types of fruit used, fresh, frozen, and the moisture content of the fruit; and how gooey you like your blondies. A toothpick inserted into the middle may not come out clean due to the chocolate chips or juicy fruit. Allow bars to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving. Blondies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Recipe Source:  Averie Cooks

Berry Cheesecake Salad

Sometimes in the summer we like to have or invited to last minute get-togethers.  Then comes the dilemma of what to take to these last minute get-togethers.  As long as you have these ingredients together, this delectable salad comes together in 10 minutes...TOPS.  

It was seriously so good, so addictive!  I may make this every week this summer :)  I have another similar recipe...(click here) that is super yummy as well.  Try both and tell me which one you prefer.  Enjoy!

Berry Cheesecake Salad

1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
½ cup sugar
8 oz cool whip, thawed
6 cups berries, I used:
3 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in the thawed cool whip.

Add strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Fold carefully into the cream cheese mixture. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source:  The Recipe Critic

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Little Lemonies (Lemon Brownies)

Despite all my sweet posts lately, I am actually losing weight!  I had braces put on 2 weeks ago, and eating has been a challenge, so I'll just call it the bonus to having braces!  I have had to figure out which foods are too hard to eat with braces and avoid them (which is hard...I LOVE raw almonds, but they are just no bueno).  

I love all the citrus recipes that pop up this time of year.  I had a baby shower for a good friend this week and this was my contribution to the dessert table.  These are perfectly moist, no too lemony, and definitely crave-able!  Enjoy :)
Little Lemonies

 Lemon Batter:
1 cup (5 ounces/142 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5.5 ounces/155 grams) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze:
3/4 cup (2.75 ounces/75 grams) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8X8-inch aluminum baking pan with parchment so that it hangs over two of the edges (to lift out the bars later - alternately, you can just grease the pan really well and slice them in the pan) and lightly coat the pan and parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and lemon zest.
In a separate bowl or in a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the butter, eggs and egg yolk, lemon juice and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until combined.

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs (the top of the bars should spring back lightly when gently pressed). Don't over bake or they might be dry.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest until smooth and combined.
After the bars have cooled completely in the pan, drizzle the glaze over the top (since the glaze layer is thin, it helps to pour it all across the bars instead of in one puddle before spreading) and use an offset spatula or knife to spread evenly over the bars.

Place the bars in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to let the glaze set before lifting them from the pan (using the parchment overhang) and cutting into small squares. These taste best chilled, in my opinion, but can be served at room temperature also.

Recipe Source:  Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Looking for more lemony goodness?  Try clicking here for a few of my favs :)