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Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

December 30, 2010

Panko-Crusted Chicken with Mustard-Maple Sauce


Not all food is made for everyone, unfortunately. And many times you don't know until you try it. 

Sometimes, a recipe sounds right up your alley. All of the ingredients are ones that you like. You have most of them on hand. The recipe speaks to you, calls you. It is begging to be your next meal. 

And sometimes, even though those ingredients are ones we like, something just isn't quite right. That's how this mustard and maple chicken recipe was for me. I love maple syrup. I like mustard, probably more than ketchup. I like chicken. I like panko bread crumbs. So put them all together and they seem like they would add up to something special. But in fact, it was just pretty strange. Yes, it was a mix of sweet and tart. But was it a good mix? For me and Peej, no. But I'll leave that decision to you, as everyone has different taste buds. 

Here are all of the ingredients you will need:  the original recipe calls for fresh chopped parsley, but as you can see I didn't have any fresh on hand, so I just used my handy dandy freeze-dried parsley instead. But opt for the real thing if you can :) The original recipe also calls for dijon mustard, as well as a coarse-grained mustard. I just used one kind of mustard - Grey Poupon coarse-grained country dijon mustard. So instead of the 2 tsp plus 2 tbsp dijon, and 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp coarse-grained mustard, I just used a total of 4 tbsp and 3 tsp coarse-grained dijon mustard. Sounds complicated! 

Anyhoo, first make sure to pound your chickens flat so that they sear quickly and evenly on the skillet. Our just purchase chickens that are sliced thinly. Mix together one large egg, parlsey, and 2 tsp mustard in a bowl. Be sure to get your panko bread crumbs ready on a separate plate.

Then you are gonna dip each chicken into the egg mixture, coating evenly on both sides. And then dip them into the panko bread crumbs, again coating both sides.

Then I seasoned the chickens with salt and pepper before transferring them to the skillet. Heat up a skillet with the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until brown and cooked through. The original recipe calls for about 4 minutes on each side. I tend to cook things longer than the recipe says, but I am not sure quite how long exactly. But 4 minutes on each side is a good guideline. I guess it just depends on how thick the chickens are. Transfer the chickens to a plate when finished cooking.

While chicken is cooking, whisk together the broth, syrup, and remaining mustard. Then add the broth mixture to the skillet and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring often. It may be about 4 minutes or so. But wait for the sauce to boil, make sure you see those bubbles! Don't forget to add the butter at the end and whisk in until melted!

Then serve sauce alongside chicken :)

Panko-Crusted Chicken with Mustard-Maple Sauce

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded and flattened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp chopped freeze-dried parsley
  • 4 tbsp + 3 tsp Grey Poupon country dijon coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
Pound chickens until flattened. Whisk together the egg, parsley, and 2 teaspoons of the mustard in a bowl.  Place panko bread crumbs on a separate plate. Dip chickens into egg mixture, and turn to coat. Then dip each chicken into the panko bread crumbs, again turning to coat. Press the bread crumbs into the chickens so they stick well. Season the chickens with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook until brown and cooked through, at least 4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of your chickens).

Meanwhile, whisk broth, syrup, and remaining mustard in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Remove chickens from the skillet once finished and transfer to plates. Add the broth mixture to the skillet and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add butter, whisk until melted. Spoon sauce alongside chicken.

                                                          Printable Recipe

I am linking up to:

Ashley loved this recipe when she blogged about it. So don't base your judgment solely on our experience. The man and I didn't really enjoy this chicken. But that's not to say that someone else won't love it.

December 29, 2010

WWDB? Bud Lite Lime

Welcome to another edition of WWDB?

What is WWDB? you ask?

WWDB? = What would Desi buy?

and I'm Desi!!!

I am letting you know about good products that I test out that I love!

So what would Desi buy, you ask?

Remember when I said that alcohol makes me happy? Well, here is another quick post to reiterate that :) I used to be a liquor kinda gurl. I'd sip on my vodka and rum drinks, and keep drinking and drinking because it tasted so good and I couldn't feel it yet. But of course it would creep up on me. And then I would be a little too tipsy for my likings, and feeling oh so gross the next day! So now I like to stick to beer. I never have been one of those people who loves the taste of beer. It actually repulsed me at first. And I have found that the regular beers just seem so heavy in my belly, so I like to stick to lite beer when I can. So I was really glad when I found this fruity and lite kinda beer, Bud Lite Lime. I have heard so many "true beer drinkers" claim that this is not real beer. That it tastes like crap. That it doesn't taste like.... well, beer! Which is totally fine by me, and maybe why I like it more. My fiancee and I both love it, it is our fave beer. So it can't be considered a girly beer if my man drinks it too! So if you are a true beer connoisseur, forgive my cheap, diluted taste. But if you don't really like the taste of beer and want something that is a little sweeter and fruitier, then try this refreshing Bud Lite Lime! 

*Note: I receive no compensation for my product reviews on WWDB? All opinions are my own and are solely for the purpose of informing my readers of tried and true products.

December 27, 2010

Menu Planning - Week of 12/27/10

Man oh man, the holidays are NOT a good time for me to blog. November and December have just flown by. That means life has been busy! I am SO VERY SORRY for the lack of posts lately. I admire all of these foodies who bake tons of holiday treats and share all of their goodies and creations on their blog. I want to be like them. But unfortunately, I didn't bake any Christmas goodies  :(  Again, I went to my family's and of course could have brought a dessert or something, but we have just been so broke trying to make sure we have enough presents for everyone, that I haven't had any extra money to put towards baking and cooking Christmas-themed food. And with the holidays, I haven't meal planned in quite some time. Time for that to change!

Monday 12/27:  girls' night in - pizza night!

Tuesday 12/28:  Basil Scallops

Wednesday 12/29:  Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Thursday 12/30:  Zuppa Toscana

Friday 12/31:  BBQ Beef Shepards Pie

Time to link up!! Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie :)

Honestly, I hope I can get back in the swing of things. I don't have anymore excuses, the holidays are officially over! I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas. Sorry I wasn't here to wish you one! But better late than never  :) 

Merry Belated Christmas to you and your family, from ours!

December 9, 2010

CSN Review (Finally!!!!) - Cast Iron Skillet


Here it is, the long-awaited CSN review. I thought I had to post something about it but technically, I guess I just had to do a teaser post, and then review the product on their website. So I'll keep it short. I received a Emerilware 12" cast iron skillet by All-Clad ($24.95 value) in the mail and was so excited! It came pre-seasoned so I didn't have to season it myself, thank God cuz I wouldn't know how! This cast iron skillet is super heavy. You MUST lift it with two hands! It gets very hot very quickly. I wasn't quite ready for such high scorching temperatures so unfortunately, I ended up with some burnt bacon. But that was just because I didn't know any better.

I learned that cast iron skillets are great for high-heat cooking (maybe I should have done more research before using it?). They cook and heat evenly throughout. They are great for searing, making cornbread, and it is pretty deep so I can make sauces in it as well. I have already seared some chicken in it, bacon (obviously), and also made a fettuccine alfredo sauce in it. But those posts will come later. I just wanted to do a quick review of this cast iron skillet, which I am so grateful to finally have!

*Note: 12" is pretty large. They offer smaller sized skillets as well. Also, clean it after each use and dry immediately. Leaving wet surfaces on it will cause rust to form. Some people say not to clean cast iron skillets at all. Others say to clean it mildly with hot water. I can't imagine never cleaning it and all of that old grease building up on it, so I definitely clean mine. I learned the hard way after letting it air dry and saw small rust spots already appearing. I know now so I have no excuses.

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a soft spot in their hearts for good old fashioned cast iron skillets  :)

December 7, 2010

Restaurant Review : Denny's in Schaumburg, IL

This past August, I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding in Illinois. I was so happy when PJ said he would make the trip with me. Such a good fiancee I've trained him to be :) Just kidding. But after a longggg, tiresome, but exciting weekend we were ready to go back home to Cincinnati. But not first without stopping at one of our favorite breakfast places ever - Denny's. You see, we have Denny's here in Cincinnati but they are usually in more of rural areas and not near the city. So if we want to go to Denny's, we have to travel 30 minutes at the least. So we are really excited when we just so happen to stumble across one while we are out and about. You wanna know something else too? We stopped at Denny's in Shelbyville, IN on the way to Chicago. And here we were stopping again on the way back. The first stop was so good that we had to go back again and test it out in Chicago. So what I've learned? Basically that Denny's is good in Cincinnati, Indiana, and Chicago! Basically anywhere!

There was some construction going on right outside of this particular one. It was located in a plaza and with all of the construction, it wasn't the best location. But who cares? Certainly not us. And also, it has been a few months since we actually dined here so it may be hard for me to remember exact menu items.

PJ loves milkshakes, so he started out with what I'm thinking is a strawberry milkshake. He was ready to drink it up so I had to hurry with my picture-taking. Well that sure looks delicious.

Since milkshakes are more like dessert for me than a thirst-quenching drink, I opted for one of their fancy 'fusion favorites' - The Pineapple Dream. I was really hoping it would be tremendous, I mean oj, pineapple and Sprite mixed sounds good to me! But it wasn't very good actually. I definitely didn't need to get refills, though I believe they are free for these drinks. No free refills on milkshakes though, sorry kids!

Whenever I go to Denny's, I HAVE to order breakfast. No lunch or dinner items for me, no sirree. I am a breakfast kinda gurl. But just the fact that they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner options is a plus in my book. So that people like me can order my breakfast at any time of day, and people like my fiancee can stick to lunch sandwiches and burgers. 

Now... the reason we had to stop at Denny's for a second time on our trip.... was to order, for the second time in 2 days, the Banana's Foster French Toast Skillet. It is alot of sweet heavenly goodness! Some people may say it is too sweet, I think our waitress said that actually. But it is just THE best french toast I have ever had! And it comes with eggs and bacon/sausage. I had cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon. I must find a copycat recipe so that I can make it at home, since we don't live close to a Denny's. (On a side note, boy is this picture blurry! And of course it's the main thing I want you to see!!! Don't let my picture fool you, it is far better than the picture makes it look). Look at that banana foster sauce sizzlin, practically beggin me to come back for more! I wonder if I put my ear to it if I can hear it squealing "Eat me, eat me."

PJ ordered the Hickory Grilled Chicken Sandwich which comes with melted cheese, onion rings (or tanglers as they call them), lettuce, tomato, and a sweet hickory spread. With a side of fries. The bad part about posting restaurant reviews so long after you've eaten there? I can't remember if he liked it. But it sure does look good, doesn't it? Those onion rings look super crispy, as well as the fries. I'm so mean, making him wait like that just so I could take a picture! He is used to this by now. Hey, that's the life of the fiancee of a food blogger  :)

And everything is a reasonable price. They even have a $2, $4, $6, and $8 value menu. You would think that sweet french toast and eggs and bacon would be enough for me. But no. I had to test out those Pancake Puppies. I only see the Pancake Puppies Sundae on their menu now, but mine didn't come with ice cream, fudge, and whipped cream. Mine were just the pancake puppies. My brain is trying to tell me something... maybe they were cookies and cream flavored pancake puppies? I'm not sure exactly, but they were small pancake balls topped with powdered sugar. They were fine, nothing special. Especially after eating two french toasts, eggs, and bacon.

Look at my pretty fingernails all done up in a french manicure for the wedding. My nails haven't looked that good since. 

Oh, and there's me enjoying my delicious Banana's Foster french toast. You are the reason I come to Denny's.

This seriously is my kinda place. Food that's better than fast food but with fast food prices. Greater Cincinnati, please bring a Denny's closer to us city folk!

One problem: Why did I have three plates of food to PJ's one? I suddenly feel like the man in the relationship.

Denny's on Urbanspoon

December 6, 2010

Menu Planning - Week of 12/6/10

I am so happy to be getting back into the swing of things. I barely posted in November! I haven't menu planned in what seems like ages. And now I am ready for some order and stability back in my life! 

Tuesday 12/7:  baked tilapia with creamy lemon dill sauce

Wednesday 12/8:  eat out (tag football night)

Thursday 12/9:  buffalo chicken lasagna

Friday 12/10:  ranch chicken

Saturday 12/11:  pan-roasted garlic and lemon chicken

I am linking up to Menu Planning Monday over at I'm An Organized Junkie. She is my idol. Oh how I wish I could be ultra organized like her!

**I also have many recipes to post, as well as that dang CSN review! Thanks for bearing with me, people  :)

December 2, 2010


Holy Sweet Jesus I haven't blogged in so long! It's been busy around my neck of the woods, as I'm sure everyone has been! Work has been busy, and of course the holidays. I feel so bad that I wasn't able to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, nor did I post any Thanksgiving recipes or leftover ideas. What kind of food blogger doesn't blog about some yummy turkey and stuffing recipes?! This one, that's who! I really wanted to get into it, but life doesn't allow for that sometimes. Hopefully I can do more baking and holiday-related posts for Christmas... but that's not a promise....

So Happy BELATED Thanksgiving to everyone, I hope you all spent it with family and friends and good food :) I sure did! On Thanksgiving day, PJ and I went to my mama's house for dinner and enjoyed some turkey, ham, collard greens (always a must at my mama's house for any occasion), rolls, mac and cheese, and lemon pie. It was a pretty small gathering - just my mama, daddy, brother, PJ and I. Can you believe that was the first time PJ had gone to my parents' house for a holiday dinner? After 10 years! I hardly can believe it myself. But my family is strange like that... but that's another story....

Don't ask me why I have NO pictures from my mom's Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't take any pics of her food, or any of PJ with us for the first time this Thanksgiving. I am such a slacker! But I for sure wasn't going to make that same mistake the next day, on Friday when we went to PJ's mom's for dinner. More turkey, yay! Amy always outdoes herself... .she decorated the table beautifully and all of her food was sooooo good and looked like it took forever to make! She also made homemade gravy and stuffing, which was a real treat. I am definitely gonna be getting some recipes from her for when we host our own Thanksgiving one day. Dinner at her house was fancier than my mama's, with a beautifully decorated table setting, and fancy foods. Don't tell my mom, but the turkey and stuffing were also better!

Wanna know another reason why I'm a crappy food blogger? Though I wasn't hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house, I did want to make some desserts or something to bring to each house to help out. But what do you know... I ran out of time and didn't. Or maybe it was laziness?

Enough of the yapping, let's get to the pictures! And like I said, no pics from my mom's house... so these are all from the future in-laws' house.

Mashed potatoes are a must at Thanksgiving. Pour some gravy on them and that's pure deliciousness. There was beer too, and beer is always good :) I had me a bud light lime. That red casserole dish at the top left is her scrumptious stuffing... I dunno what all she put in it but man was it the best stuffing I have ever had! It had apples in it I think, and I thought I would never like a stuffing with fruit in it. I was always against it, until now. Oh, I will be getting my hands on this recipe some day. Best. Stuffing. Ever.

At the other end, we had the moist, succulent turkey... and my favorite Thanksgiving recipe - broccoli cheese casserole. Amy's is the best! I tried to make it once at home, but it just wasn't the same :(  I need to perfect this skill. The turkey was the juiciest I have ever eaten! It had a nice golden brown skin and was seasoned nicely. I want some more right now! And that little cup of homemade gravy was to die for! I passed on the cranberry sauce, as usual....

And a whole look at the table setting and food. The blue bowl towards the back of the table was some tasty grapefruit concoction that Amy whipped up - I was surprised I liked it! Oh, and how could I forget her signature palette cleansing starter - orange sherbert with cranberry juice. So easy, and so tasty! We had a little debate over the difference between sherbert, sherbet, and sorbet. No one really knows the difference....

This is Peej and I at his mom's house for Thanksgiving. His eyes are always squinted :)

I wish I had gotten pics of us at both houses... of both families, but I didn't. And now I am sad about it. My mom doesn't like taking pictures anyways. Whenever I whip out the camera, she sighs and says "Here we go again." I never understand those people who don't like pictures... who doesn't like making and keeping memories?!?!

Oh well, maybe next Thanksgiving??? And there's always this Christmas :)


And finally, the last reason why I am a crappy blogger - I think like over a month ago I mentioned an upcoming review of a CSN product.... Well I received the product about a month ago, and used it, and still haven't reviewed it. Oopsies. Look for that super late post.... coming soon!